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Newspapers at Little Rock, Hot Springs take top APME awards

May 6, 2018

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and The Sentinel-Record at Hot Springs have won general excellence awards from the Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors group.

The winners were announced Friday.

Lisa Hammersly of the Democrat-Gazette and David Showers of The Sentinel-Record were honored for their work in service to the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the state’s larger papers, The Jonesboro Sun took second and the Texarkana Gazette third in the general excellence category. Among medium-sized papers, The Baxter Bulletin at Mountain Home took second and The Saline Courier at Benton was third.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,400 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.

The entire winners list is available at http://discover.ap.org/contests/arkansas-newspaper

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Division III, Larger Newspapers

General Excellence-Division III: 1, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, The Jonesboro Sun; 3, Texarkana Gazette.

Service To FOI-Division III: 1, Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Gifts From Legislators.”

Spot News Story: 1, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “UA Fires Bielema After Dreary Year”; 2, Stephen Simpson and Sarah Morris, The Jonesboro Sun, “Murder Suspect Turns Himself in; Second Suspect Remains at Large”; 3, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “28 Revelers Hurt in LR Shooting.”

Spot News Photo: 1, Ben Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Rollover Accident”; 2, Staci Vandagriff, The Jonesboro Sun, “Fire Erupts at Jonesboro Apartments”; 3, Ben Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Semi Selfie.”

News Feature: 1, Ellis Widner, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Into the Void”; 2, Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Heart and Soul”; 3, Shea Stewart, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Cotham’s in Scott Burns; ‘Devastated,’ Owner Says.”

Editorial Writing: 1, David Barham, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “NRA vs. SEC”; 2, Chris Wessel, The Jonesboro Sun, “Federal Judge Needs to Throw Out Lawsuit”; 3, Chris Wessel, The Jonesboro Sun, “Punishment for Repeat DWI Offenders a Farce.”

Headline: 1, Sandra Tyler, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Jason Yates, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3, Paul Sawyer, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Beat Reporting: 1, Emily Walkenhorst, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Stephen Simpson, The Jonesboro Sun, “JPD Missing Drugs, Guns, Money”; 3, Karl Richter, Texarkana Gazette.

Business Reporting: 1, Stephen Simpson, The Jonesboro Sun, “Cotton Farming Stares at Bleak Future”; 2, Aaron Brand, Texarkana Gazette, “The American Dream Tastes Great”; 3, Stephen Steed, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Dicamba Steals in, Ruins UA Bean Field.”

Education Reporting: 1, Grant Stewart, The Jonesboro Sun, “To Ban a Mockingbird”; 2, Jennifer Middleton, Texarkana Gazette, “School Officials”; 3, Jeannie Roberts, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Final Gift of One’s Body Teaches Doctors For Life.”

Political Reporting: 1, Grant Stewart, The Jonesboro Sun, “Crawford Still No Fan of Town Halls”; 2, John Moritz, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Athletics Outplays NRA”; 3, John Moritz, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Lee-King Holiday Split Clears Vote.”

Health-Related Topics: 1, Ginny Monk, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “85% of Schools in State Tell Kids to Say No to Sex”; 2, Karl Richter, Texarkana Gazette; 3, Aziza Musa, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “At UAMS, Change Boosts BioVentures.”

Special Project- Community Service: 1, Frank Fellone and Lisa Hammersly, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Dead Asleep”; 2, Hunter Field and Amanda Claire Curcio, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Deadly Force”; 3, Texarkana Gazette, “Immigration Uncertainty.”

Non-Traditional News Item: 1, Kirk Montgomery, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “David O. Dodd: History or Legend?”; 2, Kirk Montgomery, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Shoutout for Sister”; 3, Kirk Montgomery, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Key Events Leading up to Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea.”

Column-Hard News: 1, Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Where’s the Ranger?”; 2, Randal Seyler, The Jonesboro Sun, “All Aboard the Jan Morgan Crazy Train”; 3, Chris Wessel, The Jonesboro Sun, “Eight School Districts Sap Taxpayers Millions.”

Column-Lifestyle- Human Interest: 1, Chris Wessel, The Jonesboro Sun, “Peeing Perps Create International Intrigue”; 2, Randal Seyler, The Jonesboro Sun, “Deadbeat Parents, Not Kids, Should Eat ’Sandwich of Shame‴; 3, Kellie Cobb, The Jonesboro Sun, “New Chapter Added to Story of Old Ford Truck.”

