The Lahontan Valley News earned two major awards in this year’s Nevada Press Foundation Awards of Excellence.
Award winners were announced in three divisions: Dailies and large online news sources, magazines and rural newspapers. The LVN competes in the Rural category.
The Lahontan Valley News received first place for General Excellence against other weekly publications (not online) from all over the state. Judges looked at editions of the newspaper from four different quarters of the judging period beginning April 1, 2022, and ending March 31, 2023. Judges also looked at the quality of layout, the quality of writing, advertising and overall appeal.
• The first quarter submission focused on high-school graduation, Oasis Academy and Western Nevada College news and photos and the rollout of the new Top Gun movie that was shot in the area in 2019. The release was delayed because of the COVID pandemic.
• The second quarter included news on candidates seeking political office in Churchill County as well as the Assembly and State Senate races and the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival.
• The third-quarter submission focused on November’s election and local voting results, veteran and military news and features and business news.
• The fourth quarter submission for January-March 2023 included a wide range of articles to include the preparation for possible flooding, the appointment of a new police chief and local Nevada Army National Guard soldiers in Romania. Local columns on the local schools and Fallon Theatres were also included.
Those involved with the LVN during the judging period included retired editor Steve Ranson, Sara Dowling, Thomas Ranson, Lauren Solinger, Kyler Klix, Adam Trumble and Rick Hoover as well as columnists David Henley, Jeanette Strong and Kathleen Williams and contributors from the Chamber of Commerce, Oasis Academy, Fallon Theatres, Churchill County, the Churchill County School District and various military/veterans organizations.
The LVN also received the Community Service award that shows a publication’s commitment to the area it serves. Although the LVN was selected for this award, the LVN, Fallon Post, the Lahontan Broadcasting Company and Churchill County GOP teamed up through newspaper and online articles and profiles, advertising and two candidate nights. The city of Fallon and Mayor Ken Tedford assisted Candidates Night by providing the convention center.
For the second straight election cycle, the community partners wrote newspaper and online articles, designed advertising and presented two candidate nights. Fallon Post Editor Rachel Dahl, former LVN reporter Christy Lattin, KVLV’s Larry Barker and local GOP Chairman Gary Smith were involved with the community event, which was first held for the primary election in June and then again in October for the general election.
The LVN also garnered several first-place writing awards.
Thomas and Steve Ranson received the top award for Sports Feature Story that recapped the Greenwave Hall of Fame dinner and induction through their columns, articles and photographs.
Previous Greenwave HOF inductee Ellen Townsend, a trailblazer in women's athletics both at the high-school and college levels, spoke at the 2022 induction dinner. Through comments and photos, both journalists showed the importance of the community's Greenwave Hall of Fame.
First place in Profile Writing went to Steve Ranson. While on an Honor Flight Nevada trip to Washington, D.C., he told the story of a family who visited a loved one's final resting place at Arlington National Cemetery. The article captured a full range of emotions from sorrow, happiness and refection.
The LVN finished second and third in Local Column. Steve Ranson placed second followed by Jeanette Strong. Ranson also placed second in Entertainment News Story with his profile of Chauncey Williams, who performed at the 2022 Fallon Cantaloupe Festival and third place in Business Feature Story for his profile of Roger Diedrichsen, who stepped down as owner of Pizza Barn. Thomas Ranson took third in Sports Spot News Story by reporting on Lydia Bergman, who broke the CCHS softball record in the 2022 season opener.
The National News Association Foundation recently released its national news winners from 2022. The NNA is the nation’s oldest and largest news organization in the United States. The LVN competes in non-daily.
Thomas Ranson’s Best Sports Feature or Series article “A Vision for the Hall of Fame” won second place, while his Best Sports Story on former Greenwave and University of Nevada athlete Ellen Townsend earned third place.
Steve Ranson’s article on Secretary of Commerce Pete Buttigieg speaking at Fernley’s Victory Project was awarded third place in Best Business Story.