by Inlander Staff & r & & r & & lt;span class= & quot;dropcap & quot; & O & lt;/span & n Saturday, local journalists gathered at CenterStage for the annual Society of Professional Journalists regional awards ceremony. Journalists from around the nation judged our work against other non-daily newspapers from Eastern Washington, Idaho and western Montana.
FEATURES -- 1st Place: Sheri Boggs and Leah Sottile, "Crafty Revolution." Documenting the revival among young people of old-school crafts like knitting.
LIFESTYLES -- 1st Place: Ann M. Colford, "Patience Is Sweet." A first-person tale of attempts to make a perfect batch of baklava.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE -- 1st Place: Kevin Taylor, "The Devil in the Diner." A reconstruction of the recovery of Shasta Groene, with new information about her kidnapper, Joseph Duncan.
ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS -- 1st Place: Joel Smith, "Digging Deeper." A review of the efforts to better understand the aquifer.
GENERAL NEWS -- 1st Place: Leah Sottile, "Murder Behind Bars." The tragic story of Chris Rentz, who was murdered while in custody at the Spokane County Jail.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS -- 1st Place: Ted S. McGregor Jr., "West v. Smith." A look at the case against Mayor Jim West as Spokane voters pondered whether to recall him from office.
ARTS CRITICISM -- 2nd Place: Michael Bowen, "Evil's Puppets." A review of Shakespeare's Othello, as staged by Spokane Interplayers Ensemble.
ARTS REPORTING -- 2nd Place: Michael Bowen, "Soliloquies for Sale." A behind-the-scenes report on the auditioning process in local theaters. & r & 3rd Place: Luke Baumgarten, "Anatomy of a Fabulist." An analysis of the songwriting of Colin Meloy of the Decemberists.
GENERAL EXCELLENCE -- 2nd Place: Issues of June 9, 16 and 23. Congratulations to first-place finishers, the Star-News of McCall, Idaho.
FEATURE PHOTOGRAPHY -- 3rd Place: Pat Kennedy, "Buzzworthy Bands." Photos of five bands to watch from around the Inland Northwest.