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The Way We Were

Clips from available Mountain Eagle pages since our founding in 1907

This January 9, 2007 photo shows late Apple CEO Steve Jobs (1955-2011) demonstrating the new iPhone during his keynote address at MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. (AP Photo)

This January 9, 2007 photo shows late Apple CEO Steve Jobs (1955-2011) demonstrating the new iPhone during his keynote address at MacWorld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. (AP Photo)

iPhone introduced 13 years ago

On January 9, 2007, Apple Inc. CEO Steve Jobs unveils the iPhone—a touchscreen mobile phone with an iPod, camera and Web-browsing capabilities, among other features—at the Macworld convention in San Francisco. Jobs, dressed in his customary jeans and black mock turtleneck, called the iPhone a “revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” When it went on sale in the United States six months later, on June 29, amidst huge hype, thousands of customers lined up at Apple stores across the country to be among the first to purchase an iPhone.

In November 2007—by which point more than 1.4 million iPhones had been sold—Time magazine named the sleek, 4.8-ounce device, originally available in a 4GB, $499 model and an 8GB, $599 model, its invention of the year. The iPhone went on sale in parts of Europe in late 2007, and in parts of Asia in 2008. In July 2008, Apple launched its online App Store, enabling people to download software applications that let them use their iPhones for games, social networking, travel planning and an every growing laundry list of other activities. Apple went on to over 10 updated models of the iPhone.

The iPhone helped turned Apple, which Jobs (1955-2011) co-founded with his friend Stephen Wozniak in California in 1976, into one of the planet’s most valuable corporations. In 2012, five years after the iPhone’s debut, more than 200 million had been sold. The iPhone joined a list of innovative Apple products, including the Macintosh (launched in 1984, it was one of the first personal computers to feature a graphical user interface, which allowed people to navigate by pointing and clicking a mouse rather than typing commands) and the iPod portable music player (launched in 2001), that became part of everyday modern life.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 9, 1930

A nine-year-old Jenkins boy was seriously injured Monday after being hit by a car stolen from Virginia. Police in Wise, Virginia later arrested Frank Chance of Norton in connection with hitting the boy and with stealing the Ford coupe from his employer, Dr. Foust, also of Norton. Chance wrecked he car before he was apprehended.

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Jenkins Steam Laundry is now open and doing business in Jenkins. The business offers both washing and dry cleaning services.

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A lovers’ quarrel is said to have fueled a shooting at Seco. Neon Police officers Blain Combs and Ernie Bentley arrested 29-year-old Frank Smith after Smith shot and wounded his wife, Mollie Smith, 39. Police say Mr. Smith shot Mrs. Smith in the side, but that Mrs. Smith fired the first shot. Mrs. Smith is being treated at the Fleming hospital and is expected to survive. Frank Smith, formerly of Clintwood, Virginia, is her second husband. She was formerly married to a Hylton.

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Breathitt County now boasts as being home to the world’s largest hog. The hog is a Poland China and weighs 1,450 pounds. It stands four feet, four inches high and has ankles as large as the span of four hands.

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The A&P food store is selling 8 O’clock coffee for 25 cents a pound. This price marks a reduction of 12 cents per pound over the past few weeks as coffee is now selling at its lowest price point in five years across the United States.

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The Dayton Hotel is now open in the back of the First National Bank Building in Whitesburg. Mrs. M.B. Swalley is the new hotel’s owner and operator. The building is also known as the Dr. J.M. Bentley Building.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 11, 1940

In its report to Letcher Circuit Judge R. Monroe Fields, the Letcher County Grand Jury says it is “more than pleased to report that crime conditions in Letcher County were much better than usual, especially during the holiday season. We have had no murder cases to investigate and few felonies, and this is a good reflection on the officers and citizens of Letcher County.”

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Buick reports that 1939 was its best year ever, as the company produced 235,000 cars.

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The 1940 outlook for the nation’s bituminous coal industry is not bright, but is still more encouraging than a year ago, the National Coal Association says.

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James Cagney stars in “Each Dawn I Die,” a movie showing Sunday and Monday at the Bentley Theatre in Neon.

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The First Baptist Church in Whitesburg is the new owner of a large transportation bus that will be used to bring worshippers from nearby places to Sunday services.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 12, 1950

The Letcher County Grand Jury has indicted Tom Whitaker on a charge of murder in connection with the death of Provie Roark, 19, whose body was found mangled by a train near Blackey on September 14, 1949.

