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spectr17
06-26-2003, 07:08 PM
Outdoors section, writer honored

Redding Record Searchlight staff

Thom Gabrukiewicz

June 15, 2003

The Record Searchlight's Outdoor section has been judged Best in the Nation for 2002 by the Outdoor Writers Association of America (OWAA), while the section's writer/editor, Thom Gabrukiewicz, was named the 2002-2003 California Outdoor Writer of the Year from the Outdoor Writers Association of California (OWAC).

The awards were presented at the annual conventions for both organizations. The OWAA awards banquet was held today in Columbia, Mo.; the OWAC awards banquet was held May 4 in Clear Lake.

The national award "recognizes the vital role newspapers play in informing and inspiring members of society about our natural resources." The contest is not broken into circulation categories, meaning the Record Searchlight's entries were judged among newspapers of both larger and smaller circulations.

The three entries in the Record Searchlight's packet included a story on the Mount Shasta Snowmen, a group of senior-citizen skiers; a story on a songbird study along Clear Creek and a feature on spring turkey hunting strategies.

Sharing in the award was Gabrukiewicz, who has been the Record Searchlight's Outdoor writer/editor since 1998, Record Searchlight page designer Steve Jacobs and former Record Searchlight photographer Michael Burke.

The Record Searchlight has taken second place in the category the previous two years.

"We live in a recreational area that's second to none, and it's only fitting our coverage of it is no different," said Record Searchlight managing editor Greg Clark. "We're extremely proud of Thom and what he has accomplished."

Also in the OWAC contest, Gabrukiewicz won first place in the John F. Reginato Conservation Award for the Clear Creek songbird story and second place in the Best Newspaper Feature category for a story highlighting the Tehama Shooter's Association's service rifle matches. It's the second year in a row Gabrukiewicz has won the Reginato award, named for the longtime Redding outdoorsman, conservationalist and former general manager of the Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association.

All first-place winners in the OWAC writing categories are entered into the judging for California Outdoor Writer of the Year.