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Retired union miners show support for Blackjewel men

Bankrupt firm says it hopes to solve dispute

Blackjewel Mining employees, still unpaid for their last month of work, raised the ante this week, blocking a train carrying coal from the bankrupt company’s Cloverlick No. 3 Mine in Harlan County. Miners flooded the tracks Monday afternoon, camped out on them Monday night and were still there Tuesday, playing cornhole on boards set up between the steel rails. “I’ve […]

Suspects face federal counts in meth cases

A Bottom Fork man and his daughter, arrested by the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department in March 2018 with 4 pounds of methamphetamines, now face a previously sealed federal indictment of drug trafficking conspiracy and gun charges. Another inmate here was transferred to federal custody Tuesday to answer charges of conspiracy to distribute methamphetamine. It was not clear if the […]

A piece of roadside history is back up in Whitesburg

Historic sign will greet visitors …

There was a time when everyone around knew that Whitesburg was populated by a bunch of friendly people, and two grouches. The Royal Crown Cola sign at the edge of town told them so. Perched on the peak of Tunnel Hill, next to the hospital driveway, the red, white and blue sign was mildly famous. Before that, it was a […]

14.2 million pain pills sold here in period of 6 years

During six years at the height of the opioid epidemic, six manufacturers shipped 1.9 billion pain pills into Kentucky. Of those, 14.2 million came to Letcher County — enough for every man, woman and child to take 83 highly potent pain pills per year. The Washington Post and The Charleston Gazette in West Virginia spent a year fighting for access […]

Hearing set for man who led cops on chase

Preliminary hearing will be held July 29 for a Tennessee man arrested after a pursuit that started in Harlan, went all the way to Whitesburg and ended at Cumberland. Zachary Phillip Lockhart, 26, of 4524 June Drive, Kingsport, Tenn., faces multiple counts related to the hour-long chase. Charges include operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, […]

One arrested after two-county chase


A pursuit that involved police from two counties ended about 2:30 p.m. today just across the Harlan County line at Blair, after two of the pickup’s tires were deflated when it ran over spike strips. The chase involved Kentucky State Police, the Letcher County Sheriff’s Department, Whitesburg Police, Cumberland Police, Harlan Police, and the Harlan County Sheriff’s Department. Speeds ranged […]

State wants land for a bridge some say is not needed at all

The road that leaves Cowan and meanders up Henry Ison Hollow carried cars and trucks, horses and pedestrians all the way to Kingdom Come. About a half mile up the hollow, the road crosses a hump and dips into Kingdom Come Creek, where cars still drive along the same gravel creek bed that horses have used for 200 years. But […]

Officials demand that Blackjewel pays wages owed

The attorney generals of Kentucky and Virginia have written a joint letter to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court demanding that Blackjewel Mining make “immediate payment” of wages owed to workers. The Letcher County Judge/Executive’s Office has seen a steady stream of Blackjewel coal miners since a public meeting last Wednesday during which miners were told to fill out paperwork there to […]

Inmates charged in jail meth cases

The Letcher Grand Jury has charged five county jail inmates on several charges, including the use of meth, assault and wanton endangerment. Indicted are: Donald Reed Shepherd, 24, of 6813 Ky. Hwy. 15 North, Whitesburg, who is charged with first-degree possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine), use/possession of drug paraphernalia, and first-degree promoting contraband, when he introduced dangerous contraband into […]

Blackhawk mining says it has reached agreements with creditors, will file bankruptcy


A third mining company in a month in this area has announced it will file for bankruptcy. Blackhawk Mining, which operates mines in Floyd, Breathitt, Knott, Perry, Leslie and Magoffin counties, in West Virginia and in Indiana, this morning announced that it has reached agreements with “over 90% of its lenders” that will allow it to stay in business “with […]

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