- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 26, 2019

DETROIT (AP) - Finalists have been announced in the Michigan Associated Press Media Editors’ 2018 newspaper contest.

The awards in actual order of finish - first, second and third places - will be announced at the Michigan APME annual awards banquet April 28 in Lansing. The General Excellence, Rising Star and First Amendment winners also will be announced at the meeting.

Twenty-eight daily newspapers submitted 908 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2018.

Entries were judged by editors from The Blade, Toledo, Ohio, and The Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Division III; The Canton (Ohio) Repository and The Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, Division II; The News-Messenger, Fremont, Ohio, Port Clinton, Ohio News Herald and The Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, Division I.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,300 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.



Finalists in the 2018 Michigan APME newspaper contest:

Division III:

Best Headline Writing: Janet Graham, Detroit Free Press; Jerry Seim, The Grand Rapids Press; Steve Wilkinson, The Detroit News.

Best Business Writing: Matthew Dolan and David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, “In Donors We Trust”; Jim Harger, The Grand Rapids Press; Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, “Ford Truck Supplier Fire.”

Best Column: Brian Dickerson, Detroit Free Press; David Krishef, The Grand Rapids Press; Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press.

Best Editorial Writing: Nolan Finley, The Detroit News; Detroit Free Press; The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Feature Writing: John Agar, The Grand Rapids Press; Emily Bingham, The Grand Rapids Press; Francis X. Donnelly, The Detroit News.

Best Sports Story: Andrew Kahn, The Grand Rapids Press, “The Invisible Ways John Beilein and Michigan are Influencing College Basketball”; Jared Purcell, The Grand Rapids Press, “Griggs-Zeigler Lives Dream by Earning Michigan Women’s Basketball Scholarship”; Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, “Joe Murphy was the Red Wings’ No. 1 Pick. Then He Became Homeless.”

Best Sports Feature Story: Kyle Meinke, The Grand Rapids Press, “Almost Murdered: The Harrowing Tale of One Lions Player’s Trip to Haiti”; Brendan Savage, The Flint Journal, “Rebuilding Reilly: Goodrich Teen Back Running Track After Suffering Brain Injury “; Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, “Jack Morris, the Detroit Tigers Hall of Famer, Just Wants to be Loved.”

Best Sports Column: Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press, “Philadelphia Eagles’ Super Bowl Miracle Started with Guts”; Jeff Seidel, Detroit Free Press, “Detroit Lions, NFL Look Foolish in Not Knowing about Matt Patricia”; Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, “Larry Nassar Tragedy is Worse Than Penn State - and We Were Complicit.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: Milt Klingensmith, The Grand Rapids Press, “Holes in the Mitten: Paying More in Gas Taxes, but Roads Aren’t Getting Better.”

Best Spot News Photo: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press, “Sad Goodbye”; Jake May, The Flint Journal, “Eight Hospitalized After Truck Smashes into Protest”; Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “How Larry Nassar’s Abuse Impacted Three Sisters - and Their Dad.”

Best Feature Photo: Ryan Garza, Detroit Free Press, “Little Aretha”; Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “How a Boy with Autism Got to Keep His Ducks After Neighbor Dispute”; Bronte Wittpenn, The Flint Journal, “Caring for Darlene.”

Best Sports Photo: Kirthmon F. Dozier, Detroit Free Press, “Game-Winning Catch”; Mike Mulholland, The Grand Rapids Press, “Michigan Guard Jordan Poole’s Buzzer-Beater to Down Houston in NCAA Tournament”; Casey Sykes, The Grand Rapids Press, “Fowler Runner Collapses Immediately After Crossing the Finish Line to Win the Girls 4x400 Meter Relay.”

Best Photo Story: Neil Blake, The Grand Rapids Press, “A Young Mother Had a ‘Perfect’ Life. Then Came the Deadly Cancer Diagnosis”; Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “How a Boy with Autism Got to Keep His Ducks After Neighbor Dispute”; Cory Morse, The Grand Rapids Press, “Larry Nassar Fall Out.”

Best Video: Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press, “Never Forget the Pain”; Brian Kaufman and Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press, “Trooper Tases Teen on ATV. Police Video Reveals What Happens Next.”; The Grand Rapids Press, “Born to Run.”

