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Democrat’s 24 awards good for second in ‘General Excellence’

The Corydon Democrat’s staff of current and past employees brought home 24 awards Saturday, including second in General Excellence, in the annual state newspaper contest.
‘This was quite an impressive number of awards for the staff to receive,’ Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, editor of the newspaper, said. ‘There were several first-place awards for individuals, as well as the staff. Points earned for all the awards led to the second-place award in General Excellence.
‘The comments made by the judges, who, this year were newspaper people from North Carolina, were positive about our work,’ she said.
Also, the newspaper was a finalist for the coveted Blue Ribbon award, which is given to one nondaily and a daily paper judges deem to be the best in the state. The Corydon Democrat has won the Blue Ribbon a record-number 14 times and has been a top-three finalist several times since the award’s inception in 1972.
‘After reading The Corydon Democrat, the judges felt they knew the community,’ the judges wrote. ‘The breadth and depth of the coverage ‘ news, features and community ‘ demonstrated the paper cares about its readers and vice versa. It is also an attractive paper and is easy to find entry points into the stories.’
The Blue Ribbon this year went to The Brown County Democrat in Nashville (nondaily) and The Indianapolis Star (daily).
This was the 44th year for the Hoosier State Press Association Foundation Newspaper Seminar and Better Newspaper Contest Awards Luncheon. This year’s event was held at the Indianapolis Convention Center.
More than 575 awards were distributed in 35 categories in six divisions based on circulation. Division 1 is for nondailies with circulations of less than 3,001, while Division 2, which is The Corydon Democrat’s division, is for nondailies with circulations of more than 3,000. (Divisions 3 to 6 are for dailies, with Division 6 being the largest.)
‘We couldn’t be more proud of our staff,’ Jon O’Bannon, president and publisher of the company, said. ‘The awards just prove what our readers have known all along, that we have an excellent staff. O’Bannon Publishing and the community are lucky to have such dedicated professionals.’
Staff Writer Alan Stewart garnered the most individual awards of the staff, bringing home eight. They were:
Best Sports News or Feature Coverage ‘ first for his feature ‘Uncommon Man’ about former Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy.
Best Spot News Photo ‘ first for the crash of a U-Haul truck on S.R. 64 near Milltown. The photo also was the Division 2 finalist for Photo of the Year.
Best In-Depth Feature or Feature Package ‘ second for the three-part series about radio personality Greg Milby’s trip with the National Guard to earthquake-stricken Haiti.
Best Video Story ‘ second for ‘Oaks Day’ activities at St. Joseph Catholic School in Corydon.
Best Ongoing News Coverage ‘ third for articles about Harrison County Sheriff G. Michael Deatrick and his indictment.
Best Feature Photo ‘ third for Morgan Elementary School summer-school students playing in a water spray provided by members of the Palmyra Volunteer Fire Department.
Best Community Service ‘ third for coverage about the H1N1 epidemic.
Sports editor Brian Smith received four individual awards. They were:
Best Sports Feature Photo ‘ first for the photo taken during a time-out at the boys’ basketball sectional semi-final between Corydon Central and North Harrison.
Best Sports Action Photo ‘ first for the photo taken of Brandon Dunaway’s attempted catch during Corydon Central’s football game against Perry Central.
Best Sports Event Coverage ‘ second for the article about the North Harrison Cougars’ 2009 cross country team advancement to state.
Best Sports Columnist ‘ third.
Ross Schulz, also a staff writer, received three awards. They were:
Best Multiple Picture Group ‘ first for his coverage of the Morgan’s Raid re-enactment in Corydon.
Best Editorial Writer ‘ second.
Best Profile Feature ‘ third for his story ‘Corydon boy gets John Deere wish.’
Lee Cable, whose work mostly appears in the Clarion News, picked up a second-place award in the Best News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure category for his story ‘Fire destroys Blue River Caf’ that also appeared in The Corydon Democrat.
Eric Schulz, a former employee of O’Bannon Publishing Co., received a second-place award for Best Editorial Cartoonist. Only two awards were given in this category: one to a non-daily newspaper and the other to a daily paper.
The newspaper’s website also received a first-place award in Division 2.
Awards presented to the staff, in addition to the second-place in General Excellence, were:
Headline Writing ‘ first.
Best Feature Section of Page(s) ‘ second.
Best Editorial Page ‘ third.
Best Business Section or Page(s) ‘ third.
Wade Coggeshall, formerly of Corydon, who works for the Hendricks County Flyer in Avon, received a first-place award in Best News Coverage with No Deadline Pressure, a second-place award in Best General News Photo and a third-place award in Best Business/Economic News Coverage.