ROCK SPRINGS – The writers and staff at the Rocket Miner work hard to keep the public engaged and informed about breaking news, interesting developments and important trends in our corner of Wyoming. Most of the time the reward is a personal sense of accomplishment and an occasional “keep it up” from the public. It’s a bonus when acknowledgment comes from your peers.

Such recognition came this past week at the 121st annual Wyoming Press Association convention, where the newspaper earned three Pacemaker Awards.

— Best website, honorable mention: Nicole Malicoat, Hannah Romero, Lisa Romero, Caleb Michael Smith, and Wes Magagna

Judges said the site offered a “good amount of local news right on the homepage, good amount of local advertising.” They also said “the ‘Records’ section is interesting.”

— Sports column, honorable mention: “Wes is More,” Wes Magagna

The entries that caught the eyes of the judges explored sports dynasties, the “one and done” pattern of rising stars playing one year of college ball before transferring to the NBA, and the positive power of sports on players.

— Wildlife photography, honorable mention: “Decorating the skyline,” Lisa Romero

The winning picture captured a half-dozen bull elk atop a snowy hill. “Rarely do you want your subjects to show camera awareness, but here it made the photo,” a judge wrote.

Rocket Miner General Manager Kellie Nicholson praised the efforts of the newspaper staff.

“I was excited to hear about all of the awards the Rocket Miner and our sister papers received. Winning an award for our website means a lot in this digital age. Under the leadership of our editor, Caleb Smith, our journalists have worked hard to maintain the integrity that is required of all members of the Wyoming Press Association. I’m honored and proud to work with this team of dedicated and talented professionals,” she said.

Smith added, “It is a continually humbling and rewarding experience to be surrounded by such hardworking people at the Rocket Miner. I’m touched by their investment and passions, and it’s thrilling when others share their appreciation as well.”

Read examples of our award-winning writing at our award-winning website –

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