Review-Journal takes general excellence award in state contest

ELKO — The Las Vegas Review-Journal took first place for general excellence among Nevada newspapers in the Nevada Press Association 2013 “Better Newspaper Contest,” announced Saturday night at the newspaper organization’s annual convention.

All told, the Review-Journal landed 15 first-place awards, 11 second-place finishes and 15 third-place awards in categories covering news and feature stories and photography, page design and editorial writing.

Police reporter Mike Blasky was honored as the state’s journalist of merit, which recognizes a reporter with less than five years experience.

Four Review-Journal nondaily sister publications took home a combined 22 first-place finishes, 13 second-place finishes and 15 third-place awards.

Here are the highlights:

General Excellence

First Place: Class I (urban daily newspapers, circulation 15,000 or more): Las Vegas Review-Journal. Judges’ comments: “ ‘Comprehensive’ would be an understatement. LVRJ leaves readers with the ultimate catch-22 in this digital journalism age: ‘Do I have enough time to read every single page of this publication?’ At any rate, local coverage above the fold, references to a bevy of online coverage, and an action-packed Sunday edition give LVRJ the edge here. Solid product.”

First Place: Class II (Newspapers printed more than once a week with circulation less than 15,000): The Record-Courier (Gardnerville).

First Place: Class III (Weekly newspapers with circulation less than 10,000): Vegas Inc. Judges’ comments: “Very professional looking and well-packaged product. Congratulations on a job well done.”

First Place: Class IV (Urban weekly newspapers with circulation of 10,000 or more): Las Vegas Weekly.

First Place: Magazines: Nevada Magazine (Carson City).

Second Place: Class I: Reno Gazette-Journal; Class II: Nevada Appeal (Carson City); Class III: Comstock Chronicle (Virginia City); Class IV: Las Vegas View Neighborhood Newspapers; Magazines: Las Vegas Magazine.

Third Place: Class I: Las Vegas Sun; Class II: Lahontan Valley News (Fallon); Class III: Boulder City Review; Class IV: Vegas Seven; Magazines: Reno Magazine.

Outstanding Journalist

Class I: Anjeanette Damon, Las Vegas Sun. Judges’ comments: “Tax law? Yawn? Not so fast. Damon’s ability to dive into the Apple tax-breaks saga … shows obvious gumption and willingness to go after a story of local and widespread importance. But to do so — with plenty of background and detail — practically on deadline is truly impressive. Switching gears, Damon’s coverage of Nevada’s jump to ‘presidential swing state’ status does what it would seem every newsroom would want from the national story of all national stories: a local angle. Damon jumps on this angle on election night itself, to boot. ‘Line of Attack’ (essentially an election truth-meter) is well constructed and shows not only range, but fearlessness. Well done all around.”

Class II: Caley Cook, Elko Daily Free Press.

Class III: Jack Johnson, Boulder City Review. Judges’ comments: “… Johnson’s work was solid, varied and at times outstanding.”

Class IV: John Katsilometes, Las Vegas Weekly. Judges’ comments: “Hard work on a fun beat — an outstanding combination.”

Magazines: Carolyn Dufurrena, RANGE magazine.

Outstanding Visual Journalist

Class I: David Stroud, Las Vegas Review-Journal. Judges’ comments: “Really terrific illustrations and graphics — and especially impressive output for a daily.”

Magazines: Mark Hayward, RANGE magazine.

Story of the Year

Martha Bellisle, Reno Gazette-Journal. “ATF rift”

Photo of the Year

Jeff Scheid, Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Training for a future D-Day.” Judges’ comments: “Great photo — from lighting to composition. Tough to get (and possibly tough on your camera!) Top notch!”

Editorial of the Year

Dennis Myers, Reno News & Review.

Ad of the Year

Sean Rademacher, Las Vegas Weekly, “Newcastle Werewolf Ale.” Judges’ comments: “Beautiful concept and slick execution. Well done!”

Best Editorial Cartoon

Mike Smith, Las Vegas Sun, “What’s Their Excuse?” Judges’ comments: “Anyone who has felt the stinging bite of a tiny sugar ant can relate it to Smith’s cartoons, exemplified by this one in particular. There’s something ‘homey’ and innocent about his cartoons, yet they deliver a clean powerful punch.”

Silver Star Award

Carol Mott, Elko Daily Free Press.

