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Beacon news team wins four national newspaper awards

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

The news staff of The Brunswick Beacon recently learned it has won four awards in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The team of Kathryn Jacewicz, Caroline Curran and Laura Lewis won first place for their coverage of an Ocean Isle Beach fire that killed seven college students and injured six others.

They were competing against other non-daily newspapers with circulations of 12,000 or more across the nation.

Judges said, “Clearly a lot of effort went into this coverage. Excellent job. In-depth information.”

The news team won second place for its editorial pages. Judges said the staff used a lot of talent to produce great editorial pages.

Managing editor Stacey Manning won second place best editorial for demanding school board member Ray Gilbert resign after an admitted affair with a school employee that resulted in DVO charges filed against him.

Judges said, “This young editorial writer tackled a tough subject, demanding the resignation of a tawdry school board member.”

Graphic designer Keith White, who also serves as the newspaper’s in-house editorial cartoonist, won third place for an editorial cartoon about the Brunswick County Board of Education. The cartoon brought attention to a number of school-related scandals by emphasizing voters have a choice in electing school board members. It depicted a family shopping and selecting dolls off a shelf that represented school board officials.

Judges said, “The cartoonist brings a school board scandal with a shopping metaphor that gives meaning to the whole story.”

The awards will be presented at the annual NNA convention on Sept. 27.

Earlier this year, The Beacon won second place general excellence for its division in the North Carolina Press Association’s annual award contest. Lewis, former sports editor Doug Rutter and former sports clerk Joe Arace won individual awards.

In the awards competition for Landmark Community Newspapers Inc., the parent company that owns the Beacon, Jacewicz, Curran and Lewis also won first place for coverage of the Ocean Isle Beach fire. Lewis, Manning and Rutter garnered other awards.