- Associated Press - Sunday, April 30, 2017

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Newspapers in Detroit, Lansing and Holland were named the best in the state Sunday in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

General Excellence awards for 2016 went to the Detroit Free Press, the Lansing State Journal and The Holland Sentinel.

The Lansing State Journal won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishments in pursuing freedom of information for its entry “Fighting for FOIA.”

Twenty-eight newspapers submitted 978 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports and weather reporting, as well as features, documentaries and photography from 2016.

Entries were judged by editors from San Diego Union Tribune, and The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Division III; Troy (Ohio) Daily News and The Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, Division II; and Abilene (Texas) News and the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, Division I.

Jennifer Bowman of the Battle Creek Enquirer was the recipient of this year’s Newspaper Rising Star award. The award recognizes achievement and ability for those with five years or less in journalism.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,400 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.

Here is the list of winners:

2016 First Amendment Award: Lansing State Journal.

Division III, Newspapers with a daily circulation over 40,000:

General Excellence: 1, Detroit Free Press; 2, The Grand Rapids Press; 3, The Flint Journal and The Detroit News.

Best Headline Writing: 1, Keith Roberts, The Detroit News; 2, Jerry Seim, The Grand Rapids Press; 3, Andreas Supanich, The Detroit News.

Best Business Writing: 1, Garret Ellison, The Grand Rapids Press; 2, Matthew Dolan and Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press; 3, John Gonzalez and Amy Sherman, The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Column: 1, Stephen Henderson, Detroit Free Press; 2, Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press; 3, John Counts, The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Editorial Writing: 1, Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press; 2, The Grand Rapids Press; 3, Nancy Kaffer, Detroit Free Press.

Best Feature Writing: 1, John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press; 2, John Counts, The Flint Journal; 3, Kristen Jordan Shamus, Detroit Free Press.

Best Sports Story: 1, Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, “Pavel Datsyuk Says He Will Leave the Red Wings After Playoffs”; 2, Jarerd Purcell, The Grand Rapids Press, “Southgate Anderson Teen Issaic Allard Walks at Homecoming Football Game After Overcoming Paralysis”; 3, James Hawkins and Josh Katzenstein, The Detroit News, “Football Recruiters Hit Paydirt in Three States.”

Best Sports Feature Story: 1, Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, “Ex-Lions QB Kramer Gets Help After Suicide Attempt after Years of Pain”; 2, Jared Purcell, The Grand Rapids Press, “All-Time Greats: Curtis Jones is the Best Basketball Player You’ve Never Heard Of”; 3, Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, “62 Years Later, Detroit Tigers Prospect Earl Robinette Signs Contract.”

Best Sports Column: 1, Bob Wojnowski, The Detroit News; 2, Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, “Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio Rejects Flash, Builds on Values”; 3, David Mayo, The Grand Rapids Press, “Jim Harbaugh’s Officiating Rant was Beneath Michigan’s Competitive Dignity.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: 1, Milt Klingensmith, The Grand Rapids Press, “Even Light Smoking Can be Deadly”; 2, James Hollar, The Detroit News, “Climbing the Ladder of Success”; 3, Milt Klingensmith, The Flint Journal.

Best Spot News Photo: 1, Clarence Tabb Jr., The Detroit News, “Last Ride”; 2, Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “Comforting Touch”; 3, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “A Living Nightmare.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “Setting the Bar High”; 2, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “Poisoned”; 3, Emily Rose Bennett, The Grand Rapids Press, “Hockey, Not Horses: A Slice of Winter Life on Mackinac Island.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, David Guralnick, The Detroit News, “Chasing the Puck”; 2, Tegan Johnston, The Flint Journal, “Ride”; 3, Allison Farrand, The Grand Rapids Press, “The Pull.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “The Wright Stuff”; 2, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “Still Standing: 100 Flint Residents Dealing with a Poisoned Water System”; 3, Jake May, The Flint Journal, “Flint, a City Poisoned.”

Best Video: 1, Salwan Georges, Detroit Free Press, “Sudan to Detroit, a Refugee Journey”; 2, Donna Terek, The Detroit News, “Cathedral of St. Anthony: A Church Reborn”; 3, The Grand Rapids Press, “Paradise Exposed: A New View on Old Detroit.”

