- Associated Press - Monday, March 26, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Winners have been announced in the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors 2017 newspaper contest.

The awards for General Excellence and Photo and Editorial Sweepstakes, as well as News Innovator of the Year — will be announced during the annual convention of the Illinois Press Association, Thursday, June 7 in Normal, Illinois.

Thirty-four daily newspapers submitted 901 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns and photos from 2017.

Please review the winners list and contact Ann Michelle Householder ([email protected]ap.org or (734) 276-0439) by Thursday March 29, to report any misspelled names, titles or other problems.

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

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Winners in the 2017 Illinois APME Newspaper Contest:

Division III/Metro

Breaking News: 1, Elena Ferrarin and Marie Wilson, Arlington Heights Daily Herald, “Hours of Torture”; 2, Belleville News-Democrat, “The Day a Belleville Man Shot a Congressman”; 3, Matt Buedel and Staff, Peoria Journal Star, “Caterpillar HQ Leaving Peoria.”

Spot News Photo: 1, Erin Hooley, Chicago Tribune, “Losing a Son to Gun Violence”; 2, Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune, “Loss of Two Grandsons to Gun Violence”; 3, Armando L. Sanchez, Chicago Tribune, “Shooting Scene.”

Sports Breaking News: 1, The (Champaign) News-Gazette, “Illini Hire Brad Underwood”; 2, Marc Nesseler, The (Moline) Dispatch-Rock Island Argus, “Racer in His 70s Recalls Last Win in the ‘70s”; 3, Andy Kravetz and Dave Eminian, Peoria Journal Star, “Team’s Bus Rolls Over on I-74.”

Sports Action Photo: 1, Ron Johnson, Peoria Journal Star, “Heads Collide”; 2, Brian O’Mahoney, Tinley Park Daily Southtown, “Diving Dig”; 3, Arturo Fernandez, Rockford Register Star, “Rainy Run.”

Feature: 1, Chicago Sun-Times, “The Third Border”’; 2, Beth Hundsdorfer, Belleville News-Democrat, “A Doctor on the Way to Heart Surgery Got a Big Lift”; 3, Maureen O’Donnell, Chicago Sun-Times, “Until Death Do Us Part.”

Feature Photo: 1, Ted Schurter, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, “Mud in Your Eye”; 2, Justin L. Fowler, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, “Facing the Fire”; 3, Paul Valade, Arlington Heights Daily Herald, “Daddy Long Legs.”

Sports Feature: 1, Rick Telander, Chicago Sun-Times, “A Season Under the Gun”; 2, Matt Trowbridge, Rockford Register Star, “Everybody Wants a Challenge”; 3, Stan Morris, Peoria Journal Star, “Wrestling with Safety.”

Sports Feature Photo: 1, Chris Sweda, Chicago Tribune, “Taking a Bow”; 2, Brian O’Mahoney, Chicago Tribune, “State Wrestling”; 3, Arturo Fernandez, Rockford Register Star, “Noah!”

Column or Blog: 1, Rex Huppke, Chicago Tribune; 2, Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune; 3, John Marx, The (Moline) Dispatch-Rock Island Argus.

Sports Column or Blog : 1, Phil Luciano, Peoria Journal Star; 2, Marcus Jackson, The (Champaign) News-Gazette, “About Town”; 3, Kirk Wessler, Peoria Journal Star.

Portrait/Personality : 1, Meg McLaughlin, The (Moline) Dispatch-Rock Island Argus, “Player of the Year”; 2, Fred Zwicky, Peoria Journal Star, “Wagon Man”; 3, Erin Hooley, Chicago Tribune, “Brain Cancer Survivor.”

Business Reporting: 1, Peoria Journal Star, “Caterpillar HQ Leaving Peoria”; 2, Thomas Bruch, Peoria Journal Star, “Food Trucks Roll Out”; 3, Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, Chicago Tribune, “Foreign Workers at Illinois Farms.”

Editorial Writing: 1, Chicago Sun-Times; 2, Kate Schott, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register; 3, John Lampinen and Renee Trapp, Arlington Heights Daily Herald, “Transparency and the District 62 School Superintendent.”

Headlines: 1, Darel Jevens, Chicago Sun-Times; 2, Elise De Los Santos, Chicago Tribune; 3, Mike Goebel, The (Champaign) News-Gazette.

