Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Thursday, May 3, 1928 “Snow covers county as April departs,” says a front-page headline in The Mountain Eagle. Snowfall that began on Friday morning, April 28 continued into Saturday and left several inches of accumulation on the ground. At least 22 inches of snowfall was measured on Pine Mountain, resulting in the cancellation of a “lot sale” there. The North Fork of the Kentucky River began swelling as the snow melted.
. S.K. Fairchild has resigned his position as cashier at First National Bank in Whitesburg to take up his duties at the new Fairchild Motor Company, which will handle Ford sales and service.
Thursday, April 28, 1938 Pine Mountain near Whitesburg is being considered as a location for a planned new tuberculosis sanatorium to serve eastern Kentucky. “A sanatorium on Pine Mountain had long been the dream of the people, and if one is to be built in the eastern Kentucky mountains no better location could be found,” says The Mountain Eagle.
. The Kentucky River League will open its baseball season on Sunday when McRoberts visits Whitesburg. The league will play on Sundays and holidays and also features teams from Hindman, Tribbey, Kenmont, Hazard, Hardburley, and Jackson. Each team will play 20 games.
. Residents of Blackey met Tuesday night in the recreation room of the Presbyterian Church to make plans for a “cleanup week” to be held the first week of May.
. Well-known local mechanics Arlie Blair and Lester Bentley have leased the Gault Garage on Tunnel Hill in Whitesburg. The business is now known as Blair and Bentley Motor Company.
. The old bridge spanning the North Fork of the Kentucky River in Whitesburg, now 30 years old, will be replaced soon.
. A few small bass are “beginning to dart here and there” in Defeated Creek.
. Mr. E.D. Cornett lost 14 head of sheep in one day recently at his farm at Defeated Creek. The sheep were killed by a pack of dogs.
Thursday, April 29, 1948 The Kentucky Court of Appeals this week confirmed the death sentence of Jasper Nease of McRoberts, the first of three hitchhike slayers convicted in a case that reached Letcher County. Nease, Daniel McPeak and Herbert H. Workman, after escaping the guardhouse at Fort Knox last March 13, were convicted of armed robbery in the death of Vernon C. Hodges of Louisville, whose body was found in the North Fork of the Kentucky River near Hazard. The three men were indicted on murder charges, but were tried first on the armed robbery charges, which also carry a maximum penalty of death.
. The former Jenkins Hospital now known as Sharon Heights Hospital is now in position to start caring for contract patients and private patients.
. “Where There’s Life,” a movie starring Bob Hope, will show at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg for one week beginning May 2.
. The recently formed Neon Jaycees are being credited with discovering a fire at the Neon A&P Store Tuesday morning and with quickly bringing the blaze under control. Members of the Jaycees were washing down the streets with a water truck when the fire was spotted at about 5 a.m. They began spraying water on the flames until the Fleming Fire Department arrived. Damage was to the building and contents were limited to about $1,500.
. Jenkins has joined Whitesburg and Neon in forming a Junior Chamber of Commerce, also known at Jaycees.
. The senior class of Jenkins High School left Sunday for their trip to New York City. The seniors left Jenkins around 1:30 p.m. for Pikeville, where they caught the 3:17 train. They arrived in New York City around 4 p.m. Monday.
. A limited distribution of the new half dollars bearing the portrait of Benjamin Franklin will be made starting April 30. The new half dollar is the fifth in a series of portrait coins, the others being the Lincoln penny issued in 1909; the Washington quarter issued in 1932; the Jefferson nickel issued in 1938, and the Roosevelt dime issued in 1946.
Thursday, May 1, 1958 Letcher County’s eight magistrates are not yet receiving the $200-per-month salaries they voted themselves recently. County Clerk Charlie Wright is refusing to issue checks for the new salaries, and instead is continuing to pay each magistrate a fee of $15 for each Letcher Fiscal Court meeting he attends. Wright said he is acting on the advice of the state Department of Revenue.
