Whitesburg KY
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The way we were




 

 

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

December 28, 1961

A new group of county officials is to take over the Letcher County courthouse this week. They include County Judge James M. Caudill, County Court Clerk Charlie Wright (reelected), County Atty. Stanley Hogg, Sheriff Lewis Hall, Tax Commissioner Sam Webb, County Commissioners Beckham Bates, John Skaggs and Herman Fields; Magistrates Charlie Shepherd, Hagan Osborne and Joseph Banks, Jailer Ben A. Adams, Coroner Virginia Craft (re-elected) and State Rep. W.R. Jordan.

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Longtime Jenkins civic leader Carl Fitzpatrick, 66, died after suffering a heart attack. He came to Letcher County in 1919 and was recreation supervisor for Consolidation Coal Co. He had charge of the company-owned theater, hotel and barbershop. When the coal company sold off its real estate, Fitzpatrick bought a hotel building from it and operated it as the Lakeside Hotel until he died two years ago.

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Kentucky Gov. Bert T. Combs and other state officials held ceremonies opening 68 miles of new interstate highways in Kentucky and an interstate bridge across the Ohio River from Louisville to New Albany, Ind.

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From Spain, Hawaii and other far-away places, Letcher Countians came home to spend Christmas with their families.

December 30, 1971

The Kentucky General Assembly is expected to consider Gov. Wendell Ford’s proposal to remove sales tax from food and to implement a coal severance tax. Ford said in an interview that combining the two proposals would limit the effectiveness of coal industry lobbying against the severance tax proposal.

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The Kentucky Division of Reclamation has issued a permit to strip mine 126 acres on Kingdom Come Creek to McCullough Consolidated Coal Co., an oil company operation managed by Don Nicewonder. The average of Letcher County strip mines in 1970 was just over 28 acres.

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Letcher Fiscal Court has voted to build a new bridge across the Kentucky River at Whitco.

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The Nixon administration estimates the cost of treating black lung victims at $540 million a year instead of the $40 million to $60 million originally predicted.

December 30, 1981

The State of Kentucky has halted plans by the Letcher Fiscal Court to help financed the proposed new Whitesburg High School. County Judge/Executive Robert Collins said the state Department for Local Government said it would not approve the county’s plan to pay more than $200,000 in coal mineral severance tax to help with construction costs of the proposed new school.

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Five men who escaped from the Letcher County Jail last week are still at large.

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Several skeletons discovered over Christmas weekend by two Harlan County brothers are thought to be those of ancient Indians and could be 1,800 to 2,000 years old, according to University of Kentucky archaeologists. The skeletons were found near Closplint.

January 1, 1992

State police detectives had been living in Letcher County five days a week during the past month as they continued their investigation into purchases made by the Letcher Fiscal Court and the Letcher County school system. A spokesman from the state attorney general’s office said the investigation would take “a very long time” to complete.

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A Haymond couple and their two children were forced to ee their home after a mudslide pushed the frame house off its foundation. The problem was caused by an abandoned Consolidation Coal Co. deep mine that began operations about 1910. Water inside the mine apparently was causing the slippage.

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State Rep. Paul Mason of Letcher pre-filed a bill that would require companies to get permission from surface owners before drilling for gas or oil on their property. The bill would also place the companies under the Kentucky Surface Mining Act.

January 2, 2002

A 14-month upsurge in the Letcher County coal market should continue in 2002, bringing with it better profits, more employment and higher wages, industry officials say.

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The State of Kentucky may deny Whitesburg’s application for renewing the operating permit for its sewage treatment plant next summer, instead giving the city a permit for only half the amount of sewage it is now allowed to process.

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A Fleming-Neon man is charged with the Dec. 16 burglary of Superior Drug Center, in which a thief entered the pharmacy through a hole for a heating duct seemingly too small for an adult to fit through. The man is 6 feet 1 inch tall and weighs 135 pounds.

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Members of the United Mine Workers of America have ratified a new five-year contract with the nation’s largest coal operators.


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