The Free Lance–Star:

WFLS-FM has been named the Virginia Associated Press Broadcasters’ Outstanding News Operation for the third straight year and fifth time since 2000.

The award was one of several the station received yesterday at the VAPB’s annual awards luncheon.

The out-of-state panel of judges noted that WFLS covered a wide range of stories with a “large-market sound.” The station, which is owned by The Free Lance-Star Cos., also received the Outstanding News Operation award in 2000, ’04, ’06 and ’07.

WJMA in Orange received the Meritorious Award for Outstanding News Operation.

WFLS also won eight Superior Awards yesterday:

Best Spot News Coverage for reports on a fiery crash involving several tractor-trailers on Interstate 95 in Caroline County last June.

Continuing News Coverage for “What’s Polluting Fairview Beach?” The coverage of that issue also received a Meritorious Award for the Douglas Southall Freeman Award for Public Service Through Radio Journalism.

Best Feature for “The Weiner Is,” about a hot dog-eating contest at the University of Mary Washington.

Best Documentary or In-Depth Report for “Focus: Recovering From a Brain Injury.”

Best Effort by an Individual Reporter and Best News Anchor: Deirdre Blake.

Best Web Site; wfls has won that award each year since the category’s inception in 2005.

The WFLS news staff includes Niche Herman, Nancy Ball, Deirdre Blake, Bill Dubensky and News Director Frank Hammon.

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