Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


 

 

June 21, 1962

Two separate fires caused property losses estimated at nearly $100,000 within 24 hours this week. A vacant building at Haymond once occupied by Letcher General Wholesale Co. but not now in use burned to the ground, and the blaze caused damage to an adjoining grocery store and to a service station and homes across the road. The sausage department at Warden Packing at Blackey was destroyed by fire 24 hours later. Whitesburg firemen were in a daze after fighting fires all night two days in a row.

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Cloud City, Inc. optioned 300 acres at the top of Pine Mountain owned by Mrs. Walter Enlow. The land, located on the crest of Pine Mountain, would be the site of a major part of Cloud City, a proposed tourist development.

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A team inspected proposed sites for a new University of Kentucky community college in the Blackey-Hazard area is to visit the Stuart Robinson School campus at Blackey this week.

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Bananas are selling at 10 pounds for a dollar at Basil Hall’s Supermarket on Main Street in Whitesburg.

June 22, 1972

A federal district judge has placed the United Mine Workers of America under strict control of the U.S. Department of Labor until the union elects new officers in December. The judge gave the Labor Department control over the union’s finances and declared the union election held in 1969 null and void. The order was a follow-up to a May 1 court opinion which invalidated the election of Tony Boyle as UMWA president.

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The Kentucky Department of Child Welfare is moving its offices into the former Johnson Hotel building on Main Street in Whitesburg.

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The Louisville and Nashville Railroad estimates it will cost the City of Whitesburg $30,000 to make needed repairs to the railroad tracks which run along Main Street. The city had asked the railroad to remove some of the tracks which make part of Main Street too narrow for two-lane traffic and to upgrade a siding as the main track. The L&N, once a major means of transportation to Whitesburg, has cut its trains to town to one or two a day.

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Strip-mine control in Kentucky received a new boss this week when Gov. Wendell Ford named Thomas O. Harris, a state senator from Carrollton, as state Commissioner of Natural Resources.

June 24, 1982

Blue Diamond Coal Co.’s Scotia Mine laid off 104 more workers — miners and salaried employees — for an indefi nite period. The layoff is the second in eight weeks. The Knoxville-based firm laid off about 150 employees May 2, blaming a slump in the coal business. The two layoffs affect about half the workforce at Scotia. The remaining Scotia employees will receive another unpaid week off after their week of paid vacation.

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Inmates of the Letcher County Jail have been moved to another location while repairs are being made to the jail. A Letcher County grand jury recommended the repairs, noting that the stall and bath areas of the jail are in “deplorable” condition.

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Mother Teresa of Calcutta is in Letcher County to dedicate a new mission she has established at Jenkins, her first rural mission.

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The official opening of the Whitesburg By-pass is scheduled for early July. Kirby Ison of Whitesburg, district traffic engineer in the Kentucky High Department’s regional office at Pikeville, said last minute preparations will continue this week. Traffic lights have already been installed.

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Mrs. Ada Cornett Caudill caught a 30-pound, 38-inch rockfish while fishing at Cherokee Lake with her husband, Burnice.

June 24, 1992

Longtime community activists Joe and Gaynell Begley of Blackey, celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with several hundred friends at the Blackey Community Center. The Begleys helped to lead the fight against strip-mining abuses in 1967 and have been active in citizens’ causes ever since.

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By a four-to-two vote, members of Letcher Fiscal Court declared an emergency on the closing of the county landfill. The action allows the court to bypass the state’s sealed bid law. The court listened to bids and voted to consider them later. It then declared an emergency, which gives Judge/ Executive Ruben Watts the authority to put a system in place July 1 to haul garbage out of the county.

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Five local businesses are seeking to intervene in the lawsuit between South East Coal Co. and Kentucky Utilities Co. They are seeking the reversal of a recent Kentucky Supreme Court ruling that may force South East to shut down permanently.

June 26, 2002

The Letcher County Board of Education will ask the Kentucky Court of Appeals to suspend a judge’s decision requiring it to rehire two demoted school administrators until after the court rules on a separate appeal already filed by the state Department of Education. The Department of Education filed an appeal June 13 asking the Court of Appeals to overturn a ruling by Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright requiring it to pay seven years of back pay and other costs to two former administrators, Truman Halcomb and Phillip Brown.

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The parents of student athletes, and of students who want to drive to school, will have to sign waivers allowing their children to be tested for drugs if the Letcher County Board of Education approves a new policy on drugs in the schools.

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New rates boosting first-class mail 3 cents to 37 cents take effect June 30.

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Gasoline prices remain well below the levels of one year ago and have remained stable as the summer driving season begins, the American Automobile Association’s Fuel Gauge Report shows. The Kentucky average price of self-service gasoline in $1.31. The nationwide average is $1.386.


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