Enterprise Story: 1, Katie Drews and Lauren FitzPatrick, Chicago Sun-Times, “One Lapse After Another at CPS School”; 2, Mary Cooley, Belleville News-Democrat, “Child Sex Trafficking is a Growing Problem”; 3, Noelle McGee, The (Champaign) News-Gazette, “Crossing Examination.”

General News Photo: 1, Nuccio DiNuzzo, Chicago Tribune, “Meeting in the Middle”; 2, Arturo Fernandez, Rockford Register Star, “Free After 23 Years”; 3, Holly Hart, The (Champaign) News-Gazette, “Leaving Him Silly.”

Enterprise Series: 1, Tim Novak, Chicago Sun-Times, “The Breaks of the Property-Tax Game”; 2, Robert Herguth and Tim Novak, Chicago Sun-Times, “Bad Cops in Chicago”; 3, Chicago Sun-Times, “The Third Border.”

Best Use of Social Media by an Individual: 1, Heidi Stevens, Chicago Tribune; 2, Stephen Haas, The (Champaign) News-Gazette; 3, Patrick Finley, Chicago Sun-Times.

Best Use of Social Media by an Institutional Account: 1, Chicago Tribune; 2, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register; 3, Chicago Sun-Times.

Spot News or Spot Sports Video: 1, John J. Kim, Chicago Tribune, “Triple-Fatal Shooting”; 2, John Dixon, The (Champaign) News-Gazette, “Illinois Marathon”; 3, Nuccio DiNuzzo and Steven Rosenberg, Chicago Tribune, “Police Dispatch From Night 2 Cops Shot.”

Digital Storytelling: 1, Ryan Marx and Jemal Brinson, Chicago Tribune, “The Tax Divide”; 2, Kayli Plotner, Rockford Register Star, “Loves Park 10-year-old MVP”; 3, Chris Walker, Chicago Tribune, “Autumnal Equinox Puts on a Show.”

Best Website: 1, Chicago Tribune; 2, Belleville News-Democrat; 3, Peoria Journal Star.

Picture Story: 1, Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune, “Children Suffer, Die in Illinois From Preventable Disease”; 2, Justin L. Fowler and Rich Saal, The (Springfield) State Journal-Register, “Power Politics”; 3, Rick Danzl, The (Champaign) News-Gazette, “A Day at the Rest Stop.”

Investigative Reporting: 1, Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk, Belleville News-Democrat, “Sometime in the Night”; 2, Tim Novak, Chicago Sun-Times, “The Breaks of the Property-Tax Game”; 3, Joe Mahr and Matthew Walberg, Chicago Tribune, “Suburban Red Light Cameras.”

Public Service: 1, Chicago Tribune, “The Water Drain”; 2, Patricia Callahan, Chicago Tribune, “Doomed by Delay”; 3, Rockford Register Star, “Race in the Rock River Valley.”

Division II/Mid-Sized

Breaking News: 1, Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, “Mattoon High School Shooting”; 2, LaSalle News-Tribune, “Naplate Tornado”; 3, John Sahly and Brittany Keeperman, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Marengo Explosion.”

Spot News Photo: 1, John Badman, The (Alton) Telegraph, “Cop Comforts Fire Relative”; 2, John Badman, The (Alton) Telegraph, “Fiery Crash Kills One”; 3, Tom Sistak, The (Ottawa) Times, “Tornado Daze.”

Sports Breaking News: 1, Aaron Frey, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “Waters’ Late TD Gives Bullets Win”; 2, Joe Stevenson, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Prairie Ridge Tops Nazareth For Second Straight State Title”; 3, J.T. Pedelty, The (Ottawa) Times, “Bring It Home!”

Sports Action Photo: 1, Alex Paschal, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “Stand In”; 2, Sarah Nader, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Falling Catch”; 3, Steven Davis, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “Hit by Pitch.”

Feature: 1, Dave Fopay, Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, “A 37-Year-Old Mystery Solved”; 2, Christopher Heimerman, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “Bring Adrian Home”; 3, Molly Parker, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “Carlos Hernandez Pacheco: Part of the Community.”

Feature Photo: 1, Isaac Smith, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “Forever Family”; 2, Steven Davis, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “Marching Streaks Reflection”; 3, Chris Yucus, LaSalle News-Tribune, “Spirit Slide.”

Sports Feature: 1, Dick Goss, The (Joliet) Herald-News, “Kyle Kurdziolek”; 2, Sean Hammond, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “How Young is Too Young?”; 3, Ty Reynolds, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “Call of a Lifetime.”

