Newspapers in Little Rock, El Dorado take top APME awards

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock and the El Dorado-News Times have won general excellence awards from the Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors group.

The winners were announced Friday.

Ginny Monk and Eric Besson of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette and Marisa Hicks of the Log Cabin Democrat in Conway were honored for their work in service to the Freedom of Information Act.

Among the state’s larger papers, the Texarkana Gazette took second and The Sentinel-Record in Hot Springs placed third in the general excellence category. Among medium-sized papers, the Log Cabin Democrat took second and The Courier in Russellville took third.

A list of winners can be found at http://discover.ap.org/contests/arkansas-newspaper . This year’s awards will be shipped to members in May.

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

Winners in the 2018 Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors contest:

General Excellence-Division II: 1, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Texarkana Gazette; 3, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record.

General Excellence-Division I: 1, DEl Dorado News-Times; 2, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat; 3, The (Russellville) Courier.

Service to FOI-Division II: 1, Ginny Monk and Eric Besson, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Coroners."

Service to FOI-Division I: 1, Marisa Hicks, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "FCDC Inmate Dies Following Attack."

DIVISION II:

Spot News Story: 1, Bill Bowden, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Deaths at 17 in Sinking; A Rush to Rescue in Vain"; 2, Steven Mross, Richard Rasmussen and David Showers, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "High Water Leads to Rescue, School, Road Closures"; 3, Jennifer Middleton, Texarkana Gazette, "TC President Russell Resigns."

Spot News Photo: 1, Richard Rasmussen, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Swept Away"; 2, Richard Rasmussen, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Fire Destroys Building"; 3, Mitchell Pe Masilun, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Injury Accident on I-30."

News Feature: 1, Clara Turnage, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Mother’s Call for Help Ends with Son’s Death"; 2, Ginny Monk, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Girl’s Mutation a Rarity in World"; 3, Aaron Brand, Texarkana Gazette, "A Piece of Railroad History and a New Dream for Downtown."

Editorial Writing: 1, David Barham and Walter Hussman, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Progress! Progress!"; 2, Russell McDermott, Texarkana Gazette, "King and Council"; 3, Mark Gregory, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "City’s Lack of Transparency Leaves Citizens in the Dark."

Headline: 1, Les Minor, Texarkana Gazette, "REDI Set to Go"; 2, Stevon Gamble, Texarkana Gazette, "Rock Enroll"; 3, Stevon Gamble, Texarkana Gazette, "Oh, the Hue-Manity."

News Coverage: 1, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Elections 2018"; 2, Mark Gregory, David Showers and Steven Mross, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Heavy Rains Flood Roads, Cause Lakes to Rise"; 3, Greg Bischof, Jennifer Middleton and Karl Richter, Texarkana Gazette, "Arkansas, Texas Governors’ Visit."

Beat Reporting: 1, Emily Walkenhorst and Eric Besson, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Hunter Field, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Medical Marijuana"; 3, Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, "Sexual Assault and Survivors."

Business Reporting: 1, Karl Richter, Texarkana Gazette, "REDI Set to Go"; 2, Beth Reed, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Oaklawn Unveils $100 Million-Plus Expansion"; 3, David Showers, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Aristocrat Residents Sweat out Dispute Between Owner, City."

Education Reporting: 1, Jennifer Middleton, Texarkana Gazette, "Game Changer"; 2, Cynthia Howell, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Judge over 35-Year-Old Case Tours 3 Schools."

Political Reporting: 1, David Showers and Steven Mross, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Questions Surround Conduct of Judicial Candidates"; 2, Karl Richter, Texarkana Gazette, "Congressmen for the Region Speak out"; 3, David Showers, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Ballot Error Shuts Down Early Voting."

Health Related Topics: 1, Emma Pettit, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "The Search for Mother’s Milk"; 2, Kat Stromquist, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Peanut-Allergy Trial Holds Hope for Kids"; 3, Lori Dunn, Texarkana Gazette, "Mother, Daughter Share Both Sides of Addiction, Recovery."

