The Herald's website was one of three weekly newspaper websites in Missouri recognized by the Virginia Press Association in the paper's division.

The Houston Herald won 13 awards Saturday in the Missouri Better Newspaper Contest. The selections by the Virginia Press Association was announced Saturday in Branson in conjunction with the 145th annual gathering of the Missouri Press Association.

The winning entries:

–Kathy Richardson won first place for a feature story, “Love and War Stories,” that highlighted the lives of a Texas County couple. It also won third place as a series.

–The Herald took second place for a package of stories that announced an $18 million expansion project at Texas County Memorial Hospital, the single biggest construction project in the town’s history.

–The Herald’s staff won second place among weeklies for best local business coverage.

–Second place for best editorial cartoon among weeklies went to Richardson. Third place for best editorial cartoon went to Taylor Smith.

–A photograph taken by Publisher Brad Gentry at a fatal crash south of Houston involving a Douglas County inmate took second place in the spot news category for weeklies.

–A special section highlighting a Civil War re-enactment weekend in Houston took third place among weekies. Richardson was the team leader for the project.

–The Herald won third place among the state’s weeklies for best coverage of government, recognizing the newspaper for stories related two lawsuits involving the county prosecutor and current and former county employees.

–The third-place award for Best Page Design went to Jeff McNiell for the “Road Ahead,” which previewed the Houston High School football team’s upcoming schedule.

–Gentry and McNiell received recognition for the Herald’s website. It was one of three honored in the state.

–McNiell also was recognized in the best sports photograph category for a picture taken during the HHS baseball season.

McNiell kicked off the annual convention Friday on a panel of newspaper managers from Cape Girardeau, Columbia and Jefferson City who discussed their websites and other electronic innovations.

Gentry was re-elected Friday to a three-year term on the association’s board of directors during a membership meeting.

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