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Maricopa held its first major event Jan. 15 since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down large gatherings. Residents were apparently ready for the special occasion, as hundreds of mostly masked patrons turned out at Copper Sky Regional Park for Copa Glow, which featured hot air balloons that lit up the night sky while giving some the opportunity go up in one.

CHANDLER — The Maricopa Monitor was recognized among the top newspapers in Arizona on Saturday, winning third place in General Excellence for its circulation category, while winning first place for advertising.

The awards are presented every year by the Arizona Newspapers Association and reflect a publication’s quality in a comprehensive number of categories. For publications with average weekly circulation under 3,500, the Monitor finished only behind the Nogales International and the Arizona Capitol Times.

Judging was done by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Awards were presented during the ANA's annual meeting at Wild Horse Pass Hotel & Casino.

Pinal County newspapers that are part of Kramer Publications won 17 awards in all. In addition to the Monitor's overall third place, the area winners in their respective circulation categories were:

Reporting & Newswriting Excellence, Coolidge Examiner, third place; Departmental News & Copywriting Excellence, Florence Reminder & Blade-Tribune, first; Monitor, second; Casa Grande Dispatch, second; Page Design Excellence, Monitor, third; Dispatch, second; Editorial Page Excellence, Monitor, second; Reminder, third; Best Use of Photography, Reminder, third; Special Section or Magazine, Monitor, second; Newspaper Website, Monitor, third.

Best Sports Story, Joey Chenoweth, Reminder, second; Brian Wright, Dispatch, first; Best Column, Feature or Commentary, Chenoweth, Dispatch, first; Best Sports Photograph, Maria Vasquez, Eloy Enterprise, third; Best Feature Photograph, Howard Waggner, Monitor, second.

The Payson Roundup and White Mountain Independent, also part of Kramer Publications, won 18 awards, including Non-daily Story of the Year for Michele Nelson of the Roundup.


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