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The Free Lance-Star tops in state press awards
The Free Lance-Star receives 52 Virginia Press Association awards: 39 for editorial work and 13 for advertising

Date published: 4/22/2012

By Cathy Dyson

The Free Lance-Star won 39 awards--more than any other newspaper in its category--at a Virginia Press Association ceremony Saturday night in Roanoke.

The Free Lance-Star was one of six newspapers in its category, with daily circulations from 23,000 to almost 50,000. The paper was the sweepstakes winner, with a score of 76 points out of a possible 259.

The Free Lance-Star also won the sweepstakes for 2010.

The Free Lance-Star scored the most points in its division for writing (42) and presentation (16).

The News & Advance of Lynchburg had the most points for art/photo (15) and multimedia (24). The Free Lance-Star also won the sweepstakes for 2010.

In addition to the awards for writing, photography, artwork, presentation and multimedia, the newspaper won 13 awards in the advertising competition.

A staff photographer won a first-place award in the Virginia News Photographers Association contest. Those results also were announced Saturday.

In addition, Fredericksburg philanthropist Doris Buffett received the Virginian of the Year award Friday night. Presented by VPA for outstanding community service, the award recognized Buffett as a "shining example of generosity" for giving away about $120 million through her Sunshine Lady Foundation.

In the news competition, first-place awards went to:

Clay Jones for a cartoon

Suzanne Carr Rossi for a general news photo

Robert A. Martin for a personality photo

Amanda Montag, Karen Wonsik and Howard Owen for excellence of business pages

Gail Choochan and Karen Owen for excellence of editorial pages

Andi Russell and Janet Marshall for Healthy Living sections

Alex Russell for an online video about a pit bull reunited with its family

Portsia Smith, Scott Shenk, Jeff Branscome and Jim Hall for breaking-news coverage of the bus wreck in Caroline County

Paul Akers for editorial writing

Jeff Branscome for education writing

Edie Gross for feature story writing, feature-writing portfolio and personal-service writing

Cathy Dyson for government writing and public-safety writing

Second-place awards went to:

Reza Marvashti for a feature photo

Montag, Catherine Davis, Betty Snider, Phil Jenkins, Jim Toler and Dave Ellis for a special section, "Remember 9/11"

Choochan and Dave Smalley for Weekender sections

Akers for column writing

Jonas Beals for critical writing

Cathy Jett for personal-service writing

Adam Himmelsbach for sports-writing portfolio

Third-place awards went to:


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