Castlegar News reporter Betsy Kline spent several months researching and writing a series entitled “Critical Care,” which has now been recognized with a national award.

Castlegar News reporter Betsy Kline spent several months researching and writing a series entitled “Critical Care,” which has now been recognized with a national award.

Castlegar News picks up national honour

Betsy Kline’s series on the state of emergency health services in B.C. recognized

A report outlining shortcomings in ambulance services in B.C.’s Interior has netted a Castlegar News reporter a national award.

The Canadian Community Newspaper Association awarded Betsy Kline third place in the Best Feature Series category for “Critical Condition,” which looked at the state of emergency health services in B.C.

READ MORE: Critical Condition Investigation

“I am really excited to win this award, partially because it will help bring the problems with pre-hospital care in rural British Columbia back into the public’s attention,” says Kline.

The series ran in print versions of Black Press newspapers regionally, and provincially on the chain’s websites in the spring of 2018.

“The Critical Condition series took several months to research and write, but I felt it was important to do because gaps in ambulance services are affecting the lives of people across the whole province when they are most vulnerable,” added Kline.

In the final weeks the series ran, BCEHS announced three full-time paramedic positions for Castlegar and a part-time community paramedic position.

A few months later the City of Trail was given an additional ambulance and three new paramedic positions.

Several of the News’ sister papers in the Kootenays were similarly honoured at the annual CCNA Awards, which recognize the best in community publishing across the country.

The Nelson Star won three awards, including finishing first in the Best Front Page category, circulation 6,500 to 12,499, based on its editions of Jan. 12 and July 26, 2018.

Tyler Harper’s story “Nancy Greene Raine takes a bow,” was third in the Best Feature Story category. The story profiled the Rossland-raised ski legend as she marked the 50th anniversary of her Olympic gold medal and retirement as a senator.

Bill Metcalfe was third in the Excellence in Rural Reporting category for “De Groot family slams investigation report.” The story reported the reaction of Peter de Groot’s relatives to the Independent Investigations Office report on the Slocan man’s death at the hands of the RCMP.

Former Grand Forks Gazette reporter Kathleen Saylors took second in the Best Spot News Photo Coverage category for a picture of last year’s flooding in Grand Forks.

Kimberley Vlasic of the Fernie Free Press was second in the Best Feature Story category for “Creating bosom buddies,” about a network of women who trade breast milk.

Phil McLachlan, also of the Free Press, was first in the Best Sports Photo category for “Spills and thrills at Canada/BC Cup.”

Local Black Press newspapers also received eight honours at the Ma Murray Awards in Richmond in April.