Battle Born Media newspapers, including the Mineral County Independent-News, took home nine awards in the Community Division during the Nevada Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest, which was announced at the association’s annual convention held this year in Sparks.

Tom Mitchell took home a first-place award for non-staff columnist. His regular column runs weekly in all six Battle Born Media newspapers. Also for the Independent-News, Heidi Bunch took a third place for Best Feature Photo for her entry entitled “Washed Out.” Bunch and Eric Dahlberg also took a third place for Best Page One Design and Dahlberg earned a third for Best Page Designer.

Battle Born Media’s Mesquite Local News took home three first-place finishes, including take home the top prize in general excellence in the community division. Mesquite Local News also took home firsts for non-staff story about rural road conditions, written by Ben Rowley, and a multiple photo essay by its staff for its July Fourth coverage.

The Ely Times had second-place honors for Best Large Space Ad by Megan Hermansen and Best Multi-Color Ad by Shari Gibson.

“Our papers continue to do well in this state-wide contest,” said Kirk Kern, chief operating officer for Battle Born Media. “I’m proud of the performance of everyone in our company. A first place in general excellence is a big accomplishment, considering we’ve only had this newspaper for less than two years.”

Newspapers from around the state competed in five classes: urban daily newspaper (with circulation of 15,000 or more), intermediate newspapers (printed more than once a week with a circulation of less than 15,000), community newspapers (weekly or monthly with circulation of less than 10,000), urban weekly newspapers (circulation of 10,000 or more) and magazines.

Veteran Las Vegas Review-Journal political journalist and humanitarian Laura Myers was posthumously inducted into the Nevada Press Association’s Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Myers died June 19 at the age of 53, two years after she had been diagnosed with colon cancer. Her family received the award on her behalf.