Pilot named best newspaper of its size

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— The Steamboat Pilot & Today won 20 awards, including General Excellence, at the annual Colorado Associated Press Editors and Reporters banquet on Friday night at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

The Pilot & Today won its awards in the category for newspapers with circulations of 10,000 or less. The General Excellence Award is presented to the newspaper judged to be the best overall in its circulation category. The Pilot & Today beat its sister newspaper, the Craig Daily Press, and the Aurora Daily Sentinel for the honor.

The Pilot & Today won a joint honor with the Daily Press in the best series category for Crossing the Line: Immigration in Northwest Colorado. The six-part series explored the effect of illegal immigration on the communities of Craig and Steamboat Springs. Participants in the series included reporter Autumn Phillips, photographer Tyler Arroyo and page designer Allison Miriani of the Pilot & Today and reporter and photographer Michelle Perry of the Daily Press.

Phillips, now the editor in Payson, Ariz., also won four individual awards including first place in beat reporting for her coverage of immigration, first place in feature story, first place in column writing and second place in business writing.

Tom Ross also was honored with a first place in business writing for his story about employment growth in area coal mines. Ross also took third place in environmental writing for a story about the reintroduction of bighorn sheep.

Former reporter Susan Cunningham won second place in environmental writing for a story about pollution control efforts by Xcel Energy.

Photographer Tyler Arroyo won third place in the feature photo category for a photo of a bank of fog rolling over the Yampa Valley in the early morning in December.

Miriani won second place in the informational graphic category for a graphic detailing immigration statistics.

Sports editor John F. Russell won second place in sports column writing. Sportswriter Melinda Mawdsley took third place.

Russell also won third place in the spot news photo category for a picture of a father clasping his hands in joy after his kayaker son was found to be safe.

City editor Brent Boyer took second place in deadline news reporting for his story about a man who survived nine days alone in the backcountry with a broken leg. Ross and former reporter Christine Metz won third place in deadline news reporting for their coverage of the Yampa Valley Air Ambulance crash in Rawlins, Wyo.

The Steamboat Pilot & Today's Web site, www.steamboatpilot.com, was honored in two categories -- second place in breaking news for its updates in the plane crash story and first place in special package for its presentation of the Crossing the Line series on the Internet.

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