Top award winners in the Panhandle Press Association Contest included (from left) Michael Wright of Moore County, Gabby Perez of Muleshoe, Jeff Blackmon of Hereford, Elaina Estlack of Clarendon, Robin Patterson of Moore County, John Lee of Pampa, Benjamin Estlack of Clarendon, Roger Estlack of Clarendon, Tim Ritter of Canyon, Tara Huff of Fritch, and Shannon Cook of Canyon. PPA’s annual convention was reduced to a banquet event for award presentation and officer installation.
The 110th annual meeting of the Panhandle Press Association was held July 24 at the Hoffbrau Steakhouse in Amarillo.
The association’s annual convention, originally scheduled March 20-21 in Perryton, was distilled into one banquet due to COVID-19 pandemic concerns.
Faith Douglas of Canyon and Kade Miller of Panhandle were recognized as scholarship recipients for the coming year.
Keynote speaker Dr. Robert Riza of Riza Executive Leadership focused his remarks on staying relevant in a changing world and encouraged newspapers to seek out new partnerships and offer new services to continue to serve their communities.
The late Harry Koch of the Quanah Tribune and the late Nancy Young of the Borger News-Herald and the Pampa News were inducted into the PPA Hall of Fame.
Koch, at the age of 24, purchased the Quanah Chief in 1891. Three years later, he acquired the Quanah Tribune. He combined them into the Quanah Tribune-Chief. He was the editor and owner for 50 years until his death. Through the newspaper, Koch was an advocate for Quanah and its growth. He was involved with the Panhandle Press Association from its inception. He was actively involved in other press associations as well and was the Texas Press Association president in 1918-19, the West Texas Press Association in 1918, and the North West Texas Press Association in 1903-04.
Koch died June 21, 1942. The Koch family owned the newspaper until 1978.
Nancy June Christian Young was a lifetime Stinnett resident and worked in the newspaper industry for more than 40 years at both the Borger News-Herald and the Pampa News. She was the editor of the Stinnett Herald during the 1970s and 1980s before working as a reporter at the Borger News-Herald. In the early 1990s, Nancy went to Pampa. In 2003, she came back to Borger and was named editor in 2004. She remained there until her retirement in 2006. After her retirement, she began an online newspaper, Hutchinson County Highlights, to provide former and current residents with information about Borger, Fritch and Stinnett. One of her key concerns was sharing the background and history of Hutchinson County with its residents. As Facebook became popular, Young saw another avenue in which to ensure information was passed on and created the Stinnett Rattler Page.
Young died Aug. 30, 2019, at the age of 76.
In the PPA Better Newspaper Contest, The Clarendon Enterprise won General Excellence honors in Division One, and The Canyon News topped Division Two. Clarendon and the Moore County News*Press were named as the recipients of the Ken Towery Community Service Award for Divisions I and II respectively.
Complete contest results are available on the TPA website, click here.
Tara Huff of the Eagle-Press, Fritch, was recognized for her service as PPA president this past year. The membership re-elected Huff to lead the PPA for 2020-2021 along with re-electing Vice President Jeff Blackmon of Hereford and Secretary/Treasurer Roger Estlack of Clarendon.
The membership also elected John Lee of Pampa and Mary Smithee of The Canadian Record as new board members. They joined current directors Mary Dudley of Perryton, Tim Ritter of Canyon, and Michael Wright of Dumas. Joni Yara of Booker continues on the board as the PPA’s immediate past president.
Next year’s Panhandle Press Convention will be held in Amarillo at a date to be announced.