The Pine Bluff Commercial won four first place awards over the weekend at the annual Arkansas Press Association’s convention in Hot Springs. The awards were given to stories written in 2018.

Former reporter and current-freelance writer Ahmaree Williams won first place in the feature writing category for a story about battling bullies.

Former reporter Michael Neary won first place in beat reporting for his education stories.

Managing Editor John Worthen won first place for an editorial he wrote about anti-violence.

Freelance writer Richard Ledbetter won a first place award in the freelancer category for his coverage of blues legend Bobby Rush, who was honored last year by the community at the Pine Bluff Convention Center.

Jennifer Allen, The Commercial's publisher, said that she is "excited and honored that the judges awarded Pine Bluff Commercial multiple awards in so many different categories. I am really proud of the newspaper staff for all of their accomplishments and recognition of their hard work. This means a great deal and is recognition of what a vital role a newspaper plays in its community."

The Commercial also won several second and third place awards.

Worthen won third place for an editorial he wrote about former Jefferson County judge Henry “Hank” Wilkins IV; Ray King won third place in the single news photo category for a photo of golf carts snaking around a path at Harbor Oaks; and The Commercial’s website won second place.

The Commercial competes in the “Smaller Dailies” category.