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Reporters Group Announces Winners of Investigative Awards

March 19, 1985

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ The Detroit Free Press, the Fort Lauderdale News and Sun-Sentinel and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch have won investigative reporting awards, the sponsoring group, Investigative Reporters and Editors, announced Monday.

Awards also were made to smaller newspapers, four television stations, two magazines and a radio station.

IRE, which has 2,000 members, said it received 363 entries for the competition, in its sixth year. Journalism professors screened the entries before a panel of investigative reporters selected up to three winners in each category.

Detroit Free Press reporter Dolly Katz was cited in the category of newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation for a series on incompetent doctors who rarely come to the attention of state regulators and, if they are discovered, rarely lose their licenses.

The News and Sun-Sentinel and reporter Fred Schulte was named for a series reporting that Veterans Administration officials ignored warnings about high death rates during heart surgery at certain hospitals.

Post-Dispatch writers Jon Sawyer and Bill Freivogel were honored for a series about allegations of fraud at General Dynamics.

In the category of newspapers with circulation of less than 75,000 Peter Klebnikov of the New York City Tribune was named for stories about John Zaccaro, the husband of the 1984 Democratic vice president candidate, Geraldine Ferraro.

An investigative team at the Santa Fe, N.M., Reporter headed by Roger Morris was given an award for a series about abuse and questionable deaths at the New Mexico State Hospital.

Mark Vogler of the Winter Haven, Fla., News Chief was cited for a series on child molesters teaching in the public schools.

Awards for television stations in the top 20 markets went to KPRC-TV in Houston and to WBBM-TV in Chicago.

KPRC reporters Rick Nelson and Joe Collum, executive producer Bob Franklin, photographer Peter Roets and researcher Carrie Glasser were given two awards. One award was for a series on thousands of patients who die on operating tables and another was for a report about the defrauding of low-income minority homeowners.

The WBBM team of reporter Pam Zekman, producer Andy Segal, associate producer Sandy Bergo and investigator Jack Murphy was cited for a report on the allegedly poor performance of the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Awards for TV stations below the top 20 markets were made to WSMV-TV in Nashville and WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids.

Reporter Steve Ekert at WSMV was named for a series about loan fraud at the Production Credit Association of Springfield, Tenn.

WZZM and reporter Mark Lagerkvist were cited for two related series about county sheriffs in Michigan.

ARTnews of New York was given an award in the magazine category for a story about how the Austrian government holds art works taken from victims of the Holocaust.

Common Cause was named in the magazine category for a story about the federal approval of NutraSweet as a low-calorie sweetener.

In the radio category, WGST of Atlanta and reporter Harry Beadle was named for a series of reports about the city council president voting on programs in which he had a financial interest.

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