The TIMES NEWS will receive three awards by the Philadelphia Press Association, including a top honor among all newspapers in the metropolitan Tri-State region.

Philadelphia Press Association (PPA) judges announced Wednesday that first place in enterprise reporting in "Best of the Best" competition will be awarded to TIMES NEWS writer Donald R. Serfass, Tamaqua, for research and reporting of solved and unsolved police cases, stories that appeared in this newspaper throughout 2012.

The work includes "Little Boy Lost," the story of a three-year-old Tamaqua toddler who disappeared without a trace, "The Death of Officer Morgans" of the Lansford police department, and "The Immortal Peddler," the case of a traveling salesman murdered along the Catawissa Trail near Mahanoy City.

Judges selected the stories for first place by comparing them against other nominated work among newspapers of all sizes in the Pennsylvania, Delaware and New Jersey metro region.

In addition, PPA judges also selected another project by Serfass and will award it third place in the the all-encompassing category of daily newspaper writing in the Greater Delaware Valley. The work, "Murder at River Run Inn," explored the unsolved homicide of a South Tamaqua innkeeper.

Just over a month ago, that project was singled out by the Pennsylvania Associated Press and the Pennsylvania News Media Association. Both news organizations awarded it first place in investigative reporting.

The PPA also will recognize Serfass for his commentary "The friendly face of evil," one of his regular Under My Hat columns that examined average, everyday people who, in an instant, perpetrate violent crime.

Serfass serves as managing editor, features and human-interest. He will receive the awards in Philadelphia in June.