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Independent, Tea Weekly take home multiple awards

Kelli Bultena elected first vice president of press association

Jeremy Waltner, publisher of the Freeman Courier, was elected president of the South Dakota Newspaper Association during the group’s annual convention April 30 in Mitchell.

“I am truly honored to be entrusted with the presidency of what I believe is one of the finest state newspaper associations in our country,” Waltner said. “It means a lot to be able to follow in the footsteps of so many talented and respected journalists who have held this very office, including my dad.

“Newspapers, in general, and this association, specifically, are in a very good place and I’m eager to work for the betterment of both,” Waltner added.

Also elected to the SDNA Board of Directors were: first vice president Kelli Bultena, publisher of the Lennox Independent and Tea Weekly; second vice president Shannon Brinker, publisher of the Rapid City Journal; third vice president Debbie Hemmer, co-publisher of the Grant County Review at Milbank; director Ken Reiste, publisher of the Clear Lake Courier; director Letitia Lister, publisher of the Black Hills Pioneer at Spearfish; and immediate past president Bill Krikac, publisher of the Clark County Courier, Clark.

During the April 30th luncheon at the convention, the South Dakota State University’s Oral History project featuring South Dakota journalists was unveiled. Among those interviewed for the project was Verlyn Hofer, long-time editor and publisher of The Lennox Independent. He and his wife, Mary were able to attend the event. Excerpts of the interviews were presented.

Materials collected from the oral histories will be archived at the South Dakota Newspaper Association and the SDSU Journalism Department. A website is expected to launch this summer to showcase the project.

Another highlight of the convention was the announcement of the results of the annual newspaper contest. Both The Lennox Independent and Tea Weekly did very well, taking home multiple awards.

The awards for The Lennox Independent included the following: 3rd best multiple ad section (Bultena); 2nd best use of art (Jon Kruger); 3rd best website all weekly papers in SD (Bultena); 2nd best sports photo (Anne Homan); 2nd best typography and design (Debbie Schmidt and Bultena); 3rd best sports column (Homan); 3rd general excellence (Schmidt and Bultena).

Tea Weekly received the following awards: 1st place best advertising special section (Homan and Bultena for the Tea Community Guide); 3rd Best series ad idea (Bultena); 3rd best news series (staff); 3rd best use of local photography (Bultena).

Journalists at newspapers in Oregon and New Mexico judged this year’s contest. They commented about the overall quality of entries in the SDNA contest.

“I was impressed by the work demonstrated in South Dakota newspapers,” one judge wrote. “The quality is good. And their commitment to serving their communities shows. Solid newspapers all-around.”

South Dakota Newspaper Association, founded in 1882 and based in Brookings, represents the state’s weekly and daily newspapers with a total readership of more than 600,000.

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