Strong photography and real-time news coverage of Winter Storm Stella helped members of the Observer-Dispatch staff place among the finalists for seven separate awards in the 2017 New York State Associated Press Association Newspaper Contest.

NYSAPA's annual contest presents awards for excellence in journalism in more than 25 categories across four different divisions based on circulation size. The Observer-Dispatch competes in Division II, which includes papers with an assessed weekly circulation of 75,000 to 249,999.

Within each division, up to three finalists are selected for each award, but the final rankings – first, second and third place – are not revealed until the official awards dinner in June.

The Observer-Dispatch has two finalists in one of the photography categories, meaning it’s poised to receive a total of eight awards at the June 2 banquet in Saratoga Springs. Last year, the paper brought home 12 awards in the 2016 contest.

Here are the categories in which the O-D placed for 2017:

Spot News Coverage: Staff, "Winter Storm Stella”

Public Service: Amy Neff Roth, "Opioid Addiction"

Sports Column: Ron Moshier

Spot News Photo: Sarah Condon, "Pride and Emotion"

Sports Photo: Sarah Condon, "Worth the Effort"; and Alex Cooper, "Running in Shadows"

Digital Storytelling: Samantha Madison, "Historic Buildings"

Social Media Effort: Staff, "Stella's Wrath"