Star receives 11 awards from publisher’s association

The Sierra Star received 11 awards in its division in the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association’s 2014 Better Newspapers Contest. The awards were announced at the May 9 CNPA annual meeting in San Diego.

The Star received two first place awards, two second place awards, and seven ‘blue ribbon’ awards for third or fourth place.

Reporter Alan Wileman won first place in best sports story for “Fearless Competitor,” a feature about Yosemite High School softball player Katie Thompson (May 1).

Wileman also won two blue ribbons, one for best writing, “No Veteran Dies Alone” (May 22), and for best sports story, “Giant Effort” (Sept. 11). The veteran piece told the story of World War II vet, Homer Trice. The sports story featured the Second Annual My Tri Triathlon held at Bass Lake for youth.

Reporter Morgan Voorhis received second place for best writing, and three blue ribbon awards for best writing, and two artistic photos.

The second place best writing award was for “Recycled Angel,” a feature on the life of Murlin Witcher (Dec. 19, 2013). The best writing blue ribbon was for “A Poteet Moment,” a feature story on long-time Mountain Area artist Betty Poteet. The blue ribbon artistic photos were of Jacob Caldwell with one of his pieces for the Yosemite High School art exhibit (April 24), and spring wildflowers (March 27).

Community correspondent Debbie Sebastian received first place in the artistic photo division for a wildflower photo that accompanied her story “Sensational and Colorful Spring” (April 10).

Editor Brian Wilkinson received a second place award for best editorial comment for “Fire can destroy homes ... but not the human spirit” (Sept. 25), written after the Sept. 14 Courtney Fire that destroyed 30 homes in the Bass Lake Heights subdivision. Wilkinson also received a blue ribbon in business news for a story detailing the delays in the planned construction of three hotels in Oakhurst (Feb. 27).

In addition, the paper received a blue ribbon for best front page (Aug. 21) covering the Courtney Fire that featured Wilkinson’s photo of a DC-10 air tanker dropping fire retardant over the Aug. 18 Junction Fire.

Nearly 200 California daily and weekly papers were represented in the contest..

- Staff Report