Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



November 5, 1959

Complete returns showed today that Letcher County placed itself firmly on the side of the winner in Tuesday’s election, giving Bert T. Combs a 2,323 vote margin over Republican John M. Robsion Jr. in the race for governor.

Election Day has come and gone, children. It has passed into the limbo which claims most of man’s puny puppetry. Although the sound and fury (signifying nothing) of their campaigning now is muted, you will still hear profound pronouncements from the winners in the battle of the ballots. But naught you will hear henceforth from the loses in the election. They have gone, alas, to the Bull Hole.

A notable group of prominent educators has launched a survey which will recommend whether there should be a junior college at Blackey on the campus of Stuart Robinson School.

Eight O’clock Coffee is 45 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P food store. Halibut steaks are 39 cents a pound.

November 6, 1969

Democrats remain in control of most county offices today after a hard-fought election which attracted a heavy turnout of nearly 8,500 votes. Democrat Robert Collins, a former county judge, completed his political comeback by defeating Republican Estill Blair in the race for county judge. The final total was 4,359 for Collins to 4,002 for Blair.

A write-in campaign nearly defeated Jenkins Mayor R. Percy Elkins in his bid for re-election, and the final results of the vote county in the race will not be known until later today. W.L. Terrill, a former mayor of Jenkins, received a sizable number of votes as a write-in candidate to succeed Elkins as mayor.

The second period American Government Class of Whitesburg High School, under the leadership of their teacher Larry Ison, will take over city and county government offices on Friday, Nov. 7.

Bananas are 10 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P food store. Rib steaks are 98 cents a pound.

November 8, 1979

After serving Letcher County students for over 60 years, the old Whitesburg High School building on School Hill has been closed because of damage apparently caused by blasting connected with the nearby highway bypass construction.

A plaque honoring the 22 Letcher Countians who were killed during the Vietnam War will be dedicated in a ceremony in front of the courthouse on Saturday, Nov. 10. The bronze plaque will take its place alongside earlier plaques that honor the county residents killed in earlier wars.

In a unique decision Monday night, Jenkins City Council voted to reimburse a resident for the cost of replacing an exhaust system which was ripped off his car in August when he crossed a wooden bridge with a loose board. Chuck Johnson told the council he was driving a 1972 Cadillac across the Camden bridge when a loose board caught his muffler and ripped the exhaust system off. The gas tank was also ruptured, he said.

November 8, 1989

Rural Letcher Countians may have to repair flood damage with federal help, because of county officials’ refusal to adopt the National Flood Insurance Program. State and federal officials say the county has been offered the chance to join the program repeatedly, but has continued to refuse.

Letcher County’s official jobless rate fell to 5.6 percent in September, the lowest in years and the lowest in the entire Kentucky River Area Development District. But the employment picture is not as rosy as the jobless rate might indicate. Other figures show that the workforce in Letcher County has fallen by more than 700 in the past four years.

Air Force Captain Michael J. Majority has completed extensive training at McDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla., in preparation for piloting the F-16C Falcon fighter jet. He is now serving in Kunsan, South Korea. Majority is a 1979 graduate of Whitesburg High School and a son of Frank and Patty Majority of Whitesburg.

“Next of Kin” and “Gross Anatomy” are playing at Whitesburg I and II this week.

November 10, 1999

The Letcher County government took another step Monday toward eliminating straight pipe sewer systems. The Letcher Fiscal Court approved the final reading of an ordinance that will require residents to connect to public sewers, if and when they become available if it is feasible for them to do so and if they do not have a working septic system.

The first week of a new electronic Food Stamp program went off with some problems, but it may be too soon to tell how well the Food Stamp card will work over the long haul.

Letcher County’s unemployment rate rose 1.8 percent in September, according to figures released this week by the Kentucky Cabinet for Workforce Development. New figures show that 684 people in the county’s total work force of 7,789 are out of work and actively seeking jobs.

“The House on Haunted Hill”, “Pokemon: The First Movie” and “Toy Story 2” are playing at the Whitesburg Cinema.

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