May. 6, 2013  

2013 Sunshine State Awards Finalists

Sunshine State Awards seal2013 Sunshine State Awards



Finalists in each category are presented in alphabetical order by organization


To correct errors or omissions, please contact Tim Dodson,


James Batten Award for Public Service 

  • Sun Sentinel – Sally Kestin & John Maines, Above the Law: Speeding Cops
  • Tampa Bay Times – Alexandra Zayas, In God’s name
  • The Palm Beach Post – Michael LaForgia, Kids in Peril

Diversity Award 

  • Tampa Bay Times – Eric Deggans, Eric Deggans: A collection

First Amendment Foundation Freedom of Information Award

  • WESH-TV – Greg Fox, TextGate

Integrity Florida Award for Public Corruption Reporting

  • Lakeland Ledger – Suzie Schottelkotte, Money in Mulberry

Journalist of the Year 

  • Miami New Times – Michael E. Miller, Death Trap

Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting 

  • Sun Sentinel – Sally Kestin & John Maines, Above the Law: Speeding Cops

Breaking News Reporting (Large)

  • Orlando Sentinel – Arelis Hernandez, Bianca Prieto & Amy Pavuk, 4 dead, 1 hurt in killer’s rampage
  • The Miami Herald – Staff of The Miami Herald, Face Eater
  • The Palm Beach Post – Staff, Isaac had soaking surprise in store

Breaking News Reporting (Small) 

  • Miami New Times – Kyle Munzenrieder , Francisco Alvarado, Gus Garcia-Roberts & Tim Elfrink, Miami Zombie
  • The Gainesville Sun – Jon Silman, Cindy Swirko, Joey Flechas & Chad Smith, Tropical Storm Debby
  • The Gainesville Sun – Staff, Interstate 75 Wrecks

Non-Deadline News Reporting (Large) 

  • Sun Sentinel – Megan O’Matz, John Maines, Bad-Neighbor Banks: How Big Lenders Spread Blight
  • Tampa Bay Times – Staff, Stand your ground
  • The Palm Beach Post – Pat Beall, Medicaid funds flood of oxycodone to the poor

Non-Deadline News Reporting (Small)

  • Florida Weekly Palm Beach Gardens & Jupiter – Athena Ponushis, Life Since Amanda
  • Lakeland Ledger – Jeremy Maready & Lyle McBride, Polk’s Garbage Mess
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Melissa Holsman & Zaimarie De Guzman, Killer with no remorse

Feature Reporting (Large) 

  • Tampa Bay Times – Leonora LaPeter Anton, The agony of Gretchen M.
  • The Miami Herald – Diana Moskovitz, Nubia Barahona – The Life of a Child
  • The Palm Beach Post – Carlos Frias, One Shot

Feature Reporting (Small)

  • Miami New Times – Tim Elfrink, Gun and the Scalpel
  • New Times Broward-Palm Beach – Deirdra Funcheon, Balloon Boy 2012: Three Years After the Hoax, Falcon Heene Fronts a Metal Band
  • The Gainesville Sun – Jon Silman, Teen with disease faces life of eating via a tube


  • Sun Sentinel – Megan O’Matz & John Maines, Bad-Neighbor Banks: How Big Lenders Spread Blight
  • The Miami Herald – Audra D.S. Burch, Frances Robles & David Ovalle, The Trayvon Martin Story
  • The Palm Beach Post – Pat Beall & Adam Playford, Flawed machines, endangered votes

General Commentary & Criticism 

  • Orlando Sentinel – Scott Maxwell, Scott Maxwell portfolio
  • Tallahassee Democrat – Gerald Ensley, Collection
  • The Daytona Beach News-Journal – Mac Thrower, Mac Thrower collection

Arts Commentary & Criticism 

  • Creative Loafing – Mark Leib, Collection
  • Creative Loafing – Megan Voeller, Collection
  • Sun Sentinel – John Tanasychuk, Dining

Editorial Writing 

  • Sarasota News Leader – Robert Hackney, Collection
  • Tampa Bay Times – Tim Nickens, Voting
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Rich Campbell, Collection

Editorial Cartoon

  • Baker County Press – Ed Hall, Portfolio of Cartoons
  • Sun Sentinel – Chan Lowe, Editorial Cartoons by Chan Lowe