Sports Feature Photo: 1, Steven Davis, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “Cool Down in the Dugout”; 2, Eric Ginnard, The (Joliet) Herald-News, “More Mud”; 3, H. Rick Bamman, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Jubilant Victor.”

Column or Blog: 1, Denise Crosby, The (Aurora) Beacon-News; 2, Tom Martin, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail; 3, Penny Weaver, Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier.

Sports Column or Blog: 1, Dick Goss, The (Joliet) Herald-News; 2, Mike Trueblood, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail; 3, Brian Weidman, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “Thanks So Much, Mom.”

Portrait/Personality: 1, Tom Sistak, The (Ottawa) Times, “Pregnant Pause”; 2, Sarah Nader, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Smok’in the Competition”; 3, H. Rick Bamman, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Surprise Homecoming.”

Business Reporting: 1, Pam Eggemeier, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “Riverfront Development”; 2, Brittany Keeperman, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Former Motorola Property”; 3, Bob Okon, The (Joliet) Herald-News.

Editorial Writing: 1, The Southern Illinoisan Editorial Board, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “Voice of The Southern”; 2, Jim Dunn, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “Block Ineffective Incumbents-Boycott Their Petitions”; 3, Penny Weaver, Mattoon Journal Gazette & Times-Courier.

Headlines: 1, Rusty Schrader, Sauk Valley Newspapers; 2, Dean Magnavite, The (Aurora) Beacon-News; 3, Ben Hohenstatt, LaSalle News-Tribune.

Enterprise Story: 1, Ed Komenda, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “McHenry’s Worst Neighbor”; 2, Jaylyn Cook, Decatur Herald & Review, “Slowing Speeders”; 3, Rachel Rodgers, Sauk Valley Newspapers, “The Anniversary of the Arrest of Rita Crundwell.”

General News Photo: 1, John Badman, The (Alton) Telegraph, “Cleaning Vet Graves”; 2, Sarah N., The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Tears for Family”; 3, Jim Bowling, Decatur Herald & Review, “Decatur School Board to Gain Four New Members.”

Enterprise Series: 1, Robert Connelly, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “Heroin: Everything is Getting Black”; 2, Tom Loewy and Rebecca Susmarski, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “Lead Exposed”; 3, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “Child Abuse Awareness Month.”

Best Use of Social Media by an Individual: 1, Sean Hammond, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald; 2, Joe Stevenson, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald; 3, Scott Mees, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan.

Best Use of Social Media by an Institutional Account: 1, Jay Redfern and Steve Davis, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail; 2, LaSalle News-Tribune; 3, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “McHenry County Sports.”

Spot News or Spot Sports Video: 1, Chris Yucus, LaSalle News-Tribune, “The Quest for State”; 2, Jeff Dankert and Brett Herrmann, LaSalle News-Tribune, “Jay Trimmer Shares His POW Experience.”

Digital Storytelling: 1, Isaac Smith and Steve Matzker, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “People Still Live Here”; 2, Ryan Voyles and Allison Petty, Decatur Herald & Review, “The Big Bet”; 3, Brett Herrmann, LaSalle News-Tribune, “Islands on the Illinois.”

Best Website: 1, Kelly Wilson, The Quincy Herald-Whig; 2, LaSalle News-Tribune; 3, Jay Redfern, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail.

Picture Story: 1, Eric Ginnard, The (Joliet) Herald-News, “Searching for Sema’j”; 2, Isaac Smith, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “Housing Crisis in Cairo”; 3, Steven Davis, The (Galesburg) Register-Mail, “New Windsor Rodeo.”

Investigative Reporting: 1, Decatur Herald & Review; 2, Sarah Freishtat and Hannah Leone, The (Aurora) Beacon-News, “Unusual Spending, Deals Raise Questions”; 3, Ed Komenda, The (Crystal Lake) Northwest Herald, “Algonquin Township Investigation.”

Public Service: 1, Decatur Herald & Review, “Blighted Properties Linger For Years on Demolition List”; 2, Ashley Szatala, The Quincy Herald-Whig, “Hannibal Water”; 3, Molly Parker and Isaac Smith, The (Carbondale) Southern Illinoisan, “Cairo Public Housing Crisis.”

Division I/Smallest

Breaking News: 1, Keith Stewart and Dawn Schabbing, Effingham Daily News, “Teacher’s Quick Response Saves Lives”; 2, Geoff Ritter and Staff, DuQuoin Evening Call, “Fat Tuesday Tornado in Southern Illinois.”

