The Examiner took third place in the area of general excellence among mid-sized daily newspapers in the annual Better Newspaper Contest held by the Missouri Press Association.

The awards, for work done in 2018, were presented Saturday at the MPA’s annual conference in Kansas City.

Examiner staff members also got individual honors:

• Assistant sports editor Michael Smith got third place in the Best Sports News Story or Package for a story he did about Blue Springs High School football player Patso Tapusoa.

• Reporter and columnist Bill Althaus was given an honorable mention in Best Sports Columnist. Judges said his work shows “a column writer who truly knows his craft, his community, and the people that make it special.”

• Editor Jeff Fox got second place in Best Columnist – Humorous and honorable mention for Best Columnist – Serious. The judges said Fox told “frank and relatable tales with just the right wry touch.”

One was about his son’s lemonade stand:

And one was about the benefits of being grateful: