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TimesLedger wins 4 awards in NYPA editorial contest

TimesLedger Newspapers took home awards for its editorial page and stories ranging from the arrest of former state Sen. Hiram Monserrate to overcrowding at a borough high school last weekend at the New York Press Association’s annual convention in Saratoga Springs.

The association, a trade organization for weekly and small daily papers in the state, cited TimesLedger in four different categories: Best Editorial Page, Best News or Feature Series, In-Depth Reporting and Feature Story.

The Astoria Times won third place for Best Editorial Page. NYPA judges wrote the paper had “great columns and cartoons with nice layouts” and that “each column/letter was played up with a strong treatment.”

Reporter Jeremy Walsh won two awards, including second place for Best News or Feature Series for his Astoria Times stories on the collapse of a staircase at a Long Island City building that houses art collective 5 Pointz, injuring a jewelry designer and leading to the eviction of its artist tenants.

The piece was an “important story to the community, which might otherwise be ignored,” NYPA judges said.

Walsh also won third place for In-Depth Reporting for his coverage of Monserrate’s arrest and conviction on a misdemeanor assault for recklessly injuring his girlfriend as he dragged her out of his apartment. The senator had been accused of slashing the woman’s face in the incident, but was acquitted on that charge.

Judges wrote Walsh’s story “covers the case from every angle.”

Reporter Anna Gustafson was honored with third place in the Feature Story category for a story on overcrowding at Francis Lewis High School in Fresh Meadows.

The judges wrote that “details make the story here” and noted that “Gustafson does a nice job of taking readers to a time and place where students are struggling.”

TimesLedger, a member of News Corp.’s Community Newspaper Group, publishes 14 weekly newspapers covering different neighborhoods in Queens.

The Brooklyn Paper, another member of CNG, won first place for the best newspaper Web site and second place at NYPA in the Best Editorials category. Judges praised the paper’s restaurant reviews, police blotter and blogs on the paper’s site.

Reach reporter Nathan Duke by e-mail at nduke@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

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CNG: Community Newspaper Group