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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

USA TODAY Receives Top IRE Award, Three Gannett Sites Honored as Finalists

USA TODAY, Reno Gazette-Journal, KUSA and The Tennessean were among honorees in the 2012 Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) Awards competition. The annual IRE Awards honor the best in investigative journalism.

    USA TODAY reporter Brad Heath won the Tom Renner award for “Locked Up.” Heath discovered dozens of men locked up on gun possession charges even though a federal appeals court had concluded they had not committed a federal crime. Judges said that “IRE commends Heath for digging for the truth to correct an unbelievable breakdown in the justice system.”
    Reno Gazette-Journal’s Martha Bellisle was a finalist in the Print/Online/Small category for her month-long investigation of the rift between ATF agents and the U.S. Attorney that left Reno vulnerable to gun violence.
    KUSA-TV in Denver, with the Denver Post, was a finalist in the FOI category for a six-month investigation, “Failed to Death.” KUSA’s Nicole Vap, Jeremy Jojola, Jace Larson and Anna Hewson looked at the Colorado child welfare system and the number of Colorado children who died as a result of child abuse over the past five years.
    The Tennessean in Nashville was a finalist in the Investigations Triggered by Breaking News category. When an unprecedented outbreak of fungal meningitis began last fall in Tennessee, The Tennessean’s Tom Wilemon, Walter F. Roche Jr., Lisa Green, Duane Marsteller, Jessica Bliss and Josh Brown reacted with aggressive and highly interactive coverage that led the nation.

For a complete list of IRE award winners and finalists, read here.