The Day honored for investigative series, named Newspaper of the Year

Natick, Mass. — The Day's weekday edition was honored as Newspaper of the Year and reporter Judy Benson was recognized for a series of stories on Sound Community Services at the annual awards luncheon of the New England Newspaper & Press Association held here Thursday.

Benson received a Publick Occurrences award, which recognizes the "very best work of the year" in the six-state region. These awards were established in 1990 to mark the 300th anniversary of the founding of Publick Occurrences, the first newspaper published in America.

Benson's investigation had revealed that employees of Sound Community Services had charged to the agency's credit cards more than $222,000 in expenses for airplane flights, hotel stays, restaurant meals and retail purchases over an 18-month period.

The investigation led to the ouster of the chief executive officer of the agency, a provider of outpatient psychiatric services for about 700 adults that receives most of its $10 million annual budget from state and federal funds.

"Really aggressive reporting and use of sources," the judges said of Benson's work. "Got results — the agency director was ousted."

The Day received the Newspaper of the Year award in the 25,000-45,000 circulation category.

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