Colorado reporters and community media staff received 19 awards in the Colorado Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper competition, which recognized the state’s best journalism for 2021.
Leading the honorees named at a Sept. 17 ceremony at Coors Field was West Metro reporter Rylee Dunn. Dunn, who primarily covers Arvada, received two top spots. Dunn received the top award for Best Series or Sustained Coverage in the Class 4 Division for work on the set and aftermath of Olde Town Arvada, and a top spot in the Best Business/News category for his work. over Namiko’s 30- year history spanning two generations.
Dunn also took second place for Best News Story for his investigative work on a former political candidate charged with identity theft.
Douglas County reporter Elliott Wenzler also won several awards, including first place for Best Health/Business Story for an interview with Dr. John Douglas, the head of the Tri-County Health Department, after a year of the COVID pandemic.
Wenzler received two second honors for feature film (H2O’Brien Pool) and newsreel photography (Homelessness Issues in Douglas County); additionally, she and former journalist Jessica Gibbs were honored in the breaking news category for their coverage of the STEM school shooting trial.
Gibbs took second place for best education story about school districts dealing with racial equity issues.
West Metro reporter Olivia Jewell Love was thrilled to receive her first professional award, winning second place in the health category for an article about Evergreen area RNs tackling burnout nursing professional through healing groups and resources.
South Metro editor Thelma Grimes took first and second place in best supported coverage or series in the Class 6 division. She won first place in a series on the county’s mental health program of Douglas who set standards at the state and national levels. She took second place for a series about delayed medical care due to COVID.
Senior reporter Ellis Arnold won second place in the news writing category for his coverage of Xcel Energy’s concerns over health and real estate values in metro Denver’s south.
Former journalist David Gilbert won two top spots for his in-depth investigation into the Colorado Center for the Blind’s handling of sexual assault allegations.
In another honor, former Jeffco Transcript reporter Bob Wooley won the award for his reporting on the aftermath of the decades following the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.
Washington Park Profile Editor Christy Steadman won second place for Best Corporate Health Story for her work on Denver Hospice.
In advertising and design, the CCM team won four separate awards, with designer Tina Meltzer winning first and second place for print ad design in the Class 4 division. In the Class 6 division, the designer Tom Fildey placed second for best print advertisement.
Designer Ben Wiebesiek won second place in the Lone Tree Voice for Best Page Design.