Journalist of Merit

Class I: Mike Blasky, Las Vegas Review-Journal. Judges’ comments: “Blasky handles the public safety beat with firm, yet delicate certainty. Obviously a capable, seasoned pro just a few short years into his career. Well done.”

Class II: Matt Unrau, Elko Daily Free Press.

Class IV: Andrea Domanick, Las Vegas Weekly.

First Amendment Champion

Assemblyman John Ellison, R-Elko. Ellison has proven to be a staunch defender of free speech, free press and open government issues in both his hometown and the Nevada Legislature.

Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame inductee

John Cahlan, editor of the Las Vegas Review-Journal from 1929 to 1961. He started in the newspaper business by hawking copies on street corners as a boy; was graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno and edited the State Journal Register before moving to Las Vegas. His brother, Al, and wife, Florence Jones, already are members of the Hall of Fame.

Additional Review-Journal winners:


Best News Feature Story: Antonio Planas, “Families of slain girls grieve as murder suspect awaits trial”

Best Multiple Photo Essay: Jessica Ebelhar, “Alzheimer’s Rising Storm”

Freedom of the Press: Review-Journal staff, “Out of Control Constable”

Best Sports Feature: Trevon Millard, “Chaparral student’s off-field issues cloud NFL dreams”

Best Local Column: John L. Smith, “Think you’re working hard for the American Dream, think again”; “ ‘Ray of light’ gives fond memories”; “Don’t cry for ‘Kenny Clutch,’ an affliction waiting to happen”; “Christian businessman’s ‘burden’ heavy”

Best Sports Column: Ron Kantowski, “Super Sunday view from a pew”; “Spencer’s pals, strangers try to make sense of it”; “Half the size, twice the violence!”

Best Nonstaff Story: Lynnette Curtis, “Uncommon graduates”

Best Critical Writing: Christopher Lawrence, “Naughty ‘Ted’ will crack you up”; “ ‘Warm bodies’ bends monster movie tropes to deliver laughter, love story”; “Ben Affleck bolsters his directing credentials with edge-of-seat ‘Argo’ ”

Best Editorial Writing: Glenn Cook, “Union, school district again at odds”; “Local tax hikes? No. Nope. No way. A thousand times no”; “Write-off standard: Sales tax break caught amid ‘fiscal cliff’ talks.”

Best Business Feature: Jennifer Robison, “Cost of Alzheimer’s care exploding”

Best News Photo Coverage: John Locher, “End of the Year”

Best Feature Photo: John Locher, “Beating the heat”


Best Sports Story: Steve Carp, “Pacquiao-Bradley fight decision leaves many feeling punchy”

Best Page One Design: Review-Journal Staff

Best Overall Design: Review-Journal Staff

Best Local Column: Vin Suprynowitz: “Putting county’s last cattle rancher out of business”; “Caught in the maze: Las Vegas businessman gets no help from pols”; “Shutting down small business — again”; “Clowns to the left of us, jokers to the right …”

Best Critical Writing: Heidi Knapp Rinella, “Le Thai a perfect — and delicious — fit for Fremont East”; “Despite name, Flava Flav’s limited menu lacks seasoning”; Dom de Marco’s lives up to the hype”

Best Entertainment Writing: Jason Bracelin, “Double Down Saloon: Still serving Las Vegas’ Wild Side”; “Herb Hardesty, a tenor sax legend, plays what’s in his heart”; “Jimmy Buffett sings Parrotheads a soundtrack of excess”

Best Spot News Story: Mike Blasky and Antonio Planas, “Four killed as car demolishes bus stop in Las Vegas”

Best Website: Review-Journal

Best Business Feature: Paul Harasim and Jennifer Robison, “Are colonoscopies safe in Las Vegas: Some think so” and “Endoscopy doctors: Where are they now?”

Best Illustrated Photo: Jeff Scheid, “Going with the Grain”

Best Headline Writing: Matthew Crowley, “Sacre Brew!”; “Racket Man”; “Who Moved My Cheesecake”


Best Portrait: Jessica Ebelhar, “Reason to Run.”

