KP News Wins Top State Awards Five Years Running

Our writers and photographers continue to rack up wins.


KP News staff and contributors earned 14 awards at the statewide Washington Newspaper Publishers Association 2022 Better Newspaper Contest at its annual ceremony October 8, held this year in Bellingham.

Now in its 135th year, WNPA awards outstanding newspaper work published over a 12-month period. 

Forty-eight newspapers from across the state submitted 1,166 entries for the 2022 contest. KP News competed against daily and weekly publications with markets greater than 7,000 in circulation. The competition was judged by the South Dakota Press Association.

KP News won 17 awards in 2021, 14 in 2020, eight in 2019, and three in 2018. 

Executive Editor Lisa Bryan took first place for sports profiles with “Lacrosse and Leukemia—Bo Clark’s Long Game,” which the judges called “incredible to read.” Bryan also won third place in editorials for “Getting Along With Others,” where she wrote “Did the whole world emerge from Covid isolation stark raving mad? … Will we remember that everyone, even people we don’t care for, still belong to our Key Peninsula tribe?”

Krisa Bruemmer won first place in education reporting for “Pandemic Fuels Increase in Homeschooling.” The judges congratulated her “enterprising reporting” that went beyond typical coverage “to include hard data and a variety of perspectives.” Bruemmer also won third place in personality profiles for “KP Institution and Leader of the Band, Dr. Roes Retires, Sort Of.”

Associate Editor Ted Olinger received second place in the longform news category for “More Than a Food Bank” and second place in longform profiles for “RoxAnne Simon Is Paying It Forward on the KP.”

Chris Rurik took third place in the social issue category for “Homeless in High School.” The judges said, “Nice work sharing a story that would be hard to share … written in a kind, considerate and genuinely interesting manner.”

Rurik also won second place in topical columns for “At Home with Moths, the Beautiful Bellwethers,” about which the judges wrote “What a gem of a column to have in your local paper.”

Phyllis Henry won her second award, this time by earning second place in the general interest category for her columns “Coast to Coast.”

Carolyn Wiley continued to dominate with her reign of humor, winning her fifth award in as many years when she took third place in the general interest category for her “Devil’s Head Diary” columns. “We can tell you have fun writing,” the judges said. Wiley also received a $20 cash bonus for “being the oldest person here,” an honor she accepted with vociferous derision.

Photographers Tina McKail and Caleb Galbreath shared second place for their photo essay documenting the Home Fourth of July parade. McKail, Ed Johnson and Chris Rurik shared third place for their photos in November Out & About.

Designer Tim Heitzman won two second place awards with an ad for The Mustard Seed Project and his in-house Mother’s Day campaign, “Mothers We Love.” The judges wrote, “Great use of art that really pulls you into the text. Love the subtle humor.”