Times Record reporter Hannah LaClaire was recognized with the Bob Drake Young Writers Award on Saturday at the Maine Press Association annual conference. (Times Record Staff)

Staff at The Times Record received several awards Saturday at the Maine Press Association annual conference in South PortlandReporter Hannah LaClaire took home the Bob Drake Young Writer’s Award, which is given to a journalist with less than two years of experience. 

LaClaire, who joined The Times Record in 2018, covers the communities of Brunswick and Freeport, which includes Bowdoin College and the ongoing redevelopment of the former Brunswick Naval Air Station.  

In introducing LaClaire at the awards banquet, Times Record Executive Editor John Swinconeck saidAbout a year and a half ago, The Times Record newsroom was challenged to up our game by bringing a greater watchdog sensibility to our journalismTo do that, we knew we’d have to get a crackerjack reporter – someone who was a top-notch critical thinker, someone who could both engender a sense of trust with sources and be unafraid to hold those in power to account. … Hannah LaClaire checked all those boxes, and more. 

LaClaire’s reporting has covered allegations of a school administrator bullying staff, a complicated push to expand aquaculture, attempts to expand and relocate a homeless shelter, the resettling of refugees in Brunswick and heartfelt story on a young man who died of an opioid overdose. 

Swinconeck said he believed LaClaire’s recognition serves as proof that The Times Record’s newsroom is a place where budding journalists can thrive. 

“If you are passionate about honing your craft as a reporter, The Times Record is a great place to begin your career,” he said. 

LaClaire on Saturday also received two first place awards for her reporting. She topped the Analysis category for a story on homelessness in Brunswick, as well as the Education Story category for her coverage of the roadblocks facing parents who want to see their children enrolled in Pre-K programs. 

More award-winners 

Nathan Strout won second place for Analysis for a story on the future of the Zumwalt-class destroyer, built at Bath Iron Works. 

Darcie Moore, Nathan Strout and Chris Quattrucci were awarded third place for Continuing Story for coverage of the 2018 rabies outbreak in Brunswick. 

Alicia Bane won third place for Specialty Page Design for an edition of the paper’s Home & Family section. 

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