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20 years ago

(May 12 and May 14, 1993)

An architect is blaming a Floyd County School Board member for delays on a controversial school construction project which apparently was never approved by the board of education in the first place. At Monday’s board of education meeting, South Floyd gym architect, Paul Hoffman, claimed that state education officials “mysteriously” put a hold on the gym project at South Floyd because board member Eddie Billips “had a meeting in Frankfort” last month. Billips had raised questions about the cost of moving the gym site from its original location, and whether approval to move the gym by a “consensus” of the board was proper.

A discussion on the upcoming Festival of F.A.C.E.S., and a disagreement over the uncertain fate of the Bert T. Combs airport turned faces red, Monday evening, at a meeting of the Prestonsburg City Council. Debate over the Festival of F.A.C.E.S. began Monday, when Prestonsburg Tourism Commission director Fred James said that much of this year’s festival would be confined to the Prestonsburg Municipal Parking Lot, rather than having it spread out over the downtown area, as in past years.

Residents of Auxier are ready to take matters into their own hands to prevent the planned closure of their elementary school by the Floyd County Board of Education. After offering their emotional pleas at Monday’s special school board meeting, to keep the school open, several residents announced, afterward, that they are planning to incorporate their town and establish an independent school system.

Eastern Kentucky law-enforcement agencies could soon be escalating the war against drugs, with the formation of the proposed Mountain Area Drug Task Force, a joint effort between the cities of Prestonsburg and Hazard, along with Floyd, Perry, Letcher, Knott, Magoffin and Pike counties, to end drug trafficking and abuse in the entire region. Prestonsburg Police Chief Greg Hall told members of the Prestonsburg City Council, Monday evening, that the Mountain Area Drug Task Force would utilize personnel and resources from each of the participating law-enforcement agencies, to form a multijurisdictional unit that would greatly enhance each agency’s drug enforcement efforts.

Monday’s two appointments to the Floyd County Board of Education, by Education Commissioner Thomas Boysen, marked the first time, since January, that a full board has been complemented. Robert Isaac and Brent Clark were officially named, Monday morning, to fill board seats in educational districts two and three respectively, and took the oath of office at a special board meeting, Monday evening.

A single-engine airplane crashed, Thursday evening, at Block House Bottom, across from Combs Airport and injured at least two men. Two unidentified male victims were removed from the scene and taken to new highway U.S. 23 to be transported into waiting helicopters. One victim reportedly fell 50 feet from the crash site down onto a set of railroad tracks. The other victim was reportedly trapped between the airplane wreckage and a tree. Both men reportedly received burns on their hands, arms, and faces.

Second degree wanton endangerment charges against a Martin City Councilman were dismissed last month, when the prosecuting witness failed to show up in court. Two charges against councilman Jeff Jones were dismissed, April 28, by Floyd District Judge Danny Caudill. Court records show that the complaining witnesses, James Meade and Margaret Woods, did not appear in court that day.

An attorney representing three Floyd County administrators, whose jobs were eliminated under a district reorganization plan, claims the local school board violated the state’s Open Meetings Laws and statutory requirements for conducting due process hearings for employees affected by the plan. In a May 12 letter to acting board chairman Eddie Patton, attorney E. Mickey McGuire, contends that the board’s discussion of the reorganization plan in a closed session at the March 30 and April 3 meetings, was in violation of the law.

Floyd County school superintendent Steve Towler is apparently one of five finalists in the superintendent search for the Russell Independent School System, in Greenup County. Towler, who signed a four-year contract to direct the Floyd County system last July, will be interviewed today (Friday) by the Russell search committee.

