Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

May 10, 1962

The Whitesburg City Council has voted a $5 tax on every automobile owned and operated within Whitesburg by persons who either live or work within the city limits.

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Half of Letcher County had a box seat for a real drama last weekend as forest fires spread along the crest of Pine Mountain for several miles. The blaze burned about 300 acres before it was brought under control. Forest Ranger Joe Boggs directed efforts to put out the fire.

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The Letcher County Library Board has asked for an additional $1,000 a year from the county budget in order to operate a new bookmobile about four times larger than the one already in use

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Arthur Bryant and his son Earl of Smoot Creek caught a six-pound blue catfish at the mouth of Bull Creek.

May 11, 1972

Whitesburg city officials hope to persuade the L&N Railroad to removed the unused rail line from Main Street and to sell the city the wooden bridge across the railroad on Highway 15 near the three-way stop.

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W.A. ‘Tony’ Boyle, president of the United Mine Workers of America, has been called to appear before a grand jury in Pittsburgh, Penn., in connection with the slayings of UMW presidential candidate Joseph A. ‘Jock’ Yablonski and his wife and daughter at their home in 1969.

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Harding Ison, a teacher at Kingdom Come School in Letcher County for 23 years, told Mountain Eagle reporter Phil Primack that “when it comes to standardized tests, the kids from this school, the kids from this school do as good or better than the other children in the county.” This year he had 17 students covering all eight grades — down from 600 students for the first 10 years he taught before big-time coal mining faded from the area.

May 13, 1982

Beth-Elkhorn, Letcher County’s largest employer, cut back to a three-day work week this week amid widespread speculation that long-term layoffs are ahead for several hundred miners.

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The Whitesburg City Council says it is increasing security in the West Whitesburg area because of growing vandalism to public facilities there.

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Harlan County officials set up roadblocks in Letcher County at Flat Gap, Little Shepherd Trail and along Linefork after Harlan County Sheriff Paul Browning was wounded by a shot apparently fired from a high-power rifle as he was driving to work.

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Vandals who broke into West Whitesburg Elementary School did about $500 worth of damage.

May 13, 1992

Eight men and six firms were sentenced for filing false coal dust samples for eastern Kentucky mines. The men said they didn’t recognize the seriousness of their actions.

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Letcher Fiscal Court is considering recycling the county’s own trash but would also continue to use the county landfill.

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”American Bandstand”, featuring Dick Clark, is celebrating its 40th year as a television show.

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U.S. Rep. Chris Perkins is using the final days of his term to push legislation designed to turn the Kentucky mountains into a tourist Mecca. Letcher County would contain a large portion of a National Recreation Trail under a new bill proposed by Perkins. The trail would stretch along the top of Pine Mountain from Breaks Interstate Park to Cumberland Gap.

May 15, 2002

Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement officers are patrolling US 119 in groups after a state Highway Department truck was rear-ended in a work zone. While workers are present, drivers caught speeding will be slapped with a double fine.

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Another strong band of storms passed through Letcher County on Monday, knocking down trees and disrupting electrical service to several communities.

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The Bush administration has asked a judge to suspend a ruling ordering a halt to federal permits that allow streams to be buried under excess rock and dirt from mountaintop removal coal mines.

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A pre-trial conference will be held Sept. 11 for April Boggs, accused of complicity in the murder of Timothy Louis ‘Blister’ Cook and his four-year-old son T.J.



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