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The Citizen snags six awards in MPA Better Newspaper Contest

October 09, 2013 - The Citizen news staff has been honored with six awards in the 2013 Michigan Press Association's (MPA) Better Newspaper Contest.

Members of the Nebraska Press Association reviewed 3,108 entries submitted by 114 Michigan newspapers in this year's contest. The Citizen competes in the weekly B division, among newspapers with circulations of 10,001-25,000.

Since 2005 The Citizen has received 21 MPA awards including two for General Excellence.

The results are released during National Newspaper Week, Oct. 6-13.

Winning individual awards for The Citizen were Editor David Fleet, who received second place in the news photo category for "Home." The photo, which judges called "emotional," captured Goodrich High School student Baylee Merkel in a teary embrace with her father, Army Command Sergeant Major Bryan Merkel, who returned sooner than expected from an Afghanistan deployment and surprised his daughter in the GHS cafeteria.

Staff Photographer Patrick McAbee also received a nod for his photography skills, winning third place in the feature photo category for "Looking Forward," a close-up shot of Brandon High School graduate Jacob Dolecki in his sunglasses, which reflected fellow graduate Shelby Duff at commencement.

Judges complimented McAbee on the idea and cropping of the picture.

Staff Writer Susan Bromley was honored with four awards, including second place in the photo story category for "Balloon with a View," a story about Bill and Dawn Sterner, owners of Big Sky Hot Air Balloons, which was accompanied by several large, colorful photos. She also received three honorable mentions. In the feature story category, Bromley was recognized for "A daughter's dream wedding," which told the tale of how the community joined forces in an effort to have a dying father see his child get married. A judge commented, "Heartwarming— I loved this story! There were just so many entries (66) in this category, but please know this story is very, very good."

In the sports news category, Bromley was honored for "Home Run," in which Lori Mancini celebrated her 56th birthday by running the 10-Mile Crim race and then rushed to the airport to welcome her son Logan home from Afghanistan.

Lastly, in the sports feature category, Bromley was awarded for "Disney Run," her story on Danell Duff, who overcame cancer and as an encore conquered the Disney Marathon.

The Citizen staff is grateful to have the opportunity to capture the life of this community through stories and photographs. If you have a story to share, please contact us at 248-627-4332 or by e-mail at citnews@citnewspaper.com. Thanks for reading!

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