Monday Briefing: Better than Mega Millions

I didn’t win the Mega Millions jackpot.

In fact, I didn’t even play. Somehow this lottery fever always rushes around me without me noticing. Selective hearing, I guess. That and a lifetime of bad luck with lotteries or raffles of any kind.

But something even better happened to me and my colleagues this weekend (I know, not really), the Riverhead News-Review team came back as huge winners in the annual New York Press Association better newspapers contest, compiling 30 awards up in Saratoga Springs where the winners were announced this weekend.

That was the most awards handed out to any single newspaper, with longtime staff photographer and Polish Town resident Barbaraellen Koch dominating in photography. BE — as she’s known — took  first, second and third place in the ultra-competitive feature photo category. BE swept it, and was part of a company-wide team that took home the most contest points overall of any newspaper chain in New York State!

Congrats to the rest of the team as well. I know it feels good to be recognized. And thanks to all the nice comments from readers as we were updating the contest results throughout the weekend on our Facebook page.

•  I hope everyone enjoyed their Sunday, which for many was celebrated as the holy day of Palm Sunday, marking Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem exactly a week before he was to be crucified. His entrance into the city was marked by locals making a path by laying palms and other garments, according to scriptures. (I have to attribute everything, but really I remember all this from 10 years of Catholic school.)

That scene was recognized this weekend with a procession at First Parish Church in Northville, complete with donkeys (Jesus entered the city on a donkey) from a rescue club. See photos of the donkeys here.

• Feel like mixing it up this morning with your friends and neighbors over presidential politics? There’s a thread of comments stretching a mile long under Times/Review Newsgroup owner Troy Gustavson’s Suffolk Times column last week saying Barack Obama has earned another four years in office.