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May 07,2008
Letter to editor caused uproar, wins award
by UPI

ALBUQUERQUE -- A nurse in Albuquerque was named the winner of a $10,000 prize for writing a letter to the editor that brought her under investigation for possible sedition.

Laura Berg was recently named the winner of the PEN/Katherine Anne Porter First Amendment Award after her brush with the FBI, which was prompted by a scathing letter about the Bush administration that she wrote to New Mexico's Weekly Alibi.

The letter blasted the administration for the Iraq war and its handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

The Albuquerque Journal said Berg quickly heard from the feds who seized the computer she used at her government job with the Veterans Administration. The VA informed her she may have committed a "seditious" act and that the FBI was involved.

Berg was cleared and the VA apologized.

Berg told the Journal that the award came out of the blue and she found the positive feedback "heartening."

Copyright © 2008, by United Press International. All Rights Reserved.

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