The paper's Web site, www.jessaminejournal.com, was voted best among weekly and multi-weekly newspapers.
"We've put a lot of emphasis on upgrading our Web site and offering more to our readers," Moore said. "Obviously, that really paid off, but we didn't need an award to confirm what we already knew. We've received a lot of positive feedback since upgrading the site."
The Arizona judges said the Web site delivered, "Good, diverse news content and photos. Videos, blogs (nice wordpress design) and slideshows - WOW. The whole shebang. Very cool. Easy to navigate. Good organization. OK layout and design."
Scott Schurz Jr., publisher of the newspaper, was elated with the newspaper's editorial success.
"We're excited any time our work is recognized by peers," he said.
Schurz added that 2008 marked the first time all four Kentucky newspapers owned by Schurz Communications Inc. have won General Excellence awards at the convention in the same year.
The Interior Journal in Stanford took home third place among mid-sized weeklies. The Winchester Sun earned second for small dailies while the Advocate-Messenger in Danville placed third for mid-sized dailies.
The Journal won awards in half of the 27 categories covering all aspects of newspapers, from writing and photography to design.
"I'm happy with how well the Journal staff did - it's always nice to be recognized by your colleagues for the work you do throughout the year," staff writer Tyler Young said. "I think we have a quality editorial staff here, and being acknowledged by the KPA supports that opinion. It's a good finish to my first year at the Journal."
Young received a second place award in Best Investigative Story or Series for his three-part series on Wilmore RFD. He also received four third place awards and an honorable mention for his picture of "Elvis" being arrested in downtown Nicholasville.
Moore earned a first place award in the Best Editorial category for an editorial he wrote entitled, "Asbury's silence speaks volumes."
The judges, who were members of the Arizona Newspaper Association, said, "Attention grabbing opener and interesting topic. Leaves readers wondering if (the) college ever 'fessed' up.
He also won a second place award for his feature on Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater.
"I enjoyed writing that feature because Harold was in the dark the entire time," Moore said. "I spoke to people who knew him best and told them to keep it under their hats and approached the story that way. I realized at the end of the story that I needed a quote from Harold so it would completely come together, so I called him out of the blue and asked him to sum up his life in Wilmore without explaining why I needed him to do so. To my amazement, he gave me a great quote, but I could tell he didn't have any idea why I'd asked him such an out of the blue question."
Moore also received three honorable mentions.
News Designer Shane Walters placed first in Best Lifestyle Page, second in Best Business Page and finished third Best Editorial Page and Best Headline.
"Journalists don't always receive whole-hearted pats on the back for their work and efforts," Walters said. "So anytime your work is recognized, it very satisfying and rewarding. I'm honored to have won four KPA awards and for being associated with so many outstanding newspapers and professionals."
Of the lifestyle pages, the Arizona judges said, "Great layout on the train page won this."
Sports editor Casey Castle received two second place awards in the Best Sports Page and Best Photo Essay categories.
"My first full year as the Journal's sports editor has been a learning experience," Castle said. "Two second-place awards is a great barometer for how far I've come and how much I can still improve."
The Jessamine Journal is in the Weekly Class 3 which consists of the largest weekly newspapers in the state. The Oldham Era in Oldham County received the first-place finish in General Excellence; the Lebanon Enterprise placed third.
The Jessamine Journal won the following awards:
â?¢ First Place - Best Editorial - Mike Moore
â?¢ First Place - Best Web site for weeklies and multi weeklies - Staff
â?¢ First Place - Best Lifestyle Page - Shane Walters
â?¢ Second Place - General Excellence - Staff
â?¢ Second Place - Best Feature Story - Mike Moore
â?¢ Second Place - Best Business Page - Shane Walters
â?¢ Second Place - Best Sports Page - Casey Castle
â?¢ Second Place - Best Sports Picture Essay - Casey Castle
â?¢ Second Place - Best Investigative Story or Series - Tyler Young
â?¢ Third Place - Best Feature Story - Tyler Young
â?¢ Third Place - Best Sports Story - Tyler Young
â?¢ Third Place - Best Business/Agribusiness Story - Tyler Young
â?¢ Third Place - Best Picture Essay - Tyler Young
â?¢ Third Place - Best Editorial Page - Shane Walters
â?¢ Honorable Mention - Best Column - Mike Moore
â?¢ Honorable Mention - Best Investigative Story or Series - Mike Moore
â?¢ Honorable Mention - Best Spot News Picture - Tyler Young
â?¢ Honorable Mention - Best General News Picture - Mike Moore