Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


 

 

March 15, 1962

The state highway department says it has almost completed plans for the new Kentucky 15 route between Hazard and Whitesburg, and hopes to let a contract for construction of a five-mile section later this year. The proposed new route would cut 13 ½ miles from the distance between Hazard and Whitesburg.

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Members of a citizens advisory committee who are exploring ways to obtain a new county jail took an inspection tour of the stone jail building across from the courthouse in Whitesburg. Jailer Ben A. Adams showed them cracks in the stone walls of the jail and prisoners told them the mattresses on the second floor were “buggy” and the blankets “nearly choke you with dirt”.

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The list of delinquent property taxes for 1961 is taking up only four pages in The Mountain Eagle.

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Some folks around Ulvah can move and some can’t as the flu epidemic continues to rage there, writes correspondent Lovell Caudill.

March 16, 1972

Two juveniles have been charged with arson in connection with a fire that destroyed the Blackey Elementary School on March 5.

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Inspections of coal waste piles in Letcher County showed none are “dangers to life” except one near Fishpond Lake, according to the state Division of Water.

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Nearly 200 parents gathered at Jenkins to discuss what many felt is harsh treatment of students and disregard of parents within the Jenkins Independent School District. The parents were protesting the high number of expulsions or suspensions of students attending classes at the new high school building.

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”Everyone will start a lettuce bed, onions, beets, mustard, and you know that will be up before you think about it, and there isn’t anything any better than a plate full of onions, mustard and lettuce with a little grease over it,” writes Daisy Halcomb from Sandlick. “So just think fast now what good things you can have to eat for a little work.”

March 18, 1982

A bill which would tax unmined coal at the same rate as other property appears headed for approval by the Kentucky House of Representatives. The House Appropriations and Revenue Committee approved the measure 11 to 1. The bill would allow local governments to tax unmined minerals at the same rate other property is taxed.

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Letcher County’s jobless rate jumped from around nine percent to a whopping 15 percent in January, according to state figures.

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An 18-year-old Letcher County man, Giles Major Short of Deane, became the fourth miner in three months to be killed in a Pike County mine. He was crushed by a large rock inside the Three M Development and Coal Company No. 301 mine on Bear Fork of Robinson Creek. He is the 14th miner killed in Kentucky so far this year He worked outside the mine but had gone inside to report an equipment malfunction to the mine foreman, who was a relative of Short.

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Members of Mother Theresa of Calcutta’s religious community said they will establish resident in the Covington diocese of the Catholic Church and will live and work in the Appalachian region of the diocese. Their special purpose will be to serve the mountain people.

March 18, 1992

The Kentucky State Board for Elementary and Secondary Education is to consider a charge of misconduct in office against Letcher County Board of Education member Coeburn Phillips. State Education Commissioner Thomas Boysen charges that Phillips had violated a state law which prohibits a member of a board of education from becoming directly or indirectly interested in the sale to the school system of anything for which school funds are spent. The hearing is to consider whether the charge against Phillips should be pursued or dropped.

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The Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets basketball team earned their fifth trip to the girls’ Sweet Sixteen Tournament.

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The United Mine Workers of America union’s health and welfare fund is $100 million in debt.

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Daryl Boggs, assistant superintendent for finance in the Letcher County school system, says summer school may have to be cut out this year because of lack of money. He said the school system would lose about $300,000 in state funds because of a drop in enrollment of about 120 students.

March 20, 2002

Arraignment will be held Wednesday for a Cowan couple charged in the murders of Timothy L. ‘Blister’ Cook and his four-year-old son, T.J. Jerome Boggs is indicted on two counts of capital murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, possession of a handgun by a convicted felon, trafficking in less than eight ounces of marijuana and being a persistent felony offender. April Boggs is indicted on two counts of complicity to capital murder, complicity to first-degree robbery, complicity to first-degree burglary, and complicity to trafficking in less than eight ounces of marijuana.

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Letcher County and at least 14 other eastern Kentucky counties are to remain under a flood watch through Wednesday. Two days of heavy rain in the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee triggered flood and mudslides Monday that destroyed dozens of homes and forced some to flee by boat as water lapped at the rooftops.

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The Kentucky House of Representatives has voted 94-1 to approve a bill creating a new 120-mile-long state park surrounding a trail along the crest of Pine Mountain.

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This week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle marks the newspaper’s 95th birthday. The Mountain Eagle was founded in March 1907 by Nehemiah M. Webb, who ran it off and on for about the next 32 years. W.P. Nolan bought the newspaper in 1938 at a court-ordered sale, and he and his wife, Martha, ran the paper until the end if 1956, when they sold it to the current owners, Tom and Pat Gish. The Gishes took over January 1, 1957. The first story: The 1957 flood, which laid waste to much of Letcher County.


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