WAKE FOREST — Wake Weekly staffers were honored with seven N.C. Press Association awards during a Feb. 26 ceremony in Chapel Hill. This included five individual awards, one for the sports staff and one for the newspaper’s website.
“I am incredibly proud of our staff. We took on a number of new projects last year, especially developing the website, in addition to grappling with a growing coverage area,” Editor Clellie Allen said. “Each of these award represents the dedication from every individual here.”
The Wake Weekly competes in Division B, representing newspapers between 3,500 and 10,000 circulation.
Associate Editor David Leone and Staff Writer David Allen both took first place for photos. Leone’s feature photo showed an ecstatic Alexia Garcia enjoying the company of Habitat for Humanity volunteers who helped build a home for her family.
“The emotion and composition really make this photo a standout,” the judge wrote.
Allen’s was of Franklinton High School basketball player Fred Harlan dunking the ball over a Roanoke Rapids High School opponent in early 2014. “The look on his face says it all,” the judge wrote.
Leone also won first place for lighter columns, including one about entrepreneur Dean Verhoeven, and another about his quest to find and photograph a panther that had been purportedly sighted in Wake Forest’s Shearon Farms neighborhood.
Bob Allen, publisher emeritus, took second place for writing “lighter” columns as well, including one about the passing of his eldest son, Bobby.
Though the judge did not share any comments for any of the column categories, Allen’s words must have struck a tone, for this is the second year he has won for his column writing. Last year he took first place.
Becky Kimbrell-Norris, Clellie Allen and David Allen collectively won third place for the newspaper’s sports coverage. “This award is a testament to hard work. The 2013-2014 school year was especially challenging as we were covering six high schools across four conferences for the first time,” said Clellie Allen.
In the first time it has entered, The Wake Weekly also took third place for its website at WakeWeekly.com. The website features the events of the week, breaking news and photo galleries.
Leone also won a third place award for headline writing.
Publisher Todd Allen and Leone accepted the awards for the staff.
Due to the icy weather, many newspaper personnel were not present.
Allen serves on the board of directors for the press association. The board plays no part in the judging, which is performed by editors and reporters in other state press associations.