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New Richmond News gains state awards

The New Richmond News picked up first-, second- and third-place awards for its print and web news coverage and various advertising vehicles during Friday night's Wisconsin Newspaper Association Better Newspaper Contest awards at Middleton, March 1.

Advertising Director Mary Beth Kremer, sales representative Judy Monette and the News' creative staff won a first place for Best Advertising Special Section for Local Heroes 2012, a section that calls attention to area firefighters, EMS and law enforcement personnel.

The advertising team also received a second place for its 2012 St. Croix County Fair special section.

Editor Jeff Holmquist, sports editor Dave Newman and the rest of the News staff earned a second place for "General Web Excellence" for its website presentations. The recognition spotlights newspapers that bring readers regular, comprehensive coverage via its website.

"Good mixture of local news and other information that's relevant to your audience. Site is clean and easy to read," wrote judges from the Missouri Press Association. 

Other second place awards included: Holmquist, Special Projects, for ongoing coverage of New Richmond's Vitality Initiative; and Holmquist for Open Records & Freedom of Information issues for "News gets the heave-ho."

The judges praised Holmquist's editorial, calling attention to a the News' staff being asked to leave a public meeting during which New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce officials sought input from the public about FunFest programming.

"This breezy, accessible editorial upheld the importance of openness even among nongovernmental bodies. The Chamber wanted to talk about a public event but it didn't want a true public discussion. Nicely done," the judges said.

The News' editorial pages earned third place recognition.

Holmquist also earned a third place recognition in the Environmental Reporting category for stories about New Richmond's beautification program, the region's use of biological agents in fighting invasive species, and Forest Voice's hopes to "take the wind out of turbine plan."

"Great commitment to environmental coverage," the judge wrote. "The entire entry was informative and timely."

Also at last weeks' convention, members installed Kent Eymann, publisher at the Beloit News, as its new president. Eymann replaces Steve Dzubay, publisher of the Star-Observer, River Falls Journal and New Richmond News. Dzubay remains on the board of directors for another year.

The 2012 Better Newspaper Contest included 3,003 total entries from 126 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2011, and Aug. 31, 2012. 

WNA's membership includes 31 daily and 192 weekly newspapers. The Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) was established in 1853 and is among the oldest press associations in the world. Created by and for Wisconsin's newspapers, WNA exists to strengthen the newspaper industry, enhance public understanding of the role of newspapers, and protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the free flow of information.