Austin Weekly News recently earned a batch of distinctions during the annual Illinois Press Association awards, held last weekend in Springfield. The West Side’s local community paper earned first-place in General Excellence and notched a second-place designation in the race for the Will Loomis Memorial Trophy, give to the best large, nondaily newspaper in the state. 

The paper also earned first place in several divisions, including news reporting, photo series and portrait/personality, special section and general advertising excellence. 

“Another strong and remarkable year on the awards front from the Illinois Press Association,” said Dan Haley, the publisher of Wednesday Journal, Inc., AWN’s parent company. 

Michael Romain, the editor of Austin Weekly News, praised the paper’s supporting cast, including a strong stable of freelancers, designer Claire Innes, staff photographer Alexa Rogals, associate publisher Dawn Ferencak and Haley, among other key players critical to producing the paper.

“I’m just proud to be associated with such a strong editorial and advertising team,” Romain said. “They’re the ones who help this ship sail so smoothly.”