Good News! Daily Mining Gazette honored

MARQUETTE – Three Daily Mining Gazette writers were lauded last week at the annual Good News Awards presentation in Marquette.

The Good News Awards, which began in 1998, honor local works of excellence in broadcasting, print and on the web that affirm the dignity of people, recognize and uphold universally-recognized human values and uplift and nourish the human spirit. They are sponsored by the religious leaders of the United Methodist, Catholic, Episcopal, Evangelical Lutheran and Presbyterian Churches in the Upper Peninsula region.

The Good News Awards presentation was held Thursday at Marquette’s First Presbyterian Church.

The Daily Mining Gazette picked up two Good News Awards and a certificate of merit in the Daily Newspaper division.

DMG Managing Editor Mark Wilcox said he’s thrilled the Gazette is back in the prestigious Upper Peninsula journalism program.

“The Daily Mining Gazette has a long history of success in the Good News Awards,” Wilcox said. “I was pleased to have several quality entries this year, and very happy the religious leaders agreed by their awards and comments.”

Long-time DMG staff writer Kurt Hauglie received a Certificate of Merit in the Straight News category for his story “31 Backpacks Helping More Children,” about the development of a fledgling non-profit organization dedicated to feeding children in need over weekends.

The judges said Hauglie did a good job of telling the story “about how many groups in the community are taking on the challenge of keeping children fed over the weekend.”

DMG Associate Editor Scott Viau was presented with the Good News Award in the Series Category for “A Soldier’s Story.”

The three-part series looked at the deployment, injury and rehabilitation of Calumet’s Steven Nelson.

In presenting Viau with the honor the Good News Committee said “This series demonstrates the values of patriotism, camaraderie, marital love and faithfulness through the challenges of being injured at war and coming home to heal and be rehabilitated. … we all agree that the selfless maturity, honesty and faithfulness of Steven Nelson are Good News for all of us.”

Wilcox picked up a Good News Award for his column “Family Needed to Share Achievements” in which he drew a parallel between playing a long-desired role on stage and Phil Mickelson’s winning the British Open. Both are only significant with family on hand to share in the accomplishments.

The judges appreciated the comparison calling it “a well-crafted column that wove the local with the international, sports with theater, the personal with the communal and the individual in the context of the family.”

In addition to the Gazette’s awards, the Copper Country was also represented by Finlandia University’s Finnish American Reporter. Writers Annika Rautakoura and David Maki received Certificates of Merit in the Straight News and Feature Story categories respectively.

Joanna Chopp received a Good News Award for her Column “Stop and See the History” and James Kurtti received a Good News Award for his photograph “Russian Orthodox Show their Sisu at Blessing.”

The members of this year’s Good News Awards Jury were Loreene Zeno Koskey representing the Catholic Church, Rev. Geri Hamlen of the United Methodist Church, Rev. Chrys Levesque Hendrick of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Kayla West of the Episcopal Church and Wesley McDermott representing the Presbyterian Church.