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STEVE LeMASTER
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20 years ago

(April 28 and April 30, 1993)

The Floyd County Times was presented the Outstanding Media Award for 1992-93, during the 6th annual East Kentucky Leadership Conference, held in Morehead on April 23 and 24. The Times was recognized by the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation, a coalition of 5th Congressional District counties, for the newspaper’s ongoing coverage of educational issues facing the troubled Floyd County School System.


Diversifying and industrializing our economy to ensure employment and financial success for all, should be eastern Kentucky’s number one priority, Lieutenant Governor Paul Patton told members of the Big Sandy Area Labor-Management Committee Monday. The committee met, Monday morning, at Jenny Wiley State Park’s May Lodge, to unveil the results of its intensive labor-management survey of the five-county area. The findings of that survey are, Floyd County Development Authority Executive Director Darrell Gilliam said Monday, “overwhelmingly positive.”


Floyd County school officials set a May 10 deadline, Saturday, for South Floyd architect Paul Hoffman to produce design plans for a relocated gymnasium. Floyd board members met with Hoffman at the controversial school site, Saturday morning, for an explanation of why the architect wants to locate the gym in a different area. Hoffman said that the 1,700 seat gym would not fit on the original gym site. He added that the original plans called for a seating capacity of 750.


With a price tag, to date, totaling nearly $7 million over original estimates, an incomplete South Floyd High School continues to tug at the Floyd County School System’s purse strings while school officials struggle to finish construction in time for an August opening. The latest adventure in financing for the new school arose, last week, after officials learned they would likely be short of funding needed to furnish the school.


Despite honoring a request from Eastern Kentucky Racing Incorporated, to remove from its agenda, a discussion on a proposed off-track betting parlor at Hazard, Monday, the Kentucky Racing Commission, apparently renewed its on-again/off-again opposition to the much-beleaguered Kentucky Downs harness track project. Former Governor Julian Carroll, representing Eastern Kentucky Racing, last week asked the commission to curtail discussion on the Hazard OTB parlor, proposed by Kentucky Off-Track Betting, reasoning that such a facility, located within 75 miles of Kentucky Downs, would violate Kentucky state law, and the terms of Eastern Kentucky Racing’s license.


A mid-afternoon collision at the intersection of U.S. 23, and Ky. 1428, claimed the life of an elderly Prestonsburg woman, Wednesday, and hospitalized an Oil Springs native. According to a report issued Thursday, by the Prestonsburg Police Department, the accident occurred Wednesday, when Ruth Wright, 70, of Prestonsburg, attempted to turn unto U.S. 23, from Ky. 1428, directly in the path of a northbound vehicle, driven by Sherletta M. Doderer, 29, of Oil Springs. Wright was apparently thrown from her vehicle. Both women were transported to Highlands Regional Medical Center, where Wright was pronounced dead by Floyd County Coroner Roger Nelson.


A Floyd County man was arrested, early Saturday, by officers of the Kentucky State Police, after allegedly abducting, beating and raping an elderly Ivel woman. According to Floyd County Jail records, Eddie Dean Hall, 20, of Tram, was arrested at the Tram residence of his uncle, Junior Hall, by Kentucky State Police Detective Lynn Cross, and lodged in the jail at around 9:30 a.m. Saturday.


State school officials have chastised Floyd County school superintendent Steve Towler for failing to provide local board members with vital information relating to the district’s improvement plans. Local board members apparently have also been bypassed in the distribution of revised state guidelines—some of which require their attention—concerning school construction projects.


