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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1908


 

 

Thursday, January 11, 1945

Corporal Roy Tubbs, son of George Tubbs of Thornton, has been killed in action in the European Theater of War. No other information was available at press time.

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Private Raymond Fields is one of several Letcher County soldiers who have been wounded in action recently while fighting overseas. Fields was slightly wounded in Luxembourg on Christmas Day after returning to duty from previous combat wounds.

Also wounded in action are:

• Private Claude Adams, husband of Ruby J. Adams, a Jenkins beautician who is the daughter of Dishman Hogg of Roxana.

• Private Luther Holcomb, son of Mrs. Louisa Holcomb of Hallie.

• Private Junior J. Wright, son of Thomas J. Wright of McRoberts.

• Corporal I.D. Back, son of Mrs. Callie Back of Blackey.

• Staff Sergeant Leslie Hogg of Blackey, who was shot while fighting in the Philippines.

STARRING AT THE ALENE — French actress Brigitte Bardot starred in the movie “La Parisienne,” which showed at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg in January 1965, eight years after it was released.

STARRING AT THE ALENE — French actress Brigitte Bardot starred in the movie “La Parisienne,” which showed at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg in January 1965, eight years after it was released.

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Three Letcher County soldiers are reported missing in action. They are Sergeant Woodrow Bates, who went missing in Belgium December 16 after spending many months in the Panama Canal; Private James T. Pace, son of Mrs. Mary T. Pace of Seco, and Eli Lucas, son of Namon Lucas, who has been missing in action in Germany since November 28.

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Jenkins residents are very proud of the Honor Roll Board for local soldiers located between the Jenkins Store and Market. The board is sponsored by the Bradley Burkhart American Legion Post No. 66 and includes the names of 402 boys from Jenkins, 301 from McRoberts, 140 from Dunham, and 36 from Payne Gap.

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The school lunch program is so popular in the Whitesburg schools that Letcher Schools Superintendent Martha Jane Potter will expand the program to the Fleming Graded and High School. Rooms in the basement of the Fleming school building have been remodeled and the equipment installed.

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Nineteen more Letcher County men have been selected for induction into the U.S. military services, Local Board No. 102 has announced.

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A delegation of school officials from Letcher County was in Pikeville last week to examine the new school bus bodies the Pike County School System has purchased. The Letcher County Board of Education is now accepting bids for news school buses and is interested in buying the type best suited to give good service over mountain roads. Members of the Letcher delegation also discussed with Pike school officials plans to build a new gymnasium in Whitesburg.

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For the first time since his plane was shot down over Germany in August and he was taken prisoner, Staff Sergeant Jimmy Dixon has been able to contact his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Dixon of Whitesburg, through the Red Cross. In a letter that has made its way to his parents, young Dixon says he is OK and is not being mistreated by his captors.

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Expansion of government efforts to develop synthetic liquid fuels from coal products is being provided for in President Roosevelt’s budget for 1946. In his budget message delivered to Congress January 9, Roosevelt recommends and increase in the appropriation for development of synthetic fuels from $5 million in the current year to $13 million in 1946.

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Private First Class McKinley Day, who was wounded while serving with the Fifth Army in Italy on September 29, 1944, has been awarded the Purple Heart after his participation in an attack which resulted in the liberation of a town after at least 12 Germans were killed and seven captured on the Fifth Army front in northern Italy.

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Private First Class Delbert L. Lantz of Thornton was recently awarded the Bronze Star for heroic achievement in action on September 1, 1944. He is serving in an engineering unit with the 1st Armored Division on the Fifth Army front.

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Word has reached Whitesburg that Staff Sergeant Jack Cox, who has been fighting overseas with Hodge’s First Army for 18 months, has received the Bronze Star for his part in the Normandy Campaign. Before being called into the Army, Cox was manager of the R.H. Hobbs store in Whitesburg.

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Mr. Myrel Brown is the new Assistant County Agent for Letcher County, having started his duties January 1.

Thursday, January 20, 1955

Gerald Stamper, 28, and Dan Berry, 21, both of Fleming were sentenced by Letcher Circuit Judge Courtney Wells to serve five years in prison after admitting to setting a fire which burned the Pioneer Club House at McRoberts on December 24. Meanwhile, Letcher County Judge James M. Caudill has sentenced Stamper’s 16-yearold brother, Clifford, to reform school until he is 21 years old for his role in the arson crime. Two other men, Joe Bates, 30, and Hassell Bentley, 45, have been indicted on arson charges in connection with the fire.

