Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

February 1, 1962

State Sen. Archie Craft introduced a long-awaited bill for the creation of a system of two-year colleges in Kentucky. The community colleges will be under the direct control of the University of Kentucky.

. Construction of a rail line intended to permit opening of large seam of high-grade coal is underway near the Harlan County line. The Southern Coal Company of Knoxville, Tenn., expects the line to be completed within the year.

. The Little Cowan 4-H Club has been selected over 23 other clubs as the winner of the 4-H secretary-treasurer’s book contest. The club is using the $60 cash prize to fund its many activities.

. A trash can stolen in Neon was found being used as part of a still near Mill Creek. Sheriff ’s deputies destroyed the still, but no arrests were made.

February 3, 1972

The Nixon administration has gone on record opposing the expansion and liberalization of the federal black lung program, and President Nixon indicated that he would veto any such bill. Stephen Kurzman of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare stated to a Senate subcommittee that the administration has “very fundamental objections” to the proposals, particularly the cost.

. The new Jenkins High School has opened, although pranksters put a sign on the front of the school reading “Jenkins Independent State Prison”.

. It was reported that expenditures by the coal industry were either directly or indirectly responsible for the employment of 40,960 Kentucky citizens who earned $370 million in wages in 1970, and that Kentucky produced one-fifth of the nation’s coal.

. Linefork citizens have been assured that their children can attend classes in a new school building in 1973. The Letcher County Board of Education has finally received a satisfactory bid for construction of the new building.

February 4, 1982

The only bridge leading into Millstone has been closed by state highway officials and coal operators, leaving more than 150 families stranded. The bridge was closed after inspectors noticed that two support beams had broken apart. One family had to carry their elderly father over the bridge when he had a stroke and an ambulance was unable to reach their house.

. A judge has ordered Scotia Coal Co., a subsidiary of Blue Diamond Coal of Knoxville, Tenn., to pay a fine of $200,000 in a civil case over a 1976 mine disaster. Twenty-six people were killed when two separate explosions rocked the mine. The company was cited for more than 70 violations.

. The new Jenkins City Council voted unanimously to raise water and sewer rates and to take steps toward implementing a 3 percent utility tax. The increased are aimed at generating revenue for the cash-strapped town.

A plan to take control of Southeast Community College from the University of Kentucky and turn it over to Eastern Kentucky University has met stiff opposition in Cumberland.

February 5, 1992

Fifty to 100 barrels of crude oil spilled into Linefork Creek when a pipeline burst at Tolby Branch. The pipeline belongs to Equitable Resources Exploration, a Pennsylvania-based oil and gas drilling company.

. The supply of coal to the Low-Income Heating Assistance Program of the LKLP Community Action Council, the Letcher County Fiscal Court and the Letcher County Board of Education is under investigation by the Kentucky State Police and the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office.

. New health studies link cigarettes, cocaine and cholesterol with strokes.

. Funeral services were held this week for Morgan Sexton, 81, a Linefork coal miner and musician whose unspoiled style of mountain banjo playing took him from the obscurity of the Appalachian coal mines to a National Heritage Award.

February 6, 2002

Letcher County native Dr. Shelba J. Profitt has received the Centre College Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Profitt has helped develop the nation’s strategic missile defense program for more than 30 years.

. Spot improvements on U.S. 119 across Pine Mountain should begin this spring, but restrictions on vehicle lengths on the road probably won’t be lifted even when the state completes the $14.1 million worth of improvements.

. Franklin Wayne Jenkins II, 32, of Wise, Va., died January 31 from injuries he suffered in an underground mining accident at Lone Mountain Processing Inc.’s Huff Creek 1 mine in Harlan County.

. One hundred and twelve candidates have filed to run for office in Letcher County in the May primary election.

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