Best Public Service: 1, Detroit Free Press, “Flint Water Resource Guide”; 2, Keith Matheny and Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, “Oil to be Shipped Under St. Clair River in Aging Pipelines”; 3, The Flint Journal, “The Mistakes Made, The Lives Affected.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Detroit Free Press, “Mass Shooting in Kalamazoo County by Uber Driver”; 2, The Detroit News, “Half of Detroit’s Votes May be Ineligible for Recount”; 3, The Grand Rapids Press, “Multiple Tornadoes Hit Grand Rapids Area.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Julie Mack, The Grand Rapids Press, “A Deadly Mix”; 2, Eric D. Lawrence and John Gallagher, Detroit Free Press, “At Rusting Wayne County Jail Site, Winter is Coming - Again”; 3, Paula Gardner and Brian McVicar, The Grand Rapids Press, “Uneven Paying Field.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, The Flint Journal, “All the Governor’s Men”; 2, Emily Lawler and Craig Mauger, The Grand Rapids Press, “Hush Funds”; 3, Jennifer Dixon and Kristi Tanner, Detroit Free Press, “Deadly Asbestos.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Alicia Secord, Detroit Free Press, “An Attack on All of Us”; 2, Katie Karnes and Milt Klingensmith, The Grand Rapids Press, “Pushing for ‘PIPES”’; 3, Brian McNamara, Detroit Free Press, “Solutions Section Cover.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, Detroit Free Press; 2, The Detroit News; 3, The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: 1, Scott Levin, The Flint Journal, “Flint Water: All Governor’s Men; Faces of Flint”; 2, The Detroit News, “USS Detroit: A New Breed of Ship for U.S. Navy”; 3, Scott Levin, The Grand Rapids Press, “Ironwood: Northern Michigan has the State’s Highest Suicide Rate.”

Division II, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 10,000 to 39,999:

General Excellence: 1, Lansing State Journal; 2, Jackson Citizen Patriot; 3, Traverse City Record Eagle.

Best Headline Writing: 1, Katie Karnes, Jackson Citizen Patriot; 2, Rich C. Lakeberg, Traverse City Record-Eagle; 3, Katie Karnes, Jackson Citizen Patriot.

Best Business Writing: 1, Danielle Portteus, The Monroe News; 2, Alexander Alusheff, Lansing State Journal; 3, Rosemary Parker, Kalamazoo Gazette.

Best Column: 1, Dillon Davis, Battle Creek Enquirer; 2, Judy Putnam, Lansing State Journal; 3, Annie Kelley, Battle Creek Enquirer.

Best Editorial Writing: 1, Stephanie Angel, Lansing State Journal; 2, Nathan Payne, Traverse City Record-Eagle; 3, Dan Nielsen, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Feature Writing: 1, Steven Reed, Lansing State Journal; 2, Rachel Greco, Lansing State Journal; 3, Marta Hepler Drahos, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Sports Story: 1, Nick Buckley, Battle Creek Enquirer, “The Return of the Rink”; 2, Matt Wenzel, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Loss of Leg, Return of Cancer Not Stopping this Michigan High School Bowler”; 3, Brendan F. Quinn, The Ann Arbor News, “As Senior Day Arrives, Spike Albrecht and Caris LeVert Tackle the Ending No One Wanted.”

Best Sports Feature Story: 1, Tony Garcia, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Found in Bible Box in Haiti, High School Athlete Finds Home on Football Field”; 2, Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer, “Indy 500 Rekindles Memories of Brayton”; 3, Brendan F. Quinn, The Ann Arbor News, “Being Hutch: The Story Behind Michigan’s Iconic Coach, and What’s Next for Carol Hutchins.”

Best Sports Column: 1, Hugh Bernreuter, The Saginaw News, “Mount Pleasant Sacred Heart Coach Damon Brown Enjoys Emotional Return to Last Happy Time We Had as Family”; 2, Nick Buckley, Battle Creek Enquirer; 3, Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer.

Best Illustration or Graphic: 1, Selena Hautamaki, The (Marquette) Mining Journal, “Fire Prevention”; 2, Selena Hautamaki, The (Marquette) Mining Journal, “Superiorland Magazine Cover”; 3, Selena Hautamaki, The (Marquette) Mining Journal, “Mining Exploration.”

