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Ravalli County Mudders for Conservation

The Ravalli Republic won 16 awards in the annual Montana Newspaper Association contest, including a second place for this photo of Jessica Zarate competing in the first-ever Ravalli County Mudders for Conservation event last spring. 

Ravalli Republic staff placed in 15 categories for writing, photography, page design and advertising in the annual Montana Better Newspaper competition.

The awards, handed out Saturday night at Big Sky, are given by the Montana Newspaper Association, and this year were judged by journalists in Michigan.

"The Missoulian and Ravalli Republic again had an outstanding showing in the annual Montana Newspaper Association awards competition," said Jim Strauss, publisher for both newspapers.

Strauss pointed out that he became publisher in mid-October, adding that "I can't really take credit for the accomplishments, but I can share in the celebration. What was most impressive to me is that they showed the breadth of their talent, winning awards across all areas from in-depth reporting to editorial writing to photography to all forms of advertising and specialty and niche publications."

Associate editor Perry Backus took first place in the categories of best continuing news coverage, best lifestyle coverage, best sports feature story and best news story. Dara Kilian took first place for best color ad to sell or promote merchandise.

The Ravalli Republic won second-place honors for:

Best news story - Perry Backus

Best feature photo — Perry Backus

Best sports feature — Kyle Houghtaling

Mark Henckel Outdoor Writing Award — Perry Backus

Best education coverage — Michelle McConnaha

Best page layout and design — Jessica Abell

Best front page — Jessica Abell

Best marketing campaign — Dara Kilian

Best sports page layout and design — Jessica Abell

And, the Ravalli Republic saw third-place honors in:

Best lifestyle coverage — Michelle McConnaha

Best page layout and design — Jessica Abell

The Flathead Beacon won the Thomas Dimsdale Award for Best Weekly Newspaper, and the Billings Gazette won the Sam Gilluly Award for Best Daily Newspaper.

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