Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


 

 

Aug. 23, 1962

Gov. Bert Combs told a group of Hazard residents that he had promised the residents of Letcher County that he would recommend that a proposed junior college for the Hazard-Blackey area be located in Letcher County.

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The State Department of Libraries says it will set up a regional library in Letcher County of Whitesburg and Jenkins want it.

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Rabid foxes, heifers and dogs, plus copperheads and rattlesnakes, are plaguing the Carr Creek community in Knott County.

Aug. 24, 1972

More than half the registered staff nurses at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital have submitted their resignations in protest to the policies of Hospital Administrator Bernard Wysocki. Last week the Kentucky Nursing Association issued official sanctions against the hospital, citing problems facing RN’s trying to provide proper patient care in the face of administrative policies.

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Letcher Fiscal Court voted to delay any decision on a proposed resolution that would require a surface owner’s consent before strip or auger miners could mine on his land. The decision came at the end of a crowded and often emotional session. Strip-mining representatives persuaded County Judge Robert Collins and the three county commissioners that the resolution was unnecessary. However, as the meeting went on, some of the strip miners admitted that their concern is financial and that they are afraid they will lose money if the resolution passes.

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A meeting to consider a new effort to halt construction of the Whitesburg By-pass is scheduled at the courthouse in Whitesburg. The meeting was called after residents of Long Branch and Cow Hollow learned to their surprise that they will lose their homes because they are in areas which will be used as dumping sites for materials removed during the roadbuilding.

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Strip mining has been blamed for flash floods which hit Mingo County, W.Va. The floods released more than 50 landslides in hollows, and hundreds of homes and a school were seriously damaged.

Aug. 26, 1982

Unemployment in the eastern Kentucky coalfield soared to 13.6 percent in June. Letcher County had a modern record rate of 22.7 percent unemployment. Of the 7,142 persons in the county labor force, 5,523 were working and 1,619 were out of a job.

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Survivors of the coal miners killed December 7, 1981, at Topmost in Knott County picketed the site of the Kentucky Coal Conference being held in Lexington to protest the refusal of the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration to hold public investigative hearings into the circumstances surrounding the Topmost disaster and to protest the ongoing lack of commitment to coal mine safety in the Reagan administration.

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A November trial date has been set for Harlan County Sheriff Paul Browning Jr., who is charged with conspiring to murder two county officials and attempting to burn a woman’s home.

Aug. 26, 1992

Garbage is still occupying Letcher Fiscal Court’s time and threatening to trash the county budget. Judge Ruben Watts says the county will have to pay $400,000 to dispose of its garbage this year.

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Members of the Jenkins Board of Education have asked Superintendent Parker Tiller to move back into the Jenkins School District and to enroll his daughter there. Tiller and his family are living in Pikeville.

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Letcher County’s shrinking workforce is characterized by a relatively high proportion — 29 percent — of precision production, craft and repair workers, writes sociologist Dr. Thomas R. Ford. The second largest category of employees in the county is transportation and material moving, with 13 percent of the employed workforce. Professional specialists, most of whom are in education and health fields, make up the third largest group. Farmers account for less than one percent of the work force.

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The 1992 Mountain Heritage Festival will start August 28 and continue through September 27.

Aug. 28, 2002

Novel White and Can Meade grew a 66-pound watermelon near Beckham Bates Elementary School at Colson, in a bottom they lease from Randall Isaac. The melon is 30 inches long and 40 inches round. White said he and Meade planted the melon seeds in April, in a mixture of horse manure and dirt.

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Some Letcher County used car dealers are asking the Whitesburg City Council to protect them from out-of-town dealers who set up “tent sales” in Whitesburg. The dealers are asking the council to adopt an ordinance that would require car dealers to operate from a permanent business location here.

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The Letcher County Board of Education will advertise for bids for remodeling Letcher Elementary School and Fleming-Neon Elementary School, even though the district probably doesn’t have enough money for the job.

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Because of recent concerns about West Nile Virus, the Letcher County Health Department is encouraging people to check their property for standing water, which could harbor mosquitoes.


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