Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 1928 Three men have been indicted in the September 2 murder of Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Joner Cornett, who was killed on Linefork while accompanying Prohibition Officer Clark Day on a liquor raid there. Charged with murder are Joe Davidson, High Davidson, and Denver Bowman. Deputy Cornett was shot after he, Day and Red Shepherd attempted to serve an arrest warrant on High Davidson for violation of liquor laws. The three men placed Davidson under arrest at the home of his uncle, Joe Davidson, but High Davidson was able to escape and Cornett was killed during the mix-up that followed. At the same time, a horse that was by Day’s side was also killed.
. Letcher County Deputy Sheriff Jim Maggard was sentenced to two years in state prison after being tried and convicted on a charge of killing Willie Brown. Maggard was released on bond pending the appeal of his conviction.
. Considerable repairs are underway in what is known as ‘Old Kona,’ the property belonging to the Elkhorn Coal Company. Several of the houses have already been weather-boarded and painted, and others are being worked on as well. A large building was added to the group of office and store buildings recently. A dark green paint is being used on all the buildings and the camp is taking on a spick-and-span appearance.
. The Neon Motor Company has been purchased by Miner’s Motor Company and will remain open under the management of C.B. McAuley, manager of Miner’s Motor. Miner’s sells Studebakers and needs the Neon Motor facilities for servicing them.
. The extension of the C&O Railroad’s Elkhorn and Beaver Valley Railroad from Wayland in Floyd County to the Caney Creek Community Center at Pippa Passes in Knott County is proposed in the development plans of the Elkhorn Utilities Company following the purchase by that firm of nine coal mines and four reserve coal tracts in Floyd, Knott and Pike counties.
. The Sergent School opened Monday September 3) with an enrollment of 126 students.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 8, 1938 A record 530 students have enrolled at Whitesburg High School, including 201 freshmen. Enrollment at Whitesburg Grade School is 352. There are 16 teachers in the high school and 10 teachers in the grade school.
. Henry Clay Caudill, well-known citizen of lower Letcher County and father of exsheriff W.H. Caudill, died unexpectedly at about 5 p.m. on September 6.
. Ripening pawpaws and the sound of falling acorns are sure signs that the days are getting shorter and another year will soon fold up and move on.
. Smoot Creek residents are petitioning the Kentucky and West Virginia Power Company to install power lines from Van Frazier’s home to the home of James Combs, a distance of about one mile.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 9, 1948 A crowd estimated at 20,000 turned out in Jenkins for a seven-hour Labor Day sponsored by the United Mine Workers of America.
. Declaring war on bootleg whiskey, slot machines and other forms of illegal gambling, District 8 Magistrate Gad Johnson teamed up with the district’s constable and three deputy sheriffs to raid several locations in Potter’s Fork and along the highway between Jenkins and Pound, Virginia.
. Jim Ison, who was accidentally shot while on a squirrel hunting trip last week, continues to improve in the Fleming hospital. He was shot in one of his lungs.
Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell Ladd are opening a theater in downtown Jenkins in a building they purchased from Consolidation Coal Company. Mr. Ladd says he plans to show only the best in pictures at the new theater.
. The Lynch Bulldogs defeated the Jenkins Cavaliers last Friday, 7 to 6, in the Cavaliers’ season opener in Jenkins.
. The “Back to School Dance” was held Saturday night at the Elkhorn Country Club in Jenkins last Saturday, from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m. The music was provided by A.M. “Grumpy” Tackas.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 1958 Bids will be awarded October 7 for the construction of two new school buildings in Letcher County — Fleming-Neon High School and Letcher Consolidated School. A architect’s rendering of the planned new Fleming-Neon school appears on the front page of this week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle.
. The Letcher County Board of Education negotiating with the congregation of the Baptist mission at Haymond for use of the church building as a fifth grade classroom. The church is asking $25 a month in rent. The room is necessary because there are 60 children in one fifth grade room at Haymond, said Letcher Schools Supt. W.B. Hall.
