An induction ceremony will be held March 6 to honor three new members of the Bill Miller Public Affairs Reporting Hall of Fame.
The PAR master's degree program at the University of Illinois Springfield - led for 19 years by the late Bill Miller - has alums who after working in their Statehouse pressroom internships have gone on to great success across the country and beyond.
One of the three inductees is Mike Kienzler, 68, of rural Athens, who was in the first PAR class in 1973. He retired in 2013 after nearly 40 years with The State Journal-Register, most of it spent as metro editor and deputy metro editor - with not a small part of that time spent answering my questions, because his is a great mind. His involvement in local history includes being founding, and current, editor of SangamonLink.org, the online encyclopedia of the Sangamon County Historical Society.
Also being inducted is Michael Hawthorne, 50, of Chicago, a 1989 PAR intern and investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, focusing on public health and environmental issues. Hawthorne participated in a story about harmful, ineffective flame retardants, promoted by tobacco and chemical industries, used in household furniture.
The third inductee is Scott Canon, 56, of Kansas City, Missouri, a 1982 PAR intern who has worked on the Kansas City Star since 1989, covering stories including the bombing of a federal building in Oklahoma City, the school shooting in Columbine, Colorado, the start of the U.S. military campaign in Afghanistan in 2001, and tsunami recovery in Sri Lanka.
The induction ceremony, sponsored by the UIS Center for State Policy and Leadership, includes a 5:30 p.m. reception and 6:30 p.m. program March 6 at the Inn at 835, 835 N. Second St., Springfield.
This story appeared in The State Journal-Register on February 8, 2017.
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