The Valley Reporter won recognition from the Vermont Press Association for photography and editorial writing at the Vermont Press Association's annual meeting on February 17.

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin addressed the assembled members of the state's press corps and affirmed his commitment to have more transparency in Vermont state government. After the governor spoke, press association director Mike Donahue and outgoing president Bethany Dunbar presented the awards.

John Williams, former photographer (and currently a contributor) for <MI>The Valley Reporter<D> received two awards for his work. In the Vermont weekly paper division, William's picture of a fire at Amerigas on New Year's Eve was recognized with a second-place award and his photograph of a Harwood Union soccer goal being scored received a third-place award.

Editor Lisa Loomis received a third-place award in the combined daily and weekly editorial writing division for an editorial entitled "Keep it in the open" which dealt with the Warren Select Board's use of executive session to discuss the possibility of taking legal action.

The annual VPA meeting was held at the Capital Plaza in Montpelier. In addition to Shumlin, attendees heard from state Senator Jeannette White and state Rep. Donna Sweaney, who chair the government operations committee in the Senate and the House.
Shumlin's legal counsel, Beth Robinson, and Secretary of State Jim Condos also discussed the open government issues as they see them from their offices. Stephanie Dasaro, the new public information officer for the Vermont State Police, also addressed the association.
The VPA presented state Archivist Gregory Sanford the Matthew Lyon Award for his efforts for the First Amendment and open government by providing access to government documents. Sanford said he accepted the award on behalf of his coworkers.