Whitesburg KY
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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

May 31, 1962

The Letcher County Public Library has received nearly 1,000 new books in its campaign for more reading materials for the library. This week the local A&P Food Store donated a 25-volume set of Funk & Wagnall’s Encyclopedia and Mrs. Barry Bingham of Louisville, editor of The Courier-Journal book page, presented 228 books for readers from first grade to junior high school.

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The Whitesburg City Council is advertising a public hearing to reclassify part of what is known as the Caudill Farm in West Whitesburg from business to residential property so it can be used as a site for a proposed public housing project. The property is owned by Burley Hale.

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The new Jenkins Clinic Hospital is schedule to open June 3. The hospital is “Kentucky’s first total electric hospital,” a Kentucky Power Co. ad states, adding that the electricity is “coal by wire.”

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A four-room addition to Eolia School has been completed at a cost of $58,000. The addition permits two classrooms which had been divided to be restored to their original size and adds two new classrooms.

June 1, 1972

A $1.1 million plan for a water treatment plant at Fishpond Lake near Jenkins as part of a district water plan has been approved by the Kentucky River Area Development District.

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A low-keyed West Virginian who has been a leader in the Black Lung movement is heading a slate of reform union miners challenging the entrenched but beleaguered hierarchy of the United Mine Workers of America. Arnold Miller, a black-lung disabled mine electrician from Ohley, W.Va., was elected by nearly 500 reform miners at their UMW Miners for Democracy convention held in Wheeling, W.Va.

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Mr. and Mrs. Melvin Killen of Pound, Va., celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary. They were married at Jenkins on May 28, 1901.

June 3, 1982

For the first time ever, three Whitesburg High School students have tied for the title of valedictorian of the senior class. They are Karen Halcomb, Kim Arthur and Kitty Gish. Each has a 4.0 (All A’s) grade point average for her four years at WHS.

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Heavy rainfall caused $250,000 in damage to Letcher County roads and bridges. State and federal officials are coming to assess the situation and see whether the county qualifies for assistance. About 50 miles of county roads were damaged by mudslides and clogged culverts from the storm.

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More than 100 Virginia employees of Clinchfield and Jewell Ridge coal companies have been laid off their jobs indefinitely.

June 3, 1992

Postal worker Edison Banks has retired after 30 years at the Whitesburg post office.

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There is a bumper crop of valedictorians in Letcher County eighth-grade classes this year: seven at Cowan, four at Martha Jane Potter, three each at Fleming-Neon and Whitesburg, two at Letcher, and one each at Beckham Bates, Campbell’s Branch, Arlie Boggs and Kingdom Come.

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Job creation is the number one concern of residents of the Kentucky River Area Development District. Eighty percent of the persons surveyed say job creation is the top priority.

June 5, 2002

Election Day is more than a week past, but the races for the Democrat nominations for the 94th District House of Representatives and for U.S. Senate are still going on. Representative candidate Harlan ‘Tootie’ Seals and Senate candidate Tom Barlow have both requested recanvasses of the election machines in attempts to win enough votes to put their names on the fall ballot. Seals is trailing Herman Lester of Pikeville by 35 votes. Barlow is trailing Lois Combs Weinberg by less than two-tenths of one percent in the statewide race for U.S. Senate.

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Letcher Countians are less likely than their neighbors in Knott, Perry and Harlan counties to be divorced, more like to have a high school education and more likely to speak a foreign language at home. They are also more likely to be disabled, less likely to have at least a bachelor’s degree, less like to work in management or be a professional, and more likely to be poor. The snapshot of Letcher County comes from the latest figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Cassel Caudill’s children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren gathered to celebrate his 101st birthday on May 27, according to Cowan correspondent Elsie Banks.



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