LVN wins 23 press awards

The Lahontan Valley News won first place for Community Service in its coverage of the Nevada Sesquicentennial in 2014.

The Lahontan Valley News won first place for Community Service in its coverage of the Nevada Sesquicentennial in 2014.

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The Lahontan Valley News won 23 newspaper and advertising awards Friday at the annual Nevada Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks.

Newspapers serving readers in Nevada are awarded top honors in the state for reporting, photography, graphic design, editorial writing, advertising and general excellence. The publication period was April 2014 through March 2015.

The LVN competes in the Class II division against small daily newspapers and those that publish more than once a week. Members of the Wyoming Press Association served as judges.

Overall, the LVN garnered 10 first-place, six second-place and seven third-place awards.

The LVN won the Community Service Award for its yearlong coverage of the Nevada Sesquicentennial and Fallon’s involvement with the state’s 150th birthday. During the contest year, the LVN published articles on local activities, news from the monthly meetings involving Mayor Ken Tedford’s local Sesquicentennial board and comprehensive articles and photos from Fallon events ranging from rededicating the state’s sesquicentennial stamp to the securing of a time capsule in a new vault at the Churchill County Museum.

“Since this was such a milestone in both Nevada and our community, it is an honor for the LVN to be selected as the top newspaper in this category,” said LVN Editor Steve Ranson. “To be a part of the sesquicentennial was exciting, and many great things happened here in Fallon that we reported on.”

Those working on the series of articles and events were Ranson, Steve Puterski, Christine Kuklica, Laci Thompson and Kelly Davis.

One judge was impressed with the Community Service entry: “This was a great series. Love the community involvement. I am not sure the other three entries belong in this category.”

Best Editorial Writing and Best Editorial Page went to Ranson, while Ranson, Thompson and local author Dan Quinley won a first-place for Best Multiple Photo Essay on Quinley’s father and mother, and the love letters they shared during World War II.

Said Judges … “It was a practical idea to put together the historical photos for an interesting Memorial Day piece.”

Ranson and Thompson won second place in the same category for a story on “D-Day: The world’s greatest seaborne invasion.” Ranson also captured first place in Best News Feature based on his article on veteran Kenneth Shockley that was included in the D-Day story.

LVN sports reporter Thomas Ranson won his third Best Sports Column in four years. Judges said, “Nice job of putting local and personal touches on the columns.”

Columnist David C. Henley and Jeanette Strong each won top awards.

Henley’s “My Turn” in Best Local Column received the following comment: “The strength of David Henley’s columns is his deep knowledge of Nevada and his ability to see the not-so-obvious possibilities, and he plays up those qualities in his columns.”

Strong writes a political column, “By the Way,” that appears twice a month in the Best Local Non-Staff Column category. Judges’ comments said Strong expressed herself well and has well supported information.

“A great local political column,” the judges wrote.

Humorist Rick Seley took second, and Glen McAdoo garnered third for an LVN sweep.

Graphic designers Rob Fair and Erik Achenback each won first-place recognition for their advertising designs in Best Advertising Innovation and Best Large Space Ad, respectively. Achenback and Joanna Vernarecci took second for Best Advertising Innovation, and Fair was a runner-up in Best In-House Promotion.

Christine Kuklica won second place in Best Spot News Story for her coverage of a Fallon girl who took her own life.

“A good lesson in why minimizing harm is just as important as covering breaking news,” said one judge.

Puterski‘s “Riding the Pine” took second. One judge said, “He makes good points and uses good research of how the NIAA can improve.”

Third-place awards were presented to Puterski, Best Explanatory Journalism; the LVN and page designers, Best Page One Design; Puterski, Best Sports Feature; Chris Oleson, Best Advertising Innovation; Joanna Vernarecci, Best Large-Space Ad; and Thompson, Best Page Designer.

Hall of Fame: Veteran Las Vegas Review-Journal political journalist Laura Myers, who had been with the newspaper since 2010, was posthumously inducted into the Nevada Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Myers died June 19 at the age of 53, two years after she had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Her family received the award on her behalf during the association’s annual awards banquet in Sparks.


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