Whitesburg KY
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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years September 14, 1961 Construction began this week on the Letcher County section of a skyline drive along the crest of Pine Mountain. The road in Letcher will run from Route 119 at the top of Pine Mountain to Kentucky 160 on the Harlan County line. Officials hope to have the gravel road passable by the last of October. Lt. Gov. Wilson W. Wyatt, who brought the road project to completion, says he hopes it will eventually be blacktopped.

. A sizable number of Letcher County students still are unable to attend school because they have no shoes or clothes to wear. Sanford Adams, Letcher County superintendent of schools, says the situation has been worse this year than before. The greatest need is for pupils from six to 12. Boys’ clothing is especially short. More than 100 children have already received donated clothing.

. The Jenkins Board of Education plans to construct two new classrooms for Jenkins High School.

September 16, 1971 More than 2,500 Letcher County youngsters face the prospect of going without lunch at school if the U.S. Department of Agriculture carries out plans to reduce aid available to local schools under the school lunch program. That numbers represents 65 percent of the students who eat in the school lunch program of the Letcher County school system. U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins of Hindman said he plans to hold hearings on what he termed the “disastrous effect” of the proposed cutback.

. Two Letcher County residents are schedule to appear before congressional committees in Washington, D.C. this week. They are Katherine Haynes, an elderly Blackey widow who has been taken to court by coal companies seeking to strip-mine her land under a broad-form deed, and Joe Begley, also of Blackey, a leader of the Citizen’s League to Protect Surface Rights.

. Trial of the federal government’s effort to overturn the 1969 election of the United Mine Workers of America has mired down in legal squabbling. The U.S. Department of Labor claims that widespread voting irregularities and fraud were used by UMWA President W.A. ‘Tony’ Boyle and his allies during the campaign against the late Joseph Yablonski, who ran as a reform candidate. Yablonski was murdered three weeks after the election, which he lost by two to one. The government is charging that the UMWA had violated “virtually every one” of the federal labor election laws.

September 17, 1981 Kirby Ison Jr. of Whitesburg, a safety engineer with the state highway department’s Pikeville office, says he fears there will be a massive problem at the turn-off to Whitesburg High School on the new Hwy. 15 bypass. He says he also anticipates problems at the intersection of the Main Street entrance/exit to the bypass and School Hill.

. John Swisher and Bobby Pennington have been named to replace two Whitesburg city councilmen, Herb Smith and Roy Sturgill, who resigned. Both are members of an unopposed slate running for the city’s six council seats in November.

. U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins announced that the U.S. Economic Development Administration has approved a grant of $500,000 for a new water system for the City of Fleming-Neon.

September 18, 1991 Cumberland River Coal Company announced that its Scotia mining company will close by mid-February, affecting nearly 400 workers. The layoffs will affect 293 union members and nearly a 100 salaried workers.

. Twenty-one persons are to be honored at the Letcher County Hall of Fame banquet this week.

. If Kentucky women voted as a block, they could easily control all state elections and most county elections as well, writes Dr. Thomas R. Ford, a University of Kentucky sociologist. He says the same thing holds true for Letcher County. In 1940 there were 106 males for every 100 females in Letcher County. By 1960 females outnumbered males, and by 1990 there were 94 males for every 100 females.

September 19, 2001 A large American flag is atop a water tower on Tunnel Hill near the Whitesburg hospital. The flag was placed on the tower by three hospital employees — Mike Wilcox, David Greggory and Tim Finn — after terrorists hijacked and crashed four planes, resulting in the deaths of thousands of people in New York City, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Penn. More than 5,400 persons, mostly in New York, were listed as dead or missing early yesterday as a result of the attacks.

. State Sen. Ray Jones is asking Gov. Paul Patton to impose a moratorium on new permits for drilling, mining and excavating along Pine Mountain. Jones sent a letter to the governor Sept. 12 asking for the action. The letter is in part an attempt to stop drilling inside the Breaks Interstate Park, but Jones also included the entire mountain range in his request.

. The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary, will host a hawkwatching tour to High Rock in the Bad Branch State Nature Preserve on Saturday.

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