HR News staffers win ONPA awards

Hood River News won six awards in the 2011 Oregon Better Newspaper Contest.

First-place honors went to reporter Ben McCarty, for Best Multimedia Element, and editor Kirby Neumann-Rea, for Best Editorial.

The awards were presented Friday at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association annual convention in Welches. Hood River News competes with other newspapers in the 7,000-or-less circulation category.

Hood River News took third in Best Special Section for the Women in Business edition.

McCarty’s winning entry was about driving a Model T at Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, posted on the Hood River News website on Aug. 24. The Internet package included video and article based on a story he wrote for the print edition.

Neumann-Rea won for three editorials: Jan. 10, “Flood Watch: We escaped damage, but hazards remain,” following last year’s high water event; Feb. 12, “Child Safety: A scary thing moves from rare to real,” in response to an attempted child abduction; and Aug. 10, “Heights Safety: Look at streets and crosswalks as a system,” based on concerns about pedestrian safety in the area of 13th and May streets.

The news staff also won two second-place honors in the beat feature judging. Janet Cook and Adam Lapierre won for “Friendly Neighbors,” about Daniel Pepper of Hood River.

The subhead for the Aug. 19, 2011, article read: “An accidental beekeeper finds his place.”

Adam Lapierre, Ben McCarty and intern Hallie Curtis received a second place in Best Photo Essay for coverage of the 2011 Homecoming events, “A Colorful Week of True School Spirit.”

Neumann-Rea also took third in the Best Personality category, for his “Into Africa” Kaleidoscope article on Hood River native Anna Hidle’s work with the Peace Corps in Zambia.

Lapierre provided the graphic design for the photo and features articles.

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Latest video:

Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive

The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge

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