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Inspections of the Letcher County Courthouse and the Letcher County Jail found both buildings to be “in deplorable condition,” the Letcher County Grand Jury said in its report to Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Ward.

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Captain Claude E. Hounshell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Hounshell of Fleming, has been promoted to the rank of major in the United States Air Force. Major Hounshell is stationed at East Greenwich, Rhode Island.

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A Letcher Circuit Court jury has acquitted Ernest Earles of Sergent of murder in the death of Burt “Sonny” Bates, who was shot and killed at Thornton on August 18, 1949. Earles, 23, admitted to shooting Bates and his brother, Herman Bates, but pleaded self-defense. The jury heard evidence for three days and deliberated for one hour Saturday before finding Earles not guilty. Jesse Earles, brother of Ernest, is still scheduled to stand trial on the same charges. Attorneys French Hawk of Whitesburg, Scott Duff of Hazard, and W.A. Daugherty of Pikeville represented Ernest Earles.

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The new 800-seat Alene Theatre should be open for business in Whitesburg sometime in the next few weeks, says J.E. Isaac, president and general manager of Cumberland Amusement Company Inc.

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Letcher County Sheriff Hassell Stamper says his office will investigate the burnings of two roadhouses and a coal tipple in the Cumberland River area of the county. Recent fires destroyed Fox’s Place, near the Harlan County line, and the Big Bend Hotel on the Cumberland side of Pine Mountain. S.J. “Sam” Bates owned both establishments. John Griffith owned the coal tipple that burned.

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14, 1960

Two schools in the Letcher County school district have been transferred into the Jenkins district. Effective January 1, the Jenkins Independent District was extended so as to include all of the Letcher County territory lying in the headwaters of Beefhide Creek and all the territory lying between Burdine and the Pike County line. That means the Beefhide school and the Marshall’s Branch school will be under the supervision of the Jenkins district beginning July 1, 1950.

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Acting with great speed and efficiency, Whitesburg City Policeman Joe Pack and Fire Chief Remious Day on Wednesday night arrested three out-of-town men who were attempting to break open the safe in the Quillen Drug Store. The three were Pete Headley, 45, of Cumberland; Don Wheeler, 27, of Johnson City, Tennessee, and Troy Ison, 37, of Benham. Each man is charged with safe-cracking and burglary. Pack and Day stopped the crime while it was in progress after receiving calls from residents living in the area behind the drug store.

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Governor Bert T. Combs announced this week that a major new road will be built from Winchester into the mountains of Kentucky, terminating at the first stage at Hazard and Prestonsburg, but possibly extending someday to Whitesburg and Pikeville.

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When Letcher County residents get their new telephone directories this week it will be the first phone books of their size to be published with four-color covers, the Southern Bell Telephone Company says.

THURSDAY JANUARY 8, 1970

Former United Mine Workers of America official Joseph A. Yablonski and his wife and daughter were found dead in their Clarksville, Penn., home this week. Each had been shot to death in what authorities termed an “execution.” Yablonski had been a candidate for UMW president in an election last month but lost heavily to UMW President W.A. Tony Boyle. Yablonski’s sons, both lawyers, said the murders were the work of “professional assassins.”

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A Mountain Eagle editorial says, “The brutal execution of Joseph Yablonski and his wife and daughter has placed an enormous burden upon officials and rank and file members of the United Mine Workers of America, the burden of clearing the good name and reputation of the union and restoring it to the high level of public esteem it once held. . . . The health and well-being of thousands of miners and their wives and widows depends to an enormous extent upon a union whose integrity is not open to question and this they must have, or else the question of unionism in the coalfields becomes a mockery.”

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New-elected County Judge Robert M. Collins was immediately confronted with questions of what to do about all the county roads and bridges, which were washed away in high water last week. Collins and County Attorney John Cornett both said reports coming in indicate the damage to both roads and bridges was extensive, and both expressed fear that repair work may place a burden on county finances.

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Coal miners who are totally disabled by black lung disease, and the widows and dependent children of miners who died with black lung, may now apply for benefits under the Federal Coal Mine Health and Safety Act. “These are not Social Security benefits and Congress will need to appropriate the necessary money before payments can begin,” said I.E. Johnson, Social Security District Manager in Hazard.

