Winner of 2018 Associated Press Managing Editors Awards, div. I, best digital project, 1st place
Winner of 2018 Associated Press Managing Editors Awards, div. I, best photo story, 3rd place
Winner of 2017 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, best video, 2nd place
Winner of 2017 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, best graphics artist, 3rd place
Winner of 2017 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, best illustration or informational graphic 3rd place “Heroin overdose death numbers”
Winner of 2017 Ohio News Photographers Association, May clip contest, 1st place, photo story
Winner of 2017 USA Today Network journalism awards 2nd quarter, div. III, 1st place digital storytelling
Winner of 2017 USA Today Network journalism awards 2nd quarter, div. III, video finalist
Winner of 2017 USA Today Network journalism awards 2nd quarter, div. III, consumer engagement and experiences finalist
Winner of 2017 Media Network of Central Ohio, May MVP Award, 2nd place
Winner of 2016 Ohio News Photographers Association, March clip contest, 1st place portrait “Heroin t-shirt”
Winner of 2016 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, 2nd place, best photo story
Winner of 2016 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, 3rd place, best video “Richie’s story: from heroin to hope”
Winner of 2016 Media Network of Central Ohio March MVP Awards, 1st place
Heroin: face of addition
Heroin: face of addiction 17:15
Heroin addiction has caused an unprecedented surge in overdoses, deaths and crime in Sandusky County since 2013. Addicts, their families and law enforcement tell stories of lives ripped apart from heroin addiction.
Richie’s story: from heroin to hope 12:30
Richie Webber, 24, of Clyde was a high school track star and good student, until he broke his arm playing football and was prescribed painkillers.
Mother’s fight: saving son from heroin 6:00
Theresa Musser of Fremont watched her son, Colton, struggle with heroin addiction, checking every morning to see if he was still alive.
Heroin overdoses: flirting with death 14:30
First responders, recovering heroin addicts and law enforcement explain what physically happens during an overdose, reasons why overdoses happen, and resulting legal issues.
Remembering Bryce: heroin takes a life 5:10
Bryce Williamson had a funny, sarcastic wit and a good heart. Although he became addicted to heroin, his family supported him through rehab and he was one year sober. Then, at 23, he used just one more time.
Heroin addicts’ kids: trapped innocents 11:15
Kids struggle with the fallout of parent’s heroin addictions. Social workers and the court system talk about the impact.
Heroin crime: living at the breaking point 13:30
Recovering addicts and law enforcement tell stories of living deep in heroin addiction and the resulting crimes.
Dustin’s story: officer poked by heroin needle 2:50
Officer Dustin Nowak responded to a call of suspected drug activity on the east side of Fremont. After he surprised a woman shooting up drugs in a vehicle, his life changed forever.
Block watch: police educate about heroin 6:00
Detective Jason Kiddey of the Fremont Police Department educates residents how to identify heroin and other drugs by passing around examples confiscated by the police department at a Block Watch meeting.
Heroin: searching for sobriety 17:10
Recovering addicts, social service providers and law enforcement explore treatments for heroin addiction in Sandusky County.
Kyle’s story: lifetime struggle for heroin sobriety 4:20
Kyle Wyss, 31, of Fremont has been injecting drugs for the past 10 years. He lost everything to deep addiction, never held a job and lived under a bridge. Wyss has been to rehab multiple times. His longest break from using heroin had been five months. Until now.
Heroin’s unrelenting grip
Kayla Davis’ story: “shooting demons” 10:00
Kayla Davis, 26, of Bellevue tells her story of heroin addiction, interviewed four months before her overdose death of 3-methylfentanyl on July 20, 2016.
Fentanyl causing deaths 2:40
Disguised as heroin, more powerful synthetic painkillers are causing an increase in overdose deaths in Sandusky County.
Drug overdose numbers in Sandusky County 1:30
In 2016, drug overdose deaths doubled in Sandusky County from the previous year.
Ohio’s 911 Good Samaritan Law 1:20
Effective September 2016, Ohio’s new Good Samaritan Law provides immunity, with restrictions, from prosecution to people who call for medical assistance.
Heroin overdoses: stop putting water on people :55
Capt. John Marcson with Sandusky County EMS explains why putting water on someone overdosing on heroin does not work to revive a person.
