Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from The Mountain Eagle’s front pages for the past 50 years


 

 

Jan. 24, 1963

Letcher County residents received more than a million dollars in free food during the past two years, reported Ernest Adams, who is supervisor of commodities distribution for the county. The food goes to families who can prove that they cannot afford to buy sufficient food themselves.

. James M. Caudill, U.S. Marshal Archie Craft and Millstone merchant Jess Holbrook were in Washington in an effort to get Letcher County under the new federal food stamp program. The stamps can be used to buy food from local groceries.

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Legislation to create a special Appalachian Development Program has been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Congressman Carl D. Perkins of Hindman, the representative from District 7 in eastern Kentucky.

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Perkins has also introduced a bill to create an Allegheny Parkway from Hagerstown, Md., to the Breaks Interstate Park near the Kentucky-Virginia border.

Jan. 25, 1973

Letcher County officials are making no public commitment on the use of $179,000 which the county received from the federal government revenue-sharing program.

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Whitesburg is one of 16 Kentucky cities to receive the title of “All-Kentucky City” from the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce. “This small community in eastern Kentucky is small in size only. The citizens are big in heart and have a great deal of pride for their city,” the citation says.

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The question of whether Letcher County should continue its ban on the sale of alcoholic beverages is up for discussion and possibly for a local options election. A group of local ministers has formed an organization known as Citizens for a Dry Letcher County. County officials say no petition for a wet-dry election has been filed.

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Rules to protect the health of coal miners who have signs of black lung disease have been proposed in the Federal Register by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Jan. 27, 1983

Eight suspects charged with kidnapping Kathy Osborne Niece last week are to appear in federal court at London. The suspects include a sister, three brothers and four other relatives of Mrs. Niece. Mrs. Niece of Isom became the subject of a full-scale manhunt after she failed to return from a shopping trip in West Whitesburg. Federal Bureau of Investigation spokesmen say she was released by two of her abductors after they accepted her offer to pay them $50,000. The kidnappers had originally demanded that Mrs. Niece’s father-in-law, coal operator Wilford Niece, pay then $500,000 for her release.

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A criminal prosecution stemming from the 1976 mine disaster at the Scotia mine of Blue Diamond Coal Co. at Oven Fork is scheduled for trial on April 11. Twenty-six men died as the result of two separate explosions, but the prosecution is to consider only the first explosion on March 9, 1976, which killed 15 men. Coal company officials are charged with four counts of violating federal safety standards and two counts of making false statements on mine maps and records.

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A local citizens’ group says it will file a lawsuit against the Letcher County Board of Education if the board votes to build a new Whitesburg High School on the site of the present high school.

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Two men died in a house fire near Deane. They were Roland Hughes, 21, and Robert Edward Hall, 42. The house was located on Apple Tree Branch.

Jan. 27, 1993

At least 125 candidates have filed papers to run in the May primary election, and 35 more have picked up election finance forms needed to file. The primary election ballot will be crowded.

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What will and what won’t be cut from Letcher County’s budget still isn’t clear. Letcher Fiscal Court voted to accept cuts recommended by state officials but later voted to do away with the first cuts and accept a completely different set of cuts suggested by Magistrate Steve Addington. State officials are to meet with the court again.

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Landowners and oil and gas companies are working to develop a new ordinance governing oil and gas drilling in Letcher County.

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Letcher County’s bidding procedures were questioned again when Magistrate Mack Fultz produced a price list showing that many items could be bought a much cheaper prices than those offered by the Roxana store that entered the only bid.

Jan. 29, 2003

Letcher County Schools will lose another 10 elementary school teachers and three high school teachers under a staffing plan approved by the Letcher County Board of Education.

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Mountain Comprehensive Health Corp. will give $100,000 to the Letcher County Schools Foundation to equip a chemistry lab at the new county high school.

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Kentucky State Police are investigating two daylight burglaries that occurred at homes in McRoberts on January 24.

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The two-week break from school while snow blanketed the area means students can forget a week-long spring break. The Letcher County Schools calendar set aside part of the spring break as makeup days to be used if the district missed 10 or more days because of weather.


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