Vermillion Plain Talk staff receives highest honors at SDNA convention

Vermillion Plain Talk staff receives highest honors at SDNA convention The Vermillion Plain Talk was one of seven newspapers that took home top awards in the 1999 Better Newspapers Contest sponsored by the South Dakota Newspaper Association.

The awards were given during the group's convention May 8 in Watertown.

The following papers won the General Excellence Award in their respective categories:
* the Sioux Falls Argus Leader for daily newspapers over 16,000 circulation;


* the Brookings Register for daily newspapers under 16,000 circulation;


* the Freeman Courier for weekly newspapers over 2,400 circulation;


* the Vermillion Plain Talk for weekly newspapers 1,401-2,400 circulation;


* the Dell Rapids Tribune for weekly newspapers under 1,400 circulation.

The General Excellence awards are based on the overall quality of the newspapers as judged by members of the North Dakota Newspaper Association.

A Sweepstakes Award is presented to one newspaper in each circulation group earning the most points based on a point system for each winning entry.

Sweepstakes Award winners were:


* the Sioux Falls Argus Leader for daily newspapers over 16,000 circulation;


* the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan for daily newspapers under 16,000 circulation;


* the Freeman Courier for weekly newspapers over 2,400 circulation;


* the Vermillion Plain Talk for weekly newspapers 1,401-2,400 circulation;


* the Hamlin County Republican in Castlewood for weekly newspapers under 1,400 circulation.

First place winners were also selected in 22 different categories in the five circulation groups.

The Sioux Falls Argus Leader took the lead among first place winners with 13 in the daily newspapers over 16,000 circulation group. The Aberdeen American News took home seven first place awards with the Rapid City Journal receiving one.

Among daily newsapers under 16,000 circulation the Yankton Daily Press & Dakotan was the leader of the pack with seven first place awards followed by the Mitchell Daily Republic and Brookings Register, which had four each.

The Black Hills Pioneer in Spearfish received three first place awards with the Watertown Public Opinion receiving two and one first place award respectively.

The top winner among weekly newspapers over 2,400 circulation was the Freeman Courier, which had seven first place awards. The Missouri Valley Observer in Yankton and the Mobridge Tribune each received four first place awards. The Winner Advocate, Chamberlain Register, Sisseton Courier and the Meade County Times-Tribune in Sturgis all had one first place award.

The Elk Point Leader-Courier beat the competition among weekly newspapers from 1,401-2,400 circulation to take home three first place awards. The Plain Talk and Belle Fourche Post/Bee each had two first place awards. Winning one first place award each were:


* the Lawrence County Centennial in Deadwood, the Hot Springs Star, the Lennox Independent, the Potter County News in Gettysburg, the Moody County Enterprise in Flandreau, the Pioneer Review in Philip, the Clark County Courier in Clark, the Sioux Valley News in Canton, and the Custer County Chronicle.

The Hamlin County Herald Republican dominated with six first place awards among weekly newspapers under 1,400 circulation. It was followed by the Wessington Springs True Dakotan with two first place honors. Receiving one first place award each were: the Tripp Star-Ledger, the Armour Chronicle, the Brule-Buffalo County News in Kimball, the McLauglin Messenger, the Kadoka Press, the Lake Preston Times and the Parkston Advance.

First Place


* General Excellence to the Plain Talk staff. "Winner by a landslide. Love the color photos," the judges wrote.


* Sweepstakes Award: Bill Willroth, publisher, David Lias, editor.


* Best Editorial Writing: David Lias, Between the Lines. The judges commented, "Great writing and research make up these extremely readable editorials."

Second place


* Best Typography and Design to the Plain Talk staff. "Very impressive," the judges commented. "Excellent photos and overall typography. Very easy to read newspaper. Excellent job!"


* Best Photo Series: M. Jill Sundstrom, Dakota Days '98. "Nice coverage of Dakota Days. Good variety of photos," the judges wrote.


* Best Local Humorous Column: David Lias, God's speed, John Glenn. The judges commented, "Good humor, very entertaining."

Third place


* Best News Series: M. Jill Sundstrom, Bridge to NE closer to construction. "Very good readability and excellent use of quotes from a variety of sources," the judges wrote.


* Best Local General Interest Column: David Lias, Between the Lines. Judges commented, "A descriptive column that draws the reader into the event."


* Best Photo Series: David Lias, Reindl: It was our dream house. "Good front page photo," the judges wrote.

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