INDIANAPOLIS -- The Hoosier State Press Association on Saturday named the Evansville Courier & Press as the first place winner in its annual contest for Blue Ribbon Daily Newspaper of the Year.
The Courier & Press joined other winners of the HSPA's annual contest honored at a luncheon in Indianapolis.
The HSPA divides nondaily newspapers into two divisions:
Division 1 -- Up to and including 3,000 circulation
Division 2 -- 3,001 and above
Daily newspapers are in four divisions:
Division 3 -- Less than 7,001 circulation
Division 4 -- 7,001-15,000
Division 5 -- 15,001-35,000
Division 6 -- More than 35,001
Winners in the HSPA Foundation Better Newspaper Contest were chosen from among 3,496 entries from 98 newspapers, as judged by the Georgia Press Association.
Division Daily 3 was the category in which The Brazil Times, The (Greencastle) Banner Graphic and the Linton Daily Citizen, all papers owned by Rust Publishing, competed.
All of the papers received awards from the HSPA.
"We are extremely proud of our entire staff," said Frank Phillips, Editor of The Brazil Times. "And we congratulate our winners."
Phillips, a winner in the Best General Columnist category, was recognized for his column about the joys of being a first-time grandfather.
"I'm totally amazed anytime I receive recognition for my writing," said Linda Messmer, reporter with The Brazil Times.
Messmer, a veteran reporter with The Brazil Times, was recognized for her part in reporting the story of a kill list that disturbed not only the parents of students attending Clay City Elementary, but had county-wide repercussions to parents of school age children.
Lynn Hamilton, now a reporter with The Hendricks County Flyer, was writing for The Brazil Times when she collaborated with fellow reporter Messmer on their award winning story.
Messmer won first and third place for feature stories she wrote at the 2003 awards.
"I was pleasantly surprised at placing first," said Hamilton about winning, "It is a nice souvenir of my first newspaper experience at The Brazil Times."
The seminar and awards were held at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Indianapolis.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
And the winners are ...
Area 2004 HSPA Contest Winners:
The Brazil Times
Best News Coverage With No Deadline Pressure
Lynn Hamilton and Linda Messmer
Best General Columnist
The Banner Graphic
Best Multiple Picture Group
Best News Coverage Under Deadline Pressure
Lisa Meyer Trigg, Abby Tonsing and Eric Bernsee
Best Sports Columnist
Linton Daily Citizen
Best Editorial Page
Best Business Section or Page(s)