The Lake Oswego Review claimed three first-place awards among the 17 honors received during the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association 2006 Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were announced Friday during the association's annual summer publishers convention at the Mountain in Welches.

The awards were based on work completed during 2005 and judged by members of the Mississippi Press Association earlier this summer.

Photographer Vern Uyetake captured first-place awards for best section front/inside page design and graphics. In fact, he swept the graphics category, taking first, second and third places.

City Reporter Lee van der Voo earned first place in public service journalism for her series of stories associated with Oswego Lake.

'Seventeen ONPA awards is an excellent showing,' said Review Editor Martin Forbes. 'We are pleased to have so many of our people honored across the board.'

Among the other Review honors were:

Second place

Forbes, best headline writing;

Uyetake, best graphic;

Former Education Reporter Alandra Johnson, best feature story, general.

Third place

Forbes, best page one design, best editorial page;

Uyetake, best graphics;

Jaime Valdez, best sports photo;

Reporter Matthew Sherman, best sports story;

Reporter Barb Randall, best local column;

Former Reporter Julie Russell, best feature story, personality.

Honorable Mention

Forbes, best editorial;

Uyetake, best photo essay;

Johnson, best educational coverage

Uyetake and Johnson, best special section or issue (2005 graduation section).

In addition, Cliff Newell, a features writer for the Review and West Linn Tidings, won a first place award in the best feature story, general, category, while working last year for our sister newspaper, the Forest Grove News-Times.

The Tidings, which shares newsroom facilities and some staff members with the Review, captured 11 ONPA awards, including a second place in the general excellence category.

Tidings staff members also won:

First place

Reporter Nicole DeCosta, best silk purse story;

Second place

Editor Tracy Stepp and Uyetake, page one design;

Uyetake, best section front/inside page design; best feature photo, best photo essay;

DeCosta, best enterprise reporting.

Third place

Uyetake, best headline writing, best photo essay;

Reporter Jim Hart, best enterprise reporting;

Staff, best special section or issue (Old Time Fair).

Also, former Tidings Editor Ray Pitz won a third-place award for best education coverage in his new position as a reporter for our sister newspaper the Beaverton Valley Times.

Altogether, papers from Community Newspapers collected 78 awards in the large weekly or twice-a-week newspaper category. An additional 15 awards were brought in by Community Newspaper papers or the Portland Tribune in the 2006 Associate Members contest.

Of the 88 eligible general member newspapers, 59 submitted entries in the 2006 Better Newspaper contest, and 57 of those participating newspapers won one or more awards in the 27 categories. A total of 2,294 submissions were received for the contest.

ONPA also presented the Jerry Latham-Mail Tribune Award, which recognizes the daily and weekly newspaper with the highest percentage increase in circulation during the preceding year. The daily award-winner was The Bulletin in Bend, and the weekly newspaper receiving this honor was the News-Times in Newport.

ONPA, founded in 1887, is a professional association of the state's daily and nondaily paid circulation newspapers.

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