Eyewitness News Receives Nine Keystone Media Awards

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EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — The Eyewitness News Team is the proud recipient of Nine Keystone Media Awards.

Best Spot News Coverage – Second Place: “Turkey Hill Standoff” Andy Mehalshick and Ed Keller 

Turkey Hill Standoff/hostage situation…. Eyewitness News I-Team Reporter Andy Mehalshick and videographer Ed Keller were first on the scene of this breaking story on air and online. Eyewitness News live streamed the hostage situation at Turkey Hill in the Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre in May of 2020. It was a standoff, hostage situation. The suspect was strapped with a bomb.    

Best Continuing Coverage – First Place: I-Team: “Luzerne County Ballots” Andy Mehalshick and Mark Albrecht 

Questions and concerns continue to be raised about the circumstances surrounding military mail-in ballots that were thrown away at the Luzerne County Bureau of Elections. 

Best Continuing Coverage – Second Place: “Toxic Schools” Cody Butler and Andy Mehalshick 

WBRE/WYOU-TV (Eyewitness News) investigated toxic school environments in the Scranton School District. We learned that water fountains were being put “out of order” to stop children from drinking from lead-infected pipes. District officials were later charged.

Best Feature – First Place: “Final Blessing”  Mark Hiller and Mark Albrecht 

Rev. Gary Mensinger of Northeastern Pennsylvania was known as a giving man. Besides serving two faith communities, he was also a fire department chaplain, a board member of an animal rescue group, and a former council member. When he died unexpectedly in December 2019, he provided the world with one final blessing: donation of his organs which benefited people on an organ transplant list. This story aired in February 2020.

Best Documentary – First Place: “Veterans Voices 2020”  Jayne Ann Bugda, Tim Haberski, Matt Gronski, and the Eyewitness News Team 

In November, Eyewitness News honored our veterans with a special presentation “Veterans Voices”.  We featured the stories of the men and women who are dedicated to bringing recognition to area veterans and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. During our hour presentation, we wanted to share their stories with a new generation.    

Best Documentary – Honorable Mention: “Black History Month 2020” Jayne Ann Bugda, Tim Haberski, News Team  

We are very proud of our team effort of sharing stories of Black History in Northeastern and Central Pennsylvania. 

Best Public Service – Second Place: PA Live “Suicide Awareness” Chris Bohinski, Haley Bianco, Sandy Wisnewski 

During suicide awareness month this year, Haley and Chris met up with a mother and son who wake up every day to live with life after suicide. This story focuses on the impact their husband/father’s suicide has on them, two years later. The interviews are done in their backyard, sitting around a bonfire having a casual conversation. A conversation, that we hope continues into the homes of the viewers. The family expressed how before Dino’s death, they only knew the stigma associated with mental health. Now, they are advocates for mental health and lead many suicide prevention walks in the area. The goal is to give others a platform to start the conversation about mental health, which will save lives. This piece is an effort by both hosts of PA Live! and premiered in an hour-long mental health matters show.

Best Regularly Scheduled News/Talk – First Place: Newsmakers “COVID-19 Dealing with Addiction” Jayne Ann Bugda, Andy Mehalshick, Matt Gronski   

In July, The topic was dealing with addiction and substance abuse during a pandemic. The panel of guests includes Jason Harlen, CEO Wyoming Valley Drug and Alcohol, Stefanie Wolownick, WVDA, Prevention Supervisor, and Samantha Martin, Clinical Supervisor at WVDA.  They took a closer look at the impact the pandemic is having on those dealing with alcohol, drug, smoking, and gambling addictions.  The panel also discussed how the impact of COVID-19 may lead to addiction for those looking for an outlet to ease

Best Sports Coverage – Second Place:  “Be the Light Campaign”  AJ Donatoni 

The “Be The Light” campaign honored high school students and athletes in the class of 2020. During the early days of the shutdown due to the pandemic, a campaign was started to illuminate high school stadiums across Pennsylvania at a certain time with certain numbers displayed on the scoreboard. This was all in tribute to the seniors, who were not able to complete their academic or athletic careers the normal way. Eyewitness Sports was live at one area stadium and got perspective from area seniors and athletic directors on this special night, featuring photos from high school stadiums across the area as well.

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