Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
December 8, 1960
Hopes for a state park on Pine Mountain have died a quick death with the announcement by Gov. Bert Combs of a $12 million park fund that does not include anything for Letcher County.
The Letcher County Board of Education said four new classrooms will be added to Whitesburg High School behind the present building. The board also authorized Supt. Sanford Adams to begin negotiations to buy more land around the Eolia school to provide for future expansion.
The Whitesburg City Council has voted to remove the stoplight at the corner of Main and Railroad Streets and to replace it with a stop sign which would apply to cars coming off School Hill.
The Citizens Bank of Pikeville is advertising that it is paying 3 percent interest on savings account.
December 10, 1970
Unless its budget is extended, the Millstone Sewing Center could be sewing its last stitch by Dec. 31. Mabel Kiser, director of the center, says she is hopeful that things will turn out well for the center. The sewing center, which renovates used clothing and makes some new clothing, received its first federal funds in 1966 and has helped more than 8,000 people in the past four years, Mrs. Kiser estimated. She says the center needs $19,000 to stay open for the next six months. The center has 12 seamstresses who work twoweek shifts and earn about $128 a month, a secretary, a driver, and Mrs. Kiser.
Officials are looking for ways to divide distribution of federal food stamps over several days. Some recipients receive their stamps by mail each month, but there are complaints that they do not get them on time because of problems in local government offices.
With the threat of a national railroad strike looming, Kentucky coal operators say they plan to keep mining until there are no more cars to load and no spaces to store other coal.
December 11, 1980
Negotiations between Kentucky Power Company and the City of Whitesburg broke down again this week. The city and the power company have been feuding for more than a year over renewal of the city’s electric provider service franchise. City officials said the power company had failed to provide information the city had requested several times. Officials are also apparently frustrated by a ruling by the state Energy Regulatory Commission which apparently meant that city consumers would have to absorb the cost if Whitesburg charges Kentucky Power a percentage of the revenues it collects inside the city.
The Letcher County judge’s office has been notified that under state law the county’s five magisterial districts much be reapportioned within 60 days after final U.S. census figures are released. State officials say they assume the 60-day period will begin June 1, 1981.
Letcher County’s new 23.4-cent property tax rate is in line with last year’s rate, according to Property Valuation Administrator Columbus Sexton. The new rate represents a 4.5 percent decrease on every $100 of assessed valuation, Sexton said, but remains virtually the same because of reassessment of most property in the county.
December 12, 1990
A bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives commissioning a study on the proposed Interstate 66 federal highway says the road should pass within 25 miles of Jenkins, Pikeville and Hazard. U.S. Rep. Chris Perkins said the road probably would have to pass “within a couple of miles of Whitesburg” as well. Officials pointed out it could take 20 years to get the road planned and constructed.
Most of Jenkins’s new sewer treatment plant is already in operation and the plant is expected to be completed by February, an engineer told the Jenkins City Council.
Coal mine layoff s pushed Letcher County’s jobless rate up five full percentage points in October to 11.7 percent. The rate was the fourth highest in the state and the highest in the Kentucky River Area Development District.
An up-and-coming Lexington rock band, Edison’s Revenge, will present a concert at Whitesburg Middle School to benefit laid-off South East Coal Co. employees. The band’s lead singer and songwriter is John Dawahare.
December 13, 2000
The U.S. Postal Service has off ered the old Whitesburg Post Office to the Letcher County Fiscal Court for $155,000. The fiscal court made no decision at its meeting about whether to buy the building, but Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said he will look into the possibilities further.
Police have charged a Whitesburg man with crawling through a hole in the wall of U-Save Tobacco twice and stealing thousands of dollars worth of cigarettes and other products.
State highway officials say they never lost the will to rebuild U.S. 119 across Pine Mountain — they’ve just been bewildered for 30 years about how to do it. The state Department of Highways or engineers working for the department have done four studies of the road since 1968 and proposed 18 diff erent routes across the mountain. Out of all the alternatives, engineers have kept coming back to three alternatives — to reconstruct the existing highway, to relocate the highway, or to build a tunnel through Pine Mountain.