Whitesburg KY
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The way we were




Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

September 26, 1957

Whitesburg Memorial Hospital is now accredited by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals. The commission notified the hospital of its action and at the same time praised the hospital, its staff and its administration for the quality of care given to patients.

A large group of interested citizens is scheduled to meet tonight at the courthouse in Whitesburg to discuss Letcher County’s school problems. Discussion is expected to center on the county school system’s need for additional qualified teachers, as well as the need for new school buildings in many localities throughout the county.

The most exciting news around Ulvah this week is so many rattlesnakes and copperheads being killed. For one, Jim Caudill killed a rattlesnake that had seven rattlers. Two copperheads were killed near Ira Dixon’s house, one killed by Orpha Dixon, the other by Dock Mitchell.

The biggest rattlesnake was killed on lower Bull Creek by Fred Caudill measuring 66 inches long with 14 rattles.

September 28, 1967

About 125 businessmen and civic leaders from throughout Kentucky stopped briefly in Whitesburg this week as part of the annual Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Governor’s Tour. Gov. Edward T. Breathitt, leader of the group, spoke at the courthouse, where local businessmen had assembled to greet tour members.

Whitesburg’s Yellowjackets are leading their eastern Kentucky football district this week as the result of their 5-1 record. The team was ranked 39th in the state.

Ralph Dudley Webb, a senior student at the University of Kentucky College of Law, has been elected president of the Kentucky Political Union. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Woodford Webb of Premium.

September 29, 1977 This issue of The Mountain Eagle could not be found.

September 30, 1987

Westmoreland Coal Co. apparently plans to try to mine its new Kentucky coal reserves “union-free.” Westmoreland recently bought about $20 million worth of coal reserves in Letcher and Pike counties from BethEnergy Corp., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel.

The properties were purchased by a Westmoreland subsidiary, Criterion Coal Company. Bill Connor, the head of Criterion, told the Coalfield Progress of Norton, Va., that he would definitely like to operate non-union.

The state has approved the license for a 94-bed nursing home to locate in Whitesburg. The Commission for Health Economics Control of Kentucky voted unanimously Sept. 16 to approve the license for the new facility.

Twenty companies controlled more than half the coal production in Kentucky during 1986, the Kentucky Fair Tax Coalition reported this week. Twelve of the 20 are in eastern Kentucky.

Total coal production in the state was 165,603,339 tons, down 2.4 percent from 1985. At the same time, coal employment dropped significantly, by 13.9 percent, or 6,600 jobs.

October 1, 1997

A Letcher County man told police he killed his sister-in-law to keep her from “nagging” him and “taking my socks.” Frank Fields was arrested by sheriff’s deputies and charged with murder about eight hours after he disappeared into the woods after allegedly killing Cotha Lee Fields by hitting her in the head with a metal pipe.

The Fleming-Neon Pirates rallied from a 32-14 deficit at South Floyd last Friday to edge the Raiders 41-38 on senior kicker Brandon Hall’s 27-yard field goal with two seconds left on the clock.

In a public forum on welfare reform held last week at Prestonsburg Community College, participants said the primary issue for welfare reform efforts in eastern Kentucky is not that people don’t want to work but that they have great difficulty in getting education and employment opportunities in the region.


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