Post-Journal Editors, Reporters Honored

ALBANY – The New York State Associated Press Association has announced results of its 2013 contest recognizing excellent writing, presentation, photography and graphics in AP member newspapers.

Scott Kindberg, sports writer for The Post-Journal, was honored with a second-place award in the 15,000 to 45,000 circulation sports category for his article titled “We’re Going To Wait: Local Men Postpone Golf Trip Of A Lifetime Until Cancer-Stricken Friend Can Join Them,” which detailed a golf trip 13 men took to Scotland.

The Post-Journal’s news staff received a third-place honor in the non-spot news presentation category for its special section titled “Chief Justice Visit,” documenting the May 2013 visit of Chief Justice John Roberts to the Robert H. Jackson Center in Jamestown. John Whittaker, Matt Spielman, Scott Shelters, Mike Rukavina and Mike Frank were responsible for producing the special section in just a few hours following Roberts’ visit and speech at the Jackson Center.

Katie Atkins was recognized with a second-place award in the Under 15,000 circulation brightest headline category for her headline in the Dunkirk OBSERVER “All fired up: Fuse lit between Cannon and Ball,” detailing a primary for Arkwright Town Council in September 2013. OBSERVER reporter Greg Fox was also honored with a second-place award for “Up in flames,” his coverage of a fire at Tri-Church Parish in Brocton.

The OBSERVER was also honored for its coverage of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s visit to Dunkirk, taking second place in the spot news presentation category.

Kindberg, The Post-Journal’s assistant sports editor, is a Jamestown native and has been with the newspaper since 1983. This is the 11th career AP award for Kindberg, who lives in Jamestown with his wife, Vicki. He has three grown sons: Matthew, Eric and Jeremy.

Whittaker is a 1995 Panama Central School graduate who attended Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., majoring in political science. He began his career with The Post-Journal as a part-time sportswriter in 1997 before working as a town and village reporter, education reporter, city reporter, region editor and city editor. He was named the paper’s editor in January 2013. He is Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. board president, Jamestown Renaissance Corp. secretary and Jamestown Local Development Corp. secretary. Whittaker and his wife, Shelley, live in Jamestown and are expecting their first child in late May.

Spielman, the newspaper’s city editor, attended SUNY Fredonia, majoring in communication, and has been with Ogden Newspapers since 2002. He previously served as a sportswriter, the news/wire editor and the region editor for The Post-Journal, and as a sportswriter for the OBSERVER. Spielman is a Mayville native who lives in Jamestown with his wife, Emily, and their children: Cooper, Claire and Curtis.

Shelters, the newspaper’s region editor, is a 2011 graduate of St. Bonaventure University and has been with the newspaper since 2011. He previously served as the features reporter and the family editor before being named to his current position in January 2013. Shelters is a Falconer native. He lives in Jamestown with his fiancee Sarah Marciniak.

Rukavina, the newspaper’s news/wire editor, is a graduate of SUNY Fredonia and has been with Ogden Newspapers since 2006. He previously served as the assistant news editor at the OBSERVER. Rukavina lives in Fredonia with his wife, Corinne, and their four children: Ava, Larah, Landon and Luca.

Frank is a graduate of St. Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa., and has been with Ogden Newspapers since 2008. He was a sportswriter and copy editor for The Post-Journal, but has since moved on in the Ogden Newspapers chain. He is now employed as a copy editor for The Journal in Martinsburg, W.Va.

Atkins is a 2010 graduate of Mercyhurst College and has been with Ogden Newspapers since August 2013. She was a reporter for the OBSERVER in Dunkirk before being named county reporter at The Post-Journal in October 2013.

Reporters Dennis Phillips, Gavin Paterniti and Dusten Rader – along with former news staff members Eric Tichy, Ryan Atkins and Remington Whitcomb – contributed stories and photos for the award-winning “Chief Justice Visit” special section.

Winners will be honored at the annual state AP awards banquet. In a scheduling change this year, the event is a luncheon on Saturday, May 31, at the Holiday Inn in Saratoga Springs, where New York AP broadcasters will hold their awards dinner that night. The newspaper editors and broadcasters agreed to merge their boards and meet together that afternoon. They also are planning a joint daylong workshop on Saturday, Oct. 25, at Syracuse University.

Top awards, including Newspapers of Distinction, Mike Hendricks Young Journalist of the Year, and the Cromie and Kolenberg awards for photography, will be announced at the banquet.