July 04, 2012 Edition

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Issue salutes Baltz family

John Bland
Publisher

We congratulate Lawrence County's 2012 Farm Family of the Year, the Mitch and Teresa Baltz family, who live near Lake Charles. The Baltz family exemplifies the benefits of hard work and good management for success in their farming operation.

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The Times Dispatch received several awards in the Arkansas Press Association newspaper contest for entries submitted for the 2011 calendar year. The awards were announced Saturday at a convention in Little Rock, and The TD competed in the category of larger weekly newspapers.

The TD's awards are as follows:

Second place - Staff for In-Depth Reporting of the spring flood. The judges commented, "The staff blanketed the community and provided extensive coverage after major flooding."

Second place - John Bland for News/Political Column titled "Championing our unique attributes."

Third place - Vivian Heyl for News/Political Column titled "What a year."

Second place - Vivian Heyl for General Interest Column titled "Speaking in code." The judges wrote, "Great piece. This is something we can all relate to - young and old. Ending graph is great."

Second place - Gretchen Hunt for Humorous Column titled "LawCo. grateful to see the sun." The judges commented, "This column practically wrote itself - between funny observations and your almost four-year-old son."

Honorable Mention - Shantelle Prater for her Single News Photo of a man wading through floodwaters in Portia.

Third Place - Staff for Coverage of Tourism.

Third Place - Staff for Community Coverage.

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It was inspiring to see several people receive special honors at the press convention. Alice Walton was named "Headliner of the Year" for the good headlines she made for Arkansas for the establishment of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. John Troutt Jr., former owner of The Jonesboro Sun, was honored with a Distinguished Service Award. He was cited for his efforts to uphold the Freedom of Information Act. Dean Walls of the White River Journal in Des Arc received her Golden Sixty Service Award. Nearly 90, she is still putting out a weekly newspaper.

I liked a quote regarding community journalism and shared by Jock Lauterer, one of several speakers at the convention. He said, "The most important job our newspapers do is to persuade people that their lives are important."

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