Telescope tops categories in KPA Awards of Excellence

The Telescope staff earned three first place awards in Division II for weekly newspapers at the Kansas Press Association Better Newspaper contest. Awards were announced at the annual convention April 7-8 in Topeka.

The Telescope’s editorial page was judged first in the division. 7he editorial page is a joint effort of staff Fred Arnold, publisher, Deb Hadachek, editor, columnist Cynthia Scheer, and Wayne Stroot, who provides the editorial cartoons. Judging is based on three editions selected randomly through the year.

In addition, Hadachek won the Features division for the story “Remembering a Comrade” which recounted the efforts of Vietnam veterans to visit the grave of Capt. Tom Hewitt south of Munden. Hewitt’s wife, Diane Deffenbaugh Hewitt McCarville is a native of Belleville.

“This story both broke my heart and uplifted it the Mudge said. “Not often do we read stories these days about the Vietnam era and how there are families still affected by it all these decades later.”

Scheer had the top entry in the Agriculture Division, with the story of Nate and Stacey Freitag, Belleville, who operate Free Day Popcorn, which distributes its product nationally.

“This is a delightful story,” commented the Mudge. ´In the city, you think of popcorn as something that comes in a jar or a bag – or a product you get at the movies. I loved reading the story of the Frietags’ homegrown popcorn and the joy they take in this venture comes through loud and clear.”

Scheer placed second in the Series division, with her ongoing documentation of stone houses in Republic County.

“Over the course of the year, this writer offered a fascinating look at something easily overlooked — the area’s historic buildings,” the judge wrote. “As a bonus, this series gave readers stories of the families who settled here.”

Entries are judged by newspaper staff from other states.