AP honors Times-Gazette’s coverage of Hastings investigation


Abernathy wins first place for reporting

Staff and wire report



Gary Abernathy, right, publisher and editor of The Times-Gazette, receives the first place award for Best Investigative Reporting from Eva Parziale, regional director for the Associated Press during ceremonies Sunday in Columbus.


Editors, reporters and paginators from 11 Civitas Media newspapers across Ohio took home 31 awards in Sunday’s annual Ohio Associated Press Managing Editors luncheon in Columbus.


Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of The Times-Gazette, was honored Sunday at the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors luncheon with the first place award in Division I for Best Investigative Reporting for his work last year covering the case against Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings.

The award was made during ceremonies in Columbus honoring outstanding achievements in journalism during 2016. The award was based on the body of work Abernathy produced about the Hastings case throughout the year, including news stories, columns and editorials.

The Hastings case began in December 2015, first with a civil case filed against the mayor by five Hillsboro residents, followed a few hours later the same day by search warrants being served at the city building as part of a criminal investigation.

The case dominated local news throughout 2016, and also became a state and national story. Hastings was eventually indicted last July on four felony charges – two counts of theft based on his use of a city dumpster for personal debris, one count related to an allegation of forgery in regard to a $500 rebate he had received on a vacant property registration, and one count of election falsification based on whether he was a legal resident of Hillsboro.

When the case came to trial in November, a judge threw out two of the charges, and a jury acquitted Hastings of the remaining counts.

In announcing the award, contest judges commented, “Wow. Great in-depth reporting. It details an impressive amount of facts and paints a vivid picture of what appears to be either mayoral corruption or police revenge.”

Coverage of the case included examining the many search warrants and affidavits that were filed throughout the investigation, conducting numerous interviews during the course of the year as events developed, consulting with attorneys not connected to the case to better understand legal maneuvers that were happening, and reviewing the hundreds of pages of discovery evidence eventually filed in the case.

The reporting included several stories detailing various events that occurred during the probe, which included warrants for records served at the mayor’s stepdaughter’s school, subpoenas for water usage at two residences owned by Hastings, authorities confiscating the mayor’s cell phone and serving warrants for personal computers belonging to his administrative assistant, and a late-night search of his Hillsboro residence to document personal items of clothing, kitchen and bathroom appliances and children’s toys – a search conducted after Hastings’ visiting father-in-law was ordered out of the home.

“The Hastings investigation was unprecedented in a number of ways,” said Abernathy. “It was necessary to separate the legitimate concerns that existed about some of the mayor’s actions from other motivations to remove him from office, along with examining the way the investigation was initially handled by the police department, the providing of evidence obtained in a criminal probe to private citizens for the purpose of filing a civil case against Hastings, and the methods of the special prosecutor from the state auditor’s office who was eventually appointed to handle the case.”

Abernathy also won second place Sunday in the category of Best Columnist.

The Times-Gazette is part of Civitas Media, and a total of 11 Civitas Media newspapers won 31 AP awards Sunday. All told, 67 daily newspapers across Ohio submitted 2,084 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2016.

Following is a list of all winners from Sunday, with Civitas publications in bold.

2016 First Amendment Award: The Columbus Dispatch.

Division I, Newspapers with a daily circulation up to 7,999

General Excellence: 1, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 3, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Marty Greenstein, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Tom Barr, Wilmington News Journal; 3, Victoria Dugger, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune.

Best Business Writer: 1, Andrea Chaffin, The (London) Madison Press; 2, Debbie Rogers, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune; 3, Joshua Keeran, Urbana Daily Citizen.

Best Columnist: 1, Belinda Paschal, Piqua Daily Call; 2, Gary Abernathy, Hillsboro Times-Gazette; 3, Beth Sergent, Gallipolis Daily Tribune.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Kate York, The Marietta Times; 2, David Yonke, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 3, Rob Weaver, The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Cecilia Fox, Troy Daily News; 2, Chris Balusik, Chillicothe Gazette; 3, Audrey Ingram, The (London) Madison Press.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Erin O’Neill, The Marietta Times; 2, Kandi Thompson, The Ironton Tribune.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Ron Johnston, The Marietta Times; 2, John Bombatch, Fairborn Daily Herald; 3, Robert McCurdy, The Marion Star.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Joe Mitchin, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Chris Easterling, The (Massillon) Independent; 3, Robert McCurdy, The Marion Star.

