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Ravell Call, Deseret News
Ryan Luke and his wife, Steph Sheen, look at burned motorcycles that were in a detached garage behind their home in West Valley City on Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Police say Luke and Sheen's neighbor on Thursday shot and killed a West Valley code enforcement officer, and burned down their house and the garage.

SALT LAKE CITY — Deseret News staffers took away 29 awards, including nine first place wins, in this year's Utah-Idaho-Spokane Associated Press Association contest.

Among the awards announced Monday, the Deseret News won the William H. Cowles III Memorial Award for Public Service for its series "Generation Vexed," which explored anxiety in today's teens.

The memorial award recognizes a publication's efforts to improve its community by "spotlighting an issue," according to the AP. Judges consider how newspapers use their resources "in serving the public good" and the quality of journalism in the entries.

Kristin Murphy, Deseret News
Elvia Hernandez Chile, 11, writes on the steamed window of a van that she and her family are living out of on a frigid morning in South Salt Lake on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017. The van's heater is broken.

The Deseret News also took home the General Excellence title in its division, which includes newspapers in Idaho, Utah and Spokane, Washington, with a circulation higher than 200,000.

Competitors in the contest included the Salt Lake Tribune, Boise's Idaho Statesman, Ogden's Standard-Examiner and the Spokesman-Review in Spokane.

The Deseret News received more awards than the competing publications, with its reporters, photographers and web teams placing in almost every category of the competition.

"Our desire is to provide strong and consistent in-depth coverage of Utah and the nation and we have the talented staff to accomplish it," said Doug Wilks, editor of the Deseret News.

"It is particularly gratifying to be recognized again in the public service category for the work done on the crippling effects of anxiety, and for overall excellence. We've heard from many readers who have been helped by the yearlong "Generation Vexed" series and are committed to finding solutions to pressing problems in our community."

Among the Deseret News winners announced Monday:

Editorials****: First place, Christian Sagers; second place, Jay Evensen.

Feature Photo: First place, Kristin Murphy, "Senior VR."

Feature Story: First place, Gillian Friedman, "A Utah mother was deported. She left on Christmas Day. Now a year later she lives with the choice she never wanted to make"; second place, Marjorie Cortez, "Last stop — graduation: Refugee's nearly 5-hour commute pays off."

General News Photo: First place, Spenser Heaps, "Taylor Funeral"; third place, Ravell Call, "County K9 Mayor."

(Online) Breaking News: First place, Deseret News.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News
Sarceño Isolina Corado weeps as she hugs her granddaughter, Sarai Fajardo, goodbye at their home in Jerez, Guatemala, on Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. Fajardo, 10, and her brother, Patrick, 12, were leaving their mother and grandparents to return to Utah for a better education.

Picture Story/Photo Essay: First place, Laura Seitz, "A Dream Deferred"; second place, Kristin Murphy, "Van Family."

Portfolio: First place, Ravell Call.

Sports Feature: First place, Jesse Hyde, "The Lonely Master."

Spot News Photo: First place, Ravell Call, "Fire and Fatal Shooting"; second place, Kristin Murphy, "Dollar Ridge Fire."

Beat Reporting: Second place, Erica Evans, "Are you using tech, or is tech using you?"; third place, Amy Joi O'Donoghue.

General Reporting: Second place, Amy Joi O'Donoghue, "An East Coast love affair with Utah mustangs."

Spot News Story: Second place, Pat Reavy and Lois M. Collins, "Lauren McCluskey Murder."

(Online) Best Website: Second place, Deseret News.

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(Online) Special Package: Second place, McKenzie Romero, Pat Reavy and Jade Allen Cook, "The faces of Utah's 80 homicides in 2017"; third place, Jeffrey Allred, Herb Scribner and Jesse Hyde, "The unlikely journey of Jimmer Fredette."

Reviews: Second place, Josh Terry.

Sports Column: Second place, Amy Donaldson.

Sport Feature Photo: Third place, Steve Griffin, "Friday Night Light Show."

Portrait: Third place, Ravell Call, "National Climber."

Sports Photo: Third place, Spenser Heaps, "Oops."

Ravell Call, Deseret News
Mike Kelsch rides his bike on the shore of Antelope Island on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018. Haze from an inversion is seen in the background in the mountains on Antelope Island.

Graphic Artist: Third place, Heather Tuttle, "What's it like inside Mars?"