The Rapid City Journal earned more news awards than any newspaper in the state Saturday, including the coveted Sweepstakes Award, during the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s annual conference held in Deadwood on Saturday.

The Journal news staff brought home 30 awards, including seven first-place awards. That total, coupled with the 12 awards earned by the Journal advertising staff, earned the Rapid City paper its third straight General Excellence award, given to the paper with most combined award points in advertising and news.

The Journal’s photo staff took home three first-place awards. Kristina Barker earned top prize for Best Sports Photo, and former Journal photographer Seth McConnell earned firsts for Best Photo Series and Best Spot News Photo. Of the 12 awards given for photos in the large daily newspaper division, the Journal photo staff earned nine, including a sweep in the Best Photo Series category.

The Journal also swept the Best Feature Series category, topped by a first-place award for Kayla Gahagan “Is There Life For Isabel Without School?”

The Journal finished first and second for Best Sports Reporting, including a first for Padraic Duffy and his “Warriors on the Court” story chronicling basketball on the reservation.

Kevin Woster finished first for Best Local Humor Column, and the Journal website was named the Best Newspaper Website among all daily newspapers.

AD STAFF EARNS 12 AWARDS: The Journal brought home 12 awards in the SDNA Advertising Contest, including six first-place awards.

Firsts included Heather Schensted for Best Single Ad Idea and for Best 2x4 Ad, Josh Hotz for Best Use Of Color, Amanda Rull for Most Original Creative Idea, Lory Frohman for Best Classified Section, and the staff for Best Advertising Special Section.

MEADE COUNTY WINS TOP AWARD: The Meade County Times-Tribune earned first place in General Excellence in its weekly newspaper division. The Sturgis-based weekly also earned two additional news awards.

The Butte County Post earned six awards, including a first place for Deb Holland in Sports Reporting.

The Lawrence County Journal earned three news awards, including first place for Best Typography & Design.

The Hot Springs Star earned four advertising awards, including firsts for Brett Nachtigall, Michael Burg and Sheryl Grimes. The Northern Hills Weekly Group earned two advertising awards.

(This article originally ran in the Rapid City Journal on April, 18, 2010.)