The Sierra Star recently received 14 awards in its division in the 2016 Better Newspapers Contest sponsored by the California Newspaper Publishers Association.
The awards were announced Saturday during a CNPA luncheon in Santa Monica.
The Star received three first and two second place awards, eight honorable mentions, and an Online General Excellence award for its website, www.sierrastar.com.
Editor Brian Wilkinson received first place in the Sports Feature Photo (Aug. 25 - Yosemite Badger Youth Football), second place in Environmental Reporting for “Colossal Clean Up” (removing dead trees from the drought and bark beetle infestation), and a second place in the Arts and Entertainment Coverage for his Nov. 3 “Small Town Theater - Big Time Entertainment,” a story about the Golden Chain Theatre.
Wilkinson also received three honorable mentions - one in the Feature Photo category (July 7 photo of four cast members in the Golden Chain Production of Seussical, Jr.), Sports Feature Photo (Sept. 29) of a 2-year-old crossing the finish line at the Smoky Bear Fun Run, and coverage of Local Government for the Aug. 18 story about delays with a hotel construction project on Highway 41 in Oakhurst.
Reporter Mark Evan Smith won first place for his May 5 Sports Feature story “Badger girl makes history on baseball field,” a story about Yosemite High’s Trinity Curtis playing on the boys JV baseball team.
Smith also received an honorable mention for Breaking News for his July 7 story about 73,000 marijuana plants being uprooted by law enforcement officials.
Freelance photographer Michael Costa won first place and an honorable mention award in the Artistic Photo category for his photos from the 45th Annual Indian Fair Days & Pow Wow (Proud Tradition - Aug. 11) held at Minarets High School.
Other honorable mention awards for the Star included Best Sports Page and Best Front Page.
The sports page selected included a Yosemite High football game story by Gregg Dodderidge (photo by Rick Slayton), a Yosemite High volleyball game by Wilkinson (photo by Steve Montalto), and a Minarets High football game by Pete Reardon.
The front page selected featured a story by Sierra Star reporter Morgan Voorhis about a tragic drowning in the Fresno River (photo by Wilkinson), two stories by Wilkinson - the Golden Chain Theatre production of Shake (photo by Montalto), and concerns over a new radio station in town - and a story by Smith on the Yosemite Unified School District’s budget.
Freelance photographer Tricia Nickerson received an honorable mention for her March 3 photo essay titled “feathered friends.”
Other McClatchy papers that won awards included the The Fresno Bee who brought home eight first place awards, seven second place, and 25 honorable mentions in the 35,001 to 150,000 circulation division, The Merced Sun-Star with three first place, four second place, one honorable mention, and a General Excellence award, and the Los Banos Enterprise with one first place and two honorable mentions.