DES MOINES, Iowa --- The Courier's coverage of two missing cousins garnered the paper several awards Friday at the 2012 Iowa Newspaper Association and The Associated Press Managing Editors contests.
The Courier won first place in spot news from the AP for its story on the bodies of the girls being found Dec. 5. The story was written by Jeff Reinitz and Tina Hinz.
Online Editor Chris Essig won first place for the online package he created on the missing girls case.
Photographers Matthew Putney and Dawn J. Sagert won first place in the AP contest for their coverage of Elizabeth Collins' funeral. Sagert also won third place in the Iowa Newspaper Association contest for a picture she took of Elizabeth's father, Drew Collins, as he knelt by Meyers Lake in Evansdale during a vigil service when the girls were still missing.
Here is a rundown of the other awards the Courier won:
--- Total newspaper design: first place
--- Best special section, advertising: first place, Pulse magazine
--- Coverage of agriculture: third place
--- Best headline writing: third place
--- Best sports columnist: third place, Jim Sullivan
--- Best news photo: second place, Rick Chase (soldier returning home)
--- Best breaking news photo: second place, Matthew Putney (fire in Sans Souci area)
--- Best feature photo/ photo story: third place, Rick Chase (dog show)
--- Best advertisement featuring miscellaneous, third place
--- Best ad designer, second place, Amanda Hansen
Associated Press awards
--- Investigative Reporting: second place, Dennis Magee, for his story on the arrest of the Independence mayor; third place, sports writers Jim Sullivan, Jim Nelson, Carson Tigges, Nick Peteros and sports editor Doug Newhoff for their series on UNI athletics call "Dollars and Sense."
--- Business Story: first place, Matthew Wilde, "BPI halts operations."
--- Business Features: first place, John Molseed, "New kids on the block." Second place, Jim Offner, "Deere retiree wins..."
--- Sports Enterprise: first place, Jim Sullivan, Jim Nelson, Carson Tigges, Nick Petaros and Doug Newhoff, "Dollars and Sense." Third place, Carson Tigges, Nick Petaros, Jim Nelson and Jim Sullivan, "Small college athletics."
--- Feature Photos: first place, Brandon Pollock, "Birds of a feature are flocking together." Third place, Matthew Putney, "Nature's Wonder."
--- Spots News: third place, Dennis Magee, fire