The Greater New Milford Spectrum and its sister publication, The News-Times, won a total of 25 awards at the annual Society of Professional Journalists' Excellence in Connecticut Journalism dinner May 26 at the Fantasia restaurant in Wallingford.

The Spectrum won three first-place awards, four second-place and four honorable mentions.

News-Times Editor Art Cummings received a first-place sports column award for his column in The Spectrum called "Just playing ball;" the editorial board received first place for the editorial "Keep on track;" and freelance photographer Trish Haldin won first place in photo layout for "Peter Pan and Tink."

Second-place awards for regional non-daily newspapers went to Spectrum Editor Norm Cummings for his photo layout "Green Wave grapplers;" for his feature photo "Winter Reflections;" and for a sports column in The Spectrum called "NMHS wrestling in same league as Danbury." Brian Koonz won a second place award for a general column in The Spectrum called "In life and death."

Honorable mention went to writer and photographer Deborah Rose for her photo layout "Chocolate Fantasy," to office manager Janine Touissant for her sports column, "What's not to like about NASCAR?;" to Norm Cummings for his sports photo "Heartbreak" and to Ms. Haldin for her feature photo "Rockets' red glare."

The News-Times received five first-place awards, six second-place and three honorable mentions in the competition category of daily newspapers with a circulation between 18,000 and 50,000.

Staff writer and columnist Robert Miller won first place in business for his piece "Reviving a corporate jewel," which described the transformation of the former Union Carbide building in Danbury to the Matrix Corporation Center.

Nine staff members won first place in the general reporting series "Boughton's Burden," about Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and his stand on illegal immigration.

A dozen staff members won first-place in the in-depth series category for "Troubling Prognosis," about the shooting of a nurse at Danbury Hospital.

Mike DeSalvo won first place for his informational graphic on the "Last Dry Town," about Bridgewater.

Photo editor Carol Kaliff, photographer Michael Duffy and former News-Times photographer Chris Ware won first-place for their photo layout called "We Americans" on the Fourth of July.

Second-place awards also went to reporters Dirk Perrefort and Vinti Singh for their feature series "Life Along the Exits;" to reporter Eileen FitzGerald for her general reporting of "Twin sisters share a dream" and to reporter Kevin Duffy for his sports feature "Three brothers find perfect match with Brookfield mom."

Also, second-place awards went to Kevin Duffy for his sports column "Memories of South will never fade away;" to page designer Daryn Rowley for her non-Page 1 layout "A hard cell" and to copy editor and page designer Lynn Schnier for headline writing.

Honorable mentions went to 10 staff members for the in-depth series "Who is Joe DaSilva?;" to Sunday Editor and columnist Brian Koonz for his general column "An evening of monsters and ice cream," and to Ms. Kaliff for her photo layout called "Care and Dignity."

Other newspapers in the Hearst Connecticut Media Group -- the Connecticut Post, the Advocate, Greenwich Time and the Brooks weekly newspapers -- also won awards in numerous categories.