Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


 

 

June 7, 1962

Noise of a low-flying airplane attracted the attention of many Whitesburg area residents as the plane flew over Whitesburg looking for a place to land. The craft finally settled in a field off Whitco Road owned by William Lucas. After refueling, the pilot decided to take off again, but something didn’t go quite right and in a few second the plane had crashed into a tangle of trees and bushes beside the Kentucky River. The pilot? A Federal Aviation Authority inspector.

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Representatives of the University of Kentucky say they will be in Letcher County later this month to inspect the Stuart Robinson School campus at Letcher, which the Presbyterian Church has offered as a campus for a UK community college.

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Plans for the Cloud City tourist development on top of Pine Mountain gained major ground this week when the Letcher Fiscal Court voted to establish planning and zoning for the area.

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Levi Slone, 92, and Dovie Bailey, 73, both of Blackey, were married by Magistrate Joseph Banks. It was his fifth marriage and her fourth.

June 8, 1972

The per capita income of Letcher County residents was $1,496, according to the 1970 census. Twenty-nine percent of local workers held white collar jobs and 16 percent were government workers. There were 23,560 residents in Letcher County and one percent of them were foreign.

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Plans to haul away more than 400 junk cars from Letcher County have been jeopardized by a lack of necessary equipment.

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The A&P Tea Company says it will build an addition onto the Whitesburg Store and will become a discount grocery.

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Five water impoundments in Letcher County were cited as possibly hazardous by the U.S. Bureau of Mines. They include Beth-Elkhorn Coal Co. impoundments at Deane and Dunham, which are among the dams the Bureau lists as potentially most hazard.

June 10, 1982

Both Letcher County banks — First Security and the Bank of Whitesburg — are members of a new banking organization which says it will unveil plans next week for a “major initiative to promote more affordable home mortgage loans.” The plan involves almost all banks in a 46-county area of eastern Kentucky.

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Callie Blair reports from Blair Branch that the weeds are keeping everybody busy.

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A new system of gauges to upgrade flood warning is being installed in 32 additional counties in eastern Kentucky.

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A new scheme for sending coal in plastic bags through a pipeline is being promoted by W.R. Grace & Co. as a way to ship clean, dry coal, and extremely low-sulfur coal across the country or to the Pacific Coast for shipment overseas. The system would bag three to four tons of coal in thick plastic bags 15 feet long by 30 inches in diameter.

June 10, 1992

Harry LaViers Jr., searching for a way to keep South East Coal Co. in business, is questioning a number of circumstances surrounding the journey of an eight-year contract dispute with Kentucky Utilities through the Kentucky court system. Attorneys for South East are expected to ask the Kentucky Supreme Court to reconsider its decision upholding Kentucky Utilities’ refusal to pay South East an estimated $100 million which the utility had been withholding from the coal company after a lawsuit was filed in 1994. LaViers says he fears that latest decision means that things “have come to the end of the rope” for South East.

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More than 400 South East Coal Co. miners could lose their jobs because of a dispute between the coal company and Kentucky Utilities Co. over the price the electric utility should pay for coal it bought from South East under a contract.

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The Kentucky Supreme Court has ruled that a state law prohibiting school system employees from taking part in the “political activities” of school board elections violates the Kentucky Constitution.

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Letcher County has the highest unemployment rate — 11.6 percent — of any county in the Kentucky River Area Development District.

June 12, 2002

Coastal Coal Co. LLC, a subsidiary of El Paso Energy, has shut down one mine and laid off 123 workers from operations in Letcher County. The company’s Black Thunder Mine No. 3 at Defeated Creek and half of its Red Star Mine west of Blackey have been idled.

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Retired miner Lucious Thompson, of McRoberts, testifi ed before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on the dangers of mountaintop removal mining.

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Leslie Brooke Caudill, a junior who competes in crosscountry at Pikeville College, has been named to the Mid- South Conference Academic All-Conference Team. She is the daughter of Barry and Eleanor Caudill of Mayking.

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Nearly a third of the homes in Letcher County are mobile homes according to the 2000 Census.


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