Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
Thursday, May 30, 1928 An area just outside of McRoberts known as Squat-low has been modernized and subdivided into Roaring Fork, said Squat-low “mayor” J.C. Reynolds, father of Letcher County Sheriff Morgan T. Reynolds. J.C. Reynolds said he named his “town” based on the characteristic posture of one of its inhabitants.
Thursday, May 26, 1938 The body of convicted murderer Troy Triplett, who died by electrocution in the Kentucky State Penitentiary at Eddyville at 12:24 a.m. on May 20, was returned to Letcher County for burial this week. A Letcher Circuit jury sentenced Triplett to death last October for the murder of Dolphie Hall on the North Fork of the Kentucky River at Bill Moore Branch. Funeral services for Triplett were held Monday at the family cemetery at Bill Moore Branch.
. The Blackey State Bank, which has been in the hands of the Kentucky Banking and Securities Commission, will pay its final dividend to depositors and stockholders in the next week to 10 days, state officials say.
. June 13 is the date checks will be issued for final dividend payments to depositors and stockholders of the now-insolvent First National Bank of Whitesburg.
. Work is progressing on the new bridge crossing the North Fork of the Kentucky River on Madison Avenue in Whitesburg. The four-pier structure, designed and engineered by Roy Crawford, is now expected to be finished within three months. The new bridge “will be 120 feet long with a 20-foot driveway and two sidewalks, one on each side of the bridge,” The Mountain Eagle reports. “The finished work will be quite different from anything in this section of the state, the design and plans being very artistic and modern.” The project, estimated to cost $30,000, employs 35 men.
. Kentucky’s lieutenant governor, Keen Johnson, enjoyed his recent four-hour and forty-minute drive from Frankfort to “the heart of the mountains” in Letcher County, where he delivered the commencement address at the Whitesburg High School graduation. Writing for the Richmond Daily Register, Johnson says the most memorable part of his journey was a visit to the top of Pine Mountain near Whitesburg. “Most majestic of mountains, 2,600 feet high,” Keen writes. “Scenic splendor unsurpassed. … From lofty eminence there spreads away toward the horizon a panorama of superb grandeur. … Ranges of hills, tier after tier, stretch beyond the outer curtain of clouds, which arch above; intrigued by the ethereal blue haze, which drapes caressingly about mountain peaks like a bridal veil. … Intriguing, this mysterious mirage of the mountains.”
Thursday, May 27, 1948 Two teen-agers from Knox County were killed Wednesday morning after the heavy-duty truck in which they were riding overturned at the head of Little Cowan on Pine Mountain. The two teens — driver Paul Myrick and passenger Thomas B. Hembree, both of Trosper, Ky. — were only 17 years old. Police say the wreck occurred about 10 a.m. when Myrick lost control of the truck as it went around a steep curve. Evidence shows that Myrick was able to hold the truck onto the shoulder of the road for several hundred feet before it overturned on a steep ledge, plunged down the hillside, and landed on Little Cowan Road.
. An argument at Kona on Sunday night resulted in the shooting death of 36-yearold Samuel Carlisle. Charged with the murder is Arkie Newman, who is being held in the Letcher County Jail.
. Southern coal operators are looking to the National Labor Relations Board for a way out of their deadlock with the United Mine Workers union and its president, John L. Lewis, over negotiating a new contract. The Southern Coal Producers Association charges that Lewis is refusing to bargain in good faith.
. Fifty business and residential lots in Jenkins will be sold at public auction on Saturday, May 29, at 10 a.m. “Jenkins time.” J.C. Hunsaker owns the property, located at the foot of Pine Mountain.
. Randolph Scott, Gabby Hayes, Barbara Britton, and Lon Chaney Jr. star in the film “Albuquerque,” showing at the Kentucky Theatre in Whitesburg May 30 through June 5.
Thursday, May 29, 1958 The Letcher County Fiscal Court has postponed action on a 1958-59 budget over concerns about the $200-a-month salaries magistrates voted themselves, apparently illegally. The Kentucky Revenue Cabinet ordered all counties in the state to hold up on paying salaries voted by magistrates now in office until the state Court of Appeals decides whether it is constitutional to raise their salaries during their present term of office. Magistrate W.R. Bates told a Revenue Cabinet official attending the court’s May meeting that a circuit judge in Muhlenberg County who ruled recently that magistrates could not vote themselves salary increases “had no right to interfere in this.”
. Letcher County’s eight magistrates say The Mountain Eagle has been printing lies about them. The magistrates told a large
audience at its May meeting that “people think what they read in the papers is true and not half of it is.” Added Magistrate J.C. Day, “They shouldn’t put things in the papers when they haven’t even come up before this court.” The magistrates apparently were referencing reports in The Mountain Eagle that the county might have to cut its services in order to pay the magistrates $200 a month each in salaries they voted themselves recently. The Mountain Eagle has published editorials opposing the salaries on the ground the county does not have enough money to pay them and conduct its other business, too. “Every paper that’s come out since the new magistrates came in has been jam full of false statements about the fiscal court,” said Magistrate Lawrence Cornett.
. Whitesburg teen-agers are talking this week about the ‘Teen-Time Club’ they started here. Last Saturday, 51 local young people attended the first of a series of dances to be held each Saturday afternoon at the Whitesburg gymnasium. The dances, known as “sock hops,” start at 1:30 p.m. and last until 3 p.m.
. Residents of areas adjoining Whitesburg have filed suit against the city, seeking to void the annexation ordinance passed April 17 that would take in their property. Twenty-three persons are listed as plaintiffs in the suit.
. Mickey Rooney stars as the FBI’s public enemy number one in “Baby Face Nelson,” showing this weekend at Isaac’s Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.
