JEKYLL ISLAND — The Thomasville Times-Enterprise swept its division’s Breaking News category in the Georgia Press Association’s annual Better Newspaper Contest.
The awards were announced Friday night at the annual GPA convention on Jekyll Island.
Senior reporter Patti Dozier won first place and third place in Division C breaking news, and the Times-Enterprise’s Erik Yabor won second place in Division C breaking news, giving the paper a clean sweep of the category.
Dozier also won third place in feature writing.
“I am very proud of my staff and am ecstatic that their hard work and talent have been recognized by their peers,” said Pat Donahue, editor of the Thomasville Times-Enterprise. “I think it speaks to their dedication and commitment to report on our community and deliver the news, whatever it may be, to our readers.”
Dozier won first place for her coverage of the manhunt for Robert Carter, the aftermath of his capture and the death of Deanna Shirey.
“Informative and thorough with a great sense of grammar/style,” judges said of Dozier’s work. “Much of breaking news and crime/courts reporting gets stale, but the storytelling element in this collection keeps me reading.”
Yabor won second place for his stories on Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor saving a man’s life, a young girl who was killed as a result of Hurricane Michael and the guilty conviction of a Cairo man for a 2017 murder.
Dozier’s third place award in breaking news coverage was for her stories on the Georgia Bureau of Investigation’s probe of then-Thomasville Mayor Greg Hobbs’ claim two employees had forged his signature on a payroll document, Hobbs’ response to an attorney’s questions of traveling expenses and of a heated exchange at a city council meeting.
Dozier’s third place in feature writing was for stories on the survivor of a 1989 vicious stabbing, late actor and Thomasville native son Scott Wilson and utility workers getting a thank you breakfast after Hurricane Michael.
The Times-Enterprise also earned two second-place awards in the GPA Better Newspaper Contest’s advertising division. The Times-Enterprise was awarded for best non-traditional ad for Shaw Women’s Health Center and took second in special sections for the Big Book of Games.