Star-Tribune Building

The Casper Star-Tribune building.

The Star-Tribune earned eight Top of the Rockies awards Friday, taking home first-place honors for stories on Casper school closures, bare knuckle fighting and the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death.

The Top of the Rockies is a regional contest put on by the Society of Professional Journalists. It draws competitors from newspapers in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and New Mexico.

The staff of the Star-Tribune earned a collective first-place award for its special section examining the impact of Matthew Shepard’s murder 20 years after his death. The section, which featured more than a dozen stories, also earned a first place award from the Wyoming Press Association.

Reporters Seth Klamann, Heather Richards and Katie King received a first-place award for “The Last Bell,” the Star-Tribune’s coverage of four school closures in Casper. The trio, along with photographers Josh Galemore and Alan Rogers, documented the final day of all four schools as part of a larger examination of the closures and their effect on students and the larger community.

Managing editor Brandon Foster also took home a first-place honor for his detailed look at the people who are trying to use Wyoming as a launching pad for the sport of bare knuckle boxing.

Star-Tribune journalists also won five second-place awards in the following categories:

The Star-Tribune has so far this year earned more than 50 journalism awards, including a national award for its waterboarding coverage and being named the state’s top daily newspaper.

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