News wins top prize in ONPA awards

The Hood River News won a record number of first place awards in the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association 2002 Better Newspaper Contest, whose results were announced Friday at the annual Summer Publishers Convention in Tigard.

Along with numerous individual awards, the News took home the prestigious General Excellence award for weekly newspapers.

Staff writer RaeLynn Gill won first place in Spot News Coverage for her report about the criminal inquiries into four deaths that happened within a five-week period last spring and summer.

Gill also won first place for Lifestyle Coverage for her story, “Starting Over,” about women overcoming domestic abuse.

Staff writer Janet Cook won first place in the General Feature Story category for her piece entitled “A Disappearing Past,” about the efforts of an officer with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fisheries Enforcement to stop looting and vandalism of Native American cultural sites.

Cook also won first place in the Best Writing category for the second year in a row for a collection of her stories and columns.

Staff photographer Jim Semlor, who also does page design and graphics work, won first place in both the Best Page One Design category and the Best Inside Page Design category.

Semlor also took first place in the Best Graphics category for his photography and design work on a Kaleidoscope feature about Parkdale glass artists, and third place in the same category for his design and photography on another Kaleidoscope feature about environmentalist and “tree sitter” Julia Butterfly Hill.

In addition, Semlor won third place in the Best News Photo category for his photographs of the culmination of a car chase and the apprehension of the suspect on I-84 near The Dalles.

The Hood River News staff won first place in the Best Special Section or Issue category for “Panorama,” its annual special section that comes out during Blossom Festival.

The News staff also won first place for Best Coverage of Business and Economic Issues for its series entitled “Uprooted Harvest” which focused on the challenges facing the Hood River Valley’s fruit industry.

In addition, the News staff won second place in the 9/11 category for its coverage of the local impact of the East Coast terrorist attacks. The award was for coverage in the first two weeks following the attacks.

“I couldn’t be happier and more proud of everyone,” said Tom Lanctot, News publisher. “I’m especially proud of the fact we received so many first place awards. It’s a reflection on the individuals who work hard every day.”

Lanctot said the General Excellence award is a “reflection on the entire staff, from the newsroom to production to the pressroom.

“It shows a strong team effort,” he said.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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