(Copyright 2002. The Bristol Press. All rights reserved.)

May 24, 2002

The Bristol Press and The Tattoo garner 16 journalism awards

HAMDEN -- The Bristol Press and teen journalists from The Tattoo captured 16 awards in the annual Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists contest Thursday.
First place winners for the Press were sportswriter Jack Lautier, photographers Mike Orazzi and Brian Totin -- who together claimed top honors in every photo category -- City Hall reporter Steve Collins, business reporter Jackie Majerus and correspondents Joe Wilbur and Amanda Lehmert.

Coverage of last summer's X Trials, a combined effort of staff members of The Tattoo and The Bristol Press, won first place in the feature series category.

"The writers went to extremes to cover every possible angle of the X Trials in Bristol last summer," wrote the judges.

Staff writers Majerus and Collins and correspondents Lehmert and Wilbur joined Tattoo writers Katie Jordan, Sarah Jordan, Mike Nguyen, Sam Yosafi, and Sara Greene, all from Bristol Eastern High School, Jen Plonski of Chippens Hill Middle School and Kaishi Lee, a Singapore teen, on coverage of the X Trials that spanned many months.

Lautier took first place in the sports feature category for a piece that ran on Thanksgiving Day called "Fallen but not forgotten," about Bristol Central High School football standout Tim Washington and his friend Jason Csida, who died in a sledding accident.

"Good hook," said the judges, who also said Lautier's story included "great quotes."

Orazzi won first place in the sports photo category with a photo he called "Game-ending run." The judges applauded the shot for its "peak action." Orazzi took an honorable mention in the same category for a photo called "Head Stand."

Totin took two first place prizes for his photographs, one in the feature category for "Preparing to improve city ponds."

"We liked the painterly quality," the judges wrote.

In the news photo category, Totin won for "Ride ends in tears," a shot of passengers stuck on the Zoomerang roller coaster at Lake Compounce last summer.

"The picture was well executed with strong emotions," wrote the judges.

Collins grabbed a first place in the opinion column category for a piece he wrote called "Anthrax cases hit close to home." In it, he wrote of his personal connection to the anthrax scare on Capitol Hill.

In the business category, Majerus won first place for her piece about two workers who were submerged in chemicals when tanks collapsed in a Broad Street factory last year. It was the ninth year in a row that she placed first in that category.

Majerus took second place in the business category for a story she wrote about a union worker at Cerro Fabricated Products who spoke out against the strike at the factory last year.

Five writers from The Tattoo -- Plonski, Nguyen, Yosafi and Danielle Letourneau and Cassie Nowak of Bristol Central High School -- took first place in the arts and entertainment category.

The students produced a package of stories and photographs for the Oct. 15, 2001 edition that offered dueling reviews of The Haunted Graveyard at Lake Compounce, a Halloween attraction that draws thousands eager for a fright. Yosafi wrote that he never even flinched while Nguyen said his group was pushed forward in fear from "a huge, dizzying array of monsters, ghosts and more monsters."

It was the fifth year in a row that The Tattoo claimed the top prize in the arts and entertainment category.

Orazzi took a second place in the feature photo category for a shot called "Tasty learning."

Press reporter Olivia Lawrence took second place in the spot news category for a story called "Unions protest plight of workers."

Tattoo writers Katie Jordan and Nguyen placed second in the investigative series category for their work on a package of stories about safety in extreme sports.

Lawrence and Press reporter Kristen Turick took second place in the category for a single investigative story for their piece called “Methodone provided in different settings.”

Tattoo writers Nguyen and Sarah Jordan won an honorable mention in that category for a story called, “Memo details school response to threats.”

In the in-depth category, Turick won an honorable mention for her story, “Firsthand accounts given of Tuesday attacks.”

All awards to the Press and The Tattoo were in the circulation category of 25,000 or less. All the winning Tattoo stories can be viewed on the group's web site at www.ReadTheTattoo.com.

Thomaston Express' Mike Chaiken won two honorable mentions in the contest in the community non-daily, in-depth category.

The Herald Press, the combined Sunday edition of Journal Register Co. papers in Bristol, New Britain and Middletown, won a first-place award in the investigative category for papers with 25,000 to 50,000 circulation. The story, by Brian Schubert, was "Candidate owed cash."

The entries were judged by journalists in New Jersey, Washington, Pennsylvania, New York, Michigan and Maine.

To read The Tattoo's award-winning stories, click on links below.

Click here to read The Tattoo's X Trials stories

Click here to read Tattoo story about the safety of extreme sports

Click here to read about The Haunted Graveyard

Click the links below to read The Tattoo's coverage of a student arrested for allegedly threatening to blow up a high school.

Memo details school response to threats

Friend says Coons no threat