For the fifth time in the last seven years, the Collinsville Press was recognized by the Connecticut chapter of the Society of Professional Journalism Thursday at their annual Excellence in Journalism awards banquet at the Hawthorne Inn in Berlin.
Editor Gerry deSimas, Jr., was recognized with two second place awards for sports news and sports photo. Since 2012, the Collinsville Press has been recognized with 12 awards from the SPJ’s Connecticut chapter.
His story on the season-long growth of the Avon High football team in 2018 that ended in a loss to Simsbury in the Valley Gridiron Classic was recognized in the sports news category. His photo of players and fans celebrating after the Simsbury Major Division Little League baseball team beat Avon in a tournament game in extra innings was also recognized.
The Stephen A. Collins Public Service Award for a story or stories with a significant impact in the public interest went to the Hartford Courant for their five-year fight with the State Police to obtain and review documents and journals that the police seized from the home of Adam Lanza, who killed students and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
The Theodore A. Driscoll Investigative Reporting went to the Connecticut Mirror and their reporters Jacqueline Rabe Thomas and Clarice Silber for their look at the state of health care for inmates in the Connecticut prison system.
The First Amendment Award went to the hyperlocal website NancyonNorwalk for their story about the details of a DUI in 2014 by Marc D’Amelio, a candidate for the Connecticut State Senate that had been expunged from his record. D’Amelio lost his election and sued the website.