Presidential Election Coverage 

  • Lakeland Ledger – Ryan E. Little, Gary White, Jeremy Maready & Matthew Pleasant, The Homestretch
  • Orlando Sentinel – Jim Stratton, Collection
  • The Daytona Beach News-Journal – Derek Catron, Collection

State/Local Election Coverage 

  • The Associated Press – Brendan Farrington, Collection
  • The Miami Herald – Staff, Florida Early Voting
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Jonathan Mattise, George Andreassi & Scott Wyland, Collection

Election Commentary 

  • Creative Loafing – Mitch Perry, Collection
  • Tampa Bay Times – Adam C. Smith, Collection
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Eve Samples, Collection

Beat Reporting – Arts 

  • Fort Myers Florida Weekly – Nancy Stetson, Collection
  • Orlando Sentinel – Matthew Palm, Collection
  • The News-Press – Charles Runnells, Collection

Beat Reporting – Business 

  • Orlando Sentinel – Jason Garcia, Jason Garcia portfolio
  • South Florida Business Journal – Brian Bandell, Squandered bailout for U.S. Century Bank
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal – Jane Meinhardt, Legal Beat

Beat Reporting – Children’s Issues 

  • Orlando Sentinel – Kate Santich, Kate Santich portfolio

Beat Reporting – Community 

  • Lakeland Ledger – Kevin Bouffard, Citrus — An Industry at a Crossroads
  • The Daytona Beach News-Journal – Chris Graham, Chris Graham collection
  • The Gainesville Sun – Morgan Watkins, Alachua County coverage from Morgan Watkins

Beat Reporting – Consumer Issues 

  • Lakeland Ledger – Elvina Nawaguna, Consumer News in Polk County
  • Orlando Sentinel – Richard Burnett, Richard Burnett portfolio
  • Tampa Bay Times – Laura Reiley, Collection

Beat Reporting – Crime/Courts

  • Naples Daily News – Aisling Swift, Collection
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Keona Gardner, Collection
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Melissa Holsman, Collection

Beat Reporting – Education

  • Orlando Sentinel – Lauren Roth, Failed charter pays principal more than $500K
  • The Florida Times-Union – Topher Sanders, Topher Sanders
  • The Miami Herald – Michael Vasquez, Education Beat Reporting

Beat Reporting – Environmental/Health/Science 

  • New Times Broward-Palm Beach – Chris Sweeney, Coral Capers
  • Orlando Sentinel – Kevin Spear, Kevin Spear portfolio
  • Tampa Bay Times – Craig Pittman, The Springs

Beat Reporting – Government/Politics

  • Sun Sentinel – Brittany Wallman, Broward County beat coverage
  • The News-Press – Thomas Himes, Collection
  • The Palm Beach Post – John Kennedy, John Kennedy collection

Beat Reporting – Minority Issues

  • Daily Business Review – Julie Kay, Vala Lopez, Diversity Suffers With Firms in Survival Mode
  • Orlando Sentinel – Arelis Hernandez, Arelis Hernandez portfolio
  • The News-Press – Cristela Guerra, Their desperate search

Beat Reporting – Religion

  • Sun Sentinel – Lois Solomon, Collection
  • The Tampa Tribune – Michelle Bearden, Collection
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Zaimarie De Guzman, Collection

Beat Reporting – Sports

  • Orlando Sentinel – Mike Bianchi, Mike Bianchi portfolio
  • The News-Press – Dan DeLuca, Collection
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Laurel Pfahler, Collection

Special Publication/Section

  • Daily Business Review – Julie Kay & Vala Lopez, Diversity Suffers With Firms in Survival Mode
  • The News-Press – Staff, JetBlue Park
  • The Palm Beach Post – Bruce Moore, Eliot Kleinberg, Storm 2012

Investigative Reporting – Magazine 

  • Ocala Magazine – John Sotomayor, Stand Your Ground
  • Ocala Magazine – John Sotomayor, Zombieland
  • Sarasota Magazine – Tony D’Souza, Eyes Wide Shut

Feature Reporting – Magazine 

  • Boca Raton Magazine – Gaspar Gonzalez, Black Magic Woman
  • Ocala Magazine – John Sotomayor, Stand Your Ground
  • Playboy – Andy Dehnart, Reality on the High Seas

Profile Reporting 

  • Gulfstream Media Group – Jennifer Tormo, Nila Do, Boca Life Magazine – “Forgetting Breast Cancer”
  • Sarasota Magazine – Adam Davies, Saranova and Me
  • Sarasota Magazine – Johannes Werner, Poster Boy

