50 years ago – 1959
Bert Combs Winner Over H. L. Waterfield
Bert T. Combs, of Prestonsburg, won the Democratic nomination for Governor Tuesday over Lieut. Gov. Harry Lee Waterfield, who had the backing of Governor A.B. Chandler. Combs’ majority was $32,004 with nearly half of the State’s 3,784 precincts counted Wednesday. Mr. Waterfield conceded his defeat.
On the Republican side of voting was light because John M. Robison, Jr., of Louisville, was an apparent winner from the start for the G.O.P. nomination for Governor after State Republican leaders drafted him to make the race. His vote was 16,096. His two opponents had: Thurman Hamlin of London, 1,325, and Granville Thomas, of Evarts, 1,136.
Estill County’s candidate for the Republican nomination for superintendent of public instruction, Douglas F. Miller, was easily defeating his opponent, Carlos V. Snapp.
Scattered returns gave no clear indication of other winners in the Republican state-wide races.
25 years ago – 1984
Federal disaster aid designated for Estil
Doris Petershelf, an assistant to 5th-District Congressman Harold Rogers, informed County Judge-Executive Donnie Watson Tuesday that Estill County will soon receive federal disaster aid to repair damage from the recent flood.
Estill was one of nine counties declared disaster areas by President Reagan Tuesday. The others were: Casey, Harlan, Johnson, Lee, Owsley, Wayne, Pulaski and Adair.
All but Adair are eligible for individual and public assistance. Adair is eligible for individual assistance only.
Governor Martha Layne Collins requested that aid be approved for 20 counties, in addition to the 14 that were designated disaster areas by the president on May 15. However, 11 of the 20 counties were denied such status. They were: Franklin, Edmonson, Grayson, Larue, Green, Lincoln, Marion, Morgan, Wolfe, Taylor and Ohio.
20 years ago – 1989
Kentucky River Clear Water Relay to stress importance of stream
Relay to pass through Irvine Saturday
It begins at a mountain spring in Letcher County, near the Virginia border, and winds some 422 miles through all types of terrain the state has to offer, before it finally ends near Carrollton.
It is probably this state’s main artery in a special system of waterways. It provides drinking water, water for agricultural purposes and recreational opportunities to thousands of people in the eastern and central parts of the state, whose lives are influenced daily by it.
“It” of course, is the Kentucky River, and its importance to all of our lives being marked by the Kentucky River Clear Water Relay, an event sponsored by the Kentucky Division of Water to emphasize the necessity of preserving the river.
The event began April 30 at Jenkins and is scheduled to conclude at Carrollton, where the Kentucky empties into the Ohio River, on June 17. It consists of transporting a bottle of water collected from the Letcher County spring by boat to Carrollton, and communities all along the river are joining in the celebration of the importance of clean water.
15 years ago – 1994
Dam 11 leak shouldn’t hurt water supply
Corps of Engineers to start repairs as soon as river conditions permit
As soon as Kentucky River conditions allow, work will begin on repairing a hole in Lock & Dam 11 at Fox that some officials fear may endanger the water supplies of Irvine and Richmond.
Larry Warren, with the state Department of Natural Resources, said Monday the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers still owns the locks and dams. Warren said that agency has already awarded contracts for repairs on Dam 11 and other locks and dams along the river.
Although state officials have expressed concern that the hole could cause the pool held back by Dam 11 to diminish should a drought occur, Irvine Municipal Utilities manager Kelly Morefield said Monday he does not expect Irvine’s water supply to be affected, even if the dam is not repaired.
“As long as we’ve got water flowing out of Station Camp Creek, we’ll have plenty of water,” Morefield said.
Warren said the hole in Dam 11 is located next to the right abutment of the dam, next to the lock chamber. The water flow has not diminished enough for state officials to determine the exact size of the hole, but he said “early estimates” are that 300 cubic feet of water flows through the hole per second. Warren said that figure is subject to change as the flow of water in the river increases or decreases.
10 years ago – 1999
Ravenna, Hargett bring high prices
Two pieces of Estill County history went on the auction block Saturday morning, bringing as much heftier price tag than expected.
Hargett and Ravenna Elementary Schools, the remaining two of the three grade schools closed prior to the start of the school year, were sold at public auction Saturday by auctioneer Billy “Red” Williams. Hargett netted $94,000 while the final bid on Ravenna Elementary stood at $78,000.
Williams said the prices were quite a bit higher than expected.
“I think most people thought they would bring around $30 or $40 thousand, but this was really a surprise,” Williams said Saturday evening.
Hargett was purchased by Steve Fauste of Irvine. Fauste could not be reached for comment, but Williams said Fauste had said he was interested in selling the school building to a group from Lexington planning to open a religious school.
A father and son duo from Irvine placed the high bid on the Ravenna Elementary building. Ernest “Gabby” Isaacs and his son Earnest Ray Isaacs purchased the building in hopes of developing housing for the elderly, according to the younger Isaacs.
“We are looking at getting apartments open for elderly people. I feel like this is something we need in Estill County, and having them close to town like this would allow people to get out and tend to business pretty easily. We wanted to do something that would benefit the community, and we feel like this is a good way to do that,” Ernest Ray Isaacs said.