Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



November 6, 1958

Letcher County voters showed without a doubt this week that they wanted a change in county government. By a vote of 2,284 to 1,262 — almost two to one — they indicated they are “for” a switch to the county commission form of government in Letcher County.

Officials of the Louisville & Nashville Railroad visited Sheriff Johnny Fulton this past week and presented him with a check for $54,777.49 for 1958 property taxes in Letcher County.

George A. Johnson, 42, Shelby Gap, died in a mine accident at Bethlehem Steel Mine on Oct. 27.

“Attack of the Puppet People” and “War of the Colossal Beast” are the feature films at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

November 7, 1968

Former Vice President Richard M. Nixon narrowly defeated Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey in Tuesday’s election and will become the 37th President of the United States. The cliff-hanging election was the closest race since 1912.

Legendary folk singer Dock Boggs and the Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers will appear at the Blackey Center.

“Bonnie and Clyde” and ‘The Challenge of Robin Hood” are playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

November 9, 1978

The Kentucky Department of Transportation has rejected the most recent bids for construction of the Whitesburg bypass to Kentucky 15, and the department does not know when the road will be built.

Faced with an unexpectedly low approval rate for Black Lung Compensation claims filed under the black lung amendments act of 1977, the Department of Health, Education and Welfare is planning to implement more lenient standards to use in reviewing previously denied claims.

Letcher County has a new city government, at Blackey. After residents of Blackey searched courthouse records and found that their town had been legally incorporated in 1915, County Judge Robert B. Collins named five persons to the board of trustees. They are Gene Banks, Mike Dixon, Ray Cornett, Nat Baker, and Troy Thomas.

November 9, 1988

A constitutional amendment that would effectively prohibit strip mining under Kentucky’s old “broadform” mineral deeds without a landowner’s consent was overwhelming approved by the state’s voters Tuesday. With all but three of the state’s 3,288 precincts reporting, 82 percent of the voters had backed the amendment.

Jury selection was to resume Wednesday in the retrial of the penalty phase of a murder case against an Isom couple accused of killing the wife’s parents and brother in a 1987 mobile-home fire. Anthony and Carolyn Smith were convicted May 27 on charges stemming from the August 1, 1987 deaths of Sie, Judy and Buster Shepherd.

The Whitesburg City Council has voted to try to buy the former Whitesburg Coca-Cola bottling plant.

November 11, 1998

A committee made up of public officials and citizen volunteers has agreed to meet “once a week for a while” as it sets about trying to lure manufacturing jobs to Letcher County to replace disappearing welfare benefits.

Representatives of Image Entry will be back in Whitesburg later this week to continue working on an agreement that is expected to put as many as 150 Letcher County residents to work next year.

Blackey officials say they are willing to supply water to the Isom area, where residents leading a campaign for a public water supply say they have found “tremendous interest” in the possibility of getting water lines.

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