The newspaper competed with 24 other media outlets in the ‘large newsroom’ category.
Jasper, a 2-year-old Maine Coon/grey tabby mix, relaxes after a bath, as Leah Salazar, a groomer in the Pet Haus Groom Room, holds her and Katie Ratko, the salon manager, blow-drys her. Jasper belongs to Jade Graves, and this is her second visit to the salon to get her fur and nails trimmed before showering. The business sees several cats a week as well as several dogs. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)
Durango Herald Earned 34 press awards in the annual Top of the Rockies competition, including breaking news, general reporting, feature writing, sports columns, photography, page design and editorial cartoons.
The competition was sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists and covered media outlets in four states, including Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. To inform competed in the “large newsroom” category, which included at least 24 other media outlets, including boulder daily camera, Grand Junction Daily Sentinel, pueblo chieftainRocky Mountain PBS, among others.
To inform Won more awards than any other media outlet in its size classification.
“The To informU.S. journalists, editors and page designers do an excellent job, but their skills would not have a place in La Plata County if it weren’t for readers and advertisers,” said Richard G. Ballantine, chairman of the board of Ballantine Communications Inc., of Parent Company To inform, “Thank you to those who enjoy access to print paper or online — or a combination of both — and to advertisers who know that using a community newsletter strengthens their business and services.”
Several awards recognized the newspaper for its reporting and photography in specialized fields including legal affairs, science and technology and climate change.
The competition was for stories, photographs and other editorial material published during the 2021 calendar year.
Legal news: “What effect could the Supreme Court’s decision on Colorado gun laws have?” About how a U.S. Supreme Court ruling could affect concealed carry permits in La Plata County and Colorado, by Christian Burney, in the first place.
A clear, concise and captivating breakdown of how gun laws change across the country, the judges wrote. “From the graphics to the experts, this is well-written explanatory journalism.”
Legal Features: “New La Plata County Judge Emphasizes Rehabilitation, Not Jail,” About Newly Appointed La Plata County Judge Annie Woods, First Place by Jonathan Romeo.
The judges wrote, “Through the profile of a young judge with a progressive platform who is trying to make his point about doing things differently, this piece is a thoughtful take on criminal justice reform at large.” Opens the conversation.” “It also does a great job of highlighting the tension that builds up locally and nationally as efforts to change the system really start to work.”
Science and Technology News: “Can you see climate change? Mapping tools turn millions of data points into visual representations,” about how scientists are using mapping to help people see and understand the effects of climate change , by Aidan Hannon, 1st place.
Jake Riggs is intent on expanding Durango’s drag scene. Every week, he goes through about 15 different makeup looks in his apartment as he transforms into Aria Patyoncé before Beam Me Up Starlight Drag/Trivia Night, a weekly event at the Starlight Lounge. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)
Arts & Entertainment News or Feature, “Durango Drags: Free Expression Takes Center Stage,” Shannon Mullen, 1st place, about Durango’s drag scene.
sports column, “Live on the Lift: Everyone Should Have a Chance to Play in the Snow,” by John Livingston, Purgatory Resort is able to turn what adaptive play is doing to help people with physical or cognitive disabilities, in the first place .
Feature Photography/Videography, “Cat Bathing,” photographs Jasper, a 2-year-old Maine Coon/gray tabby mix, by Jerry McBride, taking a bath in the first place.
“The classic definition of a feature photo!” The judges wrote.
feature page design, About Jamestown Revival Band “An Homage to Louis L’Amour,” an album by Katie Chiklinski-Cahill paying tribute to Louis L’Amour, first place.
title writing, “Go Ahead, Walk on Me,” by David Buck, a print headline on the story of 5.5 miles of repaired trails after the 416 Fire, in First Place.
Editorial cartoon by Wes Powell
editorial cartoon, a collection of cartoons for To informby Wes Rowell, 1st place.
The judges wrote, “These editorial cartoons made me laugh at all three of Colorado’s weather, which can be unpredictable on a good day.”
News Reporting – Single Story, “Snowplowing Pinch,” by Aidan Hannon about the so-called great resignation killing city, county and state snowplow drivers in second place.
business News, “Disputes over permitting Nugget Mountain Bar and La Plata County,” by Aidan Hannon, second place, about the obstacles a local business faces in dealing with La Plata County regulations.
Science and Technology News, “Durango nonprofit helps build climate, mapping tools to visualize biodiversity of public lands,” about a local company that uses mapping to help policymakers make decisions, including Decisions related to conservation efforts by Aidan Hannon, in second place.
title writing, “Silverton Back on Track,” a print headline about the Silverton economy, which is recovering after the worst of the pandemic, thanks to the second-ranked Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad by David Buck.
single page design, “Saving the Wild Landscapes,” a print page for Southwest Life that included a column by Andrew Gullford by David Buck about saving the great landscape of the American West in second place.
