First reported 10/12/2009 7:28 p.m.

At an awards ceremony on Friday in Peoria, the Illinois Press Association named Forest Park Review the best small weekly newspaper in the state, and sent off Review editor Josh Adams with one of the group’s biggest trophies.

The Verle V. Kramer Memorial Trophy, more than 3 feet 4 inches tall, is a newspaper version of the Stanley Cup. It’s a sweepstakes award for the Review, meaning the paper earned the highest number of points in an overall contest for news and features reporting and writing, photography and design.

For the last year, the Kramer trophy was at the office of The Zephyr, the weekly newspaper in Galeburg. It’s been awarded since 1969, when the family of the publisher of the Gibson City Courier set up this award in his honor. It’s now one of six coveted sweepstakes awards that the Illinois Press Association gives every year. The Kramer goes to paper with a circulation of 3,000 or fewer. To get this trophy, the Review ranked first among 21 weekly newspapers.

The Review won 15 individual awards, including one for best school board coverage. That award was earned for a series of stories on District 91’s proposed restructuring.

Named best big weekly newspaper in the state was the Review’s sibling, Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest. This year is the second for such recognition of the Journal. Having two of its community weeklies rank among the state’s best is a first for Wednesday Journal Inc., the Oak Park-based independent newspaper group of three community weeklies in the suburbs and three in the city.

Helen Karakoudas
Managing Editor 

About one of Josh Adams’ editorials

  • Proviso’s legal bills – “Passionate, strong, in-their-face awesome. Well-written, punchy argument that’s entertaining and extremely important to Forest Park residents.”
  • We’ll never know – “Excellent watchdog commentary raises public awareness of 1st Amendment rights”

About Rebecca Lomax’s overall design: “By far the best entry in this category. Nice use of color and headlines and white space. Nice job all around.”

About Josh Adams’ business and economic reporting: “Good … tying the national issue to the local reality.”

About Stephanie Kuehnert’s columns: “Good writing drew me in at the first sentence of each column and kept me reading until the end. Well-expressed opinions.”

About Josh Adams’ coverage of Proviso township high school: “Articles are well-written and the issue is thoroughly covered.”

About one of Evan O’Brien’s cartoons: “Very creative and original.”

About Josh Adams’ feature writing in “With luxury to spare”: Great lead. Interesting subject. Very well-written.

About Jennifer Wolfe’s Fourth of July face paint photo: “Cute. Face in lower middle makes this.”

About the Review’s excellence overall: “Great front-page stories. Feature writing is compelling and timely. Headlines are catchy. Great treatment and design of ads. Calendars are well presented.”