Honors for Town Crier columnist Conor O’Farrell and photographer Cheryl Basye have extended beyond California’s borders.

Last week, the National Newspaper Association announced the winners in its 2015 Better Newspaper Contest.

O’Farrell was stunned, almost speechless, when told that he was the third place honoree for his “Off the Leash” column in the Best Serious Column, Daily & Non-daily Division, circulation 3,000 to 5,999 category.

But the judges described his work as, “Thorough coverage of a niche community with special attention to details. Excellent local news opportunities.”

Basye received an honorable mention for her “Butterfly Daze” photograph, which the judges thought was “very well done!” When learning of her recognition, Basye said, “That is really nice.” Her category was Best Feature Photo, Non-daily Division, circulation 3,000 to 5,999.

Both honorees also were recognized in the 2014 California Newspaper Publishers Association Better Newspaper Contest.

These are not the first national awards bestowed on the paper. In 2013, stories about the Idyllwild School smARTS program and the construction of the playground at the Idyllwild Community Center site were recognized and there were several awards in many prior years also.