Port Orchard is the seat of Kitsap County government and the center of a vibrant, growing seaside community. Port Orchard's South Kitsap High School has the largest student enrollment in the state, and the community prides itself on the quality of education provided by the South Kitsap School District. The Port Orchard area is a popular tourist destination, with marinas, parks, historic sites, and a passenger-only ferry to and from Bremerton. The Port Orchard Independent was founded in August 1890, absorbing two other local newspapers: The Broad Ax in 1891 and the Kitsap County Pioneer in 1893. Just as it has for the last 125 years, the Independent continues to provide the South Kitsap area with relevant and timely news and information, and reaches 18,232 households every Friday. The Independent won General Excellence in the 2015 Better Newspapers Contest sponsored by the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association. It also won first place for its tourism guide, Discover Kitsap, and first place awards for page design and photography. The Independent won other awards for advertising, section-cover design, education reporting, and sports writing. In all, Sound Publishing newspapers in Kitsap won 40 awards, and Sound newspapers in the state won a combined 240 awards.