Spot News Photo: 1, Graham Milldrum, Effingham Daily News, “Car into House.”

Sports Breaking News: 1, Travis DeNeal and Michael Dann, The (Harrisburg) Daily Register, “A Hawk Goes to Heaven.”

Sports Action Photo: 1, Michael “Spyder” Dann, The (Harrisburg) Daily Register, “Safe or Out?”; 2, Brian O’Mahoney, The (Elgin) Courier-News, “Slam Dunk”; 3, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “On to Saturday.”

Feature: 1, Holly Kee, The (Marion) Daily Republican, “Johnston City’s #22”; 2, Dawn Schabbing, Effingham Daily News, “Just Dance”; 3, Christopher Heimerman, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Ata Shakir Obit.”

Feature Photo: 1, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Rainy Day with Flags”; 2, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “Kicking Off the Holidays”; 3, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Geese Fidget Too.”

Sports Feature: 1, Jesse Severson, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Day Battles Back From Tough Injury”; 2, Jesse Severson, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “‘Lady’ Qualification in Team Nicknames Draws Skepticism”; 3, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “Pullin’ For Ronnie.”

Sports Feature Photo: 1, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Marcinkowski Sinks Both Free Throws to Win Game”; 2, Brian O’Mahoney, The (Elgin) Courier-News, “Sectional Win”; 3, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “Hearts Rally.”

Column or Blog: 1, Jeff Long, Effingham Daily News, “You’re Braver Than You Believe”; 2, John Homan, The (Marion) Daily Republican; 3, Christopher Heimerman, DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

Portrait/Personality: 1, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Playbook 2017: Sycamore Football Preview”; 2, Charles Mills, Effingham Daily News, “Black Friday”; 3, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “DeKalb Ride-Along Portrait.”

Business Reporting: 1, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “Complicated Trends for Wheat”; 2, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “K-Bowl in Effingham to Close Its Doors”; 3, Brendan Dennison, Danville Commercial-News, “Pork Pulled Apart.”

Editorial Writing: 1, Jeff Long, Effingham Daily News; 2, Eric Olson, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Annie Glidden North Safety”; 3, Larry Smith, Danville Commercial-News, “Don’t Fan Issue into Conflagration.”

Headlines: 1, Ray Hochgesang, Naperville Sun; 2, Julie Ann Marra, Naperville Sun; 3, Jeff Long and Cathy Griffith, Effingham Daily News.

Enterprise Story: 1, Stan Polanski, Shelbyville Daily Union, “Neighbors Raise Stink Over Cattle Expansion”; 2, Jennifer Bailey, Danville Commercial-News, “Big Winners!”; 3, Brianna Kirkham, Danville Commercial-News, “Using and Abusing.”

General News Photo: 1, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “First Day Jitters”; 2, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Cubs’ World Series Trophy Visits Ideal Industries.”

Enterprise Series: 1, Suzanne Baker, Naperville Sun, “Naperville Student Suicides”; 2, Erin Hegarty, Naperville Sun, “Raises, Controversy and Disputes at Naperville’s Living History Museum”; 3, Effingham Daily News, “Century of Progress.”

Best Use of Social Media by an Individual: 1, Eddie Carifio, DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

Best Use of Social Media by an Institutional Account: 1, The (Freeport) Journal-Standard; 2, Eddie Carifio and Josh Tolentino, DeKalb Daily Chronicle.

Spot News or Spot Sports Video: 1, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “The Eclipse From Carbondale”; 2, Arturo Fernandez, The (Freeport) Journal-Standard, “Golf Gives Paralyzed Former Champion Second Shot at Life”; 3, Eddie Carifio and Dan Mott, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Pole Vault with Danny Walker.”

Best Website: 1, The (Freeport) Journal-Standard; 2, Effingham Daily News.

Picture Story: 1, Matthew Apgar, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Genoa Boy Makes ‘Journey to Heaven”’; 2, Keith Stewart, Effingham Daily News, “Hometown Christmas”; 3, Max Gersh, The (Freeport) Journal-Standard, “Displaced Grand Victoria Hotel Residents Find New Homes.”

Investigative Reporting: 1, Christopher Heimerman, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Juarez Murder Follow”; 2, Drew Zimmerman, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Eric Dannenmaier Investigation”; 3, Drew Zimmerman and Eric Olson, DeKalb Daily Chronicle, “Police Chief Placed on Leave.”

Public Service: 1, The (Freeport) Journal-Standard, “Freeport Fish Tank.”

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