Miami New Times' Lee Klein won a first-place award for Newspaper Restaurant Criticism in this year's Association of Food Journalists awards. Robb Walsh of the Houston Press and Randall Roberts of Riverfront Times took second and third place, respectively, in the Newspaper Food Feature category; and Seattle Weekly's Maggie Dutton finished second in the Newspaper Food Column category. Winners were announced last weekend at a banquet in Houston.
Armond White will replace Entertainment Weekly critic Lisa Schwarzbaum as chairman of the New York Film Critics Circle. White, who previously held the same post in 1994, becomes the third African-American to chair NYFCC in the group's 75-year history.
U.S. District Court Judge Susan Bolton this week dismissed some, but not all, of a suit filed in April over the arrests of New Times founders Michael Lacey and Jim Larkin last year. Bolton dismissed the allegations of racketeering and negligence against special prosecutor Dennis Wilenchik and Sheriff Joe Arpaio, in addition to dismissing County Attorney Andrew Thomas entirely as a defendant, New Times reports. However, she left claims of gross negligence, malicious prosecution, and false arrest and imprisonment to be handled by Superior Court, unless facts presented in an amended complaint persuade her otherwise (New Times has until Oct. 31 to file such a complaint). Saying that Bolton's ruling "is not a surprise," Lacey writes in a blog post that "her ruling in the current case is consistent with her scant regard for the First Amendment and the rights of a free press."
Joe Glisson, who has been New Times' political cartoonist for 25 years, is celebrating with a new retrospective book, Seems Like Old Times. "I had done the first book [1986's Dome Sweet Dome] a number of years ago, and I thought that I would like to have a companion to it," he says. "And this is the 25th year that I've been doing this, so I thought it was an appropriate time to do a retrospective. I don't know if anybody else feels that way, but I wanted to do it." Read more from Glisson in a Q&A posted at AltWeeklies.com.
New Times filed a complaint in Maricopa County Court on Monday, asking that a judge order Sheriff Joe Arpaio to hand over public records that his office has refused to produce despite public records requests. The paper says the records include video footage of the final moments of an Juan Mendoza Farias' life. Farias, an inmate, died last December after an altercation with 11 jail guards, as the paper reported last month. New Times first filed a request for the video in July, but the paper has been stonewalled. The suit alleges that the withholding "is without merit, speculative, made in bad faith and insufficient as a matter of law to avoid compliance with the Arizona Public Records Law." The sheriff has 20 days to file a legal explanation for not releasing the records.
To mark the occasion, the paper has put together a package reflecting not only its 35th anniversary, but its purchase last winter by Newspapers of New England Inc. During "seven-plus years of corporate ownership" under the Hartford Courant and the Tribune Company, the Advocate "found itself in the hands of a corporation that prized uniformity over individuality, that worried more about its shareholders than its readers, that bought into a world view that has become endemic in mainstream publishing," editor Tom Vannah writes. "More than a simple marking of time, then, this 35th anniversary is part of the Valley Advocate's rediscovery of the virtues of being an independent alternative to the corporate brand of media we were born to challenge."
Local law enforcement authorities want to determine whether to open an child pornography investigation as a result of photos published in the paper's current issue and on its website, according to the East Valley Tribune. The nude photos of artist Betsy Schneider's children accompany a story about her art, which is featured in a photography show that opened last week in downtown Phoenix. A spokesman in the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and an assistant city attorney in Phoenix's civil division confirm that the police have referred the case. The city attorney says the photos are unlikely to be found illegal, but adds that if they are, "Everybody who picked up one those issues (of the New Times) could be prosecuted for possessing child pornography."
Eric Barton, the managing editor of Village Voice Media's The Pitch in Kansas City, will take over soon as the company's top editorial employee in Fort Lauderdale. According to a VVM press release, Barton "was closely involved in the growth of The Pitch's website" during his tenure in Kansas City, and he helped Pitch.com "double its traffic by adding blogs, video, audio, podcasts and slideshows." Barton takes the reins at New Times Broward-Palm Beach on September 22.
In the non-daily print division, both the Memphis Flyer and Miami New Times won four first-place awards in the annual contest which "recognizes outstanding journalism in 11 southeastern states." The Flyer placed first in disaster coverage, editorial writing, feature reporting, and political reporting. It also tacked on two third-place finishes. Miami New Times finished first in consumer reporting, courts and law reporting, criticism (a category swept by alt-weeklies), and non-deadline news. New Times added one third-place finish as well. In addition, New Times Broward-Palm Beach took home two awards, including a first-place win for sports reporting; while both Mountain XPress and North Carolina's Independent Weekly went home with a second-place award. Winners were announced Saturday in Atlanta.