Democrat-Gazette awarded APA general excellence prize | #schoolshooting

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette received 11 first-place citations and won the award for general excellence among the state’s larger daily newspapers at the Arkansas Press Association’s “virtual convention” on Friday.

The Texarkana Gazette placed second for general excellence, which is decided on a point system for each first-, second- and third-place honor in 26 other categories. The Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette placed third among six large-circulation dailies that entered.

The Texarkana Gazette received nine first-place awards and the Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette got five.

All three newspapers are owned by WEHCO Media Inc.

Another WEHCO newspaper, The Sentinel-Record of Hot Springs, won seven first-place awards in the category of smaller daily newspapers.

The awards were for articles and photographs published in 2019.

Clara Turnage, a former reporter for the Little Rock-based Democrat-Gazette, took the first-place honor in the news story category for her article “Lapping of water ends cries for help: Handling of 911 calls stirs inquiry.” Debra Stevens drown while on the phone with a Fort Smith dispatcher for 24 minutes as flood waters overtook her vehicle.

Ginny Monk, another reporter for the Little Rock newspaper, won first place for investigative reporting for her series “Code violations follow landlord.”

The I.F. Stone Award, which recognizes extraordinary investigative reporting of governmental wrongdoing, went to the staff of The Leader, a weekly newspaper in Jacksonville, for a series about the City Council violating the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act.

Members of the Kansas Press Association judged this year’s competition, which drew 1070 entries from 29 newspapers.

Among the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s other first-place winners were John Brummett for “The Unexamined Life” in the opinion category, Bob Holt in the category of sports news story and Stan Denman for graphic design portfolio. Ron Wolfe won first place in the category of freelance recognition for a profile of Bobby Reece Abbott.

Tommy Metthe of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette won two first-place awards for sports photography.

Teams of reporters from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette won first place in three different categories of community coverage: agriculture and business, education and tourism.

Following is the list of first-place winners in each category and division.

NEWS STORY

Smaller Dailies: Harrison Daily Times, James L. White, “Villines found.” Larger dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Clara Turnage, “911 call.” Smaller Weeklies, Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis, “Former senator murdered.” Medium Weeklies, Carroll County News, Berryville, Scott Loftis, “Jackson orders Goff’s release from prison.” Larger Weeklies, The Leader, Jacksonville, Rick Kron, “Clerk erases tape.”

FEATURE STORY

Smaller Dailies, Harrison Daily Times, George Holcomb, “What she has is so powerful.” Larger Dailies, Texarkana Gazette, Aaron Brand, “Deep with the Wood.” Smaller Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis, “Silent Violence: the Christy Marsh story.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, Samantha Jones, “Memorial scroll helps locals remember.” Larger Weeklies, Madison County Record, Huntsville, Preston Tolliver, “Marching orders.”

IN-DEPTH SERIES REPORTING

All Dailies: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville, Staff, “Diversity.” Smaller Weeklies, Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis, “Senator Collins murder coverage.” Medium Weeklies, Wynne Progress, David Owens, “Difference makers.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Ray Benton, Rick Kron, Jeffrey Smith, “Beebe city attorney departs.”

INVESTIGATIVE REPORTING

All Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Ginny Monk, “Code violations follow landlord.” All Weeklies, The Leader, Jacksonville, Staff, “City council violates FOIA.”

BEAT REPORTING

Smaller Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, Steven Mross, Crime beat. Larger Dailies: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville, Tracy M. Neal, Benton County courts. Smaller Weeklies: The Helena World, Andrew Bagley, Helena-West Helena School Board. Medium Weeklies, Wynne Progress, David Owens, Police beat. Larger Weeklies, The Leader, Jacksonville, Jeffrey Smith, Veterans.

SPORTS NEWS STORY

Smaller Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs Rebeca Rector, “Eagles soar to first win over Lions.” Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Bob Holt, “SEC coaches say Arkansas good gig.” Smaller Weeklies: The Helena World, Andrew Bagley, “Phillips County ‘Super Bowl’ commences.” Medium Weeklies: Herald-Leader, Siloam Springs, Graham Thomas, “Long time coming.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville Ray Benton, “Impossible comeback.”

