SNP places in regional Associated Press competition

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Photo by CHANSE WATSON The award-winning photo taken by Chanse Watson of wildland firefighter Cody Griffin during the Morning Star Fires on the night of Aug. 21, 2018.

SPOKANE — The Shoshone News-Press editorial staff was recently recognized for three of their submissions in the 2018 Utah Idaho Spokane Associated Press Association contest.

SNP is the smallest publication that participated in the competition, falling into Division I (newspapers with under 75,000 assessed weekly circulation) with 14,333.

In that division, Managing Editor Chanse Watson earned first place in the “Spot News Photo” category with his submission, “Arson Suspected in Kellogg Fire Spree.”

Both Watson and Staff Reporter Josh McDonald were on scene of the Morning Star Fires that occurred on the night of Aug. 21, 2018, in eastern Kellogg.

The first emergency personnel to arrive on scene were officers with the Kellogg Police Department, and firefighters with Shoshone County Fire District No. 2 and the Idaho Department of Lands. With the IDL crew was wildland firefighter Cody Griffin, who was featured in the award winning photo as he worked to extinguish foliage that had been burning.

Watson explained that he got the shot primarily because of his proximity to the action.

“Other than the brightness coming from the flames, there wasn’t much light that night,” he said. “Josh and I essentially had to get right up next to the firefighters to get any decent photos. It just so happened that one photo in particular came out looking really artistic.”

His photo beat out a submission by Geoff Crimmins of the Moscow-Pullman Daily News.

Josh and his brother, Caleb McDonald, also received recognition for submissions in the “Sports Feature” and “Sports Photo” categories.

Josh took second place in the “Sports Feature” category for his work on the article, “A Perfect Blend of Humility and Excellence.”

Caleb took third in the “Sports Photo” category for his photo, “Little Town, Little Wrasslers, Big Fun.”

The SNP sent in a total of 10 submissions to the contest, a relatively low number compared to the other news agencies who participated.

In total, 15 daily newspapers submitted 602 entries in the contest, which featured news, sports stories and photos from 2018.

SNP Publisher Keri Alexander was pleased with the paper’s showing in the competition.

“I am so proud of our SNP editorial team. Chanse and Josh do an excellent job covering local stories and most assignments require them to shoot their own photography,” she said. “Whether they are covering sports, breaking news or writing a feature story about information that’s important to our readers, they both give 150 percent. These awards recognize the tremendous work and dedication they give to our community newspaper. Our two-man team may be lean, but they are mighty.”

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