Whitesburg KY
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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

THURSDAY 
DECEMBER 29, 1949 

The attempted burglary of the A&P Food Store downtown in Neon Monday night netted the would-be thief nothing but a coat owned by the store’s manager, Ira Hill. According to Hill, he had been in Middlesboro spending Christmas with relatives and happened to stop by the store to fill the stoker furnace on his way back home. Hill said that while he was in the basement a man crawled through a window and Hill grabbed him and took him out on the street, where a scuffle broke out. It was during that fight, said Hill, that he lost his coat.

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The owner of the Chili Bowl in downtown Neon, John Manies, has signed a union contract for his employees with the United Construction Workers, an affiliate of the United Mine Workers. The Chili Bowl becomes the first union restaurant on the Upper Kentucky River valley.

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A scheduled recount of the ballots cast in the November 8 race for Letcher County Court Clerk has been postponed pending receipt of the order requiring the recount from the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

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Beginning January 1, 1950, Kentucky couples will have to wait at least three days between the time they obtain a marriage license and the time they are actually married.

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Three armed men robbed a Blackey merchant early Tuesday and left with $800 in cash. C.B. Caudill, the merchant, said the three men held guns on him, tied him up with rope and placed a gag in his mouth about 3 a.m. on Tuesday. The robbers also took a shotgun, a .22 automatic rifle, some shotgun shells and some cigarettes.

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Donnie Manning, a paratrooper in the Army Air Corps, spent Christmas in McRoberts with his mother, Ethel Manning, and his grandfather, Hess Gilliam.

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Robert Frost, a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner who has been America’s most popular poet the past 30 years, visited the campus of the University of Kentucky last week, where he presented a series of lectures for student writers and the general public.

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Mr. and Mrs. Jack Cox of Whitesburg announce the December 14 birth of a son, Jack Kelson. Mr. Cox manages the Hobbs five and dime store.

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Mr. and Mrs. Clyde Frazier of Whitesburg have chosen Clyde Douglas as the name of their new son born November 27.

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Two Consolidation Coal Company mines in Letcher County have earned good safety reports recently. Receiving good reports from the U.S. Bureau of Mines are Consol’s Mine 204, which is located near Jenkins and employs 265 men, and Mine 207, which is also located near Jenkins and employs 156 men.

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THURSDAY 
DECEMBER 31, 1959 

Alvin Holbrook of Mayking is qualified both by residence and education to serve as a member of the Letcher County Board of Education, Letcher Circuit Judge Courtney C. Wells ruled this week. A lawsuit filed by the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office sought to oust Holbrook from office because he moved his residence to Cumberland, in Harlan County, and because he does not have the required eighth-grade education. According to the ruling by Judge Wells, Holbrook did not move permanently to Cumberland, but was there to care for his aged mother. Wells also ruled that an affidavit concerning Holbrook’s completion of the eighth grade was valid and gave him the required education for school service.

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A Fleming-Neon High School senior died tragically in a hunting accident on Christmas Day. Donald Meade, 18, son of Mr. and Mrs. Millard Meade of Deane, was shot fatally after slipping on a rock and accidentally discharging his gun.

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State Senator-elect Archie Craft and state Representative-elect Harry M. Caudill, both of Whitesburg, will be taking off for Frankfort this weekend to help open the new session of the Kentucky General Assembly next week. Craft said he will concentrate on getting better roads for his district, which includes Letcher and Perry counties, while Caudill said he plans to work on reducing the illiteracy that affects 22 percent of Kentucky children under age 16.

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Kentucky’s daily fishing limit for possession of both crappie and white bass is being raised to 60.

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THURSDAY 
DECEMBER 25, 1969 

Pike and Letcher counties have taken over the leadership as the highest-income counties in the Kentucky mountains, and the gap between them and other mountain counties has widened. The changes were listed in a report by the University of Kentucky. Pike County was first in the mountains with a per capita 1968 income of $1,533. Letcher County was second with a $1,510 per capita figure.

. Staff Sergeant Cossie O. Holmes, 23, son of Mr. and Mrs. Co Holmes, McRoberts, received the Bronze Star Medal while stationed at Ft. Riley, Kan. S.Sgt. Holmes was presented the award for meritorious service in connection with military operations against hostile forces during his last assignment in Vietnam.

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The Fleming Fire Department had a fire drill on Dec. 12 and there was a good turnout for it. Fire Chief Archie Meade said that he was glad to see the big turnout and to know that the town was interested in having a good fire department.

