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Former Messenger employee earns honor

Larry Peterson, sportswriter for the Creston News Advertiser and former employee of The Messenger, received a Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Newspaper Association Feb. 6 at its annual convention in Des Moines.

The 1975 graduate of Fort Dodge Senior High attended Iowa Central Community College, where he was sports editor of the college newspaper. He was also employed part time in the sports department at The Messenger in 1975 and 1976.

“After transferring to the University of Iowa, I was a freelance correspondent for University of Iowa athletics and sent some stories to The Messenger. One was a feature on Hawkeye linebacker Gene Holtorf, who was a 1975 classmate of mine at FDSH. So, the Messenger really got my feet on the ground in this business,” Petersen said.

Peterson credited The Messenger’s then-sports editor, the late Bob Brown, with helping him get a foot in the door with the editor of the Waterloo Courier, where Peterson became a beat writer while attending school. He covered Iowa’s 1980 Final Four basketball team, led by Ronnie Lester.

“I nearly joined The Messenger full time in the 1980s as wire editor, but Bob Brown encouraged me to stay in writing positions. Looking back, I am grateful for the advice,” he said.

From 1980 to 1984, Peterson worked at the Atlantic News-Telegraph as news and sports writer. He then moved to the Creston News Advertiser, where he served as assistant editor and sports editor. After working at the Mason City Globe-Gazette as assistant sports editor until returning to the Creston News Advertiser, serving as sports editor, assistant editor and now a sports writer. Petersen said he is now “easing into retirement.”

Peterson is the son of the late Wayne Peterson and Mabel Jensen. His father was a lifelong farmer in the Vincent area, but the family lived in Fort Dodge.

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