The Ledger-Enquirer has won six awards from the Georgia Associated Press in the organization's annual newspaper contest.
Mark Rice took first place for beat reporting for his 2013 coverage of the Muscogee County School Board and its search for a new superintendent. He finished ahead of Tracey McManus, who covers education for the Augusta Chronicle, and Greg Bluestein, who covers state government for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Dusty Nix captured first place for editorial writing for a piece about an exonerated inmate entitled "What are stolen years, smeared reputation worth?" He finished ahead of Andre Jackson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Tom Barton of the Savannah Morning News.
In May, Rice and Nix won top prizes from the Georgia Press Association, Rice for education reporting and Nix for editorial writing.
"We love having the opportunity to compete against the AJC, and we're glad they continue to enter the AP's state contest," said executive editor Dimon Kendrick-Holmes. "Of course, they have a bigger staff, a wider reach and a lot more resources, but we've got talent here and a bunch of exciting stuff to cover, and when we can hang with them we feel like we've done something."
The Ledger-Enquirer also won third place from the Associated Press for Public Service for its coverage of the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War, which was spearheaded by Fort Benning's 3rd Brigade Combat Team. Contributors included reporters Rice, Tony Adams, Larry Gierer, Alva James-Johnson and Ben Wright, and online producer Nick Blair.
Other third-place winners included Chuck Williams for his coverage of a lawsuit against Columbus Regional Healthcare System alleging overbilling at Amos Cancer Center, Mike Haskey for an action photo of a high school soccer game, and Kendrick-Holmes for a Christmas Day story entitled "Fighting for Phinehas."
"I try to say it every time we win an award," said Kendrick-Holmes, "but the people we're really trying to please are our newspaper readers and our digital audience. Let us know if we're missing something."
Kendrick-Holmes can be reached at email@example.com. For breaking news tips, contact Senior Editor Stephanie Pedersen at firstname.lastname@example.org.