Neighborhood Community Press Association
celebrates neighborhood newspaper accomplishments

(Plain Press, May 2005) The Neighborhood and Community Press Association (NCPA) of Greater Cleveland celebrated the accomplishments of local newspapers at its annual conference held Saturday, April 9th at Cleveland State University.

Featured speaker Roldo Bartimole, former editor and publisher of Point of View, told community journalists they need to cover public institutions so the institutions are held accountable to the public.

The  NCPA conference also included a graphics, layout and design workshop by Betty Clapp of the School of Communication at Cleveland State University.

In his presentation, Bartimole covered his more than 40 years of experience in journalism, including 32 years as author of his self-published newsletter, Point of View.  Bartimole has written for the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe, the Plain Dealer, the Cleveland Edition, the Free Times and most recently for the Internet website Cool Cleveland.

He was inducted into the Cleveland Press Club’s Hall of Fame in 2004 and received the Distinguished Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists in 2002.

The NCPA also announced the winners of the Community Press Competition that recognizes the work of Northeastern Ohio journalists published in 2004. Members of the Cleveland Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists provided judges for the competition.

Six newspapers competed in eleven categories, with the best overall coverage award going to the Royalton Recorder. The Plain Press placed third in best overall coverage. The East Side Daily News was second and the Old Brooklyn News received an honorable mention.

The Plain Press received recognition in 10 of the eleven categories in the competition.

Plain Press graphic artist David Myers won first place for best advertisement for his design of the Tend-R-Lean Steak Co. advertisement.

Plain Press columnist Laura Fratus won second place for best column for a Mama Says column, “Child asks, ‘Why our YMCA?’” about the closing of the West Side YMCA. The first place award for best column went to The Press, serving Avon, Avon Lake, Sheffield, and Sheffield Lake, for “Word Play: Lose 30 pounds by Friday.”

Plain Press feature writer Niki Nohejl won second place for best feature for a story about Frank Varela, new branch manager of the Fulton Branch library, the first Hispanic to lead a Cleveland library branch. Writing for the Plain Press, Laura Fratus, won third place in the best feature category for a story about the Weed and Seed program. First place in this category went to  Christine Rath of the Old Brooklyn News for a feature on a third generation business in Old Brooklyn.

Janetta Hammock, writing for the Plain Press, won third place for best news story for her story on statewide efforts to change how education is funded in Ohio.  Hammock wrote the story for the Plain Press as student for City as a Classroom at Case Western Reserve University. Plain Press managing editor Chuck Hoven received an honorable mention for best news story for his story on the efforts of a small business, Team Environmental, to avoid losing their property to the Battery Park development. The first place award for best news story went to Lori Switaj of The Press for a story about a sexual predator.

Chuck Hoven of the Plain Press received a third place award for Best Series for a series of news articles on the efforts of community activists to secure jobs for Max Hayes students in trade unions as part of the Cleveland Municipal School District’s school rebuilding effort. First place for best series went to Lynette Fillips and Brian J. Cummins of the Old Brooklyn News for a series on recycling.

Hoven, writing for the Plain Press, won a third place award in the historical feature category for an article on the retirement of Ralph Fee from the local mental health agency Bridgeway. First Place for best historical feature went to Lynette Fillips of the Old Brooklyn News for a story about Valentine’s Day traditions.

Chuck Hoven of the Plain Press won third place for Best Editorial/Opinion Piece for a commentary about the Cleveland Municipals School District’s plans for building a west side relief high school. First place for best editorial/opinion piece went to the Old Brooklyn News for a story written by a former Deaconess Hospital employee reminiscing about the hospital after its closing.

Plain Press editor Debbie Sadlon won third place for Best Page Layout for her design of the front-page layout of the Plain Press. The Connection, a Shaker Square newspaper, won first place in this category.

Plain Press photographer John Cartwright received an honorable mention in the best photo competition for his photo of a joy-filled woman at her 101st birthday party. George Shuba of the Old Brooklyn News won first place for the Best Photo for his photo “chasing rainbows.”  Victoria Popovich of the Old Brooklyn News won first place for the Best Photo Feature for a series of color photos of a child eating a pastry.


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