Best Sports Writer: 1, David Fong, Troy Daily News; 2, Tom Wilson, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette; 3, Brad Morris, Circleville Herald.

Best Photographer: 1, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger; 2, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette; 3, Morgan Manns, The (Fostoria) Review Times.

Best News Writer: 1, Alex Aspacher, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune; 2, Jennifer Bahney, Circleville Herald; 3, Spencer Remoquillo, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, John Bombatch, Xenia Daily Gazette, “Following Grace Norman Through the Olympics”; 2, Justin Miller, Urbana Daily Citizen, “#johnstrong: The Road to Recovery”; 3, Robert McCurdy, The Marion Star, “Remembering the Irish.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The (Massillon) Independent, “The Rivalry”; 2, The (Massillon) Independent, “High School Football Preview”; 3, Matthew Horn and Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Fall Football Preview 2016.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Josh Brown and David Fong, Troy Daily News; 3, Rob McCurdy, The Marion Star.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Sheridan Sidewalks Sparse”; 2, Jess Grimm, Chillicothe Gazette, “Ross County’s Aces”; 3, Kandi Thompson, The Ironton Tribune, “Property Values.”

Best News Photo: 1, JD Pooley, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune, “Woman’s Body Exhumed”; 2, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Fire Destroys Hideaway Hills Home”; 3, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Hundreds of Pigs Rescued from Crash.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Tae’s Story: 4-Year-Old Fights Brain Cancer”; 2, Jessica St. James, The Ironton Tribune, “Last Goodbye for Aaron Christian”; 3, Don Tate, Fairborn Daily Herald, “Air Show Takes Flight.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Brad Morris, Circleville Herald, “Outright Champs”; 2, JD Pooley, The (Bowling Green) Sentinel-Tribune, “Safe at Home”; 3, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Falcons Clinch First League Title Since 1988.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Tae’s Story: Four-Year-Old Fights Brain Cancer”; 2, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Heroin: Face of Addiction”; 3, Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “A Difficult Journey: Tae, 5, Fights Brain Cancer.”

Best Video: 1, Molly Corfman, Port Clinton News-Herald, “A Difficult Journey: Tae, 5, Fights Brain Cancer”; 2, Matthew Berry, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Horse Paints Way into Woman’s Heart”; 3, Molly Corfman, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Richie’s Story: From Heroin to Hope.”

Best Public Service: 1, Tom Barr and Matt Louallen, Wilmington News Journal, “Honor Flight Section”; 2, Michael Throne, Chillicothe Gazette, “A Community Intervention”; 3, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Homelessness in Sandusky County.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Amy Knapp and Christina McCune, The (Massillon) Independent, “Wendy’s Fire”; 2, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Brother Stabs Brother in Argument”; 3, Janelle Patterson, The Marietta Times, “Downtown OD.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Daniel Carson, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Tae: The Little Soldier”; 2, The (Tiffin) Advertiser-Tribune, “Harm and Hope”; 3, Amy Knapp, The (Massillon) Independent, “Massillon City Schools Bond Issue.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Heroin in Sandusky County”; 2, The Marietta Times, “Hooked: Heroin in the Valley”; 3, Daniel Carson, Port Clinton News-Herald, “World War II: In Their Own Words.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Gary Abernathy, Hillsboro Times-Gazette, “The Mayor Drew Hastings Case”; 2, Spencer Remoquillo, Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, “Former Firefighter Speaks out on Firing”; 3, Daniel Carson, The (Fremont) News-Messenger, “Police Chiefs Angry at Overmyer.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Marty Greenstein, The (Massillon) Independent; 2, Port Clinton News-Herald, “Godspeed, John Glenn”; 3, Chillicothe Gazette, “39 Dead.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, Chillicothe Gazette; 2, The (Massillon) Independent; 3, The (Fostoria) Review Times.

