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DL Newspapers wins four awards

Detroit Lakes Newspapers took home four awards -- and a local boy was named New Minnesota Journalist of the Year -- in the Minnesota Better Newspapers Contest held at the Minnesota Newspaper Association Convention, Jan. 28-30 in Bloomington.

Advertising sales representative Dave Aune took first place in the Best Advertisement category for weeklies with a circulation over 5,000.

His color ad "Ticket to Travel" was "very good," the judges wrote. "It inspires you to get off your sofa and travel."

The newspaper won second place in the Editorial Page as a Whole category with an opinion page that the judges said offered a "strong editorial and a wide variety of reader opinions" ... First and second place were "head and shoulders above an otherwise strong category of entries."

Sports Editor Brian Wierima won second place in the Best Sports Feature Story category for his "McCloskey in, 'Bomber' out" story about a changing of the coaching guard in the Waubun-Ogema-White Earth football program.

"I am sure this story was absolutely huge in terms of community impact," the judge wrote. "I like how the story was told in great depth, with several sources."

Editor Nathan Bowe won second place in the "Best Social Issues Feature Story" category for "From the ashes, hope can rise," about a victims' forum sponsored by Lakes Crisis and Resource Center.

"The story went further than just covering a forum," the judges wrote. "It gave the reader ideas on how things can be changed, how we can detect problems in friends and family members. Great use of quotes to tell the story and let us know, through their tears, that they will now be okay. Wonderful writing job."

Detroit Lakes native David Henke of the Northfield News was named New Journalist of the Year for weekly newspapers.

Henke, who interned at Detroit Lakes Newspapers before graduating from St. Olaf College in Northfield, "tackled some extremely challenging storylines," the judges wrote. "Drugs in schools, a child coping with cancer, and schools failing to meet academic yearly progress standards. He also had some fun with a break dancing story in a lighter moment. He handled all with organization, clarity and insight well beyond expectations for a newcomer to our business."

Another former DL Newspapers intern, Chad Koenen of the Starbuck Times, won first place in the news photography category with a photo of a family landing a big fish.