Four first place awards -- including a ninth-in-a-row first award for "spot news coverage" -- and one second place award were bestowed on the Palo Alto Weekly Saturday at the California Newspaper Publishers' Association conference in San Franciso, while the Weekly's sister papers picked up a half dozen other awards.
The Weekly won first place for "spot news" -- among all large non-dailies in the state -- for its staff team coverage of the mountain lion invasion of Palo Alto residential areas during 2004, including the shooting of one lion and several sightings of others.
The award is the ninth first place award for spot news in a row for the Weekly.
The community Web site, www.PaloAltoOnline.com, won first for Web sites in the large-non-daily newspaper category. It had placed second in 2002.
Weekly Chief Photographer Norbert von der Groeben won a first place award for a feature photo, "Mural Man," depicting the painter of the new mural on California Avenue, published Sept. 29. He also won second place for a photo essay, "Days on the Diamond," June 9.
And the Weekly won a first-place award for its sports coverage under Sports Editor Keith Peters and Assistant Sports Editor Rick Eymer. It is the fourth first-place for sports coverage in the past decade, during which the Weekly won three second places for sports.
The Almanac, covering southern San Mateo County communities, picked up a first-place award for public service and a first-place award for editorial comment.
The Mountain View Voice won first-place awards for columns, commentary, criticism and for a spot news photo, and a second-place award for page layout and design.
The Pleasanton Weekly won a second-place award for lifestyle coverage.