There's an old saying that the last vehicle that gets attention is the one owned by the mechanic. I suppose you could rephrase the saying to fit a lot of occupations: carpenters, CPAs, editors, etc. . . .Wait, editors? OK, I've got a confession. If I were still in school, my instructor would have marked this column "Tardy" in large red letters. That's because I am now quite late in reporting that two awards came our way at last month's Minnesota Newspaper Association convention. Citizen Reporter Dave Fjeld placed first in the feature photography division and our newspaper, as a whole, placed third in General Reporting. An hour after the Jan. 29 edition went to press, Dave and I agreed that we probably should have included the award results that week. No problem, I thought, I'll just put it in the next week's edition. I had this column ready to go, but there was one flaw in the plan - a space shortage. Last week, this spot contained four letters to the editor. That, in the newspaper business, would be defined as a "good problem." You can never have too many letters to the editor. Obviously, the situation required me to rewrite last week's column with a bit of an explanation. As a newspaper, we always try to put the reader first- ahead of our own interests - just like the mechanic puts his customer's car ahead of his own. Now, with that in mind I'll quit rambling about my tardiness and point out a couple of things about our latest awards. Dave's award winning photo appears at the top of this page. As you can see, it was taken during the turtle races at Riverfest 2013. As is often the case with photos, the moment I saw Dave's photo, I knew it was a contender for a photography award. It was dripping with emotion and personality. And, as with all good photos, it told the story far better than any string of sentences. I have judged enough of these contests to know that this particular category always draws a large number of entries, high quality entries across the board. Beyond that, I read multiple newspapers each week and I can tell you that Dave is clearly one of the best photographers around. He has a number of strengths in that area, but one of his best is attention to detail. Some might say Dave has a knack for being in the right place at the right time. I believe that knack comes from great preparation and planning. As for our third place award in General Reporting, I feel both pleased and humbled. Some editors and writers seem to be in this business for awards and accolades. I think I can speak for Dave, Joel and the rest of the Citizen staff in saying that we enter each week with one goal in mind - to put out a product that our readers appreciate and enjoy. It's not always perfect, but there's no doubt we've given it 100 percent. I feel like "General Reporting" captures a huge piece of what we try to do. It's a category that is near to our heart and the competition is deep and tough. So, yes, we feel good about it. As I've said in previous columns about Citizen awards, we would not be able to accomplish any of this without the help and cooperation of you, our readers. Thank you!