Off the Record

Press Club of Dallas announced Katie Award winners!

November 15, 2008

November 15, 2008

Press Club of Dallas 2008 Katie Award Winners

Were Announced at Sixth Floor Museum Reception

Saturday, November 15 

DALLAS, TX – The Press Club of Dallas and Press Club of Dallas Foundation announced the following winners at tonight’s 50th annual Katie Awards held at the Sixth Floor Museum.

Katie Award winners were announced in the following 21 categories:


Magazines:   Best Cover – Advocate Magazine October 2007 Karen Blessen designer “The Trinity Showdown.”

Magazines: Best Story-Jenny B. Davis, Dallas Child, “Diagnosing Joey.”

Magazines: General Excellence-CURE Magazine, (Cancer Updates, Research & Education)

Magazines: Writer of the Year-Amanda Tackett for series in D Home & Garden.


Newspapers, Large: 

Best Business Reporting-Jim Landers and Elizabeth Souder, Dallas Morning News, “Energy Crisis: What’s Fueling Prices.”

Second place, Chris Vogel Houston Press “The Getaway.”

Third Place: Sheryl Jean, Dallas mOrning News, “Green Officers, Sprouting Up.”


Best Column-Randall Patterson, Houston Press “To Catch a Rapist.”

Second: Rawlins Gilliland, Dallas morning News, “Think Disaster Can’t Happen to You?”

Third: Catherine Cuellar, Dallas Morning News, “The Man of Your Reality: Why Stress About a Mate When You Can Enjoy Life?”


Best Feature-Steve Thompson, Dallas Morning News “When there are no more chances left.”

Second:  Emily Ramshaw, Dallas Morning News, “Rough edges but no apologies”

Third:  none given


Best Investigative Series/Story-Brooks Egerton and Reese Dunklin, Dallas Morning News, “Unequal Justice: Murderers on Probation.”

Second:  Todd Bensman, San Antonio Express News, “Power Play: Hiding a Public Safety Hazard.”

Third: Todd Spivak, Houston Press, “Toxic Town.”


Best Series-Doug J. Swanson, Steve McGonigle, Gregg Jones, Jennifer LaFleur, Emily Ramshaw, Holly Becka, Dallas Morning News “Texas Youth Commission Investigation.”

Second:  David Tarrant, Dallas Morning News, “Losing Chuck, Finding Sallie.”

No third place award.


Best Specialty Reporting-Robert T. Garrett, Dallas Morning News, “Privatization Problems: Welfare Call Centers Lagging.”

Second:  Sam Merten, Dallas Observer, “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”

Third: Thor Christensen, Dallas Morning News, “Are Cell Phones Ruining Concerts?”


Best Sports Reporting-Barry Horn, Dallas Morning News, “Pain of Former Cowboys.”

Second:  Evan Grant, Dallas Morning News, “Josh Hamilton’s Redemption.”

Third:  Brad Townsend, Dallas Morning News, “Private World of Dirk Novitzki.”


Best Headline Writing:  Linda Johnson, Dallas Morning News

No second, third place awards


Newspapers, Medium and Small

Best Business Reporting-Dan McGraw, Fort Worth Weekly, “Seventh Rising.”

Second:  Michael H. Price, Fort Worth uBusiness Press, “The Great American Movie Theater.”


Best Column-John Wright, Dallas Voice, “Purity Sieges Lead Gay Man into Bi-Polar Hell.”

Second:  Merritt Patterson, Park Cities People “You are not the Boss of Me.”

No third place award.


Best Investigative Series or Story-Peter Gorman, Fort Worth Weekly “Bllies with Badges.”

Second: Dave Moore, Dallas Business Journal, “Non-profit fuels racing team.”

Third: Eric Griffey, Betty Brink, Pablo Lastra Fort Worth Weekly “Code Red for JPS.”


Best Specialty Reporting-Gayle Reaves, Fort Worth Weekly “Tase-Mania.”

(no second, third place awards)


Best Feature-Jonathan Fox, Texas Lawyer, “Going to the Dogs.”

No second, third place awards


Best Business Reporting-Darrell Preston and David Dietz, Bloomberg News “Home Insurers’ Secret Tactics Cheat Fire Victims, Hike Profits.”

Second: David Koenig AP “Hedging Airlines”

No third place award.


Best Website(s)-Dallas Morning News; KERA Art&Seek; Pegasus News.


Photographer of the Year-Mona Reeder, Dallas Morning News

Second Place:  Clare Miers, Austin American-Statesman

No third place award.


