The Hillsboro Free Press received six first-place awards Saturday at the Kansas Press Association convention in Overland Park.
Competing in the largest circulation category for non-daily publications, the Free Press received the top award in two general categories: Editorial Pages and Sports Pages.
Individual first-place awards went to Joe Kleinsasser in Sports Column for “Sideline Slants,” and to Don Ratzlaff in Feature Story, Religion Story and Editorial Writing.
The feature story was about Phouthy and Sisanguane Chanthasaeng’s escape from communist Laos in the 1980s and eventual arrival in Hillsboro.
The religion story described John Moore’s 630-mile pilgrimage walk from New Mexico to Pilsen to deliver a hand-carved wooden crucifix to the Catholic church on Veteran’s Day in honor of its hometown hero, Father Emil Kapaun.
The editorial-writing award was based on three opinion pieces grouped as one entry.
The Free Press also received two second-place awards.
One was for Katie Morford’s Youth Story about Peyton Loewen and Erin Winter’s summer mission trip to Malawi.
The other was Ratzlaff’s Sports Feature about Pete Richert competing in President George W. Bush’s inaugural golf tournament for veterans wounded in the Iraq War.
Third-place awards went to the Free Press for Best Front Page and for Ratzlaff’s Sports Story about the Hillsboro High School volleyball team winning the state championship.