New Times staff members once again swept the highest honors handed out by the Arizona Press Club.
Staff writer John Dougherty was named the 1995 Virg Hill Journalist of the Year for the third time in four years. Kathleen Ingley of the Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette was first runner-up; New Times staff writer Paul Rubin was second runner-up for the award. Dougherty is the first journalist to win the coveted award three times; and only one other writer, New Times' Terry Greene, has ever won it twice.
New Times photographer Timothy Archibald was named Photographer of the Year for the second year in a row. The two other finalists were Randy Reid and Peter Schwepker of the Arizona Republic/Phoenix Gazette.
Rubin won the Don Bolles Award for Investigative Reporting for the third year in a row, this time for his series "Mental Health Masquerade," about abuses in the state's mental health system.
Columnist Peter Gilstrap won the Don Schellie Award for feature column writing, for columns about a night on Van Buren Street, Phoenix's wastewater treatment plant and homeless kids who hang out on Mill Avenue in Tempe.
New Times staff members won a total of 45 awards in various categories; 17 were first-place awards, and New Times swept five categories.
The winners were selected by out-of-state judges--many of them Pulitzer Prize winners--and were announced Saturday at the club's 72nd Annual Awards Banquet in Phoenix.
Gilbert Gaul, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer at the Philadelphia Inquirer and one of four judges in the Journalist of the Year competition, said Dougherty's stories on Governor J. Fife Symington III "were real eye-openers that raise significant questions about the operations of Arizona government, cronyism and the candor of candidates running for office."
Pulitzer winner Eileen Welsome called Dougherty's stories on Symington "some of the best journalism I have ever read." She called Dougherty "an inspiration to anyone in our business and a champion for taxpayers."
Dougherty's winning portfolio also included stories about Symington's personal accounting firm, Maricopa County's taxpayer-funded baseball stadium, the devastation of Havasu Falls after the collapse of a dam, and the finances of the Arizona Cancer Society.
Dougherty placed first in the Crime/Court Reporting category for a piece about Graham County Sheriff Richard Mack, titled "One Macked-Up Investigation." He placed second in Investigative Reporting for his stories about Symington's financial problems, and second in General Reporting for his piece on the Arizona Cancer Society.
Archibald was the judges' unanimous choice for Photographer of the Year. He was praised for "a terrific sense of design and a great imagination." Archibald also took first place in the Picture Story category, and placed third in the categories for One Week's Work and Illustration Photography.
Paul Rubin placed first in Explanatory Reporting for "The Rule 11 Revolving Door," about crimes committed by the mentally incompetent. He also won second place in Crime/Court Reporting for "The Missing Piece," about a botched murder investigation, and second place in Sports Feature Writing, for "Golf's Missing Link," about golf announcer Gary McCord.
Other first-place honors went to New Times staff writer Michael Kiefer, in Long Form Feature Writing, for a piece about illegal lion hunting called "The Lion Sting," and in Environmental Reporting, for "Symington's Plan to Gut Game and Fish." Kiefer also finished second in Diversity Reporting, with "The War on Hip-Hop."
Staff writer Terry Greene took first in Diversity Reporting for "After the Torture," about one man's struggle with U.S. immigration law, and in Business Feature Reporting for "Insider Connections," about the state's retirement system. Greene also placed third in Long Form Feature Writing for her piece about women who care for sick and injured birds, titled "Birds of a Feather."
Staff writer Marc Ramirez placed first in Sports Feature Writing, for "The Bayin' of Their Existence," about beagling in Paradise Valley, and third in Diversity Reporting for "Spanglish Invasion," about a radio station that combines Anglo and Hispanic cultures.
Managing editor Jeremy Voas placed first and third for Feature Headline Writing, for "Malice in Cyberland," "Gull of His Dreams" and "Little Dread Schoolhouse."
Music editor David Holthouse won the Lifestyle Reporting category for "Rave New World," about the Valley's rave scene.
New Times restaurant critic Howard Seftel won first place in the Food Reporting category for his reviews. Movie critic M. V. Moorhead placed first in General Criticism, and theatre critic Marshall W. Mason took a first in the Performing Arts category.
Former art director Michael Frick placed first in Design/Single Theme, for the bird ladies story.
Peter Gilstrap also placed second and third in Music Critical Review, for "World According to Yankovic" and "Welcome to Allintown."
Staff writer Dewey Webb placed second in Feature Headlines for "20,000 Geezers Under the Sea." Webb also took second in Lifestyle Reporting for "The Bulk Stops Here," about Gentle Strength Co-op in Tempe, and second in Short Form Feature Writing for "The Mouse That Bored," about a self-centered page on the World Wide Web. And Webb took third place in Food Reporting for stories about Durant's in Phoenix and Chasen's in Los Angeles.
Staff writer Amy Silverman placed second in Long Form Feature Writing for a piece about abuses among domestic violence shelter operators, titled "Shelter Skelter," and second in Environmental Reporting for "Freon Easy," about the politics of Freon in Arizona.
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Executive editor Michael Lacey placed second in News Column Writing for his writings about Symington's finances. Lisa Davis--now with SF Weekly--placed second in Sustained Coverage for a series of stories about education.
Staff writer Tony Ortega placed second in Ethics/Religion Reporting for "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlatan," for his profile of cult deprogrammer Rick Ross.
Former staff writer Dave Plank placed second and third in Business Feature Reporting for "Welfare for Golf" and "Sumitomo Wrestling"--about subsidies for golf courses and high-tech business, respectively. Plank also placed third in Sustained Coverage for a series of stories about mismanagement at the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System.
Editor John Mecklin and staff writers John Dougherty, Lisa Davis, Terry Greene, Dave Plank, Michael Kiefer and Amy Silverman placed third in Project Reporting for "Breach of Contract," which focused on the performance of state government. Art director Sonda Andersson Pappan won second for Special Section Design for "Breach of Contract.