Hi Nathon - I am certainly no PHP expert, and would have found this solution on a forum, if not from Ray or Jason here.
Ray's solution is probably more elegant, and you might have got that working now.
But I think this is still what you are trying to do - maybe 'prominence' was a bad choice of word, but the idea seems the same, i.e. you are splitting the records into more than one group, based on a date.
So in my example, the most recent record appears on one place, the next few by date in another section etc.
I have attached a stripped down version of the page below, which has the code in the header with the SQL query, and the HTML / PHP in the body showing the sections.
Hopefully from that, or from Ray's solution you get it working as you would like.