By Steve Plunkett

Florida Press Club judges honored The Coastal Star with three first-place awards, five seconds and two thirds in the annual Excellence in Journalism Competition last month.
Top awards in their categories were to Editor Mary Kate Leming (commentary) for her columns on the murderous attack at a newspaper office in Maryland, guns and suicide, and local environmental awareness; to Ron Hayes (arts news) for a feature on murals being painted in a Boca Raton park; and to Scott Simmons and others (feature page design) for laying out stories and photos on Thanksgiving toasts, Publix scales and the new Norton Museum.
Runners-up went to Rich Pollack (in-depth reporting and education writing) for coverage of a Highland Beach homicide and a profile of the retiring head of Gulf Stream School; to Gretel Sarmiento (arts news) for reviews at the Norton and the Boca Museum of Art; to Dan Moffett (government news) for reports on South Palm Beach and Ocean Ridge; and to Steve Plunkett (public safety news) for coverage of a former Ocean Ridge vice mayor’s felony trial.
Third-place awards were given to Joyce Reingold (health writing) for columns on 3-D mammography at Bethesda Women’s Medical Center and other subjects, and to Brian Biggane (sports feature) for articles including Delray Beach’s renown as a mecca for tennis.

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