The Daily Astorian earned eight awards in the Northwest Excellence in Journalism competition sponsored by the Society of Professional Journalists.

The awards, for work published during 2014, were presented Saturday at the annual banquet of the Oregon Territory Chapter of the SPJ in Albany.

Former reporter Chelsea Gorrow earned four awards. She took first place for investigative reporting for a story about how the lack of certified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners in Clatsop County affects rape investigations. The story also placed third in the health reporting category.

In the crime and justice reporting category, she placed second for her coverage of how the Clatsop County Jail struggles to house the mentally ill.

She placed third in the short feature-writing category for her story about how Charles “Chuck” Vanderveldt, who owns a janitorial business, was overcoming adversity.

Gorrow left Astoria to work on the police beat at The Register-Guard in Eugene.

Coast WeekendCoast Weekend editor Rebecca Sedlak earned second place in the lifestyles category for her coverage of the “Dragulation” event in Astoria.

Reporter Kyle Spurr earned second place in the government and politics reporting category for covering the commotion which followed Commissioner Dirk Rohne’s questioning of County Manager Scott Somers’ handling of personnel.

Nancy McCarthy, former editor of the Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach Gazette, who has retired from those positions and as a full-time Daily Astorian reporter, earned third place in the best local column category. Her columns covered recollections of the murder of the 2-year-old baby in Cannon Beach, what nature can teach during a vacation and connections made at Cannon Beach’s annual “welcome home salmon” ceremony.

Seaside SignalFormer Managing Editor Patrick Webb earned second place in the sports feature category for a column he wrote about how health difficulties ended his 29-year soccer refereeing career.

The newspaper competes against daily newspapers with 15 or fewer news staff in Oregon, Washington state, Alaska, Idaho and Montana. The Oregon Territory SPJ chapter covers Oregon and Southwest Washington.

The Seaside Signal and Cannon Beach Gazette earned four awards in the competition. The awards included third place in general excellence for the Seaside Signal.

Cannon Beach GazetteReporter Erick Bengel earned two awards for work in the Gazette. He placed second in the lifestyles category for coverage of a citywide miniature golf fundraiser for Tolovana Arts Colony. He placed third in arts reporting and criticism for his coverage of Cannon Beach musician Michael Corry’s remix of his “Codger Pole” music CD.

McCarthy earned third place in the government and politics reporting category, for coverage of attempts to unseat Gearhart Mayor Dianne Widdop.

The newspapers compete against nondaily newspapers in Oregon, Washington state, Alaska, Idaho and Montana.