Special Project- Community Service: 1, Lori Dunn, Ashley Gardner and Lynn LaRowe, Texarkana Gazette, "Opioid Crisis"; 2, Lisa Hammersly, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Widow’s Tax"; 3, Ginny Monk, John Moritz and Ryan Tarinelli, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Violent Reality."

Non-Traditional News Item: 1, Kirk Montgomery, Nikki Dawes and Tom Murphy, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Texas A&M’s 6-Year Reign"; 2, Les Minor, Texarkana Gazette, "In-Depth Look at the Texarkana Industrial Index"; 3, Richard Rasmussen and Jason Wilson, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Heavy Rains Flood Roads."

Column-Hard News: 1, John Brummett, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Elizabeth Endures"; 2, Philip Martin, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "The Price We Pay"; 3, Les Minor, Texarkana Gazette, "Job Creation Must be this Region’s No. 1 Priority."

Column-Lifestyle Human Interest: 1, Christy Busby Worsham, Texarkana Gazette, "An Ode to Why Rocking Relaxes and Revives Us"; 2, Celia Storey, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Four Die as Peace Breaks out"; 3, Les Minor, Texarkana Gazette, "How We Flicked off Those Flickering Flies."

Sports Story: 1, Jeremy Muck, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Salt Bowl Cut Short"; 2, Tom Murphy, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "1 More to Settle It"; 3, Josh Richert, Texarkana Gazette, "Heroic Effort not Enough: Lady Mustangs Fall to SGA in Final, 8-3."

Spot Sports Photo: 1, Richard Rasmussen, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Upward Bound"; 2, Mitchell Pe Masilun, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "High School Basketball State Championship Stretch"; 3, Hunt Mercier, Texarkana Gazette, "Back in Action."

Sports Feature: 1, Tim Cooper, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Small-Town Guy a Big-Time Coach"; 2, Jay Bell, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Wallace, Longtime ‘Voice of Oaklawn,’ Dies at 74"; 3, Bob Holt, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Riches not Gafford’s Driving Force."

Feature Sports Photo: 1, Richard Rasmussen, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Unbridled Joy"; 2, Mitchell Pe Masilun, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Boy’s 7A State Champions"; 3, Grace Brown, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Lady Trojans Dethrone Chapel."

Sports Column: 1, Bob Wisener, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Van Berg: Racing’s True Stayer"; 2, Jay Bell, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "To Cherish a Fleeting Moment of Triumph"; 3, Jay Bell, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Adjusted Alignment Typical from AAA."

Feature Photo: 1, Hunt Mercier, Texarkana Gazette, "One Man’s Treasure"; 2, Staton Breidenthal, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Lapping up the Derby"; 3, Grace Brown, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record, "Into the Wild."

Photographer’s Portfolio: 1, Mitchell Pe Masilun, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Richard Rasmussen, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record; 3, Tommy Metthe, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Graphics: 1, Nikki Dawes, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Kirk Montgomery, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Digital: 1, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette; 2, Kristen Doss and Jason Hopkins, Texarkana Gazette; 3, Mark Gregory, Steven Mross and Brittany Weaver, The (Hot Springs) Sentinel-Record.

Page Design: 1, Stevon Gamble, Texarkana Gazette; 2, Stevon Gamble, Texarkana Gazette; 3, Steve Rogers, Stan Denman and Heather Kersten, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Digital Storytelling: 1, Jeannie Roberts, Mitchell Pe Masilun and Gavin Lesnick, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "That Moment of Chaos’: 20 Years Since Westside Middle School Shooting"; 2, Rachel Herzog and Gavin Lesnick, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "2018 Little Rock Marathon"; 3, (Little Rock) Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, "Violent Reality: Arkansas Ranks 7th in Gun Deaths, but Weapons Restrictions not on Table."

