Times Newspapers wins 12 awards from Illinois Press Association

Staff reports
Peoria Times-Observer news editor DeWayne Bartels holds his first-place award for local editorial awarded by the Illinois Press Association.

Times Newspapers brought home 12 awards Friday from the Illinois Press Association’s annual News-Editorial Convention in Springfield, including two first-place awards.

The Peoria Times-Observer received first place in the local editorial category.

The editorial, penned by news editor DeWayne Bartels, was titled, “No sympathy for the Peoria police.”

The judges wrote, “Solid editorial takes on a biting issue. Strong ending and good lead. Easily top choice.”

The other first-place award  was given to Tazewell County sports editor Bryan Veginski for single page design for a page he designed for the Washington Times-Reporter.

Other awards earned by Bartels for the Times-Observer included an honorable mention for general excellence; third place for original column and third place for feature writing.

In the feature writing category, the judges wrote of Bartels’ entry “Recipe for Redemption” about the Southside Mission’s culinary program, “This was a real good story about a program that came to life through the people portrayed in the story. DeWayne went the extra step and made me care about these people. Great job.”

Times-Observer sports editor Tom Batters earned an honorable mention for sports photo and a second place for sports column.

The judges wrote of Batter’s column, “Good column about area girls' basketball teams' near win at super sectional tournament.”

Bartels said the recognition for the Times-Observer was gratifying.   

“It is very nice to receive this recognition from our peers. Tom and I work hard to put together a paper worthy of reading every week,” Bartels said.

“And, although she was not recognized formally, co-publisher and executive editor Beth Gehrt deserves recognition for the accomplishments of all our papers in the contest. She is there every week, behind the scenes, providing insight and support.”

Chillicothe Times-Bulletin associate editor Karen Danner brought home two awards. She received second place in community service and third place in headline writing.

In addition to Veginski’s first- place award for single page design, photographer Steve Daggs earned an honorable mention in sports photography for the Washington Times-Reporter.

The East Peoria Times-Reporter brought home two awards.

In the category of single page design, Eric Kells won second place for the Times-Courier.

Times-Courier editor Jeanette Kendall brought home a second place award for original column.

The judges wrote, “She takes everyday topics and makes points as she gives you her take on subjects. Concise and very worthwhile to spend time reading her words.”

The contest was judged by journalists from Missouri.

More than 150 daily and non-daily newspapers competed in 39 editorial categories, with more than 3,000 entries submitted.