AP NEWS
Related topics

Winners announced in ’18 OAPME newspaper contest

May 4, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Newspapers in Columbus, Canton, Sandusky, Newark and Massillon were named the best in the state Saturday in the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

General Excellence awards for 2018 went to The Columbus Dispatch, The Canton Repository, Sandusky Register, The (Newark) Advocate and The (Massillon) Independent.

The Lancaster Eagle Gazette won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishment in pursuing freedom of information. The newspaper won with its entry “DNA Collection Series.”

Also Saturday, two journalists were inducted into the Ohio APME Hall of Fame for exceptional distinction and honor in the field of journalism: Tom McKee of WCPO-TV in Cincinnati and John Erickson of the Dayton Daily News.

Jennifer Smola, a reporter at The Columbus Dispatch, was named Ohio APME’s Newspaper Rising Star. That award recognizes journalists with five years or less in journalism.

Fifty-five daily newspapers submitted 1,776 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2018.

Entries were judged by editors from The Detroit News, Division V; Digital First Media, Troy, Michigan, Division IV; Midland Daily News and McComb Daily (Michigan), Division III; Mlive Media Group and the Cadillac (Michigan) News, Division II; the Petoskey (Michigan) News-Review and the Ludington (Michigan) Daily News, Division I.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,300 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States.

Here is the list of winners:

2018 First Amendment Award: Lancaster Eagle Gazette; “DNA Collection Series.”

Division V, Newspapers with a daily circulation of more than 60,000

General Excellence: 1, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Jerry Petersen, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Joe Landsberger, The (Toledo) Blade; 3, Mark J. Price, Akron Beacon Journal.

Best Business Writer: 1, Kaitlin Schroeder, Dayton Daily News; 2, Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Alexander Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Columnist: 1, Bob Dyer, Akron Beacon Journal; 2, Amelia Robinson, Dayton Daily News; 3, Kevin Aldridge, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Kevin Aldridge, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Mary Yost, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Keith BieryGolick, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Mike Wagner, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Jeff Basting, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Tom Fisher, The (Toledo) Blade; 3, Mike Nyerges, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Paul Daugherty, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Rob Oller, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Michael Arace, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal; 2, Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Steve Blackledge, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News; 3, Kyle Rowland, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Photographer: 1, Jeremy Wadsworth, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Phil Masturzo, Akron Beacon Journal; 3, Kareem Elgazzar, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best News Writer: 1, Cornelius Frolik, Dayton Daily News; 2, Bill Bush, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Sharon Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, The Columbus Dispatch, “Save the Crew”; 2, Kyle Robertson and Adam Jardy, The Columbus Dispatch, “Zach Harrison ′ A five-star Recruiting Adventure”; 3, Marla Ridenour, Akron Beacon Journal, “1971-1972 Zips Formed a Bond that Will Never be Ripped Apart.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, Akron Beacon Journal, “High School Football Preview”; 2, The (Toledo) Blade, “Walleye Season Preview ”; 3, Ray Stein, The Columbus Dispatch, “Women’s Final Four.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, Akron Beacon Journal; 2, Ray Stein, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Mike Nyerges, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Curbing Gerrymandering in Ohio”; 2, Justin Gilbert, The Columbus Dispatch, “Paths to an Open Warrant”; 3, Tom Fisher, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best News Photo: 1, Kareem Elgazzar, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Moment of Devastation”; 2, Jeremy Wadsworth, The (Toledo) Blade; 3, Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch, “Towering Protest.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Fred Squillante, The Columbus Dispatch, “Cure Celebration”; 2, Cara Owsley, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Shock of Mass Murder”; 3, Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch, “Wedding Party.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Jeremy Wadsworth, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Kurt Steiss, The (Toledo) Blade; 3, Phil Mastruzo, Akron Beacon Journal.

Best Photo Story: 1, Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Over-the-Rhine Rhinos”; 2, Jonathan Quilter, The Columbus Dispatch, “Meet Marco”; 3, Courtney Hergesheimer, The Columbus Dispatch, “Hurricane Florence Aftermath.”

