Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



February 12, 1959

The Letcher County Board of Education will meet at 1 o’clock Saturday afternoon to consider plans for improving fire prevention and protection at the Whitesburg High and Grade School.

County school buses will be used next year to transport rural students to and from athletic events at high schools in Letcher County. After a request from Whitesburg and Fleming-Neon athletic associations, the board of education voted Saturday to revoke a previous ban on use of buses for the purpose.

A new building for Fleming-Neon High School is a step nearer to reality this week. Deeds from Elkhorn Coal Corp. for mineral rights to the land where the school will stand were signed this week by the school board, which authorized Supt. W.B. Hall to make a trip to Charlestown, W.Va., to get final papers from the company.

“King Go Forth” starring Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, and Natalie Wood is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

February 13, 1969

More than 5,000 persons showed up in Whitesburg Monday afternoon to indicate their willingness to work should a factory locate here. The turnout was more than twice the number required by the firm which might build here.

A cow belonging to Jim Brown of Dry Fork broke sharply with tradition and produced a rare “Siamese” calf — with two heads and eight legs. The stillborn calf was found to have a single heart, one set of lungs, and one liver.

Chicken breasts and drumsticks are 59 cents a pound at the A&P Food Store. Pork sausage is also 59 cents a pound.

February 15, 1979

By unanimous vote, the Blackey town council last week rejected a request by Universal Studios to use the town’s main street as a setting for the movie “Coal Miner’s Daughter.” The town had been selected by the movie company because it resembles the Johnson County mining town of Van Lear in 1947, the period of the picture. Van Lear is the home town of country music vocalist Loretta Lynn.

The Letcher County Fiscal Court is expected to vote Friday to withdraw the county health department from the Kentucky River Health District. County Judge Robert Collins announced the decision in a meeting Wednesday with 14 employees of the health department.

Under continuing pressure from the Whitesburg Parent- Teacher Association, the Letcher County Board of Education voted Tuesday to ask the State Department of Education facilities survey unit to give Whitesburg High School priority one status. The high school will now share first priority for new construction money with Cowan, Eolia, and Martha Jane Potter Elementary Schools. When new construction funds become available, it will be up to the county school board to allocate the money among these four projects.

“The End” starring Burt Reynolds is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

February 15, 1989

Two development agencies offered help this week if Letcher County residents decide to try to set up a furniture industry. Responding to an article by Harry M. Caudill in last week’s Mountain Eagle, the Kentucky River Area Development District in Hazard and Mountain Association for Community Economic Development in Berea wrote Caudill saying they may be able to provide loan funds and other assistance.

In a survey conducted by the Letcher County School System, more than half the seniors at one high school said they have tried beer, liquor, wine, coolers, marijuana, cocaine, crack, or other drugs, including uppers, downers, hallucinogens, or inhalants.

Jenkins School Superintendent Alex Eversole will retire this summer. Eversole, 56, who has headed the Jenkins Independent School System for 10 years, has told the school board he plans to retire June 30.

February 17, 1999

Kentucky Gov. Paul Patton says he is going to put a fourlane highway all the way to Jenkins and he is going to demonstrate that “you can take mountain towns like Jenkins and Hindman and make viable communities out of them.” Over the next four years, he says, “we will start marketing and we will bring jobs” to the two towns, which he designated as “economic development communities” in the fall of 1997.

Three coal companies owe 93 percent of the unmined minerals taxes delinquent in Letcher County. Pike-Letcher Land Co. alone owes $78,825, according to the bills. Crawford and Mulholland owes $24,645. Enterprise Coal Co. owes $4,799. All of those amounts are on previous years’ tax bills and have been contested in the past.

A power pole next to U.S. 119 at Mayking collapsed about 7:45 a.m. Monday, cutting off service to 400 homes and businesses and knocking out traffic signals as far south as Pine Mountain Junction. Power company officials believe a vehicle may have struck the guy wire on the pole sometime Sunday night.

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