Whitesburg KY
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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

March 23, 1961

The Whitesburg Ministerial Association’s charitable and relief work came to a stop this week because of a lack of money. The Rev. Robert J. Owens Jr., president, said the association was overdrawn at the bank and could not dispense any more relief until it received some contributions.

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Hiram Tilden Wright is a candidate for governor of the Hi-Y Youth Assembly in Frankfort this week.

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Former County Judge Robert Collins and Jenkins Police Judge Jesse Wright visited Frankfort in the interest of road projects in Letcher County. They are candidates for office in Letcher County. Their trip was similar to one made last week by Sen. Archie Craft, Jesse S. Holbrook, Floyd Mercer, and former County Judge James M. Caudill, also a candidate for county office.

March 25, 1971

Lt. Gov. Wendell Ford is bringing his campaign for the Democratic nomination for governor to Letcher County.

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A bid for construction of a new sewage plant and additional sewer lines in the City of Whitesburg was $30,000 below engineers’ estimates. Mayor Ferdinand Moore commented that it was nice to be in the money for once. His remark referred to the fact that bids on every project advertised in Whitesburg or anywhere else in eastern Kentucky for some years had come in over budget.

March 26, 1981

“The world clamors for American coal,” wrote Richard L. Strout in the Christian Science Monitor News Service in an article carried by The Mountain Eagle. “The United States has a third of the world’s economically recoverable coal reserves. An impending strike by the unionized miners who dig out 50 percent of the coal produced in the U.S. is but a minor detour on the way to what in terms of energy, is being called the Age of Coal.”

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Union miners are to vote next week on a new contract which will tack an additional $132 on their weekly paychecks within the next three years.

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The Jenkins Independent Board of Education was awarded payment in a lawsuit concerning construction-related damages to the nearly 10-year-old Jenkins High School building. Companies involved in the lawsuit entered an out-of-court settlement with the board to pay for damages to the building caused by a sinking foundation.

March 27, 1991

Letcher County resident Jim T. Whitaker Jr. of Oven Fork got an unusual birthday present — five Army buddies he served with in Vietnam whom he hadn’t seen since 1967. His wife and sons arranged for the friends to visit Letcher County on Whitaker’s 46th birthday.

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U.S. Rep. Chris Perkins is continuing efforts to make easier for miners with black lung and their families to qualify for federal black lung benefits.

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Goebel Ritter of Whitesburg has been inducted into the Dawahare Hall of Fame for high school sports. Ritter coached the Hazard High School basketball team for 10 years in the 1950s and led his team to a state high school championship.

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A study shows that every day one fourth of American children under 12 ran short of food and millions more are at risk.

March 28, 2001

Letcher County had the third highest percentage population loss of any Kentucky county from 1990 to 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau figures show. Census figures show Jenkins lost 350 people over the 10-year period, the highest loss of any of the four cities in the county. Fleming-Neon gained 81 residents, Whitesburg lost 36, and Blackey did not have a city government in 1990, so its population loss or gain was unavailable. Most of the loss was in areas outside the cities.

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State Vehicle Enforcement officers are strictly enforcing the ban on large vehicles on U.S. 119 across Pine Mountain this week. But State Rep. Howard Cornett, who sought improved safety on the road and who lauded the announcement of the ban when it was made two weeks ago, now says the ban goes too far.

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Employees represented by the United Steel Workers of America have ratified a new three-year contract with Appalachian Regional Healthcare.



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