Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



December 17, 1959

Fire destroyed another Letcher County school building Wednesday night. The two-room Camp Branch School, located between Sandlick Gap and Colson, apparently caught fire from an overheated stove.

The new road being planned to connect Eastern Kentucky with the rest of the state definitely will include Letcher County, Gov. Bert T. Combs has told Sen. Archie Craft and Rep. Harry M. Caudill.

Union and coal management negotiators will meet Saturday at Pikeville in a new attempt to settle the 9-monthold coal strike.

Turkey is 47 cents a pound at the A&P food store in Whitesburg. Mixed nuts are 55 cents for a one-pound bag.

December 18, 1969

Changes in Kentucky law to make it easier for black lung miners to qualify for workmen’s compensation have been proposed by a special legislative subcommittee in Frankfort. Th change would shift the burden of proof from the coal miner to the coal company.

A revised plan for an area garbage disposal system including provision for a Letcher County landfill will be considered by the Kentucky River Area Development District this afternoon.

“Once Upon a Time in the West” is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

December 20, 1979

The City of Whitesburg’s plan to assess Kentucky Power Co. several thousand dollars for operating within the city received a setback Monday when no bid for the city’s electric utility franchise was received from the Ashland-based power company.

In an attempt to slow the growing absenteeism in Letcher County high schools, the county’s school board Tuesday night adopted an attendance policy statement for the school system’s three high schools. The policy sets up various steps from phone calls to parents to possible expulsions for students with repeated tardiness and unexcused absences.

United Mine Workers miners at Beth-Elkhorn’s mines 25 and 26 walked off the job Tuesday afternoon following a dispute over the company’s recent practice of giving some workers overtime work while others are working less than 40 hours a week, miners say.

In the first case where wildcat strip miners continued to work despite a federal preliminary injunction ordering them to stop, the federal Office of Surface Mining (OSM) went back to court Dec. 10 and asked that the Letcher County operators be found in contempt of court. OSM also asked for a permanent injunction which would stop all work on the two mountaintop sites near the Letcher and Knott County line.

December 20, 1989

Jenkins could have an 800-acre industrial site if three state cabinets, city and county officials and a coal company can coordinate their efforts.

A Franklin Circuit Judge has issued a restraining order against the Kentucky River Area Development District, blocking its attempt to regulate landfills in an eight-county area.

Letcher Circuit Judge Byrd Hogg said he only had jobs in mind when he asked a medical waste incinerator company to look at Letcher County. Hogg came under fire last week after he told The Mountain Eagle he had written a letter to Waste Energy Inc. of Mooresville, N.C. to look at Letcher County as a possible site for an incinerator.

December 22, 1999

Letcher County should take possession of the old South East Coal Co. Sewannee Tipple at Isom within 30 days. The county bid $140,000 for the 31-acre property at a bankruptcy auction Dec. 16. The county plans to use the property as an industrial site.

Lee Sexton has been playing music in public for nearly 60 of his 71 years. Now the state of Kentucky is honoring him with the 1999 Artist Award for lifetime achievement as part of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts.

A no-burn order in force since Aug. 23 because of the drought has been lifted. Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith issued a notice Dec. 14 lifting the ban on outdoor burning. He cited the recent rains as the reason for lifting the order.

Plans to build a state prison in Knott County are being deferred for at least two years because of a slowdown in the growth of Kentucky’s inmate population, officials said.

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