Retired Abilene Reflector-Chronicle editor Tim Horan brought home a first place award in the Kansas Press Association’s 2021 Awards of Excellence Contest.
He received first place in the category of Best Photo Package for his 2019 coverage of the Abilene Area Toys4Tots Toy Run, with the main photo being a giant orange stuffed bear.
The photo spread appeared in the Nov. 12, 2019, issue of the Reflector-Chronicle.
The award period began in November 2019 and ran through December 2020, two months longer than usual. In recent years, the contest period has run from November through October.
Interestingly enough, the majority of honors were received for editions printed before the COVID-19 shutdown.
During the time most events and activities were paused it shifted the type of news being reported in the newspaper from those events to nearly daily stories about local response to the pandemic.
Besides the photo package award, Horan also took home second place in the category of Headline writing for his three headlines: “So many books, so little time,” from Oct. 8, 2020, regarding a book drive; “Bock, bock bag-gohk” from May 6, 2020 when the Abilene City Commission considered and later approved allowing chickens in the city limits; and “No Mask! No Mask!” from Dec. 11, 2020, when protestors held signs in front of the courthouse protesting the Dickinson County Health Order requiring masks.
Horan also received second place for Column writing, with entries entitled “Shallots and garlic;” I survived milk: and “Housework.”
Current editor Kathy Hageman received a second place in the category of Agricultural story for her article, “Viral Farmers,” about the Peterson Brothers of Assaria. The Petersons provided the entertainment and inspirational talk during the February 2020 Dickinson County Farm Bureau Association annual meeting.
The Reflector-Chronicle also received third place honors in News and Writing Excellence for various entries written by Horan, Hageman and Sports Editor Ron Preston.