Maria Piedrabuena, left and Denise Civiletti at an awards ceremony at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism last year, where Piedrabuena was presented an award for her reporting on local DACA recipients.

RiverheadLOCAL is pleased to announce that editor Denise Civiletti and reporter Maria Piedrabuena were both honored with awards from the New York Press Association in its annual Better Newspaper Contest.

Civiletti won an award for investigative reporting for her work on the pending land deal at the Calverton Enterprise Park.

The judges said: “The reporter showed a great deal of tenacity following the story and not backing down along the way. This is a story that required digging and to constantly stay on top of it.”

She took second place in division one in the Thomas G. Butson Award for Investigative/In-Depth Reporting.

Piedrabuena won a first-place award in the best column category. She won the judges’ praise for being a “fabulous writer, persuader and narrator.”

She “writes of personal issues that are, in effect, issues that we all face in our nation,” they said. “From parenting in the age of school shootings to hate speech to an encounter with Justice Sotomayor, she can place the reader in her shoes and see with her eyes. This is the very essence of writing a column.

“This is also the remedy for the divisions that face us — to see another’s perspective in a passionate and compassionate telling, without rancor.”

Luminati CEO Daniel Preston at a June 16, 2017 event at the ‘grand re-opening’ of Plant Six at the Calverton Enterprise Park. File photo: Denise Civiletti

Civiletti’s winning entry:

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and the author at the Riverhead Panera Bread in 2012.

Piedrabuena’s winning entry:

The awards were announced at the New York Press Association’s spring conference in Albany April 6-7.

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