Boyd County and Greenup County Forge New Partnership for Economic Growth

Boyd County and Greenup County Forge New Partnership for Economic Growth

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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In a landmark move, Boyd County and Greenup County have joined forces to establish a strategic partnership aimed at fostering economic growth and prosperity for both regions. This collaborative initiative, “The Northeastern Kentucky Economic Development,” was unveiled on Wednesday at the Bellefonte Country Club, in a joint press conference. This partnership marks a significant step toward harnessing shared resources and expertise to create a thriving economic landscape.

Leaders from both counties highlighted the undeniable benefits that this new partnership would bring about, emphasizing the synergies that will drive innovation, attract investments, and bolster local businesses. Boyd County Judge Executive, Eric Chaney was eager to share the news of this historical partnership between the two counties. “This is about two counties coming together to push economic development to the next level. For the last five years, we’ve been busting out project after project, finding creative ways to attract companies to our community, and focusing economic development through tourism. With a record-breaking amount of project announcements and more in the pipeline, my team and I thought, ‘How do we take this even further?’ ‘How can we make ourselves stand out even more?’”

The answer became clear to Chaney rather quickly… “We have to take this regionally. We have to start leveraging our assets collectively. At the same time, creating the case study for how healthy regionalism looks. Two counties, along with our regional chamber of commerce, are going to set the precedent of true regionalism in the Commonwealth. I am excited to start this new journey in partnership with Judge Hall and Greenup County.” 

Greenup County Judge Executive, Bobby Hall, echoed these sentiments with a statement of his own, “After one year serving as the Judge Executive in Greenup County, I must agree with Jelly Roll…’I want to tell you that the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror for a reason!’ What is in front of Greenup County and Boyd County is so much more important than what is behind us!  We are working together to move Greenup County and Boyd County into the 21st century with industrial type jobs and manufacturing jobs.”

It is no secret that over the years both counties have witnessed far too many of its families move away in hopes of a finding good paying jobs. “We have got to make sure that OUR people stay in Boyd and Greenup County,” declared Judge Executive Hall. By working together, both counties can leverage their unique strengths to attract new industries, create jobs, and to ensure that both of their respective communities thrive in the face of any economic challenges. The Northeastern Kentucky Economic Development promises to bring improved infrastructure, expanded job opportunities, and an overall enhancement of the quality of life in both counties. As this collaboration unfolds, it stands as a testament to the power of regional cooperation in driving economic growth and prosperity.

White Oak Wellness Brings Holistic Healthcare and Home School Support to South Ashland

White Oak Wellness Brings Holistic Healthcare and Home School Support to South Ashland

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

Candice Steele

White Oak Wellness opened its doors for business on Thursday, January 18. This innovative new business is conveniently located at 2828 Holt Street, in South Ashland and is quite unique with all that it has to offer.  From holistic health care to a diverse selection of homeschooling opportunities, White Oak Wellness is sure to become a fan favorite for all who enter.

Candice Steele, the Owner/Founder of White Oak Wellness is a certified herbalist, Doula, and also holds a BA in Elementary Education. Steele has been working in holistic health care options and offering homeschool classes for about 12 years now and just recently decided it was time to give her business a home base. “I had recently experienced an uptick in people requesting my services, so I decided that it was time to just put it out there in the public eye and see what happens,” explained Steele.  

White Oak Wellness currently offers a wide array of services including the following: Individual wellness consultations, muscle testing/kinesiology, bodywork, homeopathy, sound healing, weekly wellness classes that will focus on mindfulness, forest soaking, diastasis recti support, pelvic floor support, face yoga, Qi Gong, and dance. Steele also offers birth work classes such as doula, lactation support, and childbirth classes. Steele also offers an on-site apothecary which includes natural supplements and care products.

Something that is unique to White Oak Wellness is the center's support for homeschooled families throughout the community. Offering classes from music to math, White Oak Wellness strives to put the needs of homeschooled families at the forefront of every class added to the schedule.  The curriculum that Steele offers goes beyond traditional subjects, aiming to foster a well-rounded education. Parents in the South Ashland community and beyond will appreciate the alternative learning opportunities provided by this holistic hub. The interactive and engaging classes create a vibrant learning environment that complements the diverse needs of homeschooling families. Steele is very passionate about holistic living and believes that education should extend beyond textbooks. The classes not only focus on academic excellence but also on the mental, emotional, and physical development of the students.

