The Houston Press did well for itself in the Press Club of Houston's most recent round of awards. Those awards recognize excellence in journalism published in 1997; and the Press competes in the "newspapers over 100,000" division, where its chief rival is the Houston Chronicle.
The Press's Randall Patterson won first place in the sports-story category for "The Legend," his profile of Dwayne Rogers, an amateur player who embarrasses pros on the court. Patterson also won third place for best feature story, and placed third in the race for print journalist of the year.
Jim Simmon won first place for commentary or criticism. His "Show 'Em Your Money" picked apart the campaign-finance statement of mayoral hopeful Rob Mosbacher, blasting the idea that big money doesn't yield big influence.
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Lisa Gray's feature story "School of Hard Knocks" won first place in its category. Gray wrote about the spanking controversy surrounding Alvin "Boom Boom" Jackson, head of the private Classical School for Brilliant Children.
For investigative reporting, Michael Berryhill won third place for "What Really Happened to Rodney Hulin?" In that story, Berryhill examined the 17-year-old's suicide, and the Texas prison system's contribution to it.
Chronicle foreign-affairs reporter Dudley Althaus was named "Print Journalist of the Year," breaking the Press's two-year winning streak. The Press's Steve McVicker placed second; he consoles himself with the thought that he's the best print journalist reporting on Houston.
In another competition, cartoonist Tom Tomorrow -- whose "This Modern World" appears in the Press -- was recently named a winner of the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award. That award honors outstanding reporting on the problems of the disadvantaged.