The Alabama Press Association has released some of the winners of its annual Better Newspapers Contest, which judges works by daily, sub-daily and weekly newspapers across Alabama that hold apublications postal permit.

While several of the big category winners are being withheld until the APA’s annual banquet in Destin, Fla. June 28 — including General Excellence, Most Improved and Story of the Year — the vast majority of the winners were announced June 4.

The Citronelle Call News took home the most awards so far, garnering nine, and The Fairhope/Daphne Courier won five. Among the state’s largest papers the Press-Register did not fare as well (so far), winning just two awards.

Just a note: Lagniappe is currently not an APA member and does not take part in the Better Newspapers Contest because we do not yet have a publications postal permit that would allow us to compete against other newspapers. Following are the winners in our area that were announced so far:

Best News Feature, First Place Division D, The (Gulf Shores) Islander won for “Let’s go sink a ship” by John Mullen. Second place in that division went to The Baldwin Times (Bay Minette) for “Historic mortar finds new home,” by William Moore. And Third Place went to Jill Clair Gentry of The Courier for her story “Without state backing.”

In the Best Humorous Column category, Emmett Barnett took third place Division C for “I’m Getting Old” for his work in the Citronelle Call News. In Division D for that category, The Courier’s Leslie Ann Harrison took second place for “Elvis is the manager.”

In Division C of the Best Human Interest Column category, The Citronelle Call News took both first and second place for “Coffee Drinker” by Emmett Barnett and “Rape is rape” by Hannah Garcia.

The Call News continued its winning ways in the Best Editorial Column or Commentary category for Division C, taking a first place for “Complaining parents need to take responsibility” by Willie Gray. They also took first place in the Best Sports News In-Depth Coverage category for Emmett Barnett’s “Hiring of Rials as Satsuma football coach,” and another first place in the Best Sports Single Event Story category for “Eyes on the prize” by Willie Gray.

In the Best Sports Single Event Story category for Division D, The Courier took second place for “12 in a row” by Tony Whitehead.

Jimmy Wigfield and Willie Gray shared a first place award for Best Sports Feature Story Division C for “Forged by Fire.” And the Courier took third place in that category for Division D for “Remembering Bailey Yelding” by Tony Whitehead.

“MOWA Magic,” a photo by Bruce Hansen for the Call News, was judged third place for Division C for Best Feature Photo. In that category for Divison D, “Marie Hayes, Marie Boykin” took first place for The Courier, and The Islander’s Mark Robinson took second place for “Luke Bryan.”

Tony Whitehead won third place in the Best Sports Photo category for The Courier for “A Capitol Champ.”

The Press-Register took a third place for Division A in the Best Headline category for “The Lonely Ports Club.” The P-R also took a second place in the Online Breaking News Coverage category for “Carnival Triumph cruise ship’s travails.”

In its division, the Call News won third place for Best Special Section for “Fall outdoors hunting and fishing guide.”

Moving on over

Some of you may have already seen our announcement that Lagniappe will be moving to bigger digs just across the hall in the historic Smith Bakery Building in MiMo.

We’ve been in our current location at 1102-A Dauphin St. for more than three-and-a-half years, but our rapid growth over the past 18 months means we need a bit more room. So we’ll be moving just across the hall into a larger space as of Aug. 1.

We’ll put some photos up on Facebook once things start shaping up.

Moving on up

Speaking of changes with Lagniappe, we’d like to announce that Web Editor/Reporter Gabriel Tynes has been promoted to Assistant Managing Editor/Web Editor.

In this position Tynes will closely oversee the production of the paper and website on a weekly basis, while also directing the news staff and working on enterprise/investigative stories. He has been with Lagniappe for more than two years, overseeing the web during much of that time and covering stories all across the readership area.

Most recently Tynes has covered the city of Mobile, in addition to a number of other beats. A 2006 graduate of the University of South Alabama, Tynes has also been editor of the Fairhope Courier and news director for the Daphne Bulletin. He started his journalism career as a reporter for the Walton Sun in Walton County, Fla.

Tynes’ move to Assistant Managing Editor means reporter Dale Liesch has been moved to cover the city of Mobile.

Reporter Jason Johnson will now take over coverage of the Mobile County Commission, in addition to his duties covering the Mobile County Public School System and other beats.

Alyson Stokes is moving to a full-time reporter’s position with Lagniappe as well. She will remain as the paper’s web and social media manager. She previously interned for Lagniappe, as well as freelance writing, and for the past few months has been working with us part time. Stokes will cover the Mobile Police Department and the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office as part of her duties.

All of the reporters will cover news from the Eastern Shore, South Mobile County and outlying cities.

We feel this is the strongest news team Lagniappe has ever had, and we know they will continue to produce the kind of hard-hitting, in-depth journalism readers and advertisers have come to expect.