ORIGINALLY WRITTEN STAFF
The Hillsboro Free Press received eight editorial awards, including four first-place plaques, at the Kansas Press Association annual convention this past weekend in Lawrence.
The Free Press competed in the Weekly, Division III category, which includes the largest circulation weekly newspapers in the state.
The awards feted work completed during 2000.
For the third straight year, Joe Kleinsasser won the top award in “Sports Column Writing,” this time for his piece on the sudden death of fellow basketball official and friend Jerry May last year.
Don Ratzlaff, editor, won first-place in “Feature Writing” for the story he wrote last May on Donna Klose, who decided to take care of her grandchildren after her daughter was murdered in Colorado.
He also won the top prize in “Editorial Writing” for the opinion piece he wrote about school violence and the beginning of “lockdown drills” at Hillsboro Elementary School.
The fourth first-place award was for “Sports Pages,” a general category that evaulates sports coverage and page design.
In addition to those awards, the Free Press finished second in “News and Writing Excellence” and received honorable mention in “Sports Writing” for Ratzlaff’s coverage of Tabor’s football upset of Bethany last fall, in “Editorial Pages” for content and layout of its opinion section, and in “General Excellence,” which evaluates all aspects of a publication.