Central City News Named Newspaper of Year, Honored for Best News Coverage, Editorials

For the second straight year, the Central City News has been named Newspaper of the Year by the Louisiana Press Association.

The Central City News brought home eight 1st place and many 2nd and 3rd place awards in competition with community newspapers across Louisiana in the annual Better Newspaper Contest. The contest includes categories for news, commentary, photography, and advertising.

Each year, the LPA pairs with another state’s press association. Editors from the other state judge Louisiana’s newspapers, and Louisiana editors judge the other state’s newspapers.  The LPA pairs with a different state every year.

Central City News editor Woody Jenkins said, “It is very interesting for us to watch what happens in LPA Better Newspaper Competition every year.  It can be expected that newspaper editors in Maine would judge us far differently from editors in Georgia or Colorado. We are very gratified to do well every year, no matter who is doing the judging.  This is especially true since our editorial policy is conservative, and we know most of the judges will be liberal. In a sense, our success in this competition is a reflection of the wonderful community we serve.”

Here are the honors received by the Central City News in the Better Newspaper Competition:  


Newspaper of the Year

Central City News

Newspaper of the Year honors are awarded to the newspaper which has earned the highest combined vote totals from all categories of the competition including news, feature writing, commentary, sports, photography, advertising, and layout and design.


Breaking News Story

1st Place – Central School Board Refuses to Protect Teachers, Staff from Vaccination Mandate by Woody Jenkins — When parents asked the Central School Board to enact rules  prohibiting the termination of teachers and other school personnel for refusing to take the Covid vaccine, the school board refused. 

2nd Place – Central Parents Come Out in Record Numbers to Ask School Board to End Mandatory Masks by Woody Jenkins — Central parents led by Kim Powers asked the school board to end the mask mandate for students. Even though students were shown not to be at risk and masks were not shown to be effective, the school board refused to lift the mask mandate.  

3rd Place – Attorney General Halts Forced Vaccination by Woody Jenkins — Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry intervened in a federal lawsuit and stopped the vaccine mandate nationwide.

Best News Story

1st Place – Where in the World Is Jr. Shelton? by Woody Jenkins — After completing four years of service as Mayor of Central, Jr. Shelton disappeared from public view in Central.  What members of the Central community didn’t know but learned in this article was the former mayor was hard at work saving another community — the Town of Sterlington in North Louisiana.  The Legislative Auditor appointed Shelton to turn around the town whichwas $20 million in debt. 

Judge’s Comment: “This is a great news story. It does an excellent job of laying out step-by-step events in this little town as it moved from near bankruptcy to solvency.” 

2nd Place New School Board Member Pushes for Change by Woody Jenkins. This is story of Kim Powers, a parent who fought to end mask and vaccine mandates before being elected to fill a vacant seat on the Central School Board. Judge’s Comment: “A straight-forward, well-written news story about an event that was timely, important and proximate. Explains why the election was important and the work the candidate will undertake now.”

Best Feature Story

3rd Place – Gene Lato Is Celebrating 60 Years at Central Barber Shop on Hooper Road by Woody Jenkins. Judge’s Comment: “Folksy tone is perfect for this story about a long-time community barber. Good use of community history and storytelling technique.”


 Best Editorial

1st Place – BESE Leadership Must Be Replaced by Woody Jenkins. When 300 Louisiana citizens appeared at the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) to testify against mandatory masking of school children, the board refused to hear testimony and shut down the meeting entirely.  This editorial explains the injustice done and the need for new leadership. 

2nd Place – The Emperor Has No Clothes, and We’re Living in His World by Woody Jenkins. This piece describes the imaginary world we lived in during the pandemic shutdown and the fact that there was no legal basis for the actions the governor took.

3rd Place – Time to Ditch the Masks in Central Schools by Woody Jenkins.  An argument that the Central School Board should lift the mask mandate in Central schools.

Best Regular Column

Sam Hanna Award

2nd Place – On the Personality Disorders of Legislators by Woody  Jenkins.  This column reviews the unique personality types often found among Louisiana legislators, starting with the late Rep. Shady Wall of Monroe, who was always armed at the State Capitol and changed clothes two or three times a day.  A ladies’ man, he carried with him his discharge papers from a Louisiana insane asylum, which he often pulled from his coat jacket to demonstrate that he had been declared of sound mind!  


 Best Newspaper Website

1st Place – This award honored Central City News’ three websites   CentralCityNews.us, CentralCityNews.net Central City News on Facebook.  

The award went to Woody Jenkins, Jolice Pro-vost, and Kim Powers. Judge’s Comment: “The use of boxes helps to break the different stories in each category.  Categories are easy to access and organized.  I love how the photo galleries are presented.” 

 Best News Video

1st Place – Veto Override Session Likely by Kim Powers. This award recognizes Kim Powers’ coverage of the Louisiana Legislature and the Ronald Reagan Newsmaker Luncheon.

Best Web Project

2nd Place – ‘SidelineFootball’ Play by Play by Woody Jenkins, Ken Bush and Sharon Bush.  The Central City News’ live broadcasts of Central High School football reach nearly 150,000 viewers per season. 


 Best News Photo

1st Place – Trump Supporter at Rally by Jolice Provost.  Judge’s Comment: “You couldn’t have shot a better image for this story. This perfectly speaks not only to the event itself but to the fervor of the Trump supporters who attended. Well done!”

3rd PlaceHeart Broken by Kim Powers.  Central Middle student breaks down when told she will not be able to attend Central schools because they require students to wear masks.

Best Photo Package

3rd Place 4,000 Attend 

Revolution, America’s Youth 

Conference: Largest Event in Central History by Woody Jenkins.

Best Feature Photo

2nd Place – Central High School Class of 2021 by Jolice Provost

Best Sports Photo

1st Place – Central’s Running Back Glen Cage by Jolice Provost. Judge’s Comment: “Interesting photo with a lot of action.” 

2nd Place Central High Student Section by Jolice Provost

3rd Place  Central’s #5 Jarien Veal by Jolice Provost.


Best Layout and Design

3rd Place – New Businesses, Football and Basketball Pages

Staff Generated Ad

1st Place – Coastal Bulkheads, by Woody Jenkins.  Judge’s Comment: “The use of background color really made the ad stand out. I like how the ad showed different stages of construction.”

Multiple Advertiser Page 

2nd Place – Central Wildcat Football Sponsors of ‘Sideline Football’.

Contact Central City News at centralcitynews@hotmail.com

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