Division II, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 8,000 to 11,999

General Excellence: 1, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, The Athens Messenger; 3, Cleveland Jewish News; 3, The Medina Gazette.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Chris Slone, Portsmouth Daily Times; 2, Nancy Allen, The (Celina) Daily Standard; 3, Tom Millhouse, The (Celina) Daily Standard.

Best Business Writer: 1, Steve Robb, The Athens Messenger; 2, Hayden Kull, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Patricia Ann Speelman, The Sidney Daily News.

Best Columnist: 1, Bob Abelman, Cleveland Jewish News; 2, Regina Brett, Cleveland Jewish News; 3, Joe Higgins, The Athens Messenger.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Pam James, Zanesville Times Recorder; 2, Michael Shearer, The (Newark) Advocate; 3, Dorma J. Tolson, Lisbon Morning Journal.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Tyler Buchanan, The Athens Messenger; 2, William Kincaid, The (Celina) Daily Standard; 3, Shelley Hanson, The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Jon Larson, Cleveland Jewish News; 2, Stephen Valentine, Cleveland Jewish News; 3, Josh Wilder, The Athens Messenger.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Les Levine, Cleveland Jewish News; 2, Dave Ross, The Sidney Daily News; 3, Jason Arkley, The Athens Messenger.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Albert Grindle, The Medina Gazette; 2, Rick Thorp, The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader; 3, Jason Arkley, The Athens Messenger.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Rick Noland, The Medina Gazette; 2, Jason Arkley, The Athens Messenger; 3, Kevin Wiseman, The Athens Messenger.

Best Photographer: 1, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Mark Pummell, The (Celina) Daily Standard; 3, Patricia Schaeffer, Lisbon Morning Journal.

Best News Writer: 1, Bethany Bruner, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Steve Robb, The Athens Messenger; 3, Janell Hunter, The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Kurt Snyder, The (Newark) Advocate, “Debate Continues Over Pitch Count vs. Innings Limit”; 2, Joe Catullo, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Sebring Water Crisis”; 3, Matt Wagner, The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon, “The Evolution of an Event.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, Matt Wagner, The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon, “High School Football Tab”; 2, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Morning Journal Football Preview”; 3, Albert Grindle, The Medina Gazette, “Gazette Football Preview.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The Medina Gazette; 2, Lisbon Morning Journal; 3, The Athens Messenger.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Ed Betzel, The Medina Gazette, “Nexus Pipeline Route Approved”; 2, Lillian Messner, Cleveland Jewish News, “B’nai Jeshurun 150 Year Anniversary Timeline”; 3, Reuben Mees, Bellefontaine Examiner, “Wind Turbine Map.”

Best News Photo: 1, Mike Lehmkuhle, The (Newark) Advocate, “River Rescue”; 2, Sara Tobias, The (Newark) Advocate, “Officer Struggle”; 3, Patricia Schaeffer, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Hot Weekend.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, John Halley, The Athens Messenger; 2, Mark Pummell, The (Celina) Daily Standard, “Petting Zoo”; 3, Mark Pummell, The (Celina) Daily Standard, “Halftime Show.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Luke Gronneberg, The Sidney Daily News, “D-4 State Champions Again”; 2, Shane Flanigan, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Face Tag”; 3, Chris Crook, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Slide Surprise.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate, “The View from Phoenix”; 2, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate, “Redefining Tom”; 3, Patricia Schaeffer, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Bull on the lam.”

Best Video: 1, Jessica Phelps, The (Newark) Advocate, “Talking About Race in Licking County”; 2, Noelle Bye, Cleveland Jewish News, “Milton Maltz Interview”; 3, Kurt Snyder, The (Newark) Advocate, “Newark Catholic Earns Regional Title.”

