Evans Print and Media wins big at WNA awards Monroe County Herald Brings home 17 awards


On March 15th, staff from the Monroe County Herald attended the Wisconsin Newspaper Association awards banquet and convention, in Madison. At the awards banquet, the Herald received 17 separate awards, for many different categories, including news reporting, photography, sports, layout, design, and more.

Proud Owner

Greg Evans, owner of The Monroe County Herald, attended the prestigious awards banquet, along with Kyle Evans – General Manager for the Monroe County Herald, Benny Mailman – Editor for the Monroe County Herald, and Nicolette Nauman – Editor for the Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise. “To win 36 awards, between the three papers we put out, is a testament to the incredible staff we have put together, here at Evans Print and Media Group,” Greg stated. “I continually hear compliments about our sport sections and the incredible work done by Nate Beier and Logan Everson, as well as the coverage of Monroe County’s heart and soul, through the stories written by our reporters – John Gessner, Jennifer Moran, Jayme Bahl, and our editor, Benny Mailman. The awards are great, but the true gratification for our work comes through the voices of community members, here in Monroe County.”

Sports Cleans House at Award Banquet

The Herald sports team cleaned house, bringing home 11 awards, for the Herald alone. “For the sports department, I was very pleased with our results from this year’s WNA awards,” said Nate Beier, sports editor. "As much as I enjoy winning - and we (sports) did have 10 first place finishes, for our three publications - I am probably most happy with the individual victories by Zach Rastall and Logan Everson.”

The Evans Media group Sports Department collected 24 total awards, across its three publications. The Monroe County Herald had three first place entries, the Hillsboro Sentry-Enterprise four, and the Cashton Record three. 

Beier explained that, for Rastall, it was the first time the writer was able to sway the judges enough, to come home with a first place entry in any story category. Rastall won the Best Sports News Story category, with a piece on Tomah’s Eli Brown at the WIAA state track meet last June.

“Zach is the workhorse in this department, as he accounts for 80-90% off all written copy we produce,” Beier stated. "He does it week in and out, for the four newspapers we have and doesn’t always get the recognition he should. Without his work for these papers, sports content doesn’t happen. The fact that he has a first place entry, with his name on it, all by itself … well, I’m okay with that bragging point for him.”

Logan Everson helped the Cashton Record bring home its first-ever WNA award wins, since the publication was purchased by Evans Print and Media. Everson had three individual wins for the Record and was part of three others, for both the Monroe County Herald and Hillsboro Sentry Enterprise - all for photo and page design.

“I was happy to see Logan horde the hardware this year,” said Beier. “I’m always impressed by the creative skill she executes with her page layouts. I look at a lot of newspapers, and the talent she brings to these pages doesn’t exist in other places.”
The sports editor himself brought home a pair of individual awards - that for Best Local Sports Column in the Herald and for a Sports Feature Photo, in the Sentry-Enterprise.
The sports department also won top awards for Best Special Section, for the Monroe County Herald’s state track and field wrap up last June, as well as the Hilssboro Sentry Enterprise’s section, featuring the Royall boys basketball team that qualified for state. 

Monroe County Herald Editor 

Monroe County Herald Editor, Benny Mailman, received two awards. One was for his and Jennifer Moran’s story, Fighting for change, a story that came out on the front page of the March 30th, 2023 Herald issue, extensively covering Jessica Crandell’s fight against the Sparta School District for their egregious mishandling of her daughter’s attack, in Hermann Elementary. “Boy, that was, and continues to be a heavy article,” Mailman remarked. “Jessica Crandell is a superhero in my book. We are still in touch, and I have written subsequent articles on her continued fight, all the way up to the capital. I seek stories that speak to the heart and soul of who we are, in Monroe County. I want to give the spotlight over to the citizens, who do such amazing and kind things at a level and sustainability rate that borders on fiction. I love Monroe County.”

Mailman was also recognized for his weekly column, From the Editor’s Desk. “I am proud of this one,” Mailman said. “The column is entirely me, and I feel a freedom in being able to make people laugh and hopefully bring some extra joy into their lives.”

