---- — PLATTSBURGH — The Press-Republican won five awards in the 2013 Associated Press contest, announced recently at a luncheon in Saratoga.
The newspaper was honored for breaking-news coverage, photography, entertainment writing and editorials.
Publisher Bob Parks said the awards were especially rewarding because the newspaper was competing for the first time in a revised category that included much larger papers of up to 45,000 circulation.
Staff Writer Joe LoTemplio won first place for Spot News Reporting for "Three die in horrific house fire," which appeared in the print edition on July 5, 2013.
Three people died in the fire at a home at 31 Homestead Drive in Plattsburgh on the Fourth of July last year.
The victims were elderly residents of a two-story, wood-frame house, which was a certified adult-family home.
The fire was so intense that firefighters could not enter to save the victims. Two of them were in an upstairs room and the third was found near the stairwell.
Family members were rescued from the home by neighbors after the fast-moving blaze first started.
The cause of the fire was later determined to be three young children playing with a lighter.
Gabe Dickens won first place in Sports Photography for a Nov. 6, 2013, photo of quick action during a Plattsburgh State vs. Buffalo men's soccer game.
When the game went into overtime, Dickens positioned himself on the sideline at mid-field. With one minute gone in the first overtime, he watched Plattsburgh State's Joe Aratari loft a ball from the corner toward the opponent's goal, so he quickly focused his camera on teammate Fabian Chapparo, waiting in front, and rattled off five photographs.
The picture was timed perfectly, catching the exact moment Chapparo's body is parallel to the ground with his right foot making contact with the ball.
But what really elevates the photograph is the somewhat unconventional vantage point that allowed Dickens to get Buffalo State's goaltender in the frame with his look of determination.
That photo also earned Dickens the prestigious Bernard J. Kolenberg Award for Best in Show in the Associated Press contest.
The award is named for an Albany Times-Union photographer killed in a plane crash in Vietnam while he was covering the war for The Associated Press.
Robin Caudell, features reporter for the Press-Republican, won second place for Arts/Entertainment Writing for "Former professor's memoir a 'Mad Men' fix."
The story was published in the Thursday, Sept. 19, 2013, edition of the Press-Republican.
Caudell profiled SUNY Plattsburgh professor emerita of English Janet Groth, whose memoir, “The Receptionist: An Education at The New Yorker,” was a New York Times bestseller.
In its fourth printing, the book is an expose of the Midwestern ingenue’s 20 years on the 18th floor of the iconic publication and her exploits in New York City and abroad, where she met literary giants during the William Shawn years.
Editor Lois Clermont won second place for Editorial Writing for a group of three editorials: “Give restaurants this advantage,” which appeared on April 25, 2013; “City action on test unethical” from April 21, 2013; and "Leave religion out of decisions," which ran on May 10, 2013.
All of the editorials took a strong stand against decisions made by members of local governments.