Best Sports Story: Howard Stutz, “Emotions flow for poker champ”

Best Page Design: Melissa Nunnery

Best Feature Story: Lynnette Curtis, “Cast out of Paiute tribe, disenrolled confront struggles:

Best Special Section (Editorial): Review-Journal staff, “Best of Las Vegas”

Best Sports Photo: Jason Bean, “Bradley wins judges’ favor”

Best Local Column: Xazmin Garza, “Though she’s gone, I still meet her halfway”; “Objectifying themselves for objects”; “Prothesis won’t stop grab for glamour”; “It feels good to be the winning daughter of a proud father”

Best Critical Writing: Carol Cling, “No Room for drama in Planet Hollywood’s ‘Surf the Musical’ ”; “Barbara Cook plays a perfect Cabaret Jazz performance”; “Skillful Buckley makes Broadway hymns hers”

Best Information Graphic: Mike Johnson, “Terminal 3”

Best Editorial Page: Review-Journal Viewpoints staff.

Best Illustrated Photo: Mark Damon, “No Can Do”

Best Feature Photo: Jessica Ebelhar, “Snap time at snack time”

Best Headline Writing: George Riggle, “At A Sail’s Pace; Skillful Buckley Makes Broadway Hymns Hers; Dude Awakening”

Freedom of the Press: Review-Journal staff, “Henderson Land Deals”

Best Sports Feature: Todd Dewey, “Norris driven to win latest fight”



Best Feature Photo: Samantha Clemens, “Christmas arrives early for North Las Vegas kids in need”

Best Page Designer: Ginger Meurer.

Best Headline Writing: Ginger Meurer, “To Infiniti and beyond”; “Check out that art”; “Cure for cold feet”


Best Local Nonstaff Column: Deborah Wall, “Town of Rhyolite rife with rock, gold, history”; “Mono Lake’s salt waters sure to buoy your spirits”; “Leaving snakes alone benefits both parties”

Best Investigative or In-depth Story or Series: Michael Lyle and Jeff Mosier, “Area immigration activists call for fixing ‘broken’ system”; “Rally draws attention to immigration reform”

Best Page One Design: Ginger Meurer, Cassandra Keenan, Kerri Shanahan, Lisa Valentine, Anne King.

Best Multimedia Story: Michael Quine, “Love Stories”

General Excellence: View staff


Best Website: View staff

Best News Feature: Jeff Mosier, “Former homeless man starts ministry to help people on the streets”



Best Spot News Story: Mark Waite

Best Illustration: Heather Ruth

Best News Photo Coverage: Horace Langford Jr.

Best Multiple Photo Essay: Horace Langford Jr.

Best Large-Space Ad: Heather Ruth

Best Black & White Ad: Heather Ruth

Best Multi-Color Ad: Heather Ruth


Best Feature Story: Kelsey Givens

Best Business Feature: Mark Waite

Best Page Designer: Heather Ruth

Best Large-Space Ad: Heather Ruth

Best Multi-Color Ad: Heather Ruth


Best Spot News Story: Kelsey Givens

Best Explanatory Journalism: Selwyn Harris

Best Sports Feature: Vern Hee

Best Page One Design: Jessica Beaudoin

Best Page Designer: Jessica Beaudoin

Best Illustration: Heather Ruth

Best News Photo Coverage: Horace Langford Jr.

Best Black & White Ad: Heather Ruth

Best Multi-Color Ad: Heather Ruth



Best Spot News Story: Arnold M. Knightly, “Tragedy, violence come home to Boulder City”

Best Sports Feature: Pedro F. Fonteboa, “Local family building strong wrestling tradition”

Best Editorial Page: Review staff

Best Local Nonstaff Columnist: Rose Ann Miele

Best Sports Story: Eric Castillo, “Foster pins down back-to-back state titles”

Best Multiple Photo Essay: Steve Andrascik, “Bikers, police shut down downtown”

Best Business News Story: Arnold M. Knightly and Rose Ann Miele, “Nevada Way roadwork impacts local businesses”


Best Explanatory Journalism: Boulder Review


Best Sports Feature: “Garvin finds focus on mat, chasing third state title”

General Excellence: Boulder Review staff

Best Local Columnist: Arnold M. Knightly



Best Editorial Writing: Kent Harper, “Don’t label me! I’m many things”


Best Local Column: Kent Harber, “Kids, don’t try this at home”



Best Portrait: Jim Decker, “The Stylist: A Modern Day Fashion Fairytale”

Best Explanatory Journalism: Al Mancini, “A Windfall of Wagyu”


Best Multiple Photo Essay: Jim Decker, “Neon Redux: New Museum Lights Up Las Vegas All Over Again”

For a full list of all awards to newspapers of all sizes statewide, visit reviewjournal.com.