Arizona Daily Star journalists won eight first-place awards and more than 20 other honors in this year’s Arizona Press Club contest.

The awards were announced Saturday night at a ceremony in Phoenix.

Both of the Star’s major investigative efforts for the year — the paper’s series on childhood poverty and its series on Arizona’s surge in foster care — won first-place awards. Judge David Jackson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter for the Chicago Tribune, called the Star’s “Losing Ground” investigation “a model of public service journalism, tackling the seemingly oceanic and intractable issue of poverty by looking closely at its local face.”

Among the contest’s highest honors, Star photojournalist Kelly Presnell placed third for Sports Photographer of the Year.

Here is how the Star fared in the state’s largest journalism contest:

  • Breaking news: Tim Steller, Carli Brosseau, Stephanie Innes, Kimberly Matas, Becky Pallack and Kim Smith, for “What Loughner’s parents knew”
  • Column writing: Tim Steller
  • Public service journalism: Stephanie Innes, Emily Bregel, Carli Brosseau, Alexis Huicochea and Patty Machelor, for “Losing Ground: Tucson kids pay poverty’s high price”
  • Social issues reporting: Emily Bregel, Veronica Cruz and Patty Machelor, for “Arizona’s foster care crisis”
  • Spanish-language news reporting: Perla Trevizo (for La Estrella de Tucson)
  • Spanish-language feature reporting: Liliana Lopez Ruelas (for La Estrella de Tucson)
  • Spanish-language commentary/analysis: Ernesto Portillo Jr. (for La Estrella de Tucson)
  • Sports action photography: A.E. Araiza
  • Arts criticism: Cathalena Burch
  • Arts reporting: Cathalena Burch
  • Environmental/science reporting: Tony Davis, for “Rosemont Copper”
  • Feature photography: Mamta Popat
  • Illustration, drawn: Chiara Bautista, for “Summer programs guide”
  • Immigration reporting: Perla Trevizo, “Ministering in a brutal land”
  • Multipage design: Jeff Randall, for “College Basketball 2013-14”
  • Personality profile writing: Angela Pittenger, for “Zay”
  • Picture story: Mike Christy
  • News headlines: Ron Solomon, for “Sedona’s our turf, quoth the ravens / But 2 experts try to shoo away the destructive birds;” “Couched in simple terms, junk sofas are an eyesore;” and “Holy houses, bat fans! Smaller is better, Madera’s fliers decide”
  • Spanish-language feature reporting: Joseph Trevino (for La Estrella de Tucson)
  • Breaking news: Perla Trevizo and Carli Brosseau, for “Crowd scuffles with Border Patrol”
  • Editorial writing: Sarah Garrecht Gassen
  • Environmental/Science reporting: Brenna Goth and Tom Beal, for “Gender bias still strong in the scientific world”
  • Illustration, drawn: Tammie Graves, for “A new chapter awaits her”
  • Illustration, photograph: Ron Medvescek
  • News headlines: Ron Solomon, for “It’s your fault! … No, no, it’s yours! So partial gov’t shutdown may go on;” “Best news of all: Eat chocolate, stay sharp / Now the caveat (you knew it was coming): There’s a ‘maybe’; “ “Turkeys knock the stuffing out of recovery statistics”
  • Politics and government reporting: Joe Ferguson, Darren DaRonco, Jamar Younger, Alexis Huicochea and Patrick McNamara, for “You pay accused workers to stay home”
  • Short-form writing: Kristen Cook, for “Clothing goes au naturel”
  • Sports feature photography: Mamta Popat
  • Sports portrait photography: Kelly Presnell
  • Picture story: Kelly Presnell
  • Sports action photography: Kelly Presnell