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Viva Colorado reporter Laressa Watlington has won first place for feature writing in Spanish from the Best of the West journalism contest for news organizations. More than 1,500 entries from the 14 states of the American West compete every year in multiple categories.

Watlington was honored for "El último adiós" (The Last Goodbye), an examination of how the Hispanic community copes with death, which was published for Día de los Muertos in October 2010. The judge called the story intense and well-written.

The piece also took home awards for story and photo from the Society of Professional Journalists, Colorado chapter, Top of the Rockies 2011 contest.

The Best of the West award is the eighth award that the Viva Colorado staff has won so far this year.

Viva Colorado is published by The Denver Post. The paper distributes 50,000 free issues weekly at 1,200 newsstands and retail outlets from Castle Rock to Greeley.On May 5 Viva Colorado launched its first bilingual edition.



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Viva Colorado reporter Laressa Watlington won first place for feature writing in Spanish from the Best of the West journalism contest for news
Viva Colorado reporter Laressa Watlington won first place for feature writing in Spanish from the Best of the West journalism contest for news organizations. (Javier Manzano/Viva Colorado)