In this year's installment of the Education Writers Association's journalism contest, Rob Jordan of the Miami New Times and April Jimenez of the Long Island Press both received first-place awards in the Feature, News Feature, or Issue Package category in different circulation divisions (Jordan in under 100,000; Jimenez in over 100,000). In addition, Westword's Luke Turf took home a special citation award in the same category for papers with a circulation under 100,000.

Continue ReadingAlt-Weekly Writers Win Education Reporting Awards

"Sandy was fresh from Texas, a tiny blonde in even tinier hot pants, with a big personality," the current Westword editor says of Widener, who she first met at Cornell in the '70s. Widener, who died with her husband and one of her daughters in a car accident late last month, went on to co-found the Denver alt-weekly with Calhoun and Rob Simon. "With each reminiscence," Calhoun says, "I keep wanting to reach for the phone to call Sandy, to utter a few words and be rewarded with a shriek. I'll get several numerals into the call before I suddenly remember that she's gone." There will be a service for Sandy, her husband John, and their daughter Chase in a few weeks in Denver, when daughter Katy, who was spared in the accident, is well enough to attend. In the meantime, a memorial site has been set up at

Continue ReadingPatricia Calhoun Remembers Westword Co-Founder Sandy Widener

Sandra Widener, who started the Denver alt-weekly in 1977 with Patricia Calhoun and Rob Simon, died on Saturday when the vehicle her family was in skidded out of control and a tractor trailer slammed into the driver's side, the Denver Post reports. She was 53 years old. Her husband, Democratic political consultant John Parr, and one of their two daughters also died in the crash. Their 17-year-old daughter is expected to leave the hospital today, according to the Rocky Mountain News. "Their house became a focal point for the neighborhood, and the world. Their friends included everybody," Calhoun tells the Post. "They always had students in from other countries. It was just a nonstop party." The News also reports that three drivers have been charged with driving too fast for conditions in the chain-reaction crash.

Continue ReadingWestword Co-Founder Dies in Car Crash

Jason Sheehan's Whiskey Down: A Story of Love, Sex, Death and Kitchens will chronicle his days in kitchens across the country before he started writing about food rather than making it six years ago, the Rocky Mountain News reports. The manuscript was sold at auction to Farrar, Straus and Giroux for an undisclosed amount. "I did really OK; I was very pleased," he says. "I'm one of those writers that hates all of my own stuff, but I really sort of like this book. I liked the chance of hanging out with the younger me again. Also, it's a fantastic book, and everybody should buy 10 or 12 copies."

Continue ReadingWestword Food Writer’s Debut Book Due Out Next Year

"Patty Calhoun is the co-founder and editor of Westword and probably has a greater knowledge of metro Denver than any other living journalist," the Denver Post writes. She was inducted into the Hall with four others on Friday evening. Calhoun, who was a founding member of AAN and served as its president in 1999-2000, currently chairs the association's editorial committee.

Continue ReadingWestword Editor Inducted into Denver Press Club Hall of Fame

Earlier this year, Steve Horner filed a discrimination complaint against Denver's alt-weekly for running an ad for a ladies' night promotion at a local bar. Yesterday, a Denver county judge dismissed Horner's claim. "Now I know how black people in the early part of the last century felt about being cheated out of their civil rights," said Horner, perhaps overreaching. The Rocky Mountain News reports that as the trial ended, Westword editor Patricia Calhoun announced that she was running to the ladies room. Turning to Horner, she added, "You don't object, do you?"

Continue ReadingWestword Triumphs in Suit Over ‘Ladies Night’ Ad

Steve Horner has been agressively suing bars and clubs that offer women free admission or special drink deals for discrimination since the early '90s. Now he's apparently moving on to more substantial targets. "I've put my money to frying bigger fish," he tells Denver's Westword. He's filed a complaint against the alt-weekly for publishing "at least 30 discriminatory ads" featuring the dreaded ladies' night over a five month period, and is asking for $15,000 in damages (roughly $500 per ad).

Continue ReadingMan Sues Alt-Weekly for Running Ladies’ Night Ads

This week, Denver's Curious Theatre Company put on their annual "Denver Stories" benefit show, and Act One featured the story of longtime Westword editor Patricia Calhoun. In Dee Covington's "The Showdown at Straight Creek, Or How the Westword Was Won," Martha Harmon Pardee "played a raucous Calhoun, getting Westword off the ground between saloon stops," the Denver Post reports. Calhoun, who served as AAN President in 1999-2000, currently chairs the association's Editorial Committee.

Continue ReadingWestword Editor’s Life, Adapted for the Stage

Jason Sheehan's story on a semi-secret, unlicensed eatery catering to Denver's tight-knit community of Ghanaian immigrants has been named a 2007 Bert Greene Award winner by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. The awards, announced Saturday in Chicago, recognize excellence in food journalism. This marks the second year in a row Westword has won. Last year, Adam Cayton-Holland's "Word of Mouth" took top honors.

Continue ReadingWestword Takes Home Bert Greene Award for Food Journalism