By John Dickerson
New Times founder and executive editor Michael Lacey was honored over the weekend with the Arizona Press Club’s Distinguished Service Award. The lifetime accolade was given for Lacey’s 38 years as a writer, editor and newspaper owner in Arizona. It was one of 17 press club awards that New Times earned for its journalism in 2007.
Lacey and the New Times editorial staff were among about 240 journalists from across the state at the Heard Museum near downtown Phoenix on Saturday, May 10 for the annual press club awards banquet.
Along with New Times co-founder Jim Larkin, Lacey also won the John Kolbe Politics and Government Reporting Award for the story “Breathtaking Abuse of the Constitution.” Lacey and Larkin were jailed for several hours by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Selective Enforcement Unit after they detailed abusive grand jury subpoenas against New Times and its readers in the article.
Staff writer Ray Stern won the coveted Don Bolles Investigative Reporting Award for his story “What Happened In Vegas…,” an intensive look at the questionable dealings of a large national identify-theft-prevention company (headquartered in Phoenix) and the unsavory antics of its owner.
Columnist Sarah Fenske was first runner-up for the top prize in Arizona journalism, Virg Hill Journalist of the Year. It was the second time she was first runner-up for this award in the past three years. The Virg Hill winner was Brady McCombs, the Arizona Daily Star 's border and immigration reporter.
Fenske also won first place in the News Column Writing category and second place for Features Column Writing.
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Staff writer Megan Irwin took two first-place awards. Her story “A Cancer on ASU” won in the Science Reporting category, and her “Redemption Song” article won in the Children, Families and Seniors Issues Reporting category.
New Times swept Arts Writing or Criticism, with music scribe Serene Dominic taking first place for his "Back to the Sun" story. Staffer Lilia Menconi won second place for "Cause Celeb" and music editor Niki D'Andrea won third for "Beyond Blonde."
Other New Times journalists winning awards for stories, headlines or photographs were Michele Laudig, Clay McNear, Giulio Sciorio, Robrt L. Pela and John Dickerson.
You can see the entire list of 2007 Arizona Press Club award winners, here.