2009 Contest Winners

Mt. Desert Islander, Bridgton News and Sun-Journal named MPA Newspapers of the Year
Posted: 10.19.2009
The Maine Press Association presented its Better Newspaper Contest awards on Oct. 17 at the organization’s annual conference at Point Lookout; and the Mount Desert Islander, Bridgton News and Sun Journal were named best in their circulation divisions.
The Sun Journal earned top honors in both the daily and weekend newspaper categories.
More than 30 judges from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island evaluated hundreds of entries in various categories from headlines to investigative reporting.
The Sun-Journal was described as a local newspaper”that takes its commitment its readers seriously” by Larry Benjamin, the retired editorial director of the Asbury Park Press in Neptune, N.J. “It’s well-organized with page headers and sections anchored daily. Kudos go out to its strong, active headlines and local editorials. Readers in this market can be very proud of the Sun-Journal.”
Benjamin praised the Sunday Sun-Journal for its “well-written investigative stories as page 1 centerpieces. Snappy headlines grab readers. Other highlights are the B-section of features, community reports and local-interest editorials.”
Second-place honors in the General Excellence category went to the Portland Press-Herald while The Times Record received a third-place award.
The Bridgton News was described as “well-designed and well-edited paper that covers a lot of important and fun local issues with clarity” by Debra Filcman, editor of the Somerville (Mass.) Journal. Filcman also likes the “Trial Capsule” alternative story format as well. “The Bridgton News is a genuine pleasure to read,” she added.
The Star Herald took runner-up honors while the Ellsworth American was judged third.
Jeff Potter, editor of The Commons in Brattleboro, Vt. said that the Mount Desert Islander ” stood out among other entrants in this category as a competently designed, clearly written, feisty model of a community weekly, all the more impressive because of its young age and its independent ownership. While other entrants might have had an edge up on individual aspects, no other paper in this class came close to matching the overall package.”
The York Weekly was awarded second place honors and Piscataquis Observer was third.
Here are all the winners from the 2009 Better Newspaper Contest.

General Excellence
Weekly 1
1. Mount Desert Islander
2.The York Weekly
3. The Piscataquis Observer

Weekly 2
1. Bridgton News
2. Star Herald
3. Ellsworth American

Daily
1. Sun Journal
2. Portland Press Herald
3. The Times-Record

Weekend
1. Sun Journal
2. Bangor Daily News
3. Maine Sunday Telegram

News Photo
Weekly 1
1. Fine day for a flip – Jeff Walls, Mount Desert Islander
2. Honoring James Gudroe – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer
3. Young Marines – Barb Scott, Aroostook Republican

Weekly 2
1. Water district postpones – Daniel Limmer, York County Coast Star
2. A lot like Christmas – Stephen Fay, Ellsworth American
3. Firefighter’s funeral – Monica Pettengill, St. John Valley Times

Daily/Weekend
1. A bad situation – Daryn Slover, Sun-Journal
2. Mattawamkeag Flood – Kevin Bennett, Bangor Daily News
3. A fallen soldier – Derek Davis, Press Herald

Spot News Photo
Weekly 1
1. Officer Chris Wharff – Oka Hutchins, Mount Desert Islander

Weekly 2
1. Feeling the Heat – Kevin G. Burnham, Boothbay Register.
2. House Floating on River – Don Levesque, St. John Valley Times.
3. Washburn and Doughty – Kevin G. Burnham, Boothbay Register

Daily/Weekend
1. Police Nab Pair – Jose Leiva, Sun Journal
2. Auburn Firefighters Rescue Pooch – Russ Dillingham, Sun Journal
3. Bangor Fire – Kevin Bennett, Bangor Daily News

Scenic Photo
Weekly 1
1. First place better on top – Earl Brechlin, Mount Desert Islander
2. Morning Glory – Steven Mitman, Original Irregular
3. Minor Flooding – by Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer.

