New South Ashland Business Adds Flare to Area

New South Ashland Business Adds Flare to Area

By Pamela Hall

Ashland Beacon

image0 9

The South Ashland business district has been experiencing a revitalization for the past few years. Several new businesses have opened, including the Tomcat Bourbon and Brew House, Local Mercantile, and Conquest Books to name a few. The newest business to be a part of the revitalization is SoAsh Haberdash.


SoAsh Haberdash is a boutique that carries both men’s and women’s clothing in addition to a variety of other merchandise. Candles, stationery, tote bags—you can find all of those things and much more at SoAsh Haberdash, located at 2036 29th Street.

SoAsh Haberdash opened in January with a “soft” opening. The Grand Opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony took place on April 15.

“Having the boutique had been a dream for a very long time,” said Laura Geremia, the owner of SoAsh Haberdash. “We started planning to make it a reality back in August. We just decided to go for it and do it.”

Laura and her husband, David Reaves, wanted to find a niche that Ashland had a need for. The result is a boutique that specializes in young contemporary clothing styles for both men and women. They felt that a men’s line was necessary to carry since men’s clothes in that style are harder to find.

The boutique has clothing that ranges from casual to dressy. You can find men’s casual t-shirts as well as casual dress button downs. In the women’s department, you will find designer sweats as well as dressier skirts and blouses. Maybe even some with sequins!

“We have good things to choose from if someone is going to a special event such as a concert,” Laura said. “We also have things like the sweats that are good for a girl’s weekend away.”

There are also items that would make great gift items, such as a plush white terrycloth robe with “Mom of the Year” written on it and matching white fuzzy slippers. There’s also a matching robe for Dad.

Laura and David also added other merchandise such as small home décor items like wall flags, and items relating to Kentucky and bourbon.

“We are expanding that particular area,” Laura explained. “We sell a lot of bourbon prints, so we have an assortment of those. We also have Kentucky-themed soaps that are very popular.”

In one corner is an area with a large overstuffed chair where shoppers might sit while deciding on their purchases.

“We just wanted to have a space where people felt at home and comfortable,” Laura said.

Local Mercantile is located right next door to SoAsh Haberdash, and although both stores are independently owned, there are adjoining doors inside that are kept open. Shoppers can go from each store through the connecting doors.

“It’s nice when you have good people surrounding you,” Laura stated, referring to the shops located around hers. “There’s room for everyone, so we try to be more community-minded instead of competitive.”

SoAsh Haberdash is open Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Mondays from 4 – 8 p.m. The boutique is closed on Sunday and Tuesday. Check them out on Facebook or visit their website at

The Family Legacy Continues with Reopening of Opell Meats

The Family Legacy Continues with Reopening of Opell Meats

Deidra Bowling-Meade

The Ashland Beacon


   The grand reopening of Opell Meats, one of Boyd County’s staple butcher shops, will occur Tuesday, May 2.  The shop will now be run by the third generation from the Opell family with Laura Opell Maggard and her husband Brad Maggard.  Laura Opell Maggard is the youngest granddaughter of Bill Opell who started the business in 1969.


   Bill Opell opened up Opell Meats with his brother to offer local farmers a place to bring their cattle and hogs for custom processing. The business steadily grew and became a place where farmers could sell their livestock to be processed into products that could be sold at restaurants or sent to other processing facilities. Once he retired, Steve and Lola Esenbock, who are Laura Maggard’s aunt and uncle, took over the business until spring 2022. They worked the business under the name Bear Creek Meats.  Now, Maggard will bring back the beloved Opell Meats name with the same wonderful family service.

   Maggard shared, “After months and months of being in prayer on what to do, I finally made the decision to approach my grandfather about reopening Opell Meats. He couldn't have been more excited, so the adventure began. We have been at it since the beginning of the year creating a business plan, making renovations, and finding workers. Reopening Opell Meats had been on my mind since my aunt and uncle told us they would be retiring. It had been in the family for years and was a community staple so, the idea of it never being open again just didn't feel right.”

   Opell Meats is a family legacy that Maggard grew up around since she was a teenager. Maggard’s history with the business as well as her educational background give her the perfect foundation for leading the family business. Maggard has been serving the agriculture community for over eight years as a County Extension Agent.  Maggard remarked, “I started helping in the shop during deer season in high school and worked there most weekends during college and weekends after moving home from college for a while. My bachelor’s and master’s degrees are in agriculture so, working with local farmers is something that I look forward to continuing even after I leave the Extension to run the butcher shop full time.”

   Laura and Brad Maggard have a small cow/calf operation in Boyd County.  Brad is the Fire Marshal for the City of Ashland.  He will be behind the scenes at the butcher shop doing mostly maintenance and repairs.  Laura will be behind the counter, slicing meat, wrapping, and making sure all the daily operations run smoothly.  The Maggard’s have two girls, Caroline and Evie, who you might see assisting with stamping the meat and putting away packages. 