There died: Beatrice Miller Rogers, 80, of West Prestonsburg, Monday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Melody Music Sebring, 86, of Findlay, Ohio, Monday, at Blanchard Valley Hospital; Harold Isaac, 64, of Wabash, Indiana, formerly of Topmost, Saturday, at the Wabash County Hospital; Virgil Shepherd, 63, of Hueysville, Thursday, at his residence; Lucy Johnson Ransdell, 93, of Prestonsburg, Monday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home; Virginia Colwell, 71, of Campbellsville, Saturday, at Norton Hospital, Louisville; A. Jack Brown, 75, of Lenore, Idaho, Tuesday, from injuries sustained in an auto accident; Earnest Hensley, 68, of Melvin, Friday, at McDowell Applachian Regional Hospital; Roy Earney, 61, of East Point, Thursday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; William “Billy” Keith Wells, 36, of Langley, Friday, in Our Lady of the Way Hospital; Lee Conley, 72, of Hueysville, Wednesday, at Hazard Appalachian Regional Hospital; Walter R. Wells, 74, of Pikeville, Thursday, at Pikeville Methodist Hospital.

30 years ago

(May 11, 1983)

Floyd County Judge-Executive Jerry Lafferty Jr., 54, died last Friday, of a massive heart attack. The passing of Floyd County Judge-Executive Jerry Lafferty Jr., marked the second time within 10 weeks that a Floyd County office has been vacated by death.

A quarter of the county’s remedial reading teachers will be laid off at the end of the school year as a result of a 15 percent cut in federal Chapter I funds.

A 23-year-old Martin man, Rick Sorrels, is in jail on two charges of arson and investigations are still underway in connection to a series of other fires in the last few months.

There died: Julia Branham, 87, of Martin, last Friday, at Riverside Manor Nursing Home; Marvin Neeley, 30, of Hueysville, Saturday, at his parents home; Elder Emmanuel Bartley, 93, of McDowell, last Friday, at McDowell Appalachian Regional Hospital; Ann O. Scutchfield, 65, of Martin, May 6; Edna Marshall Patton, 72, of Eastern, Monday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital; Charlene Craft, 70, of Prestonsburg, Sunday, at Riverview Manor Nursing Home.

40 years ago

(May 16, 1973)

Making the transition, from the old election law to the new, has Floyd County’s election board split squarely down the middle, with two precinct officer lists possible, and the acceptability of both hanging in doubt.

The four-lane bridge spanning the Big Sandy at Allen is about 85 percent complete, and should be open to trafffic within six weeks.

The Parkway Water Association, which will provide water service to homes and businesses in a three-mile-long area up Middle Creek, from Clark School, is ready for final plans.

Three Floyd County residents were among 45 persons awarded Doctor of Dental Medicine degrees from the University of Kentucky, May 12. They are Kenneth R. Martin of Estill, Carl Edmond Tackett, of Prestonsburg, and Ralph Darrell Johnson, of Garrett.

There died: Jim Prater, 81, of West Prestonsburg, Monday, at Highlands Regional Medical Center; Mrs. Sarah Blackburn Mullett, 48, of Weeksbury, April 28, at home; Mrs. Eva Samons, 58, Friday, at her home at Martin; Kelly Wicker, 67, of Mousie, Monday, at the McDowell Hospital; Emert Bentley, 54, of East McDowell, Wednesday, at Methodist Hospital, Pikeville; Marvin Clark, formerly of this county, April 18, in Albuquerque, New Mexico; Jay Johnson, 88, of Melvin, May 3, at home; Vailis Chaffins, 71, of Wheelwright, May 4, here; Theodore (Ted) Day, 52, of Bypro, Wednesday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin.

50 years ago

(May 16, 1963)

It’s a hot political campaign in Floyd County, with local races figuring heavily, but the focal point of interest lies in the Breathitt-Chandler fight for the Democratic nomination for Governor.

The Mountain Parkway, “a long-time dream of Eastern Kentucky,” became a reality as Gov. Bert Combs and many state and local officials helped dedicate the scenic, new superhighway last Wednesday.

The strawberry processing plant, here, will open to receive berries, Friday, it is announced. This is the second year of its operation.

Miss Barbara Vanover, 18, Martin High School senior, was crowned queen of the annual county-wide music festival here, Saturday.

