Whitesburg KY
Mostly clear
Mostly clear

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



February 5, 1959

Plans for two good roads leading to Whitesburg were outlined this week by State Highway Commissioner Ward Oates. Oates showed a map tracing the proposed routes and explained they would either replace or relocate present twisting mountain roads.

The issue of fire prevention in Letcher County schools began to burn a little more brightly this week. Two developments occurred: Cossie Quillen asked members of the Whitesburg City Council to close Whitesburg High School and Whitesburg Grade School until school officials make the buildings safe as possible against fire. A delegation from the Whitesburg Parent-Teacher Association made plans to visit the Board of Education meeting Saturday and ask the board to correct some defects in the fire prevention system here.

Frying chickens are 27 cents a pound at the A&P food store. Perch is $1.69 for a five-pound box.

“The Fiend Who Walked the West” and ” The Young Captive” are playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

February 6, 1969

It appeared almost certain today that a major national manufacturing firm will locate a plant in Whitesburg to employ 400 to 500 persons. One of the chief obstacles to construction of the plant was cleared up Wednesday when the Whitesburg Industrial Foundation received a grant of $300,000 to prepare a site for the factory.

Workers in the Leslie, Knott, Letcher, Perry Community Action Council’s Emergency Food and Medical Program this week disputed reports by a U.S. Senate Survey Team that there is no hunger in Kentucky. “Just sit in my office from the 15th to the 30th of every month and you’ll see plenty of hunger,” said Mrs. Irene Whitaker, who directs the program for a fourcounty territory.

Sirloin steak is $1.18 a pound at the A&P Food Store. Round steak is 88 cents a pound.

February 8, 1979

Employees of South-East Coal Company will be working nine days in February. After completing their three-day work schedule this week, miners will return to work the week of February 21. Harry LaViers, president of South-East, attributed the shutdown to winter weather conditions and a reduction in coal orders.

“This is the first time in 40 years that I’ve encountered this problem and I’ve must say, with all my experience, I find this extremely peculiar,” observed Wallace Worsley, production manager on “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, the $5 million movie being shot in eastern Kentucky, Virginia and Tennessee by Universal Studios. Worsley was attending a meeting Tuesday night with the city council of Blackey to ask the city to grant his company the use of the town as a location for the film. The city council is not sure it is interested in the benefits it would derive from the film and a number of residents expressed concern about the film perpetuating old stereotypes of the Appalachian mountaineer and degrading the community.

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky has decided to submit evidence on the 1976 Scotia mine disaster in Letcher County to a federal grand jury for possible criminal prosecution.

“Jaws II” is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

February 8, 1989

The federal proposal to do away with the buffer zone that protects homes, schools, cemeteries and public parks from strip mining will be the subject of a public hearing on Thursday, February 16, in Lexington. President Ronald Reagan proposed doing away with the protective zones shortly before he left office.

Engineers were scheduled to come to Whitesburg this week to examine the old Coca-Cola plant for possible use as college classrooms. Whitesburg Mayor James Asher said architects and engineers from the University of Kentucky were to visit the building Tuesday to explore the possibilities of renovating it.

Letcher County Judge/Executive Ruben Watts has issued an ultimatum to a local cable company, although the county attorney has said the county has little power over the industry. After nearly an hour of explanations from United Cable Co. manager Archie Everidge about why his company can’t afford to drop its price for installation of television cable in the right fork of Millstone, Watts said he would ask the fiscal court to advertise for a cable franchise unless Everidge changes his mind.

February 10, 1999

Strong recommendations for improvements in the conduct of primary and general elections in Letcher County dominate the report of the March 1998 grand jury which has just ended its term. The recommendations include increasing the pay of precinct officers, installing telephones at all voting places, adding more voting machines at polling places to avoid long waits for voters, battery backup for voting machines, finding permanent voting places for every precinct and using something besides felt-tip pens for voters’ signatures in the books at the polls.

Letcher County’s newest attraction, the new road cut on U.S. 23 just above Jenkins, is featured on the cover of the 1999 Kentucky State Road Map, which is distributed free by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Kentucky Tourism Development Cabinet.

Letcher and Pike county residents will choose a state representative to succeed Paul Mason on March 16. That’s the date of a special election set in a writ of election signed by Gov. Paul Patton on Monday. Mason, who represented the 91st District, died Dec. 8 in a Boston hospital.

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