Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
December 22, 1960
Many Letcher County families are facing a barren Christmas. Whitesburg ministers and other workers who deal with poor families said some people could be without food on Christmas Day. A ministerial association committee has spent hours trying to determine which families need help the most and have come up with a list of 150 families from the 600 families who had requested help. Virginia Craft, chairman of the ministerial committee, has gone from door to door in Whitesburg seeking money, food and clothing.
”Letcher County has about tapped the last of its resources for helping its needy,” commended an Eagle
editorial, “and substantial additional help, most of it necessarily from outside the county, must be found.”
An opinion from Kentucky Attorney General Walter Herdman told County Attorney F. Byrd Hogg that under the new commissioner form of government adopted by Letcher County, all voters in the county would vote for three commissioners and the candidates receiving the most votes from each of the three districts would be elected to represent their districts.
December 24, 1970
Four Letcher County coal firms have been sold to McCulloch Oil Corporation of Los Angeles. They are No. 7 Coal Corp., Maxietta Coal Co., Kingdom Come Dock Co., and Big Four Coal Corp. A McCulloch official said the firms represented annual sales of more than $6 million. The sales price was not disclosed.
Members of the Citizens League to Protect Surface Rights say they would back a move to take citizens’ grievances about strip mining and oil drilling before the Letcher Grand Jury in January.
”AccuColor” is the new television system being plugged by RCA and Salyer Radio Corp. in Christmas ads.
”When and if it turns cold and snows, remember February is just around the corner and that’s when it’s time to plant peas,” columnist Mabel Kiser of Millstone reminded her readers.
December 22-25, 1980
Kentucky Power Company says it plans to increase its rates at least 11 percent next month.
Most Jenkins residents began getting water again after state officials promised $5,000 in grants to allow the city to buy gasoline for two pumps to pump water from Fishpond Lake to the nearly dry Jenkins Lake, which serves as the city’s reservoir.
Food prices in Kentucky have continued a relentless trek upward this month, registering a 1.8 percent gain since November. The highest prices reported from any Kentucky city are in Hazard, where it costs $64.51 to buy a market basket of 40 selected staple food items. The statewide average price is $58.70. During the past 12 months, prices for those same foods has risen 12.4 percent.
State officials approved a $37.4 million tax-free bond issue to finance construction of a new shopping center in Pikeville.
December 26, 1990
The Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department arrested the foreman of an oil drilling company for damage done to a county road on Ingrams Creek of Linefork. Sheriff Steve Banks said the incident was “just one of those situations of a big-time oil and gas company trying to destroy the only road people have to travel in and out.”
For the fir st tim e in 1 8 y ea rs, the loc al off ice of the Department for Social Services did not distribute Christmas baskets. They said they were unable to raise sufficient money because many organizations they had worked with for years wanted to distribute in their own areas.
The state is expected to provide another $95,000 for planning of the proposed Red Fox Resort at Carr Fork Lake. Former Letcher County residents Donald and Dudley Webb have proposed a $20 million world class resort with a lodge, golf course, amphitheater, riding trails, and condominiums.
December 27, 2000
County officials are preparing to send documents to the state that will free up to $1 million in coal severance tax money for the construction of water lines in the Isom and Jeremiah area.
The climate for children’s well-being is improving in Letcher County, but the county still lags behind most of Kentucky, according to the annual Kentucky Kids Count report just issued. The report, which ranked Letcher County 102nd out of 120 counties, is based on statistics ranging from birth weight and infant mortality, to school test scores, and the number of students who make a successful transition from high school to adulthood.
Two people were injured during the wintry weather last week when the car in which they were riding struck a snowplow head-on.