Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



August 8, 1957

The Whitesburg City Council will meet again Monday to try to find some source of revenue to keep the city from going in a financial hole between now and January 1. A financial statement presented at the council’s regular meeting Monday night showed the city’s general fund already has a deficit of $164.66. The city has $2,007 in the bank and bills against it totaling $2,171.68.

The financial crisis is the result of an act of the 1956 General Assembly, which changed the assessment date from September to January, thus changing the date the city may collect taxes. Under the old system, the city would begin to receive tax money about now. But under the new system, it probably will be December before money start to come in.

A public opinion poll conducted by Mountain Eagle reporter Barbara Stambaugh in Jenkins came up with the answer to what the city needs – a bigger tourist industry and a recreation center for youth. Other responses were concerned with the need for industry.

Whitesburg residents should continue to conserve water as much as possible, says Mayor Arthur T. Banks. The city has banned use of water for washing cars and watering lawns.

Trouble rose last week when a motor on one of the city’s pumps burned out, and the second motor failed to work properly.

August 10, 1967

The Appalachian Regional Commission says the Appalachian region as a whole shows an economic improvement, but eastern Kentucky still lags considerably behind. In the region, employment rose 7.4 percent from 1962 to 1965. In the nation, the rise was 9.3 percent. But in eastern Kentucky, the rise was only 5 percent.

The annual Fields family reunion was held Sunday at the South- East Coal Company cabin on top of Pine Mountain. Organizers were Bert Fields of Jenkins and Estill Blair of Whitesburg. Family members said it was the largest gathering of the clan in the history of the reunion.

William Wright, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Wright, was chosen from Whitesburg High School to represent Kentucky in the annual Kiwanis Bowl football game to be played August 12 at Williamson, W.Va. Danny Carl Collins also was chosen to represent Kentucky.

August 11, 1977 This issue of The Mountain Eagle could not be found.

August 12, 1987

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the search for Anthony and Carolyn Smith and Steve and Rebecca Pennington Adams. The two couples are accused of murdering Mrs. Smith’s parents, Sie and Judy Shepherd of Little Colley, and her brother, Buster Shepherd. They also are charged with kidnapping two-year-old Pamela Smith, who had been adopted by her grandparents. The FBI is helping to investigate the case because of the kidnapping and the belief the four suspects have left Kentucky in an attempt to avoid prosecution.

The unemployment rate for Letcher County fell half a percent from May to 7.2 percent for June. A total of 7,663 Letcher County residents were working in June.

Howard Ratliff of Kingscreek, has obtained a criminal warrant charging Kentucky Power Company with “massive killing of fish.” The warrant says Kentucky Power “caused to be placed in a waterway owned by Howard Ratliff certain hazardous and injurious substances which caused said water to be unfit for support of wildlife, causing massive fish kill.”

Ratliff owns a small lake in an area where several people have complained their water supplies were damaged by large-scale spraying of pesticides by the power company.

August 13, 1997

Whitesburg native Anna Hall has been chosen to paint the official portrait of Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton. The portrait will be hung first in the capitol building in Frankfort, then go to the new historical building. Her next project will be to paint a portrait of former Gov. Bert T. Combs, which will be hung permanent in the capitol building.

The Fleming-Neon Pirates will face the Morgan County Cougars this Friday in a preseason scrimmage. The Whitesburg Yellowjackets defeated the Commodores of Perry County in a scrimmage last week.

After six weeks as superintendent of the Letcher County school system, William Kinzer says he wants to stay on the job. Kinzer has been organizing record and establishing “standard operating procedures which are fair and equal to everybody.”

Kinzer says he wants school principals to be instructional leaders in their schools and finds they have been having to spend too much time taking material to and from the school board central office. He plans to establish “efficient, effective and consistent operating procedures” so principals can stay in the schools and work with their teachers.

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