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The Antelope County News won 35 total awards, including top honors in the weekly division at the Nebraska Press Association awards over the weekend in Lincoln.
Sweepstakes winners from the Better Newspaper Contest were the Antelope County News/Orchard News (weekly division) and the Norfolk Daily News (daily).
The Antelope County News' point total was more than double that of second-place newspaper, Gering Courier. The ACN ended the night with 35 total awards, including 18 first-place awards, eight judged second best awards and seven judged third best awards for a point total of 296. It was the ACN's first year to win the top weekly sweepstakes award, and they beat out the second place winner by 154 points. There are 153 weekly newspapers in Nebraska and 62 entered.
The ACN received multiple awards in the same categories and swept several in the online category, including all three video awards and breaking news.
By placing first among all the Nebraska weeklies entered, the ACN will display the prestigious Loral Johnson Community Weekly Sweepstakes Award for one year. This year marks the 15th annual presentation of the Loral Johnson Community Newspaper Sweepstakes Award. Johnson had a passion for community journalism throughout his life, and this award is given in memory of his enthusiasm.
The ACN is owned by Pitzer Digital, which purchased the Bloomfield Monitor/Knox County News last October. That newspaper won three first-place awards and garnered 30 points. Awards were for creative ad writing, breaking news photo and headline writing.
The Norfolk Daily News was the winner in the daily category, which excludes dailies in Omaha and Lincoln. It finished with 7 first-place awards, 14 for second and 10 for third for a point total of 250. This is the second time the Norfolk Daily News has won the daily sweepstakes. They beat out the second place winner by 12 points. Nine daily newspapers were entered.