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3 ‘Examiner’ staff members up for OAPME awards

Three Bellefontaine Examiner staff members were named Wednesday as finalists in the Ohio Associated Press Media Editors’ 2012 newspaper competition.

miriam baier

MIRIAM BAIER

matt hammond

MATT HAMMOND

nate smith

NATE SMITH

Editor Miriam Baier and staff writer Nate Smith are each up for one award, while sports editor Matt Hammond is a finalist in two categories.

They competed in Division II, which includes newspapers with a daily circulation of 8,000 to 12,999.

Mrs. Baier, who has been with the paper for more than 30 years, was honored for her piece titled “Battered, but not broken,” which told the story of her personal battle against breast cancer. She is one of three finalists in the Best Community Service category. Her article ran in conjunction with the Logan County Relay for Life, for which she served as a co-honorary chairman.

Mr. Smith started at the Examiner in late 2010. This is his first nomination for an AP award. He is a finalist for Best Columnist. Among his entries were “Keep the door open when discussing public business” about county officials going into executive session during a public meeting in the wake of the damaged Logan County Courthouse, and “County’s best interest should be first in auditor pick,” about the selection of a new Logan County Auditor.

A 15-year employee of the Examiner, Mr. Hammond was recognized as a finalist in the Best Sports Writer and Best Sports Feature Writer categories.

Among his entries in the Best Sports Feature Writer category was a story on the bond between former Ridgemont High School basketball standout Davante Ratleff and his great-grandmother Marjorie Bayless.

His entries for Best Sports Writer included a column on the Penn State abuse scandal and an Ohio State football game story.

This is the fourth consecutive year Mr. Hammond has been honored by the AP. He has received six previous individual writing awards.

The awards in actual order of finish — first, second and third places — will be announced at the Ohio APME annual convention May 19 in Columbus.

A total of 67 daily newspapers submitted 2,742 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2012.

For Division II, entries were judged by editors from The Courier of Houma, La., and the Times-News of Cumberland, Md.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,500 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of AP include 85 daily newspapers in Ohio.

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