Doris Jean Lombard (left), who was awarded the second place honor, for a photo essay in the 2012 California Newspaper Publisher’s Association annual Better Newspaper Contest, attend the awards luncheon Saturday with Town Crier Publisher Grace Reed.

The Idyllwild Town Crier has again been recognized as an award-winning newspaper. On Saturday, the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association honored the Town Crier with four awards for the period from Nov. 1, 2010 through Oct. 30, 2011.

Two were in the photography categories and the others were in writing and website.

Cid Castillo earned a second place photo award in the Art or Nature category when he captured a rainbow over the town last October. This was Castillo’s first statewide honor.

Cid Castillo with his camera and lens. Photo by J.P. Crumrine

Judges also awarded guest photographer Doris Jean Lombard a second place for her photo essay of birds in a late spring snow. The Town Crier published a set of six photos that Lombard took of birds playing and eating after last March’s snowstorm.

Reporter Marshall Smith was once again honored for his writing. This recognition was for his June 2011 story about the dedication of David Reid-Marr’s sculpture installation of a progression of nine cairns in Idyllwild Arts’ Memorial Grove. CNPA gave Smith an honorable mention in the Best Writing category.

In order to be honored, the judges grade the use of language, clarity and the story’s dramatic effect. Smith’s article was in the top 10 percent of the state in terms of overall writing quality.

“To be recognized by one’s peers in one of the best professional fields is always an honor. Having served as a judge along with my editor J.P. Crumrine, reviewing the work of other journalists in this contest, I know the serious scrutiny and high standards used in evaluating submissions,” Smith said. “That makes the honor even more meaningful. And to be recognized for something one love’s doing — writing — is as good as it gets.”

Finally, the Town Crier production team, led by Halie Johnson, relaunched the paper’s website and this effort also was recognized. The new site was launched in July and the state organization has already bestowed an honorable mention on the work.

“It was very exciting to be honored by our peers,” said Johnson. “The new Town Crier site is not yet a year old and continues to grow and evolve. We are glad we are on the right track. Getting honorable mention was very encouraging.”

“It’s an honor to work with so much talent,” said J.P. Crumrine, Town Crier editor. “I’m proud of everyone’s contribution, but the website which involves the whole staff, is particularly rewarding. The competition was greater this year and four awards in our publishing category is quite a coup.”