Reporter Newspapers won 15 awards — including eight first-place honors in its division — in the Georgia Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest, whose winners were announced May 31.

The awards honored work that appeared in the Brookhaven, Buckhead, Dunwoody and Sandy Springs newspapers. The awards recognized all types of the Reporter’s journalism work, from opinion columns to newspaper design to in-depth reporting.

The Reporter’s first-place honorees included:

  • Managing Editor John Ruch for Investigative Reporting for stories that revealed secret city discussions about affordable housing policies and north end redevelopment in Sandy Springs; and Business Writing for stories in the Perimeter Business section and an exposé of “safest cities” website rankings. Ruch also won third place in Breaking News Writing.
  • “Robin’s Nest” columnist Robin Conte for best Lifestyle/Feature Column. She also won awards in the Humorous Column and Serious Column categories.
  • Photographer Phil Mosier for News Photo and Spot News Photo for work that appeared in the Dunwoody Reporter.
  • Creative Director Rico Figliolini for Page One design. He also won second place for Layout and Design.
  • The staff for Local News Coverage.
  • The staff for best Newspaper Website.

Editor-at-Large Joe Earle, who writes the “Around Town” column, won second place in the Lifestyle/Features Column category.

Staff writer Evelyn Andrews won third place in the Feature Writing category for stories about efforts to preserve a historic African American church in Buckhead; the rehabilitation of the Atlanta History Center’s “Battle of Atlanta” Cyclorama painting; and a Sandy Springs Police Department program that rescues stranded motorists. Andrews was named a “Rising Star” earlier this year by the Atlanta Press Club in a separate contest.

The Reporter staff also took second place in the General Excellence category.

The Reporter’s sister publication, Atlanta Senior Life, also won awards. Earle won second place in Feature Writing for his work in that publication, and writer Donna Williams Lewis won third place in the Magazine Story category.

The awards were given in the name of the Reporter’s parent company, Springs Publishing. Earle accepted the awards on behalf of publisher Steve Levene and the staff at a May 31 ceremony on Jekyll Island, Ga.

The GPA, founded in 1887, is an organization of Georgia newspapers. Its Better Newspaper Contest is statewide and was judged by members of out-of-state press associations. Entries were judged in seven divisions based on the newspapers’ circulation. Reporter Newspapers was judged in the division that includes all weekly newspapers with a circulation over 15,000 and all of the GPA’s “associate media members.”

The full list of Reporter Newspapers’ award-winning work includes:

Breaking News Writing: Third Place (John Ruch)

“As 285/400 interchange expands, air pollution is a concern”

“Activists criticize Buckhead white nationalist; civic group debates response”

“Grocery-anchored Sandy Springs project could replace apartments, displace historic cemetery”

Business Writing: First Place (John Ruch)

“‘Safest cities’ website rankings don’t mean much, expert says”

“Why hotels are often in the mix of local mixed-use projects”

“The coworking craze is here to stay”

Feature Writing: Third Place (Evelyn Andrews)

“Road Rescuers: Sandy Springs police program fixes flats, clears accidents”

“‘Battle of Atlanta’ cyclorama painting comes back to life”

“Church seeks to preserve its 150-year African-American history”

General Excellence: Second Place (staff)

Humorous Column: Second Place (Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest”)

“On Mother’s Day, remembering what your kids will forget”

“Wrong Way Robin”

“Assembling the Worst Superhero Team Ever”

Investigative Reporting: First Place (John Ruch)

“Advocates’ secret concept influences Sandy Springs’ affordable housing talk”

“Sandy Springs north end task force is told to boost retail, avoid gentrification”

Layout and Design: Second Place (Rico Figliolini)

Lifestyle/Feature Column: First Place (Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest”)

“Celebrating the Super Bowl with a ‘Snackadium’”

“Wake up and smell the truth about a good cup of coffee”

“Packing cubes are no panacea”

Lifestyle/Feature Column: Second Place (Joe Earle, “Around Town”)

“Being a Santa for everyone is more than a job”

“A ‘family photographer’ for refugees”

“An Uber-seat view on Atlanta life”

Local News Coverage: First Place (staff)

Newspaper Website: First Place (staff)

News Photo: First Place (Phil Mosier)

“Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park events may face fee hike, attendance cap”

Page One: First Place (Rico Figliolini)

Among the winning work was the Feb. 2, 2018 edition of the Buckhead Reporter.

Serious Column: Third Place (Robin Conte, “Robin’s Nest”)

“Leafing through memories of a teacher’s lifelong influence”

“Love reveals itself in tender mercies”

“Taking a spin on the Wheel of Worry”

Spot News Photo: First Place (Phil Mosier)

“Dunwoody High students join nationwide gun protest”

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.