2009-10-21 / Columns

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

October 22, 1959

Whitesburg may get home delivery of mail, Congressman Carl D. Perkins has informed Fred Coffey, president of the Chamber of Commerce. Coffey said Perkins told him in a letter that there is a good possibility home mail delivery could be installed here if houses are numbered and streets are named.

Workmen were busy today removing parking meters from one side of Main Street in downtown Whitesburg. When the new city parking lot goes into operation no parking will be allowed on the south side of Main from Baker Maytag to Webb Avenue.

Homecoming celebrations are scheduled this weekend at three Letcher County high schools, Whitesburg, Fleming- Neon, and Jenkins.

Sirloin and porter house steak are 99 cents a pound at the Whitesburg A&P food store. Cod is 33 cents a pound.

October 23, 1969

Kentucky Highway Commissioner Eugene Goss says the state is going ahead with plans to tunnel through Pine Mountain for a new U.S. 119 route, and will consider the possibility of a Pine Mountain tunnel for U.S. 23 at Jenkins.

Whitesburg Mayor Ferdinand Moore says he hopes the city can go ahead with construction of a new sewage disposal plant within the next month. The U.S. Department of the Interior this past week granted $140,520 to the city toward the $468,400 cost of the project.

Letcher County Sheriff Maynard Hogg reports his office has been swamped with telephone calls concerning a mysterious figure reportedly seen in McRoberts, Kingscreek, Millstone, Cowan, Fleming — indeed, throughout the county. More than 150 phone calls have been received, Hogg said. But despite all the rumors or reports, no one came in with a report of an actual murder, rape or robbery, Hogg said.

The third annual Appalachian Folk Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday nights at the Blackey Community Center. Performers will include Mike Seeger, Roscoe Halcomb, Sarah Ogan Gunning, and Alice and Hazel.

October 25, 1979

Less than a week after taking control of Letcher County Fiscal Court's spending, the state department of local government has found the county has only $116 in its 1979-80 general fund and will not be able to pay its employees nearly $16,500 in paychecks due next week.

The Kentucky Department of Natural Resources has issued a strip-mining permit for an area in Letcher County adjacent to Lilley Cornett Woods, and a second permit application in the same area is under consideration. Lilley's Woods is the last stand of virgin timber in Kentucky — and one of the last areas of its kind in the eastern United States.

The Fleming-Neon High School "Pride of the Pirates" Marching Band received a rating of "one" for the field competition in the Lonesome Pine Band Festival at Wise, Va. The band scored from 90 to 100 points out of a possible 100.

October 25, 1989

Gov. Wallace Wilkinson has asked President Bush to declare a disaster area of Letcher and nine other counties as a result of last Tuesday's flooding. The flood was the worst in memory for some Letcher Countians — bigger even than the legendary '57 flood — and the water came faster. Fleming-Neon was hit hardest when streams rose to six feet deep and more in the streets, and Solomon Creek ran waist deep on Solomon Road in Whitesburg. Number One Bottom in Jenkins was flooded, and slides and high water damaged homes and blocked roads from Burdine to Millstone to Red Star.

Letcher County was the site of the Kentucky Revenue Cabinet's first asset seizure for delinquent property taxes. The cabinet has seized more than 1,000 acres of coal land in Letcher and Knox counties owned by USACO Coal Company and German Coal Company. The two companies owe more than $100,000 in property taxes.

"Shocker" and "Parenthood" are playing at Whitesburg I and II this week.

October 27, 1999

Letcher County will buy recyclable materials to test its recycling program in conjunction with a third appliance buyback this week. During the three day buyback, the county and the Letcher County Conservation District will pay residents $5 for each appliance they bring to the county recycling center and 30 cents a pound for mixed recyclables.

The Supreme Court of Kentucky last week reversed a 19- year-old precedent and ruled that the state is responsible for the negligence of mine inspectors in the case of a boy who drowned in a culvert at Cram Creek in 1987.

Trick or treat night throughout Letcher County has been set for Saturday rather than Sunday. Halloween falls on Sunday this year and there has been widespread controversy over whether children should be allowed to trick or treat on a day Christians regard as holy. Many fundamentalist Christians believe Halloween represents evil.

"Bats" and "Double Jeopardy" are playing at Whitesburg Cinema.

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