Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



October 15, 1959

The first symptoms of oil fever began to appear in Letcher County his week, with news that a firm drilling for gas had struck a heavy flow of oil near Democrat. Unofficial reports said the well was drilled by Kentucky-West Virginia Gas Co. on land sold several years ago by Consolidation Coal Co., Kentucky River Coal Corp., and Elkhorn Coal Corp.

U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper told the Whitesburg Chamber of Commerce Wednesday that he believes he can persuade the U.S. Corps of Engineers to dredge the Kentucky River in the Whitesburg area to lessen chances of future flood damage.

The Mine Rescue Team of Bethlehem Mines Corp., Jenkins, won top honors at the National First-Aid and Mine Rescue Contest held in Buffalo, N.Y.

Pork loin roast is 29 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P food store. Corn and green beans are 10 cents a can.

October 16, 1969

The October Letcher County Grand Jury has recommended the creation of a county-wide garbage collection system.

Kentucky Congressman Carl D. Perkins voiced concern this week that indifference on the part of the Nixon administration endangers several federal programs created in part to assist the poor of eastern Kentucky.

Mr. Richard Brown, son of Mr. and Mrs. William H. Brown, is a recent graduate from barber school in Lexington. He is now employed at the Tolliver’s Barber Shop in Whitesburg.

Rib roast is 78 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P food store. Bologna is 59 cents a pound.

October 18, 1979

A final report on Jenkins’s fatal water tank rupture which sent over 300,000 gallons of water rushing from a mountaintop site July 15, should be presented to Mayor Jesse Bates, the city council and the water and sewer commission within a month, an engineer investigating the accident said.

Blackey Town Board Chairman Eugene Banks said at the town board’s special meeting Tuesday night that he felt the town should hold a special election for board members, rather than rush to find out what its boundaries are by the Nov. 8 general election. Several citizens at the meeting questioned whether a board election would be legal since the town does not know its boundaries, and people from Elk Creek, Ulvah and other communities will be able to pull the city election levers on the Blackey precinct voting machine.

The district championship game between Whitesburg and Hazard ended in a controversy over the 2-point conversion made by Hazard in the last few minutes of the game. The alleged violation concerned the snap made by Hazard. Hazard won the decision and game 8-6.

October 18, 1989

Jenkins Mayor Robert Shubert will ask Haymond residents to meet with city officials to discuss annexing the Haymond community. Shubert may also invite residents of the communities of Marshall’s Branch, McRoberts, and Payne Gap to “join the city that we think is probably going to be one of the most progressive cities in eastern Kentucky.”

Some Letcher County schools are considering a Saturday school as an alternative to suspension for disciplining students.

The state Disaster and Emergency Services may not help Whitesburg dredge the Kentucky River, but that failure might help get the federal Division of Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation to do the work.

“Parenthood” and “Halloween V” are playing at the Whitesburg Cinema.

October 20, 1999

Whitesburg’s water and sewer operations will become private business beginning Nov. 1. The treatment plants and lines will still belong to the city but a private company, PSG Aqua Alliance, will operate the utilities under a contract with the city.

Construction is expected to begin in March on a $5 million addition to Southeast Community College’s Whitesburg Campus.

Letcher County is still in the running for one of Kentucky’s first state veterans’ cemeteries. The decision on where the cemetery will be located won’t be final until late November. The site under consideration in Letcher County is in a hollow at the back of Fishpond Lake, beyond the old tennis courts and dressing rooms.

The City of Whitesburg has installed carbon monoxide detectors throughout City Hall and has sealed off the doors to brass pole in the fire department after complaints of odors from employees of Imaging Entry, a data processing firm that occupies part of the building.

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