CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Charleston Daily Mail took top honors in its circulation category at the annual convention of the West Virginia Press Association over the weekend.
The Daily Mail placed first in General Excellence among the state's largest newspapers by amassing the largest point total in other contest categories. Newspaper staffers were honored with nine first-place, 13 second-place awards and two third-place awards.
The Charleston Gazette took second place in the division, and The Herald-Dispatch of Huntington took third.
The awards were announced at Oglebay Park Resort in Wheeling, where the three-day convention was held.
Other general excellence winners were The Inter Mountain of Elkins in Division II, Hampshire Review of Romney in Division III and The Record Delta of Buckhannon in Division IV.
Daily Mail photographer Tom Hindman won the prestigious Photo of the Year category with "Fly Me to the Moon," a dynamic shot of an airplane up against a bright moonscape.
Hindman also won the Best Feature Photograph category for that shot. He also won second place for Best News Photography and for Best Photo Essay. Hindman won another third-place award in the Best Feature Photograph category.
The Daily Mail swept the Best News Feature category. Police reporter Ashley B. Craig took first and second place in the category with "Memorial to troopers grows" and "Family revives toddler who fell in pond." Reporter Zack Harold won third place with "Rescued pooch gets new home, Arlington neighbor gets dog."
Ashley B. Craig also won first place for Best Coverage of Legal Issues/Courts with "Boyfriend had long record of arrests." Daily Mail courts reporter Cheryl Caswell won second place in the category with "Shawn Lester pleads guilty/ Plants fears for witness safety."