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Press wins firsts in newspaper contest

    FORT WORTH – The Overton Press placed first in news photo and feature photo at Saturday’s Better Newspaper Contest of the North and East Texas Press Association convention in Fort Worth.

   The news photos, two submitted as one entry, included a fire photo taken by J. M. Jones published in the Jan. 21, 2010 paper; and a mock wreck photo taken by Charlotte Heldenbrand published in the March 18, 2010 paper.

FIREMAN PHOTO PLACES FIRST – This photo of a fireman spraying the ruins of a house in New London, which was published in the Jan. 21, 2010 issue of The Overton Press, placed first in news photo at last weekend’s North & East Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. J. M. Jones/Press photo

  Judge’s comments – “New London House fire: Best shot of the division by far! Terrific framing, good focus on the action and reproduction that’s detailed enough (even on newsprint) that we can almost smell the charred ruins. EXCELLENT JOB: Congratulations!”

MOCK WRECK – The “Shattered Dreams” program put on last spring by Overton High School student council members brought some students and teachers to tears as they watched a student be “arrested” for drunk driving which resulted in the deaths of his friends. This won first place in news photo at last weekends’s North & East Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. This picture was printed in the March 18, 2010 issue of The Overton Press. Charlotte Heldenbrand/Press photo

   Judge’s comments – “Mock Wreck: An eye-catching image that is bound to draw attention and awareness to a serious matter. Most of all, I appreciate how well you labeled the photo as a mock incident (in bold red ink too) so there isn’t the slightest chance readers might be misled. Thank you for being up front on that and resisting the urge to sensationalize.”

   The feature photos were of a dog licking a piece of ice, published on Jan. 14, 2010 and a young boy holding up a fish he caught at the Trouts for Trails (published on March 25, 2010). Both were taken by Heldenbrand.

ICE DOGGY – This photo of Molly, a border collie-mix licking a piece of ice which had formed on top of her water bowl, won first place in feature photo at last Saturday’s North & East Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest. The picture was printed in the Jan. 14, 2010 issue of The Overton Press. Charlotte Heldenbrand/Press photo

   Judge’s comments – “Clearly, It Takes a Licking: Awesome photo! Technically Heldenbrand’s photo surpasses most others, but it is the sheer creativity spilling forth that raises it above all others. Thank you for an excellent example for the rest of us in the biz. This is my favorite of all weeklies – absolutely!”

PAYTON HITS PAYDIRT – This photo of Payton Hickman, a young man who caught a fish in the Trouts for Trails event last year at Overton City Lake, won first place in feature photo at the North & East Texas Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest on April 16. The picture was printed in the March 25, 2010 issue of The Overton Press. Charlotte Heldenbrand/Press photo

   Judge’s comments – “Payton Hits Paydirt: Don’t be fooled by this photos’ simple appearance of a kid with a fish on the line. The expertise at work in the background is ‘off the hook’ J delightful. It only looks like an ordinary thing to get (kind of like when ice skaters make jumps look so darn simple).”

   Two Press editorials placed second: one on regulating pit bull ownership (Dec. 9, 2010) and another on efforts to get new sidewalks (May 27, 2010). Judge’s comments – “Editorial on pit bulls makes a good case for the community to rally around efforts to address the problem.” Judge’s comments – “Sidewalk editorial would have been more effective if it had been edited to half its length.”

   The Press placed second in headline writing (three submitted as one entry). Judge’s comments: “ ‘Zephyr: The Long Paw of the Law’ – Everyone loves a good dog story, especially if it comes with a great headline. ‘Wise Guy compliments crooked ways of players’ – Nice stand against crime against our industry. Clever and appropriate. ‘Winner of Picks a Pepper, not a Piper’ – It’s hard to get a tongue-twister to fit in print, but nicely done.”

   Heldenbrand also placed third in column writing for the “Wise Guy” column printed in the March 10, 2010 issue and a “Drying Situation in Laird Hill” published on Aug. 26, 2010.

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The Overton Press is published weekly by East Texas Community Newspapers.