The Neshoba Democrat captured three first place awards, two second and four third place awards during the Mississippi Press Association's 2013 Better Newspaper Contest.

The awards were presented during the 148th annual meeting last week in Biloxi.

The Democrat competed in the Weekly Division A category, for those newspapers with circulations above 4,000.

Neshoba Magazine, a publication of the Democrat, received first place in the Magazine Periodical category.

"In tough competition, the interesting features give Neshoba Magazine the edge," the judges said. "Striking photos of the community and the fun reads combined with attractive ads and creative presentation are inviting."

The Democrat's "Salute to Choctaw Progress" captured first place in the Best Special Section or Issue.

"Solid use of text and photography," the judges said. "Very good!"

A first place award was also won for Best Website. The category included all weeklies in the state.

Managing Editor Debbie Burt Myers received a second place award for Best General News Story: "Near riot at Wal-Mart."

Myers also won second place for Best Headline: "Governor: Go ahead, make my day."

Editor and Publisher Jim Prince won a third place award for Best Commentary Column.

Photographer Harrison Hadaway captured a third place award for Personality Portrait. The photo was of Addison Barrett at the Fair.

The Democrat captured a third place award for Best Sports Page or Section. The award was for the special section on Neshoba Central High School's girls' softball state championship.

Myers also won a third place award for Best Lede in her story "Woman takes car to escape."