Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



September 24, 1959

Contests for office of council member will be held in each incorporated Letcher County city except Neon at the general election next month. In Neon, only one slate of candidates filed.

The Eastern Kentucky Mountain Conference football crown for 1959 may well be at stake in Whitesburg tonight as the undefeated Whitesburg Yellowjackets meet undefeated Hazard.

The Game Division of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has announced the release of 500 Reeve’s pheasants on Black Mountain in Harlan and Letcher counties.

Any Letcher County wool or lamb producer who has not received a ballot for voting in the referendum this September on the lamb and wool marketing development program should obtain one at the county Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation office in Whitesburg.

September 25, 1969

Mayors of the cities of Jenkins and Whitesburg were assured of another term in office as the final filing date for candidates for city offices passed this week and no opposition to them appeared. Whitesburg Mayor Ferdinand Moore and Jenkins Mayor R. Percy Elkins will begin new terms in January, barring write-in elections, a rarity in Letcher County.

Kentucky’s production of coal climbed to a record high of 100,975,868 tons during 1968, according to state Mines and Minerals Commissioner Harreld N. Kirkpatrick. This was a gain of 869,868 tons over 1967.

Officials of Tandy Homes Inc., a Tulsa, Okla., firm, were in Letcher County this week to look at prospective sites for the location of a plant.

Chuck roast is 58 cents a pound at the A&P food store in Whitesburg. Smoked ham is 49 cents a pound.

September 27, 1979

Because of the Letcher Fiscal Court’s inability to adopt the National Flood Insurance Program, the county may not be allowed to compete for a $3 million comprehensive HUD grant which is vital to a $18 million water, sewage and housing rehabilitation program proposed for the Fleming-Neon area.

Two insurance companies which held coverage plans for the Scotia mine at the time of the 1976 explosions have filed a $1.6 million suit in Pikeville’s U.S. District Court, against the Interior Department’s MESA, a predecessor of the Labor Department’s Mine Safety and Health Administration, alleging that MESA’s negligence was the cause of both the March 9 and 11 explosions.

Letcher County Fiscal Court has taken three loans totaling more than $90,000 within the past few months without following a state-required procedure for making amendments to its budget.

The first annual Mountain Coal Festival will be held on Oct. 6 at the Fleming-Neon football field.

September 27, 1989

A North Carolina developer wants to buy or lease the old Jenkins High School building and renovate it for housing for low-income families, but the Letcher County Fiscal Court has delayed action on the offer until it discusses the matter with the building’s current occupants.

Lower Letcher County residents were without electricity or telephone service after a coal truck apparently severed lined in two locations. A Kentucky Power Company official said the truck was apparently driving with the bed raised about 4:30 a.m. Monday when the bed caught the telephone lines, breaking the poles that also carried the main electrical transmission lines for around 1,350 customers along Highway 7.

Whitesburg will continue changing the face of downtown with a $10,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission. The city used a similar grant for $6,000 two years ago to develop a “master plan” for downtown revitalization.

September 29, 1999

A committee named by the Letcher County Board of Education will begin looking for a site for a new central school and may hire a consultant if necessary to evaluate sites.

State employment and social services workers will hold a benefits fair for former Golden Oak Mining Co. employees to tell workers what help they might qualify for and how to get it.

State officials have denied a request to pump water from an abandoned mine as a test to see whether there is an adequate supply for the Letcher County Water and Sewer District. High levels of iron in the mine water make it unsuitable for pumping into the creek at Craft’s Colly, Robert W. Ware, assistant director of the Kentucky Division of Water said.

Test scores for Letcher County students show the district needs to put added focus on those with lower learning abilities, Supervisor of Secondary Education Ron Lester told the county board of education.

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