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Three Letcher County men have been arrested and convicted in separate cases involving the possession of moonshine whiskey, says Letcher County Sheriff Robert B. Collins. Chester Gilbert and Walter Centers each was sentenced to 30 days in jail and fined $50, while Edison Holcomb was sentenced to 60 days and fined $100 after being convicted of moonshine possession for the second time.

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Five Letcher County children are fatherless after Alex Hall of Camp Branch was killed Sunday night. His car ran into a bridge on Camp Branch Road. Funeral services were held Wednesday.

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Competition from taxicabs has resulted in the suspension of one of two daily roundtrip bus routes between Jenkins and Hazard. The Hazard office of Shortway Bus Lines announced the suspension this week of the bus route that left Hazard at 1:45 each day for Jenkins, then returning to Hazard at 6:35 p.m. A company spokesman said bus firm lost $9,000 last year because of the competition from the taxicabs. The Greyhound Lines also announced the suspension of its bus that left Hazard for Lexington each afternoon at 3. Greyhound buses will now leave Hazard for Lexington only three times a day — at 7:30 a.m. (arriving in Lexington at 11:59 a.m.), at 11:30 a.m. (arriving at 4:25 p.m.), and at 5:30 p.m. (arriving in Lexington at 10:10 p.m.

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Only two Letcher County men — Edward Raymond Minns and Donnie Lue Niece — were selected in January for induction into the Armed Forces on February 15. In making the announcement, Local Selective Service Board 58 said there will be no pre-induction calls in February.

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Herman Combs Jr. of Whitesburg has been appointed the Packard dealer for sales and service in Letcher County, the Studebaker-Packard corporation has announced. Featured at the opening this week of Combs Motor Company Inc, Main Street, Whitesburg, is the introduction of the new Packards and 1955 Clippers with new V-8 engines.

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The Bank of Neon Inc. reports total deposits of $1,083,165.23 for the year ending December 31, 1954. The bank also reports that its capital consists of 500 shares of common stock with a “total per” value of $50,000. The bank’s directors are Guy W. Jackson, D.V. Bentley, and James M. Caudill.

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Former Letcher County resident Paulina Fields Sloan is the director of Morehead State College’s Department of Nursing. A native of Letcher County, she taught for six years in the Letcher County school system. Her husband, Denver Sloan, is director of public relations for Morehead State College.

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Fish sticks — boneless slices of pre-cooked and frozen fish — have grown in demand from 7.5 million pounds in 1953 to about 50 million pounds processed in 1954, according to A&P Food Stores.

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The Letcher County Health Department vaccinated 16,779 county residents in 1954.

Thursday, January 14, 1965

Eleven young Letcher County boys were sworn into the federal Jobs Corps program today in brief ceremonies at the local office of the State Employment Service. They are the first Kentuckians to enter the Jobs Corps, and are members of the first group of trainees in the nation.

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Harry M. Caudill of Whitesburg was honored by the United Automobile Workers this week as one of 10 Americans who during 1964 battled odds to work for a better world “at peril to their security and well being.” His name was second on the UAW list, which was headed by Martin Luther King, civil rights leader and winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

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Picketing was underway this week at the Leatherwood Mine No. 1 of Blue Diamond Coal Co., which closed several months ago and reopened last month as a non-union mine. About 70 pickets appeared at the mine Monday, and they were joined later by 21 other men who had gone back to work without a contract but later walked off their jobs and joined the picket line.

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Two Letcher County college students — William Ronnie Amburgey and Ralph Dudley Webb — were honored recently for achievements on their college campuses. Amburgey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie Amburgey of Premium, has been elected to three national honorary fraternities at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. The three are: Tau Beta Pi (engineering); Phi Lambda Upsilon (chemistry), and Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics). Amburgey, a Whitesburg High School graduate, is the No. 1-ranking student scholastic achievement in Auburn’s junior class. Webb, son of Mr. and Mrs. Woodford Webb of Premium, has been elected president of the senior class at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., where he was also voted young man most likely to succeed. Webb, a pre-law student, is a graduate of Whitesburg High School. He is an editorial writer for Georgetown’s student newspaper.

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A repaving and sidewalk building project are the start of a general community cleanup project in Blackey as residents there hope to bring the community to back to its former glory, reports correspondent Larry Caudill.

