The Statesboro Herald won 16 awards in the 2011 Georgia Associated Press Awards contest, including Photo of the Year. The awards were announced Saturday in Macon during the AP's annual awards luncheon.
The Herald competed in Class A for newspapers with daily circulation under 10,000. There were 16 newspapers eligible in Class A and the Herald won more awards than any other paper in the division. Contest entries were judged in March by members of the Indiana Associated Press.
"We are proud of the recognition by our peers for the superior work accomplished by our staff last year," said Randy Morton, Herald publisher. "We look forward to continue giving our readers a product that provides insight, entertainment and information in print and online they can't get anywhere else."
The Herald earned eight first place awards in the entry categories of Deadline Reporting, Feature Writing, Sports Writing, Editorial Writing, Spot News Photograph, Sports Action Photo, Picture Story and Photo Portfolio. The paper also earned second place in Deadline Reporting, Non-Deadline Reporting, Business, Sports Action Photo, Sports Feature Photo and Picture Story and third place in Sports Writing and Sports Feature Photo.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Bragg won first place in the Deadline Reporting category for her stories about the shooting of a Bulloch County Sheriff's deputy and the subsequent killing of the suspect, along with a profile of the suspect.
Bragg also earned first place in Feature Writing for her story "A life on the land,' about longtime Bulloch farmer Lannie Lee.
Bragg won second place in Non-Deadline Reporting for her story about City Councilman Gary Lewis agreeing to pay a Statesboro Herald carrier $1,000 to settle a claim he stole newspapers out of a vending box. And she won second place in Deadline Reporting along with former Herald reporter Phil Boyum for stories after the Statesboro police and fire chiefs were fired.
For Sports Writing, Herald sports editor Matt Yogus earned first and third place awards. Yogus' story about the Georgia Southern athletic department's failure to submit a bid on time that cost the football team a home playoff game won first place, while his report on the NCAA violations handed down to the GSU basketball team won third.
Herald executive editor James Healy won first place in the Editorial Writing category for a commentary urging the Statesboro City Council turn down a request from First Baptist Church to pay for a water line to the church's new sanctuary.
For the second year in a row, Herald photographer Scott Bryant earned eight photo awards. His four first place awards included photos of a Statesboro family grieving after a fire in the Spot News category; a Georgia Southern women's basketball player being "face-guarded" very closely in Sports Action; a series of photos about a national choir's visit to a local church in Picture Story; and a series of 10 photos in Photo Portfolio.
Also, Bryant's photo of the family grieving after the fire on West Main Street was selected as "Photo of the Year" in Class A among all photo entries submitted in the 2011 contest. About Bryant's photograph, judges said: "Good job on capturing a moment from a difficult situation. An easy choice. Excellent work."
Herald business editor Jan Moore received a second place in Business Writing for her story about the spirtual and civic motives behind the entrepreneurial efforts at the Greener Cleaners.