Commentary & Criticism – Magazine 

  • Sarasota Magazine – Frank Galati, War By Other Means
  • Sarasota Magazine – Robert Plunket, From Rudolph to Halston
  • Sun Sentinel – Mark Gauert, Here & Now: With the Editor & Publisher

Trade/Special Interest Publication

  • 850 – The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida – Linda Kleindienst, Larry Davidson, Saige Roberts & Scott Holstein, 850 – The Business Magazine of Northwest Florida
  • Horizons – Horizons Staff, Nova Southeastern University’s Horizons
  • Sun Sentinel – Mark Gauert, City & Shore Magazine

Cover Design

  • Sarasota Magazine – Gigi Ortwein, Sarasota Magazine covers, April, November and December 2012
  • Sun Sentinel – Anderson Greene, Mark Gauert, City & Shore Magazine
  • The News-Press – Lindi Daywalt-Feazel, Kinfay Moroti & Tammy Ayer, Grandeur (January 2012); Grandeur (November 2012); Grandeur (December 2012)

Inside Design

  • Boca Raton Magazine – Lori Pierino, Kathleen Ross, Call of the Wild / Here’s The Beef / Black Magic Woman
  • Sun Sentinel – Anderson Greene, Mark Gauert, City & Shore Magazine
  • The Boca Raton Observer – Scott Deal, Art Director, Look Better Naked

Best Single Issue

  • Tallahassee Magazine – Rosanne Dunkelberger, Larry Davidson & Staff, Tallahassee Magazine – May/June 2012
  • The Boca Raton Observer – Linda Behmoiras, Felicia Levine & Scott Deal, The Boca Raton Observer-January 2012-Health & Fitness Issue
  • The News-Press – Pamela Hayford, Lindi Daywalt-Feazel, Amanda Inscore & Wendy Fullerton, Southwest Florida Parent & Child October 2012

Breaking News Photography (Large) 

  • Orlando Sentinel – George Skene, Falling bear

Breaking News Photography (Small) 

  • The Gainesville Sun – Brad McClenny, Tropical Storm Debby in Cedar Key
  • The Gainesville Sun – Doug Finger, Multi-car crash on I-75 sends two to hospital
  • The News-Press – Kinfay Moroti, Traffic stop turns deadly

Feature Photography

  • Orlando Sentinel – Red Huber, Eagle and prey
  • The Florida Times-Union – Bob Self, Art Walk Faces
  • The Florida Times-Union – Bob Self, Morning Rower

Photography Story

  • The Gainesville Sun – Doug Finger, Mack’s killer gets 1st degree murder
  • The Gainesville Sun – Erica Brough, Rural Florida Community
  • Treasure Coast Newspapers – Eric Hasert, Stuart Air Show

Art/Photo Illustration

  • Creative Loafing – Andrew Spear, The Seven People You’ll Meet at the Convention
  • Orlando Sentinel – Rich Pope, Rich Pope portfolio
  • Sun Sentinel – Tammy Wheatley, 27 Things to Love About FLIFF


  • Sun Sentinel – Cindy Jones-Hulfachor, Sally Kestin & John Maines, Cop blazes through Broward County
  • The Gainesville Sun – Staff, Tragedy on I-75
  • The News-Press – Michael Donlan, Scott Sleeper, Fracking in Florida; Mighty Mo’s final resting place

Front Page Design (Large)

  • Creative Loafing – Todd Bates, The Style Issue, Cat Fight, Lucky 13
  • Miami New Times – Miche Ratto, Collection
  • Tampa Bay Business Journal – Pam Huff & Chris Wilkerson, Tampa Bay Business Journal

Front Page Design (Small)

  • Orlando Sentinel – Staff, Orlando Sentinel front page
  • Sun Sentinel – Lillian Mayor, 17,668
  • The Miami Herald – Robert Cohn, Sports Front Page Design

Best Newscast

  • WFTS-TV – ABC Action News Staff , Kristin Moore & Felicia Burton, Tropical Storm Debby, ABC Action News At 5PM
  • WFTV-TV – Kim Bottom & Staff, WFTV Entry – 11pm Newscast 11/27/12