Best Blog:  Dallas Morning News “Dallas Cowboys Blog.”

Second:  Suzanne Marta and Terry Maxon Dallas Morning News “Airline Biz Blog.”

Third:  Anne Bothwell “Art&Seek Blog.”

Hon. Mention Scott at


Entries were judged by the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, FL, and Michael Ruby and Merrill McLoughlin, former co-editors of U. S. News & World Report and assistant editors of Newsweek

The J. B. (Buck) Marryat Award was presented to Hugh Aynesworth, immediate past president of the Press Club of Dallas, for his tireless work.

The following sponsors contributed to the 2008 Katie Awards.  Host Sponsor The Sixth Floor Museum with Diamond Sponsors at the $1,500 level including The Dallas Morning News, Perot Systems and The Law Firm of Barrett Daffin Frappier Turner & Engel.  Platinum Sponsors at the $1,000 level include Glazer’s, Half Price Books and Oncor.  Gold Sponsors at the $500 level include Art&Seek/KERA, Dallas iMedia, Edelman Public Relations, and Public Strategies Inc.  Silver Sponsors at the $250 level include the University of Texas at Dallas School of Management, Golin Harris, C. Pharr and Company, and The Marketing Connection.

Press Club of Dallas Foundation President Cheryl Hall and board member Gloria Campos are co-chairing the 2008 Katie Awards, and Michael Patterson is President of the Press Club of Dallas.  Along with recognizing excellence in journalism, funds received from the Katie Awards have provided nearly $400,000 in scholarships for college students majoring in journalism or related fields.

The awards were announced at a gala reception, with food and beverages including beer and wine provided by TASTE Catering, held on the seventh floor of the Sixth Floor Museum.  The Katie Awards are being held at the Sixth Floor Museum in conjunction with their commemorative events for the 45th anniversary of the assassination. The reception included a historic program presented by Hugh Aynesworth, award-winning journalist and author of “JFK: Breaking the News” and other books, and additional participants who were in the limelight immediately following the assassination of U. S. President John F. Kennedy November 22, 1963. 

The three participants were Buell Wesley Frazier, who had worked at the Texas School Book Depository Building with Lee Harvey Oswald for a few weeks in the Fall of 1963 and was probably Oswald’s closest co-worker. The afternoon before the JFK assassination, Mr. Frazier had driven Oswald to Irving so Oswald could visit his two small children — and the next morning, THE morning, he delivered Oswald back to his work-site at 8 a.m. Authorities claim Oswald sneaked his Italian-made rifle with him that morning. Mr. Frazier was arrested, thought to have been involved in some way with Oswald’s act, but within hours was released after convincingly passing a polygraph test.

Gerald L. Hill had been a Dallas Police Department patrol officer for several years (before that a Dallas Times Herald and Channel 5 reporter) when he was informed that there had been shots fired in Dealey Plaza that day. He sped to the scene and helped search the Depository Building, then was dispatched to Oak Cliff, where he eventually wound up at the Texas Theater. He was one of several officers who wrestled with Oswald in the theater as he tried to shoot them and elude arrest.

James R. Leavelle had been a homicide detective with the Dallas Police Department for several years, when he was assigned on Nov. 24 (Sunday morning) to accompany Lee Harvey Oswald as Oswald was being transferred from the city lockup to the Dallas County Jail. He was handcuffed to Oswald as they walked into the police basement and as Jack Ruby lunged into history with his .38 pistol, firing one shot into Oswald, killing him. He later headed the investigation of the murder of Officer J. D. Tippit, who had encountered Oswald as he was hurrying along an Oak Cliff street.

Katie Awards were presented to the winners by Tony Pederson, Professor and Distinguished Belo Chair of Journalism at Southern Methodist University, immediately following this presentation

With over six million visitors since opening in 1989, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is the most visited historic site in north Texas.  The museum is located on the sixth and seventh floors of the former Texas School Book Depository, known today as the Dallas County Administration Building.  On November 22, 1963, evidence was found on the sixth floor of the building that a sniper had fired at President John F. Kennedy as his motorcade passed below on Elm Street, killing the president and wounding Texas Governor John Connally. 

Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the museum chronicles the assassination and legacy of President Kennedy through exhibits, public programs and research resources, including those available online at


For more information about the 2008 Katie Awards or other Press Club activities, please visit

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For media inquiries, please contact Jo Ann Holt at or 469-363-7371.