SPORTS FEATURE STORY

Smaller Dailies, The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, James Leigh, “LH coach humbled.” Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Aaron Brand, “Fifty years ago at Liberty-Eylau.” Smaller Weeklies, Washington County Enterprise-Leader, Farmington, Mark Humphrey, “Lure of family farm.” Medium Weeklies, Wynne Progress, David Owens, “Moncrief reflects on career.” Larger Weeklies, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ray Benton, “Injury, loss fails to stop Sorensen.”

SPORTS COLUMN

Smaller Dailies, Saline Courier, Benton, Josh Briggs, “Cards lineup littered with All-State snubs.” Larger Dailies, Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville, Rick Fires “Rolsma to throw out first pitch.” Smaller Weeklies, Washington County Enterprise-Leader, Farmington, Mark Humphrey, “Wolves must learn to cope with turf wars.” Medium Weeklies, Wynne Progress, David Owens, “College coaching carousel.” Larger Weeklies, The Leader, Jacksonville, Ray Benton, “Fridge not needed at ballpark.”

EDITORIAL

All Dailies: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville, Greg Harton, “All about inclusion.” Smaller Weeklies, The Helena World, Andrew Bagley, “It takes more than prayer.” Medium and Larger Weeklies, The Leader, Jacksonville, Jonathan Feldman, “Beebe uses secret court.”

NEWS POLITICAL COLUMN

All Dailies, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, John Brummett, “The Unexamined Life.” Smaller Weeklies: Washington County Enterprise-Leader, Farmington, Gene Linzey, “Freedom from what?” Medium Weeklies, Carroll County News, Berryville, Scott Loftis, “Sacrifice, thy name is Ballinger.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Garrick Feldman, “Sleazy operator ruined hospital.”

GENERAL INTEREST COLUMN

Smaller Dailies: Paragould Daily Press, Gary Exelby, “Before truth has chance to get its pants on.” Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Les Minor, “Ross, me and Texarkana history.” Smaller Weeklies, Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis, “China from heaven with love.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, Scott Loftis, “Boys to men.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Rick Kron, “Broad questions to think about.”

HUMOROUS COLUMN

Smaller Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, Mark Gregory, “Taking the sting out of yardwork.” Larger Dailies: Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Fayetteville, Gary Smith, “Name it, claim it.” Smaller Weeklies: South Arkansas Sun, Hampton, Jeri Shire, “Feeling financially fit.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, Samantha Jones, “The perils of online shopping.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Rick Kron, “Kids love Easter bunny.”

FREELANCE RECOGNITION

All Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Little Rock, Ron Wolfe, “Bobby Reece Abbott.” Smaller Weeklies: Washington County Enterprise-Leader, Farmington, Ben Madrid, “First year of varsity Tiger soccer.” Medium and Larger Weeklies, Madison County Record, Huntsville, Anne Greene, “Bryant declared not guilty for 2018 shooting.”

HEADLINE WRITING

Smaller Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, Cassidy Kendall, “City to catch economic gains from FLW Cup.” Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Les Minor, “Another city has finally ratted us out.” Smaller Weeklies: Montgomery County News, Mount Ida, Dewayne Holloway, “Over the river and through the woods.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, Scott Loftis, “Hard to pin down.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Garrick Feldman, Rick Kron, “Lester: ‘I’ll crawl across town’ for millage.”

SINGLE NEWS PHOTOGRAPH

Smaller Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, Grace Brown, “House fire.” Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette Danielle Dupree, “A storm approaches” (also the 2020 Photo of the Year). Smaller Weeklies, Pacesetting Times, Horseshoe Bend, Maryann Wegenke, “Accident claims life of local teen.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, David Bell, “Time served.” Larger Weeklies: Madison County Record, Huntsville, Preston Tolliver, “Fire destroys county home.”

SINGLE FEATURE PHOTOGRAPH

Smaller Dailies: Paragould Daily Press, Steve Gillespie, “Boogie Woogie.” Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Hunt Mercier, “Eyes on the future.” Smaller Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Ashley Shelton, “New generation displays patriotism.” Medium Weeklies, Carroll County News, Berryville, David Bell, “Green Forest graduation.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, David Scolli, “Excitement at Cabotfest.”

