The Blade staff and the newspaper's retired senior business writer were among those honored last night by the Press Club of Toledo during the Touchstone Awards ceremony at the Toledo Club.
The Blade staff received the Excellence in Journalism Award in the daily newspaper category for its series, "State of Distress - The Mounting Toll of Ohio's Economic Woes," published in October, 2008. The three-day special report showed economic turmoil across the state, county-by-county.
The judges, members of the Radio and Television News Directors Association of Northern California, said the reports presented a good, thorough look at real stories about the economy and real people who are affected. The stories exhibited good storytelling and evidence of great research, the judges said.
Homer Brickey, retired Blade senior business writer, received the Golden Touchstone Award, recognizing his 40-year career at The Blade and the former Toledo Times.
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Mr. Brickey wrote a weekly business column for The Blade, in addition to daily business reporting. The onetime Blade business editor also wrote the book, Master Manipulator, about the collapse of Toledo's oldest brokerage, Bell & Beckwith.
The Touchstone Award in the nondaily print category went to Kevin Milliken at El Tiempo, for a series that examined minority inclusion goals of Toledo government.
In the broadcast category, the Touchstone Award went to WTVG-TV, Channel 13 and Bill Hormann for a feature on the federal bailout bill.
The Touchstone Lifetime Achiever Award was presented to Richard Anderson, who retired in May as chairman of The Andersons Inc., who was honored for his service to the community. He is on the boards of the Toledo Symphony, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Toledo Community Foundation, and Sauder Woodworking.
The Touchstone Contributor Award went to Billie Johnson, executive director of the Area Office on Aging of Northwestern Ohio.
The Norm Cartwright Award, named for a founding member of the Press Club, went to Jan Skunda, a former president of the Press Club. She retired in 2006 from Funk Luetke Skunda Marketing.
Jamie Farr received the Hometown Hero Award, a category added this year by the Press Club board of directors. He was honored for bringing recognition to Toledo, both through M*A*S*H and his namesake annual golf tournament that raises money for children's charities.
The award for Mr. Farr was accepted on his behalf by Don Decker, a longtime friend of Mr. Farr's and a retired Dana executive.
The keynote speaker for the event was Andy Curliss, an investigative reporter at the News & Observer, in Raleigh, N.C. A graduate of the University of Toledo, he was editor-in-chief of the student newspaper, The Collegian, and formerly worked at The Blade.