Climate Photography/Videography, “Fire Fighting,” a series of photographs by Jerry McBride, in second place.
Mike Christensen, a seasonal wildland firefighter with the Durango Fire Protection District, cuts a Gambel oak next to a ponderosa pine tree on La Plata County land near the Edgmont Highlands northeast of Durango. The 17-acre county-owned land is covered with oak brush and dense ponderosa – a fire hazard at the forest-urban interface and the perfect opportunity for fire mitigation. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)
News Photography/Videography, The “Jadaah Memorial,” a series of photographs showing the grieving family members of Jada Willamette, a 21-year-old gas station attendant killed in Bayfield by Jerry McBride, is in second place.
podcast, “Living Sports with John Livingston – Sam Vickery,” a 357-mile gravel ride about Sam Vickery, by John Livingston, second place.
sports column, “Live on the Lift: Could It Be Love on the Lift?” About two strangers who may have found love in the lift line at Purgatory Resort, second place by John Livingston.
“A superpower of mine is listening; I find it impossible to tune into the conversations of those around me,” Livingston wrote. “So, detailed past relationships as a woman before me that began by chance in Purgatory, tuned in my ears. it was done.”
feature page design, “To the Moon,” a print page for Arts & Entertainment Second showing a story about a Durango artist’s painting, launched into space by Katie Chiklinsky-Cahill as part of the second lunar time capsule Will go
business enterprise reporting, “Beer Hits Could Shortage Durango Brewers” by second-place Patrick Armijo about supply chain disruptions affecting microbreweries.
breaking news story, About the 48-year prison sentence given to Mark Redwine by Shane Benjamin in second place “Colorado father sentenced to prison for murder of 13-year-old son, Dylan Redwine.”
Ag & Environment Facility, “Bees vs. Mites,” by Shannon Mullen in second place, about bees and beekeepers battling the deadly parasite in southwest Colorado.
health News, “Getting back to normal” by Shannon Mullen about the COVID-19 vaccines helping bring back a sense of normalcy at the second-ranked La Plata County Nursing Home.
mental health facility, In second place Shannon Mullen “caring for the dead” about the emotional toll local coroners and the death penalty faced in dealing with COVID-19 deaths.
La Plata County Corner Jane Smith said, “With the passing of all these people it hurts you mentally sometimes and there’s nothing you can do about it.” “With our job… you put up that wall in a way that isn’t so affected by death. But when you have so many, it kind of eats away at you.”
health News: “Unfulfilled Promise,” about rapid testing remaining elusive in the fight against COVID-19, by Aidan Hannon, third.
single page design, In “Wolf Packs Fate a Mystery,” a Southwest Life page, a wolf rapidly disappears in northwest Colorado that could foreshadow the challenges of a reintroduction attempt by David Buck in third place.
Climate Photography/Videography, “The Drought of Colorado: How a Tribe Is Getting Along,” a series of photographs about water scarcity and the impact on the Ute Mountain Ute tribe, by Jerry McBride, third.
Mike Solberg competes in a bareback riding competition during the Ute Mountain Roundup Rodeo at the Montezuma County Fairgrounds on Friday night. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)
Sports Photography/Videography, “Bronc Busting” a series of photographs by Jerry McBride in third place.
News Photography/Videography, “Injured Falcon,” Photographs of a Wounded Red-Tailed Falcon at Hermosa, by Jerry McBride, third place.
Steve McClung, District Wildlife Manager of Colorado Parks and Wildlife, captures an injured red-tailed hawk in Hermosa after capturing the bird to take to the vet for investigation. It appears that the bird’s wing has been injured. (Jerry McBride / Durango Herald)
podcast, “Living Sports with John Livingston – Riley Amos” about a rising star in international mountain biking in third place by John Livingston.
sports column, “Live on the Lift: Celebrating an Old Season and New Life,” by John Livingston, 3rd place, about the end of the ski season.
Features abbreviation, “Young Durango Book Store owner navigates the pandemic,” said Evan Schertz about taking over the ownership and operation of Maria’s Bookshop, third-placed Jonathan Romeo.
Science and Technology News“What Went Wrong? Local Propulsion Engineer Weighs in on ISS Tumbles,” a story that speaks to the insight of a local propulsion engineer when a Russian spacecraft inadvertently pushed its thrusters to the International Space Station. tumbling 1½ times, Patrick Armijo, third.
General reporting – series or package, The “Labor Shortage Series”, a package of stories by Shannon Mullen, Patrick Armijo and Aidan Hannon examining labor shortages in Durango’s service industry, ranked third.