Ashley Biles and Larry Stanford of The Thomaston Times won five awards in the Georgia Newspaper Association’s 2015 Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced in June at the GPA’s annual conference on Jekyll Island.
The Thomaston Times competed in Division D, which consists of bi-weekly and tri-weekly newspapers. The contest judged articles, photographs, and other categories from newspapers published in 2014. Members of the Missouri Press Association were the judges.
Ashley won two 1st Place awards for her photography. Her photo of a small child sleeping in front of a Christmas tree (Dec. 23, 2014 edition) won 1st Place in Feature Photos. The judge’s comments were: “Very, very tough category to judge. Many superb entries. But this photo was the best of the best. Children and Santa Claus make an easy subject for pictures, but this photographer did an excellent job creating a lasting image of what Christmas is all about. Congratulations to the staffer, and keep up the good work.”
Ashley also won a 1st Place in News Photos for her photo of a man kneeling in prayer on the steps of the courthouse (May 16, 2014). The judge’s comments were: “Emotional and impactful.”
Larry won a 2nd Place and two 3rd Place awards in the contest. His photo of Yatesville’s Veterans Memorial, with the names of deceased veterans on white crosses with American flags on top (Nov. 14, 2014) took 2nd Place just behind Ashley in Feature Photos. The judges did not comment on 2nd or 3rd place entries.
Larry’s photo of a city worker spreading sand on an icy street (January 31, 2014) took 3rd Place in Spot News, and he won 3rd Place in Hard News Writing for his stories: “Bomb threats taken seriously by school system” (March 25, 2014), Fire funds for VFDs cut by Commission (Feb. 14, 2014), and “We are very blessed” (Nov. 25, 2014), a story about storm damage in the county.
Congratulations to Ashley Biles and Larry Stanford on their good work.
Rick Thomason is Publisher of the LaGrange Daily News and The Thomaston Times.