Former Sun-Star reporter Corinne Reilly a Pulitzer finalist

04/16/2012 6:14 PM

04/17/2012 1:23 AM

Former Sun-Star reporter Corinne Reilly was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in feature writing for a series she wrote for The Virginian-Pilot on a military combat hospital in Afghanistan.

Reilly covered Merced County government for the Sun-Star, including stories on the Riverside Motorsports Park controversy, and completed two tours covering the war in Iraq for the Sun-Star's parent company, McClatchy Newspapers. She left Merced in 2009 to cover military affairs at the Virginian-Pilot.

Her series, called "A Chance in Hell," was a five-part look at Navy staff and patients at a military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The Pulitzer board lauded Reilly's work for its ability to bring readers "side-by-side with the medical professionals seeking to save the lives of gravely injured American soldiers at a combat hospital in Afghanistan."

The Pulitzer Prize for feature writing was awarded to Eli Sanders of the Seattle-based weekly newspaper The Stranger.

The other finalist in the features category was John Branch of The New York Times. Branch was a sports writer for The Fresno Bee before moving to the Times.

Online editor Brandon Bowers can be reached at (209) 385-2464 or

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