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CASA GRANDE — The Casa Grande Dispatch has won Newspaper of the Year honors from the Arizona Newspapers Association.

The award, in the division for non-daily newspapers, was based on the number of news and advertising awards won in the ANA's annual contests. It was one of many awards won by area newspapers owned by Kramer Media. The company livestreamed the announcement Thursday afternoon from its offices in Casa Grande for the association because the ANA canceled its annual meeting due to COVID-19.

The ANA's Better Newspaper Contest, for news entries, was judged by members of the New Mexico Press Association and The Associated Press West Regional Bureau.

The Dispatch won the top award as a daily newspaper in 1998, the first year it was presented.

The area newspapers as a whole and individual staffers won 26 news awards, including nine first places. Staffers Joey Chenoweth and Rofida Khairalla each won two first places and Brian Wright one.

The area winners by newspaper are: Dispatch, Non-daily Newspaper of the Year; General Excellence, first place; Departmental News & Copying Editing, first; Editorial Page Excellence, first; Special Section or Magazine, first; Page Design Excellence, second; Brian Wright, Enterprise Reporting, first; Jim Headley, Best News Story, third; Maria Vasquez, Best Sports Story, third; Oscar Perez, Best News Photograph, second, and Best Sports Photograph, third.

Also, Maricopa Monitor, Reporting & News Writing Excellence, third; Chenoweth, Best Sports Story, first; Best Column, Feature or Commentary, first; Katie Sawyer, Best News Story, second; Best Sports Story, second; Best Feature Story, second.

For smaller non-dailies, winners were: Coolidge Examiner, Special Section or Magazine, second; Khairalla, Best Sustained Coverage or Series, first; Investigative Reporting, first; Chenoweth, Best Sports Story, third; Best Column, Feature or Commentary, third; Eloy Enterprise, Best Use of Photography, third; Florence Reminder & Blade-Tribune, Newspaper Website, second; Reporting & News Writing Excellence, third; Editorial Page Excellence, third.

The Payson Roundup and White Mountain Independent, also part of Kramer Media, won 20 awards.

For the Excellence in Advertising Contest, the area winners are: General Excellence, Examiner, first; Reminder & Blade-Tribune, second; Dispatch, first; Best Black & White Ad, Examiner, Song Ja Haas-Kent, Olivia Lewis, first; Reminder & Blade-Tribune, Jotina McCann, Lewis, Byron McConnell, second; Dispatch, Jackie Moore, Lewis, third; Best Color Ad, Reminder & Blade-Tribune, Steve Harris, McConnell, Melva Bekis, second; Examiner, Haas-Kent, Lewis, Bekis, third; Most Effective Use of Paid Small Space, Examiner, Haas-Kent, Lewis, first; Reminder & Blade-Tribune, McCann, Lewis, McConnell, third; Dispatch, Zoe Cooper, McConnell, second.

Also, Best Public Notice Section, Examiner staff, first; Enterprise staff, second, Reminder & Blade-Tribune staff, third; Monitor staff, first; Dispatch staff, second; Best Special Section, Dispatch staff, first; Best Online Ad (Animated), Dispatch, Cyndi Burks, Diana Coop, second; Best Classified Section, Dispatch staff, second; Best Newspaper Promotion Ad, Series or Section, Examiner, Cooper, McConnell, first; Enterprise, Cooper, Yvonne Pickell, second; Dispatch, Brian Kramer, third; Best Pro Bono/Public Service Ad, Enterprise, Linda Metz, McConnell, first.

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