Tayler McKinney, 2 1/2, mimics her dance instructors during a Mommy and Me dance class at Unlimited Possibilities Dance Studio on July 31, 2012. McKinney took the class with her mom, Brooke. -- Brandi Hagen/Albert Lea Tribune

Archived Story

Albert Lea Tribune garners 10 awards

Published 4:01pm Saturday, January 26, 2013

By Albert Lea Tribune

BLOOMINGTON — The Albert Lea Tribune was humbled at the annual Minnesota Newspaper Association convention.

“DeBoer wins title!”

The Tribune won 10 awards Thursday evening at the Better Newspapers Contest banquet at the Doubletree Hotel in Bloomington, including a prestigious community service honor and four for photography. The total is the Tribune’s highest total. It garnered four awards at the 2012 banquet and nine in 2011.

The 2013 banquet handed out awards for work performed between September 2011 and August 2012.

Community Editor Brandi Hagen won three photography awards. Among daily newspapers under 10,000 in circulation, she captured first and third place in the category of Photo Story. The first place honor was for “DeBoer wins title,” which printed March 5, 2012, after Albert Lea High School wrestler Bryce DeBoer shocked the state wrestling community by winning the heavyweight title.

The judge wrote: “The photographer captured great emotion in this story.”

Jose Cole Circus

Her third place honor was for “Jose Cole Circus performs at Glenville-Emmons High School,” which printed March 20, 2012.

Hagen garnered first place among dailies under 10,000 in the category of Portrait and Personality Photo for “Moving with mommy,” which printed Aug. 1, 2012. The judge wrote: “This photo was a clear winner in this category. The lighting is nice, framing is good.”

The Albert Lea Tribune was second place in Use of a Photography as a Whole among dailies under 10,000. The award recognizes all the photography through the publication on randomly selected dates. The judges liked how the Tribune uses photography to tell stories or to be creative, such as with baseball cards for the All-Area Baseball Team.

"Deployed Kuwait"

One of the most highly regarded accolades at the MNA banquet goes by the name Lynn Smith Community Leadership Award. All newspapers regardless of size compete for just three places. The Albert Lea Tribune won third place for “Deployed in Kuwait.” The series had stories with Special Projects Editor Kelli Lageson reporting in April 2012 from Kuwait, where the local unit of the Minnesota National Guard had been deployed as the Iraq War came to a conclusion.

Tribune Managing Editor Tim Engstrom captured second place in the Columnist category, among newspapers under 10,000 circulation. His entry of three columns included one about cars being a socialist form of transportation, one about Voyager 1 nearing the heliopause and a humorous one about home ownership.

The judge wrote: “Columns 1 and 2 packed a lot of information — statistics and scientific information — in without being boring. I like that Column 3 offered a change of pace by using humor instead of the more serious tone of the other two.”

Clay's Angels

Engstrom also won third place for a piece called “Secondhand smokers,” which ran Jan. 19, 2012. It was about apartment complexes in Albert Lea dealing with the issue of smoke that wafts from smoking apartments to smoke-free apartments. The judge wrote: “This entry captures high marks for originality I haven’t read it elsewhere.”

Among dailies under 10,000, Tribune Advertising Director Crystal Miller garnered second place in the category of Self-Promotion or House Ad for an advertisement featuring her sales staff called “My name is Clay.” It featured three women sales representatives posed in “Charlie’s Angels” stances with fingers pointed like guns and sales representative Clay Culbertson standing with arms crossed.

The judge wrote: “Attention grabbing with cute copy and great play on an old show.”

Rosanne Cash

Tribune Creative Director Stacey Bahr captured second place among dailies under 10,000 for Best Advertisement. The award came for an ad she made promoting Rosanne Cash being featured in Southern Minnesota Magazine.

The judge wrote: “Great throw back to Johnny Cash!”

Tribune graphic designer Kathy Johnson got third place in Use of Color in Advertising among dailies under 10,000 for an ad she created for The Image Hair Salon, 2414 Bridge Ave., Albert Lea.

The Image Hair Salon

The contest this year was judged by newspaper professionals in Indiana.