News-Democrat wins second place in awards competition

News-DemocratMay 8, 2013 

— The Belleville News-Democrat won second place in the 2013 Driehaus Foundation Investigative Awards competition for a series about a state agency's failure to investigate the deaths of severely disabled adults who lived at home.

The series, "Hidden suffering, hidden death," was written by Beth Hundsdorfer and George Pawlaczyk and published last year. It resulted in the resignation of the inspector general for the Department of Human Services and a bill currently before the legislature that would transfer the investigation of such deaths to the Illinois Department on Aging.

Hundsdorfer and Pawlaczyk will split $5,000 in prize money.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel took the three remaining award spots. Its entries includes stories about public hunting land, the side effects of prescription drugs, and the failure of the Milwaukee Police Department to properly report crime statistics, which took first place and $10,000.

The awards ceremony was Tuesday night at the James C. Tyree Auditorium.

In 2011, the BND placed third in the multi-state contest, which is sponsored by the Better Government Association. A series of articles written by reporters Mike Fitzgerald and Brian Bruggemann about the questionable handling of delinquent tax properties in Madison County won third place and $1,000.

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