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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

February 9, 1961

The Whitesburg City Council has appropriated $150 to pay for paving the tennis courts and a basketball court in the city park. Businesses are being asked to donate about $1,000 over and above the city donation, said Parks Chairman Paul Kirkland.

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Fourteen cases of infectious hepatitis have been reported in Letcher County.

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The Letcher County Board of Education plans to seek special voted building tax even before the May primary election. The money would be spent to build new gymnasiums at Fleming-Neon and Letcher schools, a new high school at Whitesburg, new grade schools at Millstone and Mayking, another new grade school to take care of Roxana and Hot Spot students, and an addition to the Eolia school.

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Pinball machines at the Yellowjacket Café and the Rainbow Grill in Whitesburg were removed after city police learned the owners of the businesses had paid the $250 federal tax on gambling machines. City officials say they do not want gambling in the city.

February 11, 1971

School children in the lower end of Letcher County have been told they will have to pay 25 cents every time they enter the Calvary College gymnasium for recreation. The children had been using the gym since last year. The facility is rented from the college by the Letcher County school board, but Calvary officials say the rent does not cover afterschool recreation.

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W.R. ‘Bill’ Collins of Whitesburg has been named to head the campaign of Democrat Wendell Ford for governor of Kentucky.

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West Virginia coal miners are calling on the state legislature to revise the state’s law so coal operators will be charged with first-degree murder when miners were killed in accidents caused by uncorrected safety violations.

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Why go the moon for rocks when we have plenty here? asked Mable Kiser, The Mountain Eagle’s Millstone correspondent.

February 12, 1981

An air freight service pilot died when his plane crashed as he attempted an emergency landing at the Whitesburg Municipal Airport. The plane was en route from New York to Tennessee.

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Many parts of Letcher County were without power most of the night as the result of a severe wind and rainstorm which struck last night and was followed by near-blizzard conditions Wednesday.

. Letcher County’s jobless rate is 14.1 percent.

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Mr. and Mrs. Alex Hall of Ermine are celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.

February 13, 1991

Teachers at Beckham Bates and Fleming-Neon elementary schools have vote not to adopt the school-based decision making council form of school government contained in the Kentucky Education Reform Act. Only two of the county’s 14 schools — West Whitesburg Elementary and Hemphill Elementary — have voted to adopt the school council system.

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William Johnson of Carbon Glow is in Hollywood for screen test for a role in a film starring actress Kathleen Turner. Johnson, a sixth-grader, appeared with screen star Ned Beatty in the film “Fat Monroe” produced by Appalshop.

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A second Blackey city official has resigned because some residents of the community are objecting to the city council’s community improvement efforts. Mayor Vergie Caudill quit three weeks ago and Deborah Sexton, a member of the city council, quit last week. Sexton’s letter of resignation said, “Everything that has been brought before the council for the people has had the opposition of the people.”

February 14, 2001

A hillside collapsed into a silt pond on a Premier Elkhorn Coal Company strip-mine Sunday, sending a torrent of water through the community Dunham. No one was injured in the spill, but some houses had mud and water up to their porches before the water receded.

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Of the more than 200 persons arrested by Kentucky State Police during “Operation Oxyfest 2001”, only one lived in Letcher County. But that doesn’t mean OxyContin isn’t being abused here, police and health care providers say. It means only that the investigation was started by Hazard City Police and focused on Perry County.

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Former Kingscreek resident James Butler Day will be inducted into the University of Kentucky College of Engineering Hall of Distinction on April 20. He is the son of Panny Day Stallard of Kingscreek and the late Butler Day.

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The 53rd District boys’ tournament will be hosted by Jenkins the week of Feb. 26, with the Whitesburg Yellowjackets claiming the number one seed with a perfect 6-0 mark.



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