Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
December 29, 1960
Whitesburg Postmaster R.C. Day Jr. and postal clerk James Breeding are pictured examining mailbags which have been sent here for use when local home mail delivery starts in January. City officials are working on a system of numbering for homes and businesses to be served.
The new Whitesburg Airport could be in used by April or May, said State Sen. Archie Craft of Whitesburg. The airport will be located in the Camp Branch area on property owned by Nat Combs.
Sen. Archie Craft told members of the Whitesburg Community Development Association this week that he was still very hopeful the state would locate a state park on Pine Mountain near Whitesburg.
Grant Halcomb, about 50, died this week when flames destroyed his two-room home in the Graveyard Hollow section of Whitesburg.
December 31, 1970
New federal census figures show that Whitesburg lost a third of its population from 1960 to 1970. Whitesburg now has 1,137 residents. In 1960, the city had a population of 1,774.
The federal Economic Development Administration has approved a grant of $255,000 to assist in the construction of a $536,400 addition to the City of Whitesburg sewer system. The money will be combined with a $140,520 grant from the federal Water Quality Administration to finance a new sewage treatment plant and some additions to the water and sewer system owned by the city.
Local health officials say Letcher County has a high rate of hepatitis and urge residents to take precautions against the disease, which sometimes is caused by contamination of food or water supplies.
December 30, 1980
Congressman Carl D. Perkins delivered a giant Christmas present for Fleming-Neon — the last $500,00 chunk of money needed for a complete new water system for the area. The money to finish the $2.755 million project comes from the federal Economic Development Administration.
The new year of 1981 could hold some grave dangers for Letcher County, according to local observers of the economy. Whitesburg Atty. Harry M. Caudill, a student of eastern Kentucky’s problems, believes 1981 could be the year which determines whether small coal mines will be put out of business. Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg says he hopes something can be done to help the small mines hiring six to 10 men. State Rep. Bill Weinberg thinks the coming year may be the time to begin looking for small industry to come to eastern Kentucky, and state Rep. Hoover Dawahare says local banks and businesses will grow and predicted the establishment of a savings and loan association in Letcher County during 1981.
The Colson Rockets 4-H Club placed second in Kentucky for outstanding work in the Community Pride Program. Members attended a banquet in Lexington to make a presentation and receive the award. The activities which won them recognition included clean-up campaigns, planting trees, helping senior citizens, and working with kindergarten pupils.
One of three new roads being considered for construction in West Virginia would tie into Kentucky. The proposed King Coal Highway, an east-west route, and the Coalfields Expressway, a north-south route, were “economic.” The third route, to be known as the Shawnee Parkway, was to be a scenic route, winding along the mountaintops of West Virginia and linking the West Virginia Turnpike with the Mountain Parkway and Daniel Boone Parkway in Kentucky.
Letcher County teachers will vote this month to decide whether they want to help govern their schools.
A bill filed for the 1992 Kentucky General Assembly would prevent gas and oil companies from drilling in Kentucky without the permission of the owner of the surface land to be affected.
January 3, 2001
The Whitesburg Fire Department has a new truck which is now in service. The 2001 Ford mini-pumper, which cost $85,000, was custom built by Fire Equipment Services of Sumpter, S.C. Fire Chief Truman Thompson said the city bought the truck mainly for use as a rescue vehicle for car accidents, which make up the bulk of the calls the department answers each year.
A new computer system under consideration by county officials would cut costs and improve services, officials said. The proposed network would link the county clerk’s office, the property valuation administrator’s office and the judge/ executive’s office, all the three to share things like mapping information and addresses.
A study by the U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration has found that about one in 50 coal miners showed evidence of black lung disease. Of 11,970 miners who have completed voluntary chest x-rays, 300 showed evidence of the disease caused by breathing excessive amounts of coal dust, said Davitt McAteer, director of the federal agency that regulates coal mine safety.