Best Video: 1, Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Where the Gorillas Live: A Journey in the Congo”; 2, Doral Chenoweth, The Columbus Dispatch, “Wanted: Nearly Six Million Outstanding Warrants”; 3, Andy Morrison, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Public Service: 1, Kate Murphy and Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Sex Talk: The Conversation That is Not Happening About Campus Sexual Assault”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “Wanted: Awash in Warrants”; 3, Dayton Daily News, “The Path Forward.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Death of Kyle Plush”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “Westerville Officers Shot”; 3, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Fifth Third Shootings on Fountain Square.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Mark Williams and Mark Ferenchik, The Columbus Dispatch, “The Great Divide”; 2, Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Where Gorillas Live”; 3, Theresa Cottom-Bennett, Akron Beacon Journal, “Mother-to-be Seeks New Life After Battling with Addiction.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Alexander Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Honda Odyssey Owners Warned”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “Sexual Abuse Allegations at Ohio State”; 3, Ryan Dunn, The (Toledo) Blade, ” Promises of Natural Healing Had Deadly Results.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Josh Sweigart and Jeremy Kelley, Dayton Daily News, “Teacher Misconduct”; 2, Alexander Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Honda Odyssey Investigation”; 3, The Columbus Dispatch, “Side Effects - Investigation of Pharmacy Benefit Managers.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Joe Landsberger, The (Toledo) Blade, “Inked in Faith ”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “Veterans Memorial”; 3, Dayton Daily News.

Best Digital Project: 1, Kate Murphy and Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Sex Talk: The Conversation That is Not Happening About Campus Sexual Assault”; 2, The (Toledo) Blade, “King’s Memory”; 3, Lucas Sullivan and Rachel Kilroy, The Columbus Dispatch, “Side Effects, Drug Price Look Up Database.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Akron Beacon Journal.

Division IV, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 19,000 to 59,999

General Excellence: 1, The Canton Repository; 2, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Vince Guerrieri, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 2, Jeff Verbus, The Canton Repository; 3, Ed Puskas and Jen Schatzel, The (Youngstown) Vindicator.

Best Business Writer: 1, Jordyn Grzelewski, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, Kalea Hall, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, Renee Fox, Warren Tribune Chronicle.

Best Columnist: 1, Andy Young, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 2, Bertram de Souza, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, Charita Goshay, The Canton Repository.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Rich Desrosiers, The Canton Repository; 2, Brenda J. Linert, Warren Tribune Chronicle; 3, Brad Dicken, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Tim Botos, The Canton Repository; 2, Burton Cole, Warren Tribune Chronicle; 3, Shane Hoover, The Canton Repository.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, B.J. Lisko, The Canton Repository; 2, Robert McFerren, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, Jason Smith, The (Findlay) Courier.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Joe Scalzo, The Canton Repository; 2, Jim Naveau, The Lima News; 3, John Vargo, Warren Tribune Chronicle.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Brian Dzenis, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, Scott Petrak, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 3, Josh Weir, The Canton Repository.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Scott Petrak, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 2, Jamie Baker, The (Findlay) Courier; 3, Josh Weir, The Canton Repository.

Best Photographer: 1, Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository; 2, Randy Roberts, The (Findlay) Courier; 3, Ray Stewart, The Canton Repository.

Best News Writer: 1, Lou Wilin, The (Findlay) Courier; 2, Lisa Roberson, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 3, Josh Ellerbrock, The Lima News.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Dave Hanneman and Scott Cottos, The (Findlay) Courier, “NFL Talent From Findlay”; 2, The (Findlay) Courier, “McComb’s Journey to State Title Football Game”; 3, John Vargo, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Life in the Minors.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “High School Football 2018”; 2, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “High School Basketball 2018-19″; 3, The (Findlay) Courier, “Football 2018.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 2, The Canton Repository; 3, The (Youngstown) Vindicator.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, B.J. Lisko, The Canton Repository, “Dangerous”; 2, B.J. Lisko, The Canton Repository, “Sounds of Summer”; 3, Robert McFerren, The (Youngstown) Vindicator.

Best News Photo: 1, Steven Manheim, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Boy Dies in Elyria Fire”; 2, Steven Manheim, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Fire Destroys Flint Ridge Home”; 3, Bob Rossiter, The Canton Repository, “Kittens Rescued.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Emily Matthews, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, Randy Roberts, The (Findlay) Courier, “Schoolhouse Spellers”; 3, Kristin Bauer, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Splashing Into the Fourth.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, David Dermer, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Chubb for Six”; 2, Bob Rossiter, The Canton Repository, “Upended”; 3, Don Speck, The Lima News, “Ouch.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Craig J. Orosz, The Lima News, “Memorable Pitch for Tigers Fan”; 2, Julie Vennitti, The Canton Repository, “Working Hands”; 3, Craig J. Orosz, The Lima News, “Restoring Hope, Rebuilding Lives.”