Best Public Service: 1, The Medina Gazette, “Not in Our Backyards: Battle Over the Nexus Pipeline”; 2, Lisbon Morning Journal, “Sunshine Week.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Murder of Homeless Man”; 2, Alexandra Newman, The Sidney Daily News, “JC Police Chief Arrested”; 3, Joe Higgins, The Athens Messenger, “Prison Escape.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Casey Junkins, The (Martins Ferry) Times Leader, “Smithfield Voters to Decide Fate of Village”; 2, Marina Malenic and Elizabeth Dobbins, The Medina Gazette, “Census Paints Portrait of Communities”; 3, Tyler Buchanan, The Athens Messenger, “Visit from Clinton.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Reuben Mees, Bellefontaine Examiner, “Wind Development”; 2, Sydney Murray, The (Newark) Advocate, “Dementia: When the Child Becomes the Parent”; 3, Kristen Mott, Cleveland Jewish News, “BDS on Ohio Campuses: Fading, Morphing.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Kate Snyder, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Harmony’s Death: Family Seeks Answers in 2-year-old’s Death”; 2, Eric Lagatta, Zanesville Times Recorder, “Diversity in Law Enforcement”; 3, Larry Di Giovanni, The Athens Messenger, “Tenants to be Re-housed During $9M Remodeling Project.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Ryan Gillis, Lisbon Morning Journal, “King of the Monsters”; 2, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Scott Kline, The Medina Gazette, “Peak Experience.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The (Newark) Advocate; 2, Zanesville Times Recorder; 3, Cleveland Jewish News.

Division III, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 12,000 to 18,999

General Excellence: 1, Sandusky Register; 2, Mansfield News Journal; 3, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Jeff Verbus, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 2, Mike Schaffer, Sandusky Register; 3, Bruce Hefflinger, The (Defiance) Crescent-News.

Best Business Writer: 1, Linda Martz, Mansfield News Journal; 2, Eric Schwartzberg, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News; 3, Matt Sanctis, Springfield News-Sun.

Best Columnist: 1, Taryn Lawson, The (Defiance) Crescent-News; 2, Melissa Griffy Seeton, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Gere Goble, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Matt Westerhold, Sandusky Register; 2, Melissa Griffy Seeton and Hank Keathley, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Roger Di Paolo, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Rick McCrabb, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News; 2, Andy Ouriel, Sandusky Register; 3, Mark Caudill, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Nick Davis, Sandusky Register; 2, Sean Linhart, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Karen Gidcumb, Sandusky Register.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register; 2, Bruce Hefflinger, The (Defiance) Crescent-News; 3, Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal; 2, Jim Haynes, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Connor Casey, Mansfield News Journal; 2, Roger Metzger, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 3, Jon Spencer, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Photographer: 1, Lisa Scalfaro, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier; 2, Erin McLaughlin, Sandusky Register; 3, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun.

Best News Writer: 1, Jon Baker, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter; 2, Jona Ison, Mansfield News Journal; 3, Alex Knisely, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Varsity All-Stars”; 2, Tom Nader, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “Champions”; 3, Bruce Hefflinger, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “Bruce Hefflinger Sports Enterprise.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, Tom Nader, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “High School Football Preview”; 2, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “C-N Best Special Sports Section”; 3, Mark Hazelwood, Sandusky Register, “Orlando Pace Comes Home.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier; 2, The (Defiance) Crescent-News; 3, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Sean Linhart, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, “John Glenn Tribute”; 2, Bob Kast, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, “Water Rates”; 3, Nick Davis, Sandusky Register, “Cedar Point Coasters.”

Best News Photo: 1, Jason J. Molyet, Mansfield News Journal, “Agonizing Verdict”; 2, Jason J. Molyet, Mansfield News Journal, “Regrets”; 3, Erin McLaughlin, Sandusky Register, “In a Ditch.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Lisa Scalfaro, Kent-Ravenna Record-Courier, “On the Clock Selfie”; 2, Greg Lynch, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News, “Peace Walk”; 3, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Mud Run.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Brian J. Smith, Mansfield News Journal, “A Trip and a Fall”; 2, Greg Lynch, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News, “Fairfield Football”; 3, Bill Lackey, Springfield News-Sun, “Kayaker.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Jason Werling, Sandusky Register, “On Pace for the Hall of Fame”; 2, Pat Burk, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, “Back to School”; 3, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “Tornado Damage.”

