Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

January 19, 1961
If recommendations of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
are followed, Letcher County could be circled by a chain
of lakes.

A group of Letcher County citizens headed by Cossie
Quillen are working up a list of long-range and short-term
needs to submit to the Kennedy administration for financing through the new President’s proposed depressed areas

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added butter to
the list of commodity foods to be distributed to low-income

Twenty-five employees of Bethlehem Mines Corp. received awards at an annual safety banquet.

January 21, 1971
Most of the questions raised by the Finley coal mine
explosion in Leslie County, which killed 38 men last December 30, are still unanswered this week. Investigators
determined that as many as 100 “shot holes” were fired simultaneously in the mine before the blast and they said that
blasting for a “boom hole” in the mine to give miners more
working space may have caused the coal dust explosion.

Members of the Citizens League to Protect Surface
Rights are angry at being rebuffed when they tried to appear
before the Letcher Grand Jury to seek indictments against
strip-miners and gas companies for numerous violations.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Emmett Fields said the grand
jury would hear only criminal cases.

Leroy W. Fields has been named Letcher County Attorney.

January 22, 1981
The Letcher County Health Department says rumors of
an outbreak of hepatitis and typhoid fever in the Jenkins
area are unfounded.

Letcher County has agreed to help financially strapped
Jenkins city government in its efforts to overcome the severe
water shortage which still plagues it. The fiscal court voted
unanimously to award Jenkins a $2,500 emergency grant so
it could buy gasoline to power pumps to carry water from
Fishpond Lake to the nearly empty reservoir at Jenkins.

Arguments were heard in federal court at Pikeville
this week on whether the federal government should be
responsible for the second of two explosions at a Scotia
Coal Company mine in Letcher County nearly five years
ago. The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking dismissal
of a lawsuit filed by the widows of eight miners who were
killed in the explosion.

January 23, 1991
Several Letcher County residents are among 40 Army
reservists from eastern Kentucky who have been transferred to a Frankfort squadron and placed on active duty.
Bill Caudill, director of curriculum and instruction in the
Letcher County schools, is among those troops in the 100th
Division called to active duty.

Officials from Letcher, Knott and Perry counties got less
than half the money they had requested from the state for
planning of a resort at Carr Fork Lake. The group received
only $25,000 of the $85,000 it had requested from Gov.
Wallace Wilkinson.

West Whitesburg Elementary School is the first school
in Letcher County to adopt school-based decision making
under the new Kentucky Education Reform law.

January 24, 2001
State officials have completed the purchase of part of a
reclaimed strip mine at Jenkins for use as a multi-county
industrial site. The Appalachian Industrial Authority, a regional industrial board made up of members from Letcher,
Pike, Knott and Floyd counties, gave final approval for the
purchase of about 83 acres at a special meeting earlier this
month at Hindman. The purchase price was $1.2 million.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has completed
the contract with Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation for a first-of-its-kind veterans clinic.

A propane truck overturned in a stream after the edge of
the road collapsed when the truck’s back tires got too close
to the edge of a culvert on Larry’s Road at Kingscreek. No
one was injured in the accident.

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