The Register earned the top honor at the annual Associated Press awards program Sunday, bringing home first place in the best of show general excellence category.
It’s the sixth time in the last seven years the Register won the best daily newspaper award in competition with 10 other newspapers. The news team has topped the category every year since 2007, except in 2012, when it placed second in the competition.
Newspapers in the Register’s circulation category include the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram, the Lorain Morning Journal and the Findlay Courier.
Sixty-four daily newspapers submitted 2,599 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, columns, graphics and photos from 2013.
Digital editor Jason Werling and sanduskyregister.com also earned top honor in digital news/best use of multimedia presentation with “Decision 2013” wall-to-wall election coverage, taking first place in the category.
Register reporter Courtney Astolfi nailed top place in the investigative category. Astolfi earned first place for her work on “Campbell Street House Fire, Murder,” about a resident who was killed by unknown assailants who set his home ablaze, destroying evidence of the crime.
“The reporter took the initiative to find the story, even after the police initially turned her away,” the judges wrote. “She also managed to humanize the victim without losing objectivity.”
Astolfi also earned third place for best investigative news.
Reporter Andy Ouriel earned first place in the best business writer category.
Register sports editor Mark Hazelwood earned best special sports section second place for "100 Years Forward," a special magazine celebrating the legendary coach's perfection of the forward pass on the Cedar Point beach.
Chief design editor Mike Schaffer and lead design editor Nick Davis took first place for best front page. Schaffer also snagged first for best headline writer, and Davis earned first place in best info graphic and second place for best full page layout.
Design editor Karen Holcomb earned second place in the best graphics artist category, and design editor Karen Mork took second in headline writing.
Photo chief Luke Wark earned five AP awards: Both first and third place for best breaking news photos; third place in the best photographer category; and third place in best general news photo and photo essay categories.
Photographer Angela Wilhelm won first place in the photo essay competition; second in best sports photo; and second in best photographer category.
Register managing editor Matt Westerhold earned second place in the best editorial writer category.
The awards program took place in Columbus, with more than 300 in attendance.