American Press wins 13 LPA awards

Published 4:16 pm Saturday, July 2, 2022

BATON ROUGE — The American Press won 13 news and advertising awards at the Louisiana Press Association’s 2021 Better Newspaper Competition, including a first-place finish for photography.

Photographer Rick Hickman won the top honors in sports photography for an image of the Oak Grove baseball team dogpiling Chad Ashburn after he pitched a no-hitter to lead the Tigers to a 4-1 win in the Class 1A state baseball tournament finals. 

Hickman also placed second in best feature photo for an image of Staff Sgt. Corey Aguillard surprising his two children at school with a tear-filled, unexpected return from deployment. He placed third in news photos for a picture of Paul and April Pettefer’s home on Hemlock Street, which was split open after being severely damaged by a tornado in October. 

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Sports page designer Nick Walsh placed second in the headline category with “On my Ward,” which was packaged with a profile piece on Incarnate Word freshman quarterback Cameron Ward.

Design editor Donna Price received second in front page layout for a six-month Hurricane Laura anniversary package of then-and-now recovery photos. She also received third in the layout and design category for the package “Fully Lit,” which detailed how Dennis Murdock transformed his Hodges Street home into a Mardi Gras showplace.

Executive editor Crystal Stevenson placed third in feature writing for a story about attorney Tristan Gruspier, who served three years as part of an Army infantry’s “Old Guard.” Stevenson and sports writer Rodrick Anderson also placed second in the best website category. 

News writer Rita LeBleu placed third in the column category for a feature on her mother’s homemade Thanksgiving dressing.

Graphic designer Grant Kelly placed third in the multi-advertising design category for his “Honoring Our Heroes” Veterans Day package.

Columnist Jim Beam placed third in editorial for his piece on U.S. Rep. Clay Higgins challenging an Alaska man to a fight in a Facebook post.

The American Press also received second place in the general excellence category and third place for its annual high school preview special section. 

The Georgia Press Association judged the 42 LPA member publications that entered the contest, along with college, and university student newspapers. The American Press  competes in Division I against The Advocate in Baton Rouge, The Times Picayune/New Orleans Advocate, Daily Advertiser in Lafayette and Daily Courier in Houma.