April 10, 1958
County Judge Arthur Dixon today called a special meeting of fiscal court to consider purchasing voting machines for use in most Letcher precincts in the November election. Elections currently cost Letcher County about $10,000 a year. Use of voting machines could be expected to cut the cost to about $5,000. Voting machines could be purchased for approximately $4,300 a year.
The Douglas Day Post No. 152 of the American Legion was reorganized at a meeting in the courthouse here last week, to serve the Whitesburg area. Officers were elected as follows: James R. Jones, commander; Paul Sharpe, first vice commander; Mitchell Davidson, post adjutant; Fred Frazier, historian; Jack Frazier, chaplain; and Coleman Day, finance officer.
A new post office will be built at Neon between now and early fall, Postmaster General Summerfield announced this week in Washington.
Semi-professional baseball teams representing Pikeville, Shelbiana, Drift, Prestonsburg, Martin, and Letcher County (which will probably be known as Neon, practice at McRoberts and play at Jenkins) have formed a new league here in eastern Kentucky.
April 11, 1968
An intensive care unit for treatment of critically ill patients has opened at the Appalachian Regional Hospital in Whitesburg. The first such facility in eastern Kentucky, it contains special equipment to treat patients suffering from serious ailments such as heart attacks, shock, acute kidney failure, serious respiratory troubles and patients who have undergone major surgery and need constant surveillance.
About 100 teachers and guests ate the first meal prepared in the new Whitesburg school cafeteria Sunday night. The cafeteria was opened to students the next day.
Jeff Hunsucker, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ulis Hunsucker of Whitesburg, has received a “commended” rating in the National Merit Scholarship Test. He has also been chosen for the East All-Star football squad. He will play center on the team. He is a senior at Whitesburg High School.
Smoked hams are 45 cents a pound this week at the A&P Food Store. Rib roast is 89 cents a pound.
April 13, 1978
The Blue Diamond Coal Co. has filed a claim with the U.S. Department of the Interior asking for $9,327,160 in damages resulting from the second of two explosions at the company’s Scotia Mine in Letcher County on March 11, 1976. Blue Diamond is contending that “negligent acts and/or omissions” from Interior and Mine Safety and Enforcement Administration employees “caused” the March 11 explosion which killed eight miners and three federal inspectors.
A federal regulation which has permitted some coal companies to avoid the installation of canopies on mine equipment to protect miners from roof falls has been declared invalid by a federal judge in Washington.
Senior members of the NCAA champion University of Kentucky basketball team will play the Marathon Oilers in games later this month in Jenkins and Harlan. Rick Robey, Mike Phillips, Jack “Goose” Givens and James Lee will participate in the game against the Oilers, an AAU team made up of former Kentucky collegiate greats.
April 13, 1988
Letcher Circuit Judge F. Byrd Hogg was expected to decide this week whether to delay the trial of a young couple accused of murdering three people at Isom last summer. The trial of Anthony Smith, 21, and Carolyn Smith, 22, is scheduled to begin here next Monday, but defense attorneys have asked Hogg to give them more time to prepare for the case. The Smiths and another man, 20-year-old Steve Adams, are charged with robbing and murdered Carolyn Smith’s parents and her mentally retarded brother, and kidnapping Mrs. Smith’s three-year-old daughter.
The City of Jenkins will no longer pump water to Marshalls Branch. At a meeting last week, the council approved the recommendation of the Jenkins Utilities Commission that the city stop serving the Pike County hollow because of massive leaks in the water lines leading out of the city.
High school and elementary school coaches and athletes face suspension for losing their tempers and exhibiting unsportsmanlike behavior under a new policy adopted by the Letcher County Board of Education. The policy, enacted last week in response to fights which occurred during the 53rd District boys’ basketball tournament, places stricter rules on the behavior of athletes, coaches and fans.
April 15, 1998
When Gov. Paul Patton signs House Bill 115 in Frankfort Friday, he will open a new system of tracking prescription drug abuse which had its beginning at a meeting in Letcher County more than two years ago. The system was the idea of former Burdine resident Tim Lucas, who as a Kentucky State Police detective in Letcher County became alarmed at the increase in the illegal use of prescription drugs and set out to do something about it. The new law establishes a monitoring system for prescription controlled substances. It requires all prescriptions for controlled substances to be written on security paper which cannot be photocopied, and it provides penalties for “doctor shopping.”
Members of the City of Whitesburg police force thought they were getting pay raises, but members of the city council changed their minds and canceled the proposed raises when they discovered the city budget was not big enough to pay for them.
Health officials have lifted a “boil water advisory” at Arlie Boggs Elementary School, clearing the way for students to return to classes there next week after this week’s spring vacation. The Eolia school had been under the advisory since potentially dangerous E. coli bacteria were found in the water supply last Thursday.