Investigative Reporting 

  • WBBH-TV – Lauren Bernaldo, Matthew Apthorp, Andy Pierrotti, Voter Investigation
  • WFTS-TV – Michael George & Randy Wright, Private Information Made Public
  • WTSP-TV – Mike Deeson, Tony D’Astoli & Paul Thorson, FINR Abuse

Spot News Reporting 

  • WBBH-TV NBC-2 News – Nina Moini, Nina Moini Spot News Reporting
  • WFTS-TV – Kristin Moore, Jacqueline Ingles & Scott Wilson, I-75 Pileup
  • WFTV-TV – Staff, DeLand Publix Plane Crash

Government Coverage 

  • WFTS-TV – Michael George & Randy Wright, Private Information Made Public
  • WPTV-TV – Dan Krauth, Lynn Walsh & Jim Sitton, Millions Spent on Vacant South Florida Government Property
  • WTSP-TV – Mike Deeson, Tony D’Astoli & Paul Thorson, Vern Buchanan: Congressional Questions

Continuing Coverage

  • WFTS-TV – ABC Action News Staff, Tropical Storm Debby
  • WFTS-TV – Jackie Callaway & Matt McGlashen, Charity Scam
  • WFTV-TV – WFTV Staff, Trayvon Martin Coverage

Election Coverage

  • WESH-TV – Greg Fox, “Commitment 2012”
  • WFTS-TV – Staff, Republican National Convention

Feature Reporting 

  • WESH-TV – Greg Fox, Scooter Man
  • WFTS-TV – Alison Morrow, Blind Man’s Dog Hit
  • WFTS-TV – Deiah Riley, Eugene Perry & Jennifer McVan, Melissa Dohme

Public Affairs

  • WFTS-TV – Brendan McLaughlin, John Fulton & John Pendygraft, If I Die Young
  • WFTS-TV – Lissette Campos, Jennifer McVan, Elizabeth Gold & Rich Pegram, Taking Action Against Domestic Violence
  • WUSF-TV – Sarah Pusateri, Jennifer Molina, Uniform Betrayal: Rape in the Military

Anchor of the Year

  • Bay News 9 – Veronica Cintron
  • WFTS-TV – Jamison Uhler
  • WWSB-TV – John McQuiston

Best Newscast 

  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Marva Hinton & The WLRN-Miami Herald News team, Day After the 2012 Election in South Florida
  • WUSF-FM – Carson Cooper, Best Newscast – 09/11/2012
  • WUSF-FM – Susan Giles Wantuck, Best Newscast – 11/06/2012

General Coverage

  • WFSU-FM – Jessica Palombo, Tropical Storm Debby Coverage
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Ashley Lopez, WLRN-Miami Herald News & The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting, The Florida Ballot Amendments
  • WUSF-FM – WUSF Staff, Republican National Convention compilation

Investigative Reporting 

  • WFSU-FM – Lynn Hatter, Family Speaks Out After Fla. State Mental Hospital Nurse Charged With Neglect
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News & The Florida Center for Investigative Reporting – Sarah Gonzalez, John O’Connor, Mc Nelly Torres & Lynn Waddell, 13th Grade (Remedial Education in Florida)
  • WUSF-FM – Steve Newborn, Post Office Supervisor Says Suspicious Spill Ruined His Health

Government Coverage

  • WFSU-FM – Sascha Cordner, Legislator looks to increase penalties for high-speed chases that result in deaths
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Gina Jordan, The Woman Behind Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Rick Stone, How Bad Things Happen To Good Bills

Election Coverage

  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – WLRN-Miami Herald News Staff & The Florida Roundup, WLRN-Miami Herald News Election Coverage Samples

Feature Reporting 

  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Christine DiMattei, Remembering Jaco Pastorius
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Sammy Mack, Islandia: South Florida’s Own Little Atlantis
  • WUSF-FM – Bobbie O’Brien, Vets Adapative Sports: “This Is Not Your Father’s VA Anymore”

Public Affairs

  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Phil Latzman, Elaine Chen, Alicia Zuckerman & Danny Rivero, The Florida Roundup: Post Election Special
  • WUSF-FM – WUSF Staff, The Closing and Privatizing of Florida’s Prisons

Affiliated Blog 

  • South Florida Business Journal – Paul Brinkmann, Fraud in South Florida
  • Sun Sentinel – Anthony Man & Brittany Wallman, Broward Politics
  • Tampa Bay Times – Staff, The Buzz

