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Published: Monday, 5/3/2010

Blade wins honors including top reporter


COLUMBUS - The Blade's JC Reindl was named the best news writer in Ohio and given the top award for breaking news Sunday and the newspaper was honored for the best special section among large newspapers in the state.

The newspaper also was judged second in general excellence among Ohio's six largest newspapers, all with circulations of more than 75,000 daily.

Awards in the annual Associated Press Society of Ohio competition for work in 2009 were presented in Columbus.

The Blade's special section award was for its coverage of the Lucas County Arena, now known as the Huntington Center, just ahead of its opening last fall.

Judges wrote, "Not only is the coverage in-depth, the actual pieces are as well and are written in a flowing, easily readable manner."

They also complimented the section's headlines and design.

Of Mr. Reindl's work in general for best news writer, judges commented: "Great storytelling combines with tight reporting skills."

His winning breaking news entry was "Gunman Opens Fire on Family Next Door."

The Blade also took second place in the same category for "Freshman Killed at Train Crossing" written by Ignazio Messina and Bridget Tharp.

On The Blade's second place in general excellence for the paper overall, judges called it a well-designed paper with a "great mix of local bylines - hard news, enterprise, news features."

"Clearly this is a paper that cares about being the comprehensive source for news in its coverage area," the judges wrote.

The Columbus Dispatch won first place for general excellence.

Other second-place awards for The Blade were:

•Page One layout.

•Daily sports section.

•Kirk Walters, editorial cartoonist.

•Dave Zapotosky, photographer.

•Andy Morrison, photo essay.

•Wes Booher, full-page layout.

Third-place awards for The Blade were:

•Special sports section.

•Matt Markey, sports writer.

•Amy Voigt, general news photo.

•Jeremy Wadsworth, sports photo.

An honorable mention went to Blade entertainment writer Kirk Baird for his blog.

Entries in the large newspaper division were judged by editors from the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative. In Ohio, it represents 88 daily newspapers.

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