LaVerne Harris Stevenson

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) _ LaVerne Harris Stevenson, a journalist whose investigative pieces won several awards, died Friday at age 76.

Stevenson, who wrote under the byline ``Bunny Harris,'' died of chronic lung disease at Brookridge Healthcare Center in Winston-Salem, according to her daughter.

A native of Lexington, Stevenson joined the now-closed Raleigh Times in 1953. She covered city hall, courts, state government and crime at a time when many female journalists were confined to society and fashion news.

Stevenson won top awards from the North Carolina Press Association for spot news and feature writing in 1954 and 1955. She joined The Charlotte Observer in 1956 as an investigative reporter and that year won another association news reporting award.

She left daily newspapers in 1962 to raise her daughter, and worked as a freelance medical writer for 15 years until 1998.

Her husband was H.L. Stevenson, the former editor in chief of United Press International, who died in 1995.