Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence logo

Staff Report

Amid a difficult year of debilitating health challenges for staff members, staff turnover, transitioning to a new parent company, and ongoing COVID-19 restraints, the Fort Leavenworth Lamp staff received a record 17 awards in the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence competition.

The awards recognize the 2021 work of Lamp Editor/Photographer Prudence Siebert, former Editor Bob Kerr, Staff Writer Charlotte Richter, former Staff Writer Katie Peterson and Production Assistant Lisa Sweet.

“The Fort Leavenworth Lamp is one of the best post newspapers I’ve been associated with in 46 years of military public affairs,” Army University Public Affairs Officer Harry Sarles said upon hearing about the results.

Siebert placed first in feature photo for “Day of Service,”

Day of Service: Nine-year-old Sloane Pittman and 7-year-old Yana Elston clean gravesites as volunteers beautify a predominantly African-American section of Mount Muncie Cemetery in Lansing Jan. 18, 2021, as a Martin Luther King Jr. Day service project. This image placed first in the feature photo category of the Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

second place in general news photo for “Toddler Steals Spotlight,”

Brig. Gen. Duane Miller, Army Corrections Command commanding general; Lt. Col. Matthew Hofmann, outgoing 40th Military Police Battalion (Detention) commander; Lt. Col. Corrie Hanson, 705th MP Battalion (Detention) commander and Hofmann’s spouse; and Hofmann and Hanson’s son, Lucas, watch the couple’s daughter, Adria, amuse herself with paper and pens during Hofmann’s retirement ceremony July 1, 2021, in DePuy Auditorium. “Toddler Steals Spotlight” placed second in the general news photo category of the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

second place in best environmental photo for “Patton Teammates Reunite,” third place in feature photo with “SAMS Cheer,” and third place in the all-division Photographer of the Year category.

School of Advanced Military Studies students cheer as Seminar 3 competitors Navy Lt. Mark Carrion and Maj. Jaridd Leute race to successfully complete their return lap of the pool during the third heat of the SAMS Boatyard Warz races July 22, 2021, at Hancock Pool. “SAMS Cheer” placed third in the feature photo category of the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition. Photo by Prudence Siebert/Fort Leavenworth Lamp

Photographer-writer team Siebert and Peterson, with layout by Kerr, swept the feature package category with first place for their coverage of the open-air military photography installation that went in by the Missouri River in Leavenworth last spring, “Public Photo Exhibit Spotlights Military Life,” which also won third-place feature story;

“Public Photo Exhibit Spotlights Military Life” placed first in the feature package category and third place in the feature story category of the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition. Credit: Prudence Siebert (photographer), Katie Peterson (writer), Bob Kerr (designer)

second place for their coverage of lifeguard training,

“FMWR Offers Certified Lifeguard Training” placed second in the feature package category and second in the photo package category of the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition. Credit: Prudence Siebert (photographer), Katie Peterson (writer), Bob Kerr (designer)

which also earned second place photo package; and third place for “Youngsters Learn Basic Baseball Skills.”

“Youngsters Learn Basic Baseball Skills” placed third in the feature package category of the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition. Credit: Prudence Siebert (photographer), Katie Peterson (writer), Bob Kerr (designer)

The team also took third place in best story/picture combination for “Chef Demonstrates Cooking Techniques Online.”

“Chef Demonstrates Cooking Techniques Online” placed third in the best story/picture combination category and third place in the feature story category of the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition. Credit: Prudence Siebert (photographer), Katie Peterson (writer), Bob Kerr (designer)

Peterson, who left the Lamp staff in August 2021 to report for the Tennessee Register in Nashville, took first place in the health story category with “Cancer Survivors Race Dragon Boats,”

Former Fort Leavenworth Lamp Staff Writer Katie Peterson placed first in the health story category in the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition with “Cancer Survivors Race Dragon Boats.” Credit: Katie Peterson (writer), Prudence Siebert (photographer), Bob Kerr (designer)

second place in best environmental story with “Kayak Excursion Helps Clean Up Missouri River, as well as third place best environmental story for “Flood Repairs Close Areas Around Airfield.”

“The Fort Leavenworth Lamp will always be so very special to me because it’s the publication that made me,” Peterson said. “I wouldn’t be the journalist that I am, or won any of the KPA awards that I have over the past six years without former Lamp Editor Bob Kerr taking a chance on a 20-year-old English major who had never written any journalism in her life. He let me learn and blossom, and it’s because of him, as well as a wonderful partner in photographer Prudence Siebert, that I’m even worthy of these awards.”

Richter, who joined the staff in September for her first reporting job since her recent college graduation, placed in multiple categories, a commendable feat for a first-year journalist.

“Placing with KPA is an unexpected achievement, especially in my first year of news writing,” Richter said. “I’m appreciative of the patience and flexibility of our team and the learning experiences I have had during assignments. For the Lamp, I think this year’s awards exemplify the team’s resilience — we have a lot to be proud of here.”

Richter took second place in the government/political story category with “Powell Leaves Local Legacy,” a story of her own initiative after hearing of retired Gen. Colin Powell’s passing.

Fort Leavenworth Lamp Staff Writer Charlotte Richter placed second in the government/political story category in the 2022 Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence state journalism competition with “Powell Leaves Local Legacy.” Credit: Charlotte Richter (writer), Prudence Siebert (photographer)

“On the morning they announced Powell’s death, mid-deadline we pulled together as many details as possible. It was more of a ‘Hey, can we try and run this?’ followed by speed-reading sections of Powell’s autobiography and concurring Powell’s role with our local historian,” Richter recalled. “The story had a lot of engagement from the community; of course, I knew his history, but so many people on post remember Powell’s presence and internalized the significance. I’m still learning how to catch the stories (within) the story.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to relay the significance of Powell’s role in Fort Leavenworth and expand on the interworkings of the military community,” Richter said.

Richter also took third place with the agricultural story “MWJRCF Greenhouse Now Operational.”

“The Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility Greenhouse was one of two ribbon cuttings we covered in that issue,” Richter said, alluding to the fact that a ribbon-cutting assignment would rarely warrant a story of such caliber. “I always enjoy conversations with the 15th (Military Police Brigade), and I liked that the story offered a sneak peek at the vocational programs at the facility.”

The Lamp staff also earned second place in News and Writing Excellence.

“I expect a lot more great things from the Fort Leavenworth Lamp. During this time of disinformation when military families are being exposed to false, life-threatening information online, your newspaper stands apart,” said Melissa Bower, City of Leavenworth public affairs officer and former Lamp staff writer. “The Fort Leavenworth Lamp can always be trusted to provide non-biased information that helps our military families lead better lives.”

Visit www.ftleavenworthlamp.com for a look at the award-winning entries.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

one + 6 =