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Panhandle Press Association met in Dumas April 3-5 for its 104th annual convention.
Luncheon keynote speaker Wendy Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth and Democratic candidate for governor, spoke fondly of her childhood visits to her grandparents in Muleshoe and other areas of the Panhandle, but her focus was on the impact of education on Texas' future.
In a question-and-answer period, TPA Executive Vice President Donnis Baggett, asked Sen. Davis, "As governor, how would you go about trying to preserve people's access to the inner workings of their government?" Davis said Texas needs to refocus its efforts on ethics. "I have advocated very strongly that we review a long history of the way we give tax incentives in the state to sunshine on that and to put under a sunset review each of those so that we know whether they still make sense for us," she said.
Amarillo Globe-News Publisher Les Simpson and broadcast journalist Jay Ricci gave a presentation on AGN Media and its new entity, AGNTV. The newspaper's broadcast venture allows the public to log in online to view news when and how they want it — no longer having to wait for their evening television broadcast.
Retired TPA Advertising Director Dwight McKenzie presented a session on revenue-generating ideas. Members shared ideas that have worked for them, such as student-designed advertisements, community-driven photo contests, reader's choice special sections, and more.
Media attorney Don Richards of the Richards, Elder & Green law firm in Lubbock addressed a range of open government topics, including open meetings and open records, public notices and legal notices, access to judicial information and legal guidelines for media, such as the right to refuse advertisements, the right to gather news, copyright protection, reporter's privilege (shield law), libel and defenses to libel and invasion of privacy.
Attendees enjoyed a luncheon at the Window on the Plains Museum and members were selected to take part in a dress-up history lesson on the founding of Dumas, cowboy hats and bonnets included.
The association's Hall of Fame Banquet featured guest speaker Randy Keck, publisher of The Community News in Aledo. Keck, an amateur magician, wove a story of his life as a newspaper publisher while ripping a newspaper into small pieces, only to reveal a perfectly intact newspaper.
Panhandle Press Association Hall of Fame inducted new members Susan Clay, former Dalhart Texan owner and publisher, and Cathy Martindale, longtime executive editor of the Amarillo Globe-News.
During the PPA Better Newspaper Contest Awards lunch immediate past president, Wanda Brooks, Moore County News, was honored for her dedication during the previous year.
The association elected the following officers: President, Jeff Blackmon, County Star-News; Vice President, Ashlee Estlack, Clarendon Enterprise; and Secretary, Roger Estlack, Clarendon Enterprise; and board members: Tim Howsare, The Pampa News; Larry Thornton, Muleshoe Journal; Amanda Rogers, The Canyon News; Joni Yara, Booker News; and Tara Huff, Fritch Eagle Press.
Panhandle Press Association will hold its 105th annual meeting in Amarillo in April 2015.