Whitesburg KY
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The way we were




Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

March 16, 1961

Letcher Fiscal Court and the Letcher County Board of Education have accepted bids for construction of new consolidated grade schools at Colson and Campbell’s Branch.

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A possibility has developed this week that bus service may be restored between Jenkins and Hazard. Cumberland Coach Lines withdrew its previous petition to abandon its franchise but did not withdraw its petition to abandon its franchise for service between Whitesburg and Cumberland.

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Two men were killed when they were crushed beneath an overturned coal truck. Henry Quillen, 23, of Whitaker, and John Britt Quillen, 16, of Seco, were thrown from the truck, which turned over twice after it went off the Pine Creek road onto a soft shoulder.

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The City of Whitesburg has adopted a minimum housing code setting standards for all buildings in the city limits.

March 18, 1971

Employment in the five-county area served by the Hazard Employment Security office was up 5.7 percent over January a year ago. Most of the increase was in mining and quarrying.

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Widows, mine owners and a survivor of the Finley mine disaster in Leslie County last December testified at a congressional subcommittee in Hazard. The survivor’s testimony more than anything else at the hearing offered “a striking commentary on the dangers of coal mining in general and at the Finley mine in particular.”

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The U.S. Senate voted 77-3 to extend funding of the Appalachian Regional Commission for four more years. The House of Representatives is holding hearings and is expected to approve the bill in some form.

March 19, 1981

A nationwide coal strike seems inevitable this week as the United Mine Workers of America and coal operators have broken off talks concerning a new contract. UMW negotiators indicated their members would walk off the job at midnight on March 26. The Bituminous Coal Operators Association wants to allow coal companies to establish their own pension funds in place of the union-wide pensions; to have miners work seven days a week; to stop paying welfare and retirement royalties on coal bought at nonunion mines by union mines, and to establish ‘mandatory overtime’, which would mean that miners would have to finish whatever was underway when quitting time came. The UMWA wants the Arbitration Review Board abolished.

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School lunch costs are going up as a result of the Reagan administration’s decision to cut federal reimbursements for school lunch programs by as much as 45 percent.

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Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation has received final approval of its request for $1.3 million in federal money to finance its healthcare activities during the coming year.

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The crime rate in Letcher County rose 19.3 percent in 1980, according to figures released by the Kentucky State Police. At least 339 major crimes were reported to state police in 1980, a jump from 284 reported in 1979. Violent crimes were down slightly, but burglaries, larceny and auto theft skyrocketed.

March 20, 1991

Hundreds of Letcher County residents have called or stopped by the office of the Kentucky Department for Employment Services to ask for jobs helping to rebuild Kuwait. Senior interviewer Peggy Mason said most of the applicants were between the ages of 20 and 27. She said there was no indication that stories of jobs in Kuwait paying $50 to $100 an hour were true. The U.S. Department of Labor has warned employment services offices to be on the lookout for scam offers for employment in Kuwait, which apparently appeared in other states.

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Five boys escaped serious injury when a foot bridge on which they were walking collapsed and dumped them into Linefork Creek. Residents of the area say they have been trying for years to get the county to repair the bridge, which serves four families, or to build an automobile bridge to the homes.

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The Blackey City Council has chosen council member Wallace Bolling as mayor to replace Vergie Caudill, who resigned in January.

March 21, 2001

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms served a federal search warrant on Frank’s Guns and Pawn shop Monday, taking some guns and store records. An ATF agent said guns purchased at the Whitesburg pawn shop were used in crimes as far way as San Diego, Calif.

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The Letcher High School Band took first place in the 12th annual St. Patrick’s Day parade in Lexington.

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Saying that “money will be no obstacle,” Gov. Paul Patton said he will pursue a $50 million reconstruction of U.S. 119 across Pine Mountain and will ask federal transportation authorities and the General Assembly to speed it up.

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The U.S. Postal Service has accepted the Letcher County Tourism Commission’s offer for the old Whitesburg Post Office building. The Postal Office will move in May to a new building now under construction at Pine Mountain Junction. The tourism commission will have until May 5 to inspect the building, then another 30 days — until June 5 — to pay the $130,000 for the building.


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