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NASHVILLE — Newspapers in Middle and East Tennessee won top awards in the Tennessee Press Association’s 2003 newspaper contests.

The Erwin Record, Southern Standard in McMinnville, The Daily News Journal in Murfreesboro and the Tennessean in Nashville won Sweepstakes Awards at the association’s annual banquet here. The University of Tennessee co-sponsors the contests.

Awards are given in four circulation categories, two for non-daily publications and two for dailies. Sweepstakes honors are based on total points accumulated in the categories, with six points for first place, down to one point for sixth place.

The Florida Press Association judged a total of 1,082 entries from 84 of TPA’s 130-member papers for the contest.

The Tennessean in Nashville won seven first-place awards: makeup and appearance, best single feature, sports, editorials, best news story, best feature photograph and promotion of daily newspapers.

The Daily Herald in Columbia received five top awards: best single feature, community lifestyles, best single editorial, best personal column and best personal humor column.

The News Sentinel in Knoxville won four first-place awards: community lifestyles, best personal column, general excellence and best special issue or section.

Two newspapers won three top awards each: The Rutherford Courier in Smyrna for best single feature, sports and best news photograph; and The News-Examiner in Gallatin for community lifestyles, best feature photograph and best single advertisement.

Winning two first-place awards: The Tomahawk, Mountain City, local features and community lifestyles; The Courier-News, Clinton, editorials and best feature photograph; Southern Standard, McMinnville, local features and promotion of newspapers; The States-Graphic, Brownsville, best personal column and best sports photograph; Memphis Business Journal, editorials and best single editorial; The Tullahoma News, best personal humor column and best special issue or section.

Other winners of two top awards: Citizen Tribune, Morristown, make-up and appearance and public service; The Daily Times, Maryville, sports and best news story; The Daily Post-Athenian, editorials and best news photograph; Cookeville Herald-Citizen, best feature photograph and best sports photograph; The Greeneville Sun, best special issue or section and best single advertisement; Chattanooga Times-Free Press, best single editorial and best news photograph.

Twenty-three newspapers also took home a first-place win. They are:
-The Cordova Beacon, make-up and appearance.
-Herald and Tribune, Jonesborough, best single editorial.
-The Middle Tennessee Times, Smithville, best personal humor column.
-The Lake County Banner, Tiptonville, best news story.
-The Erwin Record, public service.
-Ashland City Times, general excellence.
-The Expositor, Sparta, best special issue or section.
-Crossville Chronicle, make-up and appearance.
-The Democrat/Laker, Madisonville, best single feature.
-Robertson County Times, Springfield, sports.
-The Covington Leader, best personal column.
-Hickman County Times, Centerville, best news story.
-Rogersville Review, public service.
-The Standard Banner, Jefferson City, general excellence.
-The Herald-News, Dayton, best news photograph.
-The LaFollette Press, best sports photograph.
-The Leaf-Chronicle, Clarksville, local features.
-The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, general excellence.
-Johnson City Press, local features.
-Kingsport Times-News, best personal humor column.
-Bristol Herald Courier/Bristol Virginia-Tennessean, public service.
-The Commercial Appeal, Memphis, best sports photograph.
-The Daily News Journal, Murfreesboro, Sunday editions.