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Trib takes high honors in Keystone Awards

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Saturday, March 29, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Tribune-Review writers and photographers won three first-place awards and five other citations in the annual Keystone Press Awards contest sponsored by the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

Staff members at other Trib Total Media newspapers combined for seven first-place and 11 second-place awards, plus six honorable mentions.

In competition among newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation, Dejan Kovacevic won first place in sports columns for a selection of his work. Andrew Russell won first place in feature photography for his shot of a boy asking a girl to dance. Christopher Horner won first place in sports photography for his image of a baseball player leaping high in a futile attempt to avoid a tag at home plate.

David Conti, Lisa Fuqua and Melanie Wass won second place in special projects for their online and print report about the 50th anniversary of assassination of President Kennedy.

Chris Togneri won second place in sports reporting for his account of longtime Pirates employees relishing the team's first winning season in 21 years. Togneri received an honorable mention in business or consumer writing for “Anticipation,” about the potential effects of the sale of H.J. Heinz Co.

Medical Editor Luis Fábregas received an honorable mention in news feature story for “It's a Labor of Love,” about a Greensburg woman tending to her husband of 46 years as he coped with Alzheimer's disease. Former business writer Timothy Puko received an honorable mention in news beat reporting for his coverage of Marcellus shale drilling and related issues.

Awards for work in other Trib Total Media papers went to:

Multi-day papers with 20,000 to 40,000 circulation: Three staffers at the Valley News Dispatch in Tarentum were honored. Rex Rutkoski won two awards for feature beat reporting: second place for his coverage of art and honorable mention for his coverage of music. Bill West won second place for sports story for “Ace finds his place.” Jason Bridge won second in feature photo for “A higher calling.”

Multi-day papers with circulation less than 20,000: Louis B. Ruediger of the Leader Times in Kittanning, second place in feature photo for “Comforting in the cold;” the Leader Times, honorable mention for photo story for “A creek became a river;” Rick Bruni of The Valley Independent in Monessen, second place in feature story for “Santa Claus role brings joy, eases pain;” reporter Tim Karan and photographer Jennifer R. Vertullo of The Daily News in McKeesport, second place in personality profile for “Christmas wish granted a little early.”

Weeklies with circulation more than 10,000: Vince Townley of The Times Express, first place in editorial writing for a selection of work; Doug Gulasey of the Murrysville Star, first place in sports beat reporting for coverage of Murrysville area athletics; Kyle Lawson of The Times Express, second place for general news, “Hindus upset over church's Indian music program” and honorable mention in ongoing news coverage for reports on Monroeville politics; Mike Love of The Times Express, second place in sports event coverage for “A.J. Wilkins.”

Weeklies with circulation between 5,000 and 10,000: Stephanie Hacke of the South Hills Record, with assistance from Trib reporter Melissa Daniels, first place in ongoing coverage for coverage of controversy in Baldwin-Whitehall School District; Kristina Serafini of the Sewickley Herald, first place in photo story for “Simon's first day;” Chris Foreman of the Penn-Trafford Star received two citations: second place in news beat reporting for coverage of Trafford and honorable mention in ongoing news coverage for reporting on the Penn-Trafford school superintendent.

Weeklies less than 5,000 circulation: Deborah Brehun of The Ligonier Echo, first place in general news for “Ligonier runners share thoughts about Boston Marathon tragedy;” Brehun and Nicole Chynoweth, first place in special project for “125th anniversary of The Ligonier Echo;” Nathan Smith of The Signal Item, first place in sports beat reporting for coverage of Carlynton Area athletics; Brehun, second place in personality profile for “Yankee drummer makes trek from Pittsburgh to Gettysburg;” Marty Stewart of The Herald in Aspinwall, second place in sports column for a selection of work; Doug Gulasey of The Signal Item, honorable mention in personality profile for “Pool hall owner takes cues from experience;” and Jan Pakler of The Herald, honorable mention in photo story for “Trail mix at Squaw.”

Organizers say the Keystone Awards recognize journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers. Winners will be honored on May 31 at a banquet in State College.



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