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Columnist John Romano wins national award; other Tampa Bay Times journalists honored

Published May 26, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG — Several Tampa Bay Times writers have been honored by the National Headliner Awards journalism contest.

John Romano received first place in the contest for sports column writing for work he did during 2011. Among Romano's entries for consideration were columns on the Penn State scandal that cost legendary coach Joe Paterno his job, the death of Indy Car driver and St. Petersburg resident Dan Wheldon, the acquisition by the Tampa Bay Rays of a player who had been once been charged with rape, and a column urging the owners of the Rays, local politicians and area businessmen to stop complaining about the baseball stadium situation and focus on solutions.

In January, Romano, an award-winning sports columnist for 10 years, became a metro columnist for the newspaper.

In addition, the Headliners, a national contest sponsored by the Press Club of Atlantic City, N.J., gave the Times another sports writing award, two feature writing awards, and an award for online journalism. Rick Stroud, Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat writer, won second place for sports writing by an individual or team; Lane DeGregory won second place in feature writing by an individual on a variety of subjects; Jeff Klinkenberg won third place in special or feature column on one subject; and Kathleen Flynn won second place for an online slideshow.

The awards have been given for excellence in journalism since 1935.