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Buffalo News reporters, photographers, editors and graphic artists won 19 awards, including eight first-place awards from the New York State Associated Press Association during the 2014 annual meeting in Saratoga Springs on Saturday.

The News competes in the over-125,000 circulation category, against such newspapers as the New York Times, Newsday, the New York Daily News and the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle.

Reporter Lou Michel won two first-place awards, for breaking news and beat reporting. His story on the fatal shooting of a taxi driver that left fellow cabbies reeling won over two winning entries from Newsday in the breaking news category.

Michel’s stories off the police beat, including “How Jessie died,” about a disabled young man in Lockport who died after being adopted, won first place for beat reporting over other winning entries from the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle and Newsday.

Daniel Zakroczemski won first place in graphic illustrations for his illustration of a story, “Amazing ancestry.”

Three photographers won first-place awards: James P. McCoy, in the Portraits and Personalities category for his photo “Khalil,” Harry Scull Jr., for his photo “Thrill of Victory” in the sports category and John Hickey for “Fire Escape,” under the spot news category.

Graphic artist Terry Lew won first place for news presentation – spot, for his design of a page on “Pope’s exit shocks the world” and sports designer artist Andrea Zagata won first place for news presentation – nonspot for the page design for Style Points.

Copy editor Rich Donaldson won first place for brightest headline, “A churn for the better.”

Charity Vogel won second place in features category for her story, “A Legacy Uncertain,” a story about a farm family making tough decisions about whether to remain in agriculture.

Jerry Sullivan won second place in sports for “Spur of the Moment,” and Bob DiCesare won third place in sports for “Bred for Success.”

Donn Esmonde won second place in columns for his column about the death of Patty Parete, years after the shooting that paralyzed her for life.

Kevin Walter won second place in editorials for his “Help for the Innocent” and Dawn Bracely won third place in editorials for “FAA needs to get busy and implement 3407 safety rules.”

Matt Spina placed third in depth reporting for his series on “Today’s Mental Health Squad.”

Barbara Sullivan won third place for brightest headline, “After surgery, he’s Reed thin,” and Mike Harrington won third place in blogging for Inside Pitch.

McCoy also won second place in portraits and personalities for a photo of CJ Spiller.