Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

August 25, 1960

The University of Kentucky’s new Southeastern Center at Cumberland will be dedicated in ceremonies Sunday by Gov. Bert Combs.

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Letcher County women of both political parties will meet Friday night to discuss the proposal for revising Kentucky’s constitution to be voted on in November. The women will attend a dinner at 7 p.m. at the City Café.

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Nineteen children in Letcher County were unable to enter school this week because they had no clothes to wear. The Whitesburg Woman’s Club, which conducts a clothing drive for charity annually, issued an emergency appeal today for clothes for the youngsters.

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Whitesburg schools opened this week with little change in enrollment but with several improvements in procedure. Two changes of note in the grade school include division of the first grade into three classes of about 30 pupils each and division of the eighth grade by scholastic ability.

August 27, 1970

The four senators from Kentucky and West Virginia have joined in asking for an investigation into reasons for the nation’s coal shortage. Their resolution asks that the Senate Interior Committee study the increase of sales of U.S. coal overseas, the lack of sufficient railroad hoppers to carry coal from mines to markets, a reported manpower shortage in the coalfields, and the effect of recent mine safety laws on production.

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The Mountain Eagle
regained its status as the newspaper qualified to publish legal notices for the county Tuesday. Fiscal Court voted unanimously to rescind an order of last May which had designated the Letcher County Community Press as the “official” county paper.

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Whitesburg residents, accustomed to the luxury of city garage pickup, were faced with piles of trash this week as the result of a breakdown of the city’s garbage truck.

August 28, 1980

The Louisville & Nashville Railroad — the L&N — which as carried millions of tons of coal and hundreds of thousands of passengers out of Millstone, Kona, Neon and Fleming, announced this week that it was asking the federal Interstate Commerce Commission for permission to abandon its track from Bastin, just above Thornton, through Fleming. The railroad says the line no longer generates enough business to pay the maintenance costs for the tracks. It says it plans to take up the tracks and use them elsewhere.

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Letcher County Attorney Guy Palumbo has issued a memorandum to members of Letcher Fiscal Court directing their attention to “poor record-keeping” which he says is troubling the court, his office, some state offices, and the public.

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Unemployment insurance claims are “off the chart” so far this year, says state Human Resources Secretary Grady Stumbo.

August 29, 1990

Letcher Fiscal Court has set Sept. 1 as the date for starting mandatory garbage collection throughout the county. The court has awarded franchises to private collectors in various areas of the county.

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The first student at the Whitesburg campus of Southeast Community College was Eileen Adams. By the end of the week 375 students had registered for classes at the college.

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Members of the Whitesburg City Council say they are unhappy with the renovations of the city’s sewage disposal plant, which have been underway since last winter.

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Elementary schools in Whitesburg and Tomiyamamura, Japan have signed an agreement making them sister schools. Japanese school officials were in Whitesburg for the ceremony. Two students from the Japanese school have visited the Whitesburg schools and efforts are underway to send some Letcher County students to Japan.

August 30, 2000

Cumberland River residents have asked State Rep. Howard Cornett to invite Gov. Paul Patton on what they believe will be the ride of his life — a trip across Pine Mountain on a school bus loaded with kids. Ronnie Maggard of Partridge said the group is hoping to draw attention to the dangers of the mountain and get something done to alleviate those dangers before a school bus has an accident there.

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Premier-Elkhorn Coal Co. has served notice on Linda Hall and her nephew Brian Johnson that it plans to exercise the broadform deed it holds on their property at McRoberts to make a 160-foot-deep, 16.5-acre gap cut and a 15-acre hollow fill before it deep mines the coal from under the property. The company, which bought the properties and mineral rights once owned by Consolidation Coal Co., is off ering Hall and Johnson nothing in return for the damage to their surface property, saying the mineral deed gives it the right to mine the coal without further compensation.

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The Whitesburg Yellowjackets, behind their black swarm defense, upset highly regarded Matewan, W.Va. 15-8 in the eighth annual Coca-Cola Bowl at Shelby Valley.

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The Isom Days Festival starts Thursday with a bang — a six-gun bang at the festival’s annual Western shootout play.


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