Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



January 22, 1959

A storm of what seemed like tornado proportions struck Letcher County late Wednesday afternoon, felling trees, breaking windows and leaving a large area without electricity for several hours. An inch of rain fell in Whitesburg in the period from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday. Winds reached about 30 miles an hour. The temperature in the Whitesburg area dropped 40 degrees from Wednesday to Thursday.

The City of Whitesburg lost a major battle Wednesday in the fight to annex territory now outside the city. Circuit Judge Courtney C. Wells ruled City Attorney Leroy Fields had waited too long to file response to a request for admissions made by attorneys for suburban residents who have filed to stop annexation.

The annual Mother’s March for Polio will be held one week from today in Blackey, Jenkins, Whitesburg and Neon.

A permanent committee has been set up to promote tree planting in Letcher County. The committee was organized last Thursday, with R.B. Caudill, chairman of the soil conservation board of supervisors, named chairman.

January 23, 1969

Eastern Kentucky will have to look to something besides the coal industry for a source of higher employment. That’s the opinion given a seminar on economic development by Harry LaViers Jr. of Irvine, vice president of South East Coal Company which has extensive mining operations in Letcher County. LaViers said he doubted there will ever be a large-scale increase in coal employment. He explained that more and better machines will be used to meet the rising demand for coal.

The Letcher County Grand Jury has criticized junkyards and junk cars along the highway. The jury called upon county officials and state officials, including the highway department, to “enforce the already existing law to prohibit the erection of junkyards without being fenced.”

Round roast is 79 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P. Braunschweigher is 39 cents a pound.

January 25, 1979

The widows of the coal miners killed in the March 9, 1976, Scotia mine disaster in Letcher County have won the right to continue their $60 million lawsuit against the Blue Diamond Coal Co. of Knoxville, Tenn. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati Tuesday overturned — on a 2 to 1 vote — U.S. District Judge David Hermansdorfer’s ruling dismissing the damage suit filed by the widows.

The Elkhorn division of the Beth-Elkhorn Corporation said this week that about 210 employees at the division’s Hendrix mine no. 22 near Deane were placed on lay-off effective January 22.

“Wilderness Family Part 2” is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

January 25, 1989

Whitesburg may turn the old Coca-Cola bottling plant into a branch community college before the city’s deed for the property is even completed. The city bought the building in December, and at the city council meeting January 10, City Attorney Daniel Dotson said the title for the building has not yet been cleared. Mayor James Asher said last week that he plans to ask the city council to sell the building to South East Community College, a University of Kentucky community college located in Cumberland.

More than 200 students from 20 teams competed in the largest academic meet every in Letcher County. The Letcher County Academic Tournament, held Saturday at Whitesburg Middle School and West Whitesburg Elementary School, pitted teams from elementary and middle schools all over the county in written assessment and quick recall matches.

Proposed closing of some recreation areas at Carr Fork Lake won’t hit the lake very hard, says the project supervisor at Carr Fork. The cuts are proposed in the 1990 federal budget, which would close some recreation areas at Carr Fork and at other Kentucky lakes.

January 27, 1999

A month and a half after State Rep. Paul Mason died in a Boston hospital, Gov. Paul Patton has still not declared his office as representative as vacant. Patton must declare the office vacant and issue a writ of election before the office can be filled.

Worlie Bates’s fishing pond had long since filled in with silt and the dam was gone. But new tenants moved onto his property at Loves Branch and they built a new dam in short order. Of course, that’s what beavers do best.

The state Department of Transportation will begin buying property this fall for a new section of US 119 from Partridge to Oven Fork.

The state will cut its allocation to the Letcher County School District by more than $800,000 next year. The board of education on Monday approved a draft budget for the 1999-2000 school year that would draw $52,683 from reserves to balance the books.

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