Whitesburg KY
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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

January 18, 1962

The school lunch program in Letcher County has been expanded to nearly 800 children who were previously unable to get hot lunch at school. The food will come from government surplus commodities stocks and children will pay what they can for the lunches. The suggested price is 10 cents, but children without money will be served free.

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In an editorial, The Mountain Eagle criticizes the school lunch program for not going far enough. The program applies only to schools that already have a lunch program in place, and does not create any new programs. “The net result is that many children from needy families will receive a free lunch at school . . . but many, many others will be denied the free lunch and forced to go through the day hungry,” the editorial said.

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Liza Lucas Bates of Kona died at the age of 94, survived by 240 direct descendants, including four of her 12 children, as well as 52 grandchildren, 133 great-grandchildren and 51 great-great-grandchildren.

January 20 1972

The Calvary College heating plant at Letcher was destroyed by fire after the safety cut-off valve failed to shut off and a fire began in the boiler.

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A suit filed by attorney J.T. Begley on behalf of Katherine Haynes of Bull Creek seeks to challenge the legitimacy of the broad-form deed. The suit claims that the state Division of Reclamation “has no authority to issue mining permits where the right to mine coal is based ultimately on the broad-form deed unless consent . . . is first given by the surface owner.” Haynes claimed that she was not approached by anyone until a bulldozer appeared on her property.

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Mrs. O.G. Berry of Whitesburg won $200 from the First Security Bank for guessing the hour the temperature would fall to zero on the bank’s clock thermometer. Berry guessed 1:05 a.m. and the sign registered zero at 12:42 a.m.

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A photo of the American flag flying upside down over the Letcher County Courthouse ran with the caption, “Look! They’ve finally surrendered!”

January 21, 1982

A mine explosion in Floyd County has left three men dead with four still missing. Residents say the explosion, which occurred at the No. 1 mine of RFH Coal Company, shook the countryside and blew a mine ventilation fan across a hill. The mine is a family operation, with a father, two sons and other relatives working there.

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The Whitesburg City Council voted unanimously to hire Glenn Potter as the city’s new police chief. Potter replaces Nathan Baker, who resigned earlier this month to become 5th District Magistrate.

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The Whitesburg City Council has announced a city-wide crackdown on vehicles parked illegally inside city limits.

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Four men who escaped from the Letcher County Jail remain at large. The men escaped on Dec. 21 through a hole in the roof they sawed with a hacksaw blade smuggled to them in a quart of chocolate milk. The fifth escapee was arrested in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Ill.

January 22, 1992

Fifty families in Jackhorn are in danger of losing their water after Elk Horn Coal Co. has announced plans to shut down the water system after 35 years. Also, Whitesburg’s water department is reported to be $43,000 in debt.

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Larry Tackett of Mayking stumbled upon four strange animal bones while hunting. The bones have been determined by archaeologists to belong to either a mammoth or a mastodon.

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The Letcher County Board of Education has voted to haul its own coal. School funds will be used to purchase coal from Golden Oak Mining Co. and board employees will pick up and deliver coal to schools.

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State Assistant Attorney General Bruce Reynolds reported that more police officers have been added to the investigation of the Letcher County Fiscal Court.

January 23, 2002

More lumber was cut in Letcher County in 1999 than in any of the surrounding counties in Kentucky, figures from the Kentucky Division of Forestry show. The division recently released logging totals for 1999 that show a record amount of lumber was cut statewide that year.

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Jenkins city officials are considering a way to automatically increase water rates with inflation.

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Unemployment rose a tenth of a percent in Letcher County during November.

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The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets are heading to the state All A tourney after winning the 14th Region title.



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