Dallas Observer staff writer Thomas Korosec took home two Katie Awards in the recent five-state journalism contest. Korosec won first place in the Specialty Reporting category for a portfolio of stories concerning the Dallas Police Department and crime. Those stories included the January 16, 2003, cover story, "Dallas' Chief Problem," the first major investigative story in Dallas that delved into former police Chief Terrell Bolton's problematic tenure as head of the police department. Also in the portfolio were "Ticket to Ride," a March 13, 2003, story detailing problems among the police rank and file caused by poor morale, and "The Reluctant Witness," from July 18, 2002, which examined an unsolved missing persons case.
Korosec also won first place in the Business News Story category for "Enough to Make You Sick," a September 26, 2002, feature detailing how the sickest victims of asbestos exposure are getting a raw deal in the courts because of a glut of injury claims by men and women with little or no damage.
The Observer also took first for Best Non-Daily Newspaper in a major market, and freelancer Cheryl Smith won first place in the Arts Feature category for "Blue-Collar Nights," her August 15, 2002, report on two Dallas Latino clubs that post the highest liquor sales in the state.
In other recent competition, the Observer took two first-place honors in its circulation class in the National Association of Black Journalists 2003 Salute to Excellence Awards. Jim Schutze took first in the Commentary category for his August 22, 2002, cover story, "Crossing Division Street." Schutze had written about growing up as the only white kid in a black grade school in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Observer also won first in the Sports Story category for "Back in Bounds," a September 5, 2002, cover story by Editor Julie Lyons on Michael Irvin's struggles with drugs.