MANCHESTER - The New Hampshire Sunday News, New Hampshire Union Leader, The Bedford Bulletin and The Goffstown News won a dozen awards in the New Hampshire Press Association's annual Better Newspapers Contest, which were distributed during a Friday evening banquet at the Executive Court.
Awards were granted in more than 60 categories to Granite State publications in daily, non-daily and collegiate classes.
"The awards recognize the hard work and dedication of our staff. The honors in the investigative and government categories are particularly satisfying, as they show the important role newspapers play as watchdogs of government and their value in serving the public interest," said New Hampshire Union Leader Managing Editor Amy J. Vellucci.
For the weeklies, in the investigative news category, Goffstown News Editor Henry Metz and reporter Dan Moberger took first place for a story on the Free Staters' movement in New Hampshire. The same story earned the two first-place awards for The Goffstown News in the government reporting category.
The Bedford Bulletin took first place for reporter Dan Moberger's story on sports-related concussions.
In the category of government reporting, Union Leader staff reporter Ted Siefer earned second place for a series of stories on Manchester's welfare department, and Nancy West, of the New Hampshire Sunday News, took first place for her special report on the state's prisons.
For investigative reporting, West also won first place for a Union Leader story on police officers and Laurie issues relating to their credibility.
Union Leader staff reporter Tim Buckland earned first place for a feature story on Dr. Brian Gilchrist, Elliot Hospital's then-chief of pediatric surgery.
Several stories received honorable mentions: Union Leader reporter Tim Buckland for his investigative news stories on the controversy surrounding New Hampshire's Local Government Center and its use of taxpayer funds; New Hampshire Sunday News staffer Shawne Wickham in the investigative news story category for her piece on New Hampshire eyeing MADD's deal with a Massachusetts firm; Union Leader reporter Kathyrn Marchocki for her crime reporting on the brutal attack of Dr. Eduardo Quesada and his wife in Bedford; New Hampshire Sunday News, in the general news category, for a story by reporters Shawne Wickham and Tim Buckland on then-House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt's lie about a law school internship; and Union Leader sports reporter Allen Lessels for a sports feature on a teenage race car driver from Goffstown.