Best Spot News Photo: 1, Yfat Yossifor, The Bay City Times, “Man Escapes Vehicle Through Windshield After it Rolls Over in Crash”; 2, Jessica Christian, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Dog Rescue”; 3, Tessa Lighty, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “Gene’s Auto Parts Fire.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Tom Hawley, The Monroe News, “111 Miles Done!”; 2, J. Scott Park, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Plunged”; 3, Mark Bugnaski, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Ghost Bikes Become Beautiful Flower Sculptures, a Shrine to 5 Cyclists Killed.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, John Discher, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Leap at Second Base”; 2, Jan-Michael Stump, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “Football Snow Angel”; 3, Joel Bissell, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Pulling for Victory.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Julia Nagy, Lansing State Journal, “The Life of Laura Kaufman”; 2, Julia Nagy, Lansing State Journal, “The Mitten Mavens”; 3, Julia Nagy, Lansing State Journal, “Glen Brough.”

Best Video: 1, Julia Nagy and Beth LeBlanc, Lansing State Journal, “Don Miller”; 2, Melanie Maxwell, The Ann Arbor News, “Preserving Michigan’s Music with Matt Jones and the River Street Anthology”; 3, Melanie Maxwell, The Ann Arbor News, “See Baby Goats in Tiny Coats at White Lotus Farms in Ann Arbor.”

Best Public Service: 1, Ryan Stanton, The Ann Arbor News, “Dioxane Plume Under Ann Arbor”; 2, Andrew Hoag and Mark Tower, The Saginaw News, “Seniors Struggle to Make Ends Meet in Wake of SNAP Benefit Cuts”; 3, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “School Closures.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Kalamazoo Mass Shooting”; 2, Ryan Shek, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Multiple Fire Departments Battling Church Fire in Grass Lake”; 3, Lansing State Journal, “Stuart Dunnings III Arrested.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Kathleen Lavey, Lansing State Journal, “What’s the Future for Great Lakes Salmon?”; 2, Matt Mencarini and Justin Hinkley, Lansing State Journal, “Stuart Dunnings III”; 3, Matt Mencarini and Justin Hinkley, Lansing State Journal, “Prostitution and Human Trafficking.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Matthew Mencarini, Lansing State Journal, “Evidence Issues Not Disclosed to Prosecutors”; 2, Matt Mencarini and RJ Wolcott, Lansing State Journal, “At MSU: Assault, Harassment and Secrecy”; 3, Steven Reed, Lansing State Journal, “High Cost of the Heights.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Katie Karnes and Milt Klingensmith, Kalamazoo Gazette; 2, David Panian and Karri Tarsha, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Adrian Soaring Club”; 3, Jessica Havens, The Monroe News, “A Huge Jolt.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, Andy Taylor and Erin Sloan, Traverse City Record-Eagle; 2, Battle Creek Enquirer; 3, Selena Hautamaki, The (Marquette) Mining Journal.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: 1, Lansing State Journal, “Lansing’s Craft Beer Scene is Booming”; 2, Lansing State Journal, “Families, Officials Fight to Keep Local Serial Killer in Prison”; 3, Lansing State Journal, “The Heights: As Eastwood Grew, Lansing Twp. Debt Spiraled.”

Division I, Newspapers with a daily circulation under 10,000:

General Excellence: 1, The Holland Sentinel; 2, The (Greenville) Daily News; 3, Midland Daily News.

Best Headline Writing: 1, Darrin Clark, The (Greenville) Daily News; 2, Alex Doty, Grand Haven Tribune; 3, Matt DeYoung, Grand Haven Tribune.

Best Business Writing: 1, Justine McGuire, The Holland Sentinel; 2, Amy Biolchini, The Holland Sentinel; 3, Austin Metz, The Holland Sentinel.

Best Column: 1, Mitch Galloway, Ludington Daily News; 2, Lisa Roose-Church, Livingston Daily Press & Argus; 3, Renee Tanner, Petoskey News-Review.

Best Editorial Writing: 1, Sarah Leach, The Holland Sentinel; 2, Betsy Bloom, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News; 3, Elisabeth Waldon, The (Greenville) Daily News.