Best Public Service: Matthew Dolan and David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, “In Donors We Trust”; Paula Gardner and Garret Ellison, The Grand Rapids Press, “Michigan’s Drinking Water Threatened by PFAS Contamination”; David Jesse, Detroit Free Press, “Larry Nassar Scandal Investigation.”

Best Spot News Coverage: Zahra Ahmad, The Flint Journal, “Gunfire Erupts During Genesee Township Police Standoff”; Sarah Rahal, The Detroit News, “Bodies of 11 Infants Found in Detroit Funeral Home”; The Detroit News, “The Death of Aretha Franklin.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, “This is Corktown”; Georgea Kovanis, Detroit Free Press, “The Tiniest Addicts: How U.P. Babies Became Part of Opioid Epidemic”; Robert Snell, The Detroit News, “”Death by Instagram” Series.”

Best Investigative Reporting: Roberto Acosta and Dominic Adams, The Flint Journal, “Sheriff Searches Thetford Township Police Station Over Military Surplus Items”; Gina Kaufman and Jim Schaefer, Detroit Free Press, “They Look Like Cops, but They’re Not. And They’re All Over Michigan.”; John Wisely and Elisha Anderson, Detroit Free Press, “Centria Healthcare Accused of Fraud, Targeting Poor in Metro Detroit.”

Best Full Page Design: Tyler Remmel, Detroit Free Press, “Courageous”; Tyler Remmel, Detroit Free Press, “Eternal Respect”; JoAnne Walsh, The Grand Rapids Press, “PFAS Concerns: What’s Stopping You, Michigan?”

Best Digital Presence: Detroit Free Press; The Detroit News; The Grand Rapids Press.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: Georgea Kovanis and Romain Blanquart, Detroit Free Press, “Second-Chance Court”; Scott Levin and Neil Blake, The Grand Rapids Press, “Colon Cancer’s Genetic Links”; Scott Levin, The Grand Rapids Press, “Michigan’s Next Water Crisis is PFAS - and You May Already be Affected.”

Division II:

Best Headline Writing: Allison Batdorff, Traverse City Record-Eagle; Nathan Clark, Jackson Citizen Patriot; Matthew Miller, Battle Creek Enquirer.

Best Business Writing: Natasha Blakely, Battle Creek Enquirer; Haley Hansen, Lansing State Journal; Lauren Slagter, The Ann Arbor News.

Best Column: Ken Kish, The Macomb Daily; Judy Putnam, Lansing State Journal; Troy Reimink, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Editorial Writing: Allison Batdorff, Traverse City Record-Eagle; Dan Nielsen, Traverse City Record-Eagle; Nathan Payne, Traverse City Record-Eagle.

Best Feature Writing: Taylor DesOrmeau, Jackson Citizen Patriot; Gina Joseph, The Macomb Daily, “Down Syndrome, Lone Soldiers, Prosthetic and Immigrant Family”; Darcie Moran, The Ann Arbor News.

Best Sports Story: Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer, “Tuesdays with Coach Bess Mean Dinner Plus Life Experiences for BC Central Football Players”; Tony Garcia, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Willie Horton’s Activism Fueled by Racial Experiences as Young Ballplayer”; Ryan Zuke, The Ann Arbor News, “Wrestling Has Come a Long Way Since 3 Weight-Loss Related Deaths in 1997.”

Best Sports Feature Story: Hugh Bernreuter, The Saginaw News, “Saginaw Nouvel Quarterback Takes ‘Football Hero’ Label to New Level Off Field”; Nick Buckley, Battle Creek Enquirer, “There’s More to Western Michigan’s Donnie Ernsberger Than a Viral Moment”; Brett Sommers, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “Forgotten Road: Elk Rapids’ Vandeveer Fights for Sport He Can’t Remember.”

Best Sports Column: Bill Broderick, Battle Creek Enquirer, “Broderick: Bronson Vikings’ Volleyball Coach Leads by Example, Even When She’s Fighting Leukemia”; Brett Sommers, Traverse City Record-Eagle, ” The Ballad of the Forgotten Bear”; Lee Thompson, The Bay City Times, “Winless or Not, Bay City Western Has Proud Fathers in its Corner.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: Scott McNeish, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Playoff Picture”; Scott McNeish, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Probability of a Comeback”; Brett Sommers and Emily Grill, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “Traverse City Trio.”

