Hasty with Accolades!

Voice Columnist Honored by WV Press Association (Will it go to his head?)

The West Virginia Press Association, an organization of 57 of the state’s daily and weekly newspapers, this year named Highlands Voice columnist Michael Hasty a "best columnist" in the association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest. The award was announced in August.

Hasty, whose "Holy Earth!" column has been appearing in the Voice since February of last year, was cited for "Thinking Locally," the weekly column he writes for the Hampshire Review. The Review also won a number of other prizes in its "large- circulation weekly" division.

With a circulation of 6500, the Hampshire Review is published in Romney, and is the oldest newspaper in the state. It was purchased early last century by West Virginia governor John Cornwell, whose descendants still own the paper. There is little doubt that the late governor, who called for federal troops to quell striking coal miners and established a national reputation for his anti-union views, would have looked with some disfavor on Hasty’s pro-labor populism.

Two of the three columns Hasty submitted for consideration have also appeared in the Voice. "Blackwater Biz," whose opening line "It must feel ridiculous to be sued by a squirrel" became a cartoon caption, was reprinted in the April 99 issue. A longer adaptation of "The Drought" was published in the August 99 Voice.

In written comments accompanying the award, the judges said Hasty "explores timely issues with common sense and perception. His writing style is clear, effective and sharp."

"Holy Earth!" will return in next month’s Highlands Voice.