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Editorial: Connection Guide to Parks Wins ‘Best in Show’

Investigative reporting, in depth coverage, education writing, photography, art, design, sports, garner Virginia Press Association honors.

A rescue worker descends from a Park Police helicopter to the rock the kayaker was stranded on as boat units prepare nearby. Nikki Cheshire was awarded First Place in Breaking News Photo at the 2012 Virginia Press Association awards dinner on Saturday, April 20, 2013.

A rescue worker descends from a Park Police helicopter to the rock the kayaker was stranded on as boat units prepare nearby. Nikki Cheshire was awarded First Place in Breaking News Photo at the 2012 Virginia Press Association awards dinner on Saturday, April 20, 2013. Photo by Nikki Cheshire

MDDC

The Potomac Almanac, a Connection Newspaper located in Potomac, Md., competes in the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, and won at least six press association awards, which will be formally announced on May 17 at the MDDC Press awards luncheon. Susan Belford, John Byrd, Laurence Foong, Ken Moore (2) and Staff were named as winners.

VPA Award Winners

Special Award: Best in Show, Non-daily Artwork

  • Jean Card, Laurence Foong and Craig Sterbutzel, Fairfax Connection: Informational Graphics, Parks in Fairfax County.

First Place Winners

  • Victoria Ross, Springfield Connection: In-depth or Investigative Reporting, Immigration
  • Nicholas Horrock, Alexandria Gazette Packet: In-depth or investigative reporting, Potomac Yard
  • Jean Card, Laurence Foong and Craig Sterbutzel, Fairfax Connection: Informational Graphics, Parks in Fairfax County
  • Nikki Cheshire, Great Falls Connection: Breaking News Photo, Rescue at Great Falls
  • Deb Cobb, Mount Vernon Gazette: Online Slideshow, Daily Patrols Take to the Water
  • Deb Cobb, Reston Connection: General news photo, Freezin' for a Reason
  • Laurence Foong and Michael Lee Pope, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Informational Graphics
  • Bonnie Hobbs, Centre View North: Public Safety Writing
  • Kenneth Lourie, Arlington Connection: Column Writing
  • Alex McVeigh, Oak Hill/Herndon Connection: Education Writing, The Human Element of Learning
  • Michael Lee Pope, Arlington Connection: Multimedia News Report, Secret Police
  • Michael Lee Pope, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Business and Financial Writing
  • Michael Lee Pope, Mount Vernon Gazette: Breaking News Writing

Second Place Winners

  • Montie Martin, Alexandria Gazette Packet: In-depth or investigative reporting, Guns From the South
  • Jean Card, Mount Vernon Gazette: Page Design
  • Bonnie Hobbs, Fairfax Connection: Public Safety Writing
  • Louise Krafft, Mount Vernon Gazette: Picture Story or Essay, Mount Vernon Graduation 2012
  • Louise Krafft and Jeanne Theismann, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Combination Picture and Story, Memorial Day
  • Craig Sterbutzel, Burke Connection: Sports News Photo, Santiago Valdez
  • Jeanne Theismann, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Headline Writing
  • Jeanne Theismann, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Column Writing.
  • Steven Mauren, Geovani Flores, Stuart Moll, Laurence Foong and Jean Card, Mount Vernon Gazette: Special Sections or Special Editions: Insider’s Guide.
  • Kemal Kurspahic, Amna Rehmatulla, Chelsea Bryan, Laurence Foong, Stuart Moll and Geovani Flores, Great Falls Connection: General Makeup.

Third Place Winners

  • Michael Lee Pope, Alexandria Gazette Packet: In-depth or investigative reporting: Looking Behind the Numbers
  • Laurence Foong, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Page Design
  • Laurence Foong, The Fairfax Connection: Informational Graphics
  • Mary Kimm, Fairfax Connection: Editorial Writing; five editorials about education
  • Louise Krafft, Arlington Connection: Sports Feature Photo.Louise Krafft, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Picture Story or Essay, Celebrating the Irish.
  • Michael Lee Pope, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Multimedia News Report, Schools in Crisis
  • Michael Lee Pope, Mount Vernon Gazette: Feature Series or Continuing Story, Horses and Graves Versus Road Widening
  • Michael Lee Pope, Mount Vernon Gazette: Health, Science and Environmental Writing.
  • Jon Roetman, Arlington Connection: Sports Writing.
  • Steven Mauren, Jean Card, Geovani Flores, Laurence Foong and Stuart Moll, Alexandria Gazette Packet: General Makeup.
  • Steven Mauren, Geovani Flores, Stuart Moll, Laurence Foong and Jean Card, Mount Vernon Gazette: Special Sections or Special Editions, Children’s Edition.

— The Connection Newspapers won dozens of awards from the Virginia Press Association, with winners announced on Saturday, April 20, in Norfolk.