There died: Rev. Elmer M. Francisco, 79, of Hornell, New York, formerly of Grethel, April 12, at St. James Mercy Hospital; Robert Douglas Gregory, infant son of Robert Gregory and Glema Yates of Martin was stillborn April 22, in Martin; Paul J. “Jeff” Stewart, 40, Martin native, of Ashland Saturday, at King’s Daughters’ Medical Center; Harold Eugene Duff, 53, of Eastern, Saturday, in the Veteran’s Hospital, Huntington, West Virginia; Bill Jones, 60, of Wayland, Sunday, at his residence; Nadean Fleming, 70, of Virgie, a Weeksbury native, Friday, at Jenkins Community Hospital; Dan T. Martin, 85, of Hindman, Monday, at Hazard Appalachian Regional Medical Center; Robert Clinton Watts, 40, of Mousie, Monday, at his home; Helen Diane Watkins, 54, of Lackey, Monday, at the U.K. Medical Center in Lexington; Thelma Ruth Whitaker Dotson, 74, of Prestonsburg, Tuesday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Mary Jane Lewis, 87, formerly of Ivel, Saturday, at the residence of her daughter, Thelma Ruess of Markle, Indiana; Sarah Keane Hale, four-month-old infant of Benjamin Lee and Keane Gregory Hale, of Blue River, Saturday, in the University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington; Robert L. Crum, 73, of Prestonsburg, Thursday, at the V.A. Medical Center Hospital in Huntington, West Virginia; William Matthew Little, 18, of Wheelwright, Friday, at Wheelwright; George Preston Adams, 80, of Prestonsburg, Tuesday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Emery Osborne, 66, of Betsy Layne, Monday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Arizona Moore, 77, Wednesday, at Life Care Center in LaGrange, Indiana; Hester Prater Page, 81, of Martin, Wednesday, at the residence of her daughter, Pauline Vineyard of Burnswick, Ohio.


30 years ago

(Wednesday, May 4, 1983)

Another step was taken, last week, in the effort to save William “Oakie” Bevins from death by electrocuton, as ordered by the trial judge in Greenup County.


The old Martin Railroad Depot building was the most recently building to be set afire in a string of suspected arsons in the city of Martin.


The licensing probe was shy of evidence to return indictments in connection with the awarding of liquor licenses.


There died: Hern D. Burke, 69, of Floyd County, last Friday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Marietta Mann, 77, of Prestonsburg, April 29, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Linzie Moore, 83, of Pyramid, last Thursday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Alamander Tuttle, 73, of Martin, April 27, in Louisa; Virginia Hall, 56, of Prestonsburg, Saturday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Josie Sparks Adams, 71, of Middle Creek, April 28, at home; Albert Ward, 70, of Prestonsburg, April 29, at Salyersville Health Care Center; Watt Hayes, 86, of Martin, last Friday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center.


40 years ago

(May 2, 1973)

County Attorney James R. Allen said, this week, that Floyd County and the City of Martin, will move, soon, to acquire easements for the $3 million stream improvement project in the Martin area.


A limited area of stripmined properties in Floyd County was inspected during a tour made, Monday, by environmental protection officials, and one such operation was suspended.


Five high school girls representing Allen Central, Betsy Layne, McDowell, Prestonsburg and Wheelwright, will vie, here, Saturday, for the title of Floyd County Music Festival Queen. They are Teresa L. Osborne, Gwen Clark, Linda Godsey, Jill Newsome, and Karen Hamby.


The national list of crimes is long, and Floyd County’s own, isn’t short. And now this county has recorded a brand-new infraction to its category. The innovation was recorded at the county jail, last Friday, when an upper Right Beaver Creek man was booked by Deputy Sheriff Sollie Holbrook on a charge of drinking beer in church.


Phillip A. Haywood, of Prestonsburg, was honored at Eastern Kentucky University’s Honors Day Program, last Sunday, as the outstanding male physical education major.


There died: Sam Bradley, 74, of Servia, Ind., formerly of Magoffin County, Wednesday, in a North Manchester, Ind. hospital; John M. Porter, 47, of Prestonsburg, Saturday, at a Pikeville hospital; Mrs. Maudie Hamilton, 77, Tuesday, at her home at East McDowell; Andy Lee Newsome, 76, of Masontown, Pa., formerly of this county, February 20; Mrs. Emma C. McSurely, 65, of Tippecanoe, Ind., formerly of Floyd County, Sunday, in Indiana; Mrs. Phoeba P. Crisp, 79, of Martin, Wednesday, at a nursing home, here; Mrs. Martha M. Smith, 78, Monday, at her West Prestonsburg home; William S. Branham, 80, Sunday, at his home at Martin.


50 years ago

(May 2, 1963)

A cave-in of rock from the roof of a small mine of the Hamilton Coal Company, at Price, claimed the lives, Tuesday morning, of 59-year-old Marson Moore, of Orkney, and his son-in-law, Clyde Little, 33, of Wheelwright. The mine, in which they died, was in its first day of operation.


Sue Holbrook, 13, eighth grade pupil at the Bonanza School, is the new spelling champion of Floyd County. She is a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hobert Holbrook. Runnerup was 14-year-old Patricia Vance, eighth grade pupil at the Beaver School.