Sports Story: 1, Brooks Kubena, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “State of Play: Only Hogs Rebuff Intrastate Matchups”; 2, Matthew Roberson, The Jonesboro Sun, “Where Have All the ASU Fans Gone?”; 3, Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Groundbreaking Hog.”

Spot Sports Photo: 1, Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Youth Rodeo”; 2, Ben Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Flying Helmet”; 3, Evan Lewis, Texarkana Gazette.

Sports Feature: 1, Bob Holt, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Oxford Odyssey”; 2, Brooks Kubena, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Not Cutting the Chord”; 3, Cory Clark, The Jonesboro Sun, “After Beating Leukemia, Sherman Thrives in Golf.”

Feature Sports Photo: 1, Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “4A Boys Championship”; 2, Ben Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Graphic Wrestlers”; 3, Evan Lewis, Texarkana Gazette.

Sports Column: 1, Wally Hall, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Steinmetz, Cromer Peoples Causes for Concern”; 2, Wally Hall, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Nice Guy Bielema Can’t Hide From SEC Mark”; 3, Kevin Turbeville, The Jonesboro Sun, “McCasland’s tenure Comes to Abrupt End.”

Photographer’s Portfolio: 1, Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Ben Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3, Staton Breidenthal, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Feature Photo: 1, Mitchell Pe Masilun, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Sad to See Sad Go”; 2, Joshua Boucher, Texarkana Gazette; 3, Ben Krain, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Caught by the Sun.”

Graphics: 1, Kirk Montgomery, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Nikki Dawes, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 3, Kristen Doss, Texarkana Gazette, “High and Dry.”

Digital: 1, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Page Design: 1, Stan Denman, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Digital Storytelling: 1, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Arkansas Executions”; 2, Brandon Riddle, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Murders on Main”; 3, Emma Pettit, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, “Ten Commandments Monumental Installation, Destruction.”

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Division II, Medium-sized Newspapers:

General Excellence-Division II: 1, The Sentinel-Record; 2, The Baxter Bulletin; 3, The Saline Courier.

Service To FOI-Division II: 1, David Showers, The Sentinel-Record, “City Gets ‘Barrage’ of FOIA Requests.”

Spot News Story: 1, Josh Briggs, The (Benton) Saline Courier, “Historic Loss: Century-Old Zion Church Destroyed by Blaze”; 2, John Worthen, Pine Bluff Commercial, “Man Opens Fire With Handgun Inside Pines Mall”; 3, David Showers, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, “Bomb Threat Made to City Director’s Business.”

Spot News Photo: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, “Battling the Blaze”; 2, Sarah Perry, The Saline Courier, “You Gotta See This!”; 3, Richard Rasmussen, The Sentinel-Record, “Suspect Caught.”

News Feature: 1, Knowles Adkisson, Pine Bluff Commercial, “Frozen in Time”; 2, Josh Dooley, The (Mountain Home) Baxter Bulletin, “Reba the One-Legged Chicken: Survivor”; 3, The Baxter Bulletin, “The Horse Power Whisperer.”

Editorial Writing: 1, Josh Briggs, The Saline Courier, “Newspapers Aren’t Dying, Supporters Are”; 2, Josh Briggs, The Saline Courier, “General Motors Understands Where I’m Coming From”; 3, Mark Gregory, The Sentinel-Record, “A Safe Community is Our Responsibility.”

Headline: 1, Tom Ritchey, The Sentinel-Record, ”‘Empire’ Strikes Back - ‘Classic’ Effort Wins Derby”; 2, Scott Liles, The Baxter Bulletin, “The Horsepower Whisperer: At 90, Mechanic and Machinist Bob Davis Still Tinkering Away”; 3, Jeanette Anderton, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, “Vilonia’s ‘Slab Ordinance’ Not Set in Stone.”

News Coverage: 1, Max Bryan and Grace Brown, The Sentinel-Record, ”‘Intense’ Fire Rips Through Homes.”

Beat Reporting: 1, David Showers, The Sentinel-Record; 2, Scott Liles, The Baxter Bulletin, “Turkey Trot 2017 - The Controversy Continues”; 3, Scott Liles, The Baxter Bulletin, “Coverage of Medical Marijuana’s Progression in Arkansas.”

Business Reporting: 1, Shakari Briggs, Pine Bluff Commercial, “Pines Mall Owner Working to Improve Facility, Cites Challenges”; 2, Mark Gregory, The Sentinel-Record, “Arlington Hotel Sells”; 3, Scott Liles, The Baxter Bulletin, “High & Dry: Water Repellant.”

