The staff of The Island Packet and The Beaufort Gazette won more awards than any other newspaper in its circulation category in the S.C. Press Association's annual contest, paced by photographer Sarah Welliver, who claimed seven prizes.
Entries entered under the Packet's banner won 33 awards, and Gazette entries nabbed seven more. Of the state's newspapers with a circulation of 20,000 or fewer, only the Orangeburg Times & Democrat won more awards than the Packet or Gazette.
Welliver took both first and second place in the online sports video and online general news/feature video competitions. She also took third in the single online photo category, an open-division competition that included all of South Carolina's newspapers.
Additionally, Welliver took first place in the sports action photo competition among entries in the Packet's circulation division, and an honorable mention in the feature photo contest.
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Packet/Gazette photographers claimed 16 awards in all.
That included Delayna Earley's first-place award in the single online photo competition. In other open-division contests, online editor Angela Hamilton and editor Jeff Kidd took third place in the Innovative Concept contest for the newspapers' online public-safety and mugshot pages.
In competition pitting all daily newspapers, Lowcountry Current -- the weekly Packet and Gazette entertainment publication produced by features editor Liz Farrell and her staff -- won the Entertainment Section contest. The staff also took second place in the Lifestyle/Feature Special Section category for its back-to-school issue.
The sports department's preview of the RCB Heritage Presented by Boeing took third in the all-daily Sports Special Section competition.
Gina Smith, now a reporter for the Packet and Gazette, took first place in the all-daily Government Reporting competition for a body of work compiled while working for The (Columbia) State. Sports editor Mike McCombs took awards for the Sports Page Design Portfolio and the Single Sports Page Design competitions in the 20,000 to 50,000 circulation category for work with the Spartanburg Herald-Journal.
Other award winners were:
First place awards: Jonathan Dyer, website photo gallery; Jay Karr, pictorial; Grant Martin, business reporting, profile writing; Justin Paprocki, lifestyle features; Amy Coyne Bredeson, column writing; David Lauderdale, humor columns; Allison Stice, depth reporting.
Second place awards: Jay Karr, sports action photo; Delayna Earley, pictorial; Andy Carpenter, humor column writing; Jennifer Alliett, page one design; Angela Hamilton, website.
Third place awards: Jonathan Dyer, personality photo; Jay Karr, feature photo; Steve Austin: news headline; Erin Moody, enterprise reporting; Anne Christnovich, enterprise reporting; Tom Barton, news features; Rachel Heaton, profile features; Patrick Donohue; short story and column writing; Liz Farrell, humor column writing; Mike McCombs and Jeff Kidd, public service for a daily newspaper; Mike McCombs, sports feature; Stephen Fastenau, sports feature; Chris Carmody, inside page design; Ellis Harman, single feature page design; Bob Sofaly, sports action photo.
Honorable mention: Jay Karr, general news photo and sports feature photo; Rachel Heaton, reporting In depth; Bob Sofaly, sports action photo.