Whitesburg KY

The way we were



Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

February 6, 1958

Clay Stapleton, a graduate of Fleming-Neon High School, has been named head football coach of Iowa State College.

The Fleming-Neon Pirates (15-1) defeated Wayland 104-55. The team is ranked 13th in the state.

The temperature at the top of Pine Mountain was 9 degrees twice in the first four days of February. Ten inches of snow was recorded on Feb. 2.

Jack Craft of Neon, owner of Craft’s Department Stores at Neon and Whitesburg, recently purchased Tepper’s Store in Whitesburg.

February 8, 1968

Opponents of the proposed Kingdom Come dam embarked on a campaign this week to write letters to a number of influential public figures and newspapers and provided secretaries for those who wanted help with their letters.

A group of six houses is being constructed east of Redfox by the families who will occupy them. Each family is contributing 1,500 hours of labor and will be able to obtain a house valued at $10,000 to $11,000 for $6,500. The families are having to move from their present homes because of road construction or the construction of Carr Fork reservoir. The plan was developed by the University of Kentucky and the houses are being funded by the Farmers Home Administration.

A total of 4,033 Letcher County residents received food stamps during December, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said.

February 9, 1978

United Mine Workers officials this week rejected a request by union president Arnold Miller to approve a new 1978 coal wage agreement on the basis of a 16-page summary listing abbreviated highlights of the proposed contract. The 39-member bargaining council recessed Tuesday after voting 32-7 to postpone a contract approval vote until it studies the entire contract.

Three Hindman men have been charged with destroying public property in connection with vandalism in several locations in Whitesburg. The three are accused of destroying $4,000 to $5,000 worth of parking meters.

Rump roast is on sale for $1.29 a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Cornish game hens are 79 cents a pound.

February 10, 1988

Fleming-Neon is still relying on backup water sources after its main water well went dry last month. Mayor James Seals said the city water supplies have begun to replenish after the rain last week, but the city must still use its reserve well.

Fleming-Neon has been ordered to pay $39,498 in overtime wages to police officers for the past five years. The Kentucky Department of Labor audited the city’s records. If the city does not pay the back wages within 31 days, the state will freeze all city accounts.

Actress Mary McDonnell will come to Whitesburg for a showing of the movie “Matewan” at the Whitesburg Cinema. “Matewan”, which stars McDonnell and James Earl Jones, is the story of the “Matewan Massacre”, a 1920 battle between union miners and company gun thugs which led to one of the largest labor uprisings in the history of the United States.

February 11, 1998

Federal, state and local law-enforcement officials were busy early this week trying to solve the first bank robbery in Letcher County’s modern history. Police say a masked gunman got away with a considerable amount of cash Monday morning after holding up the Neon branch of Community Trust Bank.

U.S. 119 between Whitesburg and Cumberland is going to be rebuilt into a “full-service, four-lane” highway, Gov. Paul Patton said Monday as he announced his recommendations for highway projects in Letcher County that will cost $75.9 million over the next six years. He also announced plans for a regional industrial site to be built on the Letcher-Pike county line and a “world class golf course” to be built on land shared by Letcher, Knott and Perry counties.

The last 360 Letcher County families who lost their electric power as a result of the February 4-6 snowfall were expected to have electrical service by today. Many families in various sections of the county were without electricity for five or more days.

Blackey residents Joe and Gaynell Begley will receive a new award next week for “their lifelong dedication to effective community leadership, passion for justice and belief in the potential of people.” The award, to be given February 16 at ceremonies in Blackey, is the second annual Helen Lewis Community Leadership Award and is made by the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development, which has its headquarters in Berea.

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