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LEADER news staff wins 12 awards

SANDESTIN, Fla. – The DAILY LEADER news staff captured 12 awards, including four first-place honors and second-place recognition for General Excellence, Saturday during the Mississippi Press Association’s 2011 Better Newspaper Contest Awards Ceremony.

     Among first-place awards, the newspaper was honored for Best Front Page, Best Design and Best Special Section for the Summer Edition of FOCUS 2011. Managing Editor Matt Coleman received a first-place award in the Best Spot News Photo category for a picture taken during the fire at Phillips bark plant last May.

     Second-place awards went to Lifestyles Editor Tammie Brewer for Best Lifestyles Section, Sports Editor Tom Goetz for Best Sports Column, Coleman for Best General Interest Column, Staff Writer Caleb Bedillion for Best General News Story for coverage of last year’s football game school prayer issue, former Staff Writer Chad Lederman for Best Spot News Story for coverage of the Phillips fire and the newspaper staff for General Excellence. The DAILY LEADER shared the second-place General Excellence honor with The Oxford Eagle.

     Coleman received third-place recognition in the Best Editorial Page category and Goetz garnered a third-place award in the Best Sports Story category.

     The DAILY LEADER competed in the Daily Division I category for Mississippi newspapers with circulations under 9,000.

     Awards were presented during the five-state Southeastern Press Convention, which was held in Sandestin, Fla. Newspaper associations from Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Louisiana and Georgia participated in the convention.