Best Spot News Photo: Mike Krebs, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Car in Pool”; Ben Allan Smith, The Ann Arbor News, “Standoff Surrender”; Rebekah Welch, Kalamazoo Gazette, “RIP Mujey.”

Best Feature Photo: Tom Hawley, The Monroe Evening News, “Love You Mimi”; Mike Krebs, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Prom Photo Booth”; Henry Taylor, The Saginaw News, “Smiles for Miles.”

Best Sports Photo: Jacob Hamilton, The Ann Arbor News, “Mudbowl”; J. Scott Park, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “State Champs”; Ben Allan Smith, The Ann Arbor News, “Locker Room Warmup.”

Best Photo Story: Mike Krebs, The Muskegon Chronicle, “Abeshi - I’m Here”; Daniel Vasta, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Searching for Home”; Jack Zellweger, The Ann Arbor News, “Father and Son’s Weekly Swim Strengthens Their Bond of Love.”

Best Video: Matthew Dae Smith, Lansing State Journal, “Christmas at the Nursing Home”; Matthew Dae Smith, Lansing State Journal, “How These Two Women Built the Case Against Larry Nassar”; Daniel Vasta and Joel Bissell, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Searching for Home.”

Best Public Service: Malachi Barrett, Kalamazoo Gazette, “Kalamazoo Homeless Encampment”; Ryan Stanton, The Ann Arbor News, “Ann Arbor Council Members Took Over $10K in Donations from Dahlmann Group”; Lansing State Journal, “Larry Nassar and Michigan State.”

Best Spot News Coverage: Kalea Hall, Battle Creek Enquirer, “Here’s Why Infants Should Not Drink Battle Creek Water “; Cadillac News, “May Wildfire”; Cadillac News, “Storm.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: Christopher Haxel, Lansing State Journal, “Who Killed Jody? Depends Who You Ask”; Lauren Slagter, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “LGBTQ Students at Christian Colleges Refuse to Choose Between Sexuality, Faith”; Ryan Stanton and Dana Afana, The Ann Arbor News, “Deportations, Despair and Big Court Backups Amid Michigan Immigration Crackdown.”

Best Investigative Reporting: Taylor DesOrmeau and Danielle Salisbury, Jackson Citizen Patriot, “Medical Marijuana Pay Structure, Which Funneled Money Directly to Township Officials, Spurs Outrage”; Lynn Moore, The Muskegon Chronicle, “School Warned 20 Years Ago about ‘Very Inappropriate’ Touching”; Matt Troutman, Traverse City Record-Eagle, “Former TC Doctor Criticized for Prescriptions, Deaths.”

Best Full Page Design: Scott McNeish, The (Adrian) Daily Telegram, “Football Playoff Preview”; Joe Pas, The Macomb Daily, “Top 15 Podcasts You Needed to Hear”; Joe Pas, The Oakland Press, “A Better Baker.”

Best Digital Presence: Paula Wethington, The Monroe Evening News; Jackson Citizen Patriot; The (Adrian) Daily Telegram.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: Lauren Slagter and Ben Allan Smith, The Ann Arbor News, “Ann Arbor’s Historically Black Neighborhood is the Hottest Market in Town”; Lansing State Journal, “Painting the Town: The Stories and Artists Behind Lansing’s Murals”; Lansing State Journal, “‘We Could Be Cool, Too’: Why South Lansing Demands a Second Look.”

Division I:

Best Headline Writing: Rich Lakeberg, The Holland Sentinel; Ryan Schlehuber, The (Greenville) Daily News; The (Iron Mountain) Daily News.

Best Business Writing: Kate Carlson, Midland Daily News, “Dow Chemical Coverage”; Meghan Nelson, The (Greenville) Daily News; Brandon Schreur, The (Greenville) Daily News.

Best Column: Betsy Bloom, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News, “Northwoods Notebook”; Kate Hessling, Huron Daily Tribune; Bradley Massman, Huron Daily Tribune.

Best Editorial Writing: Kate Hessling, Huron Daily Tribune; Sarah Leach, The Holland Sentinel; Elisabeth Waldon, The (Greenville) Daily News.

