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The 2015 Maine Press Association Better Newspaper Contest Awards were announced Oct. 17 in Bangor. Special awards included:

Journalist of the Year: Scott Dolan

Best Daily: Portland Press Herald

Best Weekend Edition: Maine Sunday Telegram

MPA Hall of Fame induction: Bill Nemitz, columnist

Unsung Hero Award: Melanie Creamer, staff writer





Dozens of officers gather to pay respects to Sultan, a retired K-9 with the Yarmouth Police Department who was taking his last trip.

Andy Gove can tell you a thing or two about lobstering. He’s been doing that job for 77 years in the icy waters of Maine’s Penobscot Bay.

In York County, Jimmy the Milkman has launched a new milk delivery business that provides Maine-made dairy products, baked goods and meat.

One pig wears a GoPro as a group of 4H-ers race their piglets across the Show Arena. Enticed by tasty treats like cookies, Doritos, and candy bars, the pigs burst out of the starting gate and (mostly) head toward their owner.

Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram

First place

Business section: Staff
Sports section: Staff
Feature section: Staff
Editorial page: Sarah Collins & Greg Kesich
Scenic photo: Gregory Rec, “Sea smoke photographer”
People photo: Gabe Souza, “New citizen”
Picture story: Gabe Souza, “Passamaquoddys”
News video: Shawn Patrick Ouellette and Susan Kimball, “Maine officers salute police dog in emotional farewell”
Features/Lifestyle video: Amelia Kunhardt and Susan Kimball, “Old Man of the sea: Lobsterman, 84, has no plans to retire”
Continuing story: Beth Quimby, Edward D. Murphy, Randy Billings “Five dead in house fire on Portland’s Noyes Street”
Spot news story: Beth Quimby, Edward D. Murphy, Randy Billings “Five dead in house fire on Portland’s Noyes Street”
Feature story: Colin Woodard, “Unsettled: Triumph and Tragedy in Maine’s Indian Country”
Environmental story: Tux Turkel, “Does northern Maine’s economic future depend on a walk in the park?”
Business story: Whit Richardson, “How much further can Millinocket fall?”
Education story: Noel Gallagher, “Cost of higher education draining Mainers”
Health story: Kelley Bouchard, “Someone to watch over the journey’s end”
Sports news story: Deirdre Fleming, “Bear debate marked by contrast in funding”
Editorial: Greg Kesich, “Our View: South Portland students give lesson in patriotism”
Critic’s Award: James Schwartz, “Dine Out Maine: Street and Co. in Portland”
News/sports headline: Allison Busemeyer, “Some claws for alarm”
Specialty Page Design: Sally Ericson, Food & Dining
Freedom of Information: Scott Dolan
Best Young Reader Engagement: Staff
Self-Promotion: Staff
Best new revenue idea: Staff

Second place

Continuing story: Dennis Hoey, “Another blow to Maine’s paper industry: Verso Paper to close Bucksport mill Dec. 1, displacing more than 500 workers”
Investigative report: Joe Lawlor, “At state-run Riverview, danger and dysfunction pervasive”
Feature story: Eric Russell, “Cancer couldn’t stop Windham couple from saying, ‘I do'”
Food story/Feature: Mary Pols, “Farmer grows familiar foods for Maine’s African refugees”
Environmental story: John Richardson, “Tar sands battleground: South Portland”
Editorial: Sarah Collins, “Our View: With food-stamp cutoff, Maine’s able-bodied jobless snared in Catch-22”
Opinion columnist: Alan Caron, “Alan Caron: An inability to apologize makes LePage one sorry governor”
News blogger: Steve Mistler, “Capitol Ticker”
Scenic photo: Gregory Rec, “Sea smoke boat”
Features/Lifestyle video: Gabe Souza, “Jimmy the Milkman delivers dairy goods in York County”
News/sports headline: Nate Thompson, “Google barge moving, but where?”
Feature headline: John Willhoite, “No doubting Thomas”
Front Page Design: Brian Robitaille, “What the city won’t tell you”
Special Online Project/Section: Peter Vachon, Colin Woodard, Gabe Souza, “Unsettled”
Best circulation promotion: Staff

Third place

Food story/Feature: Meredith Goad: “Tracing family history via great-great-grandmother’s skillets”
Sports profile: Mark Emmert, “Former Sea Dogs catcher battered but far from broken”
Opinion columnist: Greg Kesich, “Greg Kesich: Mayhew’s campaign against Portland takes a bizarre turn”
Sports columnist: Steve Solloway
Local columnist: Bill Nemitz, “Terror, not truth welcomes returning hero nurse”
Critic’s Award: Daniel Kany, “Art review: A Dutch master to remember at Bowdoin museum”
Sports blogger: Mark Emmert, “Black Bear Essentials”
Sports photo: Gabe Souza, “Ice time sleeper”
Features/Lifestyle video: Gabe Souza, “Pig racing (with a GoPro) at the Cumberland County Fair”
Illustration: Michael Fisher, “Fast or furious”
Graphic: Michael Fisher, “Chronic pain”
Front Page Design: Brian Robitaille, “Unsettled”
Special Online Project/Section: Peter Vachon & Yoon Byun, “Photos of the Year”
Best supplement cover: Melissa Pritchard, President’s Day Auto