Winners announced in 2015 Ohio APME newspaper contest

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Newspapers in Columbus, Canton, Mansfield, Newark and Lancaster were named the best in the state Sunday in the annual Ohio Associated Press Media Editors newspaper competition.

General Excellence awards for 2015 went to The Columbus Dispatch, The (Canton) Repository, Mansfield News Journal, The (Newark) Advocate and Lancaster Eagle-Gazette.

The Cincinnati Enquirer won the First Amendment Award for outstanding accomplishments in pursuing freedom of information. The Cincinnati Enquirer won with its entry “The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Efforts to Make Police Video Public.”

Seventy-Two daily newspapers submitted 2,239 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2015.

Entries were judged by editors from The Gazette, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Division V; The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Kentucky, Division IV; the Loveland (Colorado) Reporter-Herald and the Traverse City (Michigan) Record-Eagle, Division III; the San Angelo (Texas) Standard-Times and the Niagara-Gazette (Niagara Falls, New York), Division II; The La Porte (Indiana) County Herald-Argus and the Argus Leader, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Division I.

The Associated Press is a not-for-profit news cooperative representing 1,400 newspapers and 5,000 broadcast stations in the United States. Members of AP include 85 daily newspapers in Ohio.

Here is the list of winners:

2015 First Amendment Award: The Cincinnati Enquirer

DIVISION V, Newspapers with a daily circulation of more than 70,000

General Excellence: 1, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Headline Writer: 1, Susan Gapinski Price, Akron Beacon Journal; 2, Todd Wetzler, The (Toledo) Blade; 3, Bill Piotrowski, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Business Writer: 1, Dan Gearino, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Jim Weiker, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Ben Sutherly, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Columnist: 1, Jeff Gerritt, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Amelia Robinson, Dayton Daily News; 3, Kirk Baird, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Editorial Writer: 1, Barb Carmen, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Jeremy Fugleberg, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Jeff Gerritt, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Feature Writer: 1, Dan Horn, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Misti Crane, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Holly Zachariah, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Graphics Artist: 1, Charlie Zimkus, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Mike Nyerges, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Reid Brown, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Sports Columnist: 1, Rob Oller, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Paul Daugherty, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Tom Archdeacon, Dayton Daily News.

Best Sports Feature Writer: 1, David Briggs, The (Toledo) Blade; 2, Todd Jones, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Bill Rabinowitz, The Columbus Dispatch.

Best Sports Writer: 1, Paul Daugherty, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Todd Jones, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Nicholas Piotrowicz, The (Toledo) Blade.

Best Photographer: 1, Sam Greene, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Eamon Queeney, The Columbus Dispatch; 3, Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best News Writer: 1, Sharon Coolidge, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 2, Josh Sweigart, Dayton Daily News; 3, Paula Schleis, Akron Beacon Journal.

Best Sports Enterprise: 1, Paul Daugherty, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Boy from Braddock Street”; 2, Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch, “26.2 Miles, 1 Hope”; 3, Paul Dehner, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Hard Way Every Time.”

Best Special Sports Section: 1, The Columbus Dispatch, “College Football National Championship Preview”; 2, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Our City: Cincinnati’s Love of the Reds and Baseball”; 3, Akron Beacon Journal, “High School Football Preview.”

Best Daily Sports Section: 1, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer; 3, Akron Beacon Journal.

Best Illustration or Informational Graphic: 1, Andrea Levy, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Fall Arts Music and Dance”; 2, Mike Nyerges, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Pete Rose’s Hits by the Numbers”; 3, Charlie Zimkus, The Columbus Dispatch, “Flaw in the Family.”

Best News Photo: 1, Sam Greene, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Fatal Shooting Near Anti-Violence Rally”; 2, Cameron Knight, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Hopple Street Bridge Collapse”; 3, Eamon Queeney, The Columbus Dispatch, “Jumper.”

Best Feature Photo: 1, Andy Morrison, The (Toledo) Blade, “Foggy Fishermen”; 2, Fred Squillante, The Columbus Dispatch, “Dogs”; 3, Eric Albrecht, The Columbus Dispatch, “Halloween.”

Best Sports Photo: 1, Kyle Robertson, The Columbus Dispatch, “Hit”; 2, Sam Greene, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Follow the Bouncing Ball”; 3, Jeremy Wadsworth, The (Toledo) Blade, “Track Collision.”

Best Photo Story: 1, Liz Dufour, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Arthur”; 2, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “The Death of Sam DuBose”; 3, Barbara Perenic, The Columbus Dispatch, “Pope.”

Best Video: 1, Carrie Cochran, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “My Way to Die”; 2, Courtney Hergesheimer, The Columbus Dispatch, “Silent Suffering “; 3, Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Best Public Service: 1, The Columbus Dispatch, “Silent Suffering”; 2, Encarnacion Pyle, The Columbus Dispatch, “Harm’s Way: State Does Relatively Little to Help Ohio Seniors Who are Abused, Neglected & Exploited”; 3, Anne Saker and Meg Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Transgender in Cincinnati.”

Best Spot News Coverage: 1, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “This is Without Question a Murder”; 2, The Columbus Dispatch, “Marriage for All”; 3, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “We Lost a Brother.”

Best Explanatory Reporting: 1, Dan Horn and Terry DeMio, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Heroin is Bad. We’re Making it Worse.”; 2, Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch, “Stand by Me”; 3, Dayton Daily News, “Adoption.”

Best Enterprise Reporting: 1, Rachel Dissell and Brie Zeltner, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Toxic Neglect: The Weight of Lead”; 2, Sharon Coolidge and Liz Dufour, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “When There’s Not Enough”; 3, Rachel Dissell and Lisa DeJong, The (Cleveland) Plain Dealer, “Hard Time in Cleveland (Slavic Village).”

Best Investigative Reporting: 1, Lucas Sullivan, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Josh Sweigart, Dayton Daily News, “Wright State University Investigation”; 3, Jill Riepenhoff and Jennifer Smith Richards, The Columbus Dispatch, “Ohio’s Dam Mess.”

Best Full Page Design: 1, Kayla Golliher and Sam Greene, The Cincinnati Enquirer, “Why all the Shooting?”; 2, Jeff Basting and Matt Markey, The (Toledo) Blade, “Venomous Snakes of Ohio”; 3, Brian Shellito, Akron Beacon Journal, “LeBron.”

Best Digital Presence: 1, The Columbus Dispatch; 2, Alex Blumer and Katie Vogel, The Cincinnati Enquirer; 3, Dayton Daily News.