Thursday, May 23, 1968 The strong possibility developed this week that Whitesburg may have a totally useless $180,000 dam on its hands. And the town may be without a source of drinking water this summer. Nick Johnson, director of sanitation for the Kentucky State Department of Health, said the “tremendous siltation” in the Kentucky River at the dam site threatens to fill up the reservoir area and render it useless for city water supply purposes. Both of the intake pipes, installed to furnish the city water supply, already are buried under two or three feet of silt — and the dam isn’t complete yet. He said that strip mining is filling the Kentucky River in the Whitesburg area at a much greater and much more rapid rate that could be predicted.
. Whitesburg’s new A&P Supermarket will open Tuesday. The new store is located on the former drive-in theater site near the junction of KY 15 and Solomon Road. The old A&P Food Store on Main Street will remain open until Saturday night.
. A planned “orientation day” for students from Kingdom Come High School at Letcher and Whitesburg high schools was cancelled after parents and students refused to let school buses carrying the students leave the campus on Linefork. The State Department of Education recently denied Kingdom Come High School accreditation for another year, an action that has the effect of closing the school, which has only 106 students.
. Ernest Gay Amburgey, son of Mr. and Mrs. Willie Amburgey of Premium, has been named the outstanding senior civil engineering student at the University of Kentucky.
Thursday, May 18, 1978 Landowners who have sought to limit the use of broad form deeds in extracting coal from beneath their property may soon receive some support from the new federal Office of Surface Mining. Leaders of the office in charge of regulating the new federal strip mine law are reported to be thinking of ways to limit the deed’s effect in Kentucky. Kentucky is the only
state in which the courts have not limited the deed’s power. As interpreted by the state’s judiciary, it has allowed coal to be mined without the landowner’s consent.
. Striking Stearns miners announced plans to picket the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort tomorrow. An “informational” picket line will go up at the capitol in an effort to increase public awareness of the miners’ position in the 22-month organizing strike, said United Mine Workers organizer Lee Potter.
. Memorial Day services have been scheduled jointly by the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. The services will be on Sunday, May 28, and officials asked families to be on time at cemeteries so the schedule can observed.
. ”White Buffalo” starring Charles Bronson will be shown this weekend at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.
Wednesday, May 25, 1988 The Appalachian Regional Commission has committed $300,000 to Whitesburg to renovate the city’s sewage treatment plant. The Farmers Home Administration has indicated it will probably grant the city money, and the Environmental Protection Agency has committed $320,000 to the project.
. Whitesburg’s commercial water customers will see higher rates soon. The city council voted to raise the water rates for more than 5,000 gallons from $1.65 per thousand gallons to $3.30 per thousand, the rate for more than 15,000 gallons from $1.50 per thousand to $3 per thousand, and the rate for 25,000 gallons and up to $2 per thousand. The city has been plagued by broken water lines and mechanical problems have caused the water company expenses to exceed its revenue for 34 of the last 36 months.
. Tourism employed 129 persons in Letcher County last year, according to figures released by the Kentucky Tourism Cabinet on a study of the economic impact of tourism in 1987. Tourism expenditures in the county were $3,484,457, up nearly $60,000 over 1986.
. Richard E. Titsworth of Whitesburg will serve as lieutenant governor of District 43-Y of Lions International for the 1988-89 term. He is a vice president of the Bank of Whitesburg, and serves as a volunteer firefighter in the Whitesburg Fire Department.
Wednesday, May 20, 1998 Kentucky State Police will observe Election Day activity in Letcher County during the primary voting next Tuesday. Letcher Judge/Executive Carroll A. Smith said he had asked Capt. Danny Webb of the state police post in Hazard to provide
officers to patrol voting precincts during voting hours. He said Webb agreed to move some officers from night shift to day shift in order to have enough officers to cover all the voting places in Letcher County.
. A power surge resulting from a “brown out” may be responsible for damages to appliances and electronic equipment in more than 200 Letcher County homes and businesses. Officials with American Electric Power Co. were scheduled to begin meeting this week with residents and business owners who think the mishap damaged their television sets, refrigerators, microwave ovens, stereo equipment, computers and other equipment and appliances.
. Letcher County teachers and classified employees can expect a 2.3 percent pay raise for the next school year, according to a tentative 1999 fiscal year budget adopted by the Letcher County Board of Education.
. The Jenkins Lady Cavaliers survived an upset bid by Whitesburg in the opening round of the 51st District softball tournament, winning 5-2. The Fleming-Neon Pirates rode the relief pitching of lefthander Tommy Hutton to edge Jenkins 4-2 in the opening round of the 53rd District baseball tournament.
Wednesday, May 21, 2008 The attention of most Letcher County voters leading up to this week’s election centered on the race for the 29th District state senate seat now held by Johnny Ray Turner. Turner, of Floyd County, defeated challenger Eric Shane Hamilton easily here, 2,513 to 1,704. Turner went on to defeat Hamilton across the district and does not face challenge from a Republican candidate in the fall.
. Another Letcher County post office is about to close. The Linefork Post Office will suspend its services May 30.
. Letcher County Sheriff ’s Deputy Conley Potter and 24 other officers killed in the line of duty will be honored by the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training at its annual law enforcement memorial ceremony at Eastern Kentucky University. Potter was shot to death on August 8, 1958 by a 20-year-old Isom man who was on parole for shooting an officer and four other persons in a crowd in Perry County.
. Letcher County has the seventh worst safety belt usage rate in Kentucky. According to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, 52 percent of Letcher County residents buckled up in 2007, with the state average being 72 percent. Only 35.8 percent of Letcher County residents wore seatbelts in 2005.