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Rocket Writers Reap Rewards


Four current Rocket-Courier staff members and the paper’s former editor were recently notified that they had been selected to receive awards honoring them for excellence in journalism.

Former editor Wes Skillings, Publisher David Keeler, Sports Editor Pete Hardenstine and General Manager Nancy Keeler will receive Keystone Press Awards from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association in May. Current editor Rick Hiduk will receive an award presented by Mid Atlantic Community Papers Association recognizing his work when he was editor of The Merchandiser in Lancaster County, PA

Skillings earned a first place award for his personality profile of a Louisiana gas well driller J.R. Dauzat who was working on well sites in Bradford County in May of 2010 when Skillings wrote the story. Skillings, who retired as Rocket-Courier editor at the end of March, also earned a first place award for his series about housing issues in Bradford County brought on by the advent of natural gas drilling. The series ran in January and February of 2010.

Pete Hardenstine earned first place honors for his sports outdoor column The End Zone Seat and second place for his sports beat coverage, which included articles about the Elk Lake cross country team’s quest for a state title in 2010.

David Keeler earned second place in the online breaking news category for his coverage of a fire that destroyed Robert Schantz’s residence in Homets Ferry in September of 2010. The coverage included email bulletins and online videos.

Hiduk earned a first place award for his feature story about the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum receiving a treasure-trove donation from a woman that was unknown to anyone at the museum.

Skillings, Hardenstine, and David and Nancy Keeler teamed up to earn an honorable mention for their work on the paper’s look back at the year 2010, a special year in review section that appeared in the Rocket-Courier’s final issue of 2010.

The judges picked Keystone Press Award winners’ work from articles submitted by similar size weekly newspapers from across Pennsylvania.

The Mid Atlantic Community Papers Association Awards are selected from community newspapers in  six states and the District of Columbia.

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