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Democrat wins 39 awards at MPA

TUNICA — The Natchez Democrat staff won 39 total awards, including 13 first-place awards and first in the overall General Excellence category, at the Mississippi Press Association conference Saturday.

The awards were the culmination of the Tri-State Press Convention, which included newspapers from Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee.

The Democrat competes against other Mississippi newspapers in the Daily B category — newspapers with a circulation between 9,000 and 20,000 — including The Vicksburg Post, The Commercial Dispatch (Columbus), The Meridian Star, The (McComb) Enterprise-Journal and others.

First-place awards included:

General excellence — staff.

Spot news story — Adam Koob, “Woman attacked in home.”

Sports feature story — Jeff Edwards, “Teaching the game.”

Game story — Jeff Edwards, “59 for 59.”

Commentary column — Kevin Cooper, “City, county need to work together.”

Feature story — Ben Hillyer, “Hands to Hold.”

Sports feature photo — Hannah Reel, “Special day at Natchez High.”

Feature photo — Hillyer, “Wet and wild.”

Pictorial series — Hillyer, “Short film stars.”

Picture-story combination — Hillyer and Koob, “God had another plan.”

Front page — staff

Editorial page — Julie Cooper and staff

Sports section — Jeff Edwards

Headlines — Hillyer, “Until spelling do us part.”

Second-place awards included:

General news story — Julie Cooper, “Godspeed Jack.”

Sports news story — Jeff Edwards, “Field of Dreams.”

Game story — Jeff Edwards, “Last-second déj vu.”

General interest column — Julie Cooper, “Lawmakers are ones hurting animals.”

Sports action photo — Hillyer, “Unholy territory.”

Spot news photo — Hillyer, “Fire destroys lake house.”

General news photo — Hillyer, “Heads bowed, hearts open.”

Special section — Hillyer and staff, “Natchez Visitor’s Guide.”

Feature photo — Hillyer, “All thumbs up.”

Pictorial series — Hillyer, “Never too old.”

Graphic — Hillyer, “On stable ground.”

Editorials — Kevin Cooper.

Headlines — staff, “Santa’s claws.”

Daniel Phillips Freedom of Information Award (all dailies in state judged together) — staff

Web site — staff

Third-place awards included:

Spot news story — Julie Cooper and Jennifer Edwards, “Storms rip through.”

In-depth/investigative coverage — staff, “All options.”

Feature photo — Reel, “Old time music.”

Web exclusive photo — Hillyer, “155th farewell.”

Graphic — Hillyer, “Is now the time?”

Design — staff

Community service (all dailies in state judged together) — staff, “Relay for Life”

Honorable-mention awards include:

Sports feature story — Jeff Edwards, “Following in footsteps.”

General news photo — Hillyer, “Godspeed Jack.”

Special section — “Football 2009”

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