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Papers nab six awards

Sarah Wilson

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The Winter Park-Maitland Observer and its sister paper, the Seminole Voice, took home six editorial awards in the Florida Press Association Better Weekly Newspaper awards on July 18, in Orlando.

The two papers placed in the top three in the state in their circulation divisions in six categories – Feature Story: Non-profile; In-depth News Reporting; Faith & Family Reporting; Arts, Entertainment & Review Reporting; Editorial; and Community History.

• Managing Editor Isaac Babcock won first place for his feature story “A time to be heroes,” which weaved together the stories of children battling life-threatening illnesses who shared a moment as heroes on a theater stage.

• Babcock was also awarded for his editorial column “Starvation and the blame game,” which highlighted the juxtaposition of the teacher of the year winners being announced at the same time that the state debated reforms allowing parents to fire teachers and scapegoat them for student failures.

• Staff writer Brittni Larson placed second for her community history story “Exhibit highlights blacks' war sacrifice,” delving into the history of the area’s own Tuskegee airmen.

• Babcock placed third in the Faith and Family Reporting category for his feature story “Waiting to say ‘I love you,’” chronicling the Van Son family’s final year they spent with a young husband and father suffering from a rare fatal form of dementia while they slowly said goodbye.

• Babcock also placed for “Art beyond the grave” — a preview to the unusual art gallery opening in a funeral home in Winter Park — in the Arts, Entertainment & Review Reporting category

• Staff writer Tim Freed won second place for in-depth reporting for his two-part series "Lack of better words"(Part one) (part two) delving into the little-known struggles of immigrants in Seminole County.