. The City of Whitesburg apparently will not obtain an option to purchase land next to City Hall for $14,500. Members of the Whitesburg City Council voted at the council’s April meeting to secure the option. At that time, council members thought heirs of Cornelia Adams had agreed to give the city an option to buy
the land, which the city planned to clear and use as a parking lot for City Hall. Since then, other offers have been made to purchase the lot at a higher price and the Adams heirs have not given the city the option.
. The Whitesburg post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has won the Department of Kentucky VFW’s community service contest for the second year in a row. The local post won over Newport and Princeton on the basis of a scrapbook showing its activities for the last year.
. Concerned that state welfare officials were setting a bad example in Letcher County, The Mountain Eagle is editorially criticizing a decision by the state public assistance office in Whitesburg in which a newspaper carrier was encouraged to give up pay of $100 monthly for a “public handout” of only $43 monthly. “We think it is an extremely rare physical ailment which enables a person to walk the streets but denies to him the strength necessary to carry a pound of newspapers,” the editorial says. “Our concern is not for the sale of Mountain Eagles. There are at least a dozen school children who will gladly take over [the carrier’s] route. Instead, we are concerned for [the carrier]. He has been talked into giving up a fairly steady income of some $100 monthly — which he earned through his own labor — for a public handout of only $43 monthly. The $43 certainly is not enough to feed, house and clothe [the carrier]. He has, we believe, been caught in a trap that really can do nothing but lower his standard of living.”
. Coach Ed Moore’s Whitesburg Yellowjackets, who lost only three men from last year’s team, appear to be the football team to beat in the county this coming fall and should be a contender of Eastern Kentucky Mountain Conference honors, Mountain Eagle sportswriter R. Percy Elkins writes. According to Elkins, the “best player on the squad” is Bertram Bradshaw, a 176-pound junior who lettered at guard last year. Other standouts, Elkins writes, are 236-pound senior tackle Gerald Frazier, aided by Gurnie Maggard, who tips the scales at 233 pounds.
. The American Electric Power Company is the new corporate name for the company that owns Kentucky Power Company, which serves Letcher County. The name is being changed from American Gas and Electric Company.
. Cumberland Coach Lines this week discontinued all but two round trips a day between Whitesburg and Hazard until road conditions improve on Kentucky Highway 15.
. Forty-five Jeremiah residents are petitioning the Letcher Fiscal Court to keep the county’s University of Kentucky agricultural extension program going.
. The 52 Fleming-Neon High School seniors making the “Senior Trip” to Washington, D.C., and New York City have returned after a week of sightseeing.
Thursday, April 25 1968 The large amount of opposition to the proposed Kingdom Come Dam is “casting some doubt” as to the “public acceptability” of the project, Army Colonel R.R. Wessels said. The dam, designed almost solely to provide flood protection for the city of Hazard, would displace some 6,000 Letcher Countians — as many, Letcher County argues, as would benefit from the project.
Staff Sgt. Jimmy Quillen, son of Mrs. Thelma G. Stewart, Neon, received the U.S. Air Force Commendation medal at Hickman AFB, Hawaii. A graduate of Fleming-Neon High School, Stewart was cited for professional skill, knowledge and leadership.
. Welfare checks for over 181,000 Kentuckians may be delayed for over a week because of a deadlock in a House-Senate conference committee. An appropriations bill that includes $1.1 billion for the federal share of public assistance funds is tied up in a controversy over funds for a proposed summer youth program.
. A notice in The Mountain Eagle tells of five goats — four old and one young — found on a ledge on Black Mountain.
Thursday, April 20, 1978 Citing a shortage of rail cars, Beth- Elkhorn Coal Corp. cut back production at its Letcher and Pike County mines to three days last week, and may reduce production again this week. Beth- Elkhorn spokesman Ray Mullins denied that the cutback reflected the depressed market for metallurgical coal and said, “Our problem is getting enough rail cars. That is the only reason for cutting back hours.”
. The Letcher County school board voted to re-open schools on August 10, following summer vacation, for the next school year. The board action sets the opening date up five days from last year’s August 15 opening date.
