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LTM takes top honors at Virginia Press Association banquet

Times-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Times Community Media publisher Peter Arundel holds up the 2012 Sweepstakes Non-Daily 3 Virginia Press Association award while congratulating his staff in the Loudoun Times-Mirror newsroom in Leesburg April 23.
For the third consecutive year, judges of the annual Virginia Press Association's news and advertising contest awarded the Loudoun Times-Mirror best in state honors for its competing division.

The Loudoun Times-Mirror took home sweeptakes honors for non-dailies with a publication of 10,000 or more, earning 54 out of a possible 225 points. The awards were presented April 20 at a banquet in Norfolk.

The paper led its group for points in writing (22) and multimedia (16).

The contest was judged this year by members of the Colorado Press Association.

"What a feat to be honored by the Press Association as the 'best weekly in the state' three years in a row. Our company has never achieved this and we're already looking to next year. Regardless, our bottom line goal is to serve the readers of Loudoun County," said Peter Arundel, publisher and CEO of Times Community Media.

Loudoun Times-Mirror Editor John Geddie credited the entire company for the win.

"The news isn’t about awards, but it’s gratifying to receive recognition that we’re producing a newspaper that’s worthy of the people of Loudoun. It’s a testament to the dedication of the people who work here – and that goes from management to the newsroom all the way to the carriers. We love this community and we’re proud to deliver the news to them," Geddie said.

The Loudoun Times-Mirror's news team took home 27 awards, including sweepstakes honors and 11 first-place accolades. The company's advertising designers took home 20 awards for their design efforts. Seven of those awards came from the Loudoun Times-Mirror's staff.

One of the biggest wins for the paper was first place in the multimedia news report category for the staff's efforts in covering Election Day 2012 through ongoing news reports, photography, video and up-to-the minute vote results. This year was the third consecutive first place win for the paper.

Also taking top honors was government reporter Trevor Baratko for feature writing portfolio for his stories "Queer at Patrick Henry College," "For a professor and his pupil, politics align" and 'I don't see color,' one of four stories in the paper's Black History Month series. Managing Editor Crystal Owens took second place in the feature writing portfolio category.

Also earning first and second place honors in the series or continuing story category were Owens' three-part series "Getting Better" that detailed the mental health struggles Loudoun residents are facing today.

Baratko, business reporter Andrew Sharbel and former reporters Matt Vecchio and Laura Peters took second place for their parts in the Black History Month series.

Other first place winners included:
•Chief photographer Beverly Denny in the photo illustration category.
•Freelance photographer Jonathan Taylor in the sports feature photo category.
•Owens and former paginator Anna Eisenburg in the lifestyle or entertainment pages category.
•Vecchio in the multimedia sports report category.
•Owens in the online video, public safety and health, science and environmental writing categories.
•Freelance writer Dr. Micheal Rodriguez in the personal service writing category for his "Your Health" column.

Also taking home awards were freelance photographer Greg Nash with second and third place wins, respectively, in the sports feature and sports news photo categories. Sports editor Carl Lukat and education reporter Alanna Dvorak took third place honors for headline writing and sports pages.

Geddie, Sharbel, Eisenburg and Denny placed third for specialty pages or sections for business. Owens and Denny took third for combination picture and story.

Owens and Peters took second in multimedia news report. The two in addition to Denny also took second in the multimedia feature report category.

The paper's staff took third place for its annual Future Leaders coverage in the multimedia media feature report category.

Sharbel and Vecchio placed second for online video.

Freelance writer Jen Lofquist, author of the Rugrats column, took second for personal service writing.

Dvorak placed third in sports column writing for her column "Tales of Misfit Athlete."

The Times-Mirror creative team also saw a large number of wins at the Virginia Press awards for ad design.

Bonni Krytusa and Cindy Kinsey took first place in the fashion and personal care category (color) for their work with Frilly Frocks.

Second place wins were Kurt Samuel and Kinsey for Home and Garden (black and white), and then Theresa Crowder and Kinsey for campaign design.

Third place wins were taken by Krytusa and the creative services team for special sections, Kathy Davis for member self-promotion (color), Crowder and Kinsey for entertainment and lifestyles and Krytusa and Julie Doiron for home and garden (color).

Times Community Media's creative department, based in Leesburg, won 13 additional advertising design awards – including five first place results – for the LTM's sister publications in Fauquier, Prince William and Culpeper.

For a full list of winners, visit http://www.vpa.net .

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