The Independent brought home 16 awards from the annual convention of the New Mexico Press Association, of which its editor Leota Harriman is the outgoing president.

The NMPA is made up of newspapers from around the state, and holds a Better Newspaper Contest every year, in which newspapers of roughly the same size compete against each other in daily and weekly divisions.

This year’s contest saw just short of 1,200 entries.

The Independent’s sports editor Ger Demarest won first place for sports writing and for best overall sports coverage. In addition, he won both first and second place for sports photography.

Tamara Bicknell-Lombardi won first and second place for both the general news photos and feature photos categories; she also won second place for environmental and ag writing; and shares the first-place award for breaking news.

Harriman won first place for graphic design of a retail ad; first place for obituary news, and shares first place for breaking news.

Harriman won second place for ongoing coverage of Edgewood’s town government, along with Sara Werth; second place for editorials; second place for the layout of the classified ad section; and second place for obituary page.

Harriman will remain on the Press Association’s board of directors as past president, with her term expiring in 2023. Babette Herrmann of the Gallup Sun succeeds her as president.