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Drexel Webb and Palmer Scott were honored this week for having the best safety records of any supervisors in the Elkhorn Division of Beth-Elkhorn Corporation. Both men have gone 17 years without a lost-time accident to men under their supervision. They are followed by Denver Plummer with a 15-year record. All three men work at Mine No. 22.

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Rodney Pack, son of Mr. and Mrs. Monroe Pack, was crowned king of a carnival held recently at the new Cowan Elementary School. The queen was Emma Day of Big Cowan.

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Brigitte Bardot stars in the 1957 film “La Parisienne,” which will show at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on Saturday. Paul Newman, Elke Sommer and Edward G. Robinson star in 1963’s “The Prize,” set to run at the Alene Sunday through next Tuesday.

Thursday, January 16, 1975

In a report, the U.S. Bureau of Mines said the cost of strip mine coal from the Northern Great Plains area is so cheap the Eastern strip mines, like those in eastern Kentucky, will be unable to compete as the nation switches to artificial natural gas produced in coal gasification plants. Western mines will be able to underprice Eastern mines by $2.66 per ton vs. $4.79 per ton, says the report.

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People in Letcher County have just about quit relying on the number of morning fogs in August to predict the number of snows the following winter, says A.P. Williams of Whitesburg, who has kept a diary on the Whitesburg weather for a number of years. The reason, he says, is that the August fogs have not been reliable indicators of winter snows.

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A record low number of 20 persons lost their lives in Kentucky mines during 1974. The figure is down from 28 fatalities in 1973 and 29 in 1972.

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Whitesburg Police Chief Nathan Baker reports that city officials made a total of 261 arrests during 1974, well over half of them for public drunkenness. Baker says the number of arrests for public drunkenness is exaggerated by the arrests of just one or two individuals a large number of times.

Wednesday, January 23, 1985

Record-breaking temperatures have left most Letcher County residents without cable television and the use of their automobiles. Schools were closed and businesses came to a virtual standstill after Letcher Countians awoke to temperatures as low as 24 degrees below zero.

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A gallon of milk costs $1.89 at the A&P Food Store. Rutabagas are $1 for three pounds.

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The Letcher Eagles defeated the Fleming-Neon Pirates 74-54. Whitesburg and Jenkins both fell, Whitesburg 71-66 to Pikeville and Jenkins 60-53 to Wheelwright.

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”Old people always said if they could make it through January they would probably make it through the rest of the winter,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison.

Wednesday, January 18, 1995

More than 400 children were involved in 236 of substantiated cases of child abuse in Letcher County in 1994, the Kentucky Cabinet for Human Resources says. The department reported 71 cases of physical abuse, 37 of sexual abuse and 329 of negligence. Some of the cases involved more than one type of abuse.

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Three physicians are in Whitesburg for a study of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a disease which has caused blindness in hundreds of Letcher County residents. The doctors are in eastern Kentucky to study the Rebecca Stamper family and trace back the origin of the retinitis pigmentosa gene. In Letcher County RP is known as the Ison Eye Disease since it affects so many people in the Ison family.

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The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets, 17-0 and ranked first in the Associated Press girls’ high school poll, came from behind in the second half to defeat Hazard 60-54.

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Writing about gardening, Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Adams says, “There’s something to be said for knowing, without a shadow of doubt, that what you’re eating is free of chemicals and all the preservatives that grocery chains use to keep their stuff looking fresh. But the real appeal that gardening has for me is the sheer joy of watching things grow and sharing the bounty with a host of friends and relatives.”

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

The U.S. Department of Labor has filed discrimination complaints against Misty Mountain Mining Inc., a Letcher County coal company, in the case of four miners who complained about safety conditions at an underground mine. The men allege they were fired from the mine near Jenkins in August after raising concerns about unsafe roof conditions and faulty brakes on mining vehicles.

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Edward Morton and his wife, Desiree Banks Morton, a Thornton couple charged with murdering their infant daughter, were released from the Letcher County Jail after their bonds were reduced. Letcher Circuit Court Judge Sam Wright said he had no choice other than reduce the bonds because of delays in preparing laboratory reports that will be used as evidence in the case.

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At the January meeting of the Blackey City Council, Councilman Jim Flynn, the only elected council member who did not resign in December, appointed enough new council members for a quorum. The new council then voted to appoint Cathy Back to serve as mayor for the coming year.

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Surveys conducted by the Letcher County Sheriff ’s office show that less than 50 percent of Letcher Countians wear seat belts while driving. “We’re still way under the state average,” said Danny Webb, sheriff of Letcher County.


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