Review news staff wins statewide journalism awards

Bainbridge Island Review reporter Richard D. Oxley and former newsroom staffer Connie Mears were recognized for their outstanding work during the annual convention for the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association.

Oxley won a third-place award in the Best Breaking News Story category for his coverage of the city of Bainbridge Island's firing of city manager Brenda Bauer.

Mears earned a first-place award for Best Feature Page Design.

Brian Kelly, the editor of the Bainbridge Review, also received recognition for work done at his previous newspaper, the South Whidbey Record. He won five individual awards.

Kelly picked up first-place and second-place awards in the Best Crime and Court Story for stories about a first-degree murder case in Freeland involving a former beauty queen.

He also won second place in the Best Breaking News Story division, and garnered another second-place award for Best Color Portrait. Kelly also received a first-place award for Best Front Page Design.

Kelly, who became the editor of the Bainbridge Review in March, was also presented a first-place General Excellence award after the South Whidbey Record was named the best newspaper for its size in the state. It was the second year in a row the newspaper earned General Excellence honors.

The competition was judged by the New York Press Association, and the contest period for most entries was April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012.

More than 2,200 entries were submitted by 73 newspapers in Washington state.

The convention was held this past weekend in Yakima, and the winners of the Washington Better Newspaper Contest were announced at an awards dinner on Sept. 28.

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