Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
December 14, 1961
The Whitesburg City Council voted to de-annex the territory from Tunnel Hill to Pine Mountain Junction, which was taken into the city two years ago after a bitter fight. Councilman Jack Cox cast the only “no” vote. Councilman Lee Moore said the city was spending about $1,000 a year to run a patrol car and garbage truck in the area and was receiving about $2,200 in taxes from the area.
. Rescue workers are searching for the body of Kenny Adams of Van, who is presumed dead in the debris of a roof fall at a Knott County coal mine. The bodies of three other miners, all from Knott County, were recovered earlier. Men returning to Whitesburg from the mine said the mine roof was “working alive” and conditions are dangerous for rescue crews. Rescue workers said the positions of the three bodies that were recovered indicate the men were fleeing the mine when they were caught by the roof fall.
. Telephone numbers in Whitesburg and Neon will get a new look on Sunday. The new seven-number calling system will eventually make it possible for Letcher County residents to use the nationwide direct-dialing system.
December 16, 1971
The Kentucky Department of Health is threatening to close Hemphill Elementary School and the Fleming-Neon elementary and high schools unless the Letcher County Board of Education does something about sewage disposal at those schools. Septic tanks at the schools do not have sufficient drainfields, the department says, and raw sewage from them is getting into Boone Fork of the Kentucky River.
. Dinah Taylor and her 12 children and her mother, all of McRoberts, are having to live with other family members as the result of a fire which destroyed their home. Most of the children’s clothing and the family’s furniture was destroyed. Local agencies are trying to help the family recover from the disaster.
. U.S. Senators John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky and Howard Baker of Tennessee have called for a moratorium on strip-mining of coal to allow the establishment of a reclamation program.
December 17, 1981
A Letcher Circuit Court jury convicted Larry ‘Jughead’ Taylor for his part in the 1975 slaying of William Harvey Johnson at his home near Jenkins. The jury recommended life imprisonment for Taylor. Police say they will seek indictments against three other men in connection with the murder.
. The Tri-City Chamber of Commerce, which represents the cities of Cumberland, Benham and Lynch, is urging residents of Harlan and Letcher counties to protest an announcement by the federal Appalachian Regional Commission that U.S. 119 between Whitesburg and Cumberland probably will never be rebuilt.
December 18, 1991
Three Whitesburg High School students were injured in a collision at College Drive and the Whitesburg Bypass, and school officials are calling for a new traffic light there.
. A redistricting bill approved by the Kentucky House of Representatives will still leave Letcher County split between two House districts.
. The Letcher County Board of Education has approved a budget of $20.6 million to operative the county school system this year and say even that might be tight.
. Fewer Kentuckians are getting married and staying married, according to the 1990 federal census.
December 19, 2001
A committee appointed to guide the creation of a new high school in Letcher County expects to recommend a name, mascot and colors to the board of education by late February.
. The City of Whitesburg and the City of Fleming-Neon will each get more than $500,000 for new sewer lines from the federal PRIDE program.
. A burglar crawled through a tiny hole in the wall above the ceiling in Superior Drug Center, then fell through the suspended ceiling as he tried to escape with a bag full of pills.
. Appalachian Regional Healthcare avoided a strike when registered nurses narrowly approved a new labor contract. Nurses had voted to strike beginning at 12:01 a.m. on December 17 unless an agreement was reached.