The Post & Mail nets slew of awards in HSPA contest

INDIANAPOLIS — The Post & Mail newspaper, Columbia City, brought home 10 awards from the Hoosier State Press Association’s yearly banquet Saturday.Editors Christie Workman and Nicole Ott were awarded for feature and sports articles, as well as photography.Ott earned Photo of the Year in The Post & Mail’s division, with the front-page photo of Ethan Krider and Jade North for Valentine’s Day.The photo also won its category, Best Feature Photo, and was a contender for overall Photo of the Year, an award won by The Evansville Courier and Press.Judges said, “The photo captures a unique moment of laughter and holds two great expressions — a prime moment between two kids. A strong and telling moment.”Workman netted first and third place in the same category with two in-depth feature articles.Earning first-place honors was Workman’s “Making Cents” series, about school funding.“Excellent research and reporting on complex school funding issues with no simple solution,” judges said. She placed third with her article about Emma Hindbaugh, “A life cut short by cancer.”“Report engages readers with wonderful, sad story of a young cancer victim and her family,” judges commented.Workman also placed first for her profile feature on the work of Katey Till, of South Whitley.Till put an idea into action, bringing a new playground to South Whitley.“Stories like this are very inspiring and serve as a reminder that one person can spark positive change in his/her community,” judges said.Workman and Ott were touted for their headline writing, earning second place with the following headlines:• Water hazard• Sewers raise a stink in South Whitley• Pool forum overflows with ideasJudges said the editors used a nice play on words without being too “punny.”Ott took home two awards for sports writing — first place for coverage of a Columbia City boys basketball game, and third for a sports feature article about Columbia City’s Kalisha Goree.The first-place award came from the Eagles’ last-second loss to Homestead last season, when Spartan Nick Gamble hit a last-second shot to beat Columbia City — titled “Shocked and awed.”“Great coverage,” Judges said. “All of Ott’s entries were very strong, and this was our favorite.”The article about Goree explained her long family history of professional athletes. “This girl seems to be quite the athlete,” Judges said. Ott also placed second for a photo of Columbia City Police Reserve Heath Fearnow being tased in training — a fellow officer shot him with an electrical shock. She placed second as well in her ongoing news coverage of the body found in Whitley County in May 2013. The body was identified as Dillion Warner, a missing Fort Wayne man.See Tuesday’s edition of The Post & Mail for publications and clippings from the award winning pieces.