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New Mexico State University

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KRWG-FM and News 22 excel in New Mexico Associated Press awards contest

Students and professional staff members at KRWG-FM and News 22 won 16 awards at the New Mexico Associated Press awards contest April 6 in Albuquerque. The awards are for new stories produced in 2006.

KRWG-FM, the local public radio station licensed to New Mexico State University, won five first-place awards in the continuing coverage, Web site, sports program, general news and documentary categories. The station competed against other radio stations in large regional markets such as Albuquerque and El Paso.

First-place awards went to Marco Grajeda, Lily Olivas, Carrie Hamblen and Jodi Breisler in the continuing coverage category for "Redressing Injustice: Border Femicide." For the second consecutive year, the radio station won first place for its Web site, with honors going to Kurt Nimmo and Colin Gromatzky, the station's general manager. "Nationally Ranked NMSU - Finally Out of the High School Gym" by Breisler and Charles Winiecki won first place in the sports program category. A first-place award in the general news category went to Grajeda, Breisler and Evan Woodward for "Federal ID Legislation: From Theory to Practice in New Mexico." The first-place award in the documentary category went to the station for "Vision: Law Enforcement along the Border" by Breisler, Olivas, Woodward and Elisa French.

Second-place awards in the general news category went to Breisler and Lacey Daniell for "NMSU under the Scope." Grajeda and Michael Sears won in the sports category for "Cowboys from Cancer Research: Ropin' in the Funds." Daniell, Breisler, Olivas, Yasmin Pinon and Amanda Grube won a second-place award in the public service category for "Vision: Health Along the Border."

The station also won a trio of third-place awards. Woodward, Breisler and Winiecki won in the breaking news category for "Extortion Threat Environment." Second place for feature news went to Olivas for "Blessing the Fields with San Ysidro." The third-place newscast award went to staff members Breisler, Woodward and engineer Mike Doiron, and student reporters Pinon, Grajeda, Olivas and Sears.

"When we say KRWG-FM is an award-winning station, it is not an empty boast as our highly talented staff and well-trained students consistently win these regional awards - 11 this year, 10 last year and a baker's dozen the year before," said Colin Gromatzky, the station's general manager.

"These awards validate the great job New Mexico State University and our Department of Journalism and Mass Communications do in preparing our young people for the real world," added Glen Cerny, director of university broadcasting.

News 22, the student-produced newscast that is broadcast Tuesday through Thursday on KRWG-TV, also won several awards in the NMAP contest. Phil Anaya won first place in photography and feature news for "Gabriel and Magic" and second-place in photography for "The Brew." Marissa Pazos won for best weather forecast. Bailey Sachs won a third-place award for her feature, "The Whole Enchilada." Second place for overall newscast went to the program's news and production team, led by producer William Mattiace.

"It is encouraging for our department to see these outstanding students being recognized for their hard work," said Robin Riley, assistant professor of journalism.