The Villager Journal and The News took home 18 awards from the Arkansas Press Association's annual convention held recently in Fort Smith, Ark.
Terry Mullins, Areawide Media's sports editor, earned five honorable mentions, two second places and one first place award for his sports stories, photos and features. Commenting on his first place award in the sports news story category, "Easley sinks rare double-eagle," the judges said, "The rarity was explained through golf mag attribution -- that was excellent. Easley's comments were numerous and that was appropriate. Golf stories are a challenge to write so, good job." For a sports feature story entitled, "Wray rams way to Derby title," the judges said, "Fun story on an offbeat sport. Writing style fit topic. Nice job."
Mitch Sparks earned a third place award for a sports photo. The judges said, "Awesome action, excellent technique."
Bret Burquest, a columnist for The News, earned a first place award in the humorous column category with his story, "Gender patterns." Commenting on the column the judges said the column "Creatively discusses the humorous differences between men and women."
Chris Murphy, a reporter in Sharp County, received a second, third and honorable mention. For her feature story, "Mystery solved," the judges commented, "Great story! Captures the essence of the Durante catch phrase and enlightens younger readers in a nonpatronizing way." Her third place win in the single feature photograph category, had the judges commenting, "Photo does a good job at capturing an emotional connection. Great expression."
Areawide Media's staff was awarded first place for their Escape tabloid and a second place award for the Veteran's Guide.
Other awards included: Brooke Ninemire, honorable mention, "My Buddy," single feature photo; Brooke Ninemire, honorable mention, "Disaster Drill," single news photo; and Erma Harris, honorable mention, "Hot air can continue at City Hall," headline writing.
"It's great to recognize our staff for the effort they put out each week," said Erma Harris, managing editor for Areawide Media. "Terry Mullins shines every year and I'm glad he does. It takes a lot of work and travel to cover area sports and he does an outstanding job. I am also pleased that Mitch Sparks, Chris Wulff, Bret Burquest and Brooke Ninemire were recognized for their work. They all do a great job."