SALT LAKE CITY — When it comes to meaningful reporting on education, the environment and the family, Deseret News reporters stand out in the Rocky Mountain region.

Celia Baker swept the education enterprise reporting category in the annual Top of the Rockies regional journalism contest, claiming first, second and third place for her stories on "Crushing debt: Students finding solutions to avoid or survive loans," "Credit hours vs. competency debate continues for classes," and "Flipped classrooms: Turning learning upside down."

Amy Joi O'Donoghue won first place in two environment categories for her reporting on "Clearing the air: That air you're breathing may be slowly killing you," and "The fight for water: Here's why the West's oldest battle could hit you at the tap."

Addressing the family, Sara Israelsen-Hartley took first place in political reporting for her story "Mending marriages: States consider divorce reform in attempt to preserve families."

Out of 700 entries from journalists in Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado, nine reporters from the Deseret News claimed 16 awards. The annual contest is sponsored by the Colorado chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Other winners:

Rachel Lowry, first place in arts and entertainment enterprise reporting for "The telling of a tale: Christmas stories teach, persuade, define us."

Lois M. Collins and Jamshid G. Askar, first place in general reporting series or package for "The war on boys/Losing ground." Collins also took second place in health general reporting for the "Life's final journey" series.

Marjorie Cortez, second place in agriculture general reporting for "Cattle branding ritual endures as Western ranchers await new regulations on animal ID"; and third place in legal general reporting for "Homeless court metes out justice in accessible setting."

Comment on this story

Dennis Romboy, second place in news reporting for "In search of hope along the U.S.-Mexico border."

Sara Israelsen-Hartley, second place in legal general reporting for "Colliding causes: Gay rights and religious liberty."

Benjamin Wood, third place for politics general reporting for "Cedar Hills residents look for healing and a fresh start following decade of controversy."

Jay Evensen, third place for his personal/humor column "On Second Thought..."

Deseret News staff, third place for "Coming to our Census."