GETTYSBURG - More than a dozen Mirror staff members were recognized for their work during the annual Pennsylvania Press Conference on Saturday at the Wyndam Hotel.
A total of 14 were honored in 11 categories for individual and team coverage at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Press Association's annual dinner on Saturday night while five staff members combined for 14 awards that were presented during the Pennsylvania Women's Press Association luncheon earlier Saturday.
In total, the Mirror received 24 PNA awards.
Competing in Division III for newspapers with circulations between 20,000-39,999, the Mirror won first place for its spot-news team coverage of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the fallout, including the dismissals of Joe Paterno and Graham Spanier, that followed.
"Virtually our entire newsroom had a hand in the spot-news coverage," Mirror Managing Editor Neil Rudel said. "It was obviously a huge story, and we're proud of the total team effort put forth by our reporters, photographers, our graphic artists and copy desk."
Other PNPA first-place recognition was awarded to Assistant News Editor Mark Leberfinger for a feature story, "Flood watch: Regional river warning system threatened with extinction," and Graphic Artist Tom Worthington II's submission of entries that included "We Remember," (the Mirror's 9/11 tribute section).
Worthington II also won a Golden Quill, presented May 14 at the Western Pennsylvania Press Club dinner in Pittsburgh, for his news illustration of Paterno's firing.
Leberfinger also won PWPA recognition for headline writing (second place), health-science story (third place), editorial writing (third place) and outdoors/ environmental writing (honorable mention).
Keith Frederick, a page designer and reporter in the Life section, won first place for page design in the PWPA competition and second place for page design by PNPA.
Scott Franco of the sports department won a second place for general column writing (Franco writes a Sunday column in the news section) and a second place for headline writing in the PNPA.
Religion Editor Linda Gracey won a first place in the PWPA for her religion coverage "Strong in his spirit," a second place in the PNPA special project category for the Mirror's tribute section welcoming Bishop Mark L. Bartchak to the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and a third place in the PWPA for her series, "Fewer in Faith."
Worthington II, Cory Giger and Sports Editor Buck Frank earned a PNPA second place for niche publication as the Mirror's preseason Curve tabloid, "Inside Pitch," was once again recognized.
Giger and Rudel teamed with Assistant Sports Editor Philip Cmor and Greg Bock and Phil Ray of the news reporting staff along with Photographer Patrick Waksmunski to capture a PNPA second place for sports event coverage (Penn State's game vs. Nebraska).
Michael Boytim of the sports staff earned an honorable mention for his sports story on Notre Dame basketball player Mary Forr, a former Bishop Guilfoyle standout, and Photo Editor J.D. Cavrich earned an honorable mention for his sports photo.
Reporter Kay Stephens earned five PWPA awards - business story (second place) sports story (third place), general news story (honorable mention), interviews/ profiles (honorable mention) and travels/arts/entertainment story (honorable mention).
Stephens also won a Golden Quill, presented by the Western Pennsylvania Press Club on May 14, for business/technology/consumer reporting.
Reporter Amanda Gabeletto earned a third-place tie from the PWPA in feature writing and a third place in photography.
In addition to the Golden Quills won by Worthington II and Stephens, Giger (sports story, radio commentary), Leberfinger (editorial writing) and Frederick (food feature) were also Golden Quill finalists.