Best Video: 1, Kristin Bauer, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Meowmaste: Cat Yoga”; 2, Emily Matthews, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, Bruce Bishop, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Not-Forgotten Box: A Mom Says ‘Thank You’.”

Best Public Service: 1, The Canton Repository, “Crisis Stark County”; 2, Kalea Hall and Jordyn Grzelewski, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “GM Lordstown Closure Coverage”; 3, Lisa Roberson, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Saving a School: A Community Fights to Keep Promised Building Plan.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Al Adi Coverage”; 2, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “GM Lordstown “New Black Monday”″; 3, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Hoerig in Trumbull County Jail.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Ed Balint, The Canton Repository, “A Man’s Fascinating Tale Unravels Into How He Bludgeoned His Wife”; 2, The Lima News, “Driving Change”; 3, Andy Gray, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Dangers of Speaking Out.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Graig Graziosi, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Predatory Land Contracts/Lawsuit”; 2, Justin Wier and David Skolnick, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Marchionda, Bozanich, Sammarone Indicted in Ongoing Corruption Probe”; 3, The Canton Repository, “Interstate 77.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Josh Ellerbrock, The Lima News, “NAACP Claims Not So Black and White”; 2, Shane Hoover, The Canton Repository, “A Dead Stripper, a Cop and a Police Chief”; 3, Samantha Phillips, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Liberty Pond Death.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Robert McFerren, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, B.J. Lisko, The Canton Repository, “Home”; 3, David Manley, The Canton Repository, “We Made It.”

Best Digital Project: 1, The Canton Repository; 2, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Election Coverage 2018/Vindy Live Debate”; 3, Shane Hoover, The Canton Repository, “National Tractor Pull Champ.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The Canton Repository; 2, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram.

Division III, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 12,000 to 18,999

General Excellence: 1, Sandusky Register; 2, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 3, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Karen Gidcumb, Sandusky Register; 2, Sean Linhart, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Mike Schaffer, Sandusky Register.

Best Business Writer: 1, Jack Rooney, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 2, Zach Tuggle, Mansfield News Journal; 3, Tami Mosser, The (Wooster) Daily Record.

Best Columnist: 1, Rick McCrabb, Journal-News; 2, Mark Caudill, Mansfield News Journal; 3, Taryn Lawson, The (Defiance) Crescent-News.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Michael Shearer, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier; 2, Matt Westerhold, Sandusky Register; 3, Ted Daniels, The (Wooster) Daily Record.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Rick McCrabb, Journal-News; 2, Tami Mosser, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 3, Zach Tuggle, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, David Manley, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 2, Sean Linhart, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Karen Gidcumb, Sandusky Register.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register; 2, Mike Plant, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 3, Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register; 2, Tom Rife, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 3, Brian Kollars, Sandusky Register.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal; 2, Claire Miller, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 3, Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register.

Best Photographer: 1, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun; 2, Nick Graham, Journal-News; 3, Lisa Scalfaro, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Best News Writer: 1, Tom Jackson, Sandusky Register; 2, Michael Pitman, Journal-News; 3, Bob Gaetjens, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Allen Moff, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Herb Page”; 2, Jonah Rosenblum, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Women in Sports”; 3, Jake Furr, Mansfield News Journal, “The Staab Family.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The (Wooster) Daily Record, ”″Suited Up for Success” — 2018 H.S. Football Preview”; 2, The (Wooster) Daily Record, ”″4 For 1″ — 2018 H.S. Spring Sports Preview”; 3, Aaron Gross and Lynn Groll, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “2018 High School Football Preview.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, Mike Plant, The (Wooster) Daily Record; 2, Brian Kollars, Sandusky Register; 3, Robert Todor, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Karen Gidcumb, Sandusky Register, “Edgewater Avenue Train Crossing”; 2, Karen Gidcumb, Sandusky Register, “Ohio Overdose Deaths”; 3, Jennifer Kundrach, The (Wooster) Daily Record, “WPD Roll Call: 1975-2018.”

