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Detroit Lakes Newspapers publisher Dennis Winskowski accepts the Mills Trophy award Thursday during the Minnesota Newspaper Association's awards ceremony in Bloomington.

Detroit Lakes Tribune brings home the Mills Trophy for second year

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For the second year in a row, Detroit Lakes Newspapers has won the Mills Trophy, given to the best weekly newspaper in Minnesota.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead took second place in the competition for the Vance trophy, given to the best daily newspaper in the state. The St. Cloud Times took the daily award this year.

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The Alexandria Echo Press came in second in the weekly newspaper contest.

The Mills Trophy is given based on awards won in the Minnesota Better Newspaper Contest. The award was given at the Minnesota Newspaper Association annual convention Thursday in Bloomington.

Detroit Lakes Newspapers won first place in general excellence and first place in seven other categories, as well as a dozen second and third place wins, to earn the Mills.

Staff photographer Brian Basham had an especially good year, winning three first place awards, including the coveted Photographer's Portfolio category.

The judge had this to say about the collection of photos Basham submitted in his portfolio: "Good collection of photographs running the gamut of emotion and enterprise. Nice work!"

Basham also won both first and third place in the Photo Story category for photos on the DL girls' hockey team last season, and for a water carnival photo story.

And he won first and third place in the Portrait and Personality photo category for photos that went with his story on a taxidermy shop and on ducklings that visit Emmanuel nursing home.

The newspaper won first place in the best Use of Multimedia category for a story, photos and video by Paula Quam on Polar Fest.

The advertising department had a good year: Ad manager Mary Brenk won first place in the Best Advertisement category for a central Floral ad entitled "Fall is right around the corner."

"Great use of photos show readers why they should stop in," the judge wrote. "Lots of copy, all in a clean and graphically-pleasing ad."

Sales rep Nick Omberg won first place in the Best Use of Color category for a Silver Leaf Custom Cabinets ad.

"This ad leaps off the page," the judge wrote. "The warmth of the color, along with overall design is about as good as it gets."

The ad staff also won first place in the Institutional Advertising category for a Fireside restaurant ad.

"Great use of graphics without losing the white space effect," the judge wrote. "Just the right amount of text to make the point."

Other award-winners on the news staff were Brian Wierima, in the Arts and Entertainment category for a story about a horror movie being filmed at the former state hospital in Fergus Falls.

Nathan Bowe placed in the Herman Roe editorial-writing category and Paula Quam placed in the Human Interest feature story category for a piece called Tractor Pulls Family Together."

Ad rep Stacey Gravelle and composing department employee Rachel Poser placed in the Best Advertisement category for a Coldwell Banker at the Lakes ad.

Mary Brenk and composing department employee Pam Albert also placed in the Best use of Color category for a Don Tietz Construction ad.

The newspaper won awards for its website, for Best Use of Video, for Best use of Social Media, and for its Fall Home magazine, which placed in the Best Magazine category.­­­

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