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Current-Argus wins NMPA awards for business, environmental and obituary news reporting

SANTA FE – The New Mexico Press Association recognized the Carlsbad Current-Argus with awards for business, environmental and agricultural and breaking news reporting at its annual Better Newspaper awards banquet Saturday.

Current-Argus reporter Adrian Hedden shared a first place award with Ed Williams, staff writer for Searchlight New Mexico in the Daily Class 2 Business Writing category. Searchlight New Mexico is a non-partisan, nonprofit news organization dedicated to investigative reporting in New Mexico. 

Through their reporting, Williams and Hedden explored the impact of COVID-19 on the economy of the City of Carlsbad, an oil and gas community in southeast New Mexico. 

“Beautifully articulates the complex web of costs of the pandemic to Carlsbad painting a vivid portrait from visceral individual experiences,” a judge commented about the entry.

Read the article:Thriving coronavirus, ailing oil industry leave Carlsbad residents struggling

Hedden also won second place in the same category, sharing the award with Thomas Zambito, investigative reporter for The Journal News, a Gannett owned newspaper in New York. 

Adrian Hedden

The reporters details how nuclear fuel generated in New York, New Jersey and across the nation could find a home in New Mexico as Holtec International explored the construction of a repository in Carlsbad. The article outlined how the project might spark a new economic pillar for the state steeped in fossil fuel extraction.

The same reporting earned Hedden and Zambito a first place award in the Daily Class 2 Environmental and Agricultural Writing category.

The judge said: “This is a comprehensive overview of the issue, with details that give the readers a vivid sense of the community in the middle of it.” 

Read the reporting:Nuclear solution for New Mexico’s economy could be key to storing Northeast’s spent fuel