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I have been asked by a few people to post the photographs that were submitted and won first place in the portfolio category for the 2012 Society of Professional Journalists regional competition. Here they are:

Jordan Carrell, Wenatchee, takes a stroll through the blackened Sage Hills Trail off of Horse Lake Road Thursday. He says he normally hikes in the area once-a-week and was visiting, just curious how bad the burn was. While other fires are burning a few miles away, authorities are already accessing the damage to local trails and wildlife.

With the realization that his fire crew could be cut from 28 to 20 employees, Wenatchee firefighter Dustin Armitage wipes away a tear while sitting next to his wife, Aubri, and listening to the wife of a Douglas County Firefighter talk about the bond firefighters have with each other. At right is Kelly Lindemann, president of Wenatchee Firefighters Local 453. Wenatchee was in the midst of budget cuts during the hearing in city hall on Thursday, May 24, 2012.

Annalise Bauman, 7, East Wenatchee, hangs on to the family dog, Hunter, as she is pulled down the sledding hill - apart from her sled - and into facefulls of powder snow. Hunter is a one-year-old lab mix. Annalise's father, Karl, said they brought the dog to try him out for this. He says next time, they'll fit him with a harness.

Kissin' Time - The first day of the Chelan County Fair Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012, brought out some animals, and some kisses. Sydney McLeod, Cashmere, kisses her goose Albert while waiting for the judging to begin in the 4-H poultry division. She says she is able to raise tame animals because she lets them stay in her house with her for the first month. "When you get them really young, they'll think you're their parents," she explains. This is her fifth year bringing animals to the fair.

Brownie, a dog up for adoption at the Wenatchee Valley Humane Society, reacts to the sight of Junior, a test cat, during a demonstration of a dog testing session at the shelter Thursday, Aug. 30, 2012. In the window watching the scene is an adoptable cat, Pepper Anne. Dogs are tested to see how they react to common house distractions or commands before being put up to the public for adoption.

In a long exposure photograph, skiers and snowboarders with headlamps and lights head down the Leavenworth Ski Hill during a public memorial Wednesday night for the three local skiers who died Sunday in an avalanche on Stevens Pass.

Growers and fruit industrialists are continually stitching together the best of various fruit qualities to bring to life new varieties that look and taste good and have a long shelf life. Photo illustration made Aug. 3, 2012.

Eastmont's Charity Degman puts as much pressure on University's leading scorer, Kayleigh Valley, as she can but Valley and the rest of her team came away with a convincing win in a loser out regional playoff game Tuesday night, Feb. 21, at Eastmont.

With his football teammates huddled together in prayer at right, Eastmont High School's Blake Holman is treated by medical personel after suffering a hard hit and concussion in Friday night's game at Eastmont on Oct. 12, 2012.

Wenatchee AppleSox baseball pitching coach Rob Hippi gets doused by his players after the team beat Corvalis in the third and final game of the league championship series in Wenatchee Saturday night, Aug. 18, 2012. This was Hippi's last year with the team.

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