Eleven Tucson Weekly writers won a total of 18 awards in the Arizona Press Club's annual contest, including nine first-place honors. The awards were announced Saturday, May 12, in Laveen, Ariz.
Margaret Regan won a remarkable four first-place awards--two of those awards in all-publications categories, meaning she beat out every other writer in the state. She took top statewide honors for "Priestly Tales" (March 16, 2006) in the religion, faith or values reporting category, and for "Men in War" (Dec. 14, 2006) in the visual and performing arts criticism category.
She also earned mid-size publication first-place awards for "Event Cut Short" (Sept. 21, 2006) in the politics and government reporting category, and for "Back to Mexico" (Sept. 7, 2006) in the public safety reporting category.
James DiGiovanna and Stephen Seigel joined Regan in earning statewide honors for criticism. DiGiovanna's "'Up' With People" (Oct. 5, 2006) beat out 28 other entries in the film, video and television criticism category, while Seigel took the top prize for "Tunes for the Holidays" (Dec. 21, 2006) in the music criticism category.
Renée Downing won two awards in all-publications categories, including one top prize, in the environmental reporting category for "Bad Grass" (March 30, 2006). She took home second place for "For the Kids" (May 18, 2006) in the health reporting category.
Tom Danehy also earned two awards in all-publications categories: second place in diversity reporting for "Growing Up Black in Tucson" (Oct. 19, 2006), and honorable mention for first-person column writing. Danehy also won a third-place award for sports reporting for mid-sized publications, for "Courting Trouble" (April 27, 2006).
Leo W. Banks won two first-place awards for mid-sized publications: in the environmental/health reporting category for "A Matter of Numbers" (Jan. 19, 2006), and in the lifestyle reporting category for "A New Billy the Kid?" (April 13, 2006).
Catherine O'Sullivan won second place for humor column writing for all publications, while Jim Nintzel and Saxon Burns shared a third-place award for immigration reporting for all publications with "Death and Taxes" (May 25, 2006).
Tim Vanderpool won both second place and third place in the business reporting category for mid-sized publications: for "Bodies 'n' More" (Jan. 26, 2006) and "Accidental Tourists" (Feb. 23, 2006) respectively.
Jimmy Boegle earned third place for "Unearned Credits" (April 13, 2006) in the education reporting category for mid-sized publications.
Chris Hawley, the Mexico City reporter for The Arizona Republic, took top honors as the Virg Hill Journalist of the Year. Julia Zolondz of the East Valley Tribune was named Designer of the Year, while Michael Chow of the Republic was named Photojournalist of the Year for the seventh time. Thelma Grimes, of the San Pedro Valley News-Sun and the Vail Sun--newspapers that are, like the Weekly, owned by Wick Communications--nabbed the Community Journalist of the Year honor.
Finally, the town of Marana won the not-so-prestigious Brick Wall Award, for refusing to turn over records to The Explorer regarding former Parks and Recreation Director Ron Smith, who suddenly quit his job in March 2006. The Explorer sued and won the release of the records, which revealed that Smith had used his work computer to access pornography.