Recognition from the Society of Professional Journalists

Two Chronicle newspaper staffers and a freelance photographer have won awards for their journalistic efforts in 2009 from the Society of Professional Journalists. Sports editor Al Camp, publisher Roger Harnack and amateur photographer Nicole Davis were recognized May 22, during the SPJ’s annual awards banquet in Seattle. None of the other local newspapers serving the Okanogan and Ferry counties area won an award. The competition included journalists from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.

Al brought home the biggest award in North Central Washington,winning first place in sports photography, as well as taking second in portfolio and third place in news photography. His winning photo, “Omak goes down fighting,” was published April 8. The photograph was of Omak High School catcher Marcy Harris tagging Cashmere’s Ali Wisencove in the side of the head and knocking her to the ground during a fastpitch softball game.

Al’s portfolio award included that photograph as well as images of the Oden Road Fire, Brewster High School soccer, Omak High School volleyball, Omak Stampede, the annual Ride to Rendezvous wagon train, a house fire, an injured deputy being rescued and an emotional photo of murder victim Michelle Kitterman’s family. The house fire image also garnered Al his third place award for news photography.

Roger took second place in column writing with his “On the Hot Seat” column. The award was based on columns criticizing the Omak School District’s lack of understanding in making policies relating to children of divorce, the rush to judgment of accused killer Kino Gomez and the visit of the road crew for country music superstars Brooks and Dunn.

Nicole, the freelancer, took second place in news photography for her “Lightning Strikes Again” image, taken during an intense storm July 26 near Monse.