Education Reporting: 1, Billy Jean Louis, The Baxter Bulletin, “EAST Students Improve Line Readers ”; 2, Billy Jean Louis, The Baxter Bulletin, “Providing on-the-Job Training”; 3, Jay Bell, The Sentinel-Record, “CMS School Board Entrenches in Defense.”

Political Reporting: 1, David Showers, The Sentinel-Record, “Petition Organizers Take City to Task”; 2, David Showers, The Sentinel-Record, “McCabe Named Mayor; Ramick Resigns”; 3, David Showers, The Sentinel-Record, “Mayor Resigns.”

Health-Related Topics: 1, Billy Jean Louis, The Baxter Bulletin, “Therapy Dogs Help BRMC ”; 2, Hilary Andrews, Log Cabin Democrat, “30-Year-Old Suffers Heart Attack, Sees Life Differently Now”; 3, Max Bryan, The Sentinel-Record, “The Most Dangerous Drug.”

Special Project- Community Service: 1, Jay Bell, The Sentinel-Record, “Mental Health Awareness”; 2, Scott Liles, The Baxter Bulletin, “Mileage on Baxter County Cop Cars”; 3, El Dorado News-Times, “Sales Tax Series.”

Non-Traditional News Item: 1, Hilary Andrews, Log Cabin Democrat, “College Students Talk Finals Exams During Q & A.”

Column-Hard News: 1, Sonny Elliott, The Baxter Bulletin, “Direction of Baxter County Hinges on Sales-Tax Votes”; 2, Brittany Williams, El Dorado News-Times, “Is DeVos Good for Business and Our Children?”; 3, Mark Gregory, The Sentinel-Record, “The Worst of Times, but the Best of Us.”

Column-Lifestyle- Human Interest: 1, Harry Porter, The Sentinel-Record, “Surviving a Movie Villain”; 2, Brenda Miles, The Saline Courier, “Rescuing John Grisham Takes Guts and Grits”; 3, Alexis Burch, The Saline Courier, “Yes, I Want to be a Journalist.”

Sports Story: 1, Zach Parker, The Sentinel-Record, “Malvern’s Jimerson too Much for Rams in 67-58 Tingler”; 2, David McCollum, Log Cabin Democrat, “Molder Says it was Time to Begin a New Journey”; 3, Josh Briggs, The Saline Courier, “3′s Company: Kindergartener Completes Rare Triple Trophy With Dad.”

Spot Sports Photo: 1, Mara Kuhn, The Sentinel-Record, “In Flight Tackle”; 2, Neal Denton, The Baxter Bulletin, “Bomber Wrestlers Earn Split”; 3, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, “High Hopping Pass.”

Sports Feature: 1, The (Russellville) Courier, “Davis’ Journey Ends in State Title”; 2, Knowles Adkisson, Pine Bluff Commercial, “Torii Hunter Recalls Career During PB Visit”; 3, Travis Simpson, The (Russellville) Courier, “Like Father, Like Son.”

Feature Sports Photo: 1, Richard Rasmussen, The Sentinel-Record, “In the Fog”; 2, Neal Denton, The Baxter Bulletin, “Hurricanes Roll to First Place”; 3, Richard Rasmussen, The Sentinel-Record, “On Court Celebration.”

Sports Column: 1, David McCollum, Log Cabin Democrat, “Frank Broyles and an Old Notepad”; 2, David McCollum, Log Cabin Democrat, “Reflections on ‘Battle of the Sexes,” 44 Years Later”; 3, Bob Wisener, The Sentinel-Record, “Broyles Answered Hogs’ Call.”

Photographer’s Portfolio: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times; 2, Richard Rasmussen, The Sentinel-Record; 3, Marisa Hicks, Log Cabin Democrat.

Feature Photo: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, “Honoring Memorial Day”; 2, Richard Rasmussen, The Sentinel-Record, “Full Of Hot Air”; 3, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, “The Dive.”

Graphics: 1, Josh Briggs, The Saline Courier, “Stats Don’t Lie”; 2, Josh Briggs and Ginger English, The Saline Courier, “A Real Site to Behold.”

Digital: 1, The Sentinel-Record; 2, The Saline Courier; 3, John Worthen, Pine Bluff Commercial.

Page Design: 1, Brittany Ward, The Sentinel-Record, “Annual Football Section”; 2, Tom Ritchey, The Sentinel-Record; 3, Jason Wilson, The Sentinel-Record.

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Division I, Smaller Newspapers

Spot News Story: 1, Patric Flannigan, Camden News, “Make A Wish Kid.”

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