Weekly 2
1. Misty Morning – Wayne Rivet, the Bridgton News
2. Serenity – Joe Orchulli II, Boothbay Register
3. Nothing but blue skies – Joe Orchulli II, Boothbay Register

Daily/Weekend
1. Cleared for Landing – Kate Collins, Bangor Daily News
2. Sailor’s Delight – Russ Dillingham, Sun Journal
3. Saving our Night Sky – Bridget Brown, Bangor Daily News

People Photo
Weekly 1
1. Oysters are Oh So Good – Cheryl Senter, York Weekly
2. Don’t worry, bee happy – Rob Levin, Mount Desert Islander.
3. Lasting contribution – Oka Hutchins, Mount Desert Islander

Weekly 2
1. Happy New Year – John Edwards, Boothbay Register
2. Braving – Wayne Rivet, Bridgton News
3. Ain’t we got fun – by Diane Reindlett, Boothbay Register

Daily/Weekend
1. A wish granted – Kevin Bennett, Bangor Daily News
2. A 911 Memorial – Kevin Bennett, Bangor Daily News
3. The Physics of Thrills – Amber Waterman, Sun Journal

Illustration
Weekly 1
1. MDI bio lab – Staff, Mount Desert Islander
2. Stimulus funds – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer

Weekly 2
1. What Launa is doing right –Michelle Snowden, Ellsworth American
2. Nature column –Gale Flagg, St. John Valley Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Why are we here? – Pete Gorski, Sun-Journal
2. Growing green – Eric Zelz, Bangor Daily News
3. Bobbin’ along – Michael Fisher, Press Herald

Picture Story
Weekly 1
1. On the rocks – Melinda Rice, Mount Desert Islander
2. For the love of books – Earl Brechlin, Mount Desert Islander
3. Gudroe left mark – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer

Weekly 2
1. A fire for the ages – Staff, Boothbay Register
2. First Parish clock repaired – Daniel Limmer, York County Coast Star
3. Blue Hill Fair – James Straub, Hugh Bowden and Stephen Fay; Ellsworth American

Daily/Weekend
1. Noora’s journey – John Ewing, Greg Rec, Maine Sunday Telegram
2. Gone sailing – Russ Dillingham, Sun Journal
3. Guitar man – Troy R. Bennett, Times Record

Feature Photo
Weekly 1
1. When life deals you snow – Steve Mittman, Original Irregular
2. Ticket to ride – Earl Brechlin, Mount Desert Islander
3. Veteran Wayne Little – Natalie Bazinet, Aroostook Republican

Weekly 2
1. Fire and ice – Joe Orchulli III, Boothbay Register
2. The corn box – George Bradt, Bridgton News
3. In honor of – Sarah Berthiaume, Houlton Pioneer Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Weather delays race – Russ Dillingham, Sun Journal
2. Trapped: Maine lobster towns – Gregory Rec, Maine Sunday Telegram
3. Carving out a new niche – Troy R. Bennett, Times Record

Sports Photo
Weekly 1
1. Purple reign – Scott Yates, York Weekly
2. Round and round – Robert Levin, Mount Desert Islander
3. Washburn sophomore – Abigail Hunt, Aroostook Republican

Weekly 2
1. High flying – Gloria Austin, Houlton Pioneer Times
2. Bill Weatherbee – Hugh Bowden, Ellsworth American
3. In a last-minute grasp – Abigail Hunt, Star Herald

Daily/Weekend
1. Windjammer cruise – Russ Dillingham, Sun Journal
2. Saints head off Hawks – Daryn Slover, Sun Journal
3. EL comes up short – Daryn Slover, Sun Journal

Graphic
Weekly Combined
1. Developer buying – Christine Taylor, Mount Desert Islander
2. Color-coded consolidation – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer

Daily/Weekend
1. Steel, stability – Eric Zelz, Bangor Daily News
2. Maine votes – Eric Zelz, Bangor Daily News
3. Got grubs – Eric Zelz, Bangor Daily News

