Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2019

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Sun earns award for coverage in sniper case

The Las Vegas Sun has won the national Sigma Delta Chi award for deadline reporting in the Society of Professional Journalists' 2004 contest.

The Sun was honored for its coverage of the March 17, 2004, arrest of Charles A. McCoy, the alleged Ohio sniper, in Las Vegas.

The Sun won the award for papers under 100,000 circulation. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel won for papers over 100,000 circulation for its coverage of a church bus crash.

McCoy was arrested at 2:45 a.m. at the Budget Suites behind the Stardust.

Sun reporters Jen Lawson, Christina Littlefield, Mary Manning and Jace Radke covered the story along with photographers Steve Marcus and Matthew Minard.

"This is well-deserved recognition for the winners and for the Sun as a whole," Michael J. Kelley, managing editor, said. "The most important thing is to put out an excellent newspaper every day, but it's affirming to have your peers honor you."

It is the second national Sigma Delta Chi award for the Sun. Sun Washington Bureau Chief Benjamin Grove won the 2002 award for Washington Correspondence for his stories on Yucca Mountain. SPJ gives one award for Washington correspondence.

The SPJ award is one of six national and regional awards the Sun has won this year.

The Sun took third place for general reporting in the Best of the West competition, a regional competition of 13 Western states. Judges awarded the work of Molly Ball and Steve Kanigher, who detailed Las Vegas' high pedestrian and bicyclist death rate.

The story was tied for third with the Gazette of Colorado Springs, Colo. First and second were won by the Seattle Times and the Rocky Mountain News, respectively.

The judges noted that the Sun's stories showed it "wasn't a tourist problem and detailed the factors that contribute to the high (death) rate. It was solid reporting, blended well with human drama."

Sun sports writer Adam Candee also won an honorable mention in the 2005 Golf Writers Association of America writing contest for his coverage of the final round of the Michelin championship.

Previously this year, the Sun was honored in three other national contests: The sports section was named as one of the 10 best sports sections in the country in the 40,000-to-100,000- circulation category by the Associated Press Sports Editors; Ethan Miller won the first-place Joseph Costa award for courtroom photography from Ball State University; and photographer Sam Morris won a third-place award for sports photography in the National Headliners contest.