First place: Shelly Conlon, Waxahachie Daily Light

About this entry: Shelly Conlon exhibits her talent and range as a news writer and editor in her entry, which encapsulates stories focusing on the illegal immigration of children to Ellis County, the many facets of the execution of the killer of a police officer and the next-day coverage of a devastating tornado.

Read online: Twister damages more than 170 homes in Ellis County, County to house up to 700 undocumented children

Follow Shelly on Twitter @ShellyConlonWDL

This reporter is a triple threat, obviously dogged reporter, insightful observer and engaging story teller. She has a balanced yet powerful voice and a gift for getting the humanity into a news story. Really first rate.

Second place: Danny Henley, Hannibal Courier Post

About this entry: Danny Henley news writing entry displays his skill at both storytelling and investigation, and his abilities in both inserting the human element to stories and exposing city political issues in a palatable way is noteworthy.

Read online: HBPW’s power plant investment still generating red ink, Fire damages South Side residence, Many businesses/organizations involved in Prairie State deal, Prairie State agreement began in 2007, DNR sends letter of warning about D’Ville stormwater project

Follow Danny on Twitter @Danny_Henley

A real pro. I was pleased he included a breaking news story. It’s nice to see someone with project chops also humanize a fire story.

Third place: Brian Hughes, Crestview News Bulletin

About this entry: Brian Hughes’ submission included a series on a local entrepreneur’s investment in local infrastructure, a looks at two same-sex couples reacting to opposition to national marriage equality and an investigation of how new medical coding regulations are being received by area physicians and their offices.

Read online: Engineer’s vision for Okaloosa County begins at Crestview Bob Sikes Airport, Supporting STEM teachers will produce tech-savvy North Okaloosa workers, $27K Boeing grant establishes Laurel High School technology program, New coding regulations give Crestview doctors headaches

Follow Brian on Twitter @cnbBrian

Informative and pithy prose style. An excellent writer with a flair for humor that doesn’t get in the way of balanced reporting.