Specialty Page Design
Weekly 1
1. A walk on the Wilder side – Staff, Mount Desert Islander
2. Kingfield Pops – Heidi Murphy, Original Irregular

Weekly 2
1. All things holiday – Laura Snyder Smith, York County Coast Star
2. Living section – Laura Snyder Smith, York County Coast Star
3. Can-Am Crown – Sara Levesque, St. John Valley Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Extreme fun – Pete Gorski, Christine Crockett; Sun-Journal
2. Zippity do da – Lincoln Benedict, Christine Crockett; Sun-Journal
3. Heavenly heels – Sharon Wood, Kennebec Journal

Front Page Design
Weekly 1
1. York Weekly – Laura Snyder Smith, May 14
2. Mount Desert Islander – Staff, March 12

Weekly 2
1. York County Coast Star – Laura Snyder, Jan. 1
2. Ellsworth American – Staff, Feb. 19
3. Ellsworth American – Staff, Jan. 8

Daily
1. Sun-Journal – Staff, May 18
2. Bangor Daily News – Joel Crabtree, Eric Zelz; Jan. 21
3. Portland Press-Herald – Nate Thompson, Oct. 11

Weekend
1. Kennebec Journal – Sharon Wood, Nov. 16
2. Bangor Daily News – Brian Robitaille, Eric Zelz; June 7-8
3. Kennebec Journal – Sharon Woods, March 22

Local Ad Black and White
Weekly 1
1. We’re making a splash – Mount Desert Islander
2. Imperial Board Lords – Robert J. Gray Jr., Original Irregular

Weekly 2
1. Home and hearth – Ellsworth American
2. Plourde’s Harley-Davidson – Sara Levesque, Carol Parker; St. John Valley Times
3. Look! Look! Look! Gary Dow, Boothbay Register

Daily/Weekend
1. Whited circle ad – Sam Wood, Lisa Carter; Bangor Daily News
2. L/A Eye Care – Michelle Pushard, Sun-Journal
3. Smith’s Liquidation Sale – Chris Quimby, Amy Hayden; Bangor Daily News

Local Ad in Color

Weekly 1
1. All seasons, all reasons – Mount Desert Islander
2. Tour of homes – Mount Desert Islander
3. Tranten Family Shurfine – Robert J. Gray Jr., Original Irregular

Weekly 2
1. Gas-friendly vehicles – Ellsworth American
2. Mad Bomber 100 – Sara Levesque, Jenn Pelletier, Carol Parker; St. John Valley Times
3. Managing common stock – Lynn Cartwright, Boothbay Register

Daily/Weekend
1. Past meets present – Shelly Sund, Susan Leture – Bangor Daily News
2. Helios – Jesse Richter, Sun-Journal
3. Welcome to downtown Farmington – Michelle Pushard, Sun-Journal

Campaign or Series
Daily/Weekend
1. Bangor Daily News – testimonials
2. Bangor Daily News – Whited Ford
3. Morning Sentinel – 24/7 classifieds

Advertising Layout
Weekly Combined
1. Mount Desert Islander
2. Ellsworth American
3. Original Irregular

Daily/Weekend
1. Sun-Journal
2. Bangor Daily News
3. Journal-Tribune

Supplement/Special Section
Weekly Combined
1. Out & About – Ellsworth American
2. Fort Fairfield 150 – The Star Herald
3. The County Gift Guide – Aroostook Republican

Daily/Weekend
1. 10 Years, 8,000 Lives – Brian Swartz, Deb Bell, Jack Gifford, Shelley Sund; Bangor Daily News
2. Summer in Maine – Advertising and creative staff, Morning Sentinel
3. A Base for Success – Seth Koenig, Troy R. Bennett, Chris Cousins, Jim McCarthy;
Times-Record

Best Supplement Cover
Weekly Combined
1. Summertime 2008 – Boothbay Register
2. Hoop Preview – Houlton pioneer Times
3. High School Graduations – Piscataquis Observer

