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Friday, October 20, 2006

The Week honored with five NNA awards

Mike Heine, who covers Walworth County courts and government for The Week, and our sister daily, the Janesville Gazette, has been honored with a first place award in the National Newspaper Association's Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were announced last weekend at the trade group’s annual convention in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Contributing writer Susan Lanham also won a first-place award for a humor column.

The two first-place awards were among five awards The Week received for work published in 2005.

The other awards are:

-- Second place-best special section, for the 2005 Lakeland Builders Association Parade of Homes section.

-- Second place-best use of photographs

-- Honorable mention-best use of color

Heine's story (he also did the photography, by the way) was on the annual C.O.P.S. camp for kids. (Read it here) The organization helps survivors of law enforcement personnel killed in action.

Heine's regular beat in the Walworth County Courthouse regularly brings him in contact with those accused of crime.

Often in the newspaper business, victims tend to fall into the shadows. But Heine's sensitive portrayal of what these kids are going through adds a perspective that we normally wouldn’t get, but certainly need to understand.

This is Heine's second award for work published in 2005. He also won a third-place award from the Association for Free Community Newspapers for original news writing. The award was for a story on the emotional day of testimony at the sentencing of Carol LaPorte, who had been convicted of stabbing her husband to death.

Coincidentally, LaPorte's conviction was overturned recently, and last week a judge scheduled a new trial.

(Read) Lanham's hilarious account of her family trying to warm up to a niece's fiance is the writer's third award for humor, all of them first place.

The editions that the judges examined in the photography category included a photo essay on the Wisconsin School for the Deaf’s valedictorian by Terry Mayer, a photo essay by contributor Doug Stewart on a local man’s cow hoof trimming business and coverage by freelance photographer William Glasheen of the UW-Whitewater baseball team’s College World Series win.

In the color category, the issues submitted to the judges included color ads for Pesche’s Greenhouse, Reed’s Furniture and Shorewest Realtors.

~Dan Plutchak, editor


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