The Deseret News captured two first-place writing awards and swept the photography category in the Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association annual contest.

Winners were announced Friday night at the group's annual convention in Sun Valley.The top honor in investigative reporting went to Deseret News reporters Lee Davidson and Marianne Funk for their probe into the expenditures of Utah Valley Community College President J. Marvin Higbee.

"Exhaustive reporting that uncovered wrongdoing on the part of a state employee and led to his resignation. Thorough, hard driving and fair," was how judges classified the reporters' series of stories.

Funk also won a second-place award for her education columns.

Another first-place award went to Deseret News Education Editor Twila Van Leer and Medical Writer JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells for their participation and reporting on a charitable medical mission by area plastic surgeons to Chile. "A clearly eloquently written piece that tugs at the heart strings. Nice graphic descriptions that leave images in the mind," were the judges' comments.

In that same category, reporter Scott Taylor of the Deseret News Provo Bureau took a third-place award for "a moving story about one family's long wait and its bittersweet ending." The story concerned the return of the remains of Col. Franklin Caras from Vietnam after he had been missing for 20 years.

Deseret News photographers took first-place awards in all four photography categories. Ravell Call won first-place awards in spot news for "Exhausted Firemen;" feature photos for "Risky Leap," and in the sequence-photography category for the "One Room Schoolhouse" at Callao, Juab County.

Chief photographer Tom Smart topped the sports-photo category for his "Still in the Saddle."

Several second- and third-place

awards also went to Deseret News writers and photographers.

In the light-features category, news reporter Jerry Spangler took second place for his vivid story about a southeastern Utah poet, and Today Section writer Elaine Jarvik captured a third place for her descriptive piece on the closing of a restaurant in Holladay.

A second-place award also went to Executive Sports Editor John Robinson in the category of sports features for a story about how older athletes can prevent injuries. Robinson also won a third-place award for a sports column about the firing of Ohio State University football coach Earle Bruce.

The Deseret News travel section also was awarded a second-place honor.

The paper's photographers were the big winners. A second-place award went to Garry Bryant for "10K Collapsed" in the sports photos category. Bryant tied for third in that category for his "mummy." Another third place was awarded to Gary McKellar in the sequence-photography category for photos about visiting Asian foreign-exchange students.

The contest was judged by newspaper editors in the East.

This is a complete list of categories and winners from newspapers of more than 50,000 circulation.


1st - The Salt Lake Tribune, Singer Family Shootout.

2nd - Ogden Standard-Examiner, Pierre Selby Execution.

3rd - Salt Lake Tribune, Hofmann.


1st - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle, Rebecca Napp.

2nd - Deseret News, Jerry Spangler.

3rd - Deseret News, Elaine Jarvik.


1st - Deseret News, JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells and Twila Van Leer.

2nd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Mike Gorrell.

3rd - Deseret News, Scott Taylor.


1st - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle, John Webster.

2nd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Diane Cole.

3rd - The Idaho Statesman, Rod Gramer.


1st - The Salt Lake Tribune, Tom Wharton.

2nd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Lex Hemphill.

3rd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Lex Hemphill.


1st - Ogden Standard-Examiner, Jim Wright.

2nd - Deseret News, John Robinson.

3rd - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle, Rich Landers.


1st - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle, D. F. Oliveria.

2nd - Deseret News, Marianne Funk.

3rd - Ogden Standard-Examiner, Mark Saal.


1st - The Idaho Statesman, Pete Zimowsky.

2nd - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle, Dan Weaver.

3rd - Deseret News, John Robinson.


1st - Deseret News, Lee Davidson and Marianne Funk.

2nd - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle.

3rd - Ogden Standard-Examiner.


1st - The Salt Lake Tribune.

2nd - Deseret News.

3rd - Spokesman Review/Spokane Chronicle.


1st - Deseret News, Ravell Call.

2nd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Tim Kelly.

3rd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Jeff Allred.


1st - Deseret News, Ravell Call.

2nd - The Idaho Statesman, Teri Davis.

3rd - The Salt Lake Tribune, Rick Egan.


1st - Deseret News, Tom Smart.

2nd - Deseret News, Garry Bryant.

3rd (ie) - Ogden Standard Examiner, Clyde Mueller; Deseret News, Garry Bryant.


1st - Deseret News, Ravell Call.

2nd - Ogden Standard Examiner, Clyde Mueller.

3rd - Deseret News, Gary McKellar.