Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


 

 

Sept. 6, 1962

About 20,000 coal miners and their families from Kentucky, West Virginia and Virginia attended Labor Day ceremonies in Jenkins this week. In a speech there, United Mine Workers of America vice president W.A. ‘Tony’ Boyle lashed out at the administration of President John F. Kennedy for failing to aid distressed coal areas of the nation.

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Police are trying to determine who fired several shots into the Goose Creek office of South-East Coal Co. last week. Nine bullet holes were counted. The coal company has been operating with non-union labor after canceling its contract with the United Mine Workers union.

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Letcher County Commissioner Herman Fields is questioning whether the state of Kentucky can legally spend money to improve a tract of land recently donated as a recreational area by Bethlehem Mines Corp. The land is located on Fishpond Branch at the headwaters of the North Fork of the Kentucky River about two miles west of Jenkins.

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Mrs. Alice Geddes Lloyd, the frail Boston Yankee who forsook a socially prominent heritage in 1916 to spark an educational revolution in the hills of eastern Kentucky, died this week. She was more than 86 years old. She was buried on a hillside overlooking one of the 20 schools she founded in this region. Her grave is next to that of her mother, who accompanied her to Kentucky in 1916. Mrs. Lloyd was the founder of the Caney Creek Community Center in Knott County and of Caney College (which later became Alice Lloyd College).

Sept. 7, 1972

Kentucky Natural Resources Commissioner Thomas Harris said he plans to make more unannounced inspection trips, such as the one he made last week to Pike County, which resulted in the suspension of several mining permits.

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Letcher County resident Willard Gilliam said he had resigned from his job with the state Department for Economic Security because of “harassment” received from the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) and the Letcher County judge’s office. They challenged Gilliam’s right to speak out against a proposed community development plan sponsored by KRADD. The plan would have ended traditional mountain ways by preventing people from living on the hills and in the hollows and was regarded as a model for other mountain counties to follow. Letcher Fiscal Court rejected the plan and disbanded the county planning commission.

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Blackey citizens are planning a multi-purpose program for their community center which will include many “handy things” such as having driver’s tests, food stamp distribution and public assistance interviews.

Sept. 9, 1982

Authorities are investigating the cause of a house fire behind the Boone Motor Co. building in downtown Whitesburg which killed Ralph Sexton, 54.

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Local residents are hoping that a visit to Cumberland by Gov. John Y. Brown today will involve completion of U.S. Highway 119.

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Jenkins defeated Fleming-Neon at football and the Whitesburg football team fell to Cumberland.

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The Norfolk & Western and Southern railways gave one measure of the severity of the current coal slump this week: rail traffic has dropped to the lowest point since the Great Depression and shows no signs of an upswing. Another thousand coal miners were laid off in West Virginia.

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A Harlan County coal mine, No. 1 Darby of Jericol Mining, has been named the safest in the U.S. by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration.

Sept. 9, 1992

The 1990 census revealed nearly one-third (31.8 percent) of Letcher County’s population was living below the poverty level, up from 27.4 percent in 1980. More than a fourth of the county’s families were in poverty, but only 18 percent were receiving public assistance.

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A professional rodeo at Isom is headlining the list of Mountain Heritage Festival events this week. Other activities include a parade, music, a black powder shoot, square dances and rock dances.

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Darlene Pettibone reports from Colson that cornbread salad was a hit at the homecoming at Edwin Holbrook Memorial Church. She included the recipe for her sister, who lives in Cleveland, Ohio.

Sept. 11, 2002

The Letcher County Fiscal Court has voted to allow employees to seek union representation. In a surprise move, the court voted 4-2 to allow employees to organize. The measure had failed twice before on a 3-3 vote earlier this year.

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The City of Jenkins will take over planning of the Letcher County Welcome Center, after the Letcher Fiscal Court voted 5-1 to give the city a chance to try to get the project off the ground.

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Lina Kincer, formerly of Cram Creek at Mayking, celebrated her 100th birthday August 17 at her home in Louisville.

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An excavator demolished what was left of the Reynolds Furniture building last week after fire investigators from the company that insured the building finished their investigation. The cause of the fire which destroyed the building on August 29 has not yet been determined.


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