It was awards day for the U.P. media for spreading good news.

19 news organizations from across Upper Michigan were honored today for providing good news. From newspaper, to radio, to internet and tv sources, more than 40 awards were presented.

The program is part of a regional consortium of the Evangelical Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Catholic and Episcopal churches of the U.P.

The group recognizes media agencies for sharing the positives about Upper Michigan, not just bad news.

Photographers, writers and editors were honored for capturing the images and words that tell stories about special people, overcoming obstacles, family ties and love of country that bind people in the U.P. together.

The 2012 Good News Awards by division and category:



Straight News Story

Good News Award:  WMQT-FM / 8-18 Media, Marquette for “Kids’ Day in Negaunee” (a community comes together to give kids a special day) by Lauren Lasko, Lorissa Juntti and Ashley Longtine

Good News Award:  WGLI-FM / WCUP-FM, Hancock/Baraga, for “War Documentary Draws Big Crowds” (coverage of the showing of “Where Soldiers Come From” at Calumet Theatre) by Mark Wilcox

Feature Story

Certificate of Merit:  WMQT-FM / 8-18 Media, Marquette for “Festival of Light” (celebrating a Swedish tradition in Marquette County) by Julien Malherbe and Will Guter


Good News Award:  WMQT-FM / 8-18 Media, Marquette for “A Jump of No Return” (narrator faces up to a big fear and suggests others give it a try) by Lauren Lasko


Good News Award:  WNMU-FM, Marquette for “Mauvais Sort: Fait À Marquette” (The Quebecois folk ‘n’ roll band, Mauvais Sort, was in Marquette for a week teaching students about different instruments, singing songs and giving a short French language lesson; the visit ended with a concert performance at NMU) by Hans Ahlstrom, Professor Charles Ganzert and the NMU Advanced Audio Production Students


Feature Story

Certificate of Merit:  WBUP-TV, Ishpeming for “Alzheimer’s Walk for Dad” (Negaunee native Jeff Jennings walked from Marquette to Norway, Mich. to raise awareness of Alzheimer’s disease)by Cynthia Thompson

Certificate of Merit:  WLUC-TV, Negaunee for “Volunteerism at Marquette General” (an amazing volunteer dedicates her time at Marquette General Hospital by helping families pick out gifts for their loved ones) by Eric Kane


Certificate of Merit:  WLUC-TV, Negaunee for “The UPside” (an amazing student triumphs over tragedy) by Rob Jamros


Good News Award:  WBUP-TV, Ishpeming for “National Breast Cancer Awareness Month” (a compilation of reports on local efforts to encourage breast health) by Cynthia Thompson, Dan Gualdoni, Mike Hoey, Jen Cleary and Burns Severson

Good News Award:  WNMU-TV, Marquette for“Mauvais Sort:  Spellbound” (French Canadian ensemble, Mauvais Sort, performs at Northern Michigan University and captures the hearts of the audience with their energetic music) by Professor Dwight Brady and the students of the NMU Communication and Performance Studies Department

Written News, Daily

Straight News Story

Good News Award:  The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton for “Making Lemonade:  Orphan Graduate Beats the Odds” (young woman who grew up in foster care succeeds in achieving her educational goals) by Stacey Kukkonen

Good News Award:  The Daily Press, Escanaba for “Clothes Closet ‘Bigger and Better’”(Escanaba High School has a new space in the school for clothes and other items offered to students in need) by Jason Raiche

Certificate of Merit:  The Mining Journal, Marquette for “A Journey in Faith Starts with a Single Step” (a career woman decides to attend seminary at mid-career) by Johanna Boyle

Feature Story

Good News Award: The Daily News, Iron Mountain for “Diocese of Marquette Celebrates Fr. Joseph Gondek’s 100th Birthday” (acentenarian, who also was a priest for 74 years, talks about his journey through life) by Linda Lobeck

Good News Award:  The Daily Press, Escanaba for “A Case of Puppy Love” (hospital nurse offers to care for the dog of a sick elderly man) by Dorothy McKnight

Certificate of Merit:  The Daily Globe, Ironwoodfor “How Fontecchio Became a World Series Umpire” (Ironwood native Sam Fontecchio lives out a dream by becoming a Little League World Series umpire) by Jason Juno

Certificate of Merit:  The Mining Journal, Marquette for “Lifesaver:  Big Brothers Program Made Huge Difference” (a young man’s very positive experience with Big Brothers’ program)by Renee Prusi


Good News Award:  The Daily Globe, Ironwood for “Congratulations to our Interns on a Job Well Done” (The Daily Globe was well served by two bright, young ladies from local high school through year-long program) by Larry Holcombe

Certificate of Merit:  The Mining Journal, Marquette for “UPAWS Does Laudable Work Saving Animals” (the many great works by the U.P. Animal Welfare Shelter in saving stray and abandoned animals) by Renee Prusi

Regular Column

Certificate of Merit:  The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton for “Stories of Copper Country Past”(reflection about connecting with past generations) by Zach Kukkonen