Floyd County’s medically indigent clients were aided a total of $107,391, last year, under the public assistance and medical assistance program.


The four-lane, 43-mile section of the new Mountain Parkway from near Winchester to Campton will be dedicated May 8.


County officials were authorized, Monday, by the Community Facilities Administration, Atlanta, Georgia, to issue a work order to the successful bidder on construction of the Floyd County courthouse.


There died: Johnny B. Smith, 65, of Allen, April 23, in Elkhart, Ind.; Ray A. Tate, 66, of Bypro, Sunday, at the Beaver Valley Hospital; William J. Vaughan, 70, Friday, at his home in Prestonsburg; Henry L. Bonar, 65, of Tram, Sunday, at a Martin hospital; Mrs. Tommie Shepherd, 68, of David, Tuesday, en route to a hospital, here; Mrs. Betty P. Shepherd, 75, Tuesday, at her home at Dwale; Kelly J. Day, 86, former mayor of Pikeville, Tuesday, at a Pikeville hospital; Mrs. Grace Reynolds, 85, of Martin, last Thursday, at a Martin hospital; Mrs. Julia Clifton Spradlin, 85, Wednesday, at her home here; Alex Bingham, 64, of the Auxier road, Wednesday, en route to the Prestonsburg General Hospital; Charles Hamilton, 39, of Dayton, O., formerly of Big Mud Creek, April 23, in a Dayton hospital; Bert Tackett, 37, formerly of Beaver, April 22, in Kenosha, Wisc., of injuries received in a fall.


60 years ago

(April 30, 1953)

The Floyd Circuit Court grand jury adjourned, Wednesday noon, with a final report, in which it took potshots at “certain officers” of the law, assailing them for a “general effort to cover up the true condition of lawlessness in this county, particularly bootlegging.”


A sanitation report of Floyd County schools, made by Galen Brown, state area sanitarian, shows that unsanitary conditions exist to an alarming degree in the county schools, with only 23 percent having a safe water supply, and 57 percent with unsafe sewage disposal systems.


For his rescue of a three-year-old child from the path of an oncoming passenger train, Glenn L. McComas, 25, Lima, Ohio, formerly of Eastern, has been awarded the Carnegie Medal for heroism.


The firm of Akers & Akers, of Banner, successful bidders on construction of the county high school building here, with a bid of $388,281.47, is expected to begin work on the structure next week.


Members of the Big Sandy Valley delegation were highly encouraged, Tuesday, by the tenor of the hearing, held before the senate public works sub-committee, on the matter of river canalization.


Fire losses in Floyd County in 1952, for the 45 fires reported, totaled $32,420.


There died: Joe Bradley, 50, of Dema, at a Lexington hospital, April 27; Rev. Mack Hall, 71, at home at Drift, April 25; Mrs. Armelda C. Caudill, 76, at home at Dwale, April 23.


70 years ago

(April 29, 1943)

First Floyd mine to be idle as a result of the current wage dispute between the United Mine Workers, and operators, was that of the Elk Horn Coal Corporation at Wayland, where 800 miners quit work this morning.


Floyd County hemp growers, helping to supply America’s wartime need, after the Japanese captured our best source of imported hemp, are seeking a goal of 400 acres this year.


Last obstacle to the purchase of the Prestonsburg Gas Company by the City of Prestonsburg, was removed, last week, when the transaction was approved by the Public Service Commission at Frankfort.


Attempt of Mrs. Catherine Nolen, 77 years old, to extinguish a flaming curtain in the home of her daughter, Mrs. Melvin Allen, near Garrett, Sunday, resulted in burns which proved fatal to her, Monday.


Floyd County is definitely “over the top” in its drive to reach the $463,000 quota assigned it in the nation’s $13 million War Bond campaign this month.


Born: to Mr. and Mrs. Ervin Patrick, of Tram, a son, Larry Douglas; to Mr. and Mrs. Sambo Laferty, of Sloan, a son, Vernon, April 18.


There died: Daniel D. Martin, 89, Floyd County native, Wednesday, at his home at Ashland; Mrs. Sarah Johnson, 56, at her home at Lambert, on Clear Creek, Tuesday; Mrs. Amanda Akers, 62, at her home at Ligon, Sunday.



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