Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



October 1, 1959

Federal District Judge H. Church Ford has order five officials of Districts 30 and 19 of the United Mine Workers of America to show cause why they should not be punished on charges of contempt of court. The officials are charged with violation of a restraining order issued by Ford April 19 to prevent violence during the coal strike.

The annual drive to collect clothing for children in Whitesburg schools will be held Oct. 6-13, according to Mrs. Walter Owens, chairman of this year’s drive.

Letcher County polio patients will benefit from proceeds of a sale of baked goods to be held Saturday in Whitesburg by members of the Whitesburg Woman’s Club.

Frying chickens are 25 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P food store. Shrimp is $2.89 for a five-pound box.

October 2, 1969

For the second time in 43 years, deep dissent within the United Mine Workers of America has erupted into the open in the form of a serious challenge to elected leaders. Although W.A. “Tony” Boyle is favored to retain the UMW presidency in a bitterly contested election this December, UMW probably will be different and it could be weaker and less effective after its ordeal. Boyle is opposed by Jock Yablonski, a UMW executive-board member who served 27 years under the late John L. Lewis.

Headquarters of the Regional Library program will be moved from Jenkins to Hazard under a proposal approved by the Kentucky River Development District. The development came as a total surprise to members of the Letcher County Library Board, who were not aware that a move from Jenkins to Hazard was under consideration.

The town of Fleming, at a special meeting Monday afternoon at the Fleming Community Center, hired Mr. Ed Perry as its new chief of police.

The Jenkins Cavaliers won a big victory in the 4th District of Class A by defeating Johns Creek 56-6. Charles Reed, the best halfback at Jenkins since Gary Harrison of 1957, gained 249 yards in 16 carries. Besides the 249 yards gained, Reed scored four touchdowns.

October 4, 1979

Letcher County Fiscal Court voted unanimously Monday for the county to take part in the National Flood Insurance Program, thereby putting a multi-million dollar federally funded water and sewer project back on track.

Fleming residents will be getting a nice surprise when they open their Fleming-Neon city property tax bills next month — a reduced tax rate.

After several weeks of study achievement test results and planning alternate teaching methods, Jenkins Independent Schools has come up an unconventional approach to improving math skills, the subject students scored lowest in when achievement tests were given last April. Focusing on individual strengths and weaknesses, teachers will take a step in a new direction and group math students according to their instructional needs, rather than by grade levels.

A stir-off at the home of Tony Ison last weekend brought many Letcher County residents to sniff the aroma of cooking sorghum and taste the molasses when they were done.

October 4, 1989

The United Mine Workers’ strike against Pittston Coal Group moved formally into Letcher County this week as workers belonging to a Jenkins local were ordered to stay off their jobs.

The Kentucky River Area Development District has hired two engineering firms to study a proposed regional water system.

A Pike County coal miner, trapped for five hours underground after a mine roof collapsed, was brought out unscathed after rescuers hand-dug through a thick pile of rocks and coal.

John Lynch, 17, a senior at Letcher High School, has been notified he is a semifinalist in the National Merit Scholarships competition.

October 6, 1999

Mine water that the Letcher County Water and Sewer District had planned to pump into the Kentucky River as a test of the supply probably wouldn’t be hard to treat, a state geologist said. Officials with the Kentucky Division of Water denied the county’s request to pump the water from Beth Energy Mine No. 22 into the creek at Craft’s Colly. They said the iron content was too high and could damage the environment.

Some former Golden Oak Mining Co. employees reported receiving their first unemployment checks on Friday, but the workers who walked out when the company cut pay by 10 percent are still waiting.

Letcher County students’ scores on this year’s new statewide achievement tests were not among the highest or the lowest in Kentucky, but most were below the middle. The three high schools in the Letcher County school system and Jenkins High School in the Jenkins Independent school system all scored near 50 out of a goal of at least 100 points. Jenkins High School scored 53.9, Letcher High School 53.4, Fleming-Neon 50.7, and Whitesburg 50.6.

“Drive Me Crazy” and “For Love of the Game” are playing at the Whitesburg Cinema.

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