Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

Dec. 20, 1962

U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins of Hindman is urging officials of the federal Department of Commerce and Housing and Home Finance Agency to hasten approval of the Accelerated Public Works projects for eastern Kentucky. Perkins says the existing regulations for the grants are too stringent for eastern Kentucky communities.

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Letcher County residents are to share in donations of cash and clothing which came in as the result of a nationwide television documentary. Arrangements are being made to divide the gifts among several counties on the basis of unemployment figures.

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Children from Democrat and other places across the mountains were happy to get back in school after an absence of a week because of one of the coldest spells of weather in a long time.

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Several neighbors at Ermine and Colly gathered to hear a gospel recording made by Ezeke Smith, manager of the Neon Baker Maytag store.

Dec. 28, 1972

Citizens and reporters trying to attend key monthly meetings of the federal/state Appalachian Regional Commission are running up against closed doors and locked-in sessions. In recent years, a preliminary meeting, called a “states’ session” and something else called a “regular conference” have preceded the formal commission meeting. John Whisman, the states’ regional representative, ruled that both sessions should be closed. “That’s where they work out the sticky stuff,” said one high ARC official. “When they formally take action, it’s nothing but window dressing.”

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The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Washington reversed the contempt-of-Congress convictions of Al and Margaret McSurely, who were charged after they refused to hand over documents and records to a US. Senate committee. The documents, originally seized by Pike County Commonwealth’s Attorney Thomas Ratliff, were used to bring sedition charges against the couple. The charges eventually were thrown out of court.

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Strip mining has been in operation on Black Mesa in the heart of the Northern Arizona Navajo reservation for about two years. It has become one of the major rallying points for Indians and whites alike who are questioning the manner in which the nation uses it resources. “When they get through here in the West, Appalachia’s going to look like somebody’s backyard,” said an official of one Navajo citizen group.

Dec. 30, 1982

No copies are available of this issue of The Mountain Eagle.

Dec. 30, 1992

Fifty-one local candidates have picked up papers to file for local offices, which will be included in the 1993 primary election. Because of a new state law, county officials chosen next year will serve five-year terms instead of the usual four years in order to get voting on a schedule which will not provide for any elections in odd-number years.

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Questionnaires are arriving in Letcher County for residents picked to serve on a special grand jury which is being called to hear evidence of local government corruption uncovered in a year-long investigation of the county by the Kentucky State Police Division of Drug Enforcement and Special Investigations.

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Whitesburg High School sophomore Derek Cook received an award for “spontaneously heroic action” in saving the lives of four elementary school pupils. The incident occurred while Cook and the four pupils were waiting to board a school bus. The bus stopped with three cars behind it when a coal truck veered off the road to pass the bus on the wrong side. Cook pushed the younger students onto the stairwell of the bus and jumped on behind them. The coal truck barely missed them. Police have located the truck but they are still looking for the driver.

Jan. 1, 2003

With the deadline for completing safety improvements for U.S. 119 on Pine Mountain 10 months away, contractors have added a second shift, meaning motorists can look for delays on the mountain throughout the day and night.

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Flood insurance, which divided the last Letcher County Fiscal Court in vote after vote and still failed to pass, is expected to be on the agenda for the first meeting of the new fiscal court, which takes office this week.

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Whitesburg police are looking for a young woman who robbed 80-year-old Mary L. Steele of Vicco on Main Street in Whitesburg. Police say she asked Mrs. Steele the time and then grabbed her purse and shoved her face-first onto the street.



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