From left: Heather Gray, Craig Moorhead and Marlene Deschler stand with awards won for the Minnesota Newspaper Association. The Herald won second place in both the General Reporting and Headline Writing categories. Reporter Craig Moorhead took second place in the business category for Private Disasters Unfolding and third place for Ice Angling on the ‘Mighty Miss.’ Reporter Marlene Deschler received a third place award for her story Comedy Performance shows audience the action on stage and backstage. PHOTO: MARIAH DESCHLER/ SPRING GROVE HERALD<br /><br /><!-- 1upcrlf2 -->
From left: Heather Gray, Craig Moorhead and Marlene Deschler stand with awards won for the Minnesota Newspaper Association. The Herald won second place in both the General Reporting and Headline Writing categories. Reporter Craig Moorhead took second place in the business category for Private Disasters Unfolding and third place for Ice Angling on the ‘Mighty Miss.’ Reporter Marlene Deschler received a third place award for her story Comedy Performance shows audience the action on stage and backstage. PHOTO: MARIAH DESCHLER/ SPRING GROVE HERALD

The Spring Grove Herald received a total of five awards from the Minnesota Newspaper Association (MNA) on Thursday, Jan. 23, at the 2012-13 Best Newspaper Award Banquet in Bloomington.

Heather Gray was managing editor during the contest period. She exclaimed, "I am so pleased to see the paper win five state awards back to back! What a testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire staff to put out a quality product week after week."

All of the Herald's awards were won in the weekly newspapers category with a circulation of up to 1,500. Peers in the newspaper industry from Illinois chose the winners of the awards.

The first two awards that recognized the Herald were both for second place for both General Reporting and Headline Writing. "The Spring Grove Herald offers its readers a good mix of well-reported stories. The paper does not shy away from hard news and provides a good mix of community news events coverage," states the judges of the completion. "(It's a) nice paper, overall, and good use of headlines."

Reporter Craig Moorhead covers the government beat as well as sports. He loves to squeeze in the occasional feature story when time permits. Moorhead received two awards, including second place in the business story category for Private Disasters Unfolding, published on July 24, 2013, and third place in the sports story category for Ice Angling on the 'Mighty Miss,' published on Jan. 16, 2013.

"The "private disasters" piece was a more serious piece," Moorhead commented about his second place story. "I felt it was important for us to tell this story, because there were quite a few area farmers who really endured some serious damages from those late June floods."

"I'd say that the ice fishing story was just fun to do since there are lots of folks from Spring Grove who enjoy going to the Brownsville area to fish around Lawrence Lake and/or Wildcat Park," Moorhead added.

"Craig joined the paper full-time in 2011, although he free-lanced for the Herald for several years before that," Gray recalled. "I was happy to recruit him after seeing his great attention to detail and relentless search for the truth that he portrayed in his stories. I have not ever known a person who works harder than Craig to be fair and truthful in everything he writes."

Human interest reporter Marlene Deschler, who also covers school and community events, won third place in the Arts and Entertainment category for her story titled, "Comedy Performance shows audience the action on stage and backstage," which was published on March 13, 2013.

"I enjoyed writing this article as I was given a chance to have a sneak peek of this production. To me, it is fun to get this 'insiders' view' of the production and then to share it with the community. I am always so impressed with the local talent that participates in all of the Ye Olde Opera House productions and I enjoy being able to help promote that. Having such quality productions in our small town is something to be proud of and to be shared with the broader communities," Deschler said.

"Marlene has been with the paper since 2002, and has been telling the great stories of our youth and community. I am so happy for her!" Gray noted.

Gray pointed out, "I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Herald and miss it from time to time." Although she chuckled that she didn't miss the crazy hours and schedule.

"I am pleased to be part of a paper that has such a rich history in the community for covering local events with excellence," commented Spring Grove Herald current editor David Stoeger. "I am proud of our reporters and their talent to honestly and thoroughly report the news in Spring Grove and surrounding communities. It will be our task to continue that tradition into the future."

The Herald has now won a total of 17 awards from 2005 to 2013, which includes multiple categories.