Daily/Weekend
1. Pet Parade – Natalie Lucas, Kennebec Journal
2. Reflection –Shelley Sund, Bangor Daily News
3. Academic Advocate Arts – Leo Baillargeon, Sun Journal

Best NIE Idea
Weekly Combined
1. The Trojan Advance, Mount Desert Islander
2. Community Yard Sale, The Ellsworth American

Daily/Weekend
1. Transfer of Power, Sun Journal
2. Extra! Extra! Bangor Daily News
3. Newspaper Vending Machines, Sun Journal

In-Paper Circulation Promo
Weekly Combined
1. Aroostook Republican – Mother’s Day card

Daily/Weekend
1. Bangor Daily News – Dunkin’ Donuts
2. Sun-Journal – After-Thanksgiving subscription sale
3. Morning Sentinel – Spend a little time

Self-Promotion
Weekly Combined
1. Ellsworth American – Straw poll
2. Ellsworth American – Yellow pages

Daily/Weekend
1. Bangor Daily News – Coming up
2. Bangor Daily News – Maineville

Best New Idea
Weekly Combined
1. Mount Desert Islander – QE2
2. Ellsworth American – wrappers

Daily/Weekend
1. Bangor Daily News –Aubuchon 100th anniversary
2. Morning Sentinel – The Big Deal

Sponsorship Page
Weekly Combined
1. Ellsworth American – We remember
2. Star-Herald – Meet your teachers
3. Mount Desert Islander – Firefighters

Daily/Weekend
1. Bangor Daily News – Make your house a home
2. Kennebec Journal – Seasons Greetings

Editorial Page
Weekly Combined
1. Aroostook Republican
2. Original Irregular
3. Mount Desert Islander

Daily
1. Sun-Journal
2. Bangor Daily News
3. Press Herald

Weekend
1. Maine Sunday Telegram
2. Bangor Daily News
3. Journal-Tribune

Sports Section
Weekly 1
1. York Weekly
2. Mount Desert Islander

Weekly 2
1. Bridgton News
2. Ellsworth American

Daily
1. Bangor Daily News
2. Portland Press-Herald
3. Sun-Journal

Weekend
1. Maine Sunday Telegram
2. Sun-Journal
3. Kennebec Journal

Web Site
Weekly Combined
1. Ellsworth American
2. St. John Valley Times

Daily
1. Press Herald

Weekend
1. Bangor Daily News

Multimedia Presentation
Daily/Weekend
1. Times Record

News Story
Weekly 1
1. Cultural site disputed – Keith Drago, York Weekly

Weekly 2
1. Consolidation backfires – Cyndi Wood, Ellsworth American

Daily/Weekend
1. Knocked out – David Hench and staff, Portland Press Herald/Sunday Telegram
2. Woods, woods and woods – Mark LaFlamme and Scott Thistle, Sun-Journal
3. DNA evidence is key – Betty Adams, Kennebec Journal

Spot News Story
Weekly 1
1. Flames rip Main Street – Oka Hutchins, Earl Brechlin; Mount Desert Islander
2. Local man arrested – Deborah McDermott, York Weekly
3. Fire destroys block of Milo – Stuart Hedstrom, Josh Salm; Piscataquis Observer

Weekly 2
1. Heath Road couple thwarts burglary – Laura Dolce, York County Coast Star
2. Strange tide – Joe Orchulli II, Boothbay Register
3. Flooding in Blue Hill – James Straub, Ellsworth American

Daily/Weekend
1. Washout – Bonnie Washuk, Lincoln Benedict; Sun Journal
2. Fire hits Norlands – Donna Perry, Mary Delamater; Sun Journal
3. “Is this guy every going to stop? – David Hench, Dieter Bradbury; Press Herald