New Drug Task Force 3:35
Newly elected Sandusky County Prosecutor Tim Braun explains his hopes for newly formed Sandusky County drug task force now that the 5 year, 0.55-mill levy narrowly passed by 162 votes – 4,472 to 4,310.
Martel Copeland’s story: life ended too soon 4:40
Nancy Copeland and Shane Durbin remember their son, Martel Copeland, 22, of Fremont who died of a drug overdose on Aug. 27, 2016.
Sober support on a Friday night 1:15
Recovering heroin addict Richie Webber, 25, of Clyde organizes sober events for recovering addicts through his newly formed nonprofit organization, Fight for Recovery.
Joey Silcox’s story: relapse just after rehab 2:50
Dr. Paul Silcox remembers his son, Joey, 25, of Bellevue who died of a drug overdose on Nov. 12, 2016.
Drug Court 6:05
Drug court started in Sandusky County in 2014 by Judge John Kolesar. In addition to probation, the judge helps non-violent offenders in legal trouble because of a drug problem create a better reality for themselves.
Experiencing a heroin overdose 1:05
Recovering opiate addict Andrew Laubacher, 29, of Fremont details his experience overdosing the only time he used heroin.
Meth abuse overtaking heroin
Family overcomes grip of heroin addiction 6:00
Together for 24 years, Jeff Schill, 40, and Angela Trimble, 39, of Port Clinton met in junior high and fell in love in high school. When Jeff became addicted to opiates, then heroin, addiction almost tore their family apart.
Not actually heroin 1:00
Drugs on the street sold as heroin are usually more potent synthetics, leading to accidental fatal drug overdoses, according to Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten.
Naloxone saving lives 1:30
The number of fatal overdoses in Ottawa County decreased from 14 in 2016 to 7 last year, a drop that officials attribute to law enforcement carrying naloxone.
Drug Addiction Response Team 2:35
Trevor Johnson with Ottawa County’s Drug Addiction Response Team responds to drug overdoses and links addicts with services to avoid criminal charges by complying with recommended treatment steps and completing a law enforcement supervision period.
Meth overtaking heroin abuse 2:05
Heroin abuse in Ottawa County is being replaced by meth, a strong central nervous system stimulant. Meth users stay awake for days, are prone to paranoia, and create open sores by scratching at their skin.
Light House Sober Living 1:50
Light House Sober Living in Port Clinton offers a sober living community for recovering addicts. The men’s home opened three years ago with 15 beds, and the women’s home opened two months ago with 7 beds.
“Molly had a very nice portrait of a subject that is breaking the hearts of families, friends and community members around the nation. It was a simple portrait of a person who lost a loved one from their battle with heroin addiction. The Buffalo News staff has had several assignments in the last several months trying to tell this story with our cameras and it has proved almost impossible. We looked at Molly’s picture for a long time. We liked it.”
-Winner of 2016 Ohio News Photographers Association, March clip contest, 1st place portrait “Heroin t-shirt”
“Excellent work delving into a story and showcasing the raw side of this world and these people’s stories.”
-2016 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I , best photo story, 2nd place “Heroin: Face of Addiction”
“Terrific story about addiction, how it takes hold and the road to recovery. Having a willing subject who is also eloquent certainly helps. “
-2016 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I , best video, 3rd place “Richie’s Story: From Heroin to Hope”
“This tremendously productive duo built upon their 2016 coverage of this story with emotional, insightful stories of people whose lives have been changed forever by the epidemic of heroin use and synthetic drugs. The video interviews provide an understanding of the effect on these people’s lives that would be nearly impossible to achieve with text alone. ”
-2017 USA Today Network journalism awards 2nd quarter, Div. III, 1st place digital storytelling
“The use of the “men and women shapes” gave a great visual impact on the increasing negative effects of drug overdoses. Helped send a powerful message instead of just using numbers.”
-2017 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, best graphics artist, 3rd place
“This graphic gives a sense of emotion, because you count people, not numbers, by presenting the statistics with “human figures.” Well done.”
-2017 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, best illustration or informational graphic 3rd place, “Heroin overdose death numbers”
“This video series works very well as a companion to the series of stories on the heroin crisis. I enjoyed that each video told a different story or provided distinctive information to the viewer.”
-2017 Associated Press Managing Editors awards, div. I, best video, 2nd place