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You may have missed the small item in Monday's paper and online about the Advocate's Texas Associated Press Managing Editors awards, but they're a big deal to us.

And we have you to thank for one top honor: the best Web site in Texas for newspapers with circulations from 30,000 to 124,999. Here's what the contest judge from the Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World had to say about the Advocate's site:

"Excellent combination of text stories and video, and reader interaction with polls, photos and blogs. This site is clearly not a shovel-ware print product but rather embraces online native thinking and community involvement. That's reflected in the home page content quite well, and the tag-cloud like "Things they like" is a nice touch."

As you can see, the judge focused in on all of your contributions. We set out to make VictoriaAdvocate.com a place for you to interact with each other and with us. It wouldn't work without you.

We're also proud of our first-place award in community service. As I said in the short story about our awards, “These two awards are the best ones we could have won. The entire staff has focused on our digital future. At the same time, we recognize that what sets a newspaper apart from other news sources is how well we serve our community.”

Here’s what the Wichita (Kan.) Eagle judge had to say about our community service entry:

"The Victoria Advocate’s reporters did an outstanding job of showing through ongoing, persistent reporting how the dysfunctional relationship between the district attorney and city and county law enforcement was a problem of urgent public concern. What started as some letters leaked from law enforcement continued to snowball through the Advocate’s determined coverage, eventually raising concerns about a power struggle that called into question the effectiveness of the criminal justice system in the county. Credit also the newspaper’s successful efforts to quash a subpoena from the D.A. and to force, through the attorney general, an open records issue with the D.A.’s office. Throughout coverage, the newspaper also consistently posted original documents online for readers -- an excellent use of the Web to layer print coverage. This body of work is the true spirit of community service, steadily pushing and prodding for truth where no one but the newspaper has the will and resource to stay the course."

 We think our individual award winners are pretty special, too. Here's a reminder of their recognized work:

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Sports Editor Coy Slavik, 2nd place for sports columns 

 "Ty's game face"
"A lasting impact"

- Gabe Semenza, 2nd place for general column writing

"Technology still can't replace life's simplest lesson"
"He woke up naked in downtown Victoria stripped of his memory"

- April Brandon, 2nd place for best blog

"The Good, the Bad and The Ugg-ly" 
"Foreign Babies are the New Black"
"Debating the YouTube Debate"

-Aprill Brandon, honorable mention for comment and criticism:  "Harry Potter more like Harry Hotter" and two other articles

- Robert Zavala, honorable mention, infographics: "How Uranium Mining Works"

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In a big state like Texas, any honor is extra special. My thanks go to a special staff and to all of you (or is that all y'all?) for making it happen.

For the full list of winners, visit the Texas APME site.