. “We don’t want you to meddle in our schools,” County School Superintendent W.B. Hall told a group of Whitesburg parents during a meeting of the Letcher County Board of Education Saturday. Hall was addressing a group of mothers who belong to the Whitesburg PTA and attended the meeting to ask that the filthy restrooms at Whitesburg Grade School be cleaned up so their children will no longer be afraid to use them. The mothers also asked the board if they could volunteer to wash the walls at the school and were told no.
. Letcher Schools Supt. W.B. Hall has accused Mountain Eagle editor Tom Gish of being “a liar by the clock.” Hall said, “75 percent of what you’ve had in the last two issues of The Eagle is a lie.” He made the accusations at the September meeting of the Letcher County Board of Education. Gish replied to Hall that he would “let the people of Letcher County judge” whether he had told lies about the Letcher County School System in recent editorials in the paper. Hall did not specify which “75 percent” of what was the paper had to say was “lies.” Gish said the paper “will continue to fight for better schools” in Letcher County.
. Letcher County voters will decide November 4 whether to replace magistrates with county commissioners, a move calculated to save the county at least $13,800 a year in money paid to the magistrates for salaries. County Judge Arthur Dixon entered an order calling for a vote on the question after a petition bearing the names of some 130 residents of the county was filed in his office. If voters approve the question, the county will replace the eight magistrates with three commissioners who each would be paid $150 a month.
. Dr. T.M. Perry has officiated at the births of more than half the population of Jenkins, numerically speaking, during his 20 years of practice. More than 4,00 babies is quite a record. In fact, he set the state record for delivering the most babies in 1938. His most prized record is that he has never lost a mother, but he has had some narrow escapes himself. Once, after he informed a father-to-be that his child would not be born for at least another 14 hours, Dr. Perry was held at gunpoint at the home by the anxious young man.
. Actor Paul Newman stars in “The Left Handed Gun,” showing September 11-13 at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg.
. Four new homes are being constructed at Lakeside in Jenkins. The building bug seems to have bit Mr. and Mrs. William F. Wright, Mr. and Mrs. Donald Hill, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Picklesimer, and Mr. and Mrs. Carl Fitzpatrick at the same time.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1968 The long-delayed Whitesburg Urban
Renewal program, at a standstill for the last two years, appears to be under way again. The project involves 60 acres of choice land in west Whitesburg, which had been cleared but had grown up in weeds while federal officials in Atlanta failed to move it ahead. Plans for the area include a site for 66 new public housing units, development of a private subdivision with 40 homes, a site for a new Whitesburg elementary school, an addition to the city park and a site for a proposed new motel.
. William Wright of Whitesburg, son of Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Wright, has reported for football practice at Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond.
. U.S. Rep. Carl D. Perkins has announced a new work program designed to provide 2,000 jobs for public assistance mothers and out-of-school youths 16 years old or older in 22 eastern Kentucky counties. The program, a part of the federal Concentrated Employment Program, will be known as WIN. It was set up under a new law that requires women who receive welfare assistance to support their children to work in exchange for the money. There is no indication of what will happen to the children while their mothers are at work.
. Gary Wright of McRoberts was wounded in Vietnam and has been sent to a hospital in Japan. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Orville Wright, were told his condition is satisfactory.
. The A&P Supermarket in Whitesburg advertising beef rib roast for 79 cents a pound and white bread at four loaves for 99 cents.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 31, 1978 Five sheriff ’s deputies resigned from the Letcher County police force and say they will file a least two lawsuits following a confrontation with coal truckers on Pratt Fork Road. Joe Begley of Blackey said he and four other deputies alleged that trucks hauling coal, apparently from a Meade & Shepherd Coal Company mine, were illegally using a small bridge with a weight limit of 10 tons. “We tried to get them to turn back and they refused,” he said. “We called (Sheriff ) Vernon Hall and asked him to send reinforcements and to call the state weight men. No one came to help us — no one.” Begley said one man at the scene told the deputies, “I’ve got a truckload of dynamite back there and I’ll blow it to hell — If I can’t use it nobody will.” The standoff continued until the deputies once again called Hall and were told to “back off and let the trucks through,” said Mike Dixon.
. The Letcher County Ambulance Service, which has been threatening to close its doors since June 15, stopped answering all but emergency calls Friday night. “We are answering only calls of a life-or-death matter, said owner R.W. Hewson, “and are continuing to provide service to those coal companies under contract with us.”
