Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


 

 

April 14, 1960

Funeral services were held Tuesday for three Letcher County men killed in a coal mine accident last Saturday near Webbville, eight miles south of Louisa. They were Marvin Hall, 50, and Arlie B. Hall, 52, brothers, both of Deane, and Daniel E. Short, 46, of Thornton. Marvin Hall and Short were killed by a fall of “soap rock”. Arlie Hall was found alive about nine hours after the accident, but died on the way to a hospital at Louisa. They had been operating the new mine only about two weeks.

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Another jailbreak was chalked up Wednesday night against the long record of Letcher County’s ancient and decrepit jail. The two fugitives sawed and bent bars at the top of a window on the down-river side of the jail about 9:30 p.m., Jailer Robert Sexton reported.

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Fourteen young musicians from the Whitesburg High School band have been chosen as members of the all-star organization to take part in the Southeastern Music Association’s annual festival at Harlan on April 28-30.

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Lloyd Hodge, former All-State footballer and all-around sports star at Whitesburg High, will serve as co-captain of the 1960 Kentucky Wildcats’ grid squad.

April 16, 1970

Whitesburg City Council voted Tuesday night to close the auditorium at Whitesburg Grade School because of fire and structural damage. When Fire Chief Philmore Bowen visited the school, however, he found that repairs to the auditorium were under way and after conferring with some council members he decided against padlocking the auditorium.

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Work will begin today on demolition of the old Louisville & Nashville Railroad depot in Whitesburg, a landmark for 58 years.

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Letcher County funeral homes announced this week they will discontinue ambulance service as of July 1. A joint statement said that operating costs forced the discontinuance of the service. The ambulances had been operating at a loss for several years, the statement said.

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Building in Whitesburg is virtually at a standstill until improvements are made in the city sewage disposal. The State Health Department has delayed approval of construction of a 50-unit housing project and a new grade school for Whitesburg because the sewage disposal system is inadequate to handle additional loads.

April 17, 1980

It’s time for Appalachia to “sell its resources, not just its needs,” says Albert P. Smith Jr., a western Kentucky newspaper publisher who is now serving as federal co-chairman of the Appalachian Regional Commission. Smith says the ARC is going to become “far more active” in promoting the region’s coal.

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The Letcher County Board of Education says it will take legal action to try to collect losses it incurred last fall when structural damage forced condemnation of the old Whitesburg High School building and a nearby storage building. Both Melco Construction Co., a highway contractor working on the Whitesburg bypass, and Holbrook Mining Co., operator of a strip mine on Cowan Hill, would be targets of the board’s actions.

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A company from Johnson City, Tenn., has sent workmen to Whitesburg recently to remove nets from the city tennis court because the company had never been paid for the nets. The firm which built the courts has gone out of business. City officials say they never received any notice of what was about to happen.

April 18, 1990

A new Whitesburg ordinance will promote the designation and preservation of landmarks and historic sites and districts within the city limits. The ordinance will be administered by a five-member Whitesburg Historic Preservation Committee to be appointed by the mayor.

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A day after Gov. Wallace Wilkinson signed the school reform bill into law, school officials in Letcher County were still grappling with what the law will do here. Although they have not had time to study the 900-page reform bill, school administrators in Letcher County say the new law will definitely mean improvement in the schools.

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The City of Whitesburg is trying to collect $3,000 in pastdue water bills and is threatening to take some customers to court.

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The Letcher County All-County Band will get under way with its first rehearsal on April 19. Forty-five students from Fleming-Neon, Jenkins, Letcher and Whitesburg were selected to comprise this year’s All-County Band.

April 19, 2000

Engineers are studying mining records to determine whether any of seven possible sites for a new county high school could be adversely affected by mine subsidence.

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Letcher County’s unemployment rate was the seventh highest in Kentucky in February and the highest in the Kentucky River Area Development District. Letcher County’s rate was 11.7 percent for February and 9.1 percent for the year 1999.

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Budget appropriations from the state legislature may mean Letcher County can go ahead with construction of a proposed water line from Jeremiah to Isom.

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Electricity was off to 850 households and businesses for more than six hours on Thursday after a pickup truck sheared off a power pole and another vehicle became entangled in the wires. The accident occurred about a quarter mile north of the intersection of KY 160 and KY 588 at Premium.

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