Miami News-Record staff awarded top honors for News Content and Editorial Writing at annual OPA Convention.

SHAWNEE – The Miami News-Record was again honored with multiple awards at the annual Oklahoma Press Association Convention held June 15-16 at the Grand Casino Hotel & Resort in Shawnee.

For the second year in a row, the News-Record staff earned first place for news content in its distribution category, Division 8 (semi-, twin or tri-weekly) and placed second for the coveted Sequoyah Award behind 2017 division winners, The Edmond Sun.

The Sequoyah Award is the top annual honor presented to newspapers for overall excellence in eight categories of the OPA Better Newspaper Contest - Advertising, Community Leadership, Editorial Writing, Layout & Design, News Content, Photography, Sales Promotion and Sports Coverage.

Additional OPA awards included Column of the Year for "Shake the disease," first place for Editorial Writing, and second place for Column Writing awarded to managing news editor Dorothy Ballard.

The News-Record was also awarded a second place win in its division for Layout and Design, led by Bob Markham with designers Casey Cantwell, Whitney Cantwell, and Ed Lavinder.

Third place wins included In-Depth Reporting awarded to associate editor Melinda Stotts for her ongoing coverage of the GRDA/FERC relicensing, and Advertising.

"The awards presented to my staff at the Miami News-Record reflects their hard work and commitment to producing a quality community newspaper," said Cheryl Franklin, publisher for the Miami News-Record. "I'm extremely proud of all they have and continue to accomplish."

"The News-Record has served Ottawa County as its community newspaper for over a century, and the people at this paper consistently go above and beyond in continuing that tradition," said Ballard. "I am extremely proud to be part of a news team with the likes of seasoned and talented professionals such as Jim Ellis and Melinda Stotts."

Sister publications to the News-Record, The Delaware County Journal and The Grove Sun, both led by managing editor Kaylea Hutson-Miller, also took home several OPA awards over the weekend.

First place awards for The Grove Sun included Community Leadership, In-Depth Reporting, and Sports Story in Divison 8 and Column Writing, Editorial Writing, and Sports Photograph for The Delaware County Journal in Division 5.

Hutson-Miller was also recognized with the Weekly Photo of the Year award.

Both papers also took home several second and third place category wins and placed fourth in their respective divisions for the Sequoyah Award.

Complete results of the 2017 OPA Better Newspaper Contest can be viewed at