Press Star earns state awards
Reporting, photos, design recognized
By Scott Bellile
The New London/Hortonville Press Star brought home 13 state newspaper awards, including three firsts, from the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation’s 2017 Better Newspaper Contest Friday, April 13.
The awards recognized content that appeared in the paid weekly newspaper between Sept. 1, 2016 and Aug. 31, 2017. The Press Star was judged in Division F, a category for weekly newspapers with circulations of 2,000 and less.
Award-winning Press Star entries were:
• First Place Feature Photo: John Faucher photographed local U.S. Army veteran John Bekkers watching Mathewson Monuments set a newly donated bronze eagle atop a war monument at the New London Veterans Memorial in Taft Park.
• First Place Editorial Section: The Press Star submitted three opinion/editorial pages that heavily featured local columnists and letter-writers as well as Faucher’s farewell to the late Press Star columnist Roger Pitt.
• First Place Reporting on Local Education: Scott Bellile’s award-winning School District of New London coverage included a school board debate over the district’s agenda policy, a school bus versus semi crash on U.S. Highway 45 and the high twin population at Readfield Elementary School.
• Second Place Front Page: Sue Schroeder designed the Press Star’s front pages and Bellile and Faucher supplied most of the reporting and photography.
• Second Place General News Story: Bellile covered the 2017 jury trial of New London’s Jeffrey L. Van Ark, who was found guilty of first-degree reckless homicide in the methadone overdose of Brandon L. Shadduck.
• Second Place Ongoing/Extended Coverage: A judge called Bellile’s series of articles about a proposed mixed-use public library in New London “a blueprint on how to educate taxpayers on the potential benefits and pitfalls of such a project.”
• Second Place Spot News Photo: Bellile photographed a car bursting into flames next to a tire air pump station at Kwik Trip North in New London.
• Third Place Best Headlines: Bellile titled three stories “Fire fails to scorch businessman’s morale,” “Residents flushed over sewer rate increases” and “Storytellers back for s’more fun with Stories Around the Campfire event.”
• Third Place Breaking News Coverage: Bellile reported on the aforementioned school bus crash and Faucher snapped the photos.
• Third Place Business Coverage: Bellile submitted an article about four deaths in the business community, a local business news roundup and a feature on a Culver’s franchisee deciding against opening a New London restaurant.
• Third Place Portrait or Artistic Photo: Bellile netted an award with his low-angle portrait of Outdoorsmen’s Cuts owner Justine Mecha and then-manager Dawn Jaeger seated in front of the taxidermied animals at their barbershop.
• Third Place Feature Photo: Faucher impressed judges with his photo of Autumn and Connor Mulroy of Hortonville washing their cow at the 2017 Outagamie County Fair in Seymour.
• Honorable Mention Feature Photo: Bellile photographed Royalton Berry Farm employees Scott Doucette and Austin Suprise preparing pumpkins for sale outside Festival Foods in New London.
“l am thrilled that our editorial staff won as many awards across as many of the various categories they did last night at the WNA awards ceremony,” said Dave Wood, a general manager for the Press Star’s parent company Multi Media Channels. “From covering news and sports to having award-winning editorial pages and photos, our papers have become very well rounded with the small but talented staff we have. Our papers continue to improve as the staff becomes more seasoned and look forward to the quality journalism from them in the upcoming year.”
Buyers’ Guide nets pair of awards
The New London Buyers’ Guide, which is also produced in the Press Star office, earned two awards at the Wisconsin Community Papers Annual Conference on April 6.
The free weekly shopper’s guide won First Place Photograph for the picture used on the 2017 New London Area Chamber of Commerce Directory and Community Guide. John Faucher took the picture of a full moon shining over the Wolf River in downtown New London.
The Buyers’ Guide also won an advertising award, Second Place Real Estate Larger Than Half Page. The ad promoted the new Beacon Avenue Cottages, which opened in New London last fall.
“It is truly an honor for us to be recognized by our peers in the newspaper business,” said Tim Schreiber, a general manager for Multi Media Channels. “A lot of creativity from our staff members is represented in receiving these awards. And a huge thank-you to our loyal customers for allowing us to help them grow their businesses by running these ads each week.”