SPEARFISH— The Black Hills Pioneer reporters earned 10 Associated Press awards during the 2012 Great Plains AP News and Photo Contest for small daily newspapers.

The contest was open to 40 AP-member newspapers in three size categories covering the states of North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

Jason Gross won first place in the general news category with his story titled “Whitewood mayor faces recall election”.

Adam Hurlburt took top honors in the personal column category for his column “Belle Joli: from vine to wine”.

Mark VanGerpen won the enterprise category with his eight-week series “How do we battle the beetles?”.

“I am very proud of our reporters and the entire staff at the Black Hills Pioneer,” said Publisher Letti Lister. “Our employees work very hard to bring our readers critical community information and the best product possible. When members of our staff are honored with awards it is a welcome recognition of everyone's hard work and dedication.”

Pioneer reporters also took second and third place in multiple categories.

Mark Watson took second place for his feature story “Archaeology students dig into buffalo jump”. He also placed second in the enterprise category for his series “842nd will deploy”.

Dennis Knuckles took second place in the spot sports category for his story “BHSU finds D-2 conference”.

Gross took second place in the sports feature category with his story “Rachetto reaches 18th hole”.

VanGerpen also took second place in the feature photo category for his photo “STP rocks Deadwood Mountain Grand”.

Watson took third place in the general news category with his story “State to reintroduce peregrine falcons”, and also in the feature photo category with a photo titled “Time, commitment,

sacrifice”.

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