Herald-Star, staff writers named finalists in AP awards

COLUMBUS — A Herald-Star staff writer and a former staff writer have been named individual finalists, and the newspaper has been named a finalist in four other categories in the 2017 Ohio Associated Press Media Editors newspaper contest.

Paul Giannamore is a finalist in the best business writer category, while the recently retired Dave Gossett is a finalist in the best news photo category.

The newspaper’s staff is a finalist in several categories, including best sports enterprise, best special sports section, best public service and best spot news coverage.

Football Extra, our weekly preview of high school football action, is a finalist in the best sports enterprise category, while our annual football preview edition, “The Gridiron 17,” is a finalist in the best special sports section category.

The special section that is produced in conjunction with our annual Community Stars dinner is a finalist in the best public service category, while our coverage of the August shooting of Judge Joseph Bruzzese is a finalist in the spot news category.

Three finalists in each of the contest’s categories were named Monday. The actual order of finish will be announced March 24 during the annual awards banquet at the Hilton Columbus at Easton Town Center.

Sixty-four daily newspapers submitted 1,922 entries in the contest, which featured news and sports stories, features, editorials, graphics, columns and photos from 2017. The Herald-Star competes in Division II, which includes newspapers with a daily circulation of 8,000 to 11,999.

“Congratulations to our staff members for being named finalists,” said Ross Gallabrese executive editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. “They work hard every day to ensure that our readers get the best possible coverage, and it’s gratifying to see their efforts have been recognized by their peers.”

Gossett’s best news photo nomination is for “Working to save a family dog,” which was taken at the scene of a fire that occurred on April 14. Other finalists in the category are Warren Dillaway of The (Ashtabula) Star Beacon and Halee Heironimus of The Medina Gazette.

Other finalists in the best business writer category are Ed Carroll of the Cleveland Jewish News and Kent Mallett of The (Newark) Advocate. Also named finalists in the best sports enterprise category were Michael Burich of the Lisbon Morning Journal for “The Loss of Win” and Albert Grindle of the Medina Gazette for “Black River Streak.”

Joining the Herald-Star as a finalist in the best special sports section category were football preview editions from The Medina Gazette and The (Newark) Advocate.

Other finalists in the best public service category are Amanda Koehn of the Cleveland Jewish News for coverage of the opioid crisis and Shelly Schultz of the Zanesville Times Recorder for “Vietnam Veterans.” Finalists in the best spot news category include Melanie Speicher of The Sydney Daily News for “Firefighters rescue fisherman,” and The Newark Advocate for “21st Street shooting.”

Entries in Division II were judged by editors from the Niagra-Gazette in Niagra Falls, N.Y., and the Cadillac (Mich.) News.