Forum claims top prizes in newspaper contest, declared Best of the Dakotas – InForum

FARGO — The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and its staff nabbed 91 awards among daily newspapers in the North Dakota Newspaper Association’s 2023 Better Newspaper Contest.

The Forum won the Sweepstakes award for cumulative wins and was named Best of the Dakotas, which includes all South Dakota daily newspapers, as well.

Forum reporters April Baumgarten and Jeremy Turley took home the First Amendment award for

their investigation into former state Sen. Ray Holmberg’s links to a child porn suspect


David Olson’s series about troubles within

North Dakota’s legal guardianship program

won the Community Service award.

Melissa Van Der Stad

was named Rookie Reporter of the Year.

The Forum’s advertising department also took home the NorthSCAN Top Seller award.

Adam Willis, agricultural coverage, for a story about one landowner’s

efforts to restore the Dakota’s grasslands


April Baumgarten, government reporting, for a story about

attorneys having a difficult time phoning their clients in North Dakota prisons


April Baumgarten, spot news, for a story about a dating

relationship between a Cass County prosecutor and Fargo detective that potentially could have affected the outcome of a murder case

April Baumgarten and Jeremy Turley, reporting series, for

their investigation into former state Sen. Ray Holmberg’s links to a child porn suspect


C.S. Hagen and April Baumgarten, reporting, for a story about

how regular gunshots keep tenants of a Fargo apartment complex indoors and in fear


Chris Flynn,

spot news photo.

David Olson, headline, ”

Navel bombardment

” for a story about Fargo Public Schools dropping the midriff-covering requirement from their dress code.

David Samson, pictorial photo.


The full moon rises over the Red River Valley Fair on Wednesday, July 13, 2022. The Buck Moon, also called the Thunder Moon, was the largest supermoon of 2022.

David Samson / The Forum

David Samson, outdoor recreation photo.

Eric Peterson, sports reporting, for a story about 7 Concordia College graduates who

parlayed a Golden State Warriors championship into a dream golf trip to the British Open.

Jeff Kolpack, sports series,

for a story about how DNA tests connected the sons of former Bison great Paul Hatchett.

Jeff Kolpack, sports column, for a

column about for a column about the passing of legendary North Dakota high school coach Joe Howell.

Jeremy Turley, government series, for a series of stories on

cost overruns for work on a building that’s home to the Bureau of Criminal Investigation, State Lottery, State Fire Marshal and several other branches of the attorney general’s office in Bismarck.

Jeremy Turley and Michelle Griffith, feature reporting, for their

story about the search for remains at a North Dakota Native American boarding school.

Luanna Lake and Jessie Andren, home/gardening ad, Furniture for Less.

Marcy Nickel, section/feature front design.

Michael Vosburg, news photo.


Concordia students watch the homecoming bonfire from atop their friends’ shoulders on Thursday, Oct. 6, 2022, near Jake Christiansen Stadium. A homecoming parade will begin at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 8 on Eighth Street. The route starts from Townsite Center and ends at Jake Christiansen Stadium.

Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Mike McFeely, sports feature, for a story about NDSU

Bison football senior Michael Tutsie and his young daughter, Sarai.

Mollie Burlingame and Jessie Andren, health care ad, Convenient Care Clinic.

Humorous column, Tammy Swift, for her column

about the wedding of Josh Duhamel and Audra Mari.

Thomas Evanella, business reporting, for his story about

the uncertain future of Moorhead Center Mall tenants in light of the mall’s redevelopment.

Troy Becker, informational graphics.

Forum staff, standing news front and front page design.

Adam Willis, reporting, for a story about

North Dakotans living next to nuclear missiles

and their concerns about war.

Alyssa Goelzer, sports photo.


North Dakota State’s Michael Tutsie heads onto the field with his 15-month-old daughter Sarai during senior night ahead of his football game against North Dakota on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022, at the Fargodome.

Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

April Baumgarten, government series, for a story about

how local police departments lag far behind national rate in clearing rape cases.

April Baumgarten, business news, for her story about

“Karaoke Frank,” a downtown Fargo fixture who helps people sing their hearts out.

Archie Ingersoll, headline, ”

Worries over furries: Furries in FM schools? Yes, but no litter boxes.

Barry Amundson and Nick Broadway, online coverage of breaking news, for their story

about a man being found dead who was suspected of shooting a mother and baby at a Fargo restaurant.

Christopher Johnson and Tim Couchman, outdoors/sports ad, Outlet Recreation.

David Samson, news photo.

David Samson, picture story.

David Samson, portrait photo.


