The Citizen wins six LPA?first place awards

Staff reports
The Weekly Citizen won six first place awards, six second place awards including one for General Excellence, and a host of other honors at the 129th Annual Louisiana Press Association Convention in Baton Rouge Saturday. Staff members pictured at the paper offices Monday with the first place plaques plaques are, front, from left, District Bookkeeper Stephanie Richardson, Advertising Representative T’Shanda Baldridge, Lifestyles Editor Cheryl LeBlanc Babin, Advertising Representatives Anna Brignac and Anna McVea, Graphics Designer Stephanie Hopkins, and Graphics Designer Aanifa LeBlanc. Back, from left, are Graphics Designer Sabina Linton, Advertising Representative Robin LaBruzzo, Bookkeeper Bridget Bardwell, Publisher Glenn Stifflemire, Classifieds Clerk Brenda Gautreau, General Manager Brad Day, Graphics Designer Penny Martinez, Editor Wade McIntyre, Graphics Designer Stephanie Hopkins, Reporter Michael Tortorich and Sports Editor Peter Silas Pasqua.

BATON ROUGE – The Weekly Citizen won six first place awards and came in second place in six other categories including the General Excellence Award at the 129th Annual Louisiana Press Association Convention held in Baton Rouge Saturday.

The competition is based on the number of points earned in the Better Newspaper Editorial Competition and the Better Newspaper Advertising Competition for 2008, with awards given in individual contests for first, second, third places and honorable mention.

The editorial contests range from news story writing to graphic design while advertising entries were judged based on design, creativity and effectiveness.

The Kansas Press Association judged both competitions this winter.

Seventy-nine newspapers, publications and college/university student newspapers submitted 3,812 entries.

Editor Wade McIntyre won the Sam Hanna First Place Award for Best Regular Column, First Place for Best News Photo (for last July’s murder-suicide standoff in Gonzales), and a second place award for Best Investigative News Reporting (for an investigation into the Sorrento Police Department).

Graphics Designer Aanifa LeBlanc won first place awards for Best Services Ad - Non Retail (for a Salon Vienne ad) and for Staff Generated - Black and White 1/2 page or Under (for Salon Vienne). LeBlanc also won an honorable mention for Best Black and White in-paper promotion (for ‘Gustav’s Fury’).

Former Graphics Designer Karla Watts won First Place in the Best Retailer Ad category (for a Lily Pond ad).

Former Editor Aaron Looney won First Place for Best Single Editorial (for “Stop bashing EAHS”), and a second place award for Best Photo Package (for photos of a veterans ceremony).

Lifestyles Editor Cheryl LeBlanc Babin placed second in the Best News Photo category (for a store fight arrest).

Sports Editor Peter Silas Pasqua won a second place award for Best Sports Photo (for a photo of Dutchtown High’s Eddie Lacy), and Outdoor Page columnist Lyle Johnson received an honorable mention for Best Sports Column.

Former Sports Editor Mike Kiral received an honorable mention in the Best Headline category.

The Citizen also received a third place award for Best Front Page, and an honorable mention for Best Overall Sports Coverage.

The paper received second place for Best Classified Section or Page. LeBlanc and Graphics Designer Penny Martinez placed third for Best Advertising Idea or Promotion (for the Make It Ascension ad campaign), and for Staff Generated - Black and White 1/2 or Under (for a St. John Festival ad).

The Times-Picayune (New Orleans), The Courier (Houma), Jennings Daily News, The Daily News (Bogalusa), the Tri-Parish Times & BusinessNews (Houma), The Plaquemines Gazette (Belle Chasse) and The Bunkie Record earned Newspaper of the Year honors in their respective divisions.

Earning sweepstakes awards in the editorial competition were The Times Picayune, The Courier, The Ruston Daily Leader, The Daily News, the St. Charles Herald-guide, the Rayne Acadian-Tribune and The Bunkie Record.

The News-Star (Monroe) received the Freedom of Information Award for demanding open records to shed light on events when the daughter of a Monroe City School Board Member appeared to receive special treatment upon applying for teaching positions.

Met with denials and delays, the newspaper filed suit and ran a string of stories raising questions about the actions  of the school superintendent, the daughter’s fitness for the jobs and the veracity of statements by public officials.