Heartland Critic Marilyn Hagerty to Receive Al Neuharth Excellence in Media Award

The founder of USA Today will honor the Grand Forks Herald dining critic Oct. 4

Oh Marilyn Hagerty, where have you been? Every time we think the Grand Forks Herald critic's 15 minutes of fame are over (her Olive Garden review went viral earlier in March), she pops back up in the news again.

Hagerty will be honored with the 2012 Al Neuharth Excellence in Media Award on Oct. 4, Grub Street points out. Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, was apparently Hagerty's pal.

"Marilyn, my classmate back in the ’40s and editor of the student paper, took a chance on me as rookie reporter, hired me for my first newspaper job and taught me vital lessons about the roles and responsibilities of professional journalists. Those same high principles that Marilyn preached as a young college editor 65 years ago define and distinguish her extraordinary and enduring career," Neuharth wrote in a press release.

And of course, ever to keep up her reputation as a genuine and honest critic in the Grand Forks area, Hagerty recently reviewed an Applebee's in the area. Her takeaway? "Lunching over salads is good. For me, it is hard to eat soup and talk... When all is said and done, people could mix up the same salads at home for lower cost. But some would rather go out and relax, and they keep places like Applebee’s afloat." We can't wait for her book.