Certificate of Merit:  The Mining Journal, Marquette for “The Drill:  Father’s Day Brings Memories of my Unforgettable Dad” (Columnist recalls his father, a wonderful man, on Father’s Day) by Bud Sargent


Good News Award:  The Daily Press, Escanabafor “Welcome Home 1430th:  Giuchin Family”(Pvt. Alonso Giuchin plays with his son during a welcome home ceremony for the National Guard’s 1430th Vertical Engineer Company after serving in Afghanistan for a year) by Holly Richer

Certificate of Merit:  The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton for “Bittersweet End for Lakes” (an injured player receives a hug from opposing coach in last home game of his senior season) by Brandon Veale


Good News Award:  The Daily Globe, Ironwoodfor “Cody Rye’s Adventure” (Recent Ironwood high school graduate and football player, who is confined to a wheelchair, is honored by many) byPat Krause

Good News Award:  The Daily Mining Gazette, Houghton for “Good Will Farm Series” (the history and various programs of the Good Will Farm, a residential treatment living center for youth) by Stacey Kukkonen

Good News Award:  The Mining Journal, Marquette for “The Ultimate Gift” (organ donation) by Renee Prusi

Written News, other than Daily

Straight News Story

Good News Award:  Win Awenen Nisitotung, Sault Ste. Marie for “Tapawingo Farms Aims to Help Disadvantaged Youth” (a start-up non-profit has a mission to help kids by interacting with horses and other animals) by Rick Smith

Good News Award:  Upper Peninsula Second Wave, Gwinn for “President Barack Obama Visits Marquette” (Following the President of the United States’ visit to Marquette, including a stop at a local business) by Sam Eggleston

Good News Award:  Bay Mills News, Brimley for“Bay Mills represented at Tribal Nations Conference” (For the first time since its inception, Bay Mills Indian Community attended the Tribal Nations Conference in Washington, D.C., where tribal member Mike Willis sang the opening flag song) by Shannon Jones

Certificate of Merit:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for “Research Reveals Rare Recording” (the discovery of a recording furthers a woman’s research of her Nisula-resident grandfather and his unique poetry) by David Maki

Certificate of Merit:  The North Wind, Marquette:  “Marquette Celebrates Holidays with Santa” (Downtown Development Association event features Santa visit) by Adelle Whitefoot

Feature Story

Good News Award:  Bay Mills News, Brimley for “Project Aims at Identifying Graves on Mission Hill” (Bay Mills historians work with local officials in an ongoing project to identify unmarked graves in Mission Hill Cemetery) by Sharlene Myers

Good News Award:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for “Garden Brings University, City Together” (a community garden connects Finlandia University and city of Hancock residents) by Leena Vänni

Good News Award:  The North Wind, Marquette:  “Shelter Provides Warmth for Homeless” (a closer look at the Room at the Inn program) by Delaney Lovett

Certificate of Merit:  Iron County Reporter, Iron River for “Pit Bull ‘Hero’ Rescues Lost Dog” (pet pit bull alerts owner and finds poodle on storm drain grate) by Allyce Westphal

Certificate of Merit:  Upper Peninsula Second Wave, Gwinn for “Diamonds and Dreams:  A Family Business” (a look at Wattsson & Wattsson and how the family came together to continue their father’s dream) by Deb Pascoe


Good News Award:  The Finnish American Reporter, Hancock for “Christmas on the Edge of Peace” (lamenting the intrusion of commercialism and professional sports into Christmas) by JimKurtti

Good News Award:  The North Wind, Marquette:  “Protests Allow Students to Have Voices Heard” (Occupy the U.P. protest exposes students to voicing their opinions) by Delaney Lovett and James Dyer

Certificate of Merit:  Marquette Monthly, Marquette for “Bully-proofing the Upper Peninsula” (description of the effort to bring the unhealthy behavior of bullying out of the darkness and the movement to change an “aggression-generating” system to one that “builds community and a sense of connectedness”) by Leslie Bek


Good News Award:  Upper Peninsula Second Wave, Gwinn for “UPside of Life:  Yoopers Embrace Challenge of Living in Rural Setting” (a rebuttal to the Associated Press/Detroit News article, “Michigan’s Upper Peninsula struggles to survive”) by Sam Eggleston


Good News Award:  The North Wind, Marquette:  “Embracing Tradition” (Native American Studies celebrates 15 years) by Ashley Wiggins

Good News Award:  Upper Peninsula Second Wave, Gwinn for “Music Lessons – Soo Theatre”(a teacher at the revitalized Soo Theatre gives piano lessons to a young student) by Shawn Malone

Certificate of Merit:  The Munising News, Munising for “This One’s for You, Steve!” (an entry in the 2011 Trenary Outhouse Classic was made and raced in dedication to a dear friend of the entrants) by Amanda Ingraham

Certificate of Merit:  Marquette Monthly, Marquette for “Fireworks in Blue” (an amazing “blue” view of one of the highlights of a spectacular fireworks display in Marquette’s Lower Harbor Mattson Park on the Fourth of July)by Tom Buchkoe.