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Several York Dispatch staff members received honorable mentions in the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association's annual Keystone Awards.

Senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo and former staff members Christina Kauffman and Mollie Durkin received that distinction in the "special projects" category for a weeklong series that ran in March 2015 about the people suffering because of  the heroin epidemic that continues to plague York County.

City editor Gayle Eubank received the honorable mention for editorial writing. One of her editorials also touched on the issue of heroin, arguing that calling any heroin a "bad batch" is belittling the dangers of the drug. She also editorialized on the importance of  pre-K  education and a state law about cause-of-death notification.

Photographer Dawn Sagert was recognized for her photo titled "Saying Goodbye," which shows a member of the military handing a folded flag to the family of Cpl. Matthew Hanes, a local Army veteran who died last summer at 24 — three years after he was shot while on patrol in Afghanistan.

"The York Dispatch staff works tirelessly in service of strong community journalism," said Dispatch editor Allison Cooper. "Our heroin series looked at the people — not just 'the epidemic'  — including those who have died and those left behind. Dispatch journalists who have been recognized, including Liz Evans Scolforo — a senior crime reporter with 21 years of experience on the York crime and courts beat — were deeply invested in the project. There are many unnamed staffers who contributed to this project, as well, including photographers, page designers and editors."

The Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association hands out the awards every year, honoring statewide journalism.

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