DIVISION I:

Spot News Story: 1, Jeanette Stewart, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Ferris Wheel Malfunctions"; 2, Haley Smith, El Dorado News-Times, "Lightning Strike Causes Fire at SouthArk."

Spot News Photo: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Helping Hands"; 2, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Burned Down"; 3, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Over There."

News Feature: 1, Marisa Hicks, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Local Hero Added to Conway’s Fallen Firefighters Memorial"; 2, Michael Shine, El Dorado News-Times, "Local Teen Recognized by Medical Professionals for Heroic Efforts"; 3, Michael Shine, El Dorado News-Times, "King of Racing, Local Teen Works to Compete in Big Leagues."

Headline: 1, Eden Corley, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "No Pain, No Rain, No Maine."

Beat Reporting: 1, Marisa Hicks, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat; 2, Tia Lyons, El Dorado News-Times, "Razing Problems – Abandoned, Condemned Houses in El Dorado."

Business Reporting: 1, Caitlan Butler, El Dorado News-Times, "El Dorado Golf and Country Club Looks to Move into the 21st Century."

Education Reporting: 1, Caitlan Butler, El Dorado News-Times, "Trying to Prepare for the Worst"; 2, Hilary Andrews, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Districts Talk Paddling"; 3, Caitlan Butler, El Dorado News-Times, "’Focus’ Elementary Schools See Differing Results in State Scoring Index."

Political Reporting: 1, Caitlan Butler, El Dorado News-Times, "Cotton Talks Trade, Tough Tactics"; 2, Jeanette Stewart, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Candidate is Arrested."

Health Related Topics: 1, Hilary Andrews, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Baptist Health Makes Plan to Combat SIDS"; 2, Caitlan Butler, El Dorado News-Times, "Crossett Woman Finds New Life with CBD Oil"; 3, Hilary Andrews, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Cardiologist’s Heart to Heart."

Special Project- Community Service: 1, El Dorado News-Times, "Violence Intervention Plan in Union County"; 2, El Dorado News-Times, "Union County Nursing Homes and Medicare Ratings"; 3, Jeanette Stewart, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Homelessness in Conway."

Non-Traditional News Item: 1, Hilary Andrews, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Community Leaders Talk New Year’s Resolutions."

Column-Hard News: 1, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Hearing Hicks: Death Row Not as Pleasant as Scotty Gardner Thought It Would Be."

Column-Lifestyle Human Interest: 1, Travis Simpson, The (Russellville) Courier, "Lessons My Husky Taught Me"; 2, Travis Simpson, The (Russellville) Courier, "They Said Dance Like No One is Watching, so I Did."

Sports Story: 1, Kev Moye, El Dorado News-Times, "Dragons Claim Championship"; 2, Andy Robertson, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Season Ends for Sugar Bears in Front of Raucous Crowd"; 3, Andy Robertson, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Despite Midseason Coaching Change, CCS Shows Dominance."

Spot Sports Photo: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Going for the Goal"; 2, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Come to Me"; 3, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Holding on Tight."

Sports Feature: 1, Andy Robertson, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Conway’s Grimes Fights Back from Devastating Injury"; 2, Andy Robertson, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat, "Bear’s Freshman Hales Stays Humble After Electric First Start"; 3, Tony Burns, El Dorado News-Times, "Local Gymnast Back on Beam."

Feature Sports Photo: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Soccer Boys"; 2, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Disc Golfer."

Sports Column: 1, Eli Cranor, The (Russellville) Courier, "Old Bull"; 2, Travis Simpson, The (Russellville) Courier, "The Magic and Metaphor of Fishing."

Feature Photo: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Jumping High"; 2, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "Putting on a Show"; 3, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times, "One Last Run."

Photographer’s Portfolio: 1, Terrance Armstard, El Dorado News-Times; 2, Jeanette Stewart, (Conway) Log Cabin Democrat.

Page Design: 1, Kelsey Womack and Haley Smith, El Dorado News-Times.

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