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Texarkana Gazette recognized by Arkansas Press Association with nine awards

Rogers, Arkansas -- June 28, 2007 -- The Texarkana Gazette won nine awards in the Arkansas Press Association journalism competition, including 2 first place plaques. The winners were announced Saturday at the association’s summer convention in Rogers, Ark. These were the last of 36 awards members of the Gazette news staff won in various competitions this past year. In the APA competition, Evan Lewis took first place for best News Photo and Aaron Street took first for best Sports Feature Photo.

Lewis’s photo was of the father of the three children in De Queen, who were murdered by their mother, mourning over one of the bodies. Street’s photo was of a lone spectator at a soccer match holding an umbrella against a backdrop of empty bleachers at Arkansas High School. Stevon Gamble took third place in Headline Writing, Robb Pittard took third place in the Sports Feature Photo category and Jodi Sheridan, Jim Williamson and Les Minor combined for a third place showing in Coverage of Politics. Honorable Mentions were awarded to Minor for Humorous Column Writing, Lewis in the photo essay category, Williamson for News Photography and the news staff for Community Coverage.

Evan Lewis Aaron Street Stevon Gamble Robb Pittard
Evan Lewis Aaron Street Stevon Gamble Robb Pittard

In the Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editor’s competition, the Gazette picked up eight awards including four by Lewis. Lewis took second in the Photographer’s Portfolio category, second in Sports Photography, third in News Photography and third in Feature Sports Photography. Minor took second in News Column Writing, while third place awards were taken by Russell McDermott for Editorial Writing, Stevon Gamble for Headline Writing and Jim Williamson and Sunni Thibodeau for News Coverage.

In the North and East Texas Press Association, Gazette staff members picked up 10 first place awards, including the Sweepstakes award for most total points in all categories, and the Community Service award. The Community Service Award was for a multistory and photo package that ran Thanksgiving Day on struggles at the Texarkana Animal Shelter. Ashley Gardner contributed the articles and Street provided photo support. Gazette photographers took first in all three photography categories: Street for Feature Photos about a real wild goose chase and a portrait of spelling whiz Puja Kalyani; Pittard for Sports Photos of Texas High receiver Joe Anderson stretching out for a pass and Liberty-Eylau’s Ashley White and Ashlee Johnson colliding at second base during a fastpitch softball game; and Williamson for News Photos of children being comforted after an accident involving an Ashdown school bus and emergency respondents helping remove a woman with a neck injury from her car.

Jim Williamson Les Minor Russell McDermott Ashley Gardner
Jim Williamson Les Minor Russell McDermott Ashley Gardner

Gamble and Geneva Stovall took first place in Headline Writing. Gamble’s entry was the “H2 Whoa!” head over a story about the taste of city water last spring, and Stovall’s was “Special effects rescue ‘Poseidon’ from becoming a total washout” over a movie review. Les Minor took first in Column Writing for commentary on how justice manifested itself in opposite ways in De Queen, Ark., and Linden, Texas; and how a Texarkana, Texas, police study ignored the obvious. Minor shared another first with Ethel Channon for Editorial Writing. Minor wrote about how directors in Texarkana, Ark., pushed through tax increases with little public comment and Channon wrote about citizens having a right to open government.

The Gazette took first in Page Design. The entry, as required, consisted of an editorial page (by McDermott), a news page (by Andrea Miller), a sports page (by Gamble) and a feature page (by Judy Morgan). Lynn LaRowe and Lori Dunn took first place in News Writing. LaRowe’s story was about the controversy that erupted in Detroit, Texas, after an 11-year-old student was expelled for viewing inappropriate material on the Internet. Dunn wrote about a rash of murders in Southwest Arkansas. Second place awards were taken by Lewis for Photographer of the Year, Christy Busby for Column Writing, the staff for General Excellence and several staff members for Special Sections.

Geneva Stovall Ethel Channon Andrea Miller Judy Morgan
Geneva Stovall Ethel Channon Andrea Miller Judy Morgan

The Special Section entry was the 2006 Football Preview. Staff members that contributed to the section were Tim Noel, Danielle Dupree, Johnny Green, James Williams, Louie Avery and Josh Richert. The Gazette took a third place award for Advertising and fourth place awards for Feature Writing, Sports Coverage and Journalist of the Year. Anthony Davis and Becky Bell contributed to the Feature Writing entry and Jim Williamson was the Gazette’s Journalist of the Year candidate.

The Gazette competed in the high-circulation division of all three competitions. On a final note, Aaron Brand was named Journalist of the Year by the Dallas/Fort Worth district of the Small Business Administration. The office covers 72 counties in north, central and east Texas.

Lynn LaRowe Lori Dunn Aaron Brand
Lynn LaRowe Lori Dunn Aaron Brand

 

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