Newspaper contest

William Smith walked cross country in 2019 – more than 3,000 miles – from central Florida to California.

A Florida man’s 3,000-mile walk across the country and his stop in Corinth as told through the writings of Editor Mark Boehler helped secure the Daily Corinthian six awards in the latest state association contest.

Boehler’s “Will’s Walking West” feature story appearing in the Daily Corinthian on January 13, 2019 took top honors in the recent Mississippi Press Association Awards for Excellence and Better Newspaper Contest.

The winning entry tells the story of then 59-year-old William Smith on his first time cross country journey walking from his home in central Florida to California.

Smith made it to California around November last year and back home. He’s already began his second walking trip, according to his Facebook page which can be found by searching Will’s Walking West.

“Since I’ve been back from my epic walk across the United States, it’s been difficult to adjust to a mundane life. I’ve been told by other USA crossers that is the danger of doing it – itchy feet,” Smith said in a June post. His last update had him trekking up the A-1-A highway along the eastern Florida coastline near St. Augustine.

Boehler’s piece also featured a collage of photos detailing Smith’s personality.

MPA judges said it was, “a well written feature story covering an unplanned local event.”

Boehler was also honored with the best general news photograph called “Soldier Surprises Kids.”

Appearing in the April 6, 2020 edition of the Daily Corinthian, Boehler captured a big welcome home hug between returning solider U.S. Army 1st Lt. Lander Tucker and his two daughters at a surprise event held at Corinth Elementary School.

Judges said, “the quality and composition of the photo enhances the sweet surprise. The emotions in the photo can be felt with just a glance.”

The newspaper’s other first place win came at the hands of Sports Editor Kent Mohundro, who detailed the Corinth football team’s state championship victory n Dec. 8, 2019.

“Business plan now complete – Corinth rolls over Poplarville for 4A state title” took first place in the best game story category of the contest.

Judges comments said it was a “well-written state championship story that makes you feel like you were there.”

Newspapers from across the state entered a total of 1,768 entries in the 2019 contest. Entries were judged this spring by volunteers from the Alabama Press Association.

Daily Corinthian wins include:

General News Story, 2nd place – “School System Report Card” by Zack Steen

Game Story, 1st place – “Business Plan Now Complete” by Kent Mohundro

Feature Story, 1st place – “Will’s Walking West” by Mark Boehler

General News Photograph, 1st place – “Soldier Surprises Kids” by Mark Boehler

Personality Portrait, 3rd place – “Parade of Honor” by Mark Boehler

Magazine Periodical, 3rd place – Crossroads Magazine

Staff Writer

Zack Steen was first hired in 1999 as a junior in high school to work in the Daily Corinthian design department. After several years away, he returned in 2014 as staff writer. He's married to the love of his life Brandy and they have 5 wonderful fur-kids.

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