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Journal Reporter Gets Public Service Honor

Journal Staff Report
    Albuquerque Journal science writer John Fleck has won the National Weather Association's Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, the first reporter so honored since the award was established in 1977.
    Fleck was nominated by chief meteorologist Charlie Liles and science and operations officer Deirdre Kann of the National Weather Service's Albuquerque office.
    "Readers of the Albuquerque Journal clearly have gained a better understanding of science issues because of John Fleck's coverage of these topics," Kann quoted from their cover letter to NWA, a professional organization for those who participate in and support weather-related activities.
    The Walter J. Bennett Public Service Award, in honor of Bennett's 50 years as a meteorologist, is for "directly assisting the meteorological community in providing weather-related information to the public."
    "I've gone to parties or gatherings, and when people find out I'm a meteorologist, they'll talk to me and many of them are very well informed," Kann said. "They say, 'We read John Fleck in the paper.' ...
    "I truly think the residents of Albuquerque and anyone who reads the paper is better informed because of John."
    Fleck became the Journal's science writer in 1995. He is a graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., and began his newspaper career in 1983 at the Claremont Courier in Claremont, Calif. He worked at the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner and the Pasadena Star-News before joining the Journal in 1990.