Shaw Media newspapers win 54 journalism awards

Shaw Media newspapers won 54 awards from the Illinois Press Association and Illinois Associated Press Media Editors at this week’s IPA convention in Bloomington.
Shaw Media won 12 IAPME awards, including reporter Amanda Marrazzo of the Northwest Herald collecting the Sweepstakes honor for the top news story in all news categories in Division I for “Awaiting murder trial, Algonquin eye doctor dies of COVID-19.” She also won first place for general news for the same story.
Other IAPME first place awards included:
Second place: Rachel Rodgers, Public Service, Dixon Telegraph, “Dixon Library faces book banning effort;” Mark Foster, Bob Rakow and Aaron Dorman, Enterprise Coverage, Northwest Herald (Shaw Local News Network), “Inside the drag show debate taking place in northern Illinois;” Michael Urbanec, Feature, The Times, Record jump; Michal Dwojak, Sports Feature, Northwest Herald, “With officiating numbers in decline, administrators seek sustainable solutions;” and James T. Norman, Business Reporting, Northwest Herald, “Marengo plans a business boom.”
Third place: Staff, the Joliet Herald-News, General Excellence; Janelle Walker, Business Reporting, Northwest Herald, “McHenry County apartment rentals are scarce … and expensive.”
Illinois Press Award winners by publication were:
Bureau County Republican
First place: Sports Feature, Kevin Hieronymus, “BV senior finds inspiration from twin.”
DeKalb Daily Chronicle
First place: Government Beat Reporting, Megann Horstead and Kelsey Rettke, “DeKalb City clerk embroiled in lawsuit as city increases scrutiny.”
Second place: Government Beat Reporting, Camden Lazenby and Kelsey Rettke, DeKalb County nursing center sold for $8.3M to private buyer; Sports Photo, Mark Busch, Rain runner; and Sports Photo/Portrait/Personality, Mark Busch, Soccer player of the year.
Third place: Freedom of Information Award, Kelsey Rettke and Katie Finlon, “Illinois EPA ‘closely tracking’ lead levels in Sycamore drinking water;” and Knight Chair Award, Best Investigative/Enterprise Reporting, Kelsey Rettke and Katie Finlon, “Sycamore Water Series, Elevated levels, IPA scrutiny, line replacement next steps.”
Fourth place: Localized National Story, Camden Lazenby, “Ukrainian war refugee families spend holidays resettled in Illinois.”
Joliet Herald-News
Third place: General Excellence, staff.
Fourth place: General News Photo, Gary Middendorf, Wipe out.
Kane County Chronicle
First place: Feature Photo, Sandy Bressner, Head to tail.
Third place: News Reporting-Series, Brenda Schory, Geneva “Pridrant;” Freedom of Information Award, Aimee Barrows, “Middle school Uber;” General News Photo, Sandy Bressner, The Graduate; Sports Photo, Sandy Bressner, Pile-up; and Sports Photo-Portrait/Personality, Sandy Bressner, Coach.
Kendall County Record
First place: Sports Photo, Sean King, Baseball scream; and Sports Photo-Portrait/Personality, Gary E. Duncan, Student section.
Second place: News Reporting-Single Story, Mark Foster, “Keri never stood a chance: Trial examines death of Bolder Hill girl.”
Third place: Feature Writing-Personality Profile, David Petesch, “Plano instructor maintains her passion for teaching special needs students;” and Sports Photo, Sean King, Pitch.
Fourth place: Localized National Story, David Petesch, “Hope amid chaos of war.”
LaSalle NewsTribune
First place: Sports Photo, Scott Anderson, Slam dunk.
Second place: Spot News Photo, Scott Anderson, Grand Bear Fire; and Sports Photo, Scott Anderson, Swimmer.
Fourth place: Feature Photo, Scott Anderson, Firefighter feature.
Northwest Herald
First place: Localized National Story, James T. Norman, “McHenry County’s child care availability reaching ‘crisis’ level, as more teachers leave.”
Second place: News Reporting-Single Story, Mark Foster, Bob Rakow and Aaron Dorman, “Inside the drag show debate taking place in northern Illinois.”
Third place: News Reporting-Single Story, Amanda Marrazzo, “Former Crystal Lake woman tells story of abuse; husband charged with attempted murder;” Localized National Story, Jannelle Walker and James T. Norman, “Loans are like ‘having another mouth to feed;’” Business/Economic Reporting, Janelle Walker, “McHenry County apartment rentals are scarce … and expensive;” and Story/Series-Agricultural Story, Janelle Walker, “Illinois hemp farmers call market the ‘Wild West’: ‘The sky is the limit.’
Sauk Valley Media
First place: Portrait/Personality Photo, Alex Paschal, Natural artist.
Second place: News Reporting-Series, Alexa Zoellner, Colden Street Project; and Freedom of Information Award, Kathleen Schultz, Nelson toddler’s death.
Third place: Business/Economic Reporting, Kathleen Schultz, Revitalized Northland Mall; Original Column, Alex Paschal, “Shutter to Think;” Sports News, Ty Reynolds, Polo loses heartbreaker; and Robert M. Cole Award for Best School Board Coverage, Troy Taylor, Teachers are shedding tears on cold mornings.
Suburban Life Media
First place: General News Photo, Sandy Bressner, First day of school.
Second place: Sports Photo, Mark Busch, Tears of joy.
Times of Ottawa
Fourth place: General Excellence, staff.