SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — For the second time in three years, the Killeen Daily Herald was named Newspaper of the Year in Class AA at the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors annual meeting.

The announcement was made at an awards ceremony Sunday on South Padre Island, capping off a total of 14 awards earned by the Herald over the weekend.

The Herald was previously named Newspaper of the Year in 2012 and won second place in 2010, 2011 and 2013.

More than a dozen Class AA newspapers competed in this year’s contest.

Class AA includes Texas daily newspapers with Sunday circulations between 10,000 and 29,999.

The Herald also won honorable mention for its online newspaper and five first-place awards in individual categories.

Military Editor Rose Thayer, City Editor Jacob Brooks and former Herald reporters Brandon Janes and Phil Jankowski won first place in the team effort category.

Thayer took first place in short feature writing and specialty reporting, and photographer Catrina Rawson took first place for photo gallery. Former Herald sports reporter Alex Byington won first place in the breaking sports news category.

Other awards won by Herald staff members:

  • Thayer — second place, star reporter
  • Rawson — third place, star photographer
  • Sarah Rafique — third place, features
  • Jordan Mason — third place, sports features
  • Janes — third place, FOI
  • Rafique — honorable mention, comment and criticism

A team effort by Rafique, Harker Heights Editor Vanessa Lynch, photographer Bryan Correira, Janes and Herald correspondent Wendy Sledd earned an honorable mention for feature series.

Contact Kristi Johnson at or (254) 501-7548

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