BAR HARBOR — Staff of The Forecaster received 17 awards for journalism excellence at the annual conference of the Maine Press Association, including third place for General Excellence and second place for Freedom of Information.

The newspaper’s honors included 10 first-place awards, three for second place and four for third.

The awards were presented Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Event Center in Bar Harbor, concluding a day of workshops for journalists, advertising staff and newsroom managers from throughout the state.

Recipients of first-place awards were Callie Ferguson (Business Story, Food Story), Alex Acquisto (Courts Story, Analysis, Education Story), Walter Wuthmann (Religion/Spirituality), Mo Mehlsak (Editorial), Edgar Allen Beem (Opinion Columnist) and Kate Gardner (Health Story). The paper’s Opinion section was named the best in large weekly newspapers.

Second- and third-place awards went to David Harry (Spot News, third), Kate Gardner (Analysis, second), Alex Lear (Continuing Story, third), Walter Wuthmann (Arts/Lifestyle Feature, second) and Callie Ferguson (Environmental Story, third). Melanie Sochan, Mo Mehlsak and Ferguson received the second-place award in the special Freedom of Information category.

In General Excellence competition for the state’s largest weekly print newspapers, awards were presented to the Mount Desert Islander of Bar Harbor (first place), The Ellsworth American (second) and The Forecaster.

The Portland Press Herald, York Weekly and Maine Sunday Telegram also received first-place awards for General Excellence in print newspapers in their divisions.

The contest was judged by journalists from other New England states and South Dakota. A list of all winners is available on the MPA website,

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