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Bulletin/Desert Exposure staff earn state awards


The New Mexico Press Association recognized the best of New Mexico’s newspaper writing, photography and advertising at the Better Newspaper Contest Banquet on Saturday, Oct. 28, in Albuquerque. The awards were handed out at the NMPA 114th Annual Convention, the theme of which was “Still nosy after 175 years.”

The organization recognized newspapers in five divisions. The Las Cruces Bulletin is considered in the Weekly Class 1, for weekly newspapers with a circulation of 6,000 or above, and Desert Exposure is considered in the monthly publication category.

Bulletin winners:

Bulletin editor and publisher Richard Coltharp: Columns – second place with “Bill helps NM Doctors, half of them anyway,” about the high malpractice suit limits in New Mexico and how it is a deterrent for doctors to work in the state. Coltharp also was recognized for Sports Columns – first place with “Why not us Aggies,” about NMSU’s bowl game, and second place with “If you know Aggie sports, you know Jack,” about longtime NMSU announcer Jack Nixon’s induction into the state’s broadcasting hall of fame.

Reporter Mike Cook took first place in News Writing with “Legislative proposal smells like green spirit,” about State Sen. Bill Soules’ bill to make the smell of roasting green chile the state’s official aroma. The judge wrote, “You took a small story and made it very interesting and readable.”

Reporter Elva K. Österreich won a second place in the Review category with “Falling out of the box with ‘RAW,’” her review about an exhibit by artist Sonya Fe.

Desert Exposure:

Österreich received Best Feature Story for “Becoming an alien: Esposito immerses himself in his roles.” The judge wrote of the story about Giancarlo Esposito, who was in town for the Las Cruces International Film Festival, “The story does a good job of taking a well-known actor and giving him genuine tie to the local area beyond an event.”

And the award for Front Page Design, the judge said, “Covers are full of eye catching, attention getting color and art…”