The Wadena Pioneer Journal was presented awards for excellence in design, advertising and reporting during the annual Minnesota Newspaper Contest Thursday, Jan. 30, in Brooklyn Park.

The awards are part of the Better Newspaper Contest, and were judged by the Hoosier State Press Association.

The Pioneer Journal earned the following awards among all non-dailies:

First place in use of information graphics and graphic illustrations. Sara Slaby and Michael Johnson worked together to create a graphic for a story about a brain aneurysm that took the life of a local resident.

Second place for self promotion or house ads by Britanie Rentz, Becky Wood and Jason Magstadt for the Jingle Bell Becky promo.

Third place for self promotion or house ads by Britanie Rentz and Brenda Lawrence who worked together on a pet match ad including local business people and their pets.

Third place among non-dailies with circulations 1,501 to 3,000: Business story. Michael Johnson wrote about baking legends Mary and Dave Schmidt in this story about retiring from one of Wadena's major businesses, Abby's Bakery.

Shout out

Also receiving awards during the college student portion of the contest was local WDC graduate Brianna Taggart. Taggart took home a second place award for news photo and second place for hard news while covering the Duluth City Council for the University of Duluth newspaper, The Bark. Taggart is the managing editor of The Bark.