0

Citizen staffers earn top AP awards

Former Citizen Photographer Erin Evans won the Georgia Associated Press' 2011 Photo of the Year award for her Rockdale Citizen photo of the manager of Fred's department store on Sigman Road shortly after he was shot during an armed robbery.

Former Citizen Photographer Erin Evans won the Georgia Associated Press' 2011 Photo of the Year award for her Rockdale Citizen photo of the manager of Fred's department store on Sigman Road shortly after he was shot during an armed robbery.

COVINGTON -- Staff from both the Rockdale Citizen and Newton Citizen were honored Saturday by the Georgia Associated Press Association for outstanding work over the last year.

Former Citizen photographer Erin Evans took away the coveted 2011 Photo of the Year award for her Rockdale Citizen photo of the manager of Fred's department store on Sigman Road shortly after he was shot during an armed robbery.

"I was in the area and saw a commotion and went over there," Evans recalled. "I was able to get the shot of him being loaded into an ambulance."

Evans, who worked with both Citizen newspapers for two and a half years, was presented the award at a luncheon in Macon and had no idea her photo had been selected for top honors.

"I was shocked and excited," she said.

Other Rockdale Citizen awards went to Reporter Michelle Floyd, who placed third in the Public Service category for the story, "RCPS: Schools have 30-mill limitation," and second in Beat Reporting for education coverage of Rockdale County Public Schools.

For the Newton Citizen, staffers Crystal Tatum and Barbara Knowles won second place in the Public Service category for the story, "Covington mayoral candidate arrested for alleged theft of campaign signs."

Tatum also garnered first place honors for Non-Deadline Reporting for the story, "Local youth details hazing at Citadel," and Newton Citizen Staff Correspondent Aimee Jones won second place in the Feature Writing category with her story, "Nonprofit 4Sarah helps women in the adult industry." Floyd also won third place in Beat Reporting for her coverage of the Newton County School System.

AP member newspaper editors in Illinois judged the Georgia newspaper entries in four classes based on circulation. The Rockdale Citizen is in Class AA and the Newton Citizen is in Class A.