Two reports -- including a collaboration with other news organizations that took an exhaustive look at the increasing cases of valley fever -- written by former Vida en el Valle health reporter Rebecca Plevin, captured first place among the community publications in the McClatchy President's Awards.
Vida en el Valle also won second place in features and sports reporting, and an honorable mention for sports.
The five awards represent the most won by a community publication.
The judges called the series 'Only One Breath/Sólo Un Respiro' "one of the most ambitious and important projects carried out in the community news in years" and "worthy of any newspaper in our company."
The valley fever series -- which included reports by the Merced Sun-Star and The Bakersfield Californian, among other media -- won in the category of special projects.
Plevin also won the news category for her four-part series 'Latinos Protecting the Earth.' The series profiled four Latinos involved in the environmental health movement in the Coachella Valley, Sacramento, Delano and the Bay Area.
"Plevin did a masterful job of finding extraordinary individuals to arouse others to force a change for the better," said the judges.
Cynthia Moreno, who reports from Sacramento, won second place in feature writing for her three-part series 'The American Experience.'
"She creatively uses two rising stars in the political world -- Julián Castro and Marco Rubio -- and scholars to see how history has been and is the definition of Latino identity," the judges said.
Editor Juan Esparza Loera won second place in the sport for his profile of marathon runner Fernando Cabada, who has overcome child poverty and not knowing a father who was constantly in jail.
"An inspiring story of a young man who overcomes significant obstacles to excel as a marathon runner," said the judges.
Daniel Cásarez won honorable mention in sports for 'Answering the Bell,' a profile of female boxer Mía Rosales St. John.
"You gain an understanding of the main character's struggles and triumphs, both inside and outside the ring as she uses her boxing career as a means to work with troubled youth," the judges said.
The only other publication McClatchy more than one award was The Los Banos Enterprise, with a first in sports and a second for photo.