Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



December 18, 1958

County Judge Arthur Dixon said today he will ask Gov. A.B. Chandler to declare that an emergency exists in Letcher County because of the serious unemployment problem. Gov. Chandler Wednesday proclaimed such an emergency in Harlan County and said he would do so for other counties in eastern Kentucky, including Letcher, if he were requested to do so.

A preliminary meeting to organize a Letcher County Citizens Council for Education was held in the Letcher County School Superintendent’s office at Whitesburg on Dec. 11.

Ronald Polly, son of Mr. and Mrs. Millard Polly of McRoberts, was a member of the University of Kentucky debate team that took top honors in the Dixie Classic Debate Tournament last week.

“An Affair to Remember” starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

December 19, 1968

At a meeting Dec. 14, Letcher County Democratic precinct chairmen unanimously elected Rudolph “Doc” Williams their county chairman for the next four years.

Two Pike County anti-poverty workers and their young son narrowly escaped death or serious injury Friday when two sticks of dynamite were hurled against their house from a passing car. The bombing took place just after 1 a.m. at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Al McSurely, organizers for the Southern Conference Education Fund, a privately-financed anti-poverty agency that has been the target of recent hearings and investigations in Pikeville by the Kentucky Unamerican Activities Committee.

Turkeys are 29 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Country hams are 89 cents a pound.

December 21, 1978

Most of the miners who work for Elkhorn & Jellico Coal Co. were laid off this week, apparently victims of declining markets and falling coal prices which are beginning to be felt by many operations throughout the eastern Kentucky and central Appalachian coalfields.

The Tennessee Valley Authority Tuesday opened the largest number of coal bids it has received in nearly four decades of buying coal, in the process giving confirmation that eastern producers may be dramatically over-producing coal.

A request by Kentucky Gov. Julian Carroll to meet with Secretary of the Interior Cecil Andrus to discuss final strip mine regulations has been during down, according to an Interior spokesman. And if Carroll goes to the White House with complaints about Kentucky’s inability to shape the form of the final strip mine regulations, as he threatened last week in a meeting with Clay County coal operators, he likely will be turned away again, a spokesman for President Jimmy Carter said.

December 21, 1988

William B. Sturgill of Lexington, who sold Golden Oak Mining Co. to Reading & Bates Corp. in 1981, announced plans to buy it back. Reading & Bates, a Tulsa-based corporation, said it has agreed to sell the company to an investors’ group which includes Sturgill and First Chicago Venture Capital, a unit of the First National Bank of Chicago.

Two eastern Kentucky mayors have failed in an attempted to get the Kentucky River Area Development District to employ an industrial recruiter for the eight-county district. Mayor James Asher of Whitesburg and Mayor William Gorman of Hazard found that staff members and other board members of the agency opposed their idea.

A new study shows that poverty has increased 5.4 percent in Letcher County since 1979 — from 27.4 percent of the population to 32.9 percent.

December 23 1998

Image Entry is expanding its data processing operations into Letcher County because there aren’t enough workers available in the other eastern Kentucky counties where the company already has facilities. Bill Deaton, Image Entry’s sole owner and chief executive officer, says the company must hire an additional 600 employees to meet the work demands created by two major data processing contracts awarded to Image Entry by Phillip Morris and the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The Letcher County government’s plan to develop a recreational/ industrial complex on an 11-acre tract in Whitesburg may have ended Saturday when the owners of the property rejected the county’s $225,000 bid for the land as being too low.

Two men were exhausted but uninjured Sunday after rescuers pulled them from the floor of a deep cave near Jenkins. Police say the two men became trapped on the floor of the cave on Pine Mountain after rappelling 220 feet from the entrance located below the new rest area on U.S. Hwy. 23. Rescuers were notified that the two men were trapped after a third man was able to climb to safety and call relatives on a cellular phone.

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