Toronto – The Eganville Leader earned two first place, one second place and two third place finishes in the annual Better Newspapers Competition sponsored by the Ontario Community Newspapers Association (OCNA).
The Leader placed first in General Excellence, Class 2 and3, circulation 2,000 to 6,499 with Niagara This Week, Niagara on the Lake Advance finishing second and the Midland/Penetanguishene Mirror placing third.
In the Premier Awards, the Leader’s ninth annual Irish edition placed first. This edition has finished in the top three since it was first published in 2012.
Leader freelance writer Danny Gallagher of Oshawa, a native of Douglas, earned second place in the Best Sport and Recreation category for his story on well-known Renfrew teacher and baseball pitcher Jack Vooght who was at one time scouted by the Phillies and Dodgers.
Leader columnist Johanna Zomers earned third place in the Columnist of the Year category while Leader freelance photographer Mike Yeas of Pembroke placed third in the Best Spot News Photo category with his front-page photo of a fire that destroyed barns at Willi’s Riding Ranch in Laurentian Valley Township in November 2019.
Leader staff writer Terry Fleurie received an Honourable Mention in the Best News Photo category for his April 2020 photo of Schmidt family of Golden Lake – Garry and wife, Kim Groskleg and children Riley, Josh and Mackenzie – each holding a baby lamb.
The North Renfrew Times in Deep River placed second in general excellence in its category, Class 1, circulation 1,999 and under. The Times also earned a third in the Environment Ontario category, and a third in the Best Front Page under 9,999 circulation and a third in Best Feature photo circulation under 9,999.
Former Valley Gazette reporter Mark Jones of Eganville picked up a first for the Barry’s Bay publication in the Best Rural Story category, circulation under 9,999.
The only other Renfrew County publication to earn an award was the Arnprior Chronicle with a first-place win in the Health and Wellness.