Democrat wins 45 awards at MPA conference

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 21, 2009

Staff reports

BILOXI — The Natchez Democrat staff won 45 total awards including 16 first-place awards and first in the overall General Excellence category at the Mississippi Press Association conference Saturday.

The Democrat competes against other Mississippi newspapers in the Daily B category — newspapers with a circulation between 9,000 and 20,000.

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Awards included:

-Best in-depth or investigative coverage, first place — Adam Koob and staff, “Burglaries/crime wave”

-Best sports column, first place — Jeff Edwards

-Best general interest column, first place — Julie Cooper

-Best feature story, first place — Brian Reynolds, “Family forever: Chinese toddler adopted”

-Best spot news photo, first place — Steve VanGunda, “Hit and run”

-Best sports feature photo, first place — Ben Hillyer, “Special shots”

-Best sports action photo, first place — Steve VanGunda, “Head over hounds”

-Best feature photo, first place — Ben Hillyer, “Dog days”

-Best pictorial series, first place — Marcus Frazier, “Human canvas”

-Best personality portrait, first place — Ben Hillyer, “Coming together”

-Best graphic, first place — Ben Hillyer, “Counting sheets”

-Best front page, first place — The Democrat staff

-Best editorial page or section, first place — The Democrat

-Best sports page or section, first place — Jeff Edwards and staff

-Best special section or issue, first place — Jeff Edwards and Ben Hillyer, “Football 2009”

-Best design, first place — The Democrat staff

-Best planned series of stories, second place — Adam Koob, Mary Hood, Vershal Hogan and Jennifer Edwards, “Season of wishes”

-Best editorials, second place — Julie Cooper

-Best sports feature photo, second place — Marcus Frazier, “What could have been”

-Best in-depth or investigative coverage, second place — Adam Koob and Kevin Cooper, “Hospital up for sale”

-Best general news story, second place — Mary Hood and Adam Koob, “Race and politics”

-Best pictorial series in one issue, second place — Ben Hillyer, “Let freedom ring”

-Best general news photo, second place — Steve VanGunda, “Passing the test”

-Best headline, second place — Julie Cooper

-Best picture-story combination, second place — Julie Cooper and staff

-Best personality portrait, second place — Steve VanGunda, “Drowning in freedom”

-Best commentary column, second place — Ben Hillyer

-Best sports feature, second place — Jeff Edwards, “Family on and off”

-Best spot news story, third place — Julie Cooper, “Teens rescued from flood”

-Best editorials, third place — Kevin Cooper

-Best general news story, third place — Adam Koob, “Hospital lays off 65”

-Best pictorial series in one issue, third place — Ben Hillyer, “Helping hands”

-Best feature photo, third place — Ben Hillyer, “Sunset kiss”

-Best headline, third place — Ben Hillyer

-Best lifestyles page or section, third place — The Democrat

-Best personality portrait, third place — Steve VanGunda, “A writer’s dream”

-Best sports news story, third place — Krysten Oliphant, “Jones files lawsuit”

-Community service, third place — The Natchez Democrat, “Relay for Life”

-Best game story, third place — Jeff Edwards, “Still dreaming”

-Best commentary column, third place — Kevin Cooper

-Best planned series of stories, third place — The Democrat, “First impressions”

-Best sports action photo, honorable mention — Marcus Frazier, “Ohh…so close”

-Best headline, honorable mention — Jeff Edwards

-Best game story, honorable mention — Jeff Edwards, “Big plays=big win”