Monitor staff earns first place awards for breaking news coverage

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By The Staff

ALBUQUERQUE—(AP) The New Mexico Press Association and New Mexico Associated Press Managing Editors announced the winners of the 2010 Better Newspapers Contest at their annual meeting Saturday.

Carol A. Clark and Jennifer Garcia of the Los Alamos Monitor won first place awards for their breaking news coverage of the Quemazon Montessori School fire.

The Albuquerque Journal and Clovis News-Journal won the overall General Excellence awards for daily newspaper divisions.

The Taos News and El Defensor Chieftain in Socorro received General Excellence awards in the weekly newspaper divisions.

Jason Auslander of the Santa Fe New Mexican won Story of the Year honors for his investigation of problems at Santa Fe County's magistrate court.

The Journalist of the Year award went to Mike Gallagher of the Albuquerque Journal for his investigative series on a scandal involving New Mexico government pension investments.

The winners of those awards were selected from first-place winners in the newswriting categories.

The Associated Press Member of the Year award went to the Alamogordo Daily News. The award is presented each year to the AP member newspaper that best exhibits the news-sharing spirit of the AP cooperative.