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Bee reporting on Dixon movie studio proposal earns business journalism honors

Lezlie Sterling Bee file, 2000
In October 2000, Carissa Carpenter, who then went by her married name, Carissa Blix, posed for photos to illustrate a glowing Bee profile about her. The publicity at the time was fueled by her plan to build a $450 million spa, resort, studio and retail complex in Sutter County, north of then-Arco Arena. That project  fizzled.
Lezlie Sterling Bee file, 2000 In October 2000, Carissa Carpenter, who then went by her married name, Carissa Blix, posed for photos to illustrate a glowing Bee profile about her. The publicity at the time was fueled by her plan to build a $450 million spa, resort, studio and retail complex in Sutter County, north of then-Arco Arena. That project fizzled. Bee file, 2000

Sacramento Bee writers Marjie Lundstrom and Sam Stanton have been recognized by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers for their investigative reporting on Carissa Carpenter, who proposed to build a massive movie studio in Dixon despite a 20-year history of failed projects, liens and court judgments.

The Bee’s team of Lundstrom, Stanton, photographer and videographer Manny Crisostomo and graphic artist Sharon Okada was named one of two finalists among newspapers in its circulation category for investigative reporting in the 19th Best of Business competition. The competition honors excellence in business journalism across all news platforms.

The Bee’s examination of numerous public records chronicling Carpenter’s financial difficulties as well as interviews with former investors and past business associates who described losing hundreds of thousands of dollars on her failed studio projects, raised questions about her ability to deliver on the Dixon proposal.

Competition judges described the story as a “richly mined tale” that “distinguished itself from other investigations into corrupt commercial activity/con artists/Ponzi schemes by contributing to its halt.”

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel was the winner in the category and The Bee shared finalist honors with the Columbus Dispatch.

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