Steamboat Pilot & Today sweeps CPA awards |

Steamboat Pilot & Today sweeps CPA awards

Local tattoo artist Melissa Freeman and client Ciera Barber are reflected in a mirror at Deluxe Tattoo in downtown Steamboat Springs. This photo and others in the series were taken by John F. Russell. The photo essay won first place in the 2014 Colorado Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest.
John F. Russell

— The Steamboat Pilot & Today swept all awards at the 2014 Colorado Press Association Better Newspaper Awards, which were held Saturday during the CPA’s annual convention at Westin Downtown Denver.

The Pilot & Today was named the top newspaper in its class, winning the General Excellence, Editorial Excellence, Advertising Sweepstakes, Online Excellence and Photo and Design awards.

“It’s an incredible honor to work with a group of journalists and advertising professionals who are, year in and year out, recognized as the best in their class,” Publisher Suzanne Schlicht said. “The recognition speaks to the passion and commitment of the team at Steamboat Today.”

In total, the newspaper won 71 awards, including 26 first-place honors.

In the category of best public service, the Pilot & Today took first for its coverage of the Meghan McKeon case, which involved the newspaper winning a motion to unseal McKeon’s arrest warrant and also winning a lawsuit to make public the autopsy of Austin Davis, the 3-year-old Steamboat Springs boy who died after being left alone for three days in a cabin without running water. McKeon pleaded guilty to child abuse that caused the death of her son and was sentenced to 22 years in prison.

The newspaper’s coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, also garnered a number of awards for reporter Luke Graham and sports editor Joel Reichenberger, including first-place honors for “Gone in a flash,” a story the two wrote together about their experience covering the Olympics.

First-place winners were:

• Matt Stensland: “Lisa Lesyshen pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder in shooting of her son,” best online breaking news; and “When a deal can’t be reached,” best investigative story package;

• Stensland, Scott Franz, Tom Ross and Lisa Schlichtman, “McKeon case,” best public service

• Vicky Ho, “Bridging the Poverty Gap/Blazing Trails/Answering the Call,” best news page design.

• Laura Mazade, “Police station site locations/Chhiring Dorje 1 and 2,” best informational graphic.

• Joel Reichenberger: Winter Olympics: USA vs. Russia hockey, best photo slideshow or gallery; best photography portfolio; “Leap of faith,” best sports story; and “Speed skating,” best sports photograph.

• Franz: “Racing against the storm,” best feature photograph; “New program puts spotlight on businesses led by veterans in Steamboat Springs, best business feature story; and “For the sake of others,” best health feature story.

• John Russell: “Tattoo artist,” best photo essay; and “Full of Spirit,” best story/picture combination.

• Luke Graham and Reichenberger, “Gone in a flash,” best sports event story.

• Best website content.

• Ben Ingersoll, “New approach to education,” best education story.

• Michael Schrantz, “Saving ranches,” best agriculture story.

• Lindsay Porter, Two gifts for the price of one, best circulation promo.

• Deb Proper and Chris McGaw: Head to the Barn-Ore House, best black and white ad; and Ski Haus Liquor: Perfect 10, best small space ad.

• Emma Simmins, Lori Griepentrog, Seve DeMarco and Veronika Khanisenko, “Steamboat Village Brokers,” best real estate ad.

• Sheli Steele and Kelsey Day, Cook Subaru 2, best automotive ad.

• Beth Summerfield and Mack Maschmeier, Aurum, best restaurant or dining ad.

• Porter and Karen Gilchrist,, best website promotion.

Second-place winners were:

• Stensland: “Concert honors Asher,” best breaking news or non-deadline video; “First day of recreational pot sales in Steamboat,” best online video interview; and “Fun run,” best feature photograph.

• Mazade, “Finding their voice/Common ground on Common Core/And then there were 5,” best news page design, second place.

• Ho, “Rabbit Ears Plane Crash/Volunteer Firefighters,” best informational graphic.

• Best editorial layout & design.

• Best website, interactivity.

• Russell, “A dragon’s tale,” best photo slideshow or gallery.

• Best website design.

• Best website multimedia

• Franz: best photography portfolio; “Chasing color,” best story/picture combination; and “Medical Mileage,” best health enterprise story.

• Reichenberger, “A story for every mile in Ride the Rockies,” best sports event story.

• Best use of social media in breaking news, Lisa Lesyshen sentencing.

• Best website advertising.

• Griepentrog, Simmins and Khanisenko, “Dragonflies,” best black and white ad.

• Porter: “Steamboat to Sochi,” best newspaper/house ad promotion; and Dog-gone best rate ever, best circulation promo.

• Simmins and staff, best classified page or section.

• Proper and McGaw, Elevated Olive: 25 extra virgins, best advertising slogan; and Moxie – Consignments with style, best advertising campaign.

• Kathy Wichelhaus and Maschmeier, Allen’s Sale, best small space ad

• Gilchrist and Porter, Steamboat Motors 1, best automotive ad

• Summerfield and McGaw, Ace Hardware 30th Anniversary, best use of color in an ad

Third-place winners were:

• Stensland: “Mike Kirlin answers questions after sentencing of wife,” best breaking news or non-deadline video; “Questioning authority,” best news story; “Young professional of the year,” best online video interview; “Lisa Lesyshen pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder in shooting of her son, best deadline news reporting; and “Pike predicament,” best environmental story.

• Russell: “Making a mark in ink,” best multimedia; “Christa Metzler,” best photo essay; and best photography portfolio.

• Mackenzie Yelvington, “Medical mileage, best news page design.

• Ho: “Whether rain, sleet or snow/Eagle-eyed observers carry on/Landing a dream job/Carving out a new legacy/Altitude adjustment/Single track,” best headline writing; and Explore Steamboat, best cover design.

• Best website community.

• Franz: “Car on side,” best news photograph; “Bobbing for apples, best feature photograph; and “Becoming Rita Valentine Park,” best investigative story package.

• Ross and Russell, “Inside the artist’s studio, best story/picture combination.

• Reichenberger, best sports column writing.

• Ingersoll, “Tricks in the river, best sports photograph.

• Ross, “Hay cruiser,” best agriculture story.

• Rob Douglas, best serious column writing.

• Best use of social media in breaking news, U.S. Forest Service employee dies in crash.

• Proper and McGaw: “Coldwell Banker,” best real estate ad, third place; Moose Mountain Trading, best advertising campaign.

• Wichelhaus and Maschmeier, Cantina: $1 Tacos, best restaurant or dining ad.

• Porter, Get the Sunday newspaper, best circulation promo.

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