Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



February 19, 1959

Letcher County is broke again. There is no money left in the budget to pay any “casual bills” but there is a little bit of money with which to pay utility bills and other fixed charges, according to Deputy County Clerk Nick Wright.

Thinking of running for mayor of Whitesburg in 1961? Better listen first to Arthur Banks, who has held the office for the past seven years. Says Banks, “You don’t have to be an idiot to be mayor, but it helps.”

Bonds to finance construction of the new Fleming-Neon High School may sell for as high as six percent interest, Supt. W.B. Hall told the county board of education Saturday. Hall said some 75,000 of the bonds issued recently for building Letcher High School still have not been disposed of by the bonding company, and added that there is some doubt the Fleming bonds will sell at all.

“Paths of Glory” starring Kirk Douglas is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

February 20, 1969

Congress Carl D. Perkins, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, yesterday introduced legislation to facilitate payment of adequate compensation for coal miners disabled by black lung disease (pneumoconiosis).

The Letcher County Historical Society will meet Friday, February 28, at 7 p.m. at the Letcher County Public Library. Helen Bentley will report on early industries in the county including “blind tigers”, a particularly ingenious form of bootlegging.

Rump roast is 99 cents a pound at the A&P Food Store. Round steak is 89 cents a pound.

February 22, 1979

Fishpond Lake Park will be closed to the public again this summer, according to County Judge Robert Collins. Citing a lack of funds in the county treasury to pay for maintenance, security and utilities, Collins told the Letcher County Fiscal Court Friday that after construction is completed on the park in June, it will remain closed.

Debate continued Monday night at a special meeting of the Fleming-Neon City Council called to discuss plans for construction of a new municipal meeting. The meeting resulted in a tie vote on the question of where to put the new structure. The city council “cannot agree on how or where to spend the money,” Mayor James Seals reported.

The animosity that emerged at the special meeting of the Blackey Town Council at the beginning of the month has escalated and threatens to destroy the newly-formed city government. Council members Mike Dixon, Ruth Ann Kimbley and Troy Thomas Jr. have resigned. Gene Banks and Raymond Cornett remain on the council. City Clerk Jane Dixon and Town Marshal Joe Begley remain in their volunteer positions.

“Heaven Can Wait” starring Warren Beatty and Julie Christie is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

February 22, 1989

Letcher County’s litter enforcement system is apparently not working as it should, and officials have called a special meeting to discuss the problems. The fiscal court last week said the amount of litter in the county is still unacceptable, despite the get-tough litter law passed last year.

The Letcher County Board of Education could swing either way in a vote on collective bargaining for teachers. The board did away with collective bargaining in 1976, and has voted against it repeatedly since then. But Jon Henrikson, president of the Letcher County Teachers Organization, asked the board again last week to recognize the LCTO as the official representative of its members and to resume negotiations with the organization.

Local game clubs have asked Letcher Fiscal Court to help them establish a public clubhouse at Fishpond Lake.

February 24, 1999

The City of Whitesburg will seek grants to expand its sewage treatment plant in the wake of three notices of violation from the state Division of Water. The city has to pay a $4,000 civil penalty for two of those notices, issued in October and December of 1998 for violations that occurred at its sewer plant in September.

Little League baseball teams will be allowed to use a field on the Whitesburg Industrial Site this summer, Whitesburg Mayor Nathan Baker said. City council members agreed that the teams should be allowed to use the field, but cautioned that if other leagues use it, they should be required to help with the upkeep.

Local school attendance is rising slowly after a break called to allow flu and other illnesses to run their course. Still only about 81 percent of students attended classes last week at Letcher High School, the hardest hit of any school in the county.

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