WTVA wins 20 awards from Miss. AP Broadcasters

Reported by: Craig Ford
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Updated: 4/21/2013 1:37 pm
JACKSON, Miss. (WTVA) — WTVA has won 20 journalism awards from the Mississippi Associated Press Broadcasters for its efforts during 2012, the most honors among small-market television stations in the state.

The station was recognized for its coverage of the end of the Adam Mayes manhunt, winning first place in the achievement and spot news categories.

Matt Laubhan won first place for weathercast while Jim Holder took the top honor for sportscast.

Julee Brown earned first place for feature story and feature story photography with a story about a family of brick masons in Monroe County.

C.J. LeMaster and David Chimahusky won the top news photography honor for a story on texting and driving.

Judges named Positively Mississippi, a series of local good news stories, the best news franchise.

WTVA also took the top honor for public affairs reporting with its series of stories looking at areas one year after they were devastated by the April 2011 tornadoes.

Other awards were given for the station's newscast, its Web site, its high school football program, a behind-the-scenes look at that program, a law enforcement manhunt in Myrtle, a week-long look at local military veterans, a story on a pageant mother and a story on extreme couponing.

In the college competition, the University of Mississippi won best television newscast.  Stewart Pirani, Gerard Manogin, John Monteith, Jordan Wyton and Lauren Loyless were credited with the honor.  Ole Miss also walked away with awards for another newscast, a look at the university 50 years after integration and a series of stories on a trip by students to the country of Togo.

Mississippi State University's Ryan Hoke and Renny Vandewege took the best weathercast honor.  Other awards for MSU were given for another weathercast, a sportscast, a story on overcoming a fear of bugs and a story on a Starkville school using farm-grown food for student lunches.

The awards were presented Saturday night in Jackson at the MAPB's annual awards banquet.

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