Mesquite Local News took home top honors in the Community Newspaper division of the Nevada Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest with the general excellence award, one of three first-place honors for the newspaper. Mesquite Local News also earned first place for Best Non-Staff Story and Multiple Photo Essay.

Judges commented they chose Mesquite Local News because they “liked that the editorial content was almost 100 percent local.” The newspaper finished ahead of second-place Mason Valley Times in Yerington and the Boulder City Review.

“This is a great accomplishment for Mesquite Local News,” said Kirk Kern, publisher of the newspaper and COO of parent company Battle Born Media. “Even with our small staff, we work hard to make sure all our content is relevant to Mesquite. We’ve set the bar pretty high in the short time we’ve owned this newspaper and we only plan to get better.”

Ben Rowley’s article on rural road conditions in Nevada, including Mesquite, took home a first for Best Non-Staff Story. Judges said it was a “straightforward, well-written story.” The newspaper staff collaborated to claim first for Multiple-Photo Essay for coverage of July Fourth festivities in Mesquite. Judges said there were “some fun images.”

Thomas Mitchell, whose column runs in all six Battle Born Media newspapers, took home a first-place award for Local Non-Staff Column for The Ely Times. Judges said he “deserves kudos here for quality writing with a straight-shooting style.” Trina Machacek, whose column “Is This You?” runs online in Mesquite and in print in some other Battle Born Media publications, was second in Best Non-Staff Column. Judge said she has “a great writing style that pulls the reader into the subject at hand.”

The Ely Times also took home second-place honors for Best Large Space Ad by Megan Hermansen and Best Multi-Color Ad by Shari Gibson. Mineral County Independent-News, another Battle Born newspaper, earned three third-place honors: Heidi Bunch for Feature Photo, Eric Dahlberg third for Page Designer and Bunch and Dahlberg combined for third in Page One Design.

Overall, Battle Born Media newspapers won nine awards in the Community Division. The awards were handed out during the association’s annual convention held this year in Sparks.

The Desert Valley Times, also in Mesquite, had two second-place awards: Jesselyn Bickley for Explanatory Journalism (medical marijuana); and Bickley and Mike Donahue for Investigative In-Depth Story or Series (Highland Hills).

Newspapers from around the state competed in five classes: urban daily newspaper (with circulation of 15,000 or more), intermediate newspapers (printed more than once a week with a circulation of less than 15,000), community newspapers (weekly or monthly with circulation of less than 10,000), urban weekly newspapers (circulation of 10,000 or more) and magazines.

Veteran Las Vegas Review-Journal political journalist and humanitarian Laura Myers was posthumously inducted into the Nevada Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Myers died June 19 at the age of 53, two years after she had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Her family received the award on her behalf.