Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

June 2, 1960

John William Craighton Collins, who was famed in the late ‘30s as the “boy mayor” of Whitesburg, was the recent guest at Blackey of his father, John D. Collins. Bill Collins was a senior at Whitesburg High School in 1936 during the primary election. As a lark, Bill’s classmates proposed him as a candidate for mayor. They entered him in the race and he won the nomination. Bill’s opponent in the November election was WHS Principal H.H. Harris. Bill won and Whitesburg was publicized nationwide for its “boy mayor.”

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Renovation of the Letcher County Public Library’s new quarters will start next week. The library is moving from its present location behind the county jail to the old passenger waiting room in the old L&N depot, a more central location.

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Beef chuck roast is 59 cents a pound at the A&P food store in Whitesburg. Cheese is 49 cents a pound.

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Green Tree Shows will be in Letcher County June 6 through June 11 at the Bates Showgrounds with two rides never presented before in Whitesburg, the Rockoplane and the Scrambler.

June 4, 1970

A four-county anti-poverty program which provides repairs to homes of elderly, disabled or blind public assistance recipients has won the unanimous endorsement of the board of directors of the Kentucky River Area Development District. The Eastern Kentucky Housing Development Corporation is the agency that operates the repair project.

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Letcher Manufacturing Co. was the key figure this week in developments which may mean 500 new jobs for Letcher County. Letcher Manufacturing Inc. was purchased Wednesday by a Dallas, Texas, firm, G.F. Industries. Spokesmen said operations of Letcher Manufacturing will be greatly expanded during the coming year as a result of the transaction.

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Eastern Kentucky must do something now about its environmental pollution, because “if we don’t it’s going to be too late,” U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins told graduates at Calvary College, Letcher, Friday night.

June 5, 1980

The state auditor’s office says Letcher County’s bookkeeping system does not adequately safeguard the county’s assets. The report says poor records of fiscal court actions “left a major element of internal control missing.”

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A Virginia accountant says the City of Jenkins books “are a mess.” He said the city books consist of yellow pieces of paper and the books of the city water and sewer system, though in book form, are not much better.

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The Jenkins City Council named Harold Davis mayor of Jenkins, to succeed Jesse Bates, who died recently. Roe Wright was named trial commissioner for Letcher District Court, succeeding Davis, who resigned after he became mayor of Jenkins.

June 6, 1990

Black bears are being reported “every day” and in every part of Letcher County, leaving some residents more than a little shaken.

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Residents of Dairy Hollow at Jenkins were fortunate that they weren’t hurt when a blast at a nearby strip mine hurled rocks through roofs and onto the greens of the golf course at the Elkhorn Country Club The explosion damaged five houses and several cars. The mining is being done by Manning Mining of Jenkins.

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Recycling of trash is drawing increasing interest in Letcher County. The City of Whitesburg is seeking a state attorney general’s opinion on how much authority it has to regulate use of plastic beverage bottles and plastic fast food containers.

June 7, 2000

Prompted by a harsh federal critique, Kentucky has agreed to better protect the environment by making more coal operators rebuild the tops of mountains leveled by mining and reign in inappropriate dumping of mining spoils.

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The Mountain Eagle
and its owners, Tom and Pat Gish, are featured in a special edition of “Kentucky Life, which will be shown on Kentucky Education Television (KET) Saturday. During the half-hour telecast the Gishes look back on their 43 years of publishing The Eagle
and the problems and pleasures their work has brought them.

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Construction of sewer lines in the Forest Hills section of Jenkins and water lines along KY 805 should begin sometime this fall, an engineer working on the project estimated.


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