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:
- Coverage of Business News for his story about the closing of Montelli Construction after 72 years (published Dec. 13, 2018);
- Profile Story for his article about St. Helenan John Milliken walking 54 miles in three days from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, retracing the route that thousands of civil rights activists took in 1965 (published April 19, 2018); and
- Feature Story for his article about the St. Helena women who have walked through local neighborhoods for the last 31 years (published Feb. 15, 2018).
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!”
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.