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Awards honor two of Hartington's most famous former residents

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HARTINGTON — Two area high school graduates — Carter Klug and Erin Meisenheimer — are featured in a special student awards section this week.

Klug was awarded the Joan Rossiter Burney Cedar County News Outstanding Communicator Award. It is presented to honor one of Hartington’s most famous former residents.

Meisenheimer earned the Gov. Charles Thone Cedar County News Leadership Award.

Thone was elected to serve Nebraska in Congress in 1970, a position he held until 1978, when he ran for and won the state’s governorship.

He served as Nebraska’s governor from 1979-83. He died in 2018 at the age of 94.

While Thone was widely known across the state and country, he always made sure to tell people that he hailed from Hartington – giving much of the credit for his accomplishments to the town and the people who helped to raise him.

These awards focus on the outstanding leadership qualities of the recipient – qualities that are exemplified by the namesakes of this honor.

Joan Burney earned national acclaim for her writing and public speaking. Her writing career began as a columnist for the Cedar County News. She later wrote for several publications, including the Omaha World-Herald. She was also named National Mother of the Year in 1991 and was inducted into the Nebraska Women Journalists Hall of Fame.