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Journal staffers earn kudos in Top of the Rockies competition

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Journal staffers earned a dozen awards in the recent Top of the Rockies Excellence in Journalism contest for 2016.

The three first-place, three second-place and six third-place wins were for public service, sports reporting, breaking news reporting, columns, headline writing, page design and business and environment writing.

The contest is open to newspapers and publications in four Western states – Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming – in various circulation categories and is sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

First place

William Baker for headline writing, including “#jailbait tweeter is now @cntyjail,” “Truth no longer matters – and that’s the truth,” and “High-tech kiosk idea gets kicked to the curb.”

Lauren Villagran in single-story news reporting for “Illegal immigration is surging in New Mexico.”

Nicole Perez, Robert Browman and Elise Kaplan in the breaking news category for “Grief and shock rip Navajo Nation.”

Second place

Bob Christ in sports general reporting for “A thoroughly Modern Man.”

Ed Johnson in sports columns for “Imaginary trial for a real deficit,” “Roberts’ voice echoes in the Pit” and “Lobos’ decision to bypass bowl still haunts Cromartie.”

Joline Gutierrez Krueger in column personal/humor writing for “30 years ago, we held hands across America,” “Writer never gave up on justice for daughter” and “Licking my election wounds.”

Third place

Lauren Villagran in business general reporting for “Water worries making waves.”

Mark Smith in sports general reporting for “WAY down in the Valley.”

Diane Dimond in public service for “Who Guards the Guardians?”

Maggie Shepard in environment general reporting for “Neighborhood still waiting for city water 16 years later.”

Rick Nathanson in science enterprise reporting for “UNM HSC lab assistants’ notebook details use, condition of fetuses.”

Leah Derrington in front-page design.

“Congratulations to the Journal newsroom staffers who earned honors,” Journal Managing Editor Dan Herrera said in a statement. “While the Journal contains excellent work daily, it is gratifying when it is recognized and acknowledged by our peers.”

Journal staffers win 12 excellence awards