For the first time since 1980, the Augusta Gazette won the Sweepstakes award in the Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence competition.
The Gazette took home four first place awards and 15 total prizes in the contest.
“I am proud of the awards we won as a staff this year,” said Gazette Publisher Kent Bush. “But it makes me even more proud to see the effort this staff puts in on stories that will never win awards but are so important to the community we serve.”
The awards the Gazette won included:
• Belinda Larsen and Kent Bush were recognized for the third consecutive year for first place in Editorial Pages. “The Bush satire highlighted this entry,” the judges said. “Creative approach to issues. Aesthetically, the design was pleasing.”
• Jeremy Costello took first place for Best Online Video (News).
• Kent Bush, Jeremy Costello and Josh Prim placed first in the Best Online Video (Feature) "Game Night”.
• Kent Bush was awarded first place in Series for his "No Sale” about human trafficking and what is being done to prevent it locally. “Very well done,” the judges said. “Informative and shows what long form multi-part series are capable of achieving. Nice wrap up column at the end.”
• Belinda Larsen, Kent Bush, and Rhonda Sinn took second place in Best Front Pages.
• Kent Bush received second place for Best Environmental Story "No Easy Answers” about the water problems facing residents of Augusta.
• Jeremy Costello took second in Sports Column Writing; "Time Outs," "Retirement of Andy Roddick," and "Chipper Jones."
• Kent Bush placed second in Column Writing for "7 Habits of Highly Successional People," "Gift of Love for a Lifetime," and "Ignorance is the One Way to Stay on Sidelines."
• Kent Bush also placed second in Government/Political Story with "Park Problems” about the equipment in Garvin Park that had to be removed.
• Belinda Larsen received third place for Investigative Story with "Incomplete Justice," the article about the murder of Kay Robinson.
• Belinda Larsen, Rhonda Zinn, and Kent Bush received third place in Local Business Story for the Dari-ette story, "Out With the Old, in With the New."
• Jeremy Costello placed third in Sports Story with "Golden Moment: Budda Wins 4A High Jump State Championship."
• Kent Bush placed third in Feature Story with "Linder Honored to Serve."
• Belinda Larsen and Kent Bush took third place in Best Story/Picture Combination with "Fish Salvage Coming to an End."
• Kent Bush placed third in Best On-line Video in News for "Thunder Road Fire."
Page 2 of 2 - “Winning in traditional newspaper categories as well as online video contests really shows how hard this staff works to present information to our readers in every format,” Bush said. “Whether it is our print product, our website or Twitter and Facebook posts, we want to be the source of information for the Augusta area.”
The Non Daily Division II category is for papers printing fewer than 4 times per week with a circulation between 1,750 and 4,000.
Other papers competing in the category included The Andover American, The El Dorado Times, The Times Sentinel, The Ellsworth County Independent, The Lyons News, Sabetha Herald, Hiawatha World, Atchison Globe, Miami County Republic, Belleville Telescope, Washington County News, Rawlins County Square Deal, Marion County Record, Wellington Daily News, Kingman Leader-Courier, Shawnee Dispatch, Marysville Advocate, and the Fort Riley 1st Infantry Division.