Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



June 5, 1958

The State Highway Department announced today that only $5 out of every $10,000 in the state’s $750 million five-year road program will be spent in Letcher County. Only two projects were allotted Letcher County for the next five years. They cost a total of $438,000.

A total of 68 crippled children, including 22 new cases, received treatment at the annual crippled children’s clinic in Whitesburg this week. The clinic, held in the basement of the Presbyterian Church, is sponsored by the Kentucky Crippled Children’s Commission.

Letcher County had 6.26 inches of rainfall during May, according to Dr. J. Huton Westover, local weather observer.

“The Pajama Game” starring Doris Day is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

June 6, 1968

Senator Robert F. Kennedy, a symbol of hope for many Kentucky mountain residents, died early today in Los Angeles, the victim of an assassin’s bullet. Kennedy visited Whitesburg and Letcher County, and neighboring counties, for a firsthand look at the heartland of the Appalachian area. His visit here on Feb. 13 and 14 took him into the homes of many Letcher County residents.

The A&P Supermarket in Whitesburg is holding its grand opening celebration this month. The new store is located on Kentucky 15 on the site of the former Elinda Ann Drive-In. It offers parking space for 157 cars.

The trial of Hobart Ison for the murder of Canadian film producer Hugh O’Conner ended last week in a deadlocked jury in the Harlan County Circuit Court. Witnesses testified that O’Conner and his four man crew were taking pictures of property owned by Ison near Jeremiah last Sept. 20 when Ison arrived, told them to leave, and then started shooting.

June 8, 1978

Promises to build a by-pass for the City of Whitesburg, made by state politicians for more than two decades, finally may be coming to fruition. State Transportation Secretary Calvin Grayson has announced that bids will be let for work on the by-pass June 23.

Several eastern Kentucky strip mines became the first in the nation to be shut down by federal inspectors under the new surface mining law. Eastern-Deaton Coal Co. at Child’s Creek in Harlan County, Frederick Construction Co. in Perry County, and Adams Construction Co. in Floyd County have been served with cessation orders, forcing them to shut down indefinitely.

Homes on Smoky Row Hill in Jenkins, most of which have gone without water for the past three winters, will be among the first to get improved service during the second phase of a half-million dollar program to upgrade the city’s water system.

Whole fryers are 48 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Lego lamb is $1.49 a pound.

June 8, 1988

A Jenkins City Councilman wants the city to buy out Kentucky Power Company’s equipment in Jenkins and sell electricity to city residents. Councilman Wayne Fleming told the rest of the council Monday night that he is fed up with the power company and wants to “let them know we’re here.”

Letcher County fire departments will begin picking up junked cars this week in an effort to clean up the county and raise money at the same time.

An engineer said bids on Jenkins’ proposed sewer treatment plant are “not reasonable” and urged the city council to wait before accepting or rejecting them. At the city council meeting last Thursday, project engineer Daryl Stapleton said bids on the project were from $950,000 to $2.17 million higher than his estimate of $2.63 million.

June 10, 1998

Members of the Letcher County Board of Education arrived at a special meeting Monday night apparently prepared to vote to close the Campbell’s Branch Elementary School, but after nearly two hours of discussion with parents of pupils at the school they decided to delay a decision until June 15.

A burst water main caused the City of Whitesburg’s water system to shut down completely twice in four days. Most residences and businesses began losing pressure Friday morning, but the whereabouts of the first leak couldn’t be located until early Sunday morning. That leak was repaired later that afternoon. On Monday evening, just as city employees were hoping to restore full service to all customers, another major leak was discovered near the first one.

Melissa Anderson and Caleb Brock of Whitesburg High School were named to the Big Dipper Sports All Mountain Senior Basketball Team. Candie Perry and Kristen Craft of Fleming-Neon, Jennifer Jensen of Jenkins, and Stephanie Caudill of Letcher also received the honor.

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