Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
May 18, 1961 Lt. Gov. Wilson W. Wyatt said a start on a skyline drive to cross Pine Mountain in Letcher County probably would begin this summer. Wyatt made the announcement in a speech at commencement exercises for Letcher High School seniors.
. The front of the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg is practically hidden by political signs as primary election day draws near.
. Identical triplet daughters were born to Alice Faye Tillie Bias and her husband Leroy Bias. They are the first triplets to have been delivered in the Jenkins Hospital.
. Porterhouse or T-bone steak is selling for 99 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P Food Store.
May 20, 1971 Representatives of the Millstone Sewing Center and the LKLP Community Action Council are to visit the Atlanta offices of the federal Office for Economic Opportunity to seek money to continue the operation of the sewing center and to expand the sewing center to three other counties served by LKLP.
. Gov. Louie B. Nunn is to deliver the commencement address at Calvary College at Letcher.
. A break is a silt dam at a Bethlehem Steel strip mine near Jenkins flooded several homes in Smokey Row, damaging floors and furnishings.
May 21, 1981 A record 135 candidates are appealing for the support of voters in the county primary election, set for May 27. Hotly contested races for county judge/executive and sheriff are drawing the most attention, but races for county attorney, circuit court clerk and county court clerk also are expected to be tight.
. Teresa Nichols is the valedictorian and Victoria Johnson the salutatorian of the graduating class at Whitesburg High School.
. The State School Building Authority has approved request from the Letcher County Board of Education for funds for a new building to house Whitesburg High School, but the money is not enough to build the type of plant the board wants. The state awarded $1.8 million, which brought the money available to the board to $4 million. Supt. Jack Burkich said the board hoped to build a $5 million plant and added that it would take $7 million to build a building the board could be “proud of.”
. For the first time in many years, employees at Benham Coal Co. in Harlan County are on strike. They are represented by the Progress Mineworkers of America.
May 22, 1991 The primary election is just a week away, but Letcher County residents don’t seem to be much interested in it. Fewer than 50 absentee ballots have been picked up at the county clerk’s office — about 100 less than usual.
. Cable television and college are among the reasons Appalachian dialect is becoming more mainstream, according to a University of Charleston (W.Va.) instructor. “Once you go to college, you lose your regional accent,” he said, noting that the phenomenon isn’t in Appalachia only.
. Blue Diamond Coal Co. has filed for protection from creditors under Chapter 11 of the federal bankruptcy laws.
. Figures from the 1990 census show that the number of children in Letcher County has declined dramatically since 1980 — from 10,451 to 7,775, or 26 percent.
May 23, 2001 The superintendent search committee for Letcher County Schools has recommended five candidates for superintendent to the Letcher County Board of Education.
. News that the state of Virginia will allow hunters this fall to kill young elk which have migrated there from Kentucky has left Letcher County sportsmen angry and surprised.
. Mud was up to the rims on Robert Banks’s four-wheeler and coated the bottom edges of furniture stored in his garage after sediment washed down from a Premier- Elkhorn strip mine pond during a heavy rain on May 16.
. Postage rates are scheduled to rise again July 1. Rates for a one-ounce first-class letter will remain at 34 cents, but the charge for an additional ounce will now rise to 23 cents from 21 cents.