The Blade wins 9 awards from Ohio press society
June 26, 2000
The Blade won nine awards yesterday from the Associated Press
Society of Ohio, including two first-place prizes and a second-place
award for General Excellence among Ohio newspapers over 100,000 in
Blade investigative reporter Sam Roe won the top prize in
investigative reporting for his six-part series on beryllium, titled
"This series is a model of investigative reporting," judges said.
Published in March and April, 1999, the series exposed how
government and industry officials repeatedly put production of the
strategic metal ahead of worker safety. The series, a finalist for
the Pulitzer Prize, sparked major safety reforms, numerous lawsuits,
and two congressional investigations.
Federal lawmakers have also referred to the series in an attempt
to push through legislation to compensate victims of beryllium
disease, an often-fatal lung illness caused by the met al's toxic
dust. At least 75 cur rent or former workers at Brush Wellman's
Elmore plant, where beryllium is processed, have contracted the
Mr. Roe joined The Blade in 1986.
Blade general assignment re porter George Tanber won the top
prize in the lifestyles cate gory for his eight-part series: "Life
along the Mississippi."
Mr. Tanber trekked from the river's headwaters in Minnesota to
its end in the Gulf of Mexico. Along the way he filed articles from
various points of the 2,552- mile journey filled with stories on the
evolution of the river, the towns beside it, and the people who've
relied on it.
The series was published in July and August, 1999. Mr. Tan ber
joined The Blade in 1996.
Editors from the Providence Journal in Rhode Island who judged
the large newspaper categories called The Blade "an impressive daily
"Local stories, long and short, show a thoroughness of reporting
that is slipping away at newspapers elsewhere. It is very clear that
the reporting staff works very hard at The Blade and that the
assigning editors in all sections of the paper are strong managers.
Beyond that, the reporting is impressive in its thoroughness and the
writing is impressive in its clarity," wrote the Journal's editors.
Dayton Daily News placed first, the Columbus Dispatch was third,
and the Plain Dealer of Cleveland received an honorable mention in
General Excellence, competing with The Blade among six newspapers in
Blade science writer Jenni Laidman won a second-place award in
enterprise reporting for her three-part series "Sindiswa's story:
The short, sad life of a very small great ape."
Ms. Laidman's series chronicled the yearlong struggle by the
Toledo Zoo to save the life of a baby gorilla and examined the
ethical question of how much a single animal's life is worth.
Ms. Laidman joined The Blade in 1998.
Blade editorial writers Marilou Johanek and Rose Rus sell Stewart
won second-place honors for editorial writing. Ms. Johanek joined
The Blade in 1998, and Ms. Stewart joined The Blade in 1974.
Reporters Dee Drummond and Michael Sallah won third- place honors
in the category of breaking news for their cover age of the scandal
at Hillsdale College last fall.
The pair helped uncover how Lissa Roche, the daughter-in- law of
former Hillsdale College President George Roche III, killed herself
just hours after publicly confronting Dr. Roche about an affair the
two allegedly had for nearly 20 years.
Dr. Roche has denied the af fair, but he retired in November
after the board placed him on a leave of absence.
Ms. Drummond joined The Blade in 1998. Mr. Sallah joined The
Blade in 1989.
Blade state desk reporter Kelly Lecker won a third-place prize in
the community service category for her series "Mega farms: Is there
room for them?"
The series, which ran in No vember, 1999, examined the trend in
agriculture to set up larger farms, and the impact on small farmers.
She pored through thousands of records about farming operations and
attended heated town hall meet ings, where many of the battles are
Ms. Lecker joined The Blade in 1996.
Columnist Roberta de Boer won third-place honors for a col
lection of her columns. She joined The Blade in 1985.
Nara Schoenberg and Tahree Lane won third-place in lifestyles
category for their story "Meet the American teenager, a field
The stories helped to define who today's teenagers are: how they
work and play and what they expect from the future. Ms. Schoenberg
joined The Blade in 1990, Ms. Lane in 1984.
In addition, Blade Executive Editor Ron Royhab was installed as
president of the organization at the annual meeting and awards
luncheon, held yesterday in Columbus.
The state Associated Press Society is an organization of
newspapers that belong to the Associated Press, a cooperative