The South Dakota Newspaper Association held their annual Better Newspaper Contest awards ceremony via Zoom April 29.

Both the Southern Union County Leader-Courier and Dakota Dunes/North Sioux City Times won third place for General Excellence in their respective divisions. The award recognizes the entire content of the newspaper and the scope of community coverage. It’s the eighth time the Leader-Courier has been recognized in that category.

Both papers were also third in Typography and Design, which reflects the overall appearance of the paper, including photo arrangements, layout of the page and placement of advertisements. Editor Susan Odson and reporter/photographer Beth Sherard-Fennel accepted the awards.

Staff members received six individual awards for articles and pictures in the 2020 issues of the papers.

Southern Union County Leader-Courier awards:

Susan Odson:

• Third place for Best Sports Photo. The photo submitted was of Alyssa Chytka playing softball. The cutline read: “Alyssa Chytka laid down a perfect bunt in the 16U game against Viborg-Hurley July 7. She beat the throw to 1st, took 2nd on an overthrow and, before the dust had settled, was standing safe on 3rd.”

Dakota Dunes/North Sioux City Times awards

Beth Sherard-Fennel:

• Second place for Best Local Government story. Entered was a series on the North Sioux City Council, the resignation of Mayor Randy Fredericksen, the appointment of Rodd Slater as Mayor and rebuilding efforts of the office.

• Second place for Best Sports Writing. The article submitted was on the Dakota Valley Girls Basketball team and their back-to-back wins over Hartington Cedar Catholic and Viborg-Hurley Jan. 3 and 4.

• First place, Best Spot News Photo. The spot news photo came from pictures of the North Sioux City Fire Department dousing Northport Apartments with water after a lightning strike started the building on fire.

• Third place, Best Spot News Story. In the same issue as the spot news photo, a story ran on the back page of the Northport Apartment fire, along with a couple more pictures of the fire department battling the fire.

Steve Peterman:

• Second place, Best Sports Photo. This photo was of Paul Bruns attacking the basket in a region game played against Beresford March 3.