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R-G journalists earn top honors in contest.

Byline: The Register-Guard

Register-Guard reporters Mark Baker and Jeff Wright, photographer Chris Pietsch and Director of Graphics Rob Romig won first-place awards in the 2006 Society of Professional Journalists Northwest Excellence in Journalism Contest.

Editorial Page Editor Jackman Wilson won an honorable mention in the editorial/commentary division.

The awards, announced Saturday, are for work published in 2005 in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The Register-Guard competed against other newspapers with daily circulations exceeding 65,000.

Baker placed first in the long features category for "A Beautiful Mind," his story on Eugene teenager Alex Ghenis coping as a quadriplegic following a bicycle accident.

Baker also won honorable mention in the sports news category for "Punching in at 50," his story on Eugene boxer Linda Shampang. Shampang retired after suffering a serious brain injury in her first professional fight.

Wright captured first place in the minorities category for his series of stories on "The eXit Files," which described the concerns of minority professionals who said they left the Eugene area because of racist attitudes.

Pietsch won first place for a portfolio of work that ranged from an amputee soldier recuperating from his war injuries to a line of toddlers waiting to take the stage dressed as angels.

Pietsch also won honorable mention in sports photography for a track photo entitled "Wreck at the Pre."

Romig won first place in news page design for work that addressed domestic violence, Hurricane Rita and a shuttle launch.

Other area winners included the Eugene Weekly among alternative newsweeklies, and KVAL and KMTR among mid-size TV markets.

The Eugene Weekly staff took first place in humor for an article entitled "The Regular Garbage." The paper captured second-place awards in government news, consumer/environmental affairs, education and special sections; third-place awards in consumer/environmental affairs and page design; and honorable mention for science and health reporting.

KVAL-TV's Dirk Weishaar captured a first-place award in sports for "Dad vs. Son."
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Title Annotation:General News
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:May 22, 2006
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