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The Free Lance-Star tops in state press awards

April 22, 2012 12:10 am

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:

Rossi for a breaking news photo

Peter Cihelka for a feature photo

Ellis for a sports news photo

Katherine Shapleigh for headline writing

Choochan for page design

Montag, Justin Rice, Jeff Schulze and Steve DeShazo for sports pages

Alex Russell and Smith for an online video on James Monroe High School's bid for a state championship

Rusty Dennen, Pamela Gould, Branscome and Donnie Johnston for earthquake coverage

Jett for business writing

Choochan for critical writing

Linda White for editorial writing

Dyson for feature writing

Dennen for feature-writing portfolio, government writing and investigative reporting

Smith, Shenk, Branscome and Hall for general coverage of the Caroline County bus crash

Himmelsbach for sports-writing portfolio


In the VNPA competition, Martin won first place in the spot news category for a photo of a protester at Quantico.


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

Jennifer Child and Bobby Hebert for fashion and personal care, color, for Rainbow Sprinkles

Amy Ennis and Tammy Slaw for food and drug, black and white, for Olde Towne Steak and Seafood

Jane Henshaw and Kris Rechin for automotive, color, for Purvis Ford

Child and Lindsey Sharpe for real estate, color, for Keller Williams

Child and Staci Hibner for recruitment, black and white and color, Dogwood Village

Staff for slick publications, The Free Lance-Star calendar

Second-place awards went to:

Henshaw and Hibner, education and churches, color, for Career Training

Henshaw and Michealle Hovey, fashion and personal care, black and white, for Ulman's

Child and Gogi Francis for food and drug, color, for Taka

Jim Solomon and Beth Loveless for online advertising for Pancho Villa

Staff for special sections for the Horse Scene

Third-place awards went to:

Elaine Coley and Loveless for food and drug, black and white, Regina's Pasta Factory

Slay, Solomon and staff for slick publications, Fredericksburg Visitor Center "Holidays in the 'Burg"

--from staff reports

Copyright 2014 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.