Times wins best overall design in statewide contest, seven other awards
The Ozark County Times has been honored with eight awards in the Missouri Press Association’s 2023 Better Newspaper Contest, which judges work that was written, designed and published in 2022.
Participating newspapers were notified of the winners in June; however MPA asked that the awards not be publicly announced until its Better Newspaper Contest Awards luncheon, which was held Sept. 23 in St. Louis.
The Times competed against newspapers of similar circulation size across the state.
First place awards
• First place in best overall design: The Times staff as a whole won the coveted first place award in the best overall design.
• First place in best news or feature series: Jessi Dreckman won first place in the category of best news or feature series for her three-part article profiling former Dora resident Dustin Johnson, who was attempting to run around the globe in 2022 following a 2021 attempt that was cut short due to historic wildfires in Australia. The articles were published Feb. 16, 2022; Feb. 23, 2022; and March 2, 2022.
• First place in best story about the outdoors: Jessi Dreckman also took home first place in the category of best story about the outdoors for an article titled, “The journey is the destination,” Jan. 19, 2022 Ozark County Times. The article featured Tecumseh resident Bill Driscoll who completed a “Triple O” hiking accomplishment, fully hiking The Ozark Trail, The Ozark Highlands Trail and the Ouachita Trail.
Second place awards
• Second place in best story about education: Jessi Dreckman took home the second place award in the category of best story about education with an article titled, “Lutie creative writing class finds healing in writing poetry and has work published,” June 15, 2022 Ozark County Times. The article featured a group of eight Lutie High School students who were part of a creative writing course led by former Lutie Superintendent Scot Young.
• Second place in best story about the outdoors: Jessi Dreckman also took second place in the category of best story about the outdoors for an article titled, “Former Ozark Countian Dylan Funk is currently hiking the 2,200-mile Appalachian Trail,” Aug. 3, 2022.
Third place awards
• Third place in best business story: Jessi Dreckman took home third place for best business story for an article titled, “First Call Family Healthcare clinic opens in Gainesville,” June 24, 2022, Ozark County Times. The article profiled Marti Warden, an Ozark County native and nurse practitioner who opened her clinic in Gainesville last summer. The clinic is located on First Street in Gainesville.
• Third place in best coverage of rural life or agriculture: Jessi Dreckman’s article titled, “Friends and neighbors pitch in to help Isabella man finish unique cordwood and cob home,” Sept. 29, 2022, Ozark County Times. The article profiled Ozark County resident Jon Kruger and his late wife Jule who built the unique home with help from the community.
• Third place in best news or feature obituary: Sue Ann Jones took home third place in the best feature obituary category for her piece titled, “Remembering a simple woman who shared her wealth,” Jan. 19, 2022 Ozark County Times.