The Chagrin Valley Times was named Ohio Newspaper of the Year last week by the Ohio News Media Association.

In addition to a First Place for Overall News Coverage, the Times’ staff won First Place for In-Depth Reporting, Division A for “Turning point for recycling: A series on the evolution and future of waste recovery,” an extensive look at the past, present and future of recycling across Northeast Ohio. The judge commented that the project was an “exceptionally well researched, reported and written series. The text provided ample context about regional recycling programs. Infographics were informative and provided a tremendous community service.” Staff members who worked on the series included project editor Ellen J. Kleinerman, graphics reporter Maureen Bole and reporters Sue Reid, Julie Hullett, Samantha Cottrill and Tim Tedeschi. The project was turned into an e-book that can be accessed for free on

“This well-earned award reflects the dedication of the Times staff and emphasizes the vital role of newspapers in our communities,” said Times Publisher H. Kenneth Douthit III.

A total of 28 weekly newspapers from across Ohio submitted 837 entries for the 2020 Osman C. Hooper contest administered by ONMA. Competing newspapers were divided into three circulation categories. The Times Newspaper of the Year award was in Division A, representing papers with the largest circulations.

Awards were presented on Feb. 6 during the ONMA annual conference in Columbus.

For the Solon Times, reporter Ms. Reid received a First Place for In-depth Reporting, Division C, for stories on the proposed rezoning of land for a winery restaurant and complex. The judge stated that the series was “thorough and multi-faceted coverage of a divisive development proposal that revealed loopholes” in the city’s home-rule policies.

Taking home other awards were:

Best Headline, Combined Divisions, Ms. Kleinerman and Mr. Tedeschi, First Place, Chagrin Valley Times. The headline was about a story on cursive writing.

Best Newspaper Design, Division A, Amanda Petkiewicz and Ms. Bole, Third Place.

Best Local Feature, Division A, Ms. Hullett, Third Place for “Blessing of the Hunt,” about the annual fox hunt in Gates Mills. The judge stated that, “The writer provided a good sense of scene.”

Best Special Edition, Division A, Amanda Petkiewicz and Tony Lange, Second Place for the Kenston magazine devoted to the high school football team’s path to the state championship in 2018.

Best Editorial, Combined Divisions, Ms. Kleinerman, Fourth Place, for an editorial on a Geauga County commissioner’s complaint about the public using social media to object to a proposal about the location of new county offices. The judge commented that the editorial let the commissioner know that he needed to learn how to communicate with his constituents.

Best Sports Coverage, Division A, Tony Lange, First Place. Judges said the sections had “lucid writing that would motivate even a non-sports fan to read the stories.”

Best Sports Feature, Division A, Tony Lange, First Place and Third Place.

Best Page Design, Division A, Ms. Bole, First Place.

Best Page Design, Division C, Solon Times, Ms. Petkiewicz, Second Place and Third Place.

Best Advertising, Division A, Connie Gabor, Ashley Gier and Brandyn Morit, Second Place.

Best News Photo, Division A, Philip Botta, Third Place, for a photo of the annual popcorn drop. “There is something about showing popcorn balls whizzing through the air on such a winter day that makes for a wonderful image.”

Best Feature Photo, Division A, Geauga Times Courier, Michael Steinberg, Second Place, for a photo of maple boiling. “Strong image that brings the moment to life,” the judge commented.

Best Sports Photo, Division A, Philip Botta, Second Place and Third Place.

Best Special Edition/Section, Division C, Staff, Solon Times, Third Place. “Good comprehensive look at the past and the future of Solon as the city nears its 200th anniversary,” the judge said.

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