As this new venture unfolds for Steele, it is poised to redefine education and modern health care by emphasizing a holistic approach. “My intention is to make available community gatherings, educational opportunities, and offer services to others via wellness session work, consultations, classes and by offering natural products,” noted Steele. With over 12 years of experience under her belt, Steele knows her craft very well and is looking forward to catering to the community’s needs for holistic healthcare options and homeschooling support.

            The best way to reach Steele to inquire about classes or homeschool offerings is by reaching out to her on the White Oak Wellness Facebook page or by visiting her website: At the moment, Steele shared that her store hours will vary from week to week, so it is best to check her Facebook page for the most current and up-to-date information on hours and classes offered.

The Season of Giving Continues with the Ashland Tool Library

The Season of Giving Continues with the Ashland Tool Library

Gwen Akers

The Ashland Beacon

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Just as the holiday season comes to an end, as we take down our Christmas trees and roll up our porch lights, the holiday sense of giving continues into this new year through the Ashland Tool Library.

What began as an idea of Shannon Hill, who used to build houses, has since sprawled into what we know today as the Ashland Tool Library. Run out of Hill’s garage with the help of volunteers, the library loans out tools and equipment to anyone in the area, and has been for seven years now.

Recently, Hill has also begun posting “how to use” videos on his Facebook page and has since expanded to serving people across Boyd County, Greenup County and many more.

“I had somebody ask to borrow some stuff, and we let them borrow some stuff. A couple of weeks later, they brought it back and I thought, ‘Well, I'm just gonna start letting everybody borrow!’ I started the tool library, May 1, 2017,” explained Hill.

This year, the tool library sought to expand its horizons, especially when someone asked if the library had ever donated any artificial Christmas trees. This request led to Hill asking his Facebook community for help, and soon enough eight artificial Christmas trees ended up on Hill’s porch.

That means that this year alone, eight different families were able to have Christmas trees in their homes, that otherwise would have done without.

“If Ashland has a Santa Claus, it would be Shannon,” exclaimed April Koepf, head volunteer at the Tool Library.

Koepf is in charge of coordinating appointments and return/pick-up times for the library and has seen the impact this project has had on the community. Koepf has loved her time with the Tool Library and especially enjoys the visible positive impact it has made.

 “It’s good because you see everybody from all walks of life borrow,” continued Koepf, as the library seeks to serve everyone in the surrounding area.

According to her records, the Tool Library has kept 1,141 appointments this year alone, and since 2017 has loaned over 6,147 tools, saving community members over $100,000 in rental fees.

“We're always looking for another way to benefit the community,” commented Hill about the project.

Hill has already begun accepting donations for next year’s Christmas tree drive and is looking forward to being able to grow this program to help as many families as he can.

 “To me, it's all about setting an example to other people, to spread kindness. We need people taking care of people,” detailed Hill about the Tool Library and his own personal mission.

From lawnmowers to weed eaters and even Christmas trees, the Ashland Tool Library began as an idea that has since blossomed into a haven of neighborly kindness that has helped so many. The tool library is currently looking for more volunteers and is always accepting donations. If you are interested or want to borrow, you can find the Ashland Tool Library on Facebook.

Crushing Your Fitness Resolutions: Expert Tips from Fitness Experts

Crushing Your Fitness Resolutions:

Expert Tips from Fitness Experts

By: Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

           Personal Training Article

The start of a new year brings with it many new and exciting things. For many, this comes in the form of making New Year’s resolutions. Surprisingly, 39% of all resolutions are made by adults seeking to make a change with their overall health and fitness. Embarking upon a fitness journey can be quite overwhelming and often times many find themselves not knowing where to begin.  In addition to not knowing where to start, you are also faced with figuring out what will work best for you and your unique journey. This is where seeking out the advice of a trained professional will truly benefit you. Check out this Q and A with a few of the area’s personal trainers.

