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News staffers among winners of annual contest

Associated Press

Detroit News staffers took first-place honors Sunday for headline writing, best sports column, and best spot news and sports photos in the annual Michigan Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

Twenty-eight newspapers submitted 978 entries in the contest, which showcased news, sports and weather reporting, as well as features, documentaries and photography from 2016.

Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski won first place in the best sports column category while copy editor Keith Roberts won the top award for headline writing that included such entries as “Prince’s purple reign over too soon” and “Heaping helpings of thankfulness.” Staff photographers Clarence Tabb Jr. took top honors for best spot news photo with “Last Ride,” while David Guralnick won first place in the best sports photo category for his entry “Chasing the Puck.”

The News won 12 awards in the contest, which was judged by editors from the San Diego Union Tribune and the Vindicator, Youngstown, Ohio, Division III; Troy (Ohio) Daily News and the Chronicle Telegram, Elyria, Ohio, Division II; and Abilene (Texas) News and the Chillicothe (Ohio) Gazette, Division I. The News was included in Division III, which covers newspapers with a daily circulation over 40,000.

News editor Andreas Supanich came in third for best headline writing for entries including “Who are these clowns?” about reports of creepy clowns turning up across the country, and “Republicans rumble in Detroit,” while sportswriter James Hawkins and former News staffer Josh Katzenstein took third place for best sports story for their piece, “Football Recruiters Hit Paydirt in Three States.”

General Excellence awards went to the Detroit Free Press, the Lansing State Journal and the Holland Sentinel. The Lansing State Journal won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishments in pursuing freedom of information for its entry “Fighting for FOIA.”

In the “Best Video” category, former News photographer Donna Terek won for her video, “Cathedral of St. Anthony: A Church Reborn.”

The News was second for “Best digital presence,” behind the Detroit Free Press, and won second place for Best Multimedia Storytelling: “USS Detroit: A New Breed of Ship for U.S. Navy.”

Jennifer Bowman of the Battle Creek Enquirer was the recipient of this year's Newspaper Rising Star award., which recognizes achievement and ability for those with five years or less in journalism.

The Detroit Free Press was first in the General Excellence category.