Publisher Donald Dodd and staff writer Andrew Sheeley won first-place awards in the Missouri Press Association Better Newspaper Contest, the organization announced recently at its annual convention in Kansas City.

Sheeley won first place for Best Feature Story, a story on Danny Guiles, a Gulf War veteran who faces numerous health problems due to exposure to depleted uranium during his service. The story also took second place for Best Military Story.

Dodd took first place in Best Column-Serious. The entry consisted of columns on 1) a family friend who is Mexican and was denied a visa to enter America to see her sister and newborn niece, 2) the end of The Salem News’ 100-year-run of printing its own newspaper and 3) guitarist Jimmy Tebeau’s return to Echo Bluff State Park after spending time in prison for hosting a public nuisance on the site (formerly known as Camp Zoe).

Other staff members recognized for their work in Salem are contributing writer Ben Sheeley, second place for a story on Crooked Creek Crater; and editorial cartoonist Athena Tivnan, second place for cartoons on 18-year-old voters, Eric Greitens’ quick exit as governor and Santa’s naughty list for people spending too much time on social media.