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Reporter named top community newspaper 14th year in a row

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Managing Editor

COLUMBIANA – For the 14th consecutive year Shelby County Newspapers Inc. has won Alabama Press Association’s General Excellence award, which is the APA’s top award each year, while also taking the association’s top spot in advertising for the second year in a row.

With awards normally announced at a banquet, COVID-19 forced this year’s awards to be announced through videos with Shelby County Newspapers Inc. taking home 45 first, second or third place awards, including 26 in the editorial category, 17 in the advertising category and two in the magazine category.

The company earned a total of 18 first place awards, including nine in the editorial contest, eight in the advertising contest and one in the magazine contest.

SCNI publishes the Shelby County Reporter280 ReporterAlabaster ReporterHelena ReporterPelham ReporterShelby LivingVestavia Hills MagazineMountain Brook MagazineHomewood Life and Hoover’s Magazine.

This year, 98 publications submitted 2,921 entries in the annual contest. All entries were judged by the Mississippi Press Association.

The Shelby County Reporter competes in category C in the editorial and advertising contests against other large weekly newspapers. All five magazines produced by Shelby County Newspapers, Inc. compete in the magazine contest.

Shelby County Newspapers Inc. received the following awards:

Editorial contest

  • General Excellence, first place
  • Best Editorial Page or Section, first place
  • Best use of Photographs/Editorial content, first place
  • Best Sports News In-Depth Coverage, first place, “Ken Headley Westminster coverage” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Sports Single Event Story, first place, “A win for above” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Local Sports Column, first place, “Fighting through the pain to see the lesson of heartbreak” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best News Photo, first place, “Sight for sore eyes” by Dawn Harrison
  • Best Spot News Photo, first place, “Old Shelby Hotel Fire” by Staff
  • Best Headline, first place, “Lightning strikes twice” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Sports Single Event Story, second place, “Hometown Heroes” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Sports Feature Story, second place, “Thompson’s Sabo overcomes 2 ACL surgeries to lead” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Photo Essay, second place, “Night of Lights” by Keith McCoy
  • Best Layout and Design, second place
  • Best headline, second place, “A sticking point” by Briana Harris, Stephen Dawkins
  • Best Niche Publication, second place, “Visitor’s guide”
  • Best Niche Publication, third place, “Football 2019” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Sports Single Event Story, third place, “Sight for sore eyes” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Sports Feature Story, third place, “Injury leads Cato to love for baseball” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Photo Essay, third place, “Always Remembered” by Keith McCoy
  • Best Feature Photo, third place, “Goat yoga” by Keith McCoy
  • Best Lifestyle/Family Pages, third place
  • Best Local Economic Coverage, third place
  • Best Local News Coverage, third place
  • Creative use of Multimedia, third place, “Storm damage videos” by Keith McCoy
  • Creative use of Social Media, third place, “Social Media” by Alec Etheredge
  • Best Public Service, third place, “Vaccinations” by Briana Harris, Stephen Dawkins

Advertising contest

  • Best Single Ad ½ page and under, color, first place, “280 Animal Medical Center” by Kim McCulla
  • Best Advertising Campaign, first place, “280 Animal Medical Center” by Kim McCulla
  • Best Niche Publication, first place, “Shelby County Football 2019” by Staff
  • Best Use of Humor, first place, “280 Animal Medical Center” by Kim McCulla
  • Best Classified Display Ad, first place, “Donkey for sale” by Daniel Holmes
  • Best Innovative Online Advertising, first place, “Helena Veterinary Clinic” by Rhett McCreight
  • Online Revenue Builder, first place, “Dailey News Email”
  • Advertising Sweepstakes Award, first place
  • Best Use of Humor, second place, “Donkey for sale” by Daniel Holmes
  • Best Regularly Scheduled Special Section Newsprint or Glossy, second place, “Profile 2019”
  • Best Signature Page, second place, “Chelsea City Share” by Kim McCulla
  • Best Magazine Single Ad, second place, “Offbeat Blooms” by Kerrie Thompson
  • Best Magazine Single Ad, third place, “SoHo Social” by Rhett McCreight
  • Best One Time Special Section – Newsprint or Glossy, third place, “Thompson High School Championship 2019”
  • Best Single Ad over ½ page, black and white, third place, “DSLD Land Management” by Kim McCulla
  • Best Classified Page or Section, third place
  • Best Presentation of Online Advertising, third place

Magazine contest

  • Best Individual Website, first place, com
  • Best Single Feature Story, third place, “The Pink House” by Madoline Markham


CrossFit Inferis seeks to bring people out of a ‘dark place’

Alabaster Reporter

Zach Abercrombie named CFO of Shelby Baptist

280 Main Story

Flip Side Watersports at OMSP offers fun place to cool off


Pollution impacting Cahaba River water quality


Helena High School celebrated for high FAFSA completion


UPDATE: 22-year-old charged with capital murder in Galleria shooting

280 Reporter

PUBLIC NOTICE: Widen Caldwell Mill Road (Camp Horner Road)

280 Main Story

UPDATE: 8-year-old victim dies following Riverchase Galleria shooting

280 Reporter

Shots fired at Riverchase Galleria, scene contained


Skin Care Solutions of Alabama opening in Helena

280 Reporter

Brocato: City to take conservative approach toward next year’s budget

280 Reporter

Mobile, Tuscaloosa join Alabama cities requiring face masks

280 Main Story

Jefferson State increases scholarship opportunities for fall semester

280 Reporter

Chelsea youth sports activities resume


Helena Festival canceled, fireworks still to be held

Alabaster Main Story

Calera, Alabaster pharmacists earn national recognition


First ‘Vallo Drive-In Movie’ deemed a success

280 Main Story

UPDATE: Harpersville police officers test negative for COVID-19


Teacher carries on legacy of Skillet Bird

Becky J. Beall

Pelham resident leads humane society project

Becky J. Beall

School reopenings addressed in statewide press conference

Alabaster Main Story

Mehlhoff running for Alabaster City Council Ward 5 seat


Montevallo marches for justice and equality


Pelham forum addresses deadly encounters with law enforcement