Alaska Press Club awards won by Ashlyn O’Hara, Jeff Helminiak and Jake Dye are splayed on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion’s newsroom in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Alaska Press Club awards won by Ashlyn O’Hara, Jeff Helminiak and Jake Dye are splayed on a desk in the Peninsula Clarion’s newsroom in Kenai, Alaska, on Monday, April 22, 2024. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)

Clarion writers win 9 awards at Alaska Press Club conference

The Clarion swept the club’s best arts and culture criticism category for the 2nd year in a row

The Peninsula Clarion took home nine awards at this year’s Alaska Press Club conference, held April 18 to 20 in Anchorage.

The Clarion competes in the large-print category, with other newspapers and print outlets including the Anchorage Daily News and the Alaska Beacon. Awards were given for work published in 2023.

Government and Education Reporter Ashlyn O’Hara received six awards. She took third place for best government or politics reporting, for her story “Satanic Temple gets last word as assembly ends open invocation policy,” and third place for best education reporting, for “School board rejects Nikolaevsk charter school application.”

O’Hara claimed second for Best Profile, for her story titled “Everything is a treasure to me,” about White Rainbow, the man who travels the Sterling Highway in search of things of value.

The Peninsula Clarion swept best arts and culture criticism, an all-print category, for the second year in a row. O’Hara led the effort with first place winning “Off the Shelf: Small town girl weaves tales of home” and second place “Off the Shelf: A powerful record of Alaska Native advocacy.” Clarion general assignment news reporter Jake Dye took third with “On the Screen: ‘Across the Spider-Verse’ is somehow again groundbreaking.”

O’Hara and Dye together took second place for best long feature, another all-print category, for “Stopping the press,” a collaborative story about the last run of the Peninsula Clarion’s 1966 Goss Suburban printing press.

Clarion Sports Editor Jeff Helminiak received two awards. He claimed second place in best sports reporting for “Soldotna defeats Lathrop for Division II state football championship,” and second place in best sports or outdoors column for “Out of the Office,” with “When is the best time of the year to leave?,” “The Circle Game” and “Mind game” representing his submission.

On the Kenai Peninsula, awards also went to the Clarion’s sister publication The Homer News and Kenai public radio station KDLL 91.9 FM.

Homer News reporter Delcenia Cosman was awarded third place for best reporting on government or politics in the small print category for “Homer Library Advisory Board upholds decision to retain LGBTQ+ books.”

Riley Board, senior reporter at KDLL, took first place for best reporting on health in the audio category for “Small exodus of doctors leaves central peninsula with recruitment rush, strains on care.”

A full list of awards given by the Alaska Press Club for work produced in 2023 is available at alaskapressclub.com.

Reach reporter Jake Dye at jacob.dye@peninsulaclarion.com.

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