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Forum staff reports, Published February 01 2013

Forum earns 23 awards in Minnesota Newspaper Association contest

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. - The Forum earned 23 awards in the 2012 Minnesota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest announced Jan. 24 at MNA’s annual convention in Bloomington.

The Forum won the Lynn Smith Community Leadership Award for its collaborative reporting project with The Grand Forks Herald that focused on the serious problems within child protection services on the Spirit Lake Indian reservation in northeast North Dakota. A majority of the reporting was done by Patrick Springer of The Forum and Chuck Haga of The Grand Forks Herald.

Other Forum first-place finishes were for general excellence, typography and design, general reporting, sports reporting and advertising excellence.

Individuals receiving first-place awards were:

• Marino Eccher for his human interest story about the Greuel family’s six-week struggle to regain custody of their son Tommy after they were suspected of abuse.

• David Samson for sports photo for a picture of Lonny Lesmeister taken at the PRCA rodeo in Fargo.

• Troy Becker for his informational graphic explaining the journey of crude oil once it is extracted from the ground.

• Bill Wambeke for design portfolio.

Individuals receiving second-place awards were:

• Dave Olson for a business story about the American Crystal Sugar lockout.

• Heidi Tetzman-Roepke for design portfolio.

• Samson for press photographer’s portfolio.

Forum staff also earned second places for classified ad section and website.

Individuals receiving third-place awards were:

• Jamie Odum for best advertisement for her Green Thumb Expo ad.

• Mike Nowatzki for local breaking news coverage for his story about a registered sex offender who hid in a cornfield after escaping from a prison transport company.

• Eccher for “Man Moments with Marino” columns he wrote for the SheSays section.

• Dave Wallis for news photo for a picture taken of Whitney Schneider checking on his cat after a fire caused them to evacuate his Moorhead apartment.

• Dave Wallis for a sports photo of RedHawks’ Buddy Sosnoskie getting tagged out.

• Kristen Daum for government and public affairs reporting for a story about oil dollars contributed to politicians.

Forum staff also earned third places for use of photography and Category X for public records requests made in order to report on political campaign donations.