Express places third overallFree Access

Seven awards won in South Texas Press Association Better Newspaper Contest

The Pleasanton Express did well in the Better Newspaper Contest at the 92nd annual South Texas Press Association convention held in Kerrville. The paper won seven awards and the cumulative points landed them third place overall in the Bill and Judy Wilkerson Sweepstakes division. Left to right are Express crew Aaron Davidson, Sue Brown, Lisa Luna, Stephen Garcia, Hope Garza, Rebecca Pesqueda, Loni Just and Rhonda Chancellor. Missing from the photo are Leon Zabava, Maggie Rodriguez and Noel Wilkerson Holmes.

Sue Brown


The competition is always stiff but at least it is also friendly at the South Texas Press Association annual conventions. This year, the Pleasanton Express brought home seven awards that also placed them third in the Bill and Judy Wilkerson Sweepstakes Division.

Winning first place in Sports Photos division was Stephen Garcia. The judge commented “Great, great capture of moments. Way to put yourself in position to capture them.”

Lisa Luna and Robbie Hamby won second place in News Writing. “Nice job capturing the family’s and the community’s grief. These are so tough to write! Well done.” wrote the judge on the article by Hamby after the wreck that claimed the lives of Maddie and Tanner McCleary.

“Good work also on sand mine. Community controversy makes for good news writing,” commented the judge on Luna’s coverage on the silica frac sand mine in northern Atascosa County.

Lisa Luna also won second place for her Lifestyle Pages. The judge had this to say. “Great work. Pages give insight about life in Pleasanton and the surrounding area and inform readers about upcoming events. Good use of photos.”

The staff also won second place in Headline Writing.

The judge wrote “Party like it’s 1991- great hook to last time team made deep playoff run. Liberty and sparklers for all-  was a good head for the fun of the Fourth. ‘Snow news is good news – been a long time since you have been able to use ‘snow’ in a headline and you took good advantage of it. Tough pick between 1st and 2nd.”

Two Honorable Mentions were also given. Sue Brown’s editorials. “Good job making a national (and controversial) topic personal. I also like that the editorial in “Breaking the law for health” is tied in to an article in the paper. Another personal anecdote to illustrate your point in the “Goldilocks and the three stores” editorial – good! Though I wasn’t a huge fan of the Goldilocks metaphor.

Winning third place were our entries in Display Advertising. The judge offered these comments. “Artwork and colors of Cafe Chris really grab your attention – great looking ad. Gripping photo of firefighter on Front Page ad. Good colors on Chamber ads.”

The Express also won Honorable Mention in The Griff Singer Award of General Excellence division. “Good balance of hard and soft news on page 1 of 11/29 edition. Nice balance of local and political columns on opinion page. Very clean, easy to read design. Very good sports coverage, 9 column classifieds difficult to read. “Out and About” is a nice way to promote upcoming events. Nice Thanksgiving holiday feature on St. Matthew’s Soup Kitchen. Nice obituary page with big pictures.

Winning the Bill and Judy Wilkerson Sweepstakes was Fredericksburg Standard- Radio Post with Port Aransas South Jetty coming in second.

Also, during the annual meeting, Rhonda Chancellor, Pleasanton Express business manager, was elected as STPA’s newest board of directors’ member along with Sonya Timpone, Cuero Record.

The slate of officers elected were Chairman of the Board –  Joyce Hauk, Copperas Cove Banner; President – Chris Maher, Kingsville Record; 1st Vice President – Regina Keilers, The Fayette County Record; 2nd Vice President – Dan Parker, Port Aransas South Jetty; Treasurer – Jeff Berger, Hondo Anvil Herald; Historian – Sam Fore Keach, Nueces Record-Star retired; Assistants to the President – Mary Henkel Judson, Port Aransas Jetty and Larry Jackson, The Fayette County Record, retired; Media Services Chairman Site Selection Chairman – Chad Ferguson, Banner Press Newspaper; Lisa Walter, member at large; Scholarship/Intern Chairman – Cyndy Slovak-Barton, Hays Free Press and Finance Chairman – Sue Brown, Pleasanton Express.

Other board members include: Brandi Chionsini, Fenice Community Media; Karen Lopez, Sealy News; Manuel Azocar, Frio-Nueces Current; Ken Esten Cooke, Fredericksburg Standard-Radio Post; Melissa Perner, Ozona Stockman and Diane Cosgrove, Hondo Anvil Herald.

South Texas Press Association is one of the largest regional press associations in the nation.

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