. Gov. Julian Carroll will be the keynote speaker at groundbreaking ceremonies for the Whitesburg By-pass. The groundbreaking will take place September 12.
. Hershel Ingram, 50, a Whitesburg institution for the past 20 years, died unexpectedly last week. Deaf since an attack of polio at the age of 7, he attended a special school for the deaf in West Virginia and a football star in high school there. For many years he helped out at Craft Funeral Home in Whitesburg and at The Mountain Eagle.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 7, 1988 Election records in the Letcher County Clerk’s office showed last week that 25 persons had filed as candidates in the November General Election, not including the two state representative’s races or the presidential and vice presidential races. In all, rural Letcher Countians will chose from a minimum of 14 candidates in 10 races and will vote on two constitutional amendments. Jenkins citizens will chose from 23 candidates in 13 races and two constitutional amendments.
. Students in the Letcher County school system raised their skill test scores nearly a full point last year. At the same time, however,
they dropped by a point in relation to students in other Kentucky school systems taking the test. Jenkins students dropped in both test scores and comparative rank, but still outdid Letcher County students.
. John Lynch, a member of the Letcher High School 4-H Club, is a state champion in horticulture and next month will go to Chicago to compete for a national championship. Last year he was a national championship with a demonstration on how to select good vegetables.
. The Whitesburg boys’ and girls’ crosscountry teams are expecting another banner season. Both teams finished as regional runners-up last season and ran well in the state meet. Girls’ coach Sally Hubbard returns her entire team that will again be led by All-State Shondra Cates, a seventh grader. The boys’ team has nearly 25 runners, led by five seniors.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 1998 An official with the state Department for Local Government says “responsible” leadership by Letcher County Judge/Executive Carroll Smith has enabled the Letcher Fiscal Court to turn a $750,000 budget deficit inherited from previous administrations into a current budget surplus of $1,011,056. Judge Smith has “bit the bullet and kept his finger on expenses,” said Thompson Armstrong, director of the state Division of County and Municipal Accounting. “I applaud him. He’s done an excellent job of managing the taxpayers’ money.”
. Country music singer Gary Stewart, who was in Letcher County as guest of honor for the Jenkins Days festival, served as grand marshal for a parade through town. He was also present for the official dedication of the Letcher County portion of the Country Music Highway (U.S. 23), which is named in his honor. He ended the day by performing a free concert for a crowd of more than 5,000.
. Donald Terry Bartley, one of a trio who murdered Tammy Acker and left her father Roscoe Acker for dead in 1985, was denied an appeal for a lesser sentence. Bartley testifi ed for the prosecution of Roger Epperson and Benny Lee Hodge, and now argues his sentencing deal should have been for 200 years in prison, which meant eligibility for parole after eight years. He was sentenced to 25 years without parole.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2008 Following a string of high profile mine accidents that left dozens dead in recent years, coal operators say the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration has become extremely heavy-handed in an attempt to counteract accusations of lax oversight. Signs that top U.S. coal producers were chaffing under the government oversight began about a year ago, just as MSHA was drawing renewed criticism from Congress and organized labor over enforcement. Critics blasted the agency for failing to perform mandatory inspections at underground coal mines despite high-profile fatal accidents including the Sago Mine explosions in 2006 that killed 12 and the Crandall Canyon mine collapse and rescue attempt that killed nine.
. Shannon Garland told a Letcher Circuit Court jury that he was sitting on a living room couch when his girlfriend, Rosemary McClain, stabbed Lisa Jenkins in the kitchen. Garland pleaded guilty earlier this year to helping McClain murder Jenkins at McClain’s residence near Jenkins. Garland said McClain became angry with Jenkins over the price of narcotic pain pills Jenkins was selling illegally.
. Alice Lloyd College has been named the top college in America for graduating students with the least amount of debt by U.S. News and World Report. ALC also ranked third among all baccalaureate colleges in the South and six in the nation in alumni donations.
. In the three years of existence at Letcher County Central High School, the girls’ volleyball team is the school’s only athletic team that has won all three district championships and followed that up with three regional titles resulting in three trips to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association State Tournament.