Investigative Report
Weekly 1
1. Marathon practices questioned – Earl Brechlin, Mount Desert Islander
2. Walsh buying up waterfront – Robert Levin, Mount Desert Islander
3. Pollution problem – Jonathan D. Benton, York Weekly

Weekly 2
1. Schoodic eco-resort – Tom Walsh, Ellsworth American

Daily/Weekend
1. School contract sticker shock – Dieter Bradbury, Maine Sunday Telegram
2. A complex problem – Colin Hickey, Morning Sentinel
3. Foreclosed – Lindsay Tice, Sun-Journal

Analysis
Weekly 1
1. County taxes triple – Alan Babout, Wiscasset Newspaper
2. Proposal puts sheriff, jail on defensive – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer

Weekly 2
1. Northern Maine consolidation referendum – Elna Seabrooks, Houlton Pioneer Times
2. City bookstore closing – Jennifer Osborn, Ellsworth American
3. Underage drinking – Mike Corrigan, Bridgton News

Daily/Weekend
1. Grappling with loss of a lifetime – Caitlin Elsaesser, Times Record
2. Legacy of a tragedy – John Holyoke, Bangor Daily News
3. Dirigo at a crossroads – Susan M. Cover, Kennebec Journal

Continuing Story
Weekly 1
1. Northeast Harbor fire – Oka Hutchins, Mount Desert Islander
2. Toll plaza fight – Dave Choate, Jen Kennedy and Deborah McDermott, York Weekly

Weekly 2
1. Bottle battle begins – Daniel Limmer, Steve Bodnar, York County Coast Star
2. Re-energizing Maine – Tom Walsh, Ellsworth American
3. Many county residents face crisis – – Elna Seabrooks, Houlton Pioneer Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Noora’s Journey – Meredith Goad, Press Herald
2. Maine’s economy – Tux Turkel, Ann Kim, John Richardson; Maine Sunday Telegram
3. Slain Belfast man – Walter Griffin, Bangor Daily News

Arts/Lifestyle Feature
Weekly 1
1. Walk on the Wilder Side – Oka Hutchins, Mount Desert Islander
2. MDI Man Performs – Mark Good, Mount Desert Islander

Weekly 2
1. Sound Check This Out – Steve Bodnar, York County Coast Star
2. Clerk of the Works – Madeline Lewis, Ellsworth American

Daily/Weekend
1. Rev. Doug Taylor – Daniel Hartill, Sun Journal
2. Extreme Puppet Makeover – Kristen Muszynski, Journal Tribune
3. Aboard the Angelique – Elizabeth Lardie, Times Record

Feature Story
Weekly 1
1. Crayon Master – Susan Morse, York Weekly
2. Heart Transplant – Earl Brechlin, Mount Desert Islander
3. Guy stuff store – Earl Brechlin, Mount Desert Islander

Weekly 2
1. First Parish Clock Repaired – Laura Dolce, York County Coast Star
2. Housecat in North Sullivan – Tom Walsh, Ellsworth American
3. Rare Bank Note – Mark Putnam, Houlton Pioneer Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Serving notice – Christopher Williams, Sun Journal
2. An End-Of-Life Decision – Meg Haskell, Bangor Daily News
3. Group Uses Marijuana – Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News

Local Column
Weekly 1
1. Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer
2. Sue Pike, York Weekly
3. Karen Pease, Original Irregular

Weekly 2
1. S. Peter Lewis, Bridgton News
2. Stephen Fall, Ellsworth American
3. Laura Snyder-Smith, York County Coast Star

Daily/Weekend
1. James McCarthy, Times-Record
2. Bag Lady and Shopping Siren, Sun-Journal
3. Renee Ordway, Bangor Daily News

Critic’s Award
Weekly Combined
1. Native art show – Robert Levin, Mount Desert Islander

Daily/Weekend
1. Revolutionary Road – J.P Devine, Morning Sentinel
2. Shakespeare: With cell phones – Elizabeth Lardie, Times Record
3. Cloistered Housewife – Elizabeth Lardie, Times Record

