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Sun-Times takes top honors in 2 news contests

Updated: June 19, 2014 6:36PM

Chicago Sun-Times staffers have taken top honors in two statewide journalism competitions.

Sun-Times staff members got 11 first-place honors in the Illinois Associated Press Media Editors awards, tops among large-circulation newspapers.

They also won the contest’s two top prizes: “sweepstakes” awards recognizing the best news-editorial entry in the entire competition among the biggest news organizations and the best photo entry, as well as “news innovator of the year” honors.

In a separate competition, the Illinois Press Association gave the newspaper 10 first-place honors, as well as its “sweepstakes award” for the best overall showing among big-circulation papers.

Recognized with first-place awards in the Associated Press contest were:

Jessica Koscielniak and Peter Holderness, multimedia storytelling and also enterprise story — for “The Ripple Effect: Putting Ashley Hardmon to Rest,” about the aftermath of the shooting death of a Chicago teenager. The multimedia project also won the overall editorial sweepstakes prize.

Koscielniak, picture story — for her photo package with “The Ripple Effect: Putting Ashley Hardmon to Rest,” which also won the photo sweepstakes prize.

Staff, newspaper website — for

Tim Novak and Chris Fusco, investigative reporting — for the series “Tarnished Badges,” on disparities in police discipline in Chicago.

Fusco and Monifa Thomas with Tony Arnold of WBEZ-FM, enterprise series — for “DCFS’ Faces of Failure.”

Novak, business reporting — for the series “Burke’s Law,” on Ald. Edward M. Burke’s legal practice.

Staff, entertainment news — for “Roger Ebert: 1942-2013,” on the death and life of the Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic.

Stefano Esposito, feature — for a story about a Northwest Side woman who gave birth via C-section and had life-saving cancer surgery on the same day.

Jessica Sedgwick, page design — for a fashion layout in the Sunday Splash section.

Max Rust, informational graphic — for “High Octane,” on Chicago’s highest-in-the-nation gasoline prices.

The AP citation for innovation went to Paul Saltzman and Chad Merda for creating the website “The Killing of David Koschman.”

In the Illinois Press Association contest, the first-place awards went to:

Staff, best website — for m.

Staff, best web project — for Homicide Watch Chicago.

Fusco, Thomas and Arnold, investigative reporting — for “DCFS’ Faces of Failure.”

Rick Telander, sports news — for “Beaten but undaunted,” on a downstate Illinois high school football team that lost a state championship days after a devastating tornado hit their town, destroying the homes of 10 players.

Staff, news reporting — for “Roger Ebert: 1942-2013.”

Novak, business and economic reporting — for “Burke’s Law.”

John W. Fountain, original column — for a selection of three columns.

Koscielniak, general news photo — for a photo showing the path of destruction of a downstate tornado.

Tom Frisbie, Tom McNamee and Kate N. Grossman, editorials — for editorials demanding support and funding for the Illinois Torture Inquiry and Relief Commission.

McNamee, Grossman and Frisbie, editorial page — for two editorial pages.

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