Darr To Be Great 

BW staff, contributors snag press awards

Staff of BW hustled down to the cavelike environs of the Owyhee Plaza hotel this weekend, for the 2007 Idaho Press Club Awards. Somewhere in between the dinner and the drinks, we picked up a few awards for our labor over the last year.

The top award winner from our shop was BW News Editor Deanna Darr. She staggered home with an armload of plaques. Among her winnings:

•First Place in the Serious Feature category for "Who Holds the Keys," (BW, Feature, Sept. 12, 2007) her report about the private prison industry's influence in Idaho.

•Darr also picked up first place in the Light Feature category for "Garden City Rising," (BW, Feature, July 18, 2007) her story about Boise's red-headed stepchild of a sister city. We have stopped counting the follow-up versions of this story.

•Darr nipped a second place in the Environment Reporting category for her story, "Of Cattle and Fire" (BW, News, Aug. 15, 2007) about how Western fire and grazing policies often collide.

•Darr also picked up a second place in the Education Reporting category for "Held Back" (BW, News, Dec. 19, 2007), about the repeated stumbles of the Idaho Education Department and the State Board of Education.

BW Editor Shea Andersen picked up a first place in the political reporting category for his story about the Idaho Republican Party's infighting. The story, "The Primary Problem," (BW, Feature, Aug. 21) might as well be printed this week.

Andersen also nabbed second place in the Watchdog/Investigative Reporting category for "Pizza For a DUI," (BW, News, March 14, 2007) his story that pulled back the curtain on a Boise Police Department policy that rewards DUI arrest records with pizza dinners.

Nathaniel Hoffman, our legislative correspondent, caught judges' eyes, garnering a second place in the Serious Feature category for "In The Shadows," (BW, Feature, March 21, 2007) his story about Boise sex offenders trying to get past the stigma of their crimes and move on with life.

BW contributor Peter Wollheim helped us sew up the Environment Reporting category with his first place win for "A Fish Story This Big," (BW, Feature, Jan. 17, 2007) about the scary stuff that fish are swimming in these days.

Thanks to staff and contributors, but also to readers, who keep us honest and tell us to keep digging.

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