News/Sports Headline
Weekly 1
1. Guilford stung by more layoffs – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer
2. Church work is inspiring – Mark Good, Mount Desert Islander
3. Swedes cross Atlantic – again – Staff, Aroostook Republican

Weekly 2
1. To reach kids’ minds – Stephen Fay, Ellsworth American
2. Watered down – Staff, York County Coast Star
3. Yummylicious fudge – Elizabeth Deprey, St. John Valley Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Feeding ME – Scott Thistle, Sun Journal
2. Lord of the freeze – Robert Long, Times Record
3. Reign men – Justin Pelletier, Sun Journal

Feature Headline
Weekly Combined
1. An engaging marquee – Stephen Fay, Ellsworth American
2. Children’s book plants potato farming – Staff, Aroostook Republican
3. Tweet dreams are made of this – Mel Rice, Mount Desert Islander

Daily/Weekend
1. Father sews best – Staff, Sun Journal
2. Bawk this way – Sally Tyrell, Press Herald
3. The quick and the bed – Becky Bowden, Bangor Daily News

Editorial
Weekly Combined
1. Time for a New System – Hugh Bowden, Ellsworth American
2. 20 ans de 5 cents – Don Levesque, St. John Valley Times

Daily/Weekend
1. A Legislature, not a complaint department – Anthony Ronzio, Sun Journal
2. Legislature has no role in high school athletics – Naomi Schalit, Kennebec Journal
3. Tragedy and Tradition – Tom Groening, Bangor Daily News

Opinion Column
Weekly Combined
1. Bundling my derivatives – invest now – Mike Corrigan, Bridgton News
2. Response to incident of bigotry: DONBH8N – Ron McAllister, York Weekly

Daily/Weekend
1. Difficult to escape abuse – I know – Naomi Schalit, Kennebec Journal
2. It’s time to enact same-sex marriage – John Porter, Maine Sunday Telegram
3. A merger whose time has come? – Douglas Rooks, Times Record

Editorial Cartoon
Weekly Combined
1. Will Broadbent, York Weekly

Daily/Weekend
1. Steve Myers, Press Herald/Sunday Telegram
2. George Danby, Bangor Daily News
3. Jeff Robinson, Journal-Tribune/York County Weekend

Sports Story
Weekly 1
1. MDI Trojans put Tigers in tank – Jeff Walls, Mount Desert Islander
2. Lyford reaches 1000th point – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer
3. Lady Roadrunners make their mark – David Hart, Original Irregular

Weekly 2
1. Eagles are EM Class C champs – Hugh Bowden, Ellsworth American
2. Inspired to ride – Wayne Rivet, Bridgton News
3. Trip to states – Abigail Hunt, Star-Herald

Daily/Weekend
1. Pins as good as gold – Mike Lowe, Press Herald
2. Going out in style – Steve Sherlock, Sun Journal
3. End of an era – Gary Hawkins, Kennebec Journal

Sports Feature
Weekly 1
1. All in the family – York Weekly, Jay Pinsonnault
2. Dash for cash – Abigail Hunt, Aroostook Republican
3. Friendship leads Reynolds to Guilford – Piscataquis Observer, Josh Salm

Weekly 2
1. Finding the right fit –Wayne E. Rivet, Bridgton News
2. Former swim coach brings experience – Abigail Hunt, Star-Herald
3. Catching a family tradition – Gloria Austin, Houlton Pioneer Times

Daily/Weekend
1. Hearing-impaired football player – Ernie Clark, Bangor Daily News
2. Former Sea Dog paying price – Kevin Thomas, Press Herald
3. The throws of passion – Sharon Kiley Mack, Bangor Daily News

Sports Column
Weekly Combined
1. The price to pay – Josh Salm, Piscataquis Observer

Daily/Weekend
1. You know what time it is – Chris Brockman, Journal Tribune
2. Beardless bird foils big shot – John Holyoke, Bangor Daily News

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