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Daily Leader wins honors in AP contest

Two Daily Leader newspaper stories won first- and second-place honors in the Investigative/Public Service category at the Louisiana-Mississippi Associated Press competition.

The awards ceremony was Saturday in Jackson. The Daily Leader competed against newspapers with circulation of 75,000 or less.

The first-place award was given to the newspaper for a story about Daylan Browder, one of several people who had spent significant time in jail without an indictment. Browder had been jailed for close to a year when the story published. After the story published, Browder and five other inmates held at the county jail without an indictment had their cases taken to a grand jury.

The second-place honor was awarded for a story about Randy Smith, who had been jailed repeatedly for minor crimes and was in need of mental health treatment. Smith spent more than two years in jail waiting for treatment. After a story about his case was published in The Daily Leader, Smith was released from jail and committed to the state hospital.

Former managing editor Adam Northam authored both stories.

“These stories show that newspapers continue to have a significant impact on the communities they serve,” Daily Leader Publisher Luke Horton said. “Without these stories, it is doubtful that Daylan Browder would have had his day in court when he did. And Randy Smith might still be in jail — instead of in a hospital getting treatment —without our story.”

The Daily Leader also won a first-place award for Layout & Design and second place awards for General News and Breaking News.