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for people who care about the West

Dear friends

WELCOME, SARAH GILMAN

  She's baaaa-aaa-ck! We're pleased to welcome former HCN intern Sarah Gilman as our new assistant editor. A Colorado native, Sarah was born and raised in Boulder. She earned a bachelor's degree in biology and studio art at Whitman College in Washington state in 2004.

The pull of the Rocky Mountains was too strong to deny, however, and she returned to Colorado, where she studied sparrows at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab near Crested Butte. Then she restored trails with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative until an internship at High Country News lured her to Paonia in January 2006.

After another summer of trail work, Sarah decided to pursue the glamorous life of Western journalism and took a position at the Aspen Daily News, where she covered local politics, public lands and wildlife. At HCN, she'll be editing news articles and profiles and penning "Two Weeks in the West." She's excited about joining us and offers this advice: "Never own anything you can't stuff in your van."

WE'RE SO PROUD

High Country News has won three Awards of Excellence from the Society for News Design. In the international Best of Newspaper Design 2007 competition, our "Facing the Yuck Factor" cover story, Sept. 17, 2007, won for design by Art Director Cindy Wehling and illustrations by freelance artist Paul Lachine. Cindy also won a designer's portfolio award. Winning entries will be listed in SND's 29th Best of Newspaper Design annual.

Senior editor Ray Ring's cover story "Death in the Energy Fields," April 2, 2007, was one of two finalists in the Investigative Reporting category of the Scripps Howard Foundation's 2007 National Journalism Awards. The judges said, "This piece tells a story that has been extremely underreported by media. It is a marriage of tenacious investigation and excellent writing. The stories of highlighted individuals and victims are riveting and the documentation of their plight is meticulous." The winners and finalists can be viewed at www.scripps.com/foundation.

VISITORS

Nevada City, Calif., resident Ellen Lapham and friend Jim McCarthy of Ridgway, Colo., stopped by to offer kudos and check out our digs. Ellen is the conservation chair at the American Alpine Club. She and Jim were on their way back to Ridgway from club meetings in Denver, Colo.

Joan Rhoades stopped by on her way home to Durango, Colo., after visiting nearby Glenwood Springs. A United Airlines pilot, Joan says she leaves copies of HCN in the cockpit "so people know what's going on." Her hawk's-eye view gives her a unique perspective on the West; throughout decades of red-eye flights, she's seen the lights of urban sprawl gobble up the long, dark stretches of land that once existed between Colorado and California.

BY ANY OTHER NAME

A photo in our Feb. 4 story "The Chaparralian" incorrectly labeled a wild lilac as a redroot shrub. And the Feb. 18 "Two Weeks in the West" included a photo of a porcupine - an African crested porcupine, not an American porcupine.