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Stories From The Lake Win Top Journalism Awards

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LakeExpo Boat At Shootout

At LakeExpo, we love telling the stories of Lake of the Ozarks. Since our founding in 2008, we've published nearly 40,000 articles: from investigative journalism to breaking news, photo galleries to viral videos, community events to obituaries.

The Missouri Press Association's annual Better Newspaper Contest recognizes community news organizations throughout the state for excellence in various categories, and this year, LakeExpo's crew took home several awards. We competed in Classes II & III, the two larger circulation classes in Missouri that include publications like the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Kansas City Star, Springfield News-Leader, Joplin Globe, Columbia Missourian, and Jefferson City News-Tribune.

We're so proud of our stellar staff and freelance contributors who work hard to keep LakeExpo as the Lake's trusted source for news, real estate, and boating. We're incredibly thankful to the millions of LakeExpo readers who have helped us grow. And we owe our continued existence as an organization to the fabulous Lake of the Ozarks businesses who believe in our content and our audience, and love our marketing solutions.

LakeExpo Staff & Frequent Contributors

-Publisher & Founder, Brent Simpson

-Editor, Nathan Bechtold

-Marketing Coordinator & Writer, Sara Halverson

-Events Coordinator & Sales, Gina Garriott

-Events Coordinator & Writer (previous), Emily Debert

-Photographer, Lake Shots Photography

-Photographer, Brad Glidewell Photography

-Photographer, Wright Studios 3G

-Writer, Janet Dabbs

-Writer, Vicki Wood

-Writer, Deanna Wolff

-Writer, Deborah Wolfe

-Writer, Christy Wagner

-Writer, Tegan Shockley (2020 student intern)

-Writer, Ariel (Thibodeau) Kralina (2019 student intern)

Here's a look at the 2019 LakeExpo coverage that earned us a handful of Missouri Press Association Awards this year. Cheers!

BEST EDITORIAL - 1ST PLACE

Nathan Bechtold & Brent Simpson

Lake Of The Ozarks’ Water Quality Is Much-Maligned, But Actually Excellent

Judge's Comments: This newspaper gives a crap about its community and its much-maligned body of water. The publication shows a strong grasp on the subject matter -- sporadic reports of E. coli at Lake of the Ozarks -- while defending the community against a poorly reported TV piece that misinformed about the popular reservoir.

BEST ONLINE NEWSPAPER - 2ND PLACE

Brent Simpson, Nathan Bechtold, Sara Halverson, Emily Debert, David Dilks, and Janet Dabbs

BEST STORY ABOUT THE OUTDOORS - 1ST PLACE

Nathan Bechtold 

Massive Foam Spill In Lake Ozark

Judge's Comments: The writing in this piece shows the keen eye of an outdoors writer slowly dwelling on details and choosing imagery that both paints a cultural picture of the place and a sense of why it matters.

IRRESISTIBLE HEADLINES FROM LAKEEXPO NEWS — 2ND PLACE

Nathan Bechtold, Brent Simpson, Sara Halverson, Emily Debert

Lake Ozark Man Allegedly Urinates On Jail Floor, Tries To Flood Cell

AWOL! Escaped Peacock Is Making Lake Of The Ozarks Neighborhoods More Fabulous

Scuba Divers Clean Up Lake Of The Ozarks ‘Skinny Dip Cove’

'I Heard The People...Screaming.' Boat Racers Escape After Wild Crash In Key West [VIDEO]

Car Crashes Into Local Pizza Hut, Driver Blames Flip Flops

BEST NEWS OR FEATURE SERIES - 3RD PLACE

Nathan Bechtold & Sara Halverson 

News Series: TCLA & Soccer

Judge's Comments: A fun drama to follow along from start to finish that takes time to explain projects, issues and reactions without fueling the heated debates around the vote.

1. Lake Of The Ozarks Is Well-Positioned For A Destination Soccer Complex, Strategists Say

2. Lots Of Love For Lake Of The Ozarks Soccer Complex, But Contention On How To Pay For It

3. Lodging Tax Increase Proposed By TCLA To Fund Lake Of The Ozarks Soccer Complex

4. Tournament Soccer At The Lake? Here Are Citizens' Questions & Community Leaders' Answers

5. Resort Owners Flood TCLA Meeting, Furious Over Lodging Tax Hike For Soccer Complex

6. Soccer Complex Fails, As Lake Of The Ozarks Voters Overwhelmingly Reject Lodging Tax Hike

7. The TCLA Tussle: After Airing Grievances At The Courthouse, Changes On The Horizon

8. TCLA Administrator Jim Divincen Announces His Retirement

BEST BREAKING NEWS STORY - HONORABLE MENTION

Janet Dabbs

Car Crashes Into Pool & Exercise Class

Judge's Comments: I really enjoyed this story. It delivered the news that I'm sure people were really intrigued by in a way that did not mock anyone but that still allowed their personalities to shine through. Good use of quotes and amazing provided photos. Interesting breaking news, for sure.

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