Southern Chester County journalists win awards

Chris Barber
Monhollan

Avon Grove Sun Editor Chris Barber captured the Keystone Press Award for editorial writing, according to an announcement from the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association. The three editorials took a look at the dangers of overtraining young athletes, why PSSA testing should be eliminated and how a veteran’s jacket in Parkesburg told many stories.

The Kennett Paper, Avon Grove Sun’s sister paper, captured four awards.

Fran Maye, editor, captured first place, News Feature Story, with a story on how a 23-year-old Kennett woman, Kacie Rumford, died of a heroin overdose in her parents’ home. The story sparked TV news coverage and a campaign, called Kacie’s Cause, to bring awareness to the drug problem locally.

Maye also won first place for a personality profile he penned on Del Bittle, a local icon who announced his retirement from the DJ business earlier last year. Maye’s story examined how much the music industry has changed over the years, and how Bittle was frustrated at how today’s lyrics are corrupting youth.

Reporter Candice Monhollan won first place for best sports story entitled “Overcoming the Odds.” The story highlighted C.J. Lawlor, a high school senior at Oxford, who has been able to overcome the challenges of cerebral palsy by learning how to play golf with his family and went on to become part of Oxford’s team.

Monhollan also scored honorable mention for a sports story about James Lodge, the West Chester native and hockey player who was selected by the Winnipeg Jets at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in Newark, N.J., at the end of June.

The Keystone Press Awards reinforce excellence by individuals in the newspaper profession, by recognizing journalism that consistently provides relevance, integrity and initiative in serving readers, and faithfully fulfills its First Amendment rights/responsibilities. Further, the Keystone Press Awards stimulate journalists to improve their craft and ultimately improve their community.