Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
November 17, 1960
Strip mine operators who are not complying with regulations set by the 1960 Kentucky legislature face a crackdown on Dec. 5. State Commissioner of Conservation J.O. Matlick said names of operators who have ignored two warnings will be turned over to the Kentucky attorney general’s office for prosecution. Matlick said only nine of 169 operators had obtained the permits required by law.
Jerry Mahoney, director of the Community Development Division of the Kentucky Department of Economic Development, is to be in Whitesburg to work out a plan by which the City of Whitesburg could receive some of the services of his division.
The Whitesburg High School band won trophies for best marching band and best majorettes at the Big Sandy Bowl in Paintsville.
Five times as many children are using the Whitesburg Public Library since it moved into the old L&N Railroad depot just off Main Street.
November 19, 1970
Strong opposition from residents of the Blackey community caused the L&N Railroad and Continental Coal Sales of Pikeville to abandon plans for building a coal-loading ramp at Blackey. More than 70 residents attended a community meeting called to discuss the ramp and decided to deliver a protest to County Judge Robert Collins.
South Central Bell Telephone Co. says its plans call for installation of direct long-distance dialing facilities in Whitesburg by August of next year. The company said that direct-dialing long distance would cost the same as operator-placed long distance calls.
Inez Slone Lucas, one of the original teachers at Hindman Settlement School, died in Madisonville, where she had lived in recent years. She was buried in the Henny Adams Cemetery at Colson. She taught weaving and mountain crafts and collected examples of weaving done by pioneers in eastern Kentucky She became nationally known for the weaving she did herself, some of which was for the White House.
November 20, 1980
Letcher County has received a $214,852 initial allotment from a special coal severance tax fund, which one state offi cial calls the most beneficial state program ever created for eastern Kentucky economic development. Letcher Fiscal Court has not yet decided how to spend the money, which many local agencies are trying to get.
Two men have been indicted on charges of murder in the shooting death of 41-year-old Letcher County coal operator William Harvey Johnson in 1975. They are Larry ‘Jughead’ Taylor, 32, of Thornton, and Frank Wayne Jenkins, 35, of Coshocton, Ohio. Johnson was shot 14 times in the head and chest with a .22 caliber weapon. He apparently was fired on from a hill in front of his A-frame house on US 119 near Jenkins as he carried out the garbage on his way to work. Taylor confessed to the murder when he told the Letcher County Sheriff ’s office that he had to “get something off his chest.”
November 21, 1990
Talk of the possibility of a high-damage earthquake along the New Madrid Fault in western Kentucky created opposing opinions among Letcher County officials about the possibility of damage here from an earthquake in western Kentucky. Local officials say residents of Letcher County have little to worry about, but the director of the Letcher County Red Cross wrote a letter to county officials that the county ‘could be devastated’ because it could be without assistance for 72 hours and the county would be ‘in chaos.’
United Mine Worker of America miners at South East Coal Co. unanimously agreed to strike because, they say, South East did not consider seniority of employees when it laid off 400 workers on Oct. 11.
The Letcher County Board of Education voted to buy the old Maloney’s Store building in Whitesburg for use as a bus garage.
The Kentucky Board of Education approved a new regulation outlawing corporal punishing in Kentucky schools. The rule will not take effect until July, 1991.
November 22, 2000
A multi-county industrial board has agreed to ask for $1.2 million to buy property at Jenkins from Pike-Letcher Land Co. for an industrial site. The payment would be the first of three annual installments that would eventually leave the Appalachian Industrial Authority with 150 acres of level land adjacent to the Childs Branch Industrial Site, which is owned by the City of Jenkins. The money for the new site would come from the multi-county coal severance tax accounts of Letcher, Pike, Knott and Floyd counties.
Residents fighting construction of a natural gas pipeline across Letcher and Knott counties believe they may have had their first big breaks in the battle against Columbia Natural Resources Inc. The Kentucky Real Estate Commission is investigating a complaint that employees of Energy Management and Services Inc., the company that bought pipeline right-of-way for Columbia Natural Resources, did not have real estate licenses as required by Kentucky law.
The Letcher County Clerk’s office will spend nearly $50,000 to modernize its system of recording deeds and put 60 years’ worth of deeds on computer.