The Daily Astorian won 22 awards for journalism in the annual Better Newspapers Contest sponsored by the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association.

The newspaper also placed third in the general excellence category.

Four staff members earned first-place trophies.

Photographer Alex Pajunas won the photo essay category for coverage of the rodeo at the Clatsop County Fairgrounds. In the spot news category, he placed second for a photo from the Seaside High School graduation and third for a photo from the Astoria waterfront fire. Pajunas placed second and third in the sports category for photos from Astoria baseball and the three-course challenge cross country meet.

Reporter Deeda Schroeder earned first place in spot news reporting for her coverage of an Astoria “DUII poster boy” who had multiple drunken-driving arrests. She also won the education reporting category for highlighting how cutbacks in financial aid were hurting Clatsop Community College students.

Schroeder teamed with sports writer Gary Henley to place third in the sports story category for coverage of how budget cuts were affecting Astoria High School activities.

Reporter Katie Wilson also earned three awards. She placed first in the lifestyle reporting category for her coverage of the FisherPoets Gathering. She placed third in the enterprise reporting category for a multiple-part series about domestic violence. She placed third in the general features category for a story headlined “The secret life of roadkill.”

Editor and Publisher Steve Forrester placed first in the editorial writing category for a piece about the Port of Astoria. Matt Winters, editor of the Chinook Observer, earned second place for an editorial about smelt. Forrester also earned third place in the best editorial page category for a portfolio of three pages.

Managing Editor Patrick Webb took first place in the best writing category for a portfolio of three columns. He wrote about his father turning 90, his 30-year anniversary of emigrating to the United States and the anguish of an English soccer fan.

The newspaper earned second place in the special sections category for its 2010 Visitors Guide, designed by John Bruijn. He teamed with Coast Weekend Editor Kathleen Strecker to place third in the category for The Lives They Lived, the newspaper’s annual tribute to people with local ties who died during the prior year.

Deputy Managing Editor Sue Cody earned two awards. Her story about Nancy Hoffman earned third place in the category for features about personalities, and her coverage of North Coast graduates who have interesting adult lives placed third in the lifestyle writing category.

Copy editor Max Charlton placed second in the headline writing category for a portfolio of six headlines. His work was judged against all Oregon daily newspapers.

Reporter Cassandra Profita earned third place in the business reporting category for her story on the unraveling of Chester Trabucco’s business empire. Profita left the newspaper last year to join Oregon Public Broadcasting.

The newspaper earned an award for its online coverage at (full package). Jason Nagy and staff placed second in the breaking news category for coverage of the Astoria waterfront fire.

The awards were presented at last week’s annual ONPA convention at Salishan Lodge on the Central Oregon Coast and were for work published in 2010.