Press staffers recognized

Staff Reports

NEW ORLEANS — American Press staff writer Emily Fontenot and page designer Devin Dronett were recognized Saturday night during the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters and Media Editors News Excellence Awards at the National World War II Museum.

Fontenot placed second in the feature writing category for her April 2017 piece on Joe Thompson, who lived the homeless life in Lake Charles for more than a year as he filmed a documentary on his experiences.

“Joe Thompson wakes up most days with the sun. He presses his shirt on the beach, tidies his backpack and puts on a pair of faded tennis shoes,” her lead paragraph reads.

“March 1 made a year since he started going by ‘Homeless Joe’ and living in a sleeping bag by the Lake Charles Yacht Club,” she wrote. “At first it was just a 30-day experiment, he said, in which he filmed a mini-documentary about the trials of being homeless. But, he said, at the end of the month he felt called to continue working on the documentary for a full year.”

Dronett received second place in the layout and design category for designing Scene covers and food review pages.

Dronett’s winning entry was for a Dec. 28, 2017, Scene cover featuring a local curator Paul Dufrene. Dufrene, who was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia as a teen and now uses a wheelchair, was nominated for Best Online Music Show by Mixcloud’s Online Radio Awards.