The Bee recently was honored with two Best of the West journalism awards, recognized as the West's most prestigious competition for the industry.
The Bee's coverage May 1, 2007, of the announcement that the Hershey chocolate plant in Oakdale would close -- led by the Work & Money staff -- won second place in business reporting.
"It was obvious The Bee staff had an idea this shutdown was coming and had done its advance work," the judges said. "The sidebars and graphics helped explain the 'why' of the closure, as well as the impact. This is the way major breaking news should be handled."
Graphics artist Lauren McAdam won third place in illustrations for her "Bad Dog" page design July 7, 2007.
In honoring her work, the judges said: "This illustration of a dog going rampant on newspapers and a shoe had several emotions built into it: funny, cute and intense. Color use was phenomenal and the typography was built in well. This 'bad dog' wasn't bad at all -- it was pretty great."
The Best of the West competition began in 1988 and this year drew more than 2,000 entries from journalists in the 13 states from the Rockies to Alaska and Hawaii. Newspapers are judged together, regardless of circulation size.
Dominating the awards this year were the Los Angeles Times, The Seattle Times and The Oregonian in Portland, each with double-digit awards.
McClatchy papers took eight awards, including the two for Modesto. The Fresno Bee won three awards, The Tacoma (Wash.) News-Tribune took two and The Sacramento Bee won one.