The Petaluma Argus-Courier won six first and second place awards on Saturday in the annual California Newspaper Publisher Association's annual Better Newspapers Contest.

The Argus-Courier has a long history of earning numerous awards in the statewide competition, taking home the top prize for General Excellence among weekly newspapers with a circulation of 4,301 to 11,000 in four of the last five years. This year, the newspaper finished second in that category behind the Half Moon Bay Review.

The Argus-Courier took home two first place prizes for best writing and sports coverage, along with four second-place honors for coverage of the environment, special sports section, general excellence and editorial cartoon.

The first place for sports coverage went to John Jackson, editor of the sports section, for his overall coverage of youth sports in the community. He has received the honor two out of the last three years.

The first place in writing went to Managing Editor Jamie Hansen for her article "Bank reports live customer dead."

Hansen also took second place for coverage of the environment for a story on the ailing redwood trees in Center Park. The news staff at the Argus-Courier received second place for their special sports section, which highlighted the Petaluma Nationals' achievements at the Little League World Series.

The Argus-Courier's former cartoonist, Steve Rustad, was honored with a second place award for his cartoon depicting the extreme budget cuts that local schools suffered from in 2012.