Best News Photo: 1, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Firefighter”; 2, Jenny Derringer, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “Bystanders Crowd Around”; 3, Nick Graham, Journal-News, “Parkland Walkout.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Nick Graham, Journal-News, “Mudd Mania”; 2, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Sunflowers”; 3, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Gamers.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Erin Caldwell, Sandusky Register, “Pin to Win”; 2, Nick Graham, Journal-News, “Football Stretch”; 3, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Reception.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Lisa Scalfaro, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Lockdown”; 2, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Champaign County Fair Opens”; 3, Lisa Scalfaro, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “KSU Fashion.”

Best Video: 1, Andy Ouriel, Sandusky Register, “Steel Vengeance Leaves Me Breathless”; 2, Mark Froelich, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “Kids Talk About Christmas”; 3, Erin Caldwell, Sandusky Register, “Making Maple Syrup in Sandusky County.”

Best Public Service: 1, Tami Mosser, The (Wooster) Daily Record, “In Plain Sight: Homelessness in Wooster”; 2, Sandusky Register, “Sandusky’s Bicentennial”; 3, Michael Cooper, Springfield News-Sun, “Springfield’s Opioid War.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Mansfield News Journal, “Shawn Christy Manhunt”; 2, Patrick Pfanner and Andy Ouriel, Sandusky Register, “Destruction Devastates Downtown”; 3, Parker Perry, Springfield News-Sun, “3 Dead in Apparent Murder-suicide.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Tami Mosser, The (Wooster) Daily Record, “Unlocking Wooster: The City’s Housing Shortage”; 2, Bob Gaetjens, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Would Missile Base Help or Jolt Local Economy?”; 3, Brandon Addeo, Sandusky Register, “Rehabbing in Jail.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Matt Sanctis, Springfield News-Sun, “Housing and Downtown Development in Clark and Champaign Counties in 2018”; 2, Tami Mosser and Jack Rooney, The (Wooster) Daily Record, “Staffing at the Wooster Police Department”; 3, Tami Mosser, The (Wooster) Daily Record, “The Woman on the Bridge.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Matt Merchant, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Commissioners Name Felon to DD Board, Pledge Changes”; 2, Matt Westerhold, Sandusky Register, “Molesting the Faithful”; 3, Matt Sanctis, Springfield News-Sun, “EF Hutton.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Karen Gidcumb, Sandusky Register, “Cleveland Browns Victory”; 2, Emily Carey, The (Wooster) Daily Record, “End of an Era”; 3, Sean Linhart, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter.

Best Digital Project: 1, Journal-News, “Americana”; 2, Mark Froelich, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “C-N Sports XL Podcast”; 3, The (Defiance) Crescent-News.

Best Digital Presence: 1, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier; 2, Mansfield News Journal; 3, The (Wooster) Daily Record.

Division II, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 8,000 to 11,999

General Excellence: 1, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Cleveland Jewish News.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Pam James, Zanesville Times Recorder; 2, Albert Grindle, The Medina Gazette; 3, Scott Kline, The Medina Gazette.

Best Business Writer: 1, Kent Mallett, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Patricia Ann Speelman, The Sidney Daily News; 3, Shelly Schultz, Zanesville Times Recorder.

Best Columnist: 1, Benjamin Lanka, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Abbey Roy, The (Newark) Advocate; 3, Tyler Buchanan, The Athens Messenger.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Benjamin Lanka, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Matt Hutton, The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Abbey Roy, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Maria DeVito, The (Newark) Advocate; 3, William Kincaid, The (Celina) Daily Standard.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Jessica Simon, Cleveland Jewish News; 2, Stephen Valentine, Cleveland Jewish News; 3, Lillian Messner, Cleveland Jewish News.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Dave Ross, The Sidney Daily News; 2, Sam Blackburn, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Les Levine, Cleveland Jewish News.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Jason Arkley, The Athens Messenger; 2, Dave Weidig, The (Newark) Advocate; 3, Kurt Snyder, The (Newark) Advocate.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Dave Weidig, The (Newark) Advocate. 2, Sam Blackburn, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Brandon Hannahs, Zanesville Times Recorder.

Best Photographer: 1, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Chris Crook, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Luke Gronneberg, The Sidney Daily News.