Isaiah Grimes (Ashland Area YMCA)


Certifications: NCSF Personal Trainer and American Red Cross CPR

Specialties: Functional Strength, Cardio Conditioning, TRX, Rehab Support, and Senior Training

What are some of the reasons I might want to hire a personal trainer?

“Anyone can benefit from hiring a personal trainer over attempting to go into their fitness goals alone. The reason for this is a personal trainer can be there to give you one on one real time. Expert advice and a personal trainer can make sure you’re doing everything as safe as possible. Personal trainers can also help you come up with a routine that is personal to your needs and to your fitness levels. Senior citizens, I think can see some additional benefits and hiring a personal trainer because sometimes people in the older community have certain adversities that require specialized attention when deciding what’s the best route to take on starting an exercise routine.”

I see that one of your specialties listed is that of rehab support. What exactly is rehab support, and who might benefit from this type of specialty?

“The perfect candidate for rehabilitation support services would be someone who just completed all of their physical therapy sessions and is looking to get started on an exercise routine that will help support some of the healing services and modalities used by the physical therapist. Another example of a good candidate would be someone who has maybe had some sort of rehabilitation services for past injuries or general mobility issues they want to be certain they’re getting started on a safe path to avoid re-injury of old healed injuries.”

Brooke Yanik (Ashland Area YMCA)

606.571.5595 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Certifications: Fitour Personal Trainer, Fitour Group Fitness, American Red Cross CPR

Specialties: Strength Training, Cardiovascular, and Marco Nutrition

When it comes to weight loss, most people are under the assumption that exercises are the most important thing to focus on and focus little to none on dieting. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on a fitness journey to help keep start out on the right foot and avoid getting overwhelmed?


“The key is to take small, sustainable steps. Rather than diving into a complete overhaul, focus on gradual changes. Begin by making simple adjustments to your diet, realistic goals, and an exercise routine you enjoy. Don’t underestimate the power of consistency. Small, positive choices add up over time.”

I see that one of your specialties is Macro Nutrition. How important is understanding what this is to someone’s fitness journey?


“Macronutrients play a crucial role in any fitness journey. For weight loss, a well-balanced ratio of macronutrients help you create a calorie deficit. Protein in particular is essential for preserving muscle mass during weight loss. When bulking up, ensuring an adequate intake of protein, along with sufficient carbohydrates and healthy fats, support muscle growth and recovery.”

Tracy Deborde (4U Fitness, KDMC Wellness Center, and Online)

606.232.6091 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Certifications: ACSM Personal Trainer, ACE Sports Conditioning, ACE Nutrition Specialist, NASM Women’s Fitness Specialist

Specialties: Strength Training, Weight Loss, Sports Conditioning, General Health, and Fitness

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out on a fitness journey and has never stepped foot in a gym but has a desire to get started?

“If someone has never stepped foot into the gym before, hiring a personal trainer, even for a brief time, is the wisest investment they can make. Learning how to properly use equipment and structure an exercise routine that will work with their lifestyle to reach their goals quicker and safely is a trainer’s top priority.”

Why would someone who is just starting out want to hire a personal trainer when so much information can be found on the internet?

“Health and fitness requires meaningful, daily movement and a nutrient dense diet, which in itself is a simple concept; however, there is so much misinformation at our fingertips on the internet and through social media platforms, it is easy to get overwhelmed. Hiring a certified trainer can help individuals navigate what is going to work for them with their current health status.”

Viviane Khounlavong (Preferred Fitness)

606.254.7744 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Certifications: Certified Personal Trainer and Strength/Conditioning Coach, E-800RYT Yoga Instructor and Yoga Therapist, 4th Degree Reiki Master and nutrition counselor focused on naturopathic coaching.

Specialties: Hot Yoga, Yin/Restorative Yoga, Thai Bodywork, Hatha Power Yoga, Meditation.


What advice do you have for anyone who has a real desire to get started on a fitness journey but is hesitant to do so?

“Listen to your mind and body. Always honor yourself and your journey first by becoming mindful of how you treat yourself. Wellness and health start with believing in who you are, finding value in, and investing in YOU. Find a wellness plan that works for what you need and not what you see in mainstream media. Do not compare yourself but rather prepare yourself for a healthier lifestyle. As you start your journey, reflect, and ask yourself if you want quick temporary results or do you want slow, meaningful permanent change in how you feel within?”

