The Potomac News and the Manassas Journal Messenger received 25 writing, photography and design awards at the annual Virginia Press Association’s ceremonies Saturday in Roanoke.
The Potomac News competed in the 20,000 to 50,000 circulation category and the Manassas Journal Messenger in the under 20,000 circulation category.
The Stafford County Sun won three awards in the 14,000 or above circulation category for weekly newspapers.
The papers are owned by Media General Northern Virginia Community Newspapers.
Potomac News photographers took eight awards in the contest.
Ana Pimsler won first place for her feature photo of girls dressed as fairies for a wedding.
Donnie Biggs won second place in pictorial photo for his photo of horses being led into a barn and third place for a general news photo of high school graduates waiting in a hallway.
Director of photography Dylan Moore won second place for his photo illustration for a story about a local baseball team signing as a farm team with the Washington Nationals Major League baseball team.
Joe Brier won first place in the spot news category for his photo of a truck driver sitting beside his overturned vehicle. He placed third for his portrait of three high school basketball players.
Pete Cihelka placed third for his spot news photo of a firefighter carrying an injured cat to safety.
Larry Giberson placed first in the sports news category for his photo of a car that flipped during a Nascar race.
Graphic artist Jeremy Boyd won second place for his illustration for a story on Virginia’s haunted past.
The paper took six awards for writing and one in the category of combination picture-story.
Sports writer Dave Utnik won first place for his coverage of the regional softball championship game in sports competition writing.
Reporter Rob Seal won first place for public safety writing for his three entries dealing with a death row inmate, an interview with the mother of a slain teen and the trial of a man accused of stalking.
Executive editor Susan Svihlik won second place for column writing.
Photographer Biggs and reporter David Stegon won second place for their picture-story about a child’s struggle that changed state newborn screening laws.
Features writer Emily Brown won second place in both critical writing and home, leisure and entertainment categories.
Features writer James Martin won third place for critical writing.
The papers’ editors and designers took five awards.
Sports editor Dave Fawcett and editor/designers Tom Lawson, Byron Barboza, Chris Errington, Kipp Hanley, Brian Hunsicker and Dave Utnik took first place for sports page design.
Lynn Hrivnak won first place for design of business pages.
The copy desk staff of Eden Miller, Lori-Anne Dowling, Jeremy Doehnert and Patrick Doherty won second place for front page design.
Features editor Gail Choochan and page designers and editors Lynn Hrivnak, James Martin and Mary Scites placed second for lifestyle and entertainment pages.
The paper also placed third for general makeup.
Manassas Journal Messenger
Moore won first place for the Journal Messenger in the general news photo category for his photograph of a little boy holding a flag.
Biggs placed second in the feature photo category for his picture of fourth-graders jumping.
Scites placed second in the business page category.
The staff placed second in general makeup.
Stafford County Sun
Photographer Brier placed third for his photo illustration for a story about underage drinking.
Cartoonist Frank Lewis placed third for his editorial cartoons which the judges said provided a “nice topical commentary that is informed and passionate.”
Sun managing editor Andrea Russell placed third in health, science and environment writing for three stories about mapping historical sites, recent archeological finds and the new NSTAR program.