Noelker, graphics staff win first place at press association awards |

Noelker, graphics staff win first place at press association awards

Jim Noelker/Post Independent Photo

Post Independent photographer Jim Noelker won first place for a feature photo from the Yule Marble Quarry, and the paper’s graphics staff won first place for advertising layout and design in the 126th annual Colorado Press Association awards Saturday.

Noelker’s photo depicted a solitary quarry worker dwarfed by massive blocks of marble taken during the quarry staff’s search for a perfect block for the Tomb of the Unknowns at the Arlington National Cemetery.

The graphics staff won for overall excellence in design and placement of advertisements in the April 18, 2003, and June 20, 2003, editions. Members of the graphics staff are ad designers Linda Fleming, Melanie Handl and Patricia Bentley and ad placement designer Dottee Duran.

The Post Independent, with a circulation of 10,500 papers a day, won the awards in the state press association’s Class V category, which includes daily newspapers in the 10,000 to 100,000 circulation range.

Former Aspen Times publisher Andy Stone announced the awards at the close of the Colorado Press Association convention, held at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver.

The Post Independent also won the statewide grand prize for a series of three bloopers, awarded by RORAR, the Royal Order of Raggedy-Assed Reporters. The prize follows the paper’s second-place finish in the same competition a year ago.

Bob Brown, chairman of Colorado Mountain News Media, the Post Independent’s parent company, collected the traveling trophy of a finely crafted wooden toilet seat and lid.

Nominations for the RORAR awards are sent in anonymously and judged by Harrison Cochran, a former publisher of the Bargain Hunter in Glenwood Springs.

“There’s very little judgment or taste applied in making these decisions,” Cochran said Saturday.

He noted that very few items were submitted for this year’s RORAR contest, which either reflects better editing on the part of the state’s newspapers or greater levels of distraction among those who might otherwise take potshots at their rivals in the business.

The Post Independent’s award was based on a trio of items. Only one was an out-and-out error. They were:

– A Post Independent editorial celebrating the 110th anniversary of the Hotel Colorado mentioned Doc Holliday among the hotel’s celebrity guests.

The paper later published a correction noting that Holliday died six years before the hotel was built.

– A full page ad apologizing for putting a Dunlap’s advertising insert in the newspaper a week earlier than it was scheduled to run. The ad apologized for the “premature insertion” of the advertisement. “We should all be so lucky,” Cochran joked.

– A pre-holiday classified ad seeking a carpet layer for a “3 hour quickie.” A follow-up story by staff writer Carrie Click offered a funny look into the kinds of calls the property owner received from women who misunderstood the ad’s intent.

“I’m glad to see that Glenwood is keeping its sense of humor,” Cochran noted in a hallway conversation.

Post Independent staffers took the notorious award in good stride.

“The toilet seat is a traveling award, and the Post Independent looks forward to passing it along to some other worthy publication at next year’s convention,” said Michael Bennett, GSPI publisher.

The Rifle Citizen Telegram, also owned by Colorado Mountain News Media, won a complete sweep in the Class II category for weekly newspapers of 1,750 to 4,000 circulation.

The weekly earned 23 awards for advertising, design, news and feature stories and personal columns, besting all other papers in its class.

Former editor Dale Shrull and the staff of the Citizen Telegram won 13 awards for writing in news, sports and features.

Staff writer Heidi Rice collected a first place prize for best agricultural story.

Designer Melanie Handl won nine awards for page layout and design, graphics, color ads and promotional ads.

The paper also won a first place award for its classified advertising section, which is managed by Christine Holaday Schriock.

As a result, the Citizen Telegram collected sweepstakes awards for advertising, photo and design, and editorial content, and the General Excellence award for best weekly paper in Class II.

The Roaring Fork Valley Journal, the CMNM paper serving Carbondale and Basalt, won four awards.

Office manager Jane Bachrach won first place for best color ad, third place for best small space ad and third place for best photo essay.

Editor John Stroud won third place for best sports column.

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