The Ledger-Enquirer has won a combined 24 awards for journalism, including seven first place awards, from the Georgia Press Association and the Georgia Associated Press Association.
Mark Rice, the Ledger-Enquirer's veteran education reporter, was named the Georgia AP's best beat reporter for the second straight year. He was chosen from reporters across a wide variety of beats and from newspapers around the state, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Rice also won a first place award for education coverage from the GPA, and also for the second straight year.
"With the quantity and quality of reporters around the state, it's extremely tough to win either one of these awards, especially the AP's beat reporter award, in any year," said Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor of the Ledger-Enquirer. "For Mark to accomplish this feat two years in a row is a big deal, and we're proud of him and the work he does every day."
Robin Trimarchi, a veteran photographer for the Ledger-Enquirer, won Photo of the Year from the GPA for her picture of a mother clutching her child after a tornado hit east Alabama. The photo, which won first place from the GPA for best spot news photo, was selected from first place winners in all the photography categories.
"Robin really cares about the community and people she photographs," Kendrick-Holmes said, "and you can see that in the winning photo. We even blew it up and put it on the wall in our newsroom."
Trimarchi won two more awards from the GPA, a second place for best web photo gallery and a third place for best news photo.
Dusty Nix, the Ledger-Enquirer's editorial page editor, won first place for editorial writing from the Georgia AP, as well as two awards -- second place for editorial writing and third place for best editorial page -- from the GPA.
The Ledger-Enquirer copy desk, led by editor Kara Edgerson, won a first-place GPA award for best layout and design. Other key members are Chuck Crouch and Christopher Sheets.
Also receiving first-place awards were Auburn beat reporter Ryan Black, for best sports writing from the Georgia AP, and Chris Johnson, for best humor column from the GPA.
The Ledger-Enquirer's digital-first story about Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Frank Thomas, "From Big Baby to Big Hurt," won second place from the Georgia AP for best multi-platform coverage of a single story, and third place from the GPA for best online news project. The project was directed by senior editor Stephanie Pedersen, with Chuck Williams as lead writer.
Williams also won a second-place GPA award for best business coverage and a third-place AP award for features writing.
Williams and Pedersen teamed with reporter Larry Gierer to win a second-place AP award for best religion coverage.
Other multiple winners include Alva James-Johnson, with third place GPA awards for features writing and hard news writing, and Tony Adams with third place awards for business coverage from both the GPA and the Georgia AP.
Other winners included Tim Chitwood, with a second place from GPA for hard news writing, and David Mitchell, with a third place from GPA for sports writing.
The Ledger-Enquirer also won second place from the GPA for best sports section, under the direction of editor Kevin Price, and third place from the Georgia AP for best website, under the direction of Pedersen.
"I think I say it every time we win an award," Kendrick-Holmes said, "but the people we're really trying to please are our newspaper readers and our audience online and on mobile. Let us know if we're missing something."
-- Dimon Kendrick-Holmes can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news tips, contact Senior Editor Stephanie Pedersen at email@example.com.