The Hood River News won several awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association 2003 Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced at the ONPA annual convention July 19 in Newport.
Competing in the largest division, “Multi-Weeklies,” the Hood River News received 10 total awards, and took home four first-place plaques for work completed in 2002.
Staff photographer and graphic artist Jim Semlor won first place for Best Page One Design; first place for Best Photo Essay for Graduation 2002 at Hood River Valley High School; third place for Best Feature Photo for “Dances with Dreams,” about Native American dancer Donnetta Squiemphen; third place for Best Section Front or Inside Page Design; and honorable mention for Best News Photo for a photo of the production line at Full Sail Brewery.
Staff writer Janet Cook won first place in the Best Writing category for the third consecutive year. She won for three submissions of her writing: “Another Beautiful Day,” a story about Hood River resident Marcia Page and her recovery from a near-fatal snowboarding accident on Mount Hood; “Excelling in ESL,” a feature about the successful ESL program at HRVHS; and “Nothing notes time passages like a clock radio,” a column she wrote about her clock radio.
Cook also won second place in Best Feature — Personality for “Fruit for Thought,” a story about orchardist John Jacobson and his program for selling fruit and giving the profits to local school programs, called School Aid. She won third place in Best Feature — General for the story about Marcia Page.
Also earning an ONPA first-place award was sports writer Dave Leder, who won in the Best Sports Page category. He also tied for second place in Best Lifestyle Coverage for a story on “20 Years of Windsurfing,” a retrospective about the history of windsurfing in Hood River, which ran in the 2002 Panorama section.
Staff writer RaeLynn Ricarte tied Leder for second place in Best Lifestyle coverage for “Practical Parenting,” a series about raising children using proactive discipline and interaction.
“I’m proud of our staff for once again being recognized by their peers for quality journalism in the 2002 Oregon Newspapers Better Newspaper Contest,” said Tom Lanctot, Hood River News publisher.
“Winning awards such as these takes a team effort and our entire staff is very proud and shares in the excitement of our individual award winners.”
The news staff also won several awards in the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Competition held in May.
Semlor won second place for Inside Feature or Section Page Design; second place for Sports News and Sports Feature Photograph for “Drama Queens,” a photo of the HRVHS girls soccer playoff win; second place for Feature Photography for “Holding On,” a photo of a child on a rope swing on a hot summer day; and second place for Photo Essay for “Hawk Highway,” about the hawk migration count station on Mount Hood.
Cook won first place for News Feature for “Treating Afghanistan,” a story about Hood River physician Dr. Mike Pendleton’s experience with Northwest Medical Teams in Afghanistan.
Leder won third place in Sports Feature for “Recruitment Opportunities,” a story about current and future college athletes from HRVHS; honorable mention in Sports Feature for “Elliott leaves his legacy,” about outgoing HRVHS athletic director Glenn Elliott; and honorable mention for his sports column “Inside Pitch.”
Ricarte won second place in Social Issues Reporting for her “Practical Parenting” series.