Reporter Kara Platoni tied for third place in the General Reporting category in the Best of the West contest, one of the nation's premier journalism contests. Her entry, "Dealing in Death" (Feature, 7/5/06), concerned a renegade East Bay gun store whose dubious sales were linked to a large number of crimes involving firearms. Judges called it a "richly detailed story that does a very smooth job of blending the national and regulatory landscape with personal stories that give real animation to fairly familiar territory. Clear, confident writing."
Chris Thompson was honored as a finalist in the Series category in this year's Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Awards, one of America's top feature-writing contests. His two-part entry "Dirty Deeds" (3/29/06 and 4/5/06) examined the rising prevalence of real-estate fraud in a booming home-sales market.
Finally, a little bird told us that the National Society of Newspaper Columnists will soon be honoring former Express columnist Will Harper (aka Bottom Feeder) in its Herb Caen Memorial Notes/Items category. We'll let you know how he placed when it's announced in June. The winning entries covered, among other things, gay divorce, the sad saga of a heroin-addicted Berkeley cop who stole drugs from evidence, and a over-the-top law-enforcement crackdown on a man's chickens.
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