Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



December 25, 1958

The State Fire Marshal said today that several Letcher County schools are in need of major work to help make them safe from fire. Two schools, those at Hot Spot and Marlowe, are unfit for occupancy and should be torn down, the state official said.

Letcher County has been declared an emergency area by Gov. A.B. Chandler as a result of the county’s widespread unemployment. Chandler issued the proclamation at the request of County Judge Arthur Dixon.

“Hell Cats of the Navy” starring Ronald Reagan is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

December 23, 1968

The Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council, which handles anti-poverty funds here, is expecting a budget cut of 10 to 15 percent during the coming fiscal year.

Christmas week has found some stirring among Letcher Countians on the general subject of who may run for what county office in the May 1969 primary. Most incumbent county officials are expected to seek re-election, with the exception of Sheriff Maynard Hogg, who under the state constitution is not eligible to succeed himself.

Sirloin steak is $1.18 a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Florida oranges are 39 cents for a five-pound bag.

December 28, 1978

Parents of students at Whitesburg Middle School and Whitesburg High School are asking the Letcher County Board of Education to close those buildings that have been condemned in the past and construct new, modern facilities. Renfro Baker, a parent, questions why surrounding counties receive state funds for upgrading schools and Letcher County does not.

The price of Eastern coal is apt to be driven down by the record number of bids for long-term coal contracts received Dec. 19 by the Tennessee Valley Authority, coal industry analysts predicted this week.

Only a week before Christmas, the Whitesburg City Council met and heard of two gifts — expanded water service and a new airport — that the city can expect to receive in the upcoming year.

December 28, 1988

Two dozen jobs advertised by a coal company in Pike County drew applications from 1,300 miners. An official of Sidney Coal Co., which offered the jobs, said he had mixed feelings about the turnout but added that it seemed a sad statement about the economy of eastern Kentucky and southern West Virginia. He says the volume of applications is the largest he has seen in 19 years in the coal industry.

A Maryland firm, R.E. Michel Company, has purchased the Whitesburg, Ivel and Jackson stores of Reedy Wholesale, an old Letcher County business.

Funeral services were held in Whitesburg for Beryl Russell Ratliff, 23, who was killed when her car collided with another vehicle and burst into flames. State police said water puddled in ruts on KY 15 cause the accident.

December 30 1998

The Defeated Creek coal mining property in Letcher County formerly owned by South East Coal Co. has been sold to Coastal Coal of Texas, according to Coal Outlook, a weekly journal which reports on the coal industry. Coastal paid $5.75 million for two mines, leases and real property which it bought from Kentucky Processing. The mines were idle at the time of the purchase. Coastal has renamed the mines Black Thunder No. 1 and No. 2 and hopes to resume production this week.

Members of the new Letcher Fiscal Court will be sworn into office at 10 o’clock Friday morning, January 1, in the district courtroom at the Letcher County Courthouse in Whitesburg. Members of the court are Judge/Executive Carroll A. Smith, who is beginning his second term in office, and Magistrates Wayne Fleming of Jenkins, Homer Rose of Neon, Robert Lewis of Cowan, Mack Fultz of Camp Branch, and Junior Banks of Hot Spot.

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