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The Oklahoman secures top awards, sweepstakes

FROM STAFF REPORTS Modified: April 11, 2010 at 1:30 pm •  Published: April 11, 2010
TULSA — The Oklahoman won first place in general excellence and won best Web site in the 2009 Carl Rogan Awards announced Saturday night in Tulsa.

The awards, sponsored by The Associated Press and Oklahoma News Executives, included entries during the 2009 calendar year. The Oklahoman competed in Division A, the highest news circulation division.

In addition to the top awards for a printed newspaper and Web site, The Oklahoman’s Nolan Clay won the Sweepstakes award for the "Dying Too Young” series and photographer John Clanton won the Photography Sweepstakes for his body of work in 2009. In addition, The Oklahoman won 15 individual first-place honors and 40 total individual awards.

Some of the stories recognized included a package analyzing the deaths of hundreds of Oklahoma children in 2006 and 2007 for reasons as varied as illness, abuse and car accidents; a series of stories on Norman author Jim Chastain, who died in December after a battle with cancer; and a column on Christian Heritage baseball coach Clint Littlejim, who was given a second chance after causing a woman’s death while driving drunk as a teenager and now uses his experience to mentor young people.

Three staff members won multiple first-place awards.

Award winners

Sweepstakes: Nolan Clay, "Dying Too Young" series.

Photography Sweespstakes: John Clanton.

The Oklahoman staff took first place in Spot Sports Reporting for coverage of the University of Oklahoma's appearance in the 2009 BCS Championship football game against Florida.

Other first place winners were:

Nolan Clay, Public Service Reporting

Clay led the coverage of a package titled "Dying Too Young," an analysis of the deaths of hundreds of Oklahoma children in 2006 and 2007 for reasons as varied as illness, abuse and car accidents.

Don Mecoy, Business Spot News Reporting, Business Feature Reporting

Mecoy won two first place awards. One was for a story about chemical company Tronox filing for bankruptcy after claiming it could not cope with the debt of its former parent company, Kerr-McGee. Mecoy also won a first place for a feature story on FaithShares Trust, a financial company aimed at attracting Christians seeking investments that don't conflict with the tenets of their faith.

Ken Raymond, Feature Writing, Sports Feature Writing

Raymond won two first place awards for his feature writing. The first award-winning series was "Life is Real," in which Raymond reported the ongoing struggles of a man suffering from terminal cancer. The subject of the stories, Norman author Jim Chastain, died in December. Raymond also won in the Sports Feature Writing category for "Ring Masters," about Oklahoma City's local professional wrestling scene.

Berry Tramel, Sports Columns

Tramel won for a column about Christian Heritage baseball coach Clint Littlejim. As a teenager, Littlejim drove drunk and killed a woman. He was given a second chance when the victim's husband requested he not go to jail. Littlejim took advantage of the second chance and uses his story and life experience as a lesson for the kids he coaches.

Carrie Coppernoll, Personal Columns

Coppernoll took on a year-long series of columns about volunteering that won her a first place. The columns, titled "A year of giving," featured her experience working with a variety of non-profit groups on projects. In one of the winning columns, Coppernoll wrote about working with the Alzheimer's Association, which brought up fears and memories of her own experience losing a grandmother to the disease.

Amy Raymond, Page One Deadline Layout

Raymond won for her layout of the "Dying Too Young" package. Raymond illustrated the front page story with small photos of more than 30 of the children profiled in the package, along with a timeline showing how the number of child deaths in the state has changed over the years.

Vallery Brown, Best New Journalist

Brown works on The Oklahoman's Watchdog desk. Her work in 2009 included stories about a county sheriff who lost his job after providing alcohol to a teenager, overcharging on medical bills and telemarketer scams.

David McDaniel, Spot News Photo

Sarah Phipps, Sports Photo, Feature Photo, Photo Package

John Clanton, General News Photo

Other winners:

Investigative Reporting: Vallery Brown, second; Randy Ellis, third

Public Service Reporting: Ron Jackson and John Clanton, honorable mention

Business Spot News Reporting: Steve Lackmeyer, third

Business Feature Writing: Don Mecoy, third

Spot News Reporting: The Oklahoman staff, honorable mention

General News Reporting: Ron Jackson, second

Spot Sports Reporting: Jake Trotter, third

Sports Columns: Jenni Carlson, third

Personal Columns: J.E. McReynolds, third

Non-Page One Layout: Matt Clayton, second

Page One Deadline Layout: Matt Clayton, second

Headlines: Erica Smith, third

Graphics/Illustrations: Phillip Baeza, second

Spot News Photo: Chris Landsberger, second; John Clanton, third; Jim Beckel, honorable mention

Sports Photo: David McDaniel, honorable mention

General News Photo: Sarah Phipps, third; Chris Landsberger, honorable mention

Feature Photo: Paul B. Southerland, third; Paul Hellstern, honorable mention

Photo Package: Bryan Terry, third

Web Site Photo: Chris Landsberger, second; Sarah Phipps, third


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