Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

December 7, 1961 Whitesburg Memorial Hospital administrator John Blankenbeckler says the hospital is setting up a unit especially for the care of patients who have chronic or long-term illness. Dr. Clayton J. Bennett is assigned to the unit.

. Whitesburg High School did not receive its long-hoped-for accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools. But an inspection committee left hope that the school can qualify next year.

. Quiller Bentley, about 50, of Deane, died when he tripped over his shotgun as he arose after waiting for a rabbit to come out of a hollow log and the gun discharged.

December 9, 1971 The federal Small Business Administration plans to re-advertise for bids on Letcher Manufacturing Company because bids taken Monday are not high enough to cover the firm’s indebtedness to the SBA. The bids were expected to be in the $500,000 area, but only a $55,000 bid and $51,000 bid were received.

. Republican U.S. Senators John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky and Howard Baker of Tennessee have called for interim federal control of strip-mining while uniform state standards and procedures are being established.

. A year ago this week, Elmer E. Helton was killed in a mining accident at Colson.

. Democrat Wendell Ford was inaugurated as Kentucky’s 49th governor.

December 10, 1981 Fleming-Neon residents have been told they will have to go through two more winters before they can count on getting water any time they turn on the tap. City officials are having to limit residents’ water use to half of each day. Half the residents have water for 12 hours and the other half have water for the next 12 hours. Federal funds to finance a new water system are beginning to arrive, and design work for the new system is expected to be completed by March.

. A 33-year-old man accused in the murder of coal operator William Harvey Johnson at Payne Gap in 1975 said he killed Johnson because Johnson owed him $5,500 for bulldozer parts and refused to pay him. The confession of Larry ‘Jughead’ Taylor was read to Letcher Circuit Court by Kentucky State Police Detective Frank Fleming.

. Officials are seeking the cause of a blast which killed eight coal miners inside Akins Coal Co. No 18 mine in Knott County.

December 11, 1991 The Kentucky Department of Education has reversed its previous recommendation for one consolidated high school to serve all of the Letcher County School District and says it would approve two high schools. “Given the ‘size and oblong configuration’ of Letcher County, two high schools are, as a practical matter, more sensible than a single high school located at Whitesburg,” said one state official. The two proposed high schools would be located at Isom and in the Kona-Mayking area.

. The Blackey City Council has voted to suspend any purchases using grant funds from the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) because grants that have been promised so far have not been received.

. Congress has approved construction of a new Route 66 federal highway that will go through Letcher County. Federal spokesmen say they expect the new road to be built by 2010 or 2015.

. Former Gov. Bert T. Combs died when his car was swept away by the flooding Red River as he attempted to cross a bridge near his home in Powell County. Combs, who served as governor from 1959 to 1963, also had been a judge on the state and federal appeals courts.

December 12, 2001 Funeral services for former State Representative Rudolph ‘Doc’ Williams were held Dec. 11 He was active in the Letcher County Democrat Party for many years, served as chairman of the county Democrat Party executive committee, and was the state representative from Letcher County from 1970 to 1972.

. The City of Whitesburg Police Department is among the rst in the state to receive global positioning system (GPS) locators from the state Department of Transportation as part of a program to precisely locate traffic accidents.

. Registered nurses at Appalachian Regional Healthcare plan to go on strike Dec. 17 unless they reach an agreement with the hospital chain on a new contract.

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