The Aiken Standard and the North Augusta Star combined to win 18 awards for 2018 from the South Carolina Press Association which were announced Saturday evening in Columbia.
Aiken Standard sports writer Kyle Dawson led the way with three awards, capturing a first place in the Sports Feature Story for his story on Williston-Elko linebacker, Jasper Lott. He also won second place in Spot Sports Story and third place for Sports Column Writing.
Staff page designer, Lauren Haley, won a second place for Single Feature Page Design.
Also from sports, photographer Artie Walker won three awards, including two first place awards in Sports Action Photo and Sports Feature Photo. He also won second place in Sports Feature Photo.
Also winning first place is Aiken Standard cartoonist, Al Goodwyn, in the Cartoon category. Among the winning entries by Goodwyn was his cartoon on overcrowding at the Aiken County Animal Shelter, which he donated to the shelter following publication.
As a staff, the Aiken Standard won a first place in Lifestyle Feature Section for its Summer Fun Guide, a third place in News Section or Special Edition for its Back To School guide, and a third place for its website.
And, overall, the Standard captured a third place in General Excellence.
North Augusta Star staffers Lindsey Hodges and Bill Bengtson each won first place awards in the weeklies categories. Bengtson won first place in the Photo Series or Photo Story category for his photos of kids slipping and sliding in the summer.
Hodges won first place in General News Photo for weeklies for her photo of North Augusta High seniors high-fiving students from Belvedere Elementary.
Bengtson won third place in Sports Feature Photo for his photo from Opening Night at SRP Park last year.
In addition, the Star won three third place awards for Photo Page Design, News Section or Special Section and for General Excellence.
As an extra bonus to Aiken County readers, current staff writer Kristina Rackley won third place in the Series of Articles category for erosion in Coastal Carolina for her reporting with Carolina News and Reporter while she was a senior at the University of South Carolina.