Chronicle receives honors at Wyoming newspaper convention

David Peck

The Lovell Chronicle received multiple awards at the 125th annual convention of the Wyoming Press Association, held January 18-20 at the Ramkota Hotel and Convention Center in Casper.
The Chronicle received second-place honors for the WPA Robert Warner Photography Award, and Chronicle editor David Peck was judged to have taken the photo of the year for small weekly newspapers with his photo “Smoky Battle” showing Lovell volunteer fireman Kyle Leithead emerging from a burning garage east of Lovell on December 13, 2022.
The newspaper garnered 20 individual Pacemaker awards in various categories, earning the Chronicle second place by a narrow margin for the Sweepstakes trophy.
Peck’s fireman photo won the blue ribbon in the category of Spot News Photo, with the judge writing, “Really well done. Hard to focus through smoke. The abstract nature of the photo is powerful.”
The Chronicle won three other first-place photography Pacemakers. Peck won first place in the Feature Photo category for his photo of the Crooked Creek Racing ranch style horse race near Horseshoe Bend on August 12. The judge wrote: “Solid action, great framing and anticipation. Clear number one.”
Chronicle production manager Karlie Hammond captured first place in the Scenic Photo category for her photo of the Northern Lights on April 23 from Frog Rock south of Cowley. The judge wrote: “Nice use of elements. Adding a person into the frame to provide context is a solid touch. Beautiful color.”
Peck won a blue ribbon in the Portrait/Personality category for his photo of rodeo cowboy JR Vezain and his son, Ryatt, taken at the May 5 Lovell Area Chamber of Commerce banquet. The judge stated: “Nice moment at an otherwise ordinary event. Not a lot of entries, and this one rose in the field.”
Former Chronicle reporter Ryan Fitzmaurice received first place in the Sports News Story category for his story about the Rocky Mountain Lady Grizzlies capturing the regional championship last February. Wrote the judge, “Absolutely love the lede to this story. I very much appreciate that an interesting tidbit was taken and woven into how the reporter started the story. Wonderful job with the piece.”
Fitzmaurice also won the blue ribbon in the Outdoors/Environmental Reporting category for his story “Local hunters express alarm regarding deer population.” “Coverage of the public meeting was in-depth and thorough,” the judge wrote. “If you couldn’t make the meeting, you certainly know what happened and the opinions of the group. Solid wildlife reporting and good background of issues. Balanced voice on controversial topics. Easy to read, good reporting voice and nice hooks.”
Hammond won first place in the Institutional Ad category for her ad about the Morning with Mustangs event, with the judge noting, “Inviting wording, good usage of variable fonts, pleasing ad appearance.”
She won second place in the same category for the ad “Little League Board.” The judge noted, “Creative wording with image. Thank you.”
Fitzmaurice captured second place in the Education Reporting category for his stories that included “Teachers describe transformational approach to reading in LES,” with the judge stating, “In-depth reporting that provides detailed insights on issues of importance to the community, along with a fun feature about a beloved educator.”
He also received second place in the Agriculture Reporting category, with the judge writing, “Good coverage of local issues and community members. (Reporter) does a nice job of sharing local perspectives on relevant topics.”
Peck captured a red ribbon for Obituary Writing for a column about the life of Bob Doerr and Charles Hessenthaler and their impact on the community. Wrote the judge, “A very nice tribute to a pair of community leaders who touched the lives of their respected community, one as a coach/educator, the other as a legislator and family leader. The writer truly knows his community when he can tell the stories of a wide range of its residents.”
Designer Carla Wensky won second place in the Open Page Design category for a sports page featuring Dr. Michael Hill participating in the Mustang Days Triathlon, with the judge noting, “The well-placed silhouette pop-out adds some excitement to a clean and simple layout.”
Hammond won a red ribbon in the Best Designed Ad category for an ad for Hillside Floral. Wrote the judge, “Great color schemes and design elements put this ad second place in a very crowded category.”
Hammond and the Chronicle staff received second place in the Plus Business Advertising Idea category for the 2023 Valentine’s Day promotion where readers were asked to match couples based on their marriage or engagement photo and a current photo. The judge stated, “So fun! Engaging readers with a ‘Who is it?’ activity AND advertising for local businesses. Great idea!”
The Chronicle earned honorable mention in six categories:
• Peck in Spot News for his coverage of the flash flood in the Big Horn Canyon/Crooked Creek area last June, with the judge writing, “Great photos! Interesting to see the reporter so closely involved in the story.”
• Peck in Column Writing, with the judge stating, “Honorable mention for a nice variety of subjects written in easy-to-read style.”
• Chronicle staff in Special Section or Supplement for the 2023 Mustang Days Historical Edition, with the judge noting, “Very enjoyable local content documents the past and present for this community. Based on this, Lovell area citizens have a great deal to be proud of. Well designed.”
• Wensky and staff in Front Page Design with the judge noting, “Timely and relevant stories. Nice variety of images of community members. Nice layout.”
• Hammond in Small Ad for a North Big Horn Hospital Trick or Treat ad, with the judge stating, “Good use of space, eye catching graphic.”
• Wensky and staff in Website for the Lovell Chronicle website. Wrote the judge, “Clean design and efficient use of white space help the reader navigate this easy on the eyes website.”