Whitesburg KY

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



January 1, 1959

Polio costs continue to be high in Letcher County. Obligations of $14,067.48 have been incurred thus far this year by the Letcher County Chapter of The National Foundation in assisting with the medical care of 39 patients, according to Tom Gish, chapter chairman.

S.J. Bates of Whitesburg, stepped in this week where the Red Cross refused to act and distributed food to 26 needy Letcher County families. The Red Cross said again this week that it has found the situation to be desperate with many eastern Kentucky families but that it was going to do absolutely nothing about the situation.

Frying chickens are 25 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Bacon is 49 cents a pound.

January 2, 1969

The year 1968 isn’t like to earn a place in the annals of the best beloved. It was a year that saw the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy, a Democrat national convention held behind barbed wire and tanks while Chicago police clubbed demonstrators in the street; it was a year that saw thousands of Americans die in Vietnam while so-called statesmen couldn’t agree on the shape of a negotiating table in Paris.

Rep. Carl D. Perkins of Hindman said today he plans to seek five-year extensions of two federal programs of major importance to Letcher County and all of eastern Kentucky. Perkins said he would introduce bills which would provide another five years of life for the Economic Opportunity program (war on poverty) and the federal school-aid act of 1965.

Beef liver is 59 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Fish sticks are 49 cents for a one-pound package.

January 4, 1979

Citing depressed market conditions, Beth-Elkhorn Coal Corp. shut down Mine 22 at Deane this week, putting more than 230 of its 1,200 employees out of work.

The Tennessee Valley Authority has given a strong endorsement of the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed new source performance standards for coal-fired power plants. In a letter from Chairman S. David Freeman to the EPA, the agency said: “TVA believes the full scrubbing approach is technically feasible, would be antiinflationary over the life-cycle of the equipment, and is required by the Clean Air Act amendments of 1977. Furthermore, full scrubbing will maximize the supply of coal that will be available for electric power generation in the future, thus enhancing a reliable supply of electric energy for the nation, and it will do so without compromising environmental goals.’

If there was any doubt before, there isn’t any now — winter has definitely arrived. Letcher County recorded the lowest temperatures so far this year on Tuesday night — between 0 and 5 degrees depending on where in the county you were standing. A layer of snow now covers the ground and more is expected this weekend.

January 4, 1989

While economists and national political observers predict hard times for America, local government officials have a somewhat rosier outlook for traditionally depressed Letcher County in 1989. County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts and the mayors of the county’s three cities all predict better economies in 1989.

Letcher County’s highways were relatively quiet over the New Year’s holiday period, with only four drunken driving arrests and no serious traffic accidents reported.

The star shape of the Letcher County Manor nursing home is beginning to be visible. Company President Fred Lewis, who also owns the construction company building the facility, said construction is on schedule and barring bad weather the home should be open next September or October.

January 6, 1999

State records show the number of 1998 Kentucky mine fatalities doubled from a record-low five in 1997. According to the state Department of Mines and Minerals, 10 Kentucky miners were killed in 1998. The U.S. Mine Safety and Health Administration, however, counted 12 deaths in Kentucky.

At least 10 Democrats and two Republicans are seeking the seat in the Kentucky House of Representatives left vacant by the death of Rep. Paul Mason of Whitesburg. Sometime soon, probably later this month, one candidate from each party will be nominated to run in a special election to be called by Gov. Paul Patton.

The Whitesburg Lady ‘Jackets, along with neighboring Leslie County, participated in the eight-team, three-day Father Lopez Sunshine Classic Invitational in Daytona Beach, Fla.

The Jenkins Lady Cavs edged Lawrence County, 61-55, in the Community Trust Bank New Year’s Eve Classic to take third place in the tournament.

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