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.