Overland Park The Lawrence Journal-World claimed the top prize Saturday in the annual Awards of Excellence competition sponsored by the Kansas Press Assn.
Based on an unprecedented 19 first-place awards won by its reporters, editors, photographers and designers, the newspaper was awarded the KPA's Sweepstakes Award.
The awards were presented at the association's annual convention in Overland Park.
In addition to winning first-place awards for its front-page design, overall design and layout, special sections, sports pages, use of photos and Web site, the Journal-World also took top honors in:
- Freedom of Information project, for work that forced Lawrence Police to disclose public records about a fatal police pursuit.
- Feature writing, for a story by reporter Mike Belt about a family's tragic year.
- Investigative writing, for work by reporter Scott Rothschild that uncovered the state's fleet of unused automobiles.
- Editorial writing, for a selection of work by editorial page editor Ann Gardner.
- Government coverage, for stories by reporter Mark Fagan on Douglas County commissioners' double standard on parking tickets.
- Youth coverage, for a story by teen editor Christy Little on "rooms that rock."
- Education writing, for a story by reporter Terry Rombeck about trends in international enrollment at Kansas University after 9-11.
- Sports writing, for a story by assistant sports editor Gary Bedore about the KU men's basketball team.
- Sports feature writing, for a story by Belt about a former college baseball player's recovery after a brutal beating.
- News photography, for a photo by photographer Richard Gwin of former KU coach Roy Williams wiping a tear after facing the Kansas media for the last time.
- Feature package, for a series of stories and photos by features editor Mindie Paget, Fagan, and photographer Thad Allender on the closing of three Lawrence elementary schools.
The newspaper and its staff also won eight second-place awards, nine thirds and eight honorable mentions:
Editorial pages; general excellence; series writing; Dave Ranney, feature writing; Fagan, government coverage; Jim Baker, religion coverage; Paget, Fagan, education writing; Chuck Woodling, sports column writing.
Special section; Rombeck, feature writing; Rothschild, news writing; Eric Weslander, investigative writing; Chad Lawhorn, agricultural writing; Allender, sports photography; Allender, photo package; Rombeck, Gwin, Chris Royer, feature package; Royer, infographic.
Steve Rottinghaus, feature writing; Belt and Cody Howard, news writing; Fagan and Joel Mathis, local business coverage; Rothschild, government coverage; Ben Fitch, youth coverage; Woodling, sports writing; Allender, photo package; Paget, photo illustration.