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Miss America Heather French added a jewel to her crown with the title of Kentuckian of the Year, chosen by a panel for Kentucky Monthly magazine.

She is on the cover of the December issue.

"She was nominated quite heavily -- mostly for her platform on homeless veterans," publisher and editor Steve Vest said. French was picked by a board made up of college professors, historians, "a wide mix of people," he said.

French, 24, of Maysville, called the honor "above and beyond" anything she imagined.

"I was amazed," she said Thursday. "I felt very privileged to have been named Kentuckian of the Year. To know that I've made that big of an impact in Kentucky is amazing."

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