Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



July 10, 1958

The Jenkins school system has adopted a budget for the next school year which is $14,130.30 less than last year’s working budget. The new budget totals $277,155.

Letcher Fiscal Court and the Letcher County Budget Commission locked in a struggle this week that may keep the county government in financial hot water for some months to come. Two members of the budget commission – County Atty. F. Byrd Hogg and Stephen Combs Jr., a Whitesburg attorney who represents the citizens of the county on the commission – refused to sign the budget if it contained in it provisions to pay the eight magistrates salaries of $200 a month each.

Letcher County’s No. 1 need can be summed up in one word – roads – in the opinion of Wilson Wyatt, a former Louisville mayor who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor. “When the roads were being passed out, eastern Kentucky was forgotten,” Wyatt said.

Dr. R.D. Collins held a pre-school clinic at Dr. Lundy Adams’s office in Blackey June 26. All children enrolling in school for the first time at the Blackey Grade School were present. There were 11.

July 11, 1968

Work is to resume soon on construction of a low-water dam on the Kentucky River, which is supposed to impound a water supply for the City of Whitesburg. Work on the dam was halted several months ago amid reports that the structure was not properly designed.

Whitesburg may not have its traditional colored lights during the Christmas season this year unless somebody donates money for new equipment. City Fire Chief Phil Bowen told the city council Tuesday that they ought to try to find some way immediately to replace several hundred feet of wiring which is defective and dangerous.

Stephen Combs Jr. of Whitesburg is the new judge of Letcher Circuit Court, succeeding the late J.L. Hays.

Red potatoes are on sale this week at the A&P food store for 78 cents for a 10-pound bag. Two green peppers cost 19 cents.

July 13, 1978

The Letcher County Fiscal Court voted itself a salary increase, termed a “cost of living adjustment”, and raised the daily pay for election officers during Friday’s meeting. Letcher County magistrates will now collect their base salary, $560 a month, plus a percentage increase based on a 6.75 inflation factor, for a total of $597.50 a month.

Top Jenkins officials manned the pumps this week when the city water plant workers went out on strike after several employees learned that the city clerk, who was on vacation, had neglected to write out paychecks.

T-bone steak is $2.89 a pound at the A&P grocery. Bacon is 99 cents a pound.

July 13, 1988

The City of Whitesburg is dredging the Kentucky River to store water, after the river dwindled to a six-foot-wide stream behind the city’s dam at the Upper Bottom.

Property Valuation Administrator Columbus Sexton says schools and county government in Letcher County should gain about $421,700 a year from the state coal severance tax when higher rates on unmined minerals go into effect as a the result of a state court decision.

The federal Office of Surface Mining has ordered an investigation to determine if surface mining caused a number of wells to go dry in Leslie County.

Letcher County’s unemployment rate was 12.6 percent in May.

July 15, 1998

Mortgage rates have fallen in Letcher County, but still remain higher than rates now available in central Kentucky. Ten- and 15- year mortgages are now being closed in Letcher County at interest rates between 9.25 percent and 10 percent, according to records in the office of Letcher County Clerk Charlie Wright.

Work on additional parking for the Whitesburg housing project has been slowed because of objections from the Letcher County Board of Education. The school district’s central office lies on property adjacent to the property being filled, and school officials say they fear the fill will cause water to divert to their property.

The theme for this year’s Jenkins Homecoming Festival, which will be held August 27-29, is Country Music Highway – Take Me Home, and a section of the new U.S. 23 will be dedicated to country singer and Payne Gap native Gary Stewart.

“Out of Sight” and “Deep Impact” are playing at the Jeremiah Drive-In Theatre on Friday and Saturday.

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