The Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram swept the top awards Saturday night and one of its reporters was named Journalist of the Year in the Maine Press Association’s annual contest.
The Portland Press Herald was named best daily newspaper, the Maine Sunday Telegram was named best weekend newspaper, and pressherald.com was named best website.
Reporters, photographers, videographers, editors and columnists for the two papers also won nearly four dozen other awards.
The winners were announced at the MPA’s annual dinner in Auburn.
Colin Woodard, who won a first place award for investigative reporting for his series on the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, “The Lobbyist in the Henhouse,” was named Journalist of the Year. His series, based on a seven-month Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram investigation, exposed how DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho scaled back environmental programs and fought against laws that were opposed by many of her former clients in the chemical, drug, oil and real estate development industries.
Other first-place winners were:
• Steve Solloway for his sports profile “Still fighting back after attack,” an account of how a Gorham native and standout athlete at Bryant College in Rhode Island struggled to recover from a knife attack in South Boston.
• The Portland Press Herald staff for the continuing story “The Challenge of Our Age,” a series that focuses on the shifting demand for social services and the societal changes that are coming about because of Maine’s rapidly growing elderly population.
• Dave Hench and Glenn Jordan for their sports news story “Mainers describe ‘war scene’,” a report on the Boston Marathon bombing.
• Gabe Souza for feature photo, “Frosty window,” a photograph of two children looking out a frost-covered bus window.
• Michael Fisher for his graphic that accompanied a commentary titled, “Andrew Jackson isn’t worth the paper he’s printed on.”
• The Portland Press Herald for a special online project/section, “The Challenge of Our Age,” a website that accompanied the print series.
• Kelley Bouchard for analysis in “The Challenge of Our Age” series.
• Bob Keyes for his arts/lifestyle feature“Still he paints,” about artist Jon Imber, who continued to paint as his body deteriorated because of ALS.
• Eric Russell for his feature story “The Long Goodbye,” part of the “Challenge of Our Age” series, which focused on a woman with Alzheimer’s who was cared for by her husband.
• Meredith Goad, for her food story/feature “Portland’s hardest-working chef More on his plate,” about a chef opening a fourth restaurant in Portland.
• Jessica Hall and Noel Gallagher for their business story “High-tech hopes, low-skill reality,” about how Maine officials are trying to elevate the skills of Maine workers, while most of the jobs available are in low-skill service industries. The paper also won first place for best business section, daily or weekend.
• Noel Gallagher for her education story “Crisis at USM,” which examined the roots of the budget crisis at the University of Southern Maine.
• Gabe Souza and Susan Kimball for news video, daily or weekend, for “Maine’s Heroin Crisis: A special report.”
• Gabe Souza for sports video, daily or weekend, for ” New England Forest Rally,” about a car race through the woods of western Maine.
The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram also won 12 second-place awards. 13 third-place awards and an honorable mention, and Brenda Allen was named best advertising sales representative.