(Photo by John Cook) This photo, taken in Jan. 2018 by Advertiser photographer John Cook, was named best sports photo in the Class B Weekly category of the Michigan Press Association Better Newspaper Contest. In it, Bridgeport's SirQuarius Ball, right, finishes a dunk over Frankenmuth's Mario Whitley, in a TVC-East basketball game.

Advertiser is runner-up in division at annual MPA awards

GRAND RAPIDS – The Advertiser was one of three finalists for Newspaper of the Year in its circulation category.

On Thursday, it was announced that The Advertiser placed second in the Class B Weekly/News Media Publication category. The division includes weekly publications in Michigan that have a circulation between 7,001 and 15,000.

The Michigan Press Association Better Newspaper Contest was one of the highlights of the association’s annual convention, held Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 at the Amway Grand in Grand Rapids. Eligible entries must have been published between September 2017 and August 2018.

The Leelanau Enterprise won Class B Weekly Newspaper of the Year. The Advertiser was one of three finalists for the award, along with the Enterprise and the Detroit Jewish News.

Advertiser employees also captured several individual awards.

Staff writer Tom Gilchrist took third place in the best writing category, which encompasses all newspapers in Michigan, not just those in the Class B Weekly division. He received the honor for the story “In game of life, Marlette’s ‘Bub’ bucks the odds,” which was published in October 2017.

Gilchrist also took first place in the Class B Weekly Spot News Story category for his story titled “Horse euthanized after Facebook pics spark probe.” In that category, Advertiser writers swept the first three places with editor John Schneider earning second place for his story “Ax-attacker guilty of all counts,” and former staff writer Alex Szwarc taking third place for his story “Marine veteran and his mother face possible eviction from local mobile park.”

Furthermore, Gilchrist took third place in the Weekly B News Enterprise Reporting for his coverage of medical marijuana facilities throughout Tuscola County.

Sports editor Adam Smith earned first place in the Class B Weekly Sports Writing category for his story “From Vassar High to Vienna, Austria, football fuels former exchange student.” He also placed third in the Sports Feature category for his story “Bearss settles college plans that were years in the making with Army acceptance.”

In addition, Advertiser photographer John Cook shot the first-place sports photo in the division, which was taken during a Frankenmuth vs. Bridgeport boys’ basketball game in January 2018. Cook also earned honorable mention in the Feature Photo category.

In the advertisement category, Advertiser graphic designer Lindsay DuRussel placed second for an ad she designed for Arrowhead Golf & Grill in Indianfields Township. This was an open-class category, meaning all newspapers in Michigan were involved in the competition.

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