Messenger earns Mark Twain Award
Madsen wins an INA first place; Pratt takes first and second in APME contest
The Messenger was given the Mark Twain Award Friday, bestowed by The Associated Press for being the Iowa Associated Press Member of the Year 2016.
Jane Curtis, Messenger editor, accepted the award during the Iowa Newspaper Association’s annual convention in Des Moines.
The plaque, given by Kia Breaux, AP regional director for the Midwest, bears this Mark Twain sentiment: “There are only two forces that can carry light to all the corners of the globe … the sun in the heavens and the Associated Press down here.”
Hans Madsen of The Messenger won first place for a news photo, which is pictured above.
In it, Thomas Keston, left, and his father, Fred Keston, of Fort Dodge, fire a salute during a graveside memorial service and grave marker dedication in Oakland Cemetery. The event honored Lemuel G. Hastings and his wife, Frances Hastings, who served as a nurse during the Civil War. The Kestons are with the Confederate 1st South Carolina Volunteer Regiment.
Eric Pratt, Messenger sports editor, was awarded both first and second place in the Associated Press Media Editors contest for stories; an excerpt of one follows:
‘Dodger, Iowa titan Thorson passes away’
Sherwyn Thorson the athlete had a striking physical presence and an unparalleled career that made him seem larger than life.
Sherwyn Thorson the man was patient, modest and loyal, leaving his iconic persona behind once the games and meets came to an end.
The Fort Dodge community is honoring the former and grieving the loss of the latter today. Thorson died Wednesday morning after a long battle with cancer. He was 75.
The man they called “Thumper” and “Thor” was remembered as a gentle giant of sorts by other famed Dodger personalities reacting to the news of his passing. The decorated two-sport standout never spent too much time or energy reliving the glory days, despite having an almost-unprecedented list of memorable moments at his disposal.
“You never heard a word from him about (his accomplishments),” former FDSH wrestling coach and athletic director Don Miller said. “Here’s a guy who is in every Hall of Fame imaginable and a former professional football player. Yet even if you pressed him about all of it, he’d just respond by saying, ‘I had fun,’ or ‘I did all right.’
“He was a class act who had a heart of gold. I wish we had more of that (attitude) in this world. If you didn’t know Sherwyn, it was your loss.”
The Messenger also won INA awards for best special section, third place; best ad featuring automotive, second place; and best web ad, second place.