>   The Madras Pioneer brought home five awards from the Better Newspaper Contest, which were announced at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association's conference in Newport on Saturday.
   The Pioneer competed against all other weekly newspapers in the state with circulations of 3,501 or more.
   The overall paper won honorable mention in the General Excellence category, which judges papers in the areas of news content, printing, advertising, editorials, general appearance and style, photos and graphics, and thoroughness of local coverage.
   Pioneer News Editor Troy Foster collected four awards, including second place in the Best Coverage of Business category for "Race to the Bottom" about local gas wars.
   In the Best Spot News category, Foster took third place for "Businesses cry foul over ODOT work," his story about a shop on south Highway 97 being driven out of business because new highway construction wouldn't allow it to have a driveway.
   He also won two honorable mention awards, in the Best Writing category for articles on Eyerly Fire victim Merritt Williams, Culver being used as a staging ground for Eyerly firefighters, and "An Era of City Hall Comes to Pass." Also in the Best General Feature category for "Eyerly Fire victim finds comfort in garden," about Merritt Williams' reflections on losing his home, and visits to his garden that survived the fire.
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