Best News Writer: 1, Tyler Buchanan, The Athens Messenger; 2, Jon Wysochanski, The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon; 3, Robert DeFrank, The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Sam Blackburn, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Top Football Rivalries”; 2, Steubenville Herald-Star, “Football Extra”; 3, Jason Arkley, The Athens Messenger, “OU Recruiting Class Series.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, Steubenville Herald-Star, “The Gridiron 2018”; 2, Erick Starkey, Mount Vernon News, “Pigskin Preview”; 3, Kevin Wiseman and Jason Arkley, The Athens Messenger, ” Year in Review 2017-18.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, Bryant Billing, The Sidney Daily News; 2, Lisbon Morning Journal; 3, Joe Catullo and Andrew Grimm, Steubenville Herald-Star.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Jessica Simon, Cleveland Jewish News, “Designer Dress Days Timeline”; 2, Jessica Simon, Cleveland Jewish News, “Challah Bake by the Numbers.”

Best News Photo: 1, Patricia Schaeffer, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Anguish and Relief”; 2, Joshua Morrison, Mount Vernon News, “Smoking Leads to Two Fires”; 3, Patricia Schaeffer, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Fire Talk.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Luke Gronneberg, The Sidney Daily News, “Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh!!!”; 2, Chris Crook, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Coby Bleakney Vigil”; 3, Chris Crook, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Hillbilly Bling.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Joe Catullo, Steubenville Herald-Star, “Riding Along”; 2, Erick Starkey, Mount Vernon News, “Flipping Over Soccer”; 3, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate, “A Run Scored.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Jessica Phelps and Gabriele Eimontaite, The (Newark) Advocate, “Unsafe Housing”; 2, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate, “Princess for a Day”; 3, Luke Gronneberg, The Sidney Daily News, “Civil War.”

Best Video: 1, Callan Pugh, Mount Vernon News, “Kight Takes Her Chance”; 2, Callan Pugh, Mount Vernon News, “Keeping an Eye on Rep. Gibbs”; 3, Colin Foster and Aaron Snyder, The (Celina) Daily Standard, “Fort Flashes.”

Best Public Service: 1, Callan Pugh and Joshua Morrison, Mount Vernon News, “Homeless in Knox County”; 2, Larry Di Giovanni, The Athens Messenger; 3, The (Celina) Daily Standard, “Anti-algae Efforts.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Maria DeVito, The (Newark) Advocate, “Lakewood Teachers Play Hookey”; 2, Shelly Schultz, Zanesville Times Recorder, “CareyTown Preschool Teacher Charged with Rape”; 3, Zanesville Times Recorder, “George Kagafas Resignation.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Nathan Harris, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Medical Marijuana: The Birth of a New Industry”; 2, Kent Mallett, The (Newark) Advocate, “Longaberger’s Failure”; 3, Tyler Buchanan and Larry Di Giovanni, The Athens Messenger.

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, The Sidney Daily News, “Opioid Series”; 2, Kent Mallett, The (Newark) Advocate, “St. Vincent Housing Discrimination”; 3, Katie White, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Coaching Controversy in Columbiana.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Bethany Bruner and Maria DeVito, The (Newark) Advocate, “Kirkersville Police Chief Tragedy”; 2, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Fair Board Investigation”; 3, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Jason Schaumleffel Investigation.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Zanesville Times Recorder; 2, Albert Grindle, The Medina Gazette; 3, Zanesville Times Recorder.

Best Digital Project: 1, Cleveland Jewish News, “18 Difference Makers”; 2, Cleveland Jewish News, “Pittsburgh #StrongerThanHate”; 3, Heather Willard and Tyler Buchanan, The Athens Messenger.

Best Digital Presence: 1, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Cheryl Powers and Heather Willard, The Athens Messenger; 3, The Medina Gazette.

Division I, Newspapers with a daily circulation up to 7,999

General Excellence: 1, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Chillicothe Gazette; 3, The (Fremont) News-Messenger.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Jona Ison, Chillicothe Gazette; 2, Dave Sereno, The (Massillon) Independent; 3, Jeff Verbus, The (Massillon) Independent.

Best Business Writer: 1, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 2, Steven Grazier, The (Massillon) Independent; 3, Chris Balusik, Chillicothe Gazette.

