Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, July 13, 1944

A Letcher Circuit Court jury this week acquitted Rhoda Rose and John Batinich of false swearing charges in connection with the local option [wet-dry] election held May 31, 1943. The jury weighed evidence presented in the trial for 45 minutes before freeing the woman and man the Commonwealth’s Attorney had charged with registering to vote in Whitesburg in Letcher County even though they were living in Harlan County.

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Afraid they won’t be able to obtain livestock feed from other counties and states, Letcher County farmers are side driving their corn with ammonium nitrate at the rate of 100 to 200 pounds per acres. Under favorable conditions this may increase the corn yield by as much as 10 bushels per acre.

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The Distinguished Flying Cross has been awarded to Tech Sgt. Edgar Lay, 21, of Whitesburg for “extraordinary achievement” as the radio operator and gunner of the B-17 Flying Fortress “Rum Boogie” during the Eighth Army Air Force pre-“D Day” invasion blitz on industrial military targets in Germany and France. A veteran of numerous bombing attacks on targets that form the nerve center of the German war machine, Sgt. Lay has fought through some of the most bitter opposition encountered by the Eighth AAF in its campaign to reduce the power of the Nazi war effort. Sgt. Lay was part one of the greatest air battles of war when his group encountered more than 200 enemy fighters. Sgt. Lay also holds the Air Medal and three Oak Leaf Clusters to the Air Medal. He is the son of Mrs. S. E. Lay and husband of Mrs. Dessie May Lay, both of Whitesburg. Sgt. Lay was a store manager in Whitesburg before joining the Army Air Force.

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Hartford, Connecticut Coroner Frank E. Healy opened a closed inquiry July 12 into every circumstance surrounding the catastrophe that claimed 160 lives last week after the big top of the Barnum and Bailey caught fire and collapsed. Eyewitnesses say the fire started with a small flame caused by spotlight and spread quickly.

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Venters Holcomb of Letcher County has been freed from the German prison camp where he has been held since Fall 1942 and is now back on active duty. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Holcomb.

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President Franklin D. Roosevelt said Tuesday he will run for a fourth term in office although “all that is within me cries out” for him to retire from public office. Said the Democratic incumbent: “If the people command me to continue in this office I have as little right to withdraw as the soldier has to leave his post in the line.”

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The Fleming Hospital has discontinued office hours on Sundays except in the case of emergencies, Dr. E. G. Skaggs has announced.

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Ruben Watts, son of Mr. J. C. Watts of Hallie, has been promoted to corporal, the Army has announced. A graduate of Stuart Robinson High School, he is now serving with an ordnance unit in Panama.

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Bill Adams and Steve Adams have announced they will take over “the business, assets and good will” of Four Square Store at Jeremiah on July 15.

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Army T/3 Jack C. Epperson of Jenkins is one of three soldiers presented the Award of Citation for their bravery and efforts exhibited after an enemy bomb hit in the area of their company in Italy, with one bomb fragment setting fire to a GMC cargo truck and resulting in illumination that created an excellent target for the enemy. T/3 Epperson and the other two soldiers left their place of shelter and extinguished the fire. Son of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew Jackson Epperson of Jenkins, T/3 Epperson has since been wounded in action and awarded the Purple Heart. He has been in the Army since 1940 and is again on active duty with his post.

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Sgt. Vollie Mullins of Letcher County has received a citation for heroism as a result of his action in Sicily on September 9, 1943. A member of the ambulance crew on duty at Catania Main Airdrome, Mullins was on duty when a plane taking off for a night mission crashed shortly after takeoff. Rushing to the scene of the accident, Sgt. Mullins, with no thought for his own personal safety and intent only upon saving the lives of the crew, entered the flaming wreckage. Braving the flames and intense heat that scorched his hands and face, undaunted, he searched for survivors in the blazing inferno. In spite of the fact that 50 caliber ammunitions were exploding and at any instant two 1,000-pound bombs might be detonated by the heat, Sgt. Mullins valiantly continued his search until the co-pilot had been located and assisted to safety. It was only when hope for the remaining crew members was gone that he gave up the search. Son of J. P. Mullins of Upper Cumberland River, Sgt. Mullins has served in the North African, Tunisian and Italian campaigns.

Thursday, July 8, 1954

The Jenkins City Council is taking the final steps needed to remove the town of McRoberts from the Jenkins city limits. A required publication of the ordinance “proposing the reduction of (Jenkins) by cutting off the territory which was formerly the town of McRoberts” appears in this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle. The action was taken by the council and approved by Jenkins Mayor Ezra Johnson at the request of 473 McRoberts residents whose names appeared on six petitions.

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Unless the courts intervene, the Letcher County School System will be paying the salaries of two school superintendents — Dave L. Craft, who was rehired in December for a four-year term, and William B. Hall, who was hired last month after the board’s majority changed after one member was replaced. Craft has filed a lawsuit in Letcher Circuit Court seeking to have his hiring upheld by Circuit Judge C. C. Wells, who has ordered both sides to submit legal briefs in the dispute.

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In remarks at the July 3 ceremony to dedicate the Whitesburg Municipal Swimming Pool, Mayor Arthur T. Banks recalled that the closest he came to getting into a swimming pool as a youngster was his family’s old wooden washtub on Saturday nights. Demonstrations on diving were performed by young people who will be working at the pool this summer — Buddy Fields, Jimmy Paul Enlowe, Ella Louise Polly, and Phyllis Ann Hall.

