Whitesburg KY
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The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years



March 19, 1959

The Letcher County Board of Education decided Saturday to readvertise for bids on fire prevention work at Whitesburg Grade School and Whitesburg High School. The board had requested bids on a variety of work, but only two bids were received and none of them covered the entire job.

The United Mine Workers of America strike against mines which have not signed the new contract entered its fourth day in Letcher County today, and things appeared quiet this morning. State police at Hazard said a motor convoy formed at Sassafras this morning but was reduced in strength from previous days The convoy’s destination was not known, but it appeared headed toward Colson, since of the only violence which has occurred so far. Four men were injured Tuesday in an incident at the Colson ramp operated by Roland Price.

George Monroe Fields of Roxana received a Tom Wallace Award, giving by the Louisville Courier-Journal, during ceremonies at the Whitesburg Lions Club meeting last week. Fields won the award for his good forest management. He had donated the use of his farm as an experiment to help improve flood control and forestry conservation in Letcher County.

“The Ten Commandments” starring Charlton Heston is playing at the Alene Theater in Whitesburg.

March 20, 1969

The road to the Whitesburg airport will be blacktopped this year by the Kentucky Highway Department, according to word received here this week. The airport road, built by the state several years ago, is nearly impassable during the freeze and thaw season.

Kay Watts Breeding of Hallie, attained the A Honor Roll during the fall semester at Georgetown College.

Mr. and Mrs. Virgil D. Picklesimer were guests of honor at a reception Saturday afternoon at the home of their daughter, Mrs. Eugene Vermillion. All five Picklesimer children joined their parents in the observance of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Round steak is 97 cents a pound at the A&P Food Store. Sirloin steak is $1.07 a pound.

March 22, 1979

With garbage piling up on hillsides and riverbanks throughout the county, franchised garbage pickup systems failing, and county officials claiming they can do nothing to clean up the mess, Letcher County now faces the closing of its only legal waste disposal site before the end of the week. If the county does not immediately pay some of the $22,890 owed to Kentucky River Garbage and Refuse Disposal District, the Millstone landfill will close.

Federal Mine Health and Safety Administration (MSHA) inspectors Saturday issued two citations for roof violations against Scotia Coal Company during the investigation into a roof fall accident that killed two men and injured a third at the Upper Taggart Mine at Oven Fork last week.

The audience will become actors in an unusual switch for the filming in this area of the Universal Studios motion picture “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, the story of country music queen Loretta Lynn. Area residents are asked by the movie producers to appear in a major sequence from the movie to be filmed at Wise County Fairgrounds in Wise, Va., and to enjoy, free, a concert featuring Loretta Lynn and the Coal Miners Band.

Actor Tommy Lee Jones, in Letcher County for the filming of “Coal Miner’s Daughter”, faces trial on charges of drunkenness, resisting arrest, and assaulting a police officer. Jones, 33, was arrested after his car crashed in Pound, Va.

March 22 1989

Another section of US 23 will be built in Pike County, but the Letcher County sections of the road have been taken off the construction schedule.

The Letcher County School Board will not change a policy that prohibits it from negotiating with employees. As its regular meeting last week, the board voted three to two to keep the policy, after requests by teachers’ representatives that it be dropped.

Letcher County “is moving in the right direction” to attract new businesses, an industrial recruiter said after meeting with local business leaders.

The Letcher County Chamber of Commerce will apply for “Certified City” status for Whitesburg in an effort to improve its chances at attracting industry.

March 24, 1999

The Letcher County schools would lose 9 1/2 teaching positions, two administrators and 2 1/2 classified positions under a recommendation made Monday night by Superintendent Williams Kinzer.

Unemployment in Letcher County was down one tenth of one percent in January, but still tied Knott County with the second highest jobless rate in the Kentucky River Area Development District. Letcher and Knott each had unemployment rates of 6.8 percent each.

The Letcher County Water and Sewer Commission has tabled any action on joining a multi-county water district that would draw from Carr Creek Lake until organizers of the district can provide more information about the proposal.

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