Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



December 10, 1959

Engineering work reportedly already has started on a new highway from Central Kentucky to Eastern Kentucky. Reports from Frankfort indicated this week that engineers already are driving stakes for a 136-mile $75,000,000 road to link Prestonsburg, hometown of Kentucky’s new governor Bert Combs, with Winchester and Lexington.

Purchase of a coal-loading ramp, known as the Frogpond ramp, near Letcher, by Herman Combs Jr., Whitesburg, was confirmed this week. Seller was Roland Price, extensive operator of ramps in Letcher and Perry County.

The outlook is not certain but hopeful for the opening of the new Letcher High and Grade School building at the end of the holiday season.

December 11, 1969

Letcher County pupils are receiving the full benefits of funds appropriated by Congress last year to improve the school lunch program, school officials said. A spokesman said more than half the county school pupils who eat in school lunchrooms in consolidated schools are fed without charge to them or their families.

W.A. (Tony) Boyle was the overwhelming victor this week in his race for re-election as president of the United Mine Workers of America. Boyle defeated Joseph A. Yablonski, considered the first serious challenger in more than 20 years.

The future of the War on Poverty in Eastern Kentucky and the rest of the nation is in doubt this week as governors and the Office of Economic Opportunity grapple for control of the program.

December 13, 1979

Neither the county judge nor the magistrates mentioned Letcher County’s senior citizens program during Friday’s Letcher Fiscal Court meeting, allowing the program, as it now exists, to die quietly unless volunteer workers revive it. At its October meeting, the debt-plagued court approved the senior citizens’ program’s $7,000-plus monthly payroll through December.

Blue Diamond Coal Co. has agreed to hire one female for every three males hired at beginning miner levels in its Eastern Kentucky mines until females have filled 20 percent of the beginning mine workforce. In a conciliation agreement with the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, the coal company accepted the affirmative action program.

Illegal septic tank pumping has become a widespread problem in the county, Anthony Garrett, health environmentalist with the Letcher County Health Department said. The problem with illegal pumping is not the pumping itself, but the way the sewage is disposed of, said Garrett, explaining that the sewage maybe going into the streams, onto abandoned strip mines or other unapproved places.

“Moonraker” starring Roger Moore as James Bond is playing at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.

December 13, 1989

The Kentucky State Board of Education will meet in Frankfort today to reconsider its decision to lower academic standards for school districts with large numbers of lowincome students.

Letcher County’s jobless rate is on the rise again, up more than half a percentage point from September to October. State labor force statistics show the unemployment rate in Letcher County increased from 5.6 percent in September to 6.2 percent in October.

Gov. Wallace Wilkinson has expressed his “sincere appreciation” for a invitation to ride a school bus across Pine Mountain, but has pointed out that a specific date was not attached to the invitation. State Rep. Paul Mason sent letters to the governor and to Transportation Secretary Milo Bryant inviting them to take the ride after US 119 was left off the state’s six-year road plan.

December 15, 1999

Water lines for west Letcher County have been delayed for at least another year. Officials with the U.S. Rural Development Agency have turned down a grant application that would have allowed the Letcher County Water and Sewer District to extend water lines to more than 700 homes and businesses from Jeremiah to Isom.

Ballfields on property Letcher County spent $410,000 to buy would cost an extra $750,000 to $1 million to build, an engineer told the Letcher Fiscal Court on Monday. He held out no hope that the county can raise that amount of money.

Whitesburg rallied from 10 points down late in the third quarter to edge the Lady Pirates 39-33 in a game at Fleming- Neon Dec. 9.

The host Letcher Eagles, led by senior guard George Adams’s game-high 24 points, jumped to an early 10-point lead and then withstood a late rally by Whitesburg Dec. 10 to edge the Yellowjackets 57-53.

The Jenkins Lady Cavaliers rolled over host Hazard 80- 53 Dec. 6 to raise their record to 2-0.

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