Best Feature Writing: Steve Begnoche, Ludington Daily News; Susan Bromley, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “From Brighton to Bethel, Alaska: Dog Mushing Life”; Susan Bromley, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “WWII Vet Granted Parade Wish, Will Raise a Toast.”

Best Sports Story: Mike Gallagher, Huron Daily Tribune, “Family Matters”; Fred Kelly, Midland Daily News, “Is Old-School Fastpitch Softball Dead?”; Huron Daily Tribune, “Against All Odds.”

Best Sports Feature Story: Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel, “Ignitor Josie Galiger Leads Fennville into ‘Never Forgotten Game’ vs. Saugatuck”; Bill Khan, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “‘You Have to Have People Around You’ “; Bill Khan, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “Not Good Enough? Brighton’s Cooper Marody Overcomes Rejection to Become College Hockey Star.”

Best Sports Column: Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel, ” Even Olympics Can’t Unite US”; Fred Kelly, Midland Daily News, “BCW’s Mann Displays Refreshing Honesty in Heat of Competition”; Seth Stapleton, Huron Daily Tribune, “Staple on the Slopes.”

Best Illustration or Graphic: Rich Lakeberg, The Holland Sentinel, “Close to Home”; Ryan Schlehuber, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Tale of the Tape”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Danish Festival Preview Cover.”

Best Spot News Photo: Gillis Benedict, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “Theresa Brennan Town Hall Meeting”; Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “House Fire”; Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Shooting Suspect.”

Best Feature Photo: Jeff Kiessel, Ludington Daily News, “Young Guns”; Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Before the Auction”; Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Pete’s Return.”

Best Sports Photo: Bill Khan, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “Howell’s Emily Endebrock is Overcome with Emotion”; Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Pole Vault”; Katy Kildee, Midland Daily News, “Soccer Win.”

Best Photo Story: Dan D’Addona, The Holland Sentinel, “Wingspan Series”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “You are the Brave Heroes”; Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel, “Yoga with Goats and Piglets.”

Best Video: Brandon Schreur, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Flat River Community Players Mark 150th Production”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Belding High School Marching Band - A First-Person View: 2018”; Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel, “Yoga with Goats & Piglets at Fellinlove Farm.”

Best Public Service: Jake Allen and Audra Gamble, The Holland Sentinel, “Cost of Care: Community Mental Health and Funding in Holland”; Kevin Braciszeski and Andy Hamilton, Ludington Daily News, “Pere Marquette Cross”; The Holland Sentinel, “Examining Homelessness in Holland Area.”

Best Spot News Coverage: Susan Bromley, Livingston County Daily Press & Argus, “Discovery of Wreckage of Howell Couple’s Plane 21 Years Later ‘Answers a lot of Questions”’; Erin Dietzer and Audra Gamble, The Holland Sentinel, “Holland Christian Schools Being Sued for Title IX Violations”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Everybody’s Going to Go Home Safe, Which Makes it a Good Day.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: Brenda Battel, Huron Daily Tribune, “Planning Commission in Disarray”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Drink Up and a History of Hides”; Elisabeth Waldon, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Ionia County Furniture Coverage.”

Best Investigative Reporting: Lisa Yanick Litwiller, Mount Pleasant Morning Sun, “Davis Hospitalized, Fled Police Night Before Shooting”; Lisa Yanick Litwiller, Mount Pleasant Morning Sun, “Grace Church: Evangelical Youth Movement or Religious Control Group?”; Elisabeth Waldon, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Montcalm County Lawsuit Coverage.”

Best Full Page Design: Jim Anderson, The (Iron Mountain) Daily News, “Year in Review”; Claire Fisher, The Holland Sentinel, “For the Love of Lizards”; Rich Lakeberg, The Holland Sentinel, “Discus Dynasty.”

Best Digital Presence: Sarah Leach and Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel; The (Greenville) Daily News; The (Iron Mountain) Daily News.

Best Multimedia Storytelling: Audra Gamble and Brian Vernellis, The Holland Sentinel, “Parents Memorialize Newlywed Couple Killed Just Weeks After Wedding”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Belding Marching Band Competes at MCBA State Finals in Detroit, Taking 4th with Colorful Show”; Cory Smith, The (Greenville) Daily News, “Forever Home.”

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