Tribune staff earns 10 MPA awards

The staff of The South Cass Tribune won 10 awards in the Missouri Press Association’s 2021 Better Newspaper Contest. The awards were announced Saturday at the MPA’s annual convention in Excelsior Springs.

Managing Editor Dennis Minich, Sports Editor Christopher Tenpenny and former reporter Sheryl Stanley each earned awards in the contest. The entries were judged by members of the Wisconsin Press Association.

Minich won first place awards in Best News or Feature Series, Best Columnist Humorous and Best Health Story. He and Stanley shared a first-place accolade for best COVID-19 coverage.

Tenpenny won second place for best Sports News Story, Stanley won second place for best story about religion and Minich took a second place for Best Columnist: Serious.

Stanley won third place in best story about history and Tenpenny and Minich combined for a third place in Best Sports Pages. Minich also won an honorable mention for best Best Coverage of Government.

With his two columnist awards, Minich has now won 11 from the MPA.

The news and feature series award was for stories about events which led up to the resignation of David Dickerson from the Harrisonville Board of Aldermen. The series also won the honorable mention for best government reporting.

A judge wrote about Minich’s Series: “Top-notch work in covering events leading up to a city official’s resignation, including plans for disciplinary hearings and impeachment, backed with editorials.”

Minich’s health story entry was his personal recollections of dealing with COVID-19. The story was also part of COVID-19 award won by Stanley and Minich. The judge wrote about the story: “Riveting account of COVID illness with bits of humor in the mix. Thoughtful writing relates the pressures health care workers were facing.”

Tenpenny’s award for sports news story concerned the self-reporting of the Drexel football team to the Missouri State High School Activities Association which resulted in the forfeiture of a game for using a player who was deemed ineligible.

The judge wrote about the story: “This entry shows how a coach with character can teach a team about being honest, and at the same time how unbending and how obtuse state high school sports organizations can be.”

Stanley’s religion story was about a local man who gave up a business career to join the priesthood and her history story dealt with a local man who served as a message runner in World War I.

The South Cass Tribune was the only newspaper from Cass or Bates counties to win any awards at the Missouri Press meeting.