Born: to Mr. and Mrs. Martin L. Webb, of Prestonsburg, a son, Mark Leslie, May 4, at the Paintsville Hospital; to Mr. and Mrs. Johnny Crum of Wapakoneta, Ohio, formerly of this county, a daughter, Peggy Ellen.

There died: H. H. “Hi” Fitzpatrick, 82, native of Floyd County, last Thursday, at Greenup; Nelson Hamilton, 74, last Thursday, at his home at Craynor; Quiller Hamilton, 49, Monday, at home at Ligon; Mrs. Lexie Allen, 61, Friday, at her home at Allen; John David varney, 60, of Dema, Friday, at the Paintsville Hospital.

60 years ago

(May 14, 1953)

The Floyd County Board of Education, this week, asked bids from contractors on the construction of a four-classroom school at Bosco.

A report on the school teacher shortage in Kentucky shows that 127 teachers in Floyd County have emergency teaching certificates.

The fiscal court at its meeting, Monday, unanimously voted to allow Carl Horn a salary of $1,200 a year as a bookkeeper for his father, Jailer Guy Horn, and to allow this amount as a deductible item in the Jailer’s expenses for the years, 1950 and 1951.

Employment in Floyd County has been on the decline since March, the total number of claimants up to 3,365.

At his battle station in Korea, Cpl. Charles F. Laferty wrote a letter on the familiar subject, “Mother,” which won for his mother, Mrs. William F. Laferty, of Allen, the 839th Engineers battalion’s award as “Mother of the Year.”

Fred Jarrell, 43-year-old Prestonsburg man, was killed early last Saturday, as the result of an accidental gunshot wound.

Wilbur R. (Shorty) Jamerson, former backfield star for the University of Kentucky Wildcats, has been named head football coach at Morehead State College.

Born: to Mr. and Mrs. Miles Gibson Jr., of Maytown, a daughter, Janie Elizabeth.

There died: H. L. Goble, of Prestonsburg, Monday, in the Good Samaritan Hospital, Lexington; R.N. (Neal) Harris, 74, of Cow Creek, Thursday, at the home of his daughter, here; John Allen Burchett, 77, at home at Tram, Tuesday; Mrs. Lydia Watkins, 69, of Brainard, Sunday; Mrs. Fanny Smallwood, 51, of Bevinsville, May 6, at the Paintsville Hospital; Mrs. Jane Hall Stumbo, 62, of McDowell, Monday, at Our Lady of the Way Hospital, Martin; William E. Spradlin, 68, of Prestonsburg, at a Lexington hospital, Tuesday

70 years ago

(May 13, 1943)

As part of President Roosevelt’s nation-wide stabilization order of wages, prices and employment, Floyd County workers, and all others in the Pikeville area, who plan to get jobs elsewhere, will not be hired without a referral and a statement of inter-area clearance from the local office of the U.S. Employment Service.

CPA investigators this week were probing into food prices, asked and received, by grocery stores of this section, seeking to verify or refute charges of John L. Lewis, UMWA leader, that food prices are out of control in mining sections, and a $2-a-day pay raise is necessary for the miners.

Robert Mosley, 19 years old, of Detroit, was killed March 31, in action on the North African front.

The Floyd War Price and Rationing Board prepared, this week, for registration of users of sugar for canning purposes.

After 74 disabling injuries, and two deaths, as a result of accidents to miners in the Elk Horn Coal Corporation’s Mine No. 28, Wayland, the mine was inspected and reported “gassy,” and in need of extensive safety work.

Floyd County more than doubled its War Bond quota of $466,000 for the month of April.

There died: Mrs. Venice Gibson, 21, of Melvin, at the Beaver Valley Hospital, Martin, Tuesday; Lonnie C. Estep, 47, of Gearheart, May 5, at Baltimore, Md.; Lois Dingus, 8, of Martin, Saturday, at the Martin General Hospital.

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