“I am so proud of our team and what we have accomplished over the last year to bring the best news possible to the community,” said Barbara Ellestad, Editor, Mesquite Local News after the newspaper won seven awards at the annual Nevada Press Association awards banquet Saturday, Sept. 24. The banquet was held at the CasaBlanca Resort Casino in Mesquite.

Teri Nehrenz took first place for Best Headline Writing in the Intermediate and Community category for her “Would you like one hump or two?” headline. It was a story she wrote about the new camel safari farm that recently opened in Bunkerville.

Two other MLN headlines considered in the category were columnist Tom Mitchell for his headline “The electric highwayman: Robbing the poor to give to the rich,” and Ellestad’s headline “Airport master plan takes off.” The judge’s comment said “Ok, so whose puns were better?”

The MLN Staff took first place in the Best News Photo Coverage of the 2015 Fourth of July celebration at the Eureka Casino Resort.

Ellestad received first place in the Best Local Column category for her editorial in January titled “City Council blew it on the ‘Me Too’ clause.”

After winning first place in the 2015 NPA contest for General Excellence, MLN took second place this year in the community category losing to another Battle Born Media newspaper, the Mineral County Independent-News staffed by Eric Dahlberg and Heidi Bunch.

MLN staff, Stephanie Frehner Clark and Ellestad, took second place in the Best Special Section, Editorial category for the Best of Mesquite 2015 insert that featured local community winners in a variety of categories as voted on by readers.

Ellestad won second place in the Best Business Story for her article “Mesquite lands RV facility.” The judge’s comments said “The lede could have been a little jazzier, but it nonetheless conveyed why the story was worth reading, then followed through with a detailed picture of how and why the decision was made to locate the facility in Mesquite.”

Ellestad also took third place in the Best Feature Writing category for her story “Benghazi Survivor says there’s comedy in combat” focusing on Kris “Tanto” Paronto’s visit to Mesquite in February. The judge said “Interesting read. I wanted to ‘see’ it more in the description, often a difficult part of writing about a lecture or presentation. Picked the right quotes, finding the heart of the issue. Overall comments: Top competition was tough, but good historical perspective, timing and well-written stories shone through.”

Overall, Battle Born Media newspapers won 40 awards in the 2016 NPA competition shared among Mesquite Local News, Mineral County Independent-News, Sparks Tribune, Ely Times, Lincoln County Record and the Eureka Sentinel.

[Editor’s note: The NPA mistakenly credited Kirk Kern with writing the first place headline which just goes to show newspapers can get even their own information wrong sometimes.]