The Connection project, Insiders Guide to the Parks of Fairfax County, published in our Newcomers and Community Guides, won a top honor of Best in Show for Art. The project also won first place for informational graphics. Spearheaded and researched by Jean Card, who also designed the pages, with photography by Craig Sterbutzel and map design by Laurence Foong, Insiders Guide to the Parks led judges to say: "This is chock-full of information. It probably leaves readers with no unanswered questions. Colors and typography work well together. The down-page photo and text wrap features are nice touches."

A multi-part series on immigration spearheaded by Victoria Ross won first place for in-depth or investigative writing. The Connection devoted multiple pages in multiple editions for multiple weeks to exhaustive reporting on immigration. “This entry clearly stood out above the rest in this category,” said judges of Ross’s work. “The author portrayed an excellent mix of data and human stories in covering all of the facets of this topic. It was obvious she spent a great deal of time working on this in-depth series. This was extremely comprehensive, well rounded and objective. This was not just reports, numbers and data but a terrific compilation of human stories, personal experiences, challenges and a great deal of hope.” See the entire immigration package at www.connectionnewspapers.com/news/Immigration/.

Alexandria Gazette Packet reporters took all three awards for In-depth or Investigative Reporting in their division, one circulation category above the Connection papers. Nicholas Horrock won first place, In-depth or investigative reporting, for a multi-part series on Potomac Yard. “Great reporting job and extremely thorough,” said judges. “Well organized with great sidebars, from the Native American to the EPA angles. Writing is smooth and easy.”

Montie Martin, Alexandria Gazette Packet, won second place also for In-depth or investigative reporting for Guns From the South. Judge’s comment: “Very well reported, thorough piece on the issue. Easy to read; organization flows well. Good quotes.” Michael Lee Pope, won third place in the same category, for Looking Behind the Numbers.

Kenneth Lourie won first place for Column Writing. Judge’s comment: “An exceptionally friendly, down-home writing style. The best of the group without a doubt.”

Laurence Foong and Michael Lee Pope, first place, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Informational Graphics.

Nikki Cheshire, an intern for the Great Falls Connection, garnered a first place award for her dramatic breaking news photo, a helicopter rescue at Great Falls Park. See the award winning photo at www.connectionnewspapers.com/photos/2012/jun/11/18271/.

Bonnie Hobbs won first place for public safety writing in the Centre View and second place for public safety writing in the Fairfax Connection. Judges said: “Although the cases featured in these entries were sensational, which made them interesting in and of themselves, the writer maintained the readers' interest by her excellent storytelling ability. The stories not only conveyed facts but also emotion. The coverage was comprehensive and thorough with no questions left unanswered.”

Alex McVeigh won first place for Education Writing, first published in the Oak Hill-Herndon Connection.

Photographer Deb Cobb won first place for an online slide show of coverage of daily patrols on the water in the Mount Vernon Gazette. See it at www.connectionnewspapers.com/photos/galleries and search for Daily Marine Patrols. Cobb also won first place for general news photo for her photo of “Freezin’ for a Reason,” the polar bear plunge into Lake Anne.

Mike Pope won first place for breaking news for coverage of “New Leadership at Gunston Hall.”

Pope also won third place for continuing coverage for “Horses and Graves Versus Road Widening” in the Mount Vernon Gazette, and third place for Mount Vernon Health, Science and Environmental Writing Portfolio.

The staff of Great Falls Connection won second place for overall excellence (general makeup). Judges said: “Although the tabloid format and general design has a 'features' feel, this is a beautiful paper. The text, use of color and section delineation makes it very easy to read and follow both news and features. All cover selections draw you in.” Winners included Kemal Kurspahic, Amna Rehmatulla, Chelsea Bryan, Laurence Foong, Stuart Moll and Geovani Flores.

Louise Krafft and Jeanne Theismann, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Combination Picture and Story for Memorial Day. Judge’s comment: “A variety of great photos neatly presented helps tell the story of this important day.”

Craig Sterbutzel, Burke Connection: Sports News Photo * Santiago Valdez. Judge’s comment: “Great Exposure.”

Jeanne Theismann, Alexandria Gazette Packet: Headline Writing. Judge’s comment: “Think you can't say much in two words? This entry disproves that. I particularly like ‘Bovine Intervention’ with the subhead ‘Del Ray's Holy Cow, ACT partner for local charities.

Louise Krafft won second place for picture story or essay for her coverage of the Mount Vernon High School graduation.

Jean Card won second place for page design in the Mount Vernon Gazette.

The Mount Vernon Gazette won second place for special section for the August Insiders Edition, Community and Newcomers Guide; and third place for special edition for the Children’s Gazette.

Mary Kimm, third place, editorial writing for a package of education-related editorials.

The Potomac Almanac, a Connection Newspaper located in Potomac, Md., competes in the Maryland-Delaware-DC Press Association, and won at least six press association awards, which will be formally announced on May 17 at the MDDC Press awards luncheon. Susan Belford, John Byrd, Laurence Foong, Ken Moore (2) and Staff were named as award winners.