What is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself when embarking on a fitness journey?

“Realize that learning to love yourself through the process is more important than how you look. So, take your time, give yourself grace and start with small steps. Once we put good into our mind and body, the physical part in how you shine, and glow outwardly is just an added bonus. Then you learn to love your true and authentic self.”

Lauren Howard (Ashland Area YMCA)


Certifications: Fitour Advanced Personal Training and American Red Cross CPR

Specialties: Strength Training, Circuit Training, Muscle Building, and Mobility

Many women are fearful to incorporate any type of strength training into their workout regime because of the common belief that lifting weights will make them appear “too masculine.” What advice would you give to someone who believes this?

“I would say the term “strong” scares a lot of women at first. I have been working out for as long as I can remember and often was a scared of becoming masculine and not focused on the right techniques for the longest time. Since becoming a personal trainer, I have that the privilege of educating women on the benefits of strength training and physical and mental benefits it has. I currently teach a HITT workout (high intensity interval training) which focuses on both cardio and weight training. This will help you burn calories while also building that toned figure when strive for.”


I see that one of your specialties is mobility. Who would be the perfect candidate that would benefit from this type of training?


“Mobility is something everyone can benefit from ranging from a beginner to an advanced athlete/weightlifter. Mobility exercises can prepare you for simple tasks like starting your day or prepare you for a heavy lift in the weight room. It will reduce the risks of energy and overall improve your results in daily activity or the gym.”

Micro Wrestling Federation Invades Catlettsburg

Micro Wrestling Federation Invades Catlettsburg

Sasha Bush

The Greater Ashland Beacon


            In an electrifying announcement, the pint-sized powerhouses known as the Micro Wrestling Federation is gearing up to bring a colossal show to our small town. Get ready for a night of jaw-dropping flips, gravity-defying moves, and intense pint-sized rivalries that will leave you on the edge of your seat. The Micro Wrestling Federation is renowned for its dynamic and entertaining performances and is set to transform the Boyd County Convention and Arts Center into a battleground for these miniature warriors. Expect a fusion of athleticism and showmanship as these tiny titans square off, proving that size is no obstacle when it comes to delivering a top-notch- edge-of-your-seat wrestling spectacle.


            Fans can anticipate a diverse lineup of pint-sized grapplers, each with their unique style and persona. From high-flying acrobats to ground-and-pound brawlers, the Micro Wrestling Federation promises to bring a dynamic showcase that will be sure to keep you on the edge of your seat and begging for more. This show is jam-packed with some of the biggest names in micro entertainment such as Lil’ Show, Pinky Shortcake, Micro Jackson, Ben Urkel, Zach Presley, Andrew the Giant, Micro Suave, Little Ozzy, and so many others.

            The event may be small in stature but promises to be HUGE on entertainment for the entire family. The show starts at 8 p.m. January 20, 2024, and will take place at the Boyd County Convention and Arts Center, conveniently located at 15605 State Route 180, Catlettsburg Ky, which is just past Flying J Plaza. Tickets are on sale now at and range in price from $23.99 for row four and beyond all the way up to $45.99 for ringside seats.

            The Micro Wrestling Federation is a full-scale, WWE-type event that features a cast that stands just under 5 feet tall. During the show, you will have a chance to watch two single matches where these micro creators of mayhem will go head-to-head in an all-out battle to see who comes out on top as the toughest wrestler. After the two singles matches, the Micro Wrestling Federation amps it up a bit with its Micro Brawl, which is sure to be quite the event as these mini titans get up close and personal all around the venue with body slams, suplexes, and punches to the throat. You never know where they will end up during this event. The final event will be the highly anticipated main event… the Micro Rumble! The Micro Rumble is where the belt is on the line as only one micro wrestler can make their claim to fame by walking away as the champion.

            Whether you're a seasoned wrestling enthusiast or a first-time spectator, this event guarantees a night of entertainment that will be talked about long after the final bell rings. Don't miss the chance to witness the energy and enthusiasm that the Micro Wrestling Federation brings to our town. Grab your tickets, rally your friends, and prepare to be amazed as the Micro Wrestling Federation takes our town by storm with a show that's larger than life, even in miniature.