The awards were presented at the 85th annual STPA Convention at the St. Anthony Hotel in San Antonio on April 20.
Sweepstakes is the overall award presented to the newspapers that accumulate the most points from winning entries in the contest.
Editor Kenda Nelson received two first place plaques in serious column writing and news pictures. She also won two second places in feature writing and editorial writing.
About Nelson’s columns, the judge wrote, “These are the definition of serious column. Beautiful writing style. Heart wrenching and compassion throughout both columns. EXCELLENT!”
Nelson wrote about the loss of her family’s beloved German shepherd, Hansel; and a column entitled “Notes from life’s sweet symphony,” a story of faith after her husband, Ron Nelson, suffered a heart attack.
The award-winning photo was of Grainger Foss, 9, sitting on the porch of the family home that was destroyed by fire. The judge wrote, “Great image. Compelling, tells a story, not an obvious shot, nice work.”
The second-place feature about Clifton Robinson’s World War II service drew the comment, “Great story, good lede, solid coverage, interesting content relevant to the times and the community.”
The newspaper also received four second place awards for community coverage; community service; special section; and advertising; plus an honorable mention for news coverage.
In the community service category concerning the water problems in Woodsboro, the judge wrote, “Good job of keeping an essential issue before the public.”
Community coverage drew the comment, “good mix of local items.
The judge comment about the paper’s advertising was “Great use of color – nice clean ads.”
In the general excellence category, the judge wrote “What a team,” regarding the Refugio Bobcats. The Cats also drew the comment, “covering football team nicely done.”
The entries were judged by journalists from the North and East Texas Press Association. The County Press competed against other Division I weeklies.
The County Press enters three contests per year, including the Gulf Coast Press Association Contest and Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contests.