Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Mon, Nov. 18

Column: Miner picked, panned and picked again

Today is a day of thanks. While we usually run thank you letters in tomorrow's Miner, I am using my space today to publicly praise my staff at the Miner and to sincerely thank our faithful readers.

This tiny rag has snagged 16 awards in the last two weeks, adding eight more Friday to the eight we won on Oct. 11. Not bad for a paper former Mayor Les Byram once called, "the best damn paper in Kingman!"

Okay, he never said that. Probably. Either way, I'm proud of my staff, and I'm delighted to work for a newspaper entirely focused on its readers, who continually challenge us to produce a better product than the one we published the day before.

It's been an up and down two weeks for your Miner.

On Oct. 11, the Arizona Newspaper Association honored the Miner with eight awards, including (my favorites) first place in Community Service/Journalism Excellence and third place in Overall General Excellence. We also took first for Editorial Page Excellence and added five individual honors. It's the most ANAs we've won in the five years I've been here.

Then there were the two messed up headlines on Thursday's front page, followed by the many calls from our faithful readers who took time out of their days to point out the obvious. ("Well, if it was so obvious ..." I know, I know.) Nothing like a typo and a brain-freeze to kick your head out of the clouds.

"That was really stupid" was how one guy described it on a voicemail that greeted me that morning ... and he works at the Miner! Others were less forgiving.

On Friday, your Miner rose again, this time at Western News&Info's annual editorial seminar, which honors individual achievement and was judged by a panel of journalists from across the state.

Miner photographer extraordinaire JC Amberlyn captured four awards, including first place for Feature Photography, second-place honors in News and Sports Photography and third place in Enterprise Writing for her three-part series on bighorn sheep preservation.

Miner Reporter James Chilton took first place for Continuous Coverage for his series of articles on Cornerstone Mission's struggles to keep their permit and third place for Column Writing for his tongue-in-cheek '93 Olds piece thhat appeared in our special Fun Run wrap-around in May. Miner Sports Writer Shawn Byrne won second for Sports Writing with his coverage of basketball, golf and wrestling. Yours truly won first place for my columns on ADOT and meth-heads.

Besides the eight won by Miner staff, current Miner Copy Editor Donna Newman Peairs took home first place in Features/Specialty Writing as editor of the Golden Valley Gazette for her stories about Canadians biking through Golden Valley and a woman who says her husband is the most romantic man in the world.

So, really, that kind of makes 17. Not bad for a paper Councilman "Hothead" Deering once called, "better than the Republic!" Okay, you got me again. Those weren't his exact words, but I do remember something he said about us and the Republic last year. I'm sure it was a compliment.

So, today officially concludes our roller-coaster week here at the Miner, and, thankfully, there were more highs than lows.

Now, would the person who stole the "P" out of Thursday's headline please return it ASAP. There's no way we'll win any awards next year without it.

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