Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

August 4, 1960

Whitesburg automobile dealer Sanders Collins asked the city council Tuesday night to take immediate action to dredge out the Kentucky River through the city. Collins said the river has filled in six feet in the past two years in places within town.

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The Letcher County Garden Improvement contest was judged with J.S. Holbrook of Millstone taking top county award. Pearl Dixon of Blackey won second place with another wonderful garden.

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Letcher County polio patients may enjoy a free swimming party Friday at the Whitesburg swimming pool. The party is sponsored by the local chapter of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

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Two Whitesburg High School football players will take part in the annual East-West All-Star game sponsored by the Kentucky High School Coaches Association in Lexington next week. They are Roger Kincer, half-back, and Carter Bradshaw, guard.

August 6, 1970

Separate accidents claimed the lives of two young men here this week. Ronnie Tyrone Bentley, 28, drowned about 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Fishpond Lake. Billy Stephen Whitaker, 27, was injured about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in the Scotia Coal Co. mine on Cumberland River, and was pronounced dead at 1:30 p.m. at the Whitesburg hospital. Witnesses said Whitaker apparently was the victim of electric shock.

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Residents of Seco were upset by a landslide which blocked the road leading to Fletcher Hill and Boss Hill sections of the small community. The slide resulted when heavy rain broke open a silt dam established by a company which is strip mining a 10-acre tract above the town. The residents already had sent a petition protesting the stripping to State Reclamation Director Elmore Grim.

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The Appalachian Film Workshop will sponsor a free film festival next week at the workshop headquarters next door to the Mountain Eagle office in Whitesburg. The workshop is financed by the American Film Institute and the Office of Economic Opportunity.

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An estimated 5,500 students will begin classes in the Letcher County school system on Monday, August 24.

August 7, 1980

The old Sandy Adams home at Pine Mountain Junction burned to the ground early on August 4. The two-story white frame structure had been vacant for several years. In earlier years, it was the only home of its status between Whitesburg and Mayking.

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Officials of Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp. say reports of a major layoff at the firm’s Mine 29 in Pike County amount to “nothing more than rumors.” The firm says 29 miners had been laid off in June just before the miner’s vacation began, but no company employee has been laid off at Mine 29 since then.

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Letcher County ranked ninth in oil production in Kentucky in 1978, according to state figures just released. Kentucky ranked 17th among oil producing states in the nation. Wells in Letcher County produced 223,743 barrels of oil in 1978.

August 8, 1990

Trouble in the Middle East could possibly bring some financial gains to eastern Kentucky’s coal industry, but it is highly unlikely that the region will see a return to the mid- 1970s boom years for coal mining.

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The season’s fickle weather has been hard on most Kentucky agriculture, but not on the state’s top cash crop, marijuana. “Growing conditions have been ideal,” said the director of the state’s marijuana strike force.

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Blackey officials have adopted an 11 p.m. curfew in the city for everyone under the age of 18.

 Letcher County’s jobless rate rose to 8.8 percent in June.

August 9, 2000

A woman was charged with driving under the influence after a three-car accident at Payne Gap on Thursday. Five people were hurt after a Ford Bronco crossed the center line and struck a car head-on. Another vehicle crashed into the Bronco after the accident.

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The Kentucky Public Service Commission on August 3 gave BellSouth permission to go ahead with a proposed Digital Subscriber Line expansion, also know as “broadband” telecommunications in 31 counties, including Letcher.

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The need for county-wide insurance against flood damage to private property will come up again at Letcher Fiscal Court’s regular meeting August 14. The cities of Fleming- Neon, Jenkins and Whitesburg have had flood insurance for years, but attempts to adopt it for the whole county have failed.

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Most Letcher County schools’ scores on a national test improved from 1997 to 2000, some significantly. But others fell at the opposite end of the spectrum — notably Jenkins High School, where ninth-grade scores dropped 20 percent over the four-year period.


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