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Bee’s Carmen George wins Best of the West column-writing award

Fresno Bee columnist Carmen George, right, sits with George Whitmore, 85, at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park during a May 2016 interview.
Fresno Bee columnist Carmen George, right, sits with George Whitmore, 85, at Taft Point in Yosemite National Park during a May 2016 interview. Fresno Bee file

Bee columnist Carmen George won second place for general interest column writing in the 2016 Best of the West journalism contest.

The contest began in 1988 and annually draws about 1,000 entries from journalists in the 14 states from the Rockies west to Alaska and Hawaii. Its 27 categories are not divided by newspaper circulation size.

George was honored for her “Heart in the San Joaquin” columns. Her three entries told the stories of a double-amputee Marine, a 102-year-old Fresno benefactor and inmates who train shelter dogs.

“Ms. George paints portraits of people with words. Through well placed quotes and rich descriptions, she reveals subtleties of human behavior. Lovely prose and writing,” wrote the judge, Amanda Beam, a columnist for the News and Tribune in Jeffersonville, Ind.

Ralph Strangis of the Dallas Morning News won first place. There were 27 entries in the category.

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