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Star staff photo, May 2019

Senior reporter Jesse Duarte, left, and Star editor David Stoneberg recently posed for a photo in the Star offices. Both have been with the St. Helena Star for more than a dozen years.

The St. Helena Star received four first-place awards and 15 first- through fifth-place awards at the 2018 California Journalism Awards ceremony, held in Long Beach and hosted by the California News Publishers Association.

Reporter Jesse Duarte won three first-place awards for his writing:

The Star’s editorial board also won a first-place award in the Editorial Comment category for “Election results are worth the wait,” which was published Dec. 20, following an editorial board meeting with Registrar of Voters John Tuteur. The Star’s editorial board is made up of editors David Stoneberg and Sean Scully and local residents Norma Ferriz, Christopher Hill, Shannon Kuleto, Bonnie Long, Peter McCrea, Gail Showley and Dave Yewell.

For Duarte’s story about John Milliken, a judge wrote, “I was surprised by how hooked I got on this story. The nice, relaxed writing, great details and juxtaposition of history and present really made it sing for me!”

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For his story about the walking group, a judge wrote: “When you’re a longtime resident of a community with a good memory, everything around you has meaning: each rock and tree. Jesse Duarte’s story about a local group of women who have walked around town together for decades is an example that anything can make for an interesting, enjoyable read. Beyond the simple subject is a charming story about friendship, aging and community.”

Star cartoonist Joan Martens won both second- and fourth-place awards for her cartoons.

Star columnist Rich Moran, who writes “In the Country” won a third-place award two of his columns, “Asleep in wine country“ and “To pick or not to pick.” The judges said the columns exhibited “fantastic writing.”

The Star also won a fourth-place award for General Excellence.

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