Publisher, columnist and author Tony Bender came to the print industry in 1991 “from the dark side,” he says, referencing a career as a professional smart-aleck disc jockey spanning a dozen years and much of the continent from the Dakotas to Denver to Alaska to Myrtle Beach, S.C. In 1991, Bender began a regionally-syndicated weekly column that has since won two National Newspaper Association first-place awards for Humor Writing. He is a two-time president of the Ashley Chamber of Commerce and a former North Dakota Newspaper Association president. In 1999, Bender won the first-ever First Amendment Award from the NDNA. Tony grew up in Frederick, S.D., a tiny community which provided a “Tom Sawyer” existence that surfaces in his writing. The community and his experiences there serve as a springboard for his novel, "The Last Ghost Dancer." (Thomas Dunne/St. Martins, 2010) Bender, who published three best-selling collections of his newspaper columns, "Loons in the Kitchen," "The Great and Mighty Da-Da," and "Prairie Beat," had his first novel, "If Every Month Were June," released in 2008 by Fulcrum Publishing.