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Six SPJ Page One Awards go to MinnPost staff

Sharon Schmickle and Beth Hawkins win first-place awards, for rural-youth and education coverage.

Six SPJ Page One Awards go to MinnPost staff

MinnPost writer Sharon Schmickle took first place for Best Continuing Coverage/Online and Beth HawkinsLearning Curve was named Best Independent Blog on Tuesday in the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists’ Page One Awards for excellence in journalism.

Individual awards also went to MinnPost writers Doug Grow, Cynthia Boyd and Ron Meador. A team award went to Joel Kramer, Corey Anderson, Kaeti Hinck and the newsroom. The awards were presented at a ceremony and banquet at the Town and Country Club in St. Paul Tuesday night.

Schmickle was honored for her long-form profiles of rural youth in the yearlong project “Rural Minnesota: A generation at the Crossroads.” Hawkins was honored for her overall work in Learning Curve, MinnPost’s education blog. And Meador’s Earth Journal took third place in the Best Independent Blog category.

Grow took second place in the Journalist of the Year Special Award category, and Cynthia Boyd and Jeff Severns Guntzel took second place in the Best Single News Story/Online category for “Poverty surging in Twin Cities’ suburbs.” The team entry garnered third place for Best Website.

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Among this year’s notable award winners were Richard Meryhew and Glenn Howatt of the Star Tribune, who took home the Peter S. Popovich Award for their investigation of the Minnesota Board of Medical Practice, and Journalist of the Year Brandon Stahl of the Duluth News Tribune.