The awards, sponsored by The Associated Press and Oklahoma News Executives, included entries from newspapers in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas during the 2008 calendar year. The Oklahoman
competed in Division A, the highest circulation division.
won two awards for coverage of the May tornado that killed seven people in Picher — first place in spot news and the sweepstakes in the Division A spot news category.
Nolan Clay and Randy Ellis won first in investigative reporting for stories in August about workers’ compensation funds that became political donations.
The staff also won first place in spot sports reporting for stories about the July death of Oklahoma native and New York Yankee great Bobby Murcer.
Steve Lackmeyer took first in the business feature category for a series of stories in January and February about Indian workers who were drawn to Tulsa to work for the John Pickle Co., where they were held against their will and paid $2 an hour.
David Zizzo won first in the features category for a first-person account of his first solo parachute jump in July.
John Rhode took first for sports columns in February, March and April about basketball coaches Kelvin Sampson and Bill Self and for a column about Morgan Snowden, a 7-year-old leukemia patient and Lomega basketball fan.
Brandy McDonnell won first for reviews, including one of the March 2008 animated feature, "Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who.”
In the non-page one layout category, Valerie Blackburn won first place for an April 14 design of the You section. Todd Pendleton took first in the page one deadline layout category for three layouts from July to October.