Independent Blog

  • Shadow of the Stadium – Noah Pransky

News Web Site 

  • Florida Center for Investigative Reporting – Staff
  • Tampa Bay Times – Staff,
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – The WLRN-Miami Herald News team,

Online Package 

  • Orlando Sentinel – Staff, In The Shadow of Race
  • The News-Press – Staff, JetBlue Park: Ready for the Red Sox
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – WLRN-Miami Herald News Team, Remembering Hurricane Andrew stories

User-Generated Content

  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – Terence Cantarella & WLRN Miami Herald News team, The Canoe Project
  • WLRN-Miami Herald News – The WLRN-Miami Herald News team, Tweet Us A Story: You Can Co-Author A Story With Junot Diaz


2013 Florida College Press Association Awards



College Journalist of the Year 

Ryan Cortes – University Press

College Newspaper – Weekly 

1.     University Press – Staff, University Press

2.     The Current – Elizabeth Tomaselli, Jeralyn Darling, Tracy Crow & Staff

3.     The Minaret – Joshua Napier, Chelsea Daubar, Jessica Keesee & Daniel Reimold, S02 College Newspaper- Weekly

College Newspaper – Non-Weekly 

1.     Central Florida Future – 2012 Central Florida Future Staff, Central Florida Future

2.     iPulse – iPulse Staff, Obama Meets Romney at Lynn

College Magazine 

1.     The Minaret – Michael Trobiano, Joshua Napier, Chelsea Daubar & Jessica Keesee, S04 College Magazine

College Media Website

1.     University of Miami – Virginia Ansaldi, Patricia Borns Borns, Qin Chen & Megan Terrilli, The Audacity of Beauty

2.     University of Miami – Marcos Alonso, Patricia Borns, Josh Meltzer & Megan Terrilli, Revolution Revisited

3.     University Press – Staff, Upressonline

News Story – Weekly 

1.     University Press – Karla Bowsher & James Shackelford, Who’s in charge here?

2.     The Current – Malena Carollo, One ASPEC member dies in wreck, two others injured

3.     The Current – Elizabeth Tomaselli, New ECOS president to veto senate approved budget

News Story – Non-Weekly 

1.     Central Florida Future – Sarah Aslam, Student’s app violates policy

2.     Central Florida Future – Andy Zunz, Fans fret over unfilled seats

3.     The Gargoyle – Ryan Buffa, Preacher or protester? Tatter brings religious message to Flagler students

News Photo 

1.     Barry Buccaneer – AJ Gonzalez, Walkers continue their journey to end domestic violence

Feature Story – Weekly 

1.     The Current – Malena Carollo, EC student travels home to Venezuela; votes in election

2.     The Minaret – Stef Crocco, S11 Feature Story – Weekly

3.     Eagle News – Kalhan Rosenblatt, The Hijab Challenge

Feature Story – Non-Weekly

1.     The Gargoyle – Sarah Williamson, Muslim student responds to ignorance, reacts with tolerance

Feature Photo 

1.     The Gargoyle – Sarah Williamson, Together again: Colombian refugees resettle in Jacksonville

2.     University Press – Michelle Friswell, Mike Jarvis

Sports Story – Weekly 

1.     University Press – Ryan Cortes, Schnellenberger unhinged — and having the time of his life

2.     The Current – Malena Carollo, Jenks serving up English after Eckerd athletic career

Sports Photo 

1.     University Press – Ryan Murphy, Graham Wilbert

Sports Column 

1.     University Press – Ryan Cortes, Commentary: FAU introduces new AD Pat Chun to thundering approval

Front Page Design – Weekly

1.     University Press – Phaedra Blaize & Emily Galea, University Press Front Page Design

Front Page Design – Non-Weekly

1.     iPulse – iPulse Staff, Honoring Our Own

Feature Design – Weekly

1.     The Current – Carver Lee, Eckerd on politics

Feature Design – Non-Weekly

1.     iPulse – iPulse Staff, Student’s Election Infection

2.     Barry Buccaneer – Susan Dorta, Notable alumni share tips for landing a job after graduation

Editorial/Opinion Column 

1.     The Current – Will Skinner, Student shares his experience at Occupy Tampa

2.     Central Florida Future – Kaley LaQuea, Hitt’s raise sends wrong message

3.     The Current – Max Martinez, The Mets need a few more players


Finalists in each category are presented in alphabetical order by organization


To correct errors or omissions, please contact Tim Dodson,


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