Whitesburg KY
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The way we were




 

 

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

April 12, 1962

A new bowling alley will be built in Whitesburg on the parking lot of the Whitesburg Farm Service Store operated by David M. Fields and his father Harrison Fields and their families. The bowling alley, which will have automatic pinsetters, is expected to open by early fall. It will have a restaurant and snack bar and a meeting room which can seat 150 persons.

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Parents and students at the Letcher Consolidated School plan to set out 238 trees and shrubs on the school grounds.

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The 1960 federal census of housing shows 8,260 housing units in Letcher County. Only 7,293 are occupied.

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Noted author John Mason Brown, speaking at an awards ceremony at the Jenkins Public Library, called libraries “saltlicks for humans.”

April 13, 1972

McCulloch Consolidated Coal Co. has closed down its two Letcher County operations, which had employed 236 men. The company, owned by a Los Angeles oil company, was one of the largest surface-mining operations in eastern Kentucky. It was formed last year when the oil company bought out three mines owned by Don Nicewonder of Clintwood, Va. McCullough operations have come under sharp criticism from local residents for alleged damages caused by strip mining. Company officials said the shutdown is the result of declining coal prices and the imposition of a severance tax by the state. McCullough and Tackett & Manning Coal Co. were operating the largest strip mines in Letcher County. McCullough was the first firm to mine the Kingdom Come watershed.

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A survey team from the Kentucky Department of Education has completed its survey of school needs in the lower end of Letcher County. The team started its study after a fire destroyed the Blackey Elementary School. It says it probably will have recommendations in a month.

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Heavy rains caused landslides and flooding throughout eastern Kentucky. The main street of Neon was under three to four feet of water and the North Fork of the Kentucky River rose to highway and basement level in many sections of the county.

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A survey of black lung cases by the Appalachian Regional Commission produced “alarming results” and the ARC says it is prepared “to act on congressional mandate to do something about” the black lung problem.

April 15, 1982

The Letcher County Board of Education still cannot agree on a site for the new $5.5 million Whitesburg High School. The two sites under discussion are land at Ice and the present site of the school in Whitesburg. The property at Ice has apparently replaced the former Green & Webb Lumber Co. site at Ermine. The present campus is still the leading contender.

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Pike County has abandoned its plans to build a coal gasification plant.

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Dogwoods and redbuds are showing their colors.

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Grade A large eggs are 39 cents a dozen at the Whitesburg A&P.

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Actress Jane Fonda is starring in a film based on Harriette Arnow’s novel “The Dollmaker”, about a mountain family that moved north.

April 15, 1992

Tampa Electric Company, which owns thousands of acres of land around the city of Jenkins, is considering a huge mountaintop removal coal mining operation which the firm says will leave 160 acres of level land in the middle of the city.

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Letcher County Democrats have picked Hubert Hall of Whitesburg as their chairman for the next four years.

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Letcher County Republicans have chosen Dr. David Narramore of Whitesburg as their chairman.

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The proposed Red Fox Resort in Knott County will not get $14 million in state funds budgeted by for it last fall by former Gov. Wallace Wilkinson. Gov. Brereton Jones, who succeeded Wilkinson, omitted the money from the state budget because of declining revenues, and the state legislature did not restore the funds in the legislative session just ended.

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Unemployment in Letcher County reached 15.3 percent in February, according to state figures.

April 17, 2002

Letcher County will get $450,000 from the federal government to build a sewer system in the Blackey-Isom area. The money, from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, will be paired with more than $600,000 that the Letcher County Water and Sewer District has already been granted to build at least one “bio-filter” sewer system for homes in the area which is slated to be served by water lines this summer.

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Funeral services for Whitesburg businessman Gene Anderson, 78, were to be held today. He was the owner and operator of Eagle Printing Company, a job-printing and office supply company in Whitesburg.

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Volunteers from Cumberland River Fire Department spent much of Sunday night searching for a father and two children missing on Pine Mountain. The three were found safe about 7 a.m. Monday, about five hours after rescuers began combing the woods around Little Shepherd Trail. The family had reported the three missing when they failed to return from hunting mushrooms. A teenage girl in the group sprained her ankle Sunday night and the family decided to sleep in the woods rather than make her walk farther on the injured foot.


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