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“Winning” with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward will play at Isaac’s Alene Theatre on Dec. 25, 27 and 28.

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THURSDAY 
DECEMBER 27, 1979 

A Cumberland couple are the victims of an apparent double murder that took place Christmas Day in the Linefork area. Police say a Letcher County man, Charles F. Polly, 40, of Gordon, has been arrested and charged with two counts of murder in the shootings of Charles L. Shepherd and his wife, Mildred Shepherd. Polly was formerly married to Mrs. Shepherd.

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Kentucky’s unemployment rate dipped slightly in November. The jobless rate stood at 5.6 percent, a decrease of 0.1 percent from October. Officials say the slight decrease results from hiring for the Christmas season.

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Rachel Breeding of Whitesburg has been selected for listing in “Who’s Who in American Universities and Colleges.” She is a senior at Lincoln Memorial University and is the daughter of James Breeding of Whitesburg.

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Pvt. Robert A. Scott, son of Mrs. Easter Hall of Elkhorn City, recently completed tank gunnery training with the 1st Armored Division in Germany.

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WEDNESDAY 
DECEMBER 27, 1989 

A nationwide wildcat strike couldn’t keep the coal industry from another record year in 1989 and some experts say the six-week walkout could lead to unprecedented production in 1990. Producers say customers were attracted to higher quality American coal, both for steam and metallurgy, to generate a national record for the third consecutive year

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The Letcher County Fiscal Court will fight an attempt to drill for gas and oil at Fishpond Lake. A representative of Equitable Resources says the company’s deeds give it permission to drill, but he attended the meeting to ask for the court’s “blessing.” He did not receive the court’s blessing. Instead the court voted to fight the proposed drilling.

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County officials have agreed to hold a public hearing on the National Flood Insurance Program, after a federal official warned that flood victims could sue them if they do not enter the program. The fiscal court has repeatedly refused to enter the program, which would allow county residents to buy flood insurance from the federal government and make flood victims eligible for all forms of federal disaster aid.

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The Lady ‘Jackets kept their unbeaten string intact with a victory over Sullivan North in Kingsport, Tenn. The game was an 86-59 win for the Lady ‘Jackets.

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WEDNESDAY 
DECEMBER 22, 1999 

Letcher County should take possession of the old South-East Coal Co. Sewannee Tipple at Isom within 30 days. The county bid $140,000 for the 31-acre property at a bankruptcy auction Dec. 16. The county will clear the tipple site of equipment and market it as an industrial site. Judge/Executive Carroll Smith noted the site has several acres of concrete built to withstand loaded trucks. It also has two rail sidings and is within a half-mile of Ky. 15.

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The state of Kentucky is honoring Letcher County’s Lee Sexton with the 1999 Artist Award for lifetime achievement as part of the Governor’s Awards in the Arts. Sexton, of Linefork, plays fiddle and guitar, but it is his banjo playing for which he is best known. He has released several albums, has had a music video on CMT and has played at festivals and shows in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Texas, Virginia and the Carolinas.

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“It is getting close to Christmas,” writes Ice correspondent Sara C. Ison. “I was hoping for a white one but no matter what the weather brings it will be the last Christmas of this century. We will be entering a new century.”

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Mountain Mission jumped out to an early lead but the host Pirates came roaring back to claim the 80-63 victory Saturday. The Letcher Eagles rallied down the stretch and defeated Jackson City 69-59.

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WEDNESDAY 
DECEMBER 23, 2009 

Nearly 3,500 Letcher County households remained without electricity four days after a storm swept through Letcher County and left up to eight inches of snow in its wake. Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward said 8,000 households were without power at the peak of the outage cases.

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Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Edison G. Banks II will ask a county grand jury to investigate citizen complaints being leveled against Kentucky Power Co. in the wake of a snowstorm which left more than 7,000 households here without power, some of them for more than four days already. Banks said most of the complaints concern a belief shared by many local residents that Kentucky Power is no longer spending the money necessary to keep its service lines in good operating condition and cleared of small trees.

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Assistant Letcher Commonwealth’s Attorney Kevin R. Mullins has been appointed by Gov. Steve Beshear as the replacement for late Letcher District Judge James T. Wood, Jr.

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Since the late 1940’s, the Whitesburg Fire Department has been escorting Santa Claus from the North Pole to visit the children and other residents of Whitesburg. The fire department pulls Santa around the streets in a sleigh hooked to a fire truck, allowing children to tell him what they want him to bring them for Christmas.

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