After Rocky Mountain News reporter Jim Sheeler won a feature writing Pulitzer Prize for his November 2005 opus "Final Salute" -- and then received a contract to write a book based on the piece -- speculation was rife that he'd never return to the tabloid. Sheeler said otherwise in a Message column published in June prior to signing events for Obit, a sterling collection of long-form obituaries he penned prior to "Salute." And he's proven to be as good as his word. In the Rocky's September 26 edition, Sheeler's back with precisely the sort of story readers would expect -- a beautifully written offering about Brig. Gen. Felix Sparks, a World War II hero who died on September 24 at age 90.
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A national magazine or major metro daily could still offer Sheeler a deal too sweet for him to resist: Certainly, any editor would love to have a scribe this skilled on staff. But for now, Sheeler seems to be sticking around, and that's good news for the Rocky, not to mention Colorado readers. -- Michael Roberts