Two OBSERVER editors have been honored for their writing by the New York State Associated Press.
Lifestyles Editor April Diodato won second place in the 2011-2012 New York State Associated Press Association competition in the entertainment category for the article "The show must go on," a preview of Joan Rivers' visit to the Lucille Ball Festival. Sports Editor Craig Harvey won third place for the article "Nobles wins 500th game," regarding Pine Valley girls' basketball coach Tim Nobles' historic victory.
They competed in the under 20,000 circulation division, the largest category of newspapers in New York state.
Diodato and Harvey will be receiving their awards Wednesday at the NYSAPA annual meeting and awards banquet in Saratoga Springs.
Diodato's article, which was published on July 17, 2011, came from a one-on-one interview with Rivers. In the article, Rivers talks about how she got into comedy, her successes over the years and how she got to know Lucille Ball both professionally and personally.
This is the second time Diodato has won an Associated Press award. Last year she won third place in the features category for the article "Ghost stories" which examined possible ghosts at the Dunkirk Lighthouse.
Diodato has been employed with the OBSERVER since 2005. A Fredonia native, she did an internship in high school and later worked at the OBSERVER as a typist/features writer while attending SUNY Fredonia. She also wrote an entertainment column "In-town rundown" which ran for five years. Today, Diodato writes an entertainment blog "Four Eleven" which can be found at www.observertoday.com.
After graduating in 2009, Diodato was hired as a full-time staff writer for the Silver Creek area and was promoted to Lifestyles Editor in January 2010.
Harvey's article, which was published on Jan. 21, 2012, not only focused on Nobles' 500th win, but also gave Pine Valley alumni the chance to talk about how much their coach meant to them personally over the years. Among those interviewed were Tara Rukach, who is now the women's basketball coach at SUNY Potsdam; Kourtney Troutman who is the coach of the Salamanca Lady Warriors; and Nikki Smith, a 1998 graduate and arguably the best player in Pine Valley history.
This is the first time Harvey has won an Associated Press award. The last time the OBSERVER's sports department won an Associated Press award was in 2000, when former OBSERVER sports columnist Gordon Brunskill won second place for a column on a former Buffalo Bills player.
Harvey has been working in newspapers for 10 years. A Jamestown High School and Jamestown Community College graduate, Harvey started working as a part-time sports reporter for the Jamestown Post-Journal in October of 2002. He became a copy editor at the Post-Journal in January 2005. In October 2007, Harvey became the sports editor of the OBSERVER.
Since 2000, the OBSERVER staff has won six Associated Press awards and two New York Newspaper Publishers Association awards.
"We are honored to have such fine writers on our staff be honored by the Associated Press," said OBSERVER Managing Editor Gregory Bacon. "We are a better newspaper because of April and Craig and their contributions."