Best Video: 1, Mark Froelich, The (Defiance) Crescent-News, “The Tim & Chuck Show”; 2, Jilly Burns, Sandusky Register, “World War II Paratrooper Recounts his Service”; 3, Jon Baker, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, “Bees Invade The T-R.”

Best Public Service: 1, Michael Cooper, Springfield News-Sun, “Healthy Springfield”; 2, Parker Perry, Springfield News-Sun, “Bethany’s Story”; 3, Courtney Astolfi, Sandusky Register, “Good Journalism Lands Sheriff in Prison.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, Jon Baker and Nancy Molnar, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, “Killing in Midvale”; 2, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News, “Madison High School Shooting”; 3, Lou Whitmire and Courtney Day, Mansfield News Journal.

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Courtney Day, Mansfield News Journal, “Mansfield City Schools Coverage”; 2, Michael Pitman, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News, “8th Congressional District Seat”; 3, Andy Ouriel, Sandusky Register, “For Sale: Sandusky City Hall on the Move.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Mansfield News Journal, “Overdosed: Frontline Stories”; 2, Patrick Pfanner, Sandusky Register, “Dying for Drugs”; 3, Nancy Molnar, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, “Recovery From Addiction Series.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Matt Sanctis, Springfield News-Sun, “Dole Listeria”; 2, Andy Ouriel, Sandusky Register, “The Conviction of Former Vermilion Police Officer Aaron Bolton”; 3, Jona Ison, Mansfield News Journal, “Ohio Doesn’t Know Who it Has on Probation.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Nick Davis, Sandusky Register, “Lightning Strikes Twice”; 2, Joe Giampietro, The (Dover-New Philadelphia) Times-Reporter, ” ”; 3, Nick Davis, Sandusky Register, “Big Finale.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News; 2, Mansfield News Journal; 3, Springfield News-Sun.

Division IV, Newspapers with a daily circulation of 19,000 to 59,999

General Excellence: 1, The Canton Repository; 2, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Matt Arnold, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, David Trinko, The Lima News; 3, Marty Greenstein, The Canton Repository.

Best Business Writer: 1, Lou Wilin, The (Findlay) Courier; 2, John Bush, The Lima News; 3, Shane Hoover, The Canton Repository.

Best Columnist: 1, Bertram DeSouza, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, David Skolnick, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, Charita Goshay, The Canton Repository.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Andy Young, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 2, Bertram DeSouza, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, David Trinko, The Lima News.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Shane Hoover, The Canton Repository; 2, Vince Guerrieri, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 3, Brenna Griteman, The (Findlay) Courier.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, BJ Lisko, The Canton Repository; 2, Robert McFerren, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 3, Brittney Trojanowski, Warren Tribune Chronicle.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Josh Weir, The Canton Repository; 2, Jim Naveau, The Lima News; 3, Joe Simon, Warren Tribune Chronicle.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Scott Petrak, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 2, Jim Naveau, The Lima News; 3, Joe Simon, Warren Tribune Chronicle.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Joe Scalzo, The Canton Repository; 2, Jamie Baker, The (Findlay) Courier; 3, Tom Usher, The Lima News.

Best Photographer: 1, Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository; 2, Richard Parrish, The Lima News; 3, William Lewis, The (Youngstown) Vindicator.

Best News Writer: 1, Lou Wilin, The (Findlay) Courier; 2, Kelli Weir, The Canton Repository; 3, Kelly Byer, The Canton Repository.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, The Canton Repository, “Stark County HS Sports Icons “; 2, Dave Hanneman, The (Findlay) Courier, “Less Drops in the Bucket”; 3, Charles Grove and Bill Lewis, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Football Powerhouse Adds First Girl to Roster.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The Canton Repository, “Pro Football Hall of Fame Enshrinees 2017”; 2, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “High School Football Preview”; 3, The Canton Repository, “2017 High School Football Preview.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The Canton Repository; 2, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram; 3, The (Findlay) Courier.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, David Manley, The Canton Repository, “Presidential Endorsements”; 2, Bob Kast, The Canton Repository, “Taking Flight: Inside Akron-Canton Airport”; 3, Robert McFerren, The (Youngstown) Vindicator.

