April 17, 2024

ACFP, Creston paper win INA awards

Iowa Newspaper Association

The Adair County Free Press and its sibling newspaper the Creston News Advertiser won various reporting awards announced last Thursday during the Iowa Newspaper Association convention held in Des Moines.

Presentations were made to winners of the 2024 Iowa Better Newspaper Contests, which were judged by the Illinois Press Association. Approximately 2,879 entries in dozens of categories were judged by class, based on circulation.

Class I is for newspapers published daily with 5,000 circulation and under, Class II is for newspapers published daily with 5,001 circulation and above.

Class III is for newspapers published weekly with 875 circulation and under, Class IV, 876 to 1,550 circulation; Class V, 1,551 and above circulation.

Creston was in daily class IV and the Free Press was in weekly class I.

Adair County Free Press, led by Caleb Nelson, won:

Third place in best front page.

Second place in coverage of education.

Third place in coverage of business.

He got second place in best news story about the life of longtime firefighter Denny Sickles after his death.

Creston won:

Third place in coverage of government and politics.

Third place in coverage of court and crime.

Cheyenne Roche won second place in breaking news story. The story was when Creston public schools received a “swatting” call; when someone intentionally makes a false claim sending emergency responders to a specific location. She also won third place in best sports photo

Erin Henze won third place in master columnist.

“It’s an honor to work with these people; Cheyenne, Erin, Mandy (McDowell) and Caleb,” said Creston News Advertiser Managing Editor John Van Nostrand. “All of them and their ability to know what is news, how to get it and then how to tell the story are just a few of the reasons why I cherish working with them.”

John Van Nostrand


An Iowa native, John's newspaper career has mostly been in small-town weeklies from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi River. He first stint in Creston was from 2002 to 2005.