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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) _ Journalists for The Associated Press, the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, the Los Angeles Times and the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel were among the winners of the Society of Professional Journalists' 2001 Sigma Delta Chi Awards for excellence in journalism.

The group on Wednesday cited the AP for its extensive coverage of the events of Sept. 11.

Tim Barker and Mary Shanklin of the Sentinel won for ``One Ticket Town: The Costs of a Tourism Economy,'' a series of stories on the effects of the tourism industry on the way of life and the economy in the Orlando metropolitan area.

SPJ's investigative reporting award went to Paul McEnroe of the Star Tribune for ``Voiceless and Vulnerable,'' an investigation into the deaths of developmentally disabled people in Minnesota state-regulated group homes.

The editorial writing award went to Alex Raksin and Bob Sipchen of the Los Angeles Times for a collection of editorials exploring the issues and dilemmas of mentally ill people living on the streets.

Raksin and Sipchen won the Pulitzer Prize this year for editorial writing. Los Angeles Times staffers also won for Washington reporting and general column writing.

Another 2002 Pulitzer winner, Clay Bennett of The Christian Science Monitor, won SPJ's editorial cartooning award.

The society announced 49 awards for newspapers and wire services, magazines, art/graphics, radio, television, research and online reporting.

``At a trying time for the country and for journalism, it's all the more important that we hold up the best examples of our craft, which both serve the public and serve to inspire fellow journalists to overcome the various obstacles they face each day,'' said Al Cross, SPJ's president and a political writer and columnist for The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, the Society of Professional Journalists is the largest U.S. journalism organization. The awards will be presented in September at SPJ's national convention in Fort Worth, Texas.

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On the Net: http://www.spj.org