Havre Daily News
The Havre Daily News won six first-place awards Saturday at the Montana Newspaper Association's 2004 Better Newspaper Contest, among them a nod for best sports column writing by sports editor Ryan Divish.
The 120th annual event was held on the University of Montana-Western campus in Dillon to honor the state's best newspapers and newspaper people. The Daily News, which competes against all weekly and daily newspapers in Montana with a circulation between 3,001 and 7,499, took home 15 awards.
Other first-place awards for the Daily News included best editorial page, best education reporting and best lifestyle pages.
The education coverage award was for a variety of work by former Daily News reporter Jerome Tharaud. "An interesting range of coverage, from a nice feature on a one-room school to an easy-to-understand explanatory story about the new forms of standardized testing," wrote judge Betsy Russell of the Spokesman-Review in Idaho.
Judges' comments about three Hi-Line Living pages submitted in the lifestyles pages categories were: "Good, meaty stories, nice display and superb (photographs). A real treat for your readers."
In the advertising competition, Stacy Mantle and Bobbie Morse of the Havre Daily News won first place for best advertising series and for best single ad.
The Daily News sports department won other awards at the banquet, including third place in the best sports pages category. In addition to his first place for column writing, Divish took third place for sports event coverage and in the sports feature story category. Sports reporter George Ferguson received an honorable mention for sports column writing.
The Daily News earned three second-place awards: one for government reporting for the newspaper's ongoing coverage of the fate of the Heritage Center, one in the category of freedom of information effort, for a lawsuit filed by the Havre Daily News and other news organization over access to police records; and a third for excellence in design.
The newspaper received a third- place award for community service, a category it won the previous two years.
An honorable mention for Tim Leeds in the environmental and natural resource reporting category and an honorable mention for Tharaud in best business and financial reporting round out the paper's awards.
Around the state, the Missoulian won the Sam Gilluly Sweepstakes Award for the third time in the past five years, honoring it as the best large daily newspaper in the state. Missoulian editor Mike McInally also became the association's new president at the banquet.
The Bigfork Eagle won the Thomas Dimsdale Sweepstakes Award, honoring it as the best paper among Montana's weekly papers and small daily newspapers for the fourth year in a row.