Best News Photo: 1, Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository, “Casino Shooting”; 2, Scott Heckel, The Canton Repository, “Dog Saved from Fire”; 3, Craig J. Orosz, The Lima News, “Tight Squeeze.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Bruce Bishop, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Summer Fun”; 2, Kristin Bauer, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Hallelujah”; 3, Randy Roberts, The (Findlay) Courier, “Veterans Day.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Richard Parrish, The Lima News, “Shawnee Rebounds”; 2, Nikos Frazier, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Hat Trick!”; 3, David Dermer, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Winner.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Bob Rossiter, The Canton Repository, “World Series”; 2, Kristin Bauer, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Life With Hurler Syndrome: Deja Vu”; 3, Bruce Bishop, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Republican National Convention.”

Best Video: 1, William Lewis, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Football Spirit”; 2, Kevin Bean, The (Findlay) Courier, “A Glass Act”; 3, Sean Ferguson and Dan Wengdt, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “50 Years of Lordstown.”

Best Public Service: 1, The Canton Repository, “Kent State Stark Dean Search”; 2, Brad Dicken, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Water Authority Proposes New Media Rules”; 3, Kalea Hall and Amanda Tonoli, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Mystery Shrouds Neglected Cemetery.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, The Canton Repository, “Hall of Fame Game Cancellation”; 2, The Canton Repository, “Sordid Past for Accused Rapist”; 3, Renee Fox and Guy Vogrin, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Hammer Drops on Infante.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Shane Hoover, The Canton Repository, “Ozone Season is Here”; 2, Lisa Roberson, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram, “Elyria Water: Quality Control”; 3, David Skolnick, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Blue Collar Voters for Trump.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Kelly Byer, The Canton Repository, “Community Policing”; 2, Justin Wier, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Getting Better at the Blight Fight”; 3, The Lima News, “Lima in Black and White.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Ed Runyan, The (Youngstown) Vindicator, “Warren Water”; 2, Ed Balint and Alison Matas, The Canton Repository, “Too Many Deals in Stark?”; 3, Guy Vogrin, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Who Do You Know?.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, BJ Lisko, The Canton Repository, “Tribe Time”; 2, Amanda Vanness and Jim Krumel, The Lima News, “Cleveland Indians: 2016 American League Champs”; 3, Brittney Trojanowski, Warren Tribune Chronicle, “Globetrotters.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The (Youngstown) Vindicator; 2, The Canton Repository; 3, The (Elyria) Chronicle-Telegram.

Division V, Newspapers with a daily circulation of more than 60,000

General Excellence: 1, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Joe Kiefer, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Skip Hall, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 3, Mark J. Price, Akron Beacon Journal.

Best Business Writer: 1, Alex Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Randy Tucker, Dayton Daily News; 3, Ben Sutherly, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Columnist: 1, Theodore Decker, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Keith Burris, The (Toledo) Blade; 3, Chris Graves, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Keith Burris, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Barbara Carmen, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Glenn Sheller, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Holly Zachariah, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Terry DeMio, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Justin Gilbert, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Michael Nyerges, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Tony Lariccia, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Terry Pluto, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 2, Bill Livingston, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 3, Paul Daugherty, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, Jim Owczarski, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Tom Reed, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Terry Pluto, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 2, Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News; 3, David Briggs, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Photographer: 1, Jeremy Wadsworth, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Chris Stewart, Dayton Daily News; 3, Andy Morrison, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best News Writer: 1, Chrissie Thompson, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, John Caniglia, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 3, Amanda Garrett, Akron Beacon Journal.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Tom Reed, The Columbus Dispatch, “Concussions and Women”; 2, Nicholas Piotrowicz, The (Toledo) Blade, “MAC Schools’ Cost of Athletics up 75% Over Last 10 Years; UT, BG Student Fees Subsidize Least”; 3, Mike Wagner, The Columbus Dispatch, “Gentle Giant.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Kid’s in the Hall”; 2, The (Toledo) Blade, “Marathon LPGA Classic 2016”; 3, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Rio2016.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 2, Dayton Daily News; 3, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Justin Gilbert, The Columbus Dispatch, “New Chapter for Main Library”; 2, Andrea Levy, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “The Task at Hand – RNC Preview”; 3, Michael Nyerges, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Pike County Killings: A Closer Look.”

