Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years


January 15, 1959

Gov. A.B. Chandler visited Whitesburg Tuesday to take a look at Letcher County’s unemployment problems and to order the highway department to put as many unemployed to work as possible.

Thirty-four indictments were returned Wednesday by the January Letcher County Grand Jury. Eight of the 34 involved alleged bootlegging offenses.

Whitesburg jeweler C.B. Bradshaw announced today that he is establishing a concrete block manufacturing plant at Ermine and no longer will be in the jewelry business.

“The Bravados” and “Invasion of the Saucer-Men” are playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

January 16, 1969

Lilley’s Woods, the largest tract of virgin woods in the eastern United States, may soon be purchased by the state of Kentucky. The 400-acre forest is located on Linefork in Letcher County. State officials are now trying to negotiate with the descendants of Lilley Cornett, who purchased the late about 25 years ago.

Letcher ranked as the fifth highest coal producing county in Kentucky during 1967. This was reported by the University of Kentucky, which ranked the top five coal counties as Muhlenberg, Pike, Hopkins, Ohio and Letcher.

Fire Monday night destroyed the home of Anzil Morgan at Whitco and threatened to envelop other nearby houses. Both the VFW fire department and the Whitesburg fire department worked to prevent the blaze from spreading to the other homes.

Round steaks are 98 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Bananas are 12 cents a pound.

January 18, 1979

Concluding a tour of Whitesburg Middle School and High School, state fire marshal Clell Upton said that he would recommend a structural stability check of the Middle School building and a survey of the old High School building by a certified electrician. Upton inspected the schools Tuesday morning at the request of Renfrow Baker, president of the Whitesburg Parent-Teacher Association, who has been demanding that the school board do something to correct the physical deterioration of the schools.

The citizens won a temporary victory Thursday night in their continuing battle against inadequate water service and skyrocketing water rates. By a vote of four to two, the Jenkins City Council voted against increasing rates by 25 percent at this time. The Council may vote on the increase again next month.

Gasoline fumes drove tenants of the Bates building on Main Street in Whitesburg from their offices today and brought in a special hazardous substances team from the Kentucky fire marshal’s office. The building will remain closed probably over the weekend while fire marshals check into the cause of the fumes.

Two famed eastern Kentucky natives were in Whitesburg and Letcher County this week in connection with the making of the movie, “Coalminer’s Daughter.” Loretta Lynn reportedly was here to look over proposed locations for the film about her life, and Lee Majors, a star in the movie, also was here.

January 18, 1989

The state has renewed Letcher County’s sanitary landfill permit, after a four-month delay while officials reviewed engineering reports on the site. The landfill’s permit expired last September 30, and the state Division of Waste Management had declined to renew it until officials were sure there was room left to dump more refuse.

The question of satellite dishes in the city limits of Whitesburg has been referred to the city zoning commission. City councilman Cossie “Scooter” Quillen brought up satellite television antennae at the January meeting of the city council. Quillen, who owns an apartment building in downtown Whitesburg, said he had turned down a tenant’s request to install an antenna, but when he checked the city ordinances, he could find no law against the dishes.

The number of reported cases of child abuse fell in Letcher County during the last fiscal year, but the number of children found to be abused rose by 15 over fiscal year 1987. Social workers in Letcher County investigated 245 reports of abuse or neglect in fiscal 1988, compared to 278 in fiscal 1987.

January 20, 1999

High winds broke power lines, knocked down trees and overturned a trailer here Sunday night. The National Weather Service at Jackson recorded winds of 56 miles an hour.

Whitesburg and Letcher County officials will meet Friday to decide how to proceed with renovations of Whitesburg City Hall intended to provide space for Image Entry Inc. The council gave the go-ahead Jan. 12 for electrical work to begin on the condition that the data processing firm pay for it. Image Entry had announced a Jan. 23 target date for startup of its Whitesburg operation.

Traffic will soon be flowing in both directions — legally — on Solomon Road again. The Whitesburg City Council agreed Jan. 12 to convert the street between Indiana Avenue and Jenkins Road back to two-way. That short section of the street was changed to one-way last fall. Mayor Nathan Baker said residents have complained about the change and it has also been a problem for trucks delivering groceries to the Foodland store at Solomon Road and River Road.


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