Recap Of The City-County Observer’s “Annual Community Awards” Luncheon

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    Recap Of The City-County Observer’s “Annual Community Awards” Luncheon

    by Kyra L. Howard For Statehouse Files

    EVANSVILLE—Roughly 240 people gathered at BALLY’S-Evansville for The City-County Observer’s Annual Community Awards Luncheon. It was a record turnout for the paper.

    The CEO, and publisher of the City-County Observer kicked off the Nov. 3 gathering by expressing his appreciation for attendees’ help in honoring the outstanding community members. The luncheon brought students, political candidates, elected officers, elected judges, members of the business community  and people from across the region to support their families and friends receiving awards.   

    The luncheon is also a tribute to good journalism. Many of those who attended the luncheon said they valued that.

    Among them was Ron Geary, owner of Geary Capital, who has done business in Evansville for years.  “The CCO  finds the truth and reports it,” said Geary.  

    The CCO publisher was not the only journalist in the room at the affair. John Krull, director of the Pulliam School of Journalism at Franklin College, delivered the keynote address. 

     Krull told the story of his journey in building TheStatehouseFile.com. It was intended to get students off campus during the month of January and work outside of their comfort zone, both physically and mentally. But what started out in a small closet with a table—and Wi-Fi, as Krull noted—is now an official news source, with more than 35 paying media partners and a newsroom at the Indiana Statehouse.

     Due to the struggles of the news business and increased demand for content, Franklin College students now report from the Statehouse year round. 

     “It allows students to cover great intellectual distances in a very short period of time,” said Krull.  

    Krull was honored after his speech by Vanderburgh County Commissioners Cheryl Musgrave and Ben Shoulders that dedicated Nov. 3 as “John Krull Day” in Vanderburgh County to recognize his dedication to being a journalist and mentor. He also was given five $1,000 scholarships to help fund students working at the Statehouse.  

    These scholarships were named in honor of the 2022 “CCO Community Service” award recipients: W. Harold Calloway, Joe Kiefer, Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman and Sue Schriber and John Dunn. 

    When accepting the award, Dr. Dunn used his time to give a public apology to a fellow community leader, Vanderburgh County Superior Court Chief Judge Les Shively. The two had been on opposite sides of a legal battle years before. Judge Shively approached the stage for a tearful hug. Their reconciliation drew arousing applauses and tears and symbolized what the awards are meant to be about.