Union Democrat staff

The Union Democrat has earned three awards for outstanding print quality in a national newspaper competition.

The Inland Press Association awarded the newspaper Best of Show honors for its black and white reproduction - the best among 75 competing newspapers.

The Democrat also earned a first place for black and white, and a second place for full-color print quality, both in its circulation category.

Rick Quillen, Union Democrat operations manager, received the award at a ceremony in San Antonio, Texas, last week.

Quillen, a 30-year veteran at the newspaper, said: "This award was

a total team effort and I am very proud to work with this press crew.

Our production team coordinator, Karrie Frietas, lead pressman Scott

Finn and pressmen Troy Rush and Daniel Collins take great pride in

their work - and that's reflected in these awards."

Publisher Ron Horton and Quillen both acknowledged that the

substantial investment by Western Communications, owner of The Union

Democrat, in a new production and distribution plant on Camage Avenue

played a significant role in improvements in print quality.

The new facility opened in October 2007. Two new press units were

purchased and installed at that time. A new type of Kodak imaging

technology was also purchased and installed.

"The Kodak Trendsetter CTP plate-making system enables us to

process pages from computer to our press in a matter of minutes. And

the quality is first-rate," Quillen said.

Horton commented on the recognition: "These awards are a real

credit to Rick and his press crew. They are skilled in their craft and

set high standards for print quality day-in, day-out.

"The company's investment in new technology and new equipment is

very significant," Horton said. "It reflects the confidence we have in

our employees, in our community and the future of the newspaper