News employees earn statewide awards

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Writers claim second, third places in four categories

TELL CITY – Perry County News writers Larry Goffinet, Trista Lutgring and Kevin Koelling earned four awards in the 2012 Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Better Newspaper Contest.

Awards were presented Saturday at a luncheon following the 46th annual HSPA Newsroom Seminar in Indianapolis. 

Sports Editor Larry Goffinet earned a second-place award in the best-sports-commentary category, which required he submit three writing samples published during the contest period, July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2012. Judges looked at his “Another George in charge of TC football,” published Aug. 8, about the arrival of Ryan George, who was 7 years old when Goffinet interviewed his father, Bud George, for one of his first columns.

Another column about the younger coach, “George doing great job with Marksmen” and one that argued an “anti-class basketball bill … introduced in this session of the Indiana legislature is consistent with state Republicans’ attempts to bludgeon the little guy” rounded out Goffinet’s entries. 

They were published Oct. 24, 2011, and Jan. 17, 2012, respectively.

Lutgring, a feature writer for the News, earned a second-place award in the best sports news or feature coverage category for her story, “Boston Marathon more than just a race for Strobel.” Published April 26, 2012, it describes William Tell Elementary School teacher Kim Strobel’s preparation for and endurance of the grueling 26-mile run and how she felt its completion “offered some inspiration to the students and adults, not necessarily to be runners, but to make goals and work hard for them.”

The paper’s managing editor, Koelling earned third-place awards in best editorial writer and best profile-feature categories. 

In the former, he submitted editorials headlined “When firing people, employ the Golden Rule,” “Try ordinances before condemning them to failure” and “Thinking about suicide? Reach out” published Aug. 22, 2011, March 19, 2012, and Sept. 26, 2011, respectively.

Of those, the contest judge wrote, “This entry had unusual topics, but all were well-written and should have had some effect on readers.”

In the profile-feature category, Koelling submitted “Five-year bike ride nears end in Tell City.” 

The Sept. 6, 2011, story described a journey by a man named Benjamin Best, who began with the intent of raising money for veterans and victims of Sept. 11, 2001 “and to check the country out.” It later became an effort to raise awareness about a soldier captured after his convoy was attacked in Iraq.

“A really nice story about a man who’s doing what many of us would like to do,” the contest judge wrote. 

No comments were provided by the judge or judges who selected Goffinet and Lutgring for their awards.