The Logan Municipal Council Tuesday named its 2010 Citizen of the Year. The council had difficulty deciding between two candidates so it gave the award to both. The award went to John Emmett, posthumously, and KVNU’s Jennie Christensen. Christensen was embarrassed by the honor. “People that know me know I don’t believe in this kind of thing,” Christensen said after receiving her award. “Reporters should just report the news.” Councilwoman Holly Daines detailed Christensen’s 50 year career in journalism, which includes a long list of journalistic accomplishments and a dedication to covering events important to the community. Christensen began her journalism career with local community newspaper the Herald Journal in 1960. In 1972 she left the paper and moved to another medium, becoming the news director for 610 KVNU. “In her early years at the radio station,” Daines outlined, “Jennie hosted her own news show Take 10 with Jen. Later she began hosting Crosstalk, a call-in show focused on the issues of the day and the happenings and events celebrated in our community. “Guests for Crosstalk, a program that has continuously run for nearly a quarter of a century, includes state and local officials, authors, artists and musicians, among others.” In the mid-1990s and running for approximately 12 years, Christensen expanded her reporting to television by hosting Let’s Talk Cache Valley on the locally-broadcast Valley Channel. In a presentation of flowers among Christensen’s co-workers, Kent Frandsen, owner of KVNU and the Cache Valley Radio Group, said Christensen has established herself as a community icon. “Jennie is the consummate professional,” he said. “All of us sadly come to the conclusion that we’re all replaceable. In Jennie’s case, she is not. I have not seen that level of commitment to her profession like she has.” Daines, too, praised Christensen for her dedication. “Jennie has always epitomized a work ethic,” Daines continued, “starting her day well before the roosters even think to crow, rising at 3:30 a.m. More than an early riser, Jennie burns the candle on the other end, tirelessly attending and reporting on a litany of city, county and school district meetings.” “She has an unparalleled commitment to her profession,” Frandsen said. “She is always fair and never tries to pin down her guests. She connects to the full spectrum of the community she serves.” That dedication and professionalism has been recognized by a number of people and organizations. Christensen has been the recipient of the State of Utah School Board Association Media Award in 1998, Utah State University’s Grand Marshall for Homecoming in 2003, Utah Women of Achievement Award from the Governor’s Office in 2003, and in 2007 was recognized as Cache Valley’s sixth most influential resident by the Herald Journal. Besides all her honors, Frandsen says, Christensen represents what everyone should strive for. “As a member of our radio family,” he said, “her dedication to her community gives us all buoyancy. She makes us all bigger than we really are. She is at the core of what goodness and greatness is all about.” Emmett passed away in September but was informed of his pending award by Council Chairman Jay Monson days before his death. Emmett’s wife, Norda, accepted the award on his behalf. Emmett was recognized for his accomplishments and contributions to the medical industry and education. He was also recognized for his philanthropic endeavors in the community. Emmett was involved with the Ellen Eccles Theater since the beginning of its restoration and continued to serve on the board of trustees for the Cache Valley Center for the Arts.
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