With all of the criticisms I level at The Joplin Globe on a regular basis, there is no doubt that some excellent journalists work at the newspaper though their talents are often sorely misused by their editors.
Staff writer Jeff Lehr has been turning out quality work for years and his skills were rewarded by judges from North Dakota and South Dakota today when he picked up four awards, including first place in spot news among medium-sized newspapers at the annual Missouri Associated Press Managing Editors Convention in Branson.
Lehr's award was for "Trail of Slayings," according to the AP article. He also took third place in that category with his coverage of storm damage in Fort Scott, Kan.
His coverage of the shooting of eight-year-old Braxton Wooden by Wooden's foster brother won third place in the community affairs/public interest category while he also took second in feature writing for "I Knew What I Had to Do."
Lehr was not the only multiple winner on the Globe staff. Talented young sportswriter Ryan Malashock, who surely is headed for greener pastures sometime in the near future, captured first place in spot sports for "Cubs Earn Emotional Victory," and he finished second in sports feature writing for "Renewed Appreciation."
Derek Spellman finished first in sports feature writing with "The Season" and also topped the feature writing category with the same story.
Other Globe winners included: Jim Fryar, second place in spot sports for his coverage of the death of Missouri Southern State University's football coach; Jeff Wells, second place, community affairs/public interest for his reporting on two Joplin police officers harassing and intimidating an 11-year-old.