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Weekly wins 10 awards in local competition

Peninsula Press Club contest recognizes excellence in journalism

Staff of the Palo Alto Weekly garnered 10 awards at the Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards dinner Saturday, May 31, including second place for overall excellence for non-daily newspapers.

The Weekly achieved honors in a range of categories, from breaking news to analysis to feature story to entertainment.

The Bay Area competition -- open to newspaper, television, radio, web and other media professionals in 11 counties and sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club -- covered work completed in 2013. The winners were selected by press clubs in southern California and five states.

The Weekly took first place for analysis ("Palo Alto's painful dilemma" by Staff Writer Gennady Sheyner) and entertainment pieces (a review of the movie "Amour" by film critic Susan Tavernetti).

In addition to overall excellence, the paper won second place for continuing coverage by Staff Writer Sue Dremann and former Online Editor Eric Van Susteren ("Merrill Newman held in North Korea"), feature story of a serious nature by Online Editor Elena Kadvany ("Legal limbo"), and analysis by Sheyner ("The mess at Mitchell Park").

Third-place wins went to Dremann for a feature story of a light nature ("Christmas bird count a 'hoot' for birders"); Kadvany for a feature story of a serious nature ("Drowning in debt"); Sheyner for news ("Having a say"); and Dremann, Van Susteren and Staff Photographer Veronica Weber for PaloAltoOnline.com's breaking news coverage of U.S. citizen Merrill Newman's return from captivity in North Korea.

Palo Alto's Gunn High School also competed and was awarded first place for overall excellence for its newspaper, The Oracle, in the high school category.

Earlier this month, the Weekly was recognized as the best in its class of newspapers statewide. Competing against other large weekly newspapers, the 34-year-old publication received the General Excellence award from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Founded in 1979 by Publisher Bill Johnson, the Palo Alto Weekly produces a Friday print edition; a daily e-edition, Express; and the news and community website PaloAltoOnline.com, which hosts Town Square, the online discussion forum, among other features. PaloAltoOnline.com news and sports can also be accessed through Facebook, Twitter and the app, "Palo Alto."

Saturday's awards dinner, the press club's 37th annual, took place in Foster City. Scholarships were also given by the press club.

— Palo Alto Weekly staff

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