The Morning Sentinel won nine awards recognizing excellence in journalism — including three first-place citations — at the annual Maine Press Association conference Saturday.

Judges handed the newspaper three first-place awards, one second-place award, three third-place awards and two honorable mentions.

Maine Press Association awards are conferred statewide, without regard to size of the newspaper, in daily and weekly divisions. The conference was held at Point Lookout Resort and Convention Center in Northport and included workshops, training sessions, a Hall of Fame induction, fellowship auction and award presentations.

“Each award is well-deserved,” said Anthony Ronzio, editor and publisher of the Morning Sentinel. “We continue to excel against stiff competition, and are only primed to get even better going forward.”

The Sentinel’s awards:

* First-place awards for a daily sports story by staff writer Matt DiFilippo; a feature story by Leslie Bridgers and photo package by Michael Seamans on Jaidyn Logan-Oakes, a 5-year-old going into surgery for a brain tumor, in the daily/weekend picture story category; and photo by Seamans in the daily/weekend spot news photo category.

* A second-place award for Seamans in the daily/weekend feature photo category.

* Third-place awards for staff writers David Robinson and Leslie Bridgers for daily spot news coverage of a ski lift accident at Sugarloaf; a daily sports feature by DiFilippo; and for advertisement layout.

* Honorable mentions for a daily/weekend spot news photo and a daily/weekend sports photo, both by Seamans.

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