Eugene is Syrian’s safe haven

By Mark Baker | Awards, Living Here | |

Sitting outside a downtown Eugene coffee shop on Pearl Street in late October, he speaks in slow and careful English, a language still as foreign to him as the city, state and country that are now his home.


First place award for long-form feature writing in the 2016 “Best of the West” contest.

Comeback kid

By Mark Baker | Awards, Living Here | |

DEXTER – Cindy Curry remembers the day in 1989 when the toddler who used to bite her until she bled came back.


First place award for best education coverage in the 2016 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Pre

By Mark Baker | Awards, Living Here, Sports | |

Fierce. Fearless. Fighter. Grit. Gumption. Guts. Hero. History. Courage. Icon. Driven. Incredible. Unforgettable. Beautiful.


First place award for best feature story in the 2016 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Where were you?

By Mark Baker | Awards, Historic Events | |

If you were alive then, and old enough to process what had happened, chances are you know exactly where you were 50 years ago this Friday when you heard the unthinkable news: President John F. Kennedy had been shot while riding in a motorcade in Dallas, Texas.


First place award for best feature story in the 2014 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Bikini brouhaha

By Mark Baker | Awards, Local News | |

You can buy it there — just don’t return while wearing it.


First place award for best short feature story in the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists’ Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

No leaving a beaver

By Mark Baker | Awards, Local News | |

There are beaver tails, and then there are beaver tales. And this is the tale of a beaver who got stuck in Duckville before being rescued by a University of Oregon graduate student who grew up in Corvallis, graduated as a Beaver but is now a Duck.


First place award for best short feature story in the 2011 Society of Professional Journalists’ Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest.

The brain behind the bill

By Mark Baker | Awards, Oregon Life | |

PORTLAND — Adorned in a black leather jacket and black fedora with a “Visualize World Peace” button stuck in it, he walks the streets and rides the buses of the Hawthorne District like a modern-day Rocky Balboa. He says “Hey” and “What’s up?” and “Have a great day” to perfect strangers, popping in and out of storefronts and the coffee shops where he enjoys his caramel macchiato lattes.


First place award for best feature story in the 2010 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Styrofoam to Styrobots

By Mark Baker | Awards, Oregon Life | |

Walking through a darkened corridor of Lawrence Hall on the University of Oregon campus, something against the wall catches the eyes of the self-described “obsessive observer.” Something small and dusty and – like a lot of things Michael Salter finds – just another of society’s discarded items: A severed wheel from a chair or desk or something that might just end up in his art someday.


First place award for best personality feature story in the 2009 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

Remembering Susi

By Mark Baker | Awards, Oregon Life | |

Three packs of Breathmints – one peppermint, one spearmint, one wintergreen. A miniature pair of “Hollyweird” glasses. A miniature basketball the size of a golf ball. Some chocolate candies the size of half dollars, wrapped in gold foil. Some Hershey’s chocolate kisses. Some cough drops; a small, plastic racing car that says “Beamer” on the top; some toothpicks carefully bundled together with purple yarn; some tiny plastic barbells; a tiny Mickey Mouse hat that could actually fit on a mouse; and a bottle of juice. Orange juice. Small enough to slide into your eardrum.


First place award for best feature story in the 2007 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”

A beautiful mind

By Mark Baker | Awards, Lifestyle | |

A few seconds. That’s all it was. That’s all it takes. A bicycle. A boy. A jump. Some air. The earth.


First place award for best feature story in the 2006 Society of Professional Journalists’ Pacific Northwest Excellence in Journalism contest and the 2006 Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association “Better Newspaper Contest.”