Best Columnist: 1, Raul Ascunce, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune; 2, David Fong, Troy Daily News; 3, Don Koralewski, The Bryan Times.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Kate York, The Marietta Times; 2, J.D. Creer, The Salem News; 3, Heath Harrison, The Ironton Tribune.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 2, Josh Ewers, The Bryan Times; 3, Spencer Remoquillo, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, B.J. Lisko, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Kandi Thompson, The Ironton Tribune; 3, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, David Fong, Troy Daily News; 2, John Bombatch, Xenia Daily Gazette; 3, Rob McCurdy, The Marion Star.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Chris Easterling, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Thomas Schmeltz, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune; 3, Ryan Squanda, The Bryan Times.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Chris Easterling, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Brad Morris, Circleville Herald; 3, Rob McCurdy, The Marion Star.

Best Photographer: 1, Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette; 2, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 3, J.D. Pooley, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune.

Best News Writer: 1, Spencer Remoquillo, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette; 2, Sarah Volpenhein, The Marion Star; 3, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Chris Easterling, The (Massillon) Independent, “Youth in East St. Louis”; 2, Craig Shoup, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Put-in-Bay Hoops.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The (Massillon) Independent, “High School Football Preview”; 2, The (Massillon) Independent, “Tigers Gameday”; 3, The (East Liverpool) Review, “Football Preview.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, David Fong and Josh Brown, Troy Daily News; 3, Rob McCurdy, The Marion Star.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Kandi Thompson, The Ironton Tribune, “Making the Grade”; 2, David Manley, The (Massillon) Independent, “Festival Guide”; 3, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Sporting Goods Stores’ Troubles Cause Headaches for Customers.”

Best News Photo: 1, Kevin Whitlock, The (Massillon) Independent, “Breakdown”; 2, Jessica St. James, The Ironton Tribune, “Everyday Heroes”; 3, Mike Ullery, Piqua Daily Call, “A Community Mourns a Hero.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette, “Snow Day, Fun Day”; 2, Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette, “A Moment in Time”; 3, D. Anthony Botkin, The Delaware Gazette, “Multitasking.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette, “The Great Outdoors”; 2, Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette, “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”; 3, Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Steer Wrestling During the Broken Horn Rodeo.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette, “Day of Thanks”; 2, Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Riders Unlimited Rallies Around Leader with Brain Tumor”; 3, Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Ottawa County’s Battle with Addiction.”

Best Video: 1, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Son Torn from Father During ICE Raid”; 2, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “More Tariffs Mean Bigger Losses for Farmers”; 3, Cheryl Evans, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Abandoned Phone Booth Infant Finds Birth Mom Years Later Through DNA.”

Best Public Service: 1, The Bryan Times, “Aquifer an Issue of Public Health”; 2, Chris Balusik and Robert McGraw, Chillicothe Gazette, “Shared Experiences: Inside the Mind of a Cancer Patient”; 3, Janelle Patterson, The Marietta Times, “Hello It’s Me: Concerns Raised About Hotlines.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Mary Ann Greier, The Salem News, “ICE Raids Fresh Mark Plant”; 2, The (Massillon) Independent, “Fresh Mark Raid”; 3, Chillicothe Gazette, “RCI Staff, Inmates Exposed to Fentanyl.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Chris Balusik, Chillicothe Gazette, “Anatomy of a Major Employer’s Sale”; 2, Craig Shoup, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Court Costs Rising in Homicide Case”; 3, Jon Stinchcomb, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Lake Erie’s Fight with Harmful Algal Blooms.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Heath Harrison and Mark Shaffer, The Ironton Tribune, “Opioid Crisis Series”; 2, Craig Shoup, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Sexual Assault in Ottawa County”; 3, Troy Daily News, “Addicted and Dying: The Opioid Epidemic in Ohio.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Spencer Remoquillo and Jona Ison, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “DNA Collection Series”; 2, Jona Ison, Chillicothe Gazette, “The Fisher and Saxton Investigation”; 3, Jona Ison, Chillicothe Gazette, “Pike County Grand Jury Clears Officers in Wynn Road Standoff.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Kandi Thompson, The Ironton Tribune, “Top Stories of the Year”; 2, John Lindgren, The (Massillon) Independent; 3, Remo Remoquillo, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Untraceable: The Breakdown and Secrecy of Ohio’s DNA Collection Laws.”

Best Digital Project: 1, Daniel Carson and Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Ottawa County’s Battle With Addiction”; 2, Craig Shoup, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Searching for Carp”; 3, Daniel Carson and Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Korean War Vet Recalls Subzero Temperatures, Sniper Fire.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 2, Port Clinton News-Herald; 3, The (Massillon) Independent.