Tree rows are planted near Absaraka, N.D., on June 7, 2022.

David Samson / The Forum

David Samson, agricultural photo.

Jamie Holte and Anne Malvin, ad promoting the community, Halloween Costumes.

Jennifer Phillips and Tim Couchman, home/gardening ad, Junkin’ Market Days.

Jeremy Turley, feature reporting, for a story about an

Afghan refugee who fought alongside Americans reuniting with a veteran in North Dakota.

Jeremy Turley, C.S. Hagen and Michelle Griffith, feature series, for a

series of stories about abuse at Native American boarding schools.

Katie Hastings and Jessica Hastings, ad promoting the paper, Bob Lind book.

Melissa Van Der Stad, government reporting, for a story about a

Fargo man refusing to leave a century-old home that was slated for demolition.

Robin Huebner, spot news, for her

story about a mom and baby shot at a Fargo restaurant


Ryan Spitza, sports reporting, for

his story about West Fargo Sheyenne winning its first state volleyball title


Sara Leitheiser and Lisa Tillotson, single ad, Vintage Point.

Tammy Doyle and Kathey Costello, best digital ad, North Dakota Highway Patrol.

Tracy Briggs, sports feature, for her

story about how actor Josh Duhamel helped honor Danny Mapesk, a local golfer who was the first disabled student to graduate from The Golf Academy of America in Orlando, Florida.

Forum staff, best sports page, best editorial page, section/feature front design and best website.

Alyssa Goelzer, outdoor recreation photo.

April Baumgarten, reporting series, for

her coverage of a North Dakota man accused of murdering a teen after a street dance.

Barry Amundson, business reporting, for

his story about the Fargo City Commission considering changing regulations and permit processes for food carts downtown.

Becca Larson, standing news front.

Chris Flynn and Kate Almquist, best use of social media, for a

TikTok video about the fate of the Theodore Roosevelt National Park horses.

Chris Johnson and Katie Revier, best promo ad of community.

Dan Young and Matt Purpur, best ditial ad, River Cities Speedway.

David Samson, feature photo.

A man passes by wings painted on a building, which frame him.

A pedestrian walks by the ice cream wings at the Silver Lining Creamery during snowy conditions on Friday, Jan. 21, 2022.

David Samson / The Forum

David Samson, sports photo.

Eric Peterson, sports feature, for

a story about Bison offensive lineman Nash Jensen playing in his father’s memory in final season with the Bison.

Eric Peterson and Mike McFeely, sports series, Christian Watson draft.

Helmut Schmidt, feature reporting, for

his story about Marge’s Diner opening in downtown Fargo.

Jeremy Turley, government reporting, for

his story about government officials and members of the public ignoring public health officials.

Michael Vosburg, pictorial photos.

Mike McFeely, sports reporting, for

his story about a scuffle between the North Dakota State University Bison and Oral Roberts University after a basketball game.

Tammy Swift, feature series, for her ”

Kid Boss

” series.

Tammy Swift, agricultural coverage,

“Minnesota hops producer is just a hop, skip and jump from Fargo-Moorhead.”

Forum staff, best editorial, best special news section and overall design excellence.

April Baumgarten, reporting, for

her story about people impacted by drug overdoses.

April Baumgarten, government series, for

her series of stories about the Cass County sheriff’s race.

David Olson, government reporting, for

his story about ongoing problems with a North Dakota guardianship company.

David Olson and April Baumgarten, spot news, for

their story about the arrest of a former Moorhead man accused of sexual assault after 21 years on the run.

Helmut Schmidt, headline, ”

It’s no yolk: High wholesale egg prices makes it an unhappy Easter.

Jeff Kolpack, sports reporting,

for his story about Father James Meyer and sports chaplain Jeff Curtis, men of faith leading the NDSU Bison football team.

Jeff Kolpack, sports feature, for his

profile of then Bison offensive lineman Cody Mauch.

Jeremy Turley, agricultural coverage, for

his profile of Dawson Holle, a dairy farmer poised to be North Dakota’s youngest legislator.


Hilary Ray attends an abortion rights rally as Death Granny on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Fargo City Hall. “Death Granny manifests when people are about to make stupid decisions, when we’ve seen what happens in previous decades,” Ray says.

Michael Vosburg/The Forum

Michael Vosburg, spot news photo.

Mike McFeely, business reporting, for

his story about longtime Speak Easy employees who were devastated by the restaurant’s closing.

Tracy Briggs, reporting series, for

her Vault series about the kidnapping of Virginia Piper.

Troy Becker, serious column, for

his column about his daughter winning the “SNL essay lottery.”