Whitesburg KY
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The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

December 19, 1957

Construction of a flood-control dam on the headwaters of the Cumberland River in the Letcher-Harlan county area has been recommended by U.S. Rep. Carl Perkins of Hindman. Such a dam, Perkins said, would aid in flood control, provide recreational facilities, and aid industrial development through provision of an adequate water supply.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has thrown out the absentee ballots cast in the Letcher County school board race last year, with the result that Alvin Holbrook is the new school board member. Wallace Kincer had originally been elected to the board by a margin of eight votes on the basis of the official tally which included the absentee votes. The original count had shown Holbrook with 800 votes, Kincer with 792. Of the absentee votes, 34 were received by Kincer and 18 by Holbrook, giving Kincer his margin of victory.

H.D. Kilburn, Blackey, has won a $23,500 judgment against the Kentucky Power Co. as the result of a 1955 fire which destroyed two buildings he owned. Kilburn sued the power company on grounds the fire which destroyed his property was caused by low voltage. He argued that low voltage caused a motor to overheat and catch fire, setting his building on fire.

December 21, 1967

Several jobless fathers working on the Work Experience and Training program will be laid off next month. Twenty-four Letcher County men will lose their jobs, while 44 will be cut in Perry County, 44 in Knott County, and 51 in Leslie County. This is more than 60 percent of the total of 279 men who are to be dismissed from the program throughout the 19 counties in which it operates.

A fairly large number of residents of Letcher County are going through the throes of a virus infection during the Christmas holiday season. Local physicians report they are treating a good many persons for “some kind of flu-like syndrome” which has among its symptoms fever and vomiting.

A “Merry Christmas Dance” will be held from 8:30 to 12 p.m. Saturday at the Carcassonne Community Center, four miles below Blackey. The new group “Rhythm and Blues Express” will play rock ‘n roll and soul music. Admission is 75 cents.

December 22, 1977

Non-union mines stayed open this week in Letcher County despite the presence of several hundred pickets from Ohio and perhaps because of an almost equal number of Kentucky State Troopers. Striking miners from United Mine Workers District 6 formed a caravan of close to 100 cars and struck out Tuesday morning for the eastern Kentucky coalfields, pausing once in Prestonsburg to rally before moving into Letcher County and setting up picket lines at South East Coal Co.’s Polly Mine.

Rib roast is on sale for $1.99 a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Eight O’Clock Coffee is $8.89 for a three-pound bag.

“Star Wars” is the feature film at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

December 23, 1987

The Kentucky River Area Development District has approved a pre-application for a $1.4 million grant for water facilities in Letcher County. The grant would come from the Farmers Home Administration. If approved, it would provide for a 200,000-gallon water tank, a 150-gallon-per-minute pump, a raw water intake, and 43,000 feet of water line to serve 250 customers in lower Letcher County.

The Whitesburg High School cheerleaders will travel to Dallas, Tex., Saturday to compete in the national championships. The 17- member squad won the regional competition in Lexington and will now move on to Texas to compete in the co-ed division of the National Cheerleader Association competition.

The National Coal Association says coal production will reach a record 910 million tons by the end of the year, but the industry group had a less rosy forecast for 1988. The association said production is expected to drop to 898 million tons next year.

December 24, 1997

Letcher County and the other seven counties in the Kentucky River Area Development District had the highest percentage of smokers of any ADD in Kentucky over the past two years. A survey showed that 35.2 percent of adults in the KRADD area are smokers.

The old Jenkins High School building may be put to full use again if Letcher County officials succeed in getting federal help for planning renovation of the building and carrying the plan out. Members of the Letcher Fiscal Court voted at their December meeting to apply for about $420,000 from the federal government to plan ways to save the building.

Students at West Whitesburg Elementary School presented a Christmas play, “Oh, No! Santa Has Amnesia”.

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