Sunday, November 19, 2017
Business

Times wins highest honors, 13 firsts in Sunshine State Awards contest

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Times staff

The Tampa Bay Times received top honors, including 13 first places and 25 wins overall, in the annual Sunshine State Awards competition.

The statewide contest is sponsored by the South Florida Pro chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Two series that received Pulitzer Prizes earlier this year won in the Special Categories division.

• Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner won the James Batten Award for Public Service for "Failure Factories," a series about failing Pinellas County schools.

"Insane. Invisible. In Danger," a joint Times investigation with the Sarasota Herald-Tribune about Florida's mental hospital system, won the Gene Miller Award for Investigative Reporting for Times reporters Leonora LaPeter Anton and Anthony Cormier and Herald-Tribune reporter Michael Braga.

Also placing as finalists in Special Categories were Steve Bousquet in the Integrity Florida Award for Public Corruption Reporting for "Florida Department of Law Enforcement chief's firing is investigated"; and Sherri Day in the Diversity Award for her commentary on race.

This year's first-place winners in the Newspapers and Online divisions are:

• Leonora LaPeter Anton, Anthony Cormier and Michael Braga in Series for "Insane. Invisible. In Danger." They also won first place in Online Package.

• Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick and Lisa Gartner in Data Reporting for "Failure Factories." They also won second place in Series.

• Alexandra Zayas and Kameel Stanley in Non-Deadline Reporting for "Biking While Black."

• Ben Montgomery, Craig Pittman and Zachary T. Sampson in Breaking News Reporting for "Florida mailman lands gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn."

• John Romano in Commentary &Criticism-General for a collection of columns on Florida.

• Jay Cridlin in Beat Reporting on the Arts for a collection on music.

• Laura Reiley in Beat Reporting on Food/Travel for coverage of Florida cuisine.

• William R. Levesque in Beat Reporting on Consumer Issues for a collection on aviation.

• Craig Pittman in Beat Reporting on Environmental/Health/Science for coverage of environmental affairs.

• Kelly Parsons in Beat Reporting on Sports for a collection of stories.

• Cameron Cottrill in Art/Photo Illustration for a collection of illustrations.

• John Pendygraft in Video for "Insane. Invisible. In Danger."

Times staffers also winning second-place awards: Alex Leary in Beat Reporting on Government/Politics for a collection; Marlene Sokol in Beat Reporting on Education for a collection; Times staff in News Web Site for tampabay.com; Michael LaForgia, Cara Fitzpatrick, Lisa Gartner and Nathaniel Lash in Online Package for "Failure Factories."

Winning third-place awards: Marc Topkin in Beat Reporting on Sports for a collection; James Borchuck in Video for "Florida mailman lands gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn"; Times staff in Online Social Media Package for "Tropical Storm Erica."

Ron Borresen, now a designer at the Times, won second place in Art/Photo Illustration for a collection while at the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

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