. “Here Come the Tigers” will be shown at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
. “How many of you have really noticed the beauty of spring?” asks McRoberts correspondent Madelyn Combs. “As I look at the green leaves bursting out on the trees, it’s had to believe that those same trees were ice-covered and their boughs bent double with snow only a few weeks ago.”
. Wednesday, April 27, 1988 The City of Fleming-Neon has still not reached an agreement to pay $40,000 in overtime wages owed to police officers. Charles McCoy, director of the Division of Employee Standards and Mediation, said the 11 former and present police officers have chosen to negotiate with the city personally.
. Whitesburg attorney and author Harry M. Caudill writes about the deaths of coal miners, saying the first cause of the deaths is the innate character of the work. “Tunneling into a mountain to removes a ledge of mineral from between nether and upper layers of rock is inescapably dangerous. The top may be brittle, or long weakened by water and other influences. Parts of the roof may appear solid but actually can be detached. When support is withdrawn it can come down like a cannon.”
. The Eolia Saddle and Trail Club is sponsoring a “hoof-enanny” fundraiser at the club’s property on Franks Creek. According to club president Joe Shelton, the event is titled “Spring on Eolia” and proceeds will be used to complete the planned construction on the property. Club member Dock Frazier was responsible
. The Whitesburg Airport Board will seek private donations for an airport plan in an effort to convince the Federal Aviation Administration that the public wants the facility.
for lining up the nine acts that have agreed to perform.
Wednesday, April 22, 1998 Miners and former miners from Letcher County spoke about their experience with coal dust and their fears about it in conversations over the past year about the continuing deaths of coal miners from black lung disease. They were among 255 miners and former miners who spoke with Gardiner Harris, a reporter for the Louisville Courier-Journal. A five-part series by Harris began in the April 19 issue of the newspaper. It reveals cheating on coal-mine dust samples, warnings to mine operators that inspectors are on their way and threats of job loss to miners who tell federal officials about unsafe conditions in both deep and surface mines.
. Streams in Letcher County rose out of their banks three days out of four last week, but damage was mostly limited to public roads and bridges. Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith said the biggest slide occurred on Black Mountain, where county crews spent two days moving more than 100 truckloads of mud and debris that came from an old mine.
. Columnist Ike Adams writes about home ownership, saying, “I’m starting to wonder if the Great American Dream is all that it’s cracked up to be.” He continues, “Now we pay way, way more in taxes and interest than we used to pay in rent, but when something breaks I can’t call the credit union or the tax collector and get them to do a damn thing to fix it. When the basement floods or the drains clog up or the storm door blows off its hinges all I have to do is look in the mirror to find the repairman.”
. The Lady Cavs are number 18 in the rst statewide softball poll of the season. This is the first time that a Jenkins softball team has made the state poll.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008 Three suspects charged with murdering 70-year-old Ralph Marcum are also accused of burglarizing his apartment in Fleming-Neon after dumping his body in Pike County. Police officers say John W. Pigg, Lloyd Pigg and Christina Collins drove Marcum’s car to his apartment at Goose Creek where they stole “various items of Mr. Marcum’s personal property.”
. Hassel Griffie, of Tolby Branch in Hallie, says he is not responsible for a gate that is keeping Equitable Production Company away from three gas wells that have been drilled on Griffie’s property. An Equitable lawsuit says Griffie had filed a complaint alleging that Equitable’s employees or agents left a gate open which allowed his penned foxes to escape. “This is probably his reason for denying (Equitable) access to its wells,” says the lawsuit. Griffie filed his own answer to Equitable’s suit, in which he denies using a locked gate to keep the company off his property. Griffie also claims that Equitable owes him $5,760 for the missing foxes.
. Chester Baker and Coleman Day of American Legion Douglas Day Post 152 received certificates from the national headquarters of the American Legion honoring their membership in Post 152 for 50 consecutive years.
. The band Kansas headlined a classic rock concert at the Eastern Kentucky Expo Center in Pikeville on April 19. Appearing in support of Kansas were Brian Howe, a former vocalist for later-day Bad Company, and Southern rockers Blackfoot.