The Lahontan Valley News won 18 awards including nine for first place at this year’s Nevada Press Association’s annual convention held Saturday in North Las Vegas.
The newspapers in the Sierra Nevada Media Group, which represent seven newspapers in western Nevada and Lake Tahoe, garnered a total of 61 awards.
The LVN competes in the Intermediate category, which consists of large weeklies and small daily newspapers under 15,000 circulation. For the first time in modern history, however, a weekly newspaper won a major sweepstakes award in editorial writing over daily and urban weekly newspapers from Las Vegas and Reno. Judges determined LVN editor Steve Ranson’s editorial on the school district’s handling over the dismissal of a coach because of a hazing incident and subsequent lawsuit took a strong stance and provided answers so that the same mistakes were not repeated.
Ranson was also recognized as the top editorial writer in the Intermediate category. He also earned a first-place award in News Feature Writing for his portrayal of Rachel Hendrix after her untimely death earlier this year.
Two columnists won first-place honors in their respective categories. Orlis Trone, who takes a conservative approach in his subjects, won first place for Best Local Non-staff Column, and Thomas Ranson earned a top honor in Best Sports Column.
The newspaper design team of Kelly Davis, Keith Sheffield, Emily Stott and Lac Thompson won first place for Best Overall Design, while Thompson garnered a first place for Best Multiple Photo Essay, a look at the Fallon All-Breeds Bull Sale.
Advertising designers picked up two first-place awards. Joanna Vernarecci and Keigh Cox had the Best Multi-Color Ad for Spooktacular, and Robert Reusser and Kippy Spilker put together an award-winning house ad on LVN’s commitment to the Churchill County community.
The LVN won four second-place awards. In Best Explanatory, Thomas Ranson and Steve Puterski wrote the stories for a special section portraying Fallon’s rise to the state championship football game, and Kelly Davis designed it.
Puterski earned an award for Best Sports Column, while Thompson and Thomas Ranson had a Best Multiple Photo Essay on Fallon’s football game against Moapa Valley, which led up to the championship game.
Columnist Jeanette Strong won second for Best Local Non-staff Column for her Democrat viewpoint.
Third-place awards went to David Henley, Best Local Column; Thomas Ranson, Best Sports Feature on the Pinders’ love with softball; Thompson, Best Page Designer; Steve Ranson, Best Portrait photo; and Terri DelaRosby, Best Multi-Color Ad.
Two longtime newspapermen were inducted into the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.
The late Dave Sanford, whose family ran the Mason Valley News in Yerington for decades, and Brian Greenspun, editor and publisher of the Las Vegas Sun, were honored for their contributions.
Sanford, who died in January, was publisher of the Mason Valley News until 2013. After leaving the newspaper briefly in the 1980s, he returned to the Mason Valley News in 1989 and rose to the assistant editor position before becoming editor and co-publisher. Sanford joined his brother, Jim, in assuming ownership of the News when their parents retired.
Greenspun joins his father and mother, Hank and Barbara Greenspun, in the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.
Born in Boulder City, Greenspun oversees the newspaper launched by his parents when they bought the Las Vegas Free Press in 1950. He writes the Where I Stand column in the tradition of his father.
During his career as publisher, the Sun won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service and was a Pulitzer finalist two years later. The company recently added The Sunday, a free weekly paper, to its lineup of publications.
Kirk Kirn, publisher of Battle Born Media was elected president, succeeding Kurt Hildebrand of the Record-Courier. Steve Ranson steps in to the first vice-president position and will succeed Kirn when his term expires.
National Newspaper Association
The LVN also learned it won two national awards in the National Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.
Second Place — Best Feature Photo, Non-daily Division, circulation 3,000-5,999. Entry Title: Cuteness at the Country Fair. Steve Ranson. Judges’ Comments: “Just a wonderful, wonderful photo. You caught both children perfectly and framed it just right.”
Third Place, — Best Business Story, Non-daily Division, circulation less than 6,000. Entry Title: Sequestration/military budget cuts by Steve Ranson. Judges’ Comments: “Excellent coverage of the potential impact of lost wages due to federal sequestration on local community.”