2011-11-23 / Columns

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

November 23, 1961 Letcher County voters approved a proposal for a health center for the county by a vote of 2,985 “yes” votes to 1,115 “no” votes. The tax to support the health department will cost 10 cents per $100 of assessed value and will take effect in fiscal year 1962-63.

. Letcher County native Troy Back, an amateur genealogist, says he has found interesting spelling of various Letcher County names. Maggard was originally Magert or Margirt. Brashear was the French Brasseur, and there were 49 ways to spell it. Caudill apparently came from a French word meaning ropeworker and Back had found the name spelled in at least 17 ways, from Cardle to Caudle.

. Members of the Whitesburg Garden Club have given the Letcher County Public Library several books on identifying plants and growing gardens.

November 25, 1971 Explorations Saturday may have established Jeremiah as the site of a prehistoric Indian village. State archaeologist Dr. Lathel Duffield said the site is the “only known village site of the Woodland culture anywhere in central or eastern Kentucky.” The Woodland culture lived throughout the mountains from 1,000 B.C. to 900 A.D. The site is located on property owned by Begie ‘Moose’ Breeding.

. There are many long steps between the furrow and the Thanksgiving feast, commented Mable Kiser from Millstone.

. The Letcher County Fiscal Court reports it spent $368,080 during the fiscal year ended June 30 and has $51,000 in the bank.

. The Letcher County landfill at Millstone is “about ready to go,” says Letcher County Judge/Executive Robert Collins. The landfill had been delayed for months for a variety of reasons.

November 26, 1981 Woodrow Brashear of Ulvah has grown a 10-foot square patch of turnips which are the largest he and his friends have ever seen. The largest is several inches in diameter. He planted 25 cents worth of turnip seeds from Bunton Seed Co. which he bought at Frazier’s Farmer Supply. He threw a little fertilizer at them about with about two inches of wood shavings from the Letcher County Vocational School which came from a variety of woods. He decided the shavings must be the reason for the turnips’ growth.

. Letcher Fiscal Court has agreed to pay more than $200,000 in coal severance taxes toward construction costs of a proposed new Whitesburg High School. The school board has been looking for money to build a new school since the old Whitesburg High School building was condemned because of structural damage caused by construction of the Whitesburg bypass. Without the court’s help, the school system stood to lose $1.8 million the state had agreed to pay toward the new building.

. The Appalachian Regional Commission’s “finish-up” plan for unfinished highway projects on U.S. 119 and KY 15 did not fund the 25-mile stretch of US 119 from Cumberland to Whitesburg. The ARC says it has enough money to complete only 583 more miles — about one third of the remaining miles.

November 27, 1991 Kentucky Gov. Wallace Wilkinson opened a three-mile stretch on US 119 across Pine Mountain and said he had “a vision where grandmothers and grandfathers can watch their grandchildren grow up at home.” Because of bad weather, Wilkinson spoke in the Whitesburg High School gymnasium with students from across the mountain as guests of honor.

. The Harry M. Caudill Memorial Library received a 265,000 boost when Gov. Wilkinson announced a Community Development Block Grant for construction of the library in Whitesburg.

. Low-income residents from all over Letcher County are complaining again this year about the quality of the coal they received from the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Some residents said they had received little more than “black dirt” from at least some of the companies delivering the coal. Others said they had to pay $80 to $95 a ton to have the coal delivered and $40 a ton if they went to pick it up themselves. Some residents are also saying they received only a fraction of the amount of coal they should have.

. Homer Hall, 61, of Deane, won $100,000 in the Kentucky Lottery. After taxes, he will receive $67,000.

November 28, 2001 Letcher and Fleming-Neon elementary schools could be headed from major facelifts. The Letcher County Board of Education voted to submit a “BGI” form to the state Department of Education asking to be allowed to spend money for the two projects.

. A Whitesburg engineer who wants to reduce the number of rear-end collisions with coal trucks is calling for the National Transportation Safety Board to come to eastern Kentucky and investigation the problem. Roy Crawford III, whose son Guy Crawford was killed in 1994 when his car hit the back of a slow-moving coal truck that lacked an adequate under-ride protector, said two accidents and one death with 15 minutes of each other two weeks ago in Pike County are more proof that something needs to be done.

. The state Department of Transportation has installed electronic warning signs at the foot of Pine Mountain to warn of treacherous conditions on the mountain. The signs, which were requested by a citizens group lobbying for improved safety on the mountain, will light up this week.

. The Fleming-Neon High School Class of 1977 is planning its 25-year reunion.

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