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It is possible to have tuberculosis without knowing it, says Letcher County Health Officer Dr. Dow Collins, who is urging county residents to get a chest x-ray while the Kentucky Department of Health’s mobile x-ray unit is in Whitesburg.

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Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins reports that two men have been arrested and convicted on bootlegging charges. Lonzo Collins was charged with possessing 48 half-pints of red liquor for illegal resale, tried and convicted by Magistrate Edwin Holbrook and fined $50 and sentenced to 30 days in the county jail. Charlie Craft of Craft’s Colly was also caught in possession of 48 halfpints of red liquor and nine cases of beer for illegal resale. He was fined $50 and sentenced to 30 days in jail as well.

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Mrs. Dora Perkins, 72-year-old mother of U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins, died July 2 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Lexington after battling illness for three months. Rep. Perkins was with her at the time of her death. Funeral services were held Sunday at First Baptist Church in Hindman.

July 9, 1964

The Kentucky Court of Appeals made the ouster of Ray Collins from the Letcher County Board of Education final when it refused to hear a petition for rehearing its earlier decision. The court had ruled that Collins is no longer eligible to serve on the board because his Royal Crown Bottling Company sold soft drinks to several schools in the county.

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The City of Whitesburg has received $140,000 from the federal government to help finance its urban renewal project. The money will be used mainly for the purchase of property to be included in the renewal area.

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County Judge James M. Caudill said the county ended the 1963-1964 fiscal year with a surplus of only $9,000 instead of the $14,000 he predicted. Caudill attributed the smaller surplus to what he terms the failure of Sheriff Lewis Hall to collect all the taxes he could. Hall accused Caudill and County Commissioner Beckham Bates of persecuting him because of politics.

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State Highway Commissioner Henry Ward said an investigation by his office shows that numerous trucks are violating the weight limit for highway use in Letcher County. Ward has sent a memo to State Motor Transportation Commissioner Ben Combs asking him to see that violators are cited.

July 11, 1974

A teenage driver and her brother, Sarah Lisa Hammock, 16, and J. Roy Hammock, 14, were killed when a tractor-trailer truck hit their car at Pine Mountain Junction at Whitesburg. Police said the driver of the truck failed to heed the stop sign at the end of the intersection of new U.S. 119 and old U.S. 119, which crosses Pine Mountain.

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Employees and the governing board of the Appalachian Regional Hospitals continue to disagree. Employees, who have been on strike since April 1974, voted to accept a proposed wage settlement. The hospital board voted to refuse the settlement.

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”A large crowd attended the singing at the Little Cowan Church,” writes Cowan correspondent Elsie Banks. “The purpose is not to see who are the best singers. It’s just a way of fellowship and you are welcome to sing your own way and the way you sing at your church. Then we sing some together.”

July 11, 1984

Letcher County’s unemployment rate fell again in May 1984, but remained the highest in the eight-county Kentucky River area. The jobless rate in the county was 21.9 percent, down from 23.6 percent in April 1984.

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The City of Whitesburg proposes to annex 90-1/2 acres. The city wants to annex land beginning on the Whitesburg side of the Ermine Post Office and extending north along old U.S. 119 to Pine Mountain Junction.

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Jon Henrikson of Carcassonne, a teacher at Whitesburg High School, and Harry M. Caudill of Mayking, an attorney, author and University of Kentucky professor, have been named to Gov. Martha Layne Collins’s Governor’s Council on Educational Reform. The council will assess the status of public education, review issues raised by various education study groups, identify areas of continuing need and offer recommendations.

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A hailstorm nearly destroyed the gardens on Big Cowan, reports Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison. She describes the hailstorm as looking like a snowstorm.

July 13, 1994

The Jenkins City Council has voted to set a two-hour parking limit for cars and trucks on the business section of Main Street.

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Lorene Sexton found a surprise in her garden, says Colson correspondent Darlene Pettibone. It was her wedding ring which she had lost years before.

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Jim Cornett writes about an old remedy for chigger bites: mix salt with bacon grease and apply to the sore. He says he has found a new cure: use Maalox on the sore. He claims the new cure also works well on poison ivy.

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The Hillbilly Nation Celebration, sponsored by WMMT-FM, features music by Southern Culture on the Skids, Metropolitan Blues All-Stars, Kiya Heartwood & Stealin’ Horses, Bad Branch and The Possum Hollers.

July 14, 2004

The Letcher Fiscal Court voted to award a contract for a planned “medivac” helicopter facility at the Gateway Industrial Park in Jenkins to Greene Construction Company of Middlesboro.

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Members of the United Mine Workers of America are planning a second protest in hopes of securing benefits from bankrupt Horizon Natural Resources, which is based in Ashland.

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Road crews continued working this week to repair flood damage to road in the Cowan area. Isolated cloudbursts dumped several inches of rain on the communities of Little Cowan and Big Cowan on July 2, caused up to 20 homes and buildings to flood.

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The Whitesburg Little League Girls 9-&10-yearold All-Stars team has won the Kentucky District 7 championship and will advance to play for the state title later this month in Paintsville.


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