Best Feature Writing: 1, Lisa Roose-Church, Livingston Daily Press & Argus; 2, Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News; 3, Theresa Proudfit, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News.

Best Sports Story: 1, Ryan Schlehuber, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Norwegian Foreign Exchange Student Lives Out Dream”; 2, Ryan Schlehuber, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Crystal Brother and Sister Compete in World Powerlifting Tournament with Success”; 3, Josh VanDyke, Grand Haven Tribune, “Laker Legacy.”

Best Sports Feature Story: 1, Chris Zadorozny, The Holland Sentinel, “Running Past Disease”; 2, Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel, “Hugs, Hoops and Healing”; 3, Ryan Schlehuber, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Father and Son Duo from Greenville Named Michigan Arms’ Wrestlers of the Year.”

Best Sports Column: 1, Bill Khan, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “State Tournaments Can be Cruel, Beautiful”; 2, Paul Adams, Huron Daily Tribune, “A Journey 15 Years in the Making”; 3, Josh VanDyke, Grand Haven Tribune, “VanDyke: MCC Continues to be a Small-School Juggernaut.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: 1, Jordan Haenlein and Alex Doty, Grand Haven Tribune, “State of Craft Beer in Michigan”; 2, Renee Tanner, Petoskey News-Review, “What They Make”; 3, Renee Tanner, Petoskey News-Review, “Delegate the Vote.”

Best Spot News Photo: 1, Nick King, Midland Daily News, “Fire”; 2, Gillis Benedict, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Lagoon Drive Fire”; 3, Caleb Whitmer, The Holland Sentinel, “Pigs Escape in Allegan County Crash.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Erin Kirkland, Midland Daily News, “Keeper of Culture”; 2, Nick King, Midland Daily News, “In Flight”; 3, Brittney Lohmiller, Midland Daily News, “Balancing Ballet.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Brittney Lohmiller, Midland Daily News, “Volleyball Reaction”; 2, Jason Juno, The (Ironwood) Daily Globe, “Hurley’s Tim Buerger Makes Catch”; 3, Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel, “Ethan Curtis & Cody Miller.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Erin Kirkland, Midland Daily News, “Keeper of Culture”; 2, Erin Kirkland, Midland Daily News, “Weaving their Way”; 3, Brittney Lohmiller, Midland Daily News, “One Busy Bird.”

Best Video: 1, Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “A Weight Loss Story: Mike Walsh and Ann Harvey”; 2, Bill Khan, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “Epic Girls Cross Country Regional Battle”; 3, Jeff Kiessel, Ludington Daily News, “Godspell.”

Best Public Service: 1, Alex Doty, Grand Haven Tribune, “Heath Pointe”; 2, Theresa Proudfit, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News, “Gifts of Life”; 3, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “The Public Payroll.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Lisa Roose-Church and Gillis Benedict, Livingston Daily Press & Argus, “3 Dead in 40-car Pileup”; 2, Becky Vargo, Grand Haven Tribune, “New Jersey Man Washed Off Grand Haven’s North Pier”; 3, Becky Vargo, Grand Haven Tribune, “Woman Killed in U.S. 31 Motorcycle Crash.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Curtis Wildfong, The Holland Sentinel, “Life for a Life?”; 2, Ilsa Matthes, Escanaba Daily Press, “Commissioner’s Grant Questioned”; 3, Brenda Battel, Huron Daily Tribune, “Fighting for Public Information.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Elisabeth Waldon, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Montcalm County Budget Fiasco”; 2, Amy Biolchini and Curtis Wildfong, The Holland Sentinel, “Room for Rent”; 3, Chris Aldridge, Huron Daily Tribune, “Tilting Turbines.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Ryan Schlehuber, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Live to Dance”; 2, Midland Daily News, “Majestic Michigan”; 3, Grand Haven Tribune, “Living Local .”

Best Digital Presence: 1, Petoskey News-Review; 2, Sarah Leach and Jason Barczy, The Holland Sentinel; 3, Grand Haven Tribune.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: 1, Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “New Year, New Life: Greenville Residents Transform their Lifestyles Via Weight Loss”; 2, Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Belding Marching Band Places 5th at State Finals and Tri County Marching Band Competes at Finals for 1st time “; 3, Alex Doty, Grand Haven Tribune, “Church Fire.”

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