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West Fargo Pioneer earns 'General Excellence' award

The West Fargo Pioneer 'rose to the challenge,' the theme for this years 121st North Dakota Newspaper Association convention, by bringing home a number of honors in the NDNA Better Newspaper Contest including the big one - General Excellence - competing in their respective category of newspapers with circulation of 2000 or more. "Great photos, good lifestyle stories, dynamite advertising and progressive typography make this newspaper a good read," is how judges summarized the content of the newspaper that has been serving the local area as its community newspaper for over 40 years.

For the first time ever, the Pioneer also captured the Sweepstakes Award, for receiving the most overall awards in their category - 33 including 13-first place, eight-second place, seven-third place and five honorable mentions. The convention ran Thursday through Saturday at the Radisson in downtown Fargo.

Pioneer Editor Karen Huber and Sales Representative Will Foss attended the convention. Huber said she was gratified by the recognition the West Fargo Pioneer received with its variety of awards in all areas. "Every week the excellence of our newspaper is the direct result of a team effort by our extremely professional staff, who always go the extra mile to make our product the best it can possibly be," she said. "I am pleased to see that the commitment is paying off and capturing the attention of our peers."

A run-down of awards includes:

Promo of Newspaper: first place - Floral and Home Décor, Becky Skauge; third place - Open House, staff; second place - Employee Night Out, Rob Willgohs;

Promo Readership: first place - We've got your team covered, David Samson.

Promo of Community: first place - Packer Pennant, Angela Mougey;

Special Ad Section: honorable mention - Expresso Yourself, Angela Mougey; second place, Summer Safety, Sue Cwikla;

Miscellaneous ads: honorable mention, Downtown Fargo, Stephanie Berberich;

Reporting: first place - Mosquitoes, West Nile and More, Forrest Adams;

Feature Reporting: third place - Tazed and Confused, Forrest Adams;

Government Reporting Series: second place - City Commission Smoking Ban Revised (three stories), Karen Huber;

Sports Page: third place - David Samson and Mike Schoemer;

Sports Feature: third place - Worlds Away, Chet Decker;

Sports Column: first place - End of an Era, Chet Decker;

Editorial Page: second place - staff;

Special News Section: third place - Pioneer Days 2006, staff;

Front Page Design: first place - staff;

Overall Design Excellence: second place - staff.

David Samson earned the following awards all in photography categories:

First Place: News Photo, African Singers; Spot News Photo, Trailer Fire; Picture Story, Red River Valley Fair; Pictorial Photo, Monarch Pit Stop; Portrait Photo, Lynnes Brothers; Outdoor Recreational Photo, Perfect Perch.

Second Place: Outdoor Recreational Photo, Winter Days Sledding; Portrait Photo, Battle Tested; Picture Story, Spring Flood; News Photo, Habitat Reflection;

Third Place: News Photos, Surprise Homecoming; Picture Story, Summer 101;

Honorable Mention: Portrait Photo, Top Guns; Sports Photo, Gynmast Flip; Spot News Photo, Dog Waterlogged.