SINGLE SPORTS ACTION

PHOTOGRAPH

Smaller Dailies: Saline Courier, Benton, Aaron Brewer, “Back at it.” Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Tommy Metthe, “Marion draws line.” Smaller Weeklies: Montgomery County News, Mount Ida, Dewayne Holloway, “Hurdling the competition.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, Charles Chappell, “Headed to the finals.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, David Scolli, “Impossible comeback.”

SINGLE SPORTS FEATURE

PHOTOGRAPH

Smaller Dailies: Saline Courier, Benton, Greg Davis, “Midway action.” Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Tommy Met-the, “Emphatic response.” Smaller Weeklies: Newton County Times, Jasper Jeff Brasel, “Balanced rock.” Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville, Charles Chappell, “Mutton Buster.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, David Scolli, “Kani wouldn’t be denied.”

PICTURE PAGE PHOTO/ESSAY

Smaller Dailies: Saline Courier, Benton, Elisha Morrison and Josh Briggs, “Re-Fashion Bash.” Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Hunt Mercier, “Agent Barry Live United Bowl.” Smaller Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis, “Sharp County Fair 80th Anniversary.” Medium Weeklies: Herald-Leader, Siloam Springs, Janelle Jessen, “Halloween 2019.” Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, David Scolli, Christy Hendricks “Lonoke County Muttin Bustin.”

BEST FRONT PAGE DESIGN

All Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Danielle Dupree, Andrea Miller. Smaller Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis. Medium Weeklies: Wynne Progress, Staff. Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Staff.

GRAPHIC DESIGN PORTFOLIO

Smaller Dailies: Saline Courier, Benton, Josh Briggs. Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Stan Denman. Smaller Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis. Medium and Larger Weeklies: Daily Record, Little Rock, Karen Dunphy.

BEST WEBSITE

All Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs, Sentinel-Record staff, Hotsr.com. All Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, Christy Hendricks, Arkansasleader.com.

COMMUNITY COVERAGE:

AGRICULTURE AND BUSINESS

Smaller Dailies: Harrison Daily Times, Donna Braymer. Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Stephen Steed, Andy Moreau, Serenah McKay. Smaller and Medium Weeklies: Wynne Progress, David Owens, Dan Brawner. Larger Weeklies: Stone County Leader, Mountain View, Staff.

COMMUNITY COVERAGE:

EDUCATION

Smaller Dailies: Harrison Daily Times, Donna Braymer, Yvonne Cone, Beverly Cothran. Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Cynthia Howell, Tony Holt, Rachel Herzog, Stephen Simpson. Smaller Weeklies: Washington County Enterprise-Leader, Farmington, Mark Humphrey. Medium Weeklies: Nashville News-Leader, John R. Schirmer. Larger Weeklies: Madison County Record, Huntsville, Staff.

COMMUNITY COVERAGE:

TOURISM

Smaller Dailies: Saline Courier, Benton, Staff. Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Ellis Widner, Jerry McLeod, Eric Harrison. Smaller Weeklies: Washington County Enterprise-Leader, Farmington, Mark Humphrey, Lynn Kutter. Medium Weeklies: Herald-Leader, Siloam Springs, Sierra Bush, Janelle Jessen. Larger Weeklies: Stone County Leader, Mountain View, Staff.

COMMUNITY COVERAGE:

HEALTH AND MEDICAL

Smaller Dailies: Paragould Daily Press, Steve Gillespie, Gary Exelby. Larger Dailies: Texarkana Gazette, Ashley Gardner, Karl Richter. Smaller and Medium Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy, Tammy Curtis. Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville, John Hofheimer, Rick Kron, Jeffrey Smith.

GENERAL EXCELLENCE

Smaller Dailies: The Sentinel-Record, Hot Springs. Larger Dailies: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Smaller Weeklies: Spring River Chronicle, Hardy. Medium Weeklies: Carroll County News, Berryville. Larger Weeklies: The Leader, Jacksonville.


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