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News and Observer reporters win National Headliner Awards

This man and his cat became the faces of Florence and a story of resilience and hope

A photograph of Robert Simmons Jr. and a kitten, Survivor, in a flooded New Bern, NC, neighborhood, went viral during Hurricane Florence. Here is what happened to Simmons and the cat after the picture was taken.
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A photograph of Robert Simmons Jr. and a kitten, Survivor, in a flooded New Bern, NC, neighborhood, went viral during Hurricane Florence. Here is what happened to Simmons and the cat after the picture was taken.

Two News & Observer reporters have won National Headliner Awards for their reporting and photography, the Press Club of Atlantic City announced Monday.

Andrew Carter, a reporter on the investigative and enterprise team, won two awards: first place for sports writing by an individual or team; and third place for newspaper spot photography for a photo of a man and his kitten escaping Hurricane Florence.

Columnist Luke DeCock won third place for sports column by an individual.

The awards have been given to journalists in radio, television and print since 1935 and are considered one of the oldest “annual contests recognizing journalistic merit in the communications industry,” according to the organization’s website.

Here’s the reporters’ award-winning work:

Andrew Carter

1st Place, Sports writing by an individual or team

‘Like you just have no brain after the game.’ Inside a UNC lineman’s concussion ordeal.

Their community lost nearly everything. Can a football team give them hope?

25 years before the protests over Silent Sam, UNC athletes united over another cause

3rd place, Newspapers spot news photography

A man and his cat: Robert Simmons Jr. and his kitten, named Survivor, were rescued from floodwaters in New Bern, after Hurricane Florence dumped several inches of rain in the area overnight, Sept. 14, 2018. Carter’s photograph, which accompanied the following stories, became an iconic shot of the devastation of Hurricane Florence.

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Luke DeCock

3rd place, Sports column by an individual

After awful year, Scott Darling tries to rise again. Can he save his career – and the Canes?

A friend (and ECU fan) named Busta, and the goodbye I never got to say

No one ever thought Mack Brown would come back to save UNC, until he did

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