COLUMBUS Professional association awards paper's staffers

Ten Vindicator staffers were recognized.
COLUMBUS -- Vindicator staff members won awards in five categories, ranging from art criticism to investigative reporting, from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists at a ceremony Saturday.
More than 800 entries were received for the statewide contest, which was judged by journalists from across the country. The Vindicator competes against other newspapers with daily circulation under 100,000.
The awards were:
UFirst place for religion and values coverage, for a seven-part series on veteran Vindicator writer George Welker's battle against cystic fibrosis. Welker, who died in June, contributed to the project along with staff writer Dave Wilkinson, photographer Lindsay Semple and graphic artist Ed Yozwick.
UFirst place to for best critic to Debora Shaulis, The Vindicator's entertainment editor. The award was based on a body of work, including reviews of Youngstown State University Theater's production of the play "Extremities" and "Nunsense A-Men" at the Oakland Center for Performing Arts.
UFirst place to education editor Ron Cole, and other staff, for best public journalism based on the paper's coverage of a $30 million bond campaign for Youngstown Schools.
Judges looked at stories about the proposed school rebuilding program as well as editorials in favor of the bond issue.
UFirst place to The Vindicator's editorial board for an editorial campaign calling for an end to corruption in the Mahoning Valley.
A total of 28 editorials by Bertram de Souza, Patricia R. Kelvin and editorial page editor Dennis B. Mangan called for the prosecution of corrupt judges and a clean break with the culture of corruption.
UFirst place for best investigative reporting to reporter Stephen Siff for a series detailing how many new homes built in Mahoning County were not completely inspected by the county building department. Siff has since transferred to the newspaper's Warren Bureau.

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