The Dallas County News is pleased to announce three first place awards at last week’s Iowa Newspaper Association’s annual awards banquet.

First place finishes in the Weekly Class 2 category (a circulation between 1,126-2,100) include Best Feature Photo or Photo Story by Allison McNeal, Coverage of Government and Politics, and Best Ad-Automotive, Boats, Aircraft, Tires, Gasoline. The DCN was also awarded second place for Best Special Section and third place for Coverage of Agriculture.

In addition to those awards, former editor and longtime reporter Bill Haglund was awarded the prestigious Master Editor-Publisher award who was chosen based on living honorably, influencing unselfishly, thinking soundly and working hard in the newspaper industry.

A snippet of the script used to announce Haglund’s Master Editor-Publisher award goes as follows: "Haglund is an award-winning writer and editor and serves as a stellar role model for the next generation of journalists. He is not one to boast about his accolades, but instead turns his attention outward to serving his community and his newspaper. His love for his job, his story subjects and his community is evident and respected by his co-workers and the residents of his community."

Haglund, who recently retired, has been an integral part of the DCN staff over the years and will be missed by colleagues.

Current editor, Allison McNeal, was also awarded at this year’s INA convention with the Jay P. Wagner Prize for Young Journalists. The award was created by the family of the late Des Moines Register reporter, who died in 1997, in order to honor his life as a devoted community newsman. An emphasis on story-telling abilities and a deep appreciation for Iowa and its people were the criteria in award selection.

This year’s INA contest was judged by the Nebraska Press Association.