ANG's first-place winners included photographer Jane Tyska, who took two first-place awards one for a general news photo titled, "Deathbed Graduation," and another for best sports photo with "Diving Center Fielder."
Of "Deathbed Graduation," judges raved, "Holy cow! What can you say to this picture? Not much, because the picture says it all."
Dave Newhouse won first in the sports column category for three of his columns, "Strike Force of a Hot Brand of Mayhem," "Divorce from Baseball Tough, But Right Move" and "U.S. Athletes Go From Bad to Worse."
"Newhouse uses nice descriptions, writes with authority and has a good rhythm to his writing," the judges said. "Plus, he picks compelling subjects."
In the online category, first place for a mainstream blogger went to Josh Richman for his "Political Blotter."
"Josh has a knack for writing about local politicians in a way that is amusing yet informative," the judges said. "Loved the sarcasm that dripped from every entry."
And in the series category, Suzanne Bohan and Michael Manekin took first place for "Teen Activists Size Up a Toxic Threat in East Palo Alto," "Has Hazardous Waste Recycler Worn Out Its Welcome?" and "Toxic Releases Force Shelter-in-place.
The judges commented, "What do you get when you mix an industrial recycler, increased cancer rates in a city overburdened with toxins, and a youth-led political campaign to oust the recycler? A great series worthy of much kudos for, among other notable attributes, managing to fairly portray the issue without bias."
Other ANG winners included Janis Mara, who took second place in business features with "Coffee Roaster Pushes Beyond Its 'Peetnik' Roots."
Harry Harris and Heather MacDonald won second place for a technology story titled, "High-tech Tool Can Pinpoint Gunfire Source."
The second-place award for spot news covered by an individual went to Josh Richman for "Ex-Nazi Living in S.F. Deported." And in the spot news team category, Kristin Bender and Harry Harris took third place for "Unsolved Death Behind Oakland Triple Slaying."
William Brand's beer column won third place in the columnist category for "Four-star Meal Deserves Four-star Beer."
For best analysis, Matt O'Brien and Martin Ricard garnered third place for "Latino Political Power in Hayward."
In the category of cultural affairs reporting, Momo Chang won third place for her coverage of Asian affairs. Chang also took third place in the short features category, with her piece titled, "The Quake Was Only the Beginning."
For long features, Suzanne Bohan won second place for "Driven to the Abyss."
And Steve Geissinger was awarded second place for his series titled, "Lotto Operator Buyout Raises Questions."
The Contra Costa Times and the San Francisco Chronicle each won 22 awards in the contest. The East Bay Express had 17 awards, the East Bay Business Times had five winners, the San Francisco Business Times had four, and both Alameda Magazine and the San Jose Mercury News had two.
There were 426 entries in 33 categories, breaking the previous mark of 359 entries in 2004. The awards, judged by journalists from across the nation, go to print publications that circulate in Alameda or Contra Costa counties.