Style Weekly Wins Press Sweepstakes 

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Accolades for a news story on a church that connects with a unique crowd, a cover photo of a naked umpire and a multimedia news package about the opening of CenterStage were among the 36 awards that earned Style Weekly the highest honor in the specialty publication division of the Virginia Press Association's awards competition.

The annual contest recognizes writing, photography, artwork, presentation and multimedia projects published between Dec. 1, 2008, and Nov. 30, 2009. Style also won the VPA Award for Journalistic Integrity and Community Service (see page 5).

Results, which were announced March 20 in Roanoke, included the following first-place winners:

Scott Elmquist's photo of veteran Jeff Talley, which also won best-in-show for photography among specialty publications; his series of photos that accompanied a cover story on a homeless couple who fell in love and were expecting a child, while they camped by the river; and his photo of a naked umpire for a cover story on the controversy surrounding the Shockoe Bottom baseball stadium proposal.

Jeff Bland and Scott Elmquist's photo-illustration of an S-shaped instrument case for the cover of the Music Issue.

Jeff Bland for headline-writing.

Chris Dovi, Scott Elmquist and Jeff Bland in the combination picture and story category for “Christian Soldiers,” part of a series on religion in Richmond.

Chris Dovi in the public affairs writing category, for his story on cost-cutting at the city jail and its potential connection to the deaths of inmates; and his news writing portfolio that included an ethical debate surrounding the death of the dog belonging to Robin Starr of the Richmond chapter of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Staff multimedia projects, including multimedia news reporting for a cover package of stories and video on the opening of the CenterStage performing arts complex; and multimedia feature reporting, for the Music Issue and accompanying free CD and download page of local bands.

Edwin Slipek Jr. in the critical writing category for his architecture reviews.

Don Harrison in the editorial writing category for commentary on the city's approach to supporting arts and culture.

Scott Bass in general news writing for his story about the death of Powhatan High School football star Tahliek Taliaferro and the resulting trial.

Scott Bass and Brandon Reynolds in the leisure, lifestyle or home writing category for their cover story on the culture of the Strawberry Hill Races.

In addition to staff awards, other recipients included Ed Harrington, Jason Roop and Amy Biegelsen.

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