Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

July 7, 1960

Sanford Adams, former principal of Eolia School, will head the Letcher County public school system for the coming two years. Adams was elected to the post at a special meeting of the county board of education.

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Coal miners will be cut off from hospital-medical and death benefits after being unemployed for a year under new eligibility rules announced this week. The United Mine Workers Union Welfare and Retirement Fund published the new regulations in the union newspaper.

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Whitesburg City Council will meet Friday night to discuss the need for bridge repairs, parking space for taxicabs, and city water problems.

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Veal is 39 cents a pound at the A&P food store in Whitesburg. Leg of lamb is 69 cents a pound.

July 9, 1970

The Letcher County Board of Education expects to begin construction next spring on the new West Whitesburg Elementary School. The structure is expected to cost well over $1 million, and will contain 23 basic classrooms, plus several special purpose rooms.

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Preliminary census figures indicate Kentucky will keep its seven seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Andrew Taylor announces the grand opening of a new recreation center in Whitesburg. The center will be located at the Willie Lucas building on Main Street, adjacent to Andy’s Snack Bar.

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Parot Roark of Kingscreek set a trap for a rat under his floor, but instead he caught a 37 and-a-half-inch copperhead snake two inches in diameter.

July 10, 1980

For the second time in less than a month, the City of Jenkins had had to drain a water tank in hopes of preventing a possible disaster. Officials said the city’s leaking tank at Burdine, drained a week ago, should be repaired and the tank refilled within a week. Last month state officials recommended that the city drain a tank at the top of Goodwater Street after water was spotted running through holes at the top of the tank.

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Letcher County had a jobless rate of 11.3 percent in May, down from 12.1 percent in April. State officials pointed out, however, that the rate drop was caused not by people finding work but by discouraged workers leaving the workforce because they could not find work.

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The Jenkins City Council has approved a budget of $166,000 for Fiscal Year 1980-81.

July 11, 1990

Former Whitesburg Middle School Principal Edwin Dean ‘Eddie’ Holbrook is expected to be named principal of Whitesburg High School, succeeding David Williams, who resigned in May. The school board also is expected to approve Linda Jarrett as the first principal of Letcher Elementary School. Previously Sherrill Slone had served as principal of both Letcher High and Letcher Elementary schools.

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Letcher County is among 10 Kentucky counties chosen by an Ohio-based company as a site for new medical waste incinerators.

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Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.9 percent in May, the third lowest in the Kentucky River Area Development District.

July 12, 2000

Wilford Niece, a former Letcher County coal operator accused of dealing in cocaine and stolen vehicles, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Pikeville to two charges. Niece, 61, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute more than 5 kilograms of cocaine and to receiving stolen property.

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Funeral services will be held here Friday for former Whitesburg resident Virginia Harris Combs, who died in Lexington on Sunday at the age of 99. Mrs. Combs was the widow of Stephen Combs Jr., an attorney and circuit judge here. She taught school in Letcher County for many years and wrote a weekly column for The
Mountain Eagle.

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The torrent that came down in eastern Kentucky last week was good for crops, but it was a mere drop in the bucket of long-term drought relief. Letcher County got 2.44 inches of rain over three days, but rainfall is still 6.26 inches below normal for the year and more than 28 inches below normal over the past two years.

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