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Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908




 

 

May 2, 1963

Stephen Terry Hall, an eighth grade student at Letcher School, took first place in the annual Letcher County spelling bee. Terry Cornett of Whitesburg finished second, and Vickie Lynn Strunk of Fleming- Neon was third.

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Letcher County will receive a $351,000 grant and a $191,000 loan from the federal Community Facilities Administration to finance construction of a new courthouse.

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James Wood, a Fleming-Neon High School senior, has won a Department of Highways scholarship. Wood plans to attend the University of Kentucky.

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The 43-mile section of the Mountain Parkway from Winchester to Campton is scheduled to be dedicated. The ceremony will begin in Campton and from there a motorcade will go west along the highway to seven other ribbon-cutting sites.

May 3, 1973

The Letcher County Grand Jury finds the courthouse to be in need of repairs. Among the things the grand jury listed are public restrooms which do not function properly; water, apparently from a sewer line, running through the floor in the county judge’s office; and water running in the basement under the judge’s office.

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A Regular Baptist preacher from Letcher County will lead a group of seven singers who will sing Regular Baptist hymns at the Festival of American Folklife in Washington, D.C. Ray Collins of Whitesburg, moderator of the Thornton Union Association of Regular Baptists, and his wife will organize the singing group and take part in the singing.

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Sherry Franks, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Lee Franks of Jenkins, was named Miss Letcher County of 1973. She is a freshman at the University of Kentucky.

May 5, 1983

Two hundred sixty-two employees of South East Coal Company have received letters directing them to turn in their equipment. The workers, who had been laid off the month before, were expecting to be recalled to work.

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An editorial in The Mountain Eagle predicts that layoffs in the coal industry will lead to “people deciding whether they are going to have to leave the mountains to seek employment elsewhere.” The editorial goes on to say, “The Letcher County Board of Education and its supporters are making an enormous mistake when they seek to take eastern Kentucky’s finest site for a factory and turn it into a site for a new high school. . . no one has yet come up with a substitute for jobs, and without employment the county has no future.”

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A report of a body discovered on the Little Shepherd Trail has turned out to be a hoax. Police responded to a call from a man claiming to have found a body, but nothing was found when the area was searched.

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Because of cutbacks in county spending by the Letcher Fiscal Court, the sheriff ’s department is left with no paid deputies. Letcher County Sheriff Ben B. Taylor said salaries for his only two paid deputies were terminated May 1.

May 5, 1993

Jim Caudill, chairman of the board of First Security Bank and Trust Company, and Jim Murtaugh, a mechanic with the Mennonite Central Committee, are growing a Japanese delicacy called shiitake mushrooms. The two believe the mushrooms could turn into a cash crop for eastern Kentucky farmers.

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Cowan correspondent Elsie Banks writes, “Dogwood and redbud on our hills a paint a beautiful picture along our highways. The hills and mountains are green again. Everything is coming alive. . . It’s a good time to visit the mountains and enjoy their beauty.”

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The ballot for the primary election is so crowded that the lists of candidates in many of the races had to be split into two columns. There are nearly 150 candidates running in the election, but many of those are in district rather than countywide elections.

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The Letcher County Property Valuation Administrator is having to complete a state-ordered reassessment of property taxes here, because the state has run out of money. Letcher County PVA Randy Hall says there is a deadline of July 1, 1994, and the job is made more difficult because much of the information gathered earlier by people going door to door is inaccurate.

May 7, 2003

Testimony was expected to begin this week in the trial of April Dawn Boggs, accused of facilitation in the murders of Timothy L. ‘Blister’ Cook and his 4-yearold son T.J.

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Cook and Sons Mining Company Inc. has laid off about 350 workers — nearly its entire work force — after a coal silo at the company’s coal preparation plant at Camp Branch collapsed. The company had to lay off the workers because it has no other place to process coal for sale.

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Purdue Pharma, the company that produces the powerful painkiller OxyContin, has given a $10,000 grant to the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department, to help fight abuse of the drug.

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The decision by the Letcher County Board of Education to sell the property occupied by three community centers has some at the centers worried. The three community centers affected are Campbell’s Branch- Linefork Community Center, Carcassonne Community Center and Hemphill Community Center.

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