Reporter Jenny Moran

Reporter, Jennifer Rodriguez Moran, shared the second-place award with editor, Benny Mailman, on the Fighting for change article. “I am honored to have received an award for my writing. Writing and volunteering keeps my family and me busy and involved with the community. There's no shortage of great people, places, and things to write about in Sparta, Monroe County, and The Driftless! A closer look at the scenic hills and valleys, and the people and wildlife who inhabit this land, reveals a truly beautiful and exciting place to  live in, write about, and explore.”

“I look forward to continuing my work with Benny Mailman and The Herald, sharing news as it happens, with our community, with a focus on hope, purpose, and working to make dreams happen. To learn more about ongoing projects, you visit my website, at acornhillstudio.com.

Thank you so much, WNA Foundation, and to all who share and read these stories.

Reporter John Gessner

John Gessner won for his article, An Act of Kindness in a Hostile Land, which came out in the July 25th edition of the Monroe County Herald. “It was a wonderful achievement to win this award since writing is not my greatest quality. In college, my studies were in Engineering. After 30 years in the Army and learning how to write well, it is an honor to receive this award.”

On the story he won for, John stated, “The story was fascinating. It was based on the exploits of a 101st airborne soldier, Harry Hendersin, who came to the aid of a Holocaust victim, in real time. He walked the young girl, who was wearing tattered clothing, into a dress store, outside the camp, and made the owner allow her to take a dress. A tearful reunion was held 65 years later, over the internet. The young girl had searched for the man her entire life. They were scheduled to meet up, with the lady coming to the United States to meet him, but he passed 3 weeks after internet meeting.”

Gessner then remarked, “Monroe County is filled with amazing people and stories. I really enjoy finding these stories and sharing them with our readers.”

Nate Beier and Kyle Evans also helped to judge the Kentucky Press Association awards this year.

A full list of the Heralds awards is listed below:

First Place

Best Special Section (Editorial)- We Are The Champions- State Track and Field- Nate Beier, Zach Rastall, and Logan Everson.

Bill Payne Award (Best large ad)- 100 years of Wesco- Kyle Evans, Nate Beier, and Logan Everson.

Feature Story (Profile)- An Act of Kindness in a Hostile Land- John Gessner.

Local Sports Column- Through My Lens- Nate Beier.

Sports News Story- Mach Brown- Zach Rastall.

Spot News Photo- Fires- Kyle Evans.

Second Place

Best Sports Pages- Nate Beier, Zach Rastall and Logan Everson.

Breaking News Reporting- Attacked at School- Family pushes for new law- Benny Mailman and Jennifer Rodriguez Moran.

Overall Page Design- Nate Beier.

Sports Feature Story- Return of the Queen, Back for More, Bjorkman ready to vault into Sparta History at State- Nate Beier.

Visual Storytelling- Thriller in OT; Sparta opens renovated Memorial Field- Logan Everson.

Third Place

Best Headlines- Nate Beier

Best Special Section (Editorial)- 100 years of Wesco- Kyle Evans, Nate Beier, and Logan Everson.

Visual Storytelling- Brookwood’s Powell ends with top 20 finish; state race map- Nate Beier and Logan Everson.

Honorable Mention

Local Column- From the Editors Desk- Benny Mailman.

Sports Feature Story- Play on, Payton Foster- Zach Rastall.

General Manager, Kyle Evans, summed up his thoughts on the experience, as it pertains to the everyday effort put forth by the staff. “Without our readers, we don’t have a paper. So, a big thank you goes out to our readers, who push us to do as much as we can do, and we strive to produce the best product we can for our readers. The awards are a recognition of the massive efforts I see from all the awards winners, on a daily basis. Awards or no awards, the staff here is dedicated to putting out the highest quality paper possible.”

Benny Mailman, Greg Evans, Monroe County Herald, Nate Beier, Logan Everson, John Gessner, Jayme Bahl, Jennifer Rodriguez Moran, Kyle Evans


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here