Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, January 6, 1955

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 5829, Whitesburg, prepared 63 Christmas baskets and delivered them throughout the county to needy families. Post officials say they regret that all who asked for a basket could not get one. On Christmas Eve, a party for the children of VFW members was held at the post, after which VFW Fire Chief Remious Day pulled Santa in a trailer from Pine Mountain Junction to the Letcher County Courthouse, where he treated all the children in the community with a bag of holiday treats. VFW members prepared 700 treat bags for the event.

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Ray G. Russell is the new chairman of the Jenkins Independent Schools Board of Education. Russell succeeds Tony Dann, who retired. Dr. T.M. Perry is the vice chairman.

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The U.S. Census Bureau is set to begin a canvass of Kentucky coal mines, rock quarries and oil and gas establishments. It will be the first canvass of these industries since 1939, when the United States had 13,395 mines and quarries, 437,645 oil and gas wells, and 5,418 preparation plants, with all products valued at $3.2 billion. In 1939, Kentucky ranked ninth among all states in value of mineral products with $91.3 million and third in the number of wage earners with 51,278.

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The average annual salary paid to classroom teachers, principals, supervisors and vocational teachers in Kentucky in 1954 was $2,600.33 — the highest amount on record. The state has 20,799 instructors who will receive a total of $54,084,271 in salaries during the 1954-55 school year, according to figures released by the state Board of Education.

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The murder trial of Charlie Holcomb, charged with killing his son-in-law at the Holcomb home on Linefork in August, will begin today (Thursday) in Letcher Circuit Court with the Judge Courtney C. Wells presiding. In misdemeanor cases tried in circuit court recently, one man was fined $100 for driving a vehicle while intoxicated while another was fined $25 for assault and battery.

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Noting advances made in the trial study of the Salk polio vaccine, Mrs. Zenneth Bentley, who has been appointed Letcher County’s director of the March of Dimes for 1955, said, “We open the 1955 drive with bright prospects for eventually conquering polio. … If the Salk vaccine gives us the hoped-for answer in 1955, the victory will be the result of our unstinting and faithful participation in the March of Dimes.”

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Mr. and Mrs. Palmer Collier, operators of the Western Auto Store, Neon, were injured when their automobile collided with a diesel train engine near Shelby Gap about 3 p.m. on Tuesday. The couple were returning from Pikeville when the accident occurred. Mrs. Collier is being treated at Sharon Heights Hospital in Jenkins. Mr. Collier was fortunate enough to escape with minor injuries. The couple’s new Buick was demolished.

Thursday, December 31, 1964

Food, toys and used clothing continue to arrive in Letcher County in response to a televised report, “Christmas in Appalachia”. A citizens’ committee is distributing the items. Among the groups making donations is the Kentucky AFL-CIO.

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A Mountain Eagle editorial praises the Letcher County organizations and individuals who have volunteered many hours to distribute donated items in the community. The editorial says, “We have been impressed by the willingness and desire of so many people to help and by their obvious effort to see that things go to the families whose needs are the greatest.”

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Men working under the federal jobless fathers program will receive a raise from $1 an hour to $1.25 an hour. The federal minimum wage for private industry is $1.25 an hour, and the government has come under criticism for paying less than minimum wage.

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The home of Mr. and Mrs. Will Johnson of Parson’s Camp caught fire while the couple were visiting relatives in Ohio over the holidays. The Neon Fire Department extinguished the fire with minor damage to the house, but the blaze started again two days later and destroyed the house and its contents.

Thursday, January 2, 1975

A study by the Appalachian Regional Commission estimates that eastern Kentucky, which lost 15 percent of its population in the 1960s, will gain 90,000 new residents in the remainder of the 1970s. ARC attributes the growth in population to the boom in the coal industry, unemployment in Northern cities, and increased black lung and Social Security payments in the coalfields.

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”We cannot call back or change a day of the past year,” writes McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Combs, “but as we begin the new year we can set our minds to do just a little bit better so life might run a little smoother for us.”

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Suggestions ranging from construction of a parking garage to providing better recreation facilities were offered at a citizens’ meeting calling to help decide how Whitesburg could best spend $312,000 in federal funds over five years. An earlier meeting had drawn only one citizen in addition to city employees and a reporter.

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T-bone steaks are $1.49 a pound at the A&P Food Store. Green cabbage is 12 cents a pound.

Wednesday, January 9, 1985

The jobless rate in Letcher County was the highest in the state at 30.5 percent at the end of November 1984, a 9.9 percent increase over the month before. A state offi- cial attributed the high unemployment rate to temporary layoffs in the coal industry.

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Officials at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation say they have treated about 350 cases of flu. The Letcher County Health Department says there have also been numerous cases of scarlet fever and scarletina in the county.

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The City of Jenkins has reduced an overdue power bill by some $64,000 in 10 months. The city is paying $1,500 on the bill each month, while the water commission is paying $3,500. Before the city council and water commission began working to pay off the $85,000 bill, Kentucky Power Company had attended council meetings for six years asking that the debt be cleared.

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The Jenkins Cavaliers upset the Dilce Combs Panthers 70-60. Charles Wallace was the top scorer for the Cavs with 22 points.

Wednesday, January 4, 1995

Kasey Ann Francis was the first baby born in Letcher County in 1995. She arrived at 7:32 p.m., January 1.

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Michael King has been named interim superintendent of Letcher County Schools. He is also the new head of the management team assigned to the school system by the Kentucky State Department of Education.

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Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison writes, “The 1994 slate is used up. We have a new, clean one to fill in the year of our Lord 1995. I hope everybody will fill it wisely. If mistakes were made in 1994, maybe they can be corrected this year.”

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The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets remain unbeaten at 15-0.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Virginia Geraldine “Gerri” Haynes shot and killed her grandson, Christopher Haynes, after he attacked her with a hammer. Authorities say he and his girlfriend, Kyla Bellis, planned to rob and kill his grandmother.

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Kera Elizabeth Collins and Dylan Chase Slone are the first baby girl and baby boy born in Letcher County in 2005. Both arrived January 2.

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The City of Blackey has only one elected council member. Jim Flynn is the only council member elected on the November ballot who has not since resigned.

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Whitesburg native Hillard Howard was expected to be named as the first head football coach of Letcher County Central High School. Howard was a star player at Whitesburg High School during the 1960s, and in his coaching career at Pikeville High School he led the Panthers to state championships in 1987, 1988 and 1989.


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