In competition with other weekly newspapers throughout the state, New Times and its staff have won a half-dozen awards in the Florida Press Association's Better Weekly Newspaper Contest for work published in 1995.
Staff writer Elise Ackerman's feature "Land of Opportunity," an examination of Dade's flawed system for evaluating property tax assessment appeals, was recognized with the Claudia Ross Memorial Award for Investigative Reporting, given in memory of University of Miami graduate Claudia Ross, whose investigative reporting led to her murder in Bangkok, Thailand, in 1974.
Staff writer Kirk Semple garnered awards in two categories. "The Last Frontier," a description of the impasse between government officials and disgruntled residents of the environmentally fragile and flood-plagued community known as the 81/2 Square Mile Area, drew first place in Environmental or Conservation writing. Semple's "After the Brawl," which detailed the circumstances surrounding last year's racially charged altercation between Coral Gables High School students and police officers, won third place in In-Depth News Reporting.
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Former staffer Steven Almond's cover story "The Canyon," a portrait of families living in the James E. Scott Homes public housing project in Liberty City, took first place in the Feature Story category.
In the Sports Story category, Robert Andrew Powell's "Punt," a chronicle of millionaire sports fan Bruce Frey's quixotic attempt to bring a Canadian Football League team to Miami, was awarded second place.
In addition, the paper won a second-place award in the Special Issue category, for the 1995 edition of the "Best of Miami."
The awards were presented in Orlando earlier this month at the Florida Press Association's annual convention.