Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
August 18, 1960
A three-member commission has completed division of Letcher County into three magisterial districts instead of the present eight. The change will take place at the next election for magistrates, which will be held in 1961.
A&P Food Stores has started construction of a new modern food department store which will eventually replace the company’s present location on Main Street in Neon.
All schools in the Jenkins Independent School District will open for the 1960-61 school year August 26.
Fred Coff ey, retiring president of the Chamber of Commerce, was named Whitesburg’s Man of the Year at the chamber’s annual dinner meeting Tuesday night. Coff ey was honored for his work toward obtaining a state park, better roads, an airport for Letcher County, and other activities.
August 20, 1970
Despite the current boom in business for the coal industry, the economic conditions of many eastern Kentucky residents continues to decline. Figures released this week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture show that the number of food stamp recipients in June of this year was 45 percent higher than June of last year in the eight counties of the Kentucky River Development District.
Letcher County teachers will hold their annual conference tomorrow in the Whitesburg Grade School auditorium. Principal speaker will be Harry A. Boyle Jr., Atlanta, Ga., a specialist in visual communication.
Forty-eight Little League ball players and four adult chaperones left by school bus at noon Wednesday for a trip to the Cincinnati-Montreal baseball game in Cincinnati.
About 40 families in Seco were left stranded on one side of the North Fork of the Kentucky River when a coal truck fell through the one-lane wooden bridge to the community.
August 21, 1980
Three Letcher County 4-H Club members won prizes at the Kentucky State Fair in Louisville. They are Susan Adams, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Danny Adams of Sergent, who won first place in the junior entomology exhibition, and Georgia Taylor, daughter of Betty Taylor, and Tammy Profitt, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donnie Profitt, who won first place for their demonstration on acrobatics in the senior health competition.
In an out-of-court settlement, widows of 15 miners killed in the first of two explosions at Scotia Coal Company in March, 1976, have agreed to accept a total of $5.5 million in damages. The settlement comes nearly 4 ½ years after the twin explosions at Oven Fork in Letcher County. The families had sought $60 million.
Potatoes, tomatoes and corn are doing well in Letcher County this year, says Millstone correspondent Mabel Kiser.
August 22, 1990
Initial enrollment at the Whitesburg campus of Southeast Community College is expected to exceed early estimates of 300 to 350 students.
Arch Mineral Corp. has bought nearly half of the operations of Blue Diamond Coal Company, including the Scotia mining complex in Letcher County, for $30 million in cash and $10 million in assumed debts.
Kentucky Economic Development Secretary Gene Royalty says he would be glad to try to arrange a long-term loan to keep South East Coal Co. in business in Letcher County. The company announced last week that it may have to close its operations in Letcher, Knott and Estill counties. The firm employs 600 workers in Letcher and Knott counties.
Two young Letcher County physicians have been named to serve as chief residents for the 1990-91 academic year in the family practice program at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. They are Dr. Van S. Breeding of Isom and Dr. Whitaker Michael Smith of Jeremiah.
August 23, 2000
The Letcher Fiscal Court on Monday confirmed its decision to make water lines from Jeremiah to Isom its top priority for coal severance tax money this year.
Schedule local bus service will return to Letcher County next month for the first time in more than 30 years. The Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Agency will begin in-county service on a regular schedule on Sept. 5. It will cost $2 a ride.
The annual Jenkins Days celebration begins Thursday and lasts until a fireworks display ends about midnight Saturday.
Construction is expected to begin the first week of September on sewers to Stone Avenue in Whitesburg (formerly known as the head of Long Branch).