After its first year of existence, the Andover American received five first-place finishes in the 2012 Kansas Press Association’s Awards of Excellence last week.
The American also picked up three second-place awards for Division 1 non-dailies. An awards banquet will be held for the honorees April 21 in Overland Park.
Adam Knapp’s article about physician Burt Humburg, entitled “There’s Only One Burt,” was awarded best overall feature story. It detailed the Andover native’s struggles with the realization that he was a homosexual during his time as an All-American football player at Southwestern.
Finishing second to that story was another Knapp article, “The Hard Luck Kid,” which focused on the life of 17-year-old Andover High student Jordan Ray.
Knapp also claimed the top two spots in the sports feature category.
Winning first place was “Roboback and the Gunslinger,” which attempted to decide whether Zack Siegrist or Brent Wasson was the best quarterback in Andover history.
“He’s the ultimate coach,” which highlighted the career of former Andover and Andover Central wrestling coach Terry Alley, was second in sports features.
The American also picked up first-place awards in the local business and government/political categories.
For business, Knapp won for “The Man Behind Metro Grill,” a story about how restaurant owner Michael Gonzalez ended up in Andover.
In government/politics, Knapp won for his coverage of Andover mayoral candidates Ben Lawrence and Julie Reams prior to last year’s election.
The American also won a first-place award for its editorial pages, which are designed by Rhonda Zinn and features columns from Knapp and Kent Bush.
In the feature package category, the American picked up a second-place finish for “Riding With Mr. Andover,” which was designed by Zinn and written by Knapp, whose column told of riding to Cassoday in the motorcycle sidecar of 83-year-old Charles Malcom.
Gatehouse Publication’s other two newspapers in Butler County – the Augusta Gazette and El Dorado Times – also picked up KPA awards.
The Gazette picked up four first-place finishes for Division I daily – including Jeremy Costello for sports (“Rockets Win First State Football Championship”), Belinda Larsen for education (“Old Garfield to Pass Into History), Bush for investigative story (“All in His Head”) and editorial pages by Larsen, Bush and Erin Fox.
Finishing third was Bush’s religion story “Augusta Pair Answers Call to Help Rescued Girls.”
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The Times got first in sports columns (Josh Prim), second in layout and design (Julie Clements and Jessica Seibel) and third in best front page (Clements and Seibel).