Statewide honors include 9 first places

By Larry Barszewski

The Coastal Star took home 20 Florida Press Association awards during ceremonies July 16, including the top investigative prize for its coverage of Delray Beach’s troubled water system.
Judges in the annual competition said the paper’s reporting on Delray’s water situation “provided a valuable public service that showed how the government ineptitude put people at risk.”
In addition to receiving the Claudia Ross Memorial Award for investigative reporting, The Coastal Star won eight other first-place awards, including four for feature writer Ron Hayes. The paper received five second-place and six third-place awards.
The investigative award was a staff award because of the number of people involved in the coverage, which occurred over an eight-month period. Coastal Star Executive Editor Mary Kate Leming said two reporters played the largest roles.
“This project wouldn’t have happened without Jane Smith doing excellent digging and Rich Pollack doing exemplary explanatory journalism,” Leming told colleagues in announcing the award.
“This was an extensive dive into a complicated story of public malfeasance and incompetence over a public water system,” FPA judges said. “As The Coastal Star reported, people and pets were sickened, but the city did not report the problems to health authorities until long after they realized what had happened.”
The Coastal Star, a monthly publication, competed in the 2021 FPA Weekly Newspaper Contest Awards against large weeklies in the state with circulations above 15,000.
“Covering the people and governments of our coastal community is our mission and it was encouraging to see these efforts recognized by judges from across the nation — especially during a global pandemic,” Leming said. “The experience and talent our journalists bring to the newspaper deserve awards every single issue. Congratulations to them all.”
The complete list of award winners from The Coastal Star:
Ron Hayes: First place for Community History (100 Years of Boynton), Faith & Family Reporting (Lessons from “Happy” and “Kind,” two nuns named Elizabeth at St. Vincent Ferrer); Feature Story Non-Profile (Meals on Wheels goes extra mile to serve WWII vet); and Feature Story Profile (HERbert: Rescued legless crab becomes internet sensation).
Charles Elmore: First place for General News Story (Overdose deaths double in Delray during pandemic).
Larry Barszewski: First place for Agricultural & Environmental Reporting (The great Sea Grape debate).
Deborah S. Hartz-Seeley: First place for Serious Column (Hallowed ground, the evolution of the National Cemetery).
Rachel S. O’Hara: First place for Photo Series in One Issue (Paws up for pets, drive-up pet blessing).
Larry Keller: Second place for Agricultural & Environmental Reporting (for three stories about sea turtles) and for In-Depth Reporting Non-Investigative (Feds accuse doctor of $681 million fraud in substance abuse treatment billings).
Steve Plunkett: Second place for Local Government Reporting (for articles about the Ocean Strand and about a duck that died) and third place for Roads & Transportation Reporting (for articles about Interstate 95 and about Tesla car popularity).
Mary Hladky: Second place for COVID-19 General News Story (Empty reality of virus fallout hits home).
Mary Thurwachter: Third place for Arts, Entertainment & Review Reporting (Tabloid Tattle: Former National Enquirer staffers tell all in “Scandalous”).
Rich Pollack: Third place for Outdoor & Recreation Reporting (for articles about local parks).
Staff: First place for Investigative Reporting (for articles and graphics about water woes in Delray Beach); second place for Page Design; and third place for General Excellence, Overall Graphic Design, and for COVID-19 Feature Story (Reflections from the front line).

You need to be a member of The Coastal Star to add comments!

Join The Coastal Star

Activity Feed

Pippi posted an event
17 hours ago
Pippi posted an event
20 hours ago
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
Mar 16
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Mar 16
Pippi posted an event
Mar 16
Pippi posted an event
Mar 16
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
Mar 15
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Mar 15
Pippi posted an event
Mar 15
Pippi posted an event
Mar 15
Pippi posted an event
Mar 15
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in DELRAY BEACH
Mar 14
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Mar 14
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in BOCA RATON
Mar 14
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in HIGHLAND BEACH
Mar 14
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Mar 14
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in LANTANA
Mar 14
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Mar 14
The Coastal Star posted a blog post
Mar 14
Mary Kate Leming posted a discussion in OCEAN RIDGE
Mar 14
More…