Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
November 9, 1961 Democrats won all but three county offices in the Nov. 7 election, but victory margins were smaller than they had been in many years. Former County Judge James M. Caudill was elected over Republican Bill Adams and County Clerk Charlie Wright won re-election over Republican candidate June Breeding. Wright polled the largest number of votes of any candidate — 5,154. In city elections, Ferdinand Moore was elected mayor of Whitesburg, Nicey Hazen of Neon, and Don Hill of Jenkins.
. The fate of the county health tax is still in doubt because the election return sheets had not provided space for recording the vote on the tax. Members of the county election commission plan to open the voting machines this week and record the health tax vote. The returns that were recorded show a 2-to1 vote in favor of the tax.
. Whitesburg city officials are asking families who are interested in living in the city’s new low-rent housing units in West Whitesburg to stop by city hall and indicate their interest. The units are expected to rent for an average of $48 a month. To qualify, families have to have an income of $4,000 or less a year.
November 11, 1971 Fifteen Letcher County residents are plaintiffs in a lawsuit against 30 strip-mining companies, the Kentucky Department of Reclamation and officials of the state agency. The plaintiffs, all from the lower end of Letcher County, filed the suit on behalf of themselves, the Citizens’ League to Protect Surface Rights, and any other citizen in a similar situation.
. Uncle Tommy Dixon of Blackey celebrated his 91st birthday.
. ”We would appreciate a few shovels or wheelbarrows of dirt, gravel or anything to fill some of the holes in the road between Linefork and Gordon,” writes Thelma N. Cornett, The Eagle’s Linefork correspondent. “With all the heavy loads of coal being hauled and no repairs at all being made, the road will be impassible before spring again. With no horses or mules to ride as in days of yore, people will have a hard time getting to town to pay their taxes before the first of the year.”
November 12, 1981 Aunt Maggie Brown of Blackey celebrated her 90th birthday while she was a patient at the hospital. She requested pickled beans for her birthday dinner.
. State police foiled an extortion attempt in which a 21-year-old Letcher County man called the home of D.B. ‘Doc’ Franklin of Sergent and threatened to beat him and burn his home and store if he did not agree to pay the man $5,000.
. Fire destroyed the home of Bell Jent at Bull Creek. Members of the Rose of Sharon Church gave their Saturday and Sunday offerings to help her and a family which had no money to buy medicine for sick children.
November 13, 1991 Democrats swept the general election in Letcher County. Letcher County District Judge Larry Collins stunned observers by defeating incumbent Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg, who had held the office for 19 years.
. Citizens at Kingscreek are about ready to open a new rehouse for the volunteer fire department. The building also will house a gymnasium/community center and a senior citizens center.
. Hundreds of Letcher County families were without electricity after sleet and freezing rain downed power lines in several communities. The storm followed record low temperatures in the first few days of November. Residents of Jenkins, Thornton, Neon, McRoberts and Payne Gap were without electricity on Sunday night, and Pine Creek lost power for the second time Monday afternoon.
November 14, 2001 The Appalachian Regional Commission has approved a Kentucky Department of Transportation plan to tunnel through Pine Mountain and build a new section of US 119.
. A Whitesburg man was killed Monday in a chain-reaction accident apparently caused in part by poor visibility caused by fog and smoke from forest fires. Samuel Johnson, 24, died after his pickup was sandwiched between a coal truck and another truck at 6 a.m. Monday.
. The bodies of the last nine miners killed in the Sept. 23 explosion at Blue Creek No. 5 at Brookwood, Ala., have been recovered from the mine. The explosion killed 13 miners.
. Mr. and Mrs. Sherd Martin celebrated their 73rd wedding anniversary with an open house.