St. Petersburg Times staff writer Lane DeGregory and Tampabay.com won top honors in the 2009 Green Eyeshade Awards for the feature story "The Girl in the Window." The Times also captured six first-place awards, more than any other daily newspaper.
DeGregory won the Best of Show award in the annual contest, which recognizes outstanding work in media organizations in 11 southeastern states. DeGregory also received the first-place award in the Feature Writing category for large daily newspapers.
Tampabay.com was chosen top winner in the contest's online division for its coverage of "The Girl in the Window," a moving account of a Plant City child whose mother kept her locked in a filthy room, and the adoptive family who worked to overcome her feral beginnings. The Times staff also won first place in the Best Multimedia category for the entry.
Times staff writer Meg Laughlin was awarded first place in Investigative Reporting for "Right by Miles," which raised questions about a car crash that killed 16-year-old Miles White.
Staff writers Chris Tisch and Abbie Vansickle won first place in Non-deadline Reporting among large daily newspapers for "RX O.D.," a special report on widespread problems from prescription drug abuse.
In the online division, staff photographer John Pendygraft captured first in Videography for "I don't want to be homeless," in which a teary 61-year-old woman talks about her struggle to find a job.
The Times swept the Best Blog online category. The politics team won first place for the Buzz, a blog on the latest news in Florida politics. Entertainment news editor Steve Spears took second for his Stuck in the '80s blog, and the Deal Divas blog won third place for staff writers Stephanie Hayes, Nicole Hutcheson, Colleen Jenkins and Letitia Stein.
Winners of second-place Green Eyeshade awards also included: staff writers Michael Kruse and Theresa Blackwell in Enterprise Business Reporting for "At the Center of Everywhere"; Times staff for PolitiFact in Coverage of Politics; editor of editorials Tim Nickens in the Editorials category; staff senior artist John Corbitt in Graphics for "Now What?"; Ilyce Meckler, a former Tampabay.com producer, and staff writer Leonora LaPeter Anton in Best Multimedia for "Hidden Lead"; and Times staffers Dave Scheiber, Frank Pastor, Stefanie Boyar, Lee Glynn and Jeremy Bowers in Specialized Reporting online for "Top 25 Super Bowl Moments."
Also winning third-place awards were the Times staff in Public Service for PolitiFact; sports columnist Gary Shelton in Sports Commentary for a collection of work; and book critic Colette Bancroft in Criticism for a collection of work.
Kruse also won first place in Feature Writing in the print nondaily division for "Staying Stephen," a profile in Charlotte Magazine of Stephen Curry of Davidson basketball.
The Green Eyeshade contest drew more than 500 entries this year, and is administered by regional directors for the Society of Professional Journalists.