Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
February 20, 1958
County Judge Arthur Dixon said today that so far as he is concerned meetings of the fiscal court are public meetings, open for all to attend. Furthermore, Dixon said, all records of the county are public records and may be inspected at any time. Dixon said he will ask members of the fiscal court to reconsider a rule adopted Jan. 14 under which all the business of the county would be conducted in private session.
Pupils at Fleming-Neon School started attending classes on a double-shift schedule today. The double-shift is necessary to provide schooling for students from the Fleming-Neon High School, which was destroyed by fire last Tuesday night.
Whitesburg grade school pupils will be “on vacation” at least until Monday because of lack of heat at the school. County School Supt. W.B. Hall said a section of the main boiler for the school heating system broke Wednesday, leaving the building without heat.
Round steak is on sale at the A&P food store for 89 cents a pound. Leg o’ lamb is 79 cents a pound.
February 22, 1968
Sen. Robert F. Kennedy said this week he will meet soon with Rep. Carl D. Perkins and Sen. John Sherman Cooper of Kentucky to prepare a list of recommendations based on his observations during a trip to eastern Kentucky last week. Kennedy is expected to try to push two bills through Congress as a result of his trip here. One would provide materials and jobs on worthwhile projects in poverty areas. The other would give tax breaks to industries which located in poor areas and gave jobs to the poor.
Flames started by boys and firecrackers raced through Graveyard Hollow Saturday afternoon. Fed by high winds, the flames filled Whitesburg with thick smoke, and for a time threatened to jump over into Caudilltown with its several homes. A renewed outbreak Saturday night lighted up Whitesburg’s skyline. Fire Chief Philmore Bowen said this is the third fire recently started by firecrackers.
Pork loin roast is on sale at the A&P grocery store for 49 cents a pound. Canned ham is $3.39 for a four-pound can.
February 23, 1978
Letcher County’s new fiscal court has voted to support the Ben’s Branch housing development at Jenkins. The vote was unanimous.
President Carter may be headed toward government seizure and operation of the nation’s strike-bound coal mines unless there is a last-minute agreement between the United Mine Workers and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association.
Tuesday morning the weather was finally good enough for only the eighth day of school since Christmas. Tuesday evening the buses were driving home in heavy snow, and school was out for at least two more days.
February 24, 1988
The entire Fleming-Neon police department will be laid off February 29, Mayor James Seals said. He said the city cannot afford to pay $40,000 in back overtime wages to police officers and continue to operate normally.
Actors Mary McDonnell and Will Oldham and author Denise Giardina came to Whitesburg for the eastern Kentucky premiere 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. When the two met at Appalshop Friday night, it was the first time that McDonnell, of Ithaca, N.Y., and Oldham, of Louisville, had seen each other since the filming of “Matewan.” In the film, the two play mother and son.
When the Rev. Jesse Jackson brings his campaign to eastern Kentucky later this week, he will talk about coal, unemployment and the working poor, his campaign officials say. Jackson will be Hazard Thursday afternoon to try to gain support in his bid for the nomination for president.
February 25, 1998
Representatives of state and federal government agencies will be in Whitesburg Thursday night to talk with residents of the Camp Branch area about their problems with the effects of coal mining on their home water supplies.
U.S. 119 from Pine Mountain Junction to Payne Gap will be known as the “Letcher County Veterans Memorial Highway” after new legislation takes effect this summer. State Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg said he could not get adequate information about enough war veterans from Letcher County to name bridges in the county after war heroes, so instead he was able to get the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives to pass a bill naming U.S. 119 in their honor.
The Letcher County Board of Education will hold public forums at Campbell’s Branch and Beckham Bates Elementary schools soon to talk about possible changes at the schools. Board members told parents of Beckham Bates pupils Monday night that nothing has been decided but that they will listen to parents’ opinions and concerns before making any decision after the school’s operation.
Two servicemen from Letcher County will meet mid-ocean in March as the USS John C. Stennis relieves the USS George Washington in the Persian Gulf. US. Navy Airmen Matthew Smith and Toby G. Cornett are enlisted men serving as plane captains on the aircraft carriers. Smith serves on the USS George Washington and Cornett on the USS John C. Stennis.