Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



August 14, 1958

County Atty. F. Byrd Hogg was busy today preparing a suit to force Letcher Fiscal Court to approve a county budget. The budget already has been approved by the budget commission and the state Department of Revenue, but fiscal court declined to OK it again this week and voted to “deadlock” on the budget issue.

A polio epidemic threatened in Letcher County today, following the outbreak of two and perhaps three cases of polio during the past week. A severe polio epidemic has already struck Wise County, Virginia, just across the border from Letcher County, and local and state health officials are fearful that the three new cases in Letcher County may be the first of several.

A Letcher County movement to form a new state, or go back to Virginia, unless eastern Kentucky gets better treatment from the rest of Kentucky appears to be gaining strength. Ray Collins, chairman of a group sparking the movement, said he has received much encouragement from Floyd, Knott, Perry, Harlan, Pike, and other eastern Kentucky counties.

The Whitesburg City Council has instructed city police and City Attorney Leroy Fields to get tough with persons who have not been paying city property taxes.

August 15, 1968

The Kentucky Court of Appeals has been asked to reverse a declaration of Franklin Circuit Court upholding the closing of Kingdom Come School. Parents of students appealed their court case attempting to stop the Letcher County school board from closing the school after a special judge ruled against them.

The annual meeting of the Thornton Union Association of Regular Baptists will begin Friday at Little Samuel Memorial Baptist Church at Lothair.

Rib roast is on sale for 79 cents a pound at the A&P Food Store. Grapes are 29 cents a pound.

August 17, 1978

The August Letcher County Grand Jury spent half its session considering evidence concerning the administration of former County Judge Estill Blair but did not return any indictments linked to Blair’s administration. Commonwealth’s Attorney Peyton Reynolds said the grand jury heard testimony from 22 witnesses last week concerning the conduct of county affairs during Blair’s term, which ended in January of this year.

The federal government has dropped its appeal of a lower court ruling ordering restrictions on the technical report on the 1976 mine disaster at Scotia Coal Co. The Mine Safety and Health Administration will now either release the report with a cover letter attached saying the report is untrustworthy, or it will make changes in six areas of the report and resubmit it to federal Judge H. David Hermansdorfer.

Lawyers for the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have decided that Stearns Mining Co. violated federal law in recognizing a newly-formed union instead of the United Mine Workers (UMW) at its Justus Mine in McCreary County. However, the NLRB found there was “insufficient evidence” to support a UMW complaint that Blue Diamond Coal Co., parent firm of Stearns, helped form the Justus Employees Association, with which it signed a contract in May, almost two years after Justus miners struck to win representation by the UMW.

August 17, 1988

The Letcher County Board of Education said it will tax unmined minerals when the state board of education certified its tax assessment in September. The tax could amount to a quarter of a million dollars a year, said school board finance officer Daryl Boggs.

The theme of the 1988 Letcher County Mountain Heritage Festival is “Success Begins in the Mountains.” Lexington real estate developers Donald and Dudley Webb, who grew up in Letcher County, are to be the grand marshals of the festival parade.

The Whitesburg City Council has hired Nesbett Engineering of Hazard to plan an expansion of the Whitesburg water system to take in areas as far as Whitco and Mayking.

August 19, 1998

Country music singer Gary Stewart will be grand marshal of the Jenkins Homecoming Festival parade Saturday, August 29, and will perform in the city park at 9:30 Saturday night. Stewart, known as “The King of Honky-tonk,” lived in the Jenkins and Payne Gap area as a youth. This will be his first concert in Jenkins.

Members of the Letcher County Economic Development Authority believe they have at last found land which can provide playing fields for Little League and Senior League baseball teams and a place to locate new industry as well. The site is a former coal strip-mine site near Whitco, just outside the Whitesburg city limits.

The Fleming-Neon Pirates pushed a respectable Pike County team all over the field for three quarters last Friday evening in the final preseason scrimmage for both teams, but it took the Pirates’ junior varsity’s pair of touchdowns in the final quarter to give Fleming- Neon the 12-0 victory.

“Dead Man on Campus” and “Halloween H2O” are playing at the Whitesburg Cinema.

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