Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
November 10, 1960
Republican Richard Nixon carried Letcher County by 112 votes in his race to become President of the United States, but Democrat John F. Kennedy won the most votes in the country and became President. Republican U.S. Senator John Sherman Cooper was re-elected; he carried Letcher County over former Gov. Keen Johnson. Democrat Congressman Carl D. Perkins also carried the county and was re-elected.
Local political figures are already beginning to talk about the primary election which will take place next spring. Robert Collins and James M. Caudill, both former Letcher County judges, say they plan to run for the Democratic nomination for judge. There are already 10 candidates for the Democratic nomination for sheriff .
The Bluefield School at Ulvah was closed.
November 12, 1970
Kentucky State Police have stopped at least 72 coal trucks in Breathitt, Knott and Perry counties in the past three weeks and charged them with being overwidth, but they have not stopped any trucks in Letcher County.
A group of Letcher County residents have formed an oil-drilling firm in an effort to “keep some of the money at home.” The firm is headed by Ivan ‘Red’ Kimbrell of Neon. Roy Crawford and Comas Tyler, both of Whitesburg and both prominent engineers for the coal industry, are vicepresident and secretary of the new Kimbrell firm. They say they expect to start drilling soon on a 875-acre lease in the Whitco area and on 275 acres near the Whitesburg hospital.
The Nixon White House is studying proposed legislation that would establish a coast-to-coast network of independent regional development commissions modeled on the Appalachian experiment.
Kentucky State Police arrested 16 juveniles and five adults on charges of disorderly conduct at the mouth of Pine Creek in Mayking.
November 13, 1980
Major forest fires had hundreds of Letcher County families concerned over the safety of their homes, but the only damage reported so far is to vast acres of woodland and the wildlife which inhabits it. Three major forest fires are centered at Craft’s Colly, Jenkins and Linefork. Local residents battled the blazes with the help of state forestry officials and workers on loan from the Department of Transportation. At least 21 forest fires have been reported in Letcher County since the fall fire season began last month.
Representatives of Kentucky Power Company told Whitesburg city officials that if the city insists on its demands for a franchise fee of four percent of the power company’s annual gross receipts from Whitesburg residents, the cost would have to be passed on to the customers living in Whitesburg.
Geraldine McKnight, a widow of a coal miner killed in the 1976 explosion at Blue Diamond Coal Co.’s Scotia mine in Letcher County, says the settlement last month which gives 15 widows and their 23 children a total of $5.5 million, did not remove the bitterness felt by the miners’ families.
November 14, 1990
Terry Sturgill of Hemphill and Rudell Blair of Jeremiah were elected to the Letcher County Board of Education. Sturgill replaced Richard Kincer of Neon, and Blair defeated Ronald W. Back for the board seat being vacated by retiring board member Ray Back.
Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg says he will be a candidate for re-election next November. He apparently will face opposition from Letcher District Judge Larry D. Collins.
The Kentucky Supreme Court upheld the death sentences of two men who killed 23-year-old Tammy Acker at her home in Fleming in 1985. The murder occurred in the course of a robbery in which the men took $1.9 million in cash, jewelry and weapons. She lived with her father, Dr. Roscoe Acker.
November 15, 2000
The old Jenkins High School could house a collection of shops and offices ranging from a senior citizens center to hotel rooms to a Country Music Highway museum. These are among the uses proposed by a committee appointed to look at possible uses for the building.
Letcher Fiscal Court has denied a request by Columbia Natural Resources Inc. to cross Loves Branch Road with a two-inch gas line, citing a threatened lawsuit over the court’s previous action denying the company permission to cross county roads with an eight-inch pipeline.
A Letcher County man who pleaded guilty to robbing Community Trust Bank branch at Fleming-Neon was sentenced Monday to more than 10 years in prison. A federal judge in Pikeville sentenced Randall Lynn Shepherd, 26, of Craft’s Colly to 128 months in prison and ordered him to pay $22,000 in restitution to Community Trust Bank.
A constitutional amendment passed in last week’s election requires the Kentucky General Assembly to hold annual sessions.