The East Valley Tribune was named Newspaper of the Year on Saturday during the Arizona Newspapers Association's annual awards ceremony.
It was the fifth year in a row the newspaper has won the contest's highest honor. The award, part of the group's Better Newspaper Contest, is calculated from honors in both the journalism and advertising divisions of the contest.
The Arizona Republic won first place for general excellence, with the Tribune taking second in that category.
In addition to the journalism awards announced Saturday at the new Cronkite Journalism School in downtown Phoenix, state Rep. Kirk Adams, R-Mesa, was presented with a Freedom of Information award for his efforts to open up public records.
Adams sponsored legislation aimed at making the Child Protective Services agency more open and publicly accountable.
The Tribune was awarded FOI awards, too, one for its series "Reading, Writing and Wrongdoing" by reporter Mike Sakal that used public records and a Tribune-generated database to examine the number of public school teachers involved in sexual misconduct cases.
The Tribune's legal efforts to obtain reports and other documents involving Johnson Utilities and the town of Florence also garnered a FOI award.
The Tribune is one of four Arizona newspapers that compete in the category for papers with circulation greater than 25,000.
Tribune photographer Ralph Freso won multiple awards, including both first and second places in both the sports photo and feature photo layout categories.
Reporter Mary K. Reinhart won first place for news story for her examination of health care concerns in the Maricopa County jail.
Reporters Mark Flatten and Jason Massad won first place for sustained coverage/series for a four-part series on Cactus Towing that looked at the politics and policies in Mesa and Chandler that led to the company being given lucrative towing contracts.
Opinion Page Editor Bob Satnan won a first place award for column writing for a piece called "From The Coach's View."
In other awards, the Tribune placed second for best use of photography, page design, community service and special sections.
The paper also placed third in the categories of reporting and news writing and departmental news and copy editing.
The paper's Web site, eastvalleytribune.com, also took second place in the Web site category.
Flatten won a second place award for a story that explored the impact of the children of illegal immigrants on, among other things, the health care and educational systems.
And former Tribune feature writer Martin Cizmar won a second for lifestyle feature story.
Tribune reporter Ryan Gabrielson won a third place for his series "Grand Sham" that looked at community college coaching classes
Reporter Gary Grado took third place for his story "I'm Guilty," an exclusive jailhouse interview with murder suspect William Miller in which he confessed to Grado his role in the killings of five people in east Mesa.