Observer snags 9 ONPA awards

By Observer staff July 22, 2013 11:11 am
BEND — The news staff of The La Grande Observer garnered nine awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association’s 2013 Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were handed out Thursday and Friday during the 126th annual ONPA Summer Convention at Seventh Mountain Resort.

Go! Editor Jeff Petersen swept the Best Local Column category, taking the top three spots. Petersen’s column “A not so Civil War: 5 yards in a cloud of mud” took first place.

Staff writer Dick Mason also earned multiple awards, including a second-place finish in the Best Educational Coverage category for his story “Retiring teacher made subjects ‘come alive’” and third place in the Best Lifestyle Coverage category for his story “Horse Crazy Camp.”

Sportswriter Casey Kellas took home a third place in the Best Sports Story category for his story “Former LHS player making headlines.”

Design editor Phil Bullock captured third place for Best Page One design, while photographer Chris Baxter took second place in the Best Feature Photo category.

Former Observer staff writer Bill Rautenstrauch brought home a third place for best editorial.

“This shows the type of talent that works at The Observer,” said managing editor Andrew Cutler. “It’s an extremely talented staff who works hard every day.”

The Observer was judged against other newspaper dailies with 10,000 or less circulation.

The competition was judged by members of the Utah Press Association. All of the work judged was published during 2012.