Eagle takes 7 golds in KC Press Club awards

The Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com won seven gold medals in the annual Heart of America Awards sponsored by the Kansas City Press Club.

The winners were announced Saturday night at a banquet in Kansas City, Mo.

Competing in the large-dailies category, The Eagle took gold for Deadline Reporting for its coverage of the shooting death of abortion provider George Tiller. Members of that reporting team were Joe Rodriguez, Stan Finger, Tim Potter, Dion Lefler, Deb Gruver, Conor Shine, Kevin McGrath and Stephanie Barnard.

Dion Lefler won gold in Public Service Project for a series of stories on Treece, a town in southeast Kansas beset by pollution problems after decades of lead and zinc mining.

Karen Shideler won in Feature reporting for "A Life to Remember," a poignant story about a perinatal hospice for those who know their babies likely will die before or shortly after birth.

"The Miracle of Father Kapaun," an eight-part series written by Roy Wenzl, finished first in the Profile category. It chronicled the life and death of Father Emil Kapaun, who died in a Korean prisoner of war camp and is being considered for sainthood by the Catholic church.

A documentary of the same name by Travis Heying received a bronze medal in the Documentary Program category.

Kansas.com won gold medals in all three online categories: best News Website; best Multimedia Package for its site devoted to Father Kapaun; and best Blog, for Carrie Rengers' "Have You Heard?" which appears online and also daily in The Eagle's Business Today section.