Whitesburg KY
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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

April 20, 1961

Water flowing through the dam gateway at Buckhorn in Perry County is swift and whitecapped as recent spring rains send torrents into the new lake.

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The U.S. Postal Service says it has approved a site for a new post office building to be constructed at Neon.

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Whitesburg High School seniors, on their annual trip to Washington, D.C., arrived at the Russian embassy just after news reached it that Yuri Gargarin, the cosmonaut, had returned from outer space. The students considered that the highlight of their trip.

April 22, 1971

The Kentucky Department of Highways announced that it has abandoned plans to construct a tunnel through Pine Mountain for U.S. Hwy. 119 between Whitesburg and Cumberland. Officials say core drilling revealed a new surface fault which would increase estimated construction costs from $40 million to $50 million. The engineers also estimate it would cost $250,000 a year to maintain the tunnel once it was completed.

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The Whitesburg City Council has decided to put a chain across the entrance to the city dump on Pine Mountain after a sharply critical report by the April Letcher County Grand Jury said the city should be given only 30 days to clean up the mess.

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The Whitesburg City Council has decided to take another look at the possibility of annexing territory at both ends of town. The extension of city limits would take in areas around Pine Mountain Junction, Solomon Road, Long Branch and land along the new cut on Hwy. 15, but not including Whitco.

April 23, 1981

Little strike activity has been reported in Letcher County this week as the national coal strike entered its 26th day. State troopers say there are a few roving vehicles of strikers.

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Seven county officials, one former county official and two residents are to appear in Letcher Circuit Court this week to face charges stemming from a year-long investigation into the county’s financial affairs.

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A 22-year-old McRoberts man was seriously injured when he was shot in the face by a Letcher County sheriff ’s deputy.

April 24, 1991

Changes in mail delivery procedures in parts of Letcher County are being made in anticipation of the new 911 emergency telephone system which will go into effect in a five-county area which includes Letcher County. Under the new emergency system, post office addresses will be used to help emergency crews and police reach the scenes of accidents and other emergencies more quickly.

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A ruling by the National Labor Relations Board has cleared the way for the United Mine Workers of America to begin negotiating a labor contract with South East Co. The NLRB ruled the UMW members did not engage in conduct that altered the outcome of the UMW’s 391-vote win in a 1990 certification election at South East. Union officials say they will begin preparing immediately for bargaining talks with South East.

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A Floyd County coach says members of the Fleming- Neon High School baseball team threw bottles at a bus occupied by the Allen Central High School baseball team. He says two players were cut by flying glass when the bottles were thrown as the bus crossed Rockhouse Mountain on the way back to Floyd County. The incident occurred after the Floyd County team defeated Fleming-Neon 10-1.

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Chuck Johnson of Jenkins has been chosen as a regular performer at the Renfro Valley Barn Dance near Berea. Johnson, who grew up singing gospel music with his father, the Rev. Ezra Johnson, will sing both country and gospel music at the barn dance this summer.

April 25, 2001

Letcher County had Kentucky’s seventh highest unemployment rate — 10.6 percent — for the year 2000, according to state government figures.

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The Letcher County Board of Education and a screening committee appointed last month will choose the district’s next superintendent from among 21 applicants for the job, board chairman Will Smith said.

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An Ohio woman returning home from a funeral in Letcher County was killed in an automobile accident on the Mountain Parkway. Jeannie Lynn Fields, 47, of Middletown, Ohio, was in Letcher County to attend the funeral of her brother-in-law, Alex Fields, and was returning home with her daughter and grandchildren when the accident occurred.



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