The Sierra Star was recognized with eight awards, including the General Excellence award in its division, at the annual Better Newspaper Contest sponsored by the California Newspaper Publisher's Association.
The awards luncheon was held May 5 in San Jose.
The General Excellence award is judged on editorial excellence, quality of writing, story selection, news judgment, art reproduction, overall appearance and advertising.
Reporter Carmen George won two first place awards, including Best Feature Story for her May 19 article "The Champion Maker" about Ahwahnee resident Mike Corbett, a rock climber who led the first paraplegic ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite, and Best Art/Nature Photo for a shot she took of Nevada Fall in Yosemite National Park, published June 30.
George also won two second place awards, one in the Best Investigative Reporting category for her Sept. 29 story "Chukchansi issues disenrollment letters" that documented the removal of some of the tribe's original families and elder fluent Chukchansi language speakers by tribal leaders.
Her other second place was in the Best Writing category for "Strength," a feature story published May 12 about 33-year-old Deanna Ambrose, an Ahwahnee resident with terminal brain cancer who was honored during last year's Relay For Life event. Great work Carmen!