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Sky-Hi News’ mental health series honored by Colorado Press Association

Sky-Hi News staff report

The Sky-Hi News garnered more than a half dozen awards for editorial and advertising content during the 2019 Better Newspaper Contest released Tuesday by the Colorado Press Association.

“Really, I think these awards are a testament to the newspaper, to the publisher, the editor before me and the people who won, both as individuals and as a team,” said Editor Eli Pace, who joined the newspaper in July. “I am so grateful to work at such a well recognized newspaper with such a great team in place and legacy that dates back over 75 years now.”

As a team, McKenna Harford, Lance Maggart and former editor Bryce Martin won second place honors in the Best Series and Public Service categories with “They Are Us,” a series that took an in-depth look at mental health issues and services in Grand County.

The judge who decided the category noted it was informative while focusing on a sensitive, often-hidden problem in the community. Most important, the judge added, the reporting prompted action.

Martin won another second place award for Best Informational Graphic, and Harford won second place honors for Best Breaking News Video and Best Headline Writing.

“Colorado weather and wildlife certainly lends itself to great headline writing,” the judge said. “These were fun to read.”

Harford won best breaking news video with a live feed she did from Winter Park Resort when the resort opened a new gondola in December 2018.

For advertising, the Sky-Hi News was ranked first in the Best News Media/House Ad Promotion category for the newspaper’s annual Best of Grand awards. Judges noted the promotion featured “consistent messaging” and a “clean production.”

Also, Publisher Emma Trainor took second place in the Best Real Estate Ad category for an advertisement she did with Keller Williams Realty.

As a staff, the newspaper won first place for Best Website and got a nod for the Best Blooper of the Year with a headline that suggested, “Christmas is right around the coroner.”

A reshuffling of the divisions pitted the Sky-Hi News against a number of larger publications this year, including the Greeley Tribune, Aurora Sentinel, Durango Herald, Denver Westword and more.

“Year after year, this team continues to impress me,” Trainor said. “It was wonderful to be able to hold our own against newsrooms that are two to three times our size. We are just so lucky to live in a wonderful community where we can fulfill our passion, and I look forward to what the next 75 years might bring!”


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