Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years
March 13, 1958
Representatives of the State Department of Education will come to Letcher County late this month to talk over school problems with local school officials and other citizens. The principle topic of discussion will be possible ways of replacing Fleming-Neon High School, which was destroyed by fire a month ago. In addition, they will look at overall school problems and will seek solutions.
Whitesburg and Fleming will meet tonight in the first round of the 14th Regional Basketball Tournament at Hazard.
Ulis Hunsucker will serve as commander of the Whitesburg Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 5829 for the coming year.
Ham is on sale for 59 cents a pound at the A&P grocery store. Evaporated milk is 75 cents for six cans.
March 14, 1968
Jesse L. Amburgey of Knott County will be recommended as the new director of the Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council. The decision to recommend his employment was made by members of the LKLP executive committee at a meeting in Hazard Monday night.
The district champion Jenkins Cavaliers reached the finals of the regional basketball tournament but lost to Lee County 62-50.
The Kentucky Legislature this week passed Gov. Louie B. Nunn’s $2.47 billion budget and the 5 percent sales tax needed to finance it despite last minute attempts by Democrats to exempt food and medicine from the sales tax.
March 16, 1978
United Mine Workers officials were called to Washington this week to review another controversial contract proposal, developed Tuesday by negotiators from the union and the Bituminous Coal Operators Association. The UMW Bargaining Council, composed of the district presidents and some other UMW officials, must review the contract and approve, or at least accept it, before rank and file members have an opportunity to vote.
During an intensive underground investigation that lasted more than six months, it appears that federal mine safety officials have found no new evidence relating to the twin March 1976 methane gas explosions at the Scotia Mine. Last week the Mining Enforcement and Safety Administration cited the Scotia Coal Co. for 72 violations of federal mine safety law, but none of the citations provided any clues as to the cause of the explosions that were not brought out in a public hearing on the disaster held two years ago.
‘Some say they hear salamanders or spring lizards croaking and shuffling around in the ponds,’ says West Whitesburg correspondent Siller Brown. ‘I guess they are happy just to get out from under the ice.’
March 16, 1988
One workman was injured Thursday when debris from the old Jenkins power plant enter the cab of the front end loader being used to pull the structure down. Mayor Robert Shubert called the building “rotten” and scoffed at reports that the structure was sound until demolition began.
The Letcher Fiscal Court will be asked this week to enact new laws which will create the job of a full-time litter control officer and give him the power to arrest people who illegally dump garbage.
Virginia’s top United Mine Workers officials said that Westmoreland Coal Co. apparently is trying to get around the new labor contract by laying off miners in Virginia and opening nonunion mines in Letcher and Knott counties in Kentucky. Westmoreland recently purchased large coal reserves from BethEnergy, the mining subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corp. which sold its Kentucky holdings.
March 18, 1998
A World War II casualty from Letcher County is being honored nearly 56 years after he died in a Japanese prison camp in the Philippine Islands. The Veterans Administration this month issued a bronze marker commemorating the death of Jesse James Gilliam, a U.S. Navy storekeeper who was only 21 years old when he died while being held as a prisoner of war.
State officials have collected a $1,000 penalty from Golden Oak Mining Company for “upsetting the hydrological balance” of Camp Branch and surrounding areas through mining activity.
Two tourism projects and two road projects for Letcher County are included in the two-year Kentucky budget approved by the House of Representatives, Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg said this week. The projects involve the Little Shepherd Trail, the Pound Gap entrance
~ to Letcher County from Virginia, planning for relocating U.S. 119 across Pine Mountain and two county roads.