Green Bay Press-Gazette journalists receive 13 Wisconsin Newspaper Association awards, including 4 firsts

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MADISON - The Green Bay Press-Gazette took home 13 awards, including four first places, at the annual Wisconsin Newspaper Association 2022 Better Newspaper Contest on Friday.

The Press-Gazette also contributed to a first-place USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin series.

The contest received 2,230 entries from 106 newspapers, which are separated in most categories by readership size and daily versus weekly publications. The Arkansas Press Association judged this year's eligible entries, which were published between Sept. 1, 2021, and Aug. 31, 2022.

First-place awards

  • Reporter Kendra Meinert for feature story profiles. This included her profile of Pippa Pepper, the “itty bitty flower shop kitty” at Petal Pusher in Green Bay and of Vicky Lepak, the iconic server at Kroll's West who has been serving up butter burgers for 63 years.

  • Reporter Natalie Eilbert of the Press-Gazette and Chris Mueller, formerly of The Post-Crescent in Appleton, for investigative reporting. They wrote about how state Rep. Shae Shortwell was referred for felony child abuse before he was elected but never charged. The judges wrote, "Sometime the only punishment some people receive is exposure in the newspaper. Great job of exposing the hypocrisy, favoritism and irony associated with this public servant and his dealing with police. No doubt your readers asked themselves: “What if it had been me? Would I have been treated so kindly?”

  • Reporter Jeff Bollier for enterprise/interpretive reporting. Bollier looked at the affordable housing crisis in northeastern Wisconsin. The judges said, "The work of the reporters, the art and graphics all stood out."

  • Reporter Alexandria Bursiek Kloehn for business coverage of the Green Bay area while she was with the Press-Gazette, including how Interstate 41 opened Green Bay to growth but at a cost to the downtown. She is now a business reporter for The Post-Crescent.

  • Reporters and editors for the Press-Gazette and The Post-Crescent for ongoing/extended coverage for their work on the Home is Here series, which used U.S. Census Bureau numbers to look at how the region is changing.

Photography award winners

Junior's Boxing Club owner Javier Becerra, left, oversees a sparring match between two young boxers at his gym on March 31, 2022, in Green Bay.
Junior's Boxing Club owner Javier Becerra, left, oversees a sparring match between two young boxers at his gym on March 31, 2022, in Green Bay.

Photojournalist Sarah Kloepping received second place in the category sports action photo for her photo essay on young boxers at Junior’s Boxing Club. The judges said that "nice use of composition made the photo stand out."

Kloepping also received a second place in the visual storytelling category for her “The Night Before Christmas at Lambeau Field." The judges wrote: "This was incredibly creative and kept me captivated the entire time."

She also got a third place and her look at memorable field goals and soccer goals ahead of the soccer exhibition in July at Lambeau Field.

Kloepping also got a third place in the sports feature photo category for her picture of a Packers player riding a little girl's bike during training camp and an honorable mention for the artistic photo of Lambeau as a Christmas decoration.

For the Packers bike ride photo, the judges said, "The juxtaposition of player and child makes this image work."

Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Zach Tom (50) rides the bike of a young Packers fan in the Green Bay Packers DreamDrive on the first day of training camp July 27, 2022, in Green Bay.
Green Bay Packers offensive lineman Zach Tom (50) rides the bike of a young Packers fan in the Green Bay Packers DreamDrive on the first day of training camp July 27, 2022, in Green Bay.
The Lambeau Field Atrium and holiday decorations are photographed through a crystal sphere on Dec. 13, 2021, in Green Bay.
The Lambeau Field Atrium and holiday decorations are photographed through a crystal sphere on Dec. 13, 2021, in Green Bay.

Former Press-Gazette photographer Samantha Madar took third place in the sports action photo for her photo of a Davante Adams catch and third place for artistic photo, for her shot of Mark Patel, co-owner of Luna Coffee Roasters.

Mark Patel, co-owner of Luna Coffee Roasters, poses for a portrait at his coffee shop, April 1, at Luna Coffee Roasters in De Pere.
Mark Patel, co-owner of Luna Coffee Roasters, poses for a portrait at his coffee shop, April 1, at Luna Coffee Roasters in De Pere.

Other reporter awards

Reporter Jeff Bollier received third place in the business coverage category for a number of stories including Allouez's village center and Wrightstown's booming growth.

Richard Ryman received an honorable mention for business coverage for his stories on the Packers game in London and how the "Rust Belt" moniker should be retired, among other stories.

USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin wins three awards

In addition to Home is Here award, the USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin won two award:

This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Green Bay Press-Gazette receives 13 newspaper association awards