The city of Sparks is on a roll, and so is the Sparks Tribune.
The hometown newspaper of Sparks captured top honors over the weekend at the Nevada Press Association annual awards dinner, taking first place in the coveted general excellence category for weekly newspapers.
The paper also won numerous awards for sports coverage, photography, editorial page coverage and design.
Longtime columnist Andrew Barbano capped the evening by taking first place in non-staff column writing.
“This is recognition from our peers that the Sparks Tribune is hitting on all cylinders in delivering a top quality newspaper to city residents every week,’’ said Eric Dahlberg, Tribune managing editor. “We know we’re doing things right for the community, and these awards are truly a reflection of that.’’
Sports editor Nathan Shoup won for the best column and took first and second place in both best spot sports writing and sports feature writing, while photographer John Byrne took first for best sports photo and first and second for best photo essays. Byrne also took second place for best feature photo.
Dahlberg won first place for best front page design, while the Tribune won a second place for best editorial pages.
Those pages included Barbano’s column, which has been a fixture in the Tribune for years.
“This is how you spice up an editorial page — lively writing, strong opinions, telling anecdotes,’’ judges said.
But it was the general excellence award that was the star of the night. The Tribune’s award was the third straight in the category for Battle Born Media, with its papers in Mesquite and Hawthorne winning it the last two years. The Mineral County Independent-News finished second this year.
The award comes as the Tribune celebrates its 107th year chronicling all things that happen in Sparks. The paper was founded in 1910 and has been continuously published ever since.
“We are not only the only newspaper that gives a damn about Sparks, but we try to have our finger on the pulse of things happening in the city,’’ Dahlberg said. “From our editorial coverage to our sports coverage to our feature stories on characters and businesses in the city we deliver every week something interesting to our readers.’’
Among other awards, the Tribune won second place for best special section for its football preview section and won several awards for best print advertisements.
The awards were presented at the NPA dinner at the Nugget in Carson City.