THURSDAY JANUARY 10, 1980

A request for funds for a new building to house Whitesburg High School has been hand-delivered to Frankfort. Letcher County Schools Superintendent Jack M. Burkich told the county board of education on Tuesday that he and others were to leave Wednesday with the request for new school. The group had been waiting for Sen. John Doug Hayes and Rep. Hoover Dawahare to be in Frankfort. Both are expected to help in efforts to get state funds to build the new school.

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The new Jenkins City Council, in its first action, voted to eliminate the city’s three-man water commission, fire all employees connected with it, and return the water company to its original state — presumably to that system of operations used in March 1977, when the water commission was formed.

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Letcher County again had the highest unemployment rate in eastern Kentucky in November. The county’s rate was 12.3 percent. The high rate reflects layoffs in coal mining and related businesses that have been going on more than a year.

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Charles Durning, Carol Kane and Colleen Dewhurst star in “When A Stranger Calls” at the Alene Theatre in Whitesburg on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 10, 1990

Letcher Countians this week were paying nearly 30 cents more for a gallon of gas than just before Christmas, but local retailers and wholesalers hope prices will begin returning to normal soon. At the start of Christmas vacation, county residents were paying just 84.9 cents a gallon for regular unleaded gas at most self-service outlets. By the end of the week, the same gasoline had skyrocketed to $1.139 a gallon.

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State unemployment statistics that show Letcher County with a jobless rate lower than the national average “are dead wrong,” says Judge/Executive Ruben Watts. According to the state Cabinet for Human Resources, Letcher County’s unemployment rate for November was only 5.1 percent, a figure lower than the national average of 5.3 percent and the state average of 5.2 percent. “That’s a myth,” Watts said, “They’re about 37 percent off.”

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Longtime educator C.V. Snapp of Jenkins died January 7 at the age of 101. He was superintendent of the Jenkins Schools from 1929 to 1962, and a member of the Jenkins School Board from 1969 to 1986.

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The Whitesburg Lady Yellowjackets won their own fourth annual New Year Classic with easy victories over Knott County Central, Johnson Central and Breathitt County. The three wins raise Whitesburg’s record to 13-2.

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 5, 2000

Jenkins council members Rebecca Terrill, Steve Addington and Neal Yonts are upset over garbage dumps they say are forming in the middle of Jenkins. Addington says residents who live near the dump told him they had watched the dumping, but thought it was city workers. Council members said mattresses and household appliances have been dumped over the hill in an area where the city had dumped fill dirt earlier.

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Kayla Nichole Howard was born at 6:55 p.m., January 2, at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital, to become the first baby born in Letcher County in the new millennium. She is the daughter of Chuck and Heather Howard of Whitesburg.

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Letcher County has the second highest unemployment rate in Kentucky. Letcher’s rate is 13.1 percent, and is one of only three counties in the state with rates above 10 percent. The other two counties are Monroe with 16.2 percent and Harlan with 12.1 percent.

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“This is the beginning of a new year and a new century,” writes Sergent correspondent Vendetta Fields. “There is a lot we can do to make the world a better place to live. We can remove hate and prejudice from our minds and replace it with love, compassion and forgiveness.”

WEDNESDAY JANUARY 6, 2010

Kentucky Power Company’s request for a 34.5-percent rate increase has stirred anger and concern among members of the Letcher County Fiscal Court. Judge/ Executive Jim Ward began a special session of the court on Dec. 29 by praising local power company workers and linemen from as far away as Arkansas and Mississippi for their tireless efforts in bad conditions to restore electricity to more than 7,000 Letcher County families. He then expressed concern on how people on fixed incomes and working people will be able to pay the large rate hike if it is approved by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

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“I guess we were lucky compared to a lot of other Letcher County residents,” writes Blair Branch correspondent Alana Jo Whitaker Couch. “Our electricity was only out for two and half days. Michael, the boys and I stayed with Mom and Dad. They have a coal stove that kept us toasty.”

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Bill Colby Adams was the first baby born in 2010 at Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital. The baby was born at 9:02 a.m. on January 2. He weighed eight pounds, three ounces, and is the son of Renita Stacy and Bill Robert Adams of Jeremiah.

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