MADISON, Wis. — The EagleHerald received two awards in the Wisconsin Newspaper Association 2017 Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were presented last weekend at the WNA’s annual convention at the Sheraton Madison Hotel.

Melissa Kowalczyk, news and advertising designer, earned second place for Overall Page Design in Division B (circulation of 7,000 to 19,999).

A judge’s comment states, “The front page features big colorful photos which will grab readers. Very good layout.”

Three front pages are submitted to determine the winners for this category. Kowalczyk submitted the covers for May 23 (Community REC Center), May 27 (Fidget Spinners) and June 22 (Antiques Roadshow), along with a comment, “Each page design was inspired by an interest of a reporter, a passion of our news editor and a big project coming to Marinette.” 

“Melissa does exceptional work on a daily basis, but where she really excels is designing our special front pages,” said EagleHerald editor Dan Kitkowski. “It’s great to see her get the recognition she deserves.”

EagleHerald photographer Rick Gebhard received honorable mention in the Feature Photo category for his photo of Susan Bunting doing a jazz pose at her dance studio on 1st Street in Menominee. Bunting was battling cancer at the time of the photo (May 6) and she died later that month.

“A brilliant photo by Rick that really captured the personality of Susan Bunting, who is greatly missed in this community,” Kitkowski said. “The photo and the feature story by reporter Chelsea Ewaldt were very well done.”

The 2017 Better Newspaper Contest included 2,819 entries from 119 newspapers. Eligible entries were published between Sept. 1, 2016, and Aug. 31, 2017. Entries were judged by members of the Iowa Newspaper Association.

Top winners included Publisher Tim Lyke and the Ripon Commonwealth Press (Weekly Newspaper of the Year) and Publisher Sidney “Skip” Bliss and The Gazette in Janesville (Daily Newspaper of the Year). The Janesville Gazette is the parent paper of the EagleHerald.

Circulation Division winners were:

■ Green Bay Press-Gazette, Best Daily Division A, daily with circulation of 20,000 or more

■ The Gazette, Janesville, Best Daily Division B, daily with circulation between 7,000 and 19,999

■ Watertown Daily Times, Best Daily Division C, daily with circulation of 6,999 or less

■ Vilas County News-Review, Eagle River, Best Weekly Division D, weekly with circulation of 3,501 or more

■ Ripon Commonwealth Press, Best Weekly Division E, weekly with circulation between 2,001 and 3,500

■ Courier Sentinel, Cornell, Best Weekly Division F, weekly with circulation of 2,000 or less

Division winners received the most points in their respective circulation groups in the Better Newspaper Contest. Newspapers were awarded points for entries ranked first, second and third by contest judges, with the “General Excellence” category being worth double points.

The “Newspaper of the Year” title is awarded to the daily and weekly newspaper with the most points across their respective publication categories.

About the Wisconsin Newspaper Association

The Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA) was established in 1853 and is among the longest serving press associations in the world. Created by and for Wisconsin’s newspapers, WNA exists to strengthen the newspaper industry, enhance public understanding of the role of newspapers, and protect basic freedoms of press, speech and the free flow of information.

In addition to serving member newspapers, WNA serves advertisers through advertising placement programs and additional clients through media monitoring services.