2010-05-19 / Columns

The way we were

Clips from Mountain Eagle front pages over the past 50 years

May 19, 1960

Letcher County has no first-class high school, the State Department of Education reported this week. Ratings of schools under a new set of standards adopted by the board were released. They show that there is no school in Letcher County with the rank of “comprehensive”, the highest rating given.

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Both the Letcher Consolidated School buildings and the Fleming-Neon High School building will be dedicated Saturday.

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Letcher County lost a fourth of its population from 1950 to 1960 early census reports showed today. Census officials said their preliminary figures indicate the county’s population now is 29,911, a drop of 9,612 since 1950.

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The Whitesburg Chamber of Commerce is promoting a letter writing campaign on behalf of the proposal to establish a state park on Pine Mountain.

May 21, 1970

The Kentucky Water Pollution Control Committee this week ordered that no more customers may be added to the Whitesburg city sewer system until it has been expanded.

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D.B. Barker, chairman of the Opposition Committee to the Kingdom Come Dam, said this week that Letcher County residents should indicate again that they are opposed to construction of the proposed Kingdom Come Dam.

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Coal miners who stand to benefit from the new black lung compensation law have been summoned to a meeting in Hazard Saturday by the Hazard office of the Social Security Administration.

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On Sunday, May 17, the Thornton Old Regular Baptist Church at Mayking held the dedication of its new addition, along with its monthly meeting. The building, an annex to the church, was dedicated by Elders Elmer Church, Spencer Burks, and Russell Jacobs.

May 22, 1980

Letcher Fiscal Court has agreed to retain the county’s ownership of the old Jenkins High School building and to pay several months’ worth of power bills.

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County officials say they hope to be able to turn Fishpond Lake over to a private firm in an effort to clean up the lake and the land around it. The county has spent more than a million dollars on the lake over the past several years in an effort to create a county park, but vandalism has been a problem all that time.

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Kentucky State Police have named the McRoberts area of Letcher County a “high accident location.”

May 23, 1990

Letcher County’s official jobless rate fell by one half of one percent in March, to 7.8 percent, nearly four points below the March 1989 estimate.

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Jenkins teachers have asked the Jenkins Board of Education for a 25 percent pay increase for next year. The board heard the teachers’ presentation at its Monday night meeting, but did not take action.

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Tourism expenditures in Letcher County fell more than half a million dollars from 1988 to 1989, according to information released by the state Department of Travel Development. In 1989 expenditures related directly and indirectly to tourism in Letcher County were $3,068,367, down $540,634 from 1988’s total of $3,609,001.

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The Kentucky River in front of the old Coca-Cola plant in Whitesburg is normally known for wild ducks, but three Canada Geese took up temporary residence there last week, apparently on their way north for the summer.

May 24, 2000

Golden Oak Mining L.P. has filed for bankruptcy protection, blaming the action on a poor coal market and an employee walk-out last fall.

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Members of the Letcher County Board of Education have asked the superintendent of schools and the board attorney to take a second look at job cuts made during the last month. Superintendent William Kinzer sent notifications in April to 29 classified employees telling them that their contracts would not be renewed for next year.

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Whitesburg High School tennis players Adam Adams and Vicente Lopez won the Region 10 doubles championship Saturday and advance to the state tennis tournament in Lexington on June 1. It is the first time ever that a high school team from Letcher County has competed for a state tennis title.

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