The Radio Television Digital News Association has honored Ventura and Santa Barbara counties’ National Public Radio station with seven regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic excellence.

KCLU won more 2010 awards than any small station in the region covering California, Nevada, Hawaii and Guam. This is the highest number of Murrow awards the station has ever received in a single year.

Program Director Jim Rondeau, News Director Lance Orozco and reporter John Palminteri won the award for “Audio Breaking News Coverage” for their live reporting on the Jesusita Fire, which destroyed about 80 homes in Santa Barbara County.

John North, a retired Los Angeles radio reporter who produces special projects for KCLU, won two awards for his hourlong documentary Not in My Backyard, which examined California’s laws regulating paroled sex offenders. His work was honored for “Audio Investigative Reporting” and “Audio News Documentary.” North looked at difficulties with tracking paroled sex offenders and the increasing number of offenders who are homeless.

Orozco won four individual honors. He received the top awards for “Audio Continuing Coverage” for his reporting on Ventura County’s Guiberson Fire, “Audio News Series” for KCLU’s Arts and Entertainment Reports, “Audio Sports Reporting” for a segment on the oldest-living former Major League Baseball player and “Use of Sound” for a feature on a whale that played tourist for a few days in the Santa Barbara Harbor.

KCLU has received 18 Murrow awards since 2001.

Click here for recordings of all of the winning stories.

The awards, named after legendary CBS journalist Edward Murrow, were announced this month. There was not a ceremony.

KCLU, a community service of California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, serves Ventura County at 88.3 FM and Santa Barbara County at 1340 AM and 102.3 FM. Click here for live streaming and archives.

— Karin Grennan is the media relations manager for California Lutheran University.