Reporters, editors, graphics designers and photographers from The Times Orange County Edition earned 44 awards, including 17 first-place honors, Saturday night in the 38th Annual Orange County Press Club competition at the Waterfront Hilton.
The Orange County Register took 14 awards, five of which were first-place honors. Other local publications that won first-place awards were the Daily Pilot, the Orange County Business Journal, South County News and the Orange County Metropolitan.
Times staff writer Dan Weikel and Times photographers Lacy Atkins and Mark Boster each took home two first-place trophies.
Weikel earned top honors for best magazine story as well as a special plaque with Times staff writer Nancy Wride for the Watchdog Award, the club's most prestigious prize for excellence in government reporting. The Watchdog Award was given for the team's series of stories on an ongoing sexual harassment scandal involving the Newport Beach Police Department.
Atkins won for best news photo and photographic essay while Boster picked up first-place honors for best feature photo and photographic portfolio.
Winning the press club's award for investigative writing, the organization's other special award, was Times staff writer Davan Maharaj, who won for a series about an attorney who arranged to inherit millions of dollars from elderly South County residents.
Other Times writing winners included: Helene Elliott for best daily news story; Helaine Olen for best feature story; Jeanne Wright for best story on legal issues; Marla Cone for best story on science and technology; Pat Mott for best sports story; and Frank Messina for best entertainment story.
Times copy editor Carrie Barber took top honors for best headline portfolio, while Times news editor Mark Yemma won for best news layout. Times design editor Chuck Nigash earned a trophy for best feature page layout, while Times artist Scott Brown won for best graphics portfolio.
Register first-place winners were: Tracy Weber for best beat daily, Bill Johnson and David McQuay for best column, and Martin Smith for best story on social issues and best humorous story.
In the weekly categories, Business Journal reporter Howard Fine took top honors for best news story, South County News reporter Marnie McLeod won for best feature, and South County News reporter Jennifer Bush for best beat in the weekly category. Orange County Metropolitan reporter Ray Giles won for best story on politics and government and Daily Pilot reporter LoriAnn Basheda for best package or series.
Business Journal reporter Kelly Barron won a first-place trophy for best business story as well as sharing a first-place award for the best news story in the weekly category with Business Journal colleague Fine.
South County News photographer Don Leach took two first-place awards for best sports photo and best photographic portrait.
In the public relations category, UC Irvine's Scott Nelson won for best feature release, UCI's Cynthia Morris won for best news release and UCI's Barbara Cronin won for best internal publication.
Winner for the best external publication in the public relations category was Annie Wear of Nelson Communications.
In the student category, press club board member Staci Turner, a Cal State Fullerton journalism student, won first place for best news story in a student publication, while Kathy Stickel of Orange Coast College won for the best feature story in a student publication.
News story (daily): second to Nancy Wride of The Times, third to Russ Stanton of the Register and James M. Gomez of The Times.
News story (weekly): second to Kelly Barron of the Business Journal, and third to Marnie McLeod of South County News and Roger Bloom and Mimi Ko of the Newport News.
Feature story (daily): second to Kristina Lindgren, third to Eric Bailey, both of The Times.
Feature story (weekly): second to Jacob Schreiber, third to Tom Vasich, both of the Orange County Metropolitan.
Beat (daily): second to Gary Warner of the Register, third to Michael Flagg of The Times.
Beat (weekly): second to Howard Fine of the Business Journal, third to Mark Ryan of the South County News.
Story on business and finance: second to Russ Stanton of the Register, third to Ted Johnson of The Times.
Column and commentary: no second given, third to William Lobdell of the Daily Pilot.
Editorial: second to Don Angel of The Times.
Story on legal issues: second to Pat Mott of The Times, third to Susan Kelleher of the Register.
Story on science and technology: second to Leslie Berkman and Leslie Earnest of The Times. No third awarded.
Story on social issues: second to Dawn Bonker of the Register, third to Marla Cone, Eric Young, David Reyes and Mike Flagg of The Times.
Sports story: second to Leslie Berkman of The Times, third to Michelle Himmelberg of the Register.
Entertainment story: second to Jim Washburn of The Times, third to Erik Himmelsbach of Orange Coast Magazine.
Magazine story: second to Jim Washburn of The Times, third to Eve Belson of Orange Coast Magazine.
Package or series: second to Marla Cone of The Times, third to Tracy Weber of the Register.
Humorous story: second to Leslie Earnest of The Times, no third awarded.
Investigative: second to Gary Warner of the Register, no third awarded.
Headline portfolio: second to Don Chapman of South County News, third to Tom Vasich of Orange County Metropolitan and Matt Coker of the Daily Pilot.
News page layout: second to George Foulsham of The Times, third to Roger Carlson of the Daily Pilot.
Feature page layout: second to Roger Carlson of the Daily Pilot, third to David Medzerian of the Register.
Graphics illustration: second to David Puckett, third to Dennis Lowe, both of The Times.
Graphic portfolio: second to Dennis Lowe, third to David Puckett, both of The Times.
News photo: second to Mark Boster, no third awarded.
Feature photo: second to David Carlson of South County News, no third awarded.
Sports photo: second to David Carlson of South County News, no third awarded.
Portrait: second to Alexander Gallardo of The Times, no third awarded.
Photo essay: second to Gail Fisher of The Times, no third awarded.
Photographic portfolio: second to Jim Max of South County News, no third awarded.
News release: second to Dorothy Jean of UCI Medical Center, third to Randall Black of UC Irvine.
Feature release: second to Tracy Childs of Nelson Communications, third to Dorothy Jean of UCI Medical Center.
Internal publication: second to Leanne Pease of the DA/Aimes Group, no third awarded.
External Publication: second to Tracy Childs of Nelson Communications, no third awarded.
News in a student publication: second to Shraddha Swaroop of Cal State Fullerton, third to Kathy Stickel and David Silva, both of Orange Coast College.
Feature in a student publication: second to Shraddha Swaroop and third to Marie Loggia, both of Cal State Fullerton.