Staff members of the Hannibal Courier-Post took home 25 awards Saturday in the Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. The haul is the largest for the newspaper in recent memory.

Staff members of the Hannibal Courier-Post took home 25 awards Saturday in the Missouri Press Association's Better Newspaper Contest. The haul is the largest for the newspaper in recent memory. Awards spanned a broad range of categories, including photography, news and feature writing, design, column writing and more. Judged by press association members from a neighboring state, the contest recognized work published in 2016. The Courier-Post competed in the small dailies division with a number of other small daily newspapers throughout the state.

Staff members brought in a handful of first-place finishes. Reporter Trevor McDonald won top honors in the best news series category for his series “Hannibal's Heroin Homefront” — an in-depth look at the heroin epidemic in Hannibal, its causes, and its solutions. Managing editor Eric Dundon won first in the editorial writing category for a piece praising Rep. Jim Hansen (R-Frankford) for casting the deciding vote defeating controversial legislation. Dundon and design center manager Janet Blair won first place in the graphics category for an innovative graphic showing how Marion County, over the course of 30 years, went from being a Democrat-voting county to a Republican-voting one. Sports editor Kevin Graeler took home first in the best sports news story for an analytical look at the Hannibal Cavemen team following a dismal 2016 campaign. Kelly Goodhart, a freelance photographer, won for best photo package for a series of photographs depicting the Bear Creek Rendezvous. The staff took home first place in the special section category for “Better Living Missouri” — a six-part special section exploring various topics related to physical, mental, and emotional health.

“The Courier-Post once again proved why it's one of the best small newspapers in Missouri,” Dundon said. “Our staff is providing award-winning content in a variety of areas. I'm proud that our small staff continually takes deep-dive look at issues facing the community. We'll continue to do so.”

Full awards:

First place

• Best news series, Trevor McDonald for “Hannibal's Heroin Homefront”

• Best editorial, Eric Dundon for “One-word legacy”

• Best photo package, Kelly Goodhart for “Bear Creek Rendezvous”

• Best sports news story, Kevin Graeler for “Time to evaluate”

• Best special section, staff for “Better Living Missouri”

• Best information graphic, Eric Dundon and Janet Blair for “30-year shift”

Second place

• Best overall design, staff

• Best front page, staff

• Best news story, Eric Dundon for “Officials squabble over Facebook use”

• Best feature story, Eric Dundon for “The fight of his short life”

• Best news series, Danny Henley for “Housing's death row”

• Best editorial, Eric Dundon for “Councilmen should re-examine commitment”

• Best special section, staff for “Finest in the Field”

• Best investigative reporting, Danny Henley and Eric Dundon for “Chronic absenteeism”

• Best story about education, Eric Dundon for “Language by laptop”

• Best information graphic, Eric Dundon for “No charges in police shooting”

• Best editorial cartoon, Jeff Niffen for “It's your duty!”

• Best headline writing, staff

Third place

• Best humorous columnist, Meg Duncan

• Best editorial pages, staff

• Best story about history, Mary Lou Montgomery for “Entire family perished in flood”

• Best military story, Trevor McDonald for “Selfless sacrifice”

• Best website, staff

Honorable mention

• General excellence, staff

• Best humorous columnist, Danny Henley