New Times received top honors for its design and illustrations, arts criticism, and news, features and opinion blogs on Saturday during the Arizona Press Club's Best Journalism in Arizona awards reception at The Duce.
New Times also was represented in the Virg Hill Arizona Journalist of the Year category by former staff writer Paul Rubin, who was second runner-up. Judges praise Rubin because he "grabs onto a topic and wrings out the truth. It's clear he refuses to accept the official version of anything without first checking the facts."
Art Director Peter Storch took first place in Cover Design for "Coddling Joe." Storch, photographer Jamie Peachey, and former assistant art director Zac McDonald also won first place in the Multi-page Design category with "Mirage."
Storch, Peachey, McDonald, and artists Tim Gabor and Luster Kaboom snagged a second place for the design of "Best of Phoenix." McDonald's "Ready to Kill" won second place among Drawn Illustrations.
New Times' staff and "Best of Phoenix" also won recognitions (third place) in the Multimedia Package category.
Rubin took both an honorable mention and second place in the Public Safety reporting for "The curious death of Sgt. Sean Drenth," and "Overzealous Prosecutors, a Runaway Jury and a Dead 5-Year-Old Boy," respectively.
Monica Alonzo picked up a first place win in Social Issues reporting with "Desecration: Unearthed Native Burial Site Causes Uproar." A contest judge wrote that the piece was a "well-written and well researched story and a fascinating, frightening tale. Does justice to the bones, and the readers.
Robrt L. Pela won second place in Personality Profile for: "Bill Tonnesen, Contentious Tempe Developer, Aims for Immortality."
In Arts Reporting, Anthony Sandoval placed second for several pieces: "Arizona Juggalo Shawn Wolf fights for custody of his son," " Jose 'El Pelon' Avila blames New Times for cancelled show" and "Underground hip-hop program The Pulse on Power 98.3 to air last show in Phoenix tonight."
Ray Stern and Alonzo took first and third, respectively, in news blogging. A judge noted he gave Stern "top award for a group of blog posts demonstrating a beat reporter's inside knowledge of the controversies swirling around Arizona County courthouses. In all, Stern makes the most of what is clearly an interesting beat."
New Times swept -- first, second, and third place -- in the following categories:
Metro arts criticism First place Kathleen Vanesian: "Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit at Phoenix Art Museum misses the point," "Chaos Theory 13: The good, the bad, and the meh" and "'Sue Chenoweth: Real and Applied' at Modified Arts is a treasure hunt" Judge's comments: Vanesian writes with great authority and an evident knowledge of the art history and the recent history of the Phoenix visual-arts scene. The Frank Lloyd Wright piece -- a thoroughgoing takedown of both a major museum exhibit and a cultural icon -- is the kind of well-informed contrarian venting the alt weekly movement was built on.
Second place Robrt L. Pela: "Raising Arizona: Where architecture sometimes takes a backseat," "Restoring the '40s house in Sunnyslope," "Endangered Wright house Is Phoenix architecture worth preserving."
Third place Laura Hahnefeld, Phoenix New Times: "Cafe Ga Hyang: Fantastic Korean Food -- and It's Open Late," "Ncounter: Another Run-of-the-Mill Restaurant on Mill" and "Blue Hound: The Restaurant Downtown Was Waiting For."
Metro features blog First place Staff, Phoenix New Times: Chow Bella restaurant blog -- "A Hipster's Guide to Farm Animals," "Peter Kasperski Considers Using FnB Name in San Diego," "What's Your Most Horrifying Kitchen Accident Story?" "Anatomy of Baklava," "Honey Boo Boo's 'Sketti: We Made It, Here's What It Tastes Like."
Second place: Staff, Phoenix New Times: Chow Bella food blog
Third place: Staff, Phoenix New Times: Up On The Sun music blog
Metro opinion blogging First place Stephen Lemons: "Tom Horne's Snakepit," "Neo-Nazi J.T. Ready Runs for Pinal County Sheriff," "Russell Pearce Wants $260,000 of your money," "Joe Arpaio's Racial Profiling Trial Begins, and, Yes, He's Guilty as Sin," "Russell Pearce's 'Arizona Teachers Association" Judge: Sharp. Concise. Knowledgeable. Attitude. Punch. Humor. What more could you ask for from any first-place contest winner? Well done!
Second place Ray Stern: "Sheriff Arpaio Ratted Out Commanders," "Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon Disbarred," "Andrew Thomas and Sheriff Joe Arpaio's 'Unholy Collaboration'," "Sheriff Joe Arpaio Secretly Recorded '09 Staff Meeting" and "Maria Brandon, Fired Maricopa Civil Attorney, Says County Retaliated Against Her"
Third place New Times' Chow Bella staff: "Alton Brown Is the Man," "Ups and Downs Under One Roof," "French Onion Soup Fracas," "Sonoran FFF" and "Latke Lowdown" Judges comments: Chow Bella blog plays with food and culture. A popular read with fans, it's worthy of recognition for its fun tone.