Sharp beat work and a keen news sense helped AP’s Seattle-based U.S. Desk Editor Hallie Golden, photographer Lindsey Wasson and video journalist Manuel Valdes elevate routine Legislative coverage of a drug bill into an all-formats feature that used the gut-wrenching story of a tribe that’s losing one member a week to opioid overdose to illustrate why readers should care about an obscure bill overlooked by every other media outlet.

When Golden, on temporary assignment covering the Washington state legislative session, noticed a new bill that would provide money from the state’s settlement with major opioid manufacturers to Washington’s 29 federally recognized tribes to combat opioid addiction, she recognized it as an important story. The seemingly dry bill had been overlooked by every other news organization, but Golden knew tribes were devastated by opioids and also knew the money proposed — nearly $8 million — wouldn’t even touch the need.

She reached out to tribal leaders she knew, and also covered a small committee hearing for state lines, in hopes that the spot story would get the attention of tribal leaders. Golden quickly zeroed in on the Lummi Nation’s tribal chairman’s aunt as her main character, a woman who worked relentlessly to help tribal members fight addiction and who had lost her own son to an overdose just a few months ago — one of four overdose deaths in four days.

Golden, Wasson and Valdes traveled to the reservation, shadowing the aunt as she traveled to homeless encampments; handed out Naloxone to tribal members; visited a detox center; and visited the graves of her son and nephew. Golden then quickly wrote the story in between juggling daily spot Legislative coverage and also pitching in a stream of non-legislative breaking news in the Pacific Northwest region. Wasson edited down and filed 16 photos while traveling to spring training camp.

The all-formats package — exclusive to AP — was perfectly timed, hitting the wire on the day the state Senate voted on the bill.