The Times-Gazette won 14 awards at this year's Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence contest
The Butler County Times-Gazette won 14 awards at this year’s Kansas Press Association Awards of Excellence contest.
The newspaper performed well in traditional categories, but the Times-Gazette swept the digital news categories. Not only did the newspaper win Best Web site, but the staff also swept the video awards.
“Frequent updates on breaking news, good use of photos and videos and a very lively ‘feel’ make this site a winner,” said one of the judges from the New Jersey Press Association who judged this year’s contest.
“I’m never surprised when this newsroom wins awards,” Publisher Kent Bush said. “I see how hard they work every day and I know they are among the best in the state. These awards just recognize what our readers already know.”
Jeremy Costello won first place for feature videos for his highlights that included a buzzer beater during the Andover-Andover Central crosstown showdown in basketball in December. He also placed third for his video of the Augusta girls’ basketball team’s run through the playoffs last season. Costello, Kent Bush, Josh Prim and T.J. Rigg combined to take second in that category with the Game Night highlights package from Week 3 of the 2013 football season.
“Nice camera work. Good game awareness to get a shot of the scoreboard for viewers,” the judges said of Costello’s winning entry.
Bush swept the News Video Category.
Bush took first place with footage from the Space Station Storage Center Fire. He also won second place in that category with his highlights from the Andover Advantage Foundation Prize Patrol grant awards.
“It was a good idea to do this ‘prize patrol’ video,” the judges said. “Unfortunately, this entry competed against a spectacular video of a structure fire.”
The Times-Gazette had two other first place awards. One went to Belinda Larsen for her Agriculture Story on a Beaumont rancher who promotes wind power in addition to his ranching operations.
The other went to Costello for his Sports Columns entry. Costello’s columns included entries on adding a dual state tournament in high school wrestling, athletes’ commitment, and developing leaders on a team.
In addition to her first place award in Agriculture Stories, Larsen also placed second in Local Business Story for her piece on Miller’s Five closing in Augusta.
“This story boasted originality in the fact that it was a tough subject to write about, but this writer was able to do it beautifully and with respect to the subject and her business,” the judges said. “This business obviously had a lot of meaning to the people in Augusta, which the article demonstrates nicely by showing, not telling.”
Kari Adams won two awards this year. She placed third in Best Environmental Story with her piece on the county’s final decision on the landfill.
She also placed second in Education Story with her feature on Rick Voison’s presentation to the Circle Schools. Bush placed third in Education reporting with his story about Andover’s eCademy.
“More districts should use this as a teaching tool and your story made that clear,” the judges said. “It also highlighted the impact of this person addressing the students. Excellent piece.”
Bush placed third in Education reporting with his story about Andover’s eCademy.
“Well-balanced, well-written piece that brings technology and its use into the forefront of education,” the judges said.
The Times-Gazette also placed third in Best Editorial Pages and third in Best Special Sections for the Butler County Resource Guide magazine.
The judges praised the editorial pages for their local content.
“Very good mix of content shows a real grasp of the audience,” the judges said.
Bush said it was always good to win awards but the staff is just as proud of the many things they do every day that are never entered in contests.
“Awards are great,” Bush said. “But I am equally proud when I see the extra time this staff spends doing all of the little things that make the newspaper a g