Augus Thuermer, editor of the Jackson Hole News, who judged the category with members of his staff, said, "In a close contest, the Homer News distinguished itself with its photography, layout, lifestyle stories and editorials. It is a great paper that appears to reflect its community well."
The (Eagle River) Alaska Star and the (Wasilla) Frontiersman placed second and third in the contest.
The Homer News was named best weekly in Alaska in 1997, 1998 and tied for first with the Anchorage Press in 1999.
Homer News staff, as well as other current and former Homer residents, also received awards individually for their work.
Homer News reporter Joel Gay was awarded top nondaily newspaper honors for reporting on the environment for a story on Caribou Lake trail use and took second in government and political reporting for an annexation wrap-up story.
Reporter Carey James took first in the best profile category for a story about 20-year-old Bailey the Wonderdog, and second in the comprehensive coverage category for her coverage of the shrinking schools budget.
Former Homer News reporter Sean Pearson won second in the sports news reporting category for a story on plans for a new ice rink, as well as third in the sports game/event category for his coverage of the last year's regional basketball competition.
Managing editor R. J. Kelly took third in the scenic photo category with a picture of hockey skaters on Beluga Lake.
Former editor and publisher Mark Turner received the best editorial writing award, and cartoonist Mike O'Meara won third in the editorial cartoon category.
Elsewhere around Homer and on the Kenai Peninsula, awards stacked up as well.
Homer's public radio station, KBBI, won second prize for its daily newscast, with judge Corey Flintoff of National Public Radio commenting, "This is a good example of what can be done in a small local news operation."
KBBI's Alexei Rebenstein won numerous awards, including second for best radio arts story, best crime and courts reporting, second for business, economics, consumer issue or technology, and third for best reporting on a political issue. Jaylee Nash received third for best reporting on a comprehensive series.
The Peninsula Clarion, the Homer News' sister publication, received awards for its photographic and editorial coverage, while Homer resident and Anchorage Daily News reporter Tom Kizzia took second for a story about the Alaska Sea Life Center.
Rounding out Homer's successes, Homer High graduate Lyra Gordon received two awards, first and third, for her page layout work with Alaska Newspapers.