The South Cass Tribune earned six awards, including two first-place honors in the Missouri Press Association’s 2019 Better Newspaper Contest. Honorees were named and awards presented Saturday in Kansas City at the association’s 153rd annual convention.
Dennis Minich won the two first-place honors, one for Best Columnist-Serious, the other for Best Sports Feature Story. Minich took third place in Best Feature Story and in the Tilghman Cloud Memorial Editorial category. He also earned an honorable mention.
Publisher Linda Thompson earned an honorable mention in the Best Story about History category. Her story was about Sterling Archibald Gault, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner who is buried in Harrisonville’s Orient Cemetery.
Minich’s sports feature was about the Harrisonville softball team’s honoring of Sailor Rai Johnson, a former teammate who had been killed.
In their comments, the judge said, “No doubt. Best one of the bunch. The reporter did some research, wasn’t maudlin about presenting the story. The right people said the right things.”
Minich’s column submission included remarks about Memorial Day, vacation bible school and being an uncle. The judge drew attention to the Memorial Day column, saying, “This is a somber, touching reflection on what is clearly a very important time of year for the author. This line in particular shines with exceptional resonance: ‘For one day, you can do more, even if it is just cutting some homegrown flowers and putting them in a coffee can.’ Well done.”
Minich has now won seven MPA awards in column writing, this is his second first-place award.
The editorial which earned the third place was in reference to Garden City’s decision to cut its police department to confront budget issues.
One entry by Minich won two awards, the third place in best feature story and honorable mention in best news story. It was the story of Xavier Cunningham, the 10-year-old Harrisonville boy who survived a meat skewer being lodged in his head.
All of the stories in the contest were from the 2018 calendar year and the entries were judged by members of the Colorado Newspaper Association.
This was the first year The South Cass Tribune was eligible to enter. The Tribune was the only newspaper in Cass County to win any awards this year.