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DICKSON – The Chattanooga Times Free Press won the most first place honors and the sweepstakes award for large dailies in the 2002 state newspaper contests.

The Times Free Press picked up five first-place plaques at the awards ceremony Friday at the Renaissance Center here. It won for sports, best personal column, best news photograph, best feature photograph and Sunday editions.

The Tennessee Press Association and University of Tennessee-sponsored contest gives awards in four circulation categories, two for non-daily publications and two for dailies.

Also winning sweepstakes were the Chester County Independent of Henderson, the Southern Standard of McMinnville and Murfreesboro-s Daily News Journal. Sweepstakes Awards are based on total points accumulated, with six points for first place, down to one for sixth.

This is the Chester County paper-s third consecutive sweepstakes win in the small non-daily group. It also took first place awards for editorial writing and best humor column.

The Southern Standard won first place in four categories – sports, best single editorial, public service and best special section.

The Daily News Journal had three top awards in the under 25,000 circulation-daily classification. It won for local features, sports and general excellence.

The Tennessean in Nashville won four first-place plaques for local features, best single feature, editorials and best special section.

Two other daily papers won three top awards each: The Knoxville News-Sentinel, make up and appearance; best humor column and public service; and The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, make up and appearance, community lifestyles and best humor column.

Winning two first-place awards: The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, community lifestyles and general excellence; The Erwin Record, community lifestyles and promotion of newspapers; The Herald-News, Dayton, best single editorial and best feature photograph; Independent-Appeal, Selmer, local features and best humor column.

Other winners of two top awards: The News-Herald, Lenoir City, editorials and best personal column; The Courier, Savannah, best news story and general excellence; The Jackson Sun, best news story and promotion of newspapers.

Seventeen newspapers also took home a first-place win. They are:
-Monroe County Advocate & Democrat, Sweetwater, make up and appearance.
-The Rutherford Courier, Smyrna, local features.
-Mt. Juliet News, best single feature.
-Smithville Review, sports.
-The Lake County Banner, Tiptonville, best personal column.
-The States-Graphic, Brownsville, best news story.
-Livingston Enterprise, public service.
-Rogersville Review, general excellence.
-Standard Banner, Jefferson City, make up and appearance.
-The News-Examiner, Gallatin, best single feature.
-Cookeville Herald-Citizen, best single feature.
-The Mountain Press, Sevierville, editorials.
-The Paris Post-Intelligencer, best single editorial.
-The Daily Herald, Columbia, best personal column.
-Shelbyville Times-Gazette, best news story.
-The Lebanon Democrat, public service.
-Kingsport Times-News, best single editorial.
-The Roane County News, Kingston, best news photo.
-Overton County News, Livingston, best single advertisement.
-The Dickson Herald, best sports photo.
-Citizen Tribune, Morristown, best sport photo.
-The Newport Plain Talk, best single advertisement.

A total of 1,065 entries from 87 of TPA’s 130-member papers were judged for the contest by the Washington State Press Association.