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Weekly receives six awards in statewide contest

Newspaper honored in such categories as investigative reporting, coverage of local government, education coverage, and online excellence

The Palo Alto Weekly took home six awards from California's most comprehensive newspaper contest, including first place for editorial comment, education and environmental reporting.

The paper took second place for investigative and local government reporting and online general excellence in the California Newspaper Publishers Association's annual Better Newspapers Contest.

Journalists from states outside of California selected the winners from among daily, weekly and school newspapers out of thousands of entries.

In addition to the first and second place wins, the paper was recognized with honorable mentions in general excellence, enterprise news story, page layout and two online photo essays.

The awards were announced at the association's annual conference on May 20, held this year in Santa Monica.

The Weekly, which employs a newsroom staff of 13 journalists under Editor Jocelyn Dong, competed against other weekly newspapers with circulations of more than 25,000.

About Dremann's first-place story about phytophthora, a plague that is attacking plants, judges said: "This story manages to provide a comprehensive understanding of a hard-to-understand subject while framing the narrative in a way that maintains enough intrigue to get even a science-ignorant reader through to the last paragraph."

About Kadvany's second-place exposé on sexual assault at Stanford University, judges commented: "Eye-opening package revealing how Stanford University failed to adequately investigate critical allegations of sexual misconduct — and failed to adequately protect victims, as well. Reporting was ambitious, writing quite strong, overall package exceptional."

The work reviewed was published in 2016.

The award-winning articles and columns were:

• Environmental Reporting: In pursuit of a plague by Sue Dremann

• Best Editorial Comment: Stanford's deafening silence by Bill Johnson, Publisher

• Coverage of Education: A case of bullying by Elena Kadvany

• Best Investigative Reporting: Failed justice? by Elena Kadvany

• Coverage of Local Government: Huge political contributions spark outcry, suspicion by Gennady Sheyner

• Online General Excellence: PaloAltoOnline.com by Palo Alto Online Staff

Work receiving honorable mentions:

• General Excellence: March 11 and March 18, 2016, editions by Palo Alto Weekly Staff

• Enterprise news story: High price to pay by Gennady Sheyner

• Online Photo Essay: Homecoming by Veronica Weber

• Online Photo Essay: Turning lives around by Veronica Weber

• Inside Page Layout: Jan. 1, 2016, and other editions by Palo Alto Weekly Design Staff

Founded in 1979 by Publisher and CEO Bill Johnson, the Palo Alto Weekly produces a Friday print edition; a daily e-edition, Express; a weekly A&E e-edition, Weekend Express; and the news and community website PaloAltoOnline.com, which hosts Town Square, the online discussion forum, among other features. PaloAltoOnline.com can also be accessed through the iPhone and Android apps, "Palo Alto." The Weekly's social-media sites include Twitter.com/paloaltoweekly and Facebook.com/paloaltoonline.

The California Newspaper Publishers Association is a nonprofit trade association for more than 800 publications. Founded in 1888, it represents daily and weekly newspapers and news websites throughout California.

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Follow the Palo Alto Weekly/Palo Alto Online on Twitter @PaloAltoWeekly and Facebook for breaking news, local events, photos, videos and more.

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