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The Nashville Leader recognized at APA awards luncheon

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BENTONVILLE – The Nashville Leader received 17 individual awards, including four for first place, during the Arkansas Press Association’s awards luncheon Saturday at the DoubleTree Hotel in Bentonville.

The Leader received third place in general excellence, behind Bella Vista and Monticello.

The awards presentation marked the conclusion of the APA’s summer convention June 22-25.

Members of the Nebraska Press Association judged the entries in Arkansas’s Better Newspaper Contest. The Leader was entered in the medium weeklies division.

First place awards and judges’ comments include the following:

Feature story – John Balch, “WWII takes 3 soldiers in 3 different directions.” “Reporter was able to elicit the stories of these three interconnected veterans and share them back in an easy-flowing form.”

Humorous column – Louie Graves, “My lucky day.” “Takes to turn a car wreck involving your own buggy into a light-hearted read. Writer has self-deprecating humor down to an art form. Love the duct tape comment. Very funny.” Graves also won second place and honorable mention for humorous column.

Coverage of education – John R. Schirmer, Dixon Land. “Excellent coverage of schools. Wonderful teacher profile.”

Coverage of tourism – Louie Graves, John Balch. “Photos and layouts are very well done. Layouts are clean and easy to follow; stories are informative. These pieces make me want to visit.”

Second place awards and comments include the following:

Best beat reporter – John R. Schirmer, “Comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a busy school system.”

Humorous column – Louie Graves, “Unique eat place.” “Very clever column … Nice job.”

Freelance writing – Ashley Thompson, “Mission team from Nashville visits N.M.” “Interesting topic. Quotes from those on the trip are good.”

Single news photograph – John Balch, “Tornado site.” “This photo shows the devastation and aftermath of a tornado with great impact. Great job.”

Best front page – John R. Schirmer, Louie Graves, John Balch. “Nice, simple flag – not muddled with content as is the trend. Good rail. Clean layout. Good use of color.”

Coverage of business/agriculture – Louie Graves, John Balch, Dixon Land. “Especially liked the story about closing the music store.”

Website – John Balch, Jon Chambers. “There is lots of content and more depth than you see on other sites in this class. Especially enjoyed the local sports coverage.”

Third place awards include the following:

Single feature photograph – John Balch.

Coverage of health/medical – John R. Schirmer.

Honorable mention awards include the following:

Humorous column – Louie Graves.

Sports feature story – Dixon Land.

Single sports action photograph – John R. Schirmer.

Best sports page – John R. Schirmer, Dixon Land.

Statewide, there were 716 entries from 16 daily newspapers and 1,030 entries from 34 weekly newspapers.

In results for other area papers in the medium weeklies division, the Nashville News received three awards. Recipients included Charles Gooden, first place, news story; Luke Reeder, second place, sports news story; D.E. Ray, third place, feature story.

In the smaller weeklies division,  Dewayne Holloway of the Montgomery County News at Mount Ida received first place for single sports feature photograph, second place for feature story, third place for sports feature, honorable mention for single news photograph. Rich Gibbs received second place for best editorial cartoonist.