The Belleville News-Democrat on Friday won five first-place awards from the Illinois Press Association for 2012.
Will Buss won first place for business/economic reporting for a story about a metro-east man's encounter and memory of the late Steve Jobs. The judges said, "This story provides fascinating insight and evidence into what a visionary Steve Jobs was. And the local connection makes this absolutely golden. Well done and well told."
Pat Kuhl won first place for sports news for a story about a batboy recalling memories. The judges said, "The writer really captured the essence of this great storyteller."
Teri Maddox won first place for feature writing for a story titled "That's my dad." The judges said the story "answered just about every 'But how does he...?' I had."
Brad Weisenstein won first place for best coverage of taxation for reporting on the Redbird Express.
Steve Nagy won first place in the feature photo category for "Fish fear," which a judge said, "I laughed out loud when I saw this. The father's hands add another layer to an already expressive and hysterical image." Nagy also won third place in this category for a photo titled "Fly daddy."
The BND also won the following awards:
The Sports section and the Lifestyle section each won second place for overall excellence.
Carolyn P. Smith and Brian Brueggemann won second place for best school board coverage for reporting on the state seeking to oust the East St. Louis School Board.
George Pawlaczyk and Beth Hundsdorfer won second place for best investigative/enterprise reporting for "Hidden Suffering, Hidden Death," their series on the lack of protection for disabled adults in Illinois. This series also won third place in the news reporting series category.
The BND won third place for community service for the "We the People" project, a voter's guide to the issues and candidates.
Brian Brueggemann won third place for government beat reporting for "Does the care outweigh the cost?"
Jason Koch won third place in informational graphics for "On the issues," which covered the candidates running for president.
Brad Weisenstein, the late Roger Kramer and the BND staff won third place in special sections for "Our War."
Pawlaczyk and Hundsdorfer won third place in the Illinois Public Policy Institute Award for best promotion of public's right to know for their year-long fight to get workers' compensation records.
Pawlaczyk and Hundsdorfer won third place for best investigative/enterprise reporting for coverage of the state workers' compensation system.
The BND won fourth place in the Stuart R. Paddock Memorial Trophy sweepstakes competition behind the Chicago Tribune, Rock Island Argus and the Chicago Sun-Times.
Nagy won honorable mention in the general news photo category for "Salute to dad."
Zia Nizami won honorable mention in the sports photo category for "Tangled."
Koch won honorable mention for the illustration "Don't let the baby split you up."
Scott Wuerz won honorable mention for government beat reporting for an article about the state's budget crisis.
The BND staff won honorable mention for overall newspaper design.