BUCKHANNON — What’s better than 10 straight first-place General Excellence awards? How about number 11?
For the 11th straight year, The Record Delta has captured first place in its division of the West Virginia Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. Awards are based on content submitted from the 2016 calendar year.
In total, The Record Delta staff earned eight first-place, six second-place and six third-place awards in Division IV, which is for weeklies with circulations under 4,000.
Editor Brian Bergstrom swept the best editorial category, capturing first place for his “I want a refund,” second place for “It’s flip flop weather in Charleston” and third place for “The priorities of the puppets.”
Bergstrom, who shoots stunning photos in all seasons that grace the front page, won first-place in feature photography, for his winter photo of a bird entitled, “Is It Spring Yet?”
Bergstrom’s Fourth of July fireworks photo over downtown Buckhannon in 2016 won second-place in the feature photography category. He also won two sports photography awards, a second-place showing for “Lady ‘Cats Drop Heartbreaker to UC” and third-place for “Bobcats Drop Wild Opener.”
Senior staff writer Amanda Hayes won first-place in news photography for her photo of Buckhannon Fire Department Lt./EMT Joey Baxa at the Wood Street fire from June 2016 and third place in the same category for her wrong way driver wreck photo. Hayes also won second-place with staff writer Katie Kuba in best in-depth or investigative reporting for their series on what local fire departments did to assist in the June 2016 flooding.
Kuba won a first-place award in best business, economic or labor coverage for covering the City of Buckhannon and Upshur County Development Authority’s discussions on the fate of the city lot at the corner of Main and Spring streets and second place in best coverage of breaking news for her story on first responders saving a choking child.
Sports writer Joey Kittle won a third-place award for best sports news reporting for “Frye’s Career Night Sparks Bucs.” He also won first-place for the 2016 Fall Sports Guide with sports writer Jim Warner and Hayes.
The Record Delta’s former cartoonist, Charlie Watts, captured a first-place award for his “Patriotic Smoking” cartoon.
The editorial staff also picked up first-place in best newspaper design and first-place for best editorial pages, second-place best special section for its Proud to Have Served tab and third place in the same category for its Fact Book.
The Record Delta entered the advertising contest for the first time this year.
Graphic designer Dayna O’Neal garnered two first-place awards in best agency advertisement and best online static ad. She also won a second-place award for best single newspaper online and third place for single black and white ad.
“I’m so proud of our our dedicated news team at The Record Delta,” publisher Tammy Lyons said. “We’re now in our second decade of winning the general excellence award from the West Virginia Press. They’re the best of the best without a doubt!”
This year’s more than 2,300 entries in 28 categories were judged by the Maryland, Delaware and Washington, D.C. Press Association.
The Moorefield Examiner won second-place in General Excellence, with The Princeton Times earning third place in Division IV.