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The Bainbridge Review earned first place General Excellence honors in the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association contest for 2001.The award was announced at the WNPA's annual convention, held in Tacoma over the weekend.The Review topped 22 peer newspapers around the state with circulation of 5,001 to 9,000. Judges cited the paper's front-page design; news coverage that was attentive to community diversity; and the strongest editorials among entries judged - local and pointed.Second place went to the Journal of the San Juans, and third place to the Whidbey News-Times.Top individual winner for the Review was photographer Ryan Schierling, who came home with three first place and three second place awards.Earning blue ribbons were Schierling's feature photo of Raging Bull, from the BHS Spring Festival; Video Vanguard, a portrait of island performance artist Annie Mendenhall described by judges as Wow! Fantastic image, great idea. A tough picture to take and reproduce.; and his spot news photo of an island woman and her cat, safe and sound after a residential blaze.Staff writer John Waldo earned first place honors in comprehensive coverage for his six-part series on the affordable housing issue and the Strawberry Place self-help development. Waldo also earned second place in general news reporting, for his story on the sale of the 550 Madison apartment building, which resulted in purchase of the low-income building by the Kitsap County Consolidated Housing Authority.Dee Axelrod earned a second place award for arts reporting for Schubert comes alive, a classical music preview.Editor Douglas Crist earned third place for opinion writing for A contract for helmet foes, a commentary in support of a city bicycle helmet ordinance.The general excellence award marked the fifth time in the past 12 years that the Review topped its peer newspapers around the state, having earned first place previously in 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1997.