Best News Photo: 1, Adam Cairns, The Columbus Dispatch, “John Glenn”; 2, Jonathan Quilter, The Columbus Dispatch, “Council Protest”; 3, Mike Cardew, Akron Beacon Journal, “Selfie @ RNC.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch, “Doo Dah”; 2, Amanda Rossmann, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Reflections “; 3, Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch, “Sleeping Farmer.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Marvin Fong, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “OSU vs. Michigan”; 2, Chuck Crow, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Champagne Celebration”; 3, Kyle Robertson, The Columbus Dispatch, “Hugging Catch.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Finding Home”; 2, Lynn Ischay, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Milan’s New Eye”; 3, Andy Morrison, The (Toledo) Blade, “Homeless Woman Still has Her Dog, Cow.”

Best Video: 1, Meg Vogel and Hannah Sparling, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Finding Home: A 12-Year-Old Boy’s Search in the Midst of War”; 2, Doral Chenoweth, The Columbus Dispatch, “Heroin’s Hold: Couple’s Life Overtaken by Need for Drug”; 3, Amy E. Voigt, The (Toledo) Blade, “One Year Out.”

Best Public Service: 1, The (Toledo) Blade, “Ohioans View on Trade Agreements, Jobs, the Economy and Who Should be President”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “Heroin’s Hold on Us”; 3, Akron Beacon Journal, “Heroin — Ending the Silence.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Pike County Killings”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “OSU Attack”; 3, The (Toledo) Blade, “The Abduction and Murder of Sierah Joughin.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Kara Driscoll, Dayton Daily News, “Lead Problems in Water”; 2, Chris Stewart, Dayton Daily News, “Benefits Battle”; 3, Olivera Perkins and Marcia Pledger, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Heart of Steel: A Cleveland Survival Story.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Hannah Sparling and Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Finding Home”; 2, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Pathways to Peace”; 3, Chris Stewart, Dayton Daily News, “The Opioid War.”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Dan Horn and Sharon Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Metropolitan Sewer District”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “BCI Problems “; 3, Holly Zachariah and Ben Sutherly, The Columbus Dispatch, “Inside Job.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Jane Mitchell and Andrea Levy, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Fall Movies “; 2, Rebecca Markovitz and Timothy Riethmiller, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Toll of Hate”; 3, Josh Crutchmer, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Believe It.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, The (Toledo) Blade.

Gary Abernathy, right, publisher and editor of The Times-Gazette, receives the first place award for Best Investigative Reporting from Eva Parziale, regional director for the Associated Press during ceremonies Sunday in Columbus.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2017/05/web1_AP-Eva-Gary-5-21-17-1.jpgGary Abernathy, right, publisher and editor of The Times-Gazette, receives the first place award for Best Investigative Reporting from Eva Parziale, regional director for the Associated Press during ceremonies Sunday in Columbus.

Editors, reporters and paginators from 11 Civitas Media newspapers across Ohio took home 31 awards in Sunday’s annual Ohio Associated Press Managing Editors luncheon in Columbus.
http://aimmedianetwork.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/33/2017/05/web1_AP-Civitas-2017-5-21-17-1.jpgEditors, reporters and paginators from 11 Civitas Media newspapers across Ohio took home 31 awards in Sunday’s annual Ohio Associated Press Managing Editors luncheon in Columbus.
Abernathy wins first place for reporting

Staff and wire report