   Maggard commented, “We have a great team of folks who will be working in the shop. We will have most of the same items that were offered before, and we will have a few new items as well. The feedback we have received from the community has been overwhelming. We are blessed with great customers, and we look forward to providing safe quality products to them.”

   Come visit Opell Meats where you are sure to be provided top notch customer service with quality products. Deli meats, cheese, fresh and frozen beef, fresh and frozen pork, frozen chicken, frozen seafood, frozen school pizza, fries, chicken nuggets and more will be available to purchase. Cash, check, debit, and credit cards will be accepted. Opell Meats is located at 22515 Bear Creek Road in Catlettsburg.  Business hours will be Tuesday-Saturday from 9 a.m-5 p.m. Make sure to like them on Facebook to keep up to date on sales, specials, and other news. You may also contact them by phone: 606.254.4950.

Marks named King’s Daughters President/CEO; McFann role Expanded

Marks named King’s Daughters President/CEO; McFann role Expanded

Marks Sara KDMC

   Sara Marks has been named president/CEO of King’s Daughters, effective April 30. The announcement was made today by University of Kentucky acting co-executive vice presidents for health affairs Robert S. DiPaola, M.D., and Eric N. Monday, Ph.D., and was approved unanimously by the Royal Blue Health Board.

   Marks, who previously was chief operating officer, was named interim CEO in December 2022 upon the retirement of Kristie Whitlatch who served King’s Daughters for 35 years. Marks will now be taking on the role permanently.

   As president/CEO, Marks will be responsible for all daily operations for King’s Daughters and provide vision and strategic leadership for the organization by working with the board of directors, the University of Kentucky leadership and senior leadership team. She will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures, short-and long-range goals, objectives and plans and for the overall direction, coordination, development and evaluation of senior leaders. In this role she will report to the UK executive vice president for health affairs.

   “Sara has demonstrated during her time as interim president/CEO and throughout her career at King’s Daughters that she is a very capable leader for the organization,” said Monday. “Her experience and passion in elevating and serving the employee teams at King’s Daughters is evident and makes her a great choice for the future of the health system. We look forward to her many accomplishments in this role.”

   Marks has worked at King’s Daughters since 2006 and has held positions including vice president of the Kentucky Heart Institute and vice president of King’s Daughters integrated practices before being named vice president and chief operating officer in August 2018. She has a bachelor’s degree in business with a focus on health care administration and is currently pursuing an MBA.

   Additionally, Autumn McFann who serves as senior vice president and chief administrative officer (CAO) and chief financial officer (CFO) of King’s Daughters will also take on the role of assistant treasurer and CFO of Beyond Blue Corporation, a wholly owned affiliated corporation of the University of Kentucky, and will be responsible for fiscal activities of the corporation reporting to the chair and treasurer of the corporation.

   McFann has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and an MBA and also is a certified public accountant. She has been employed at King’s Daughters since 2004 and held positions including controller, director of financial operations and director of internal audit before being named vice president and chief financial officer in February 2014.

   Ashland-based King’s Daughters (KD), the largest employer in northeastern Kentucky, officially became part of UK on Dec. 1, 2022 — a move that creates greater access to high-quality care for more Kentuckians.

   King’s Daughters is comprised of two acute-care hospitals totaling 465 licensed beds; an integrated network of more than 400 physicians and advanced practitioners; 80 ambulatory centers and practice locations offering both primary and specialty care throughout eastern Kentucky and southern Ohio; a long-term care facility; medical transport company; seven urgent care centers; and a child development center. King’s Daughters is the region’s largest employer, with more than 5,000 team members.


Around the Diamond: May 2, 2023

Around the Diamond: May 2, 2023

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

Ryan Brown by Lora copy



   Ashland went 3-0 this week with wins over Boyd County, Cabell Midland and East Carter.

   Jays Mays delivered a walk-off single to lift Ashland to a 2-1 win over Boyd County. Mays and LaBryant Strader each had two hits and an RBI. Strader doubled. Ryan Brown tossed a complete game while giving up only five hits and striking out five.

   Ashland defeated Midland, 4-2. Layne Brammer earned the win after working five innings while striking out five. Sawyer Edens got the save with two innings of hitless baseball. Brown went 2 for 3 with a double. Edens drove in two.

   Edens went 3 for 4 and drove in a run to give Ashland a 9-8 win over East Carter. Colin Howard, Drew Kelley and Brown each had two hits. Kelley drove in three with a double.

   Ashland visits Boyd County Monday, Spring Valley Wednesday and plays in the Peoples Bank Classic at Greenup County on Friday and Saturday.


   Boyd County went 0-2-1 this week with losses to Ashland and Lexington Catholic and a tie with Huntington High.

   JK McKnight went 3 for 4 in the Lions 2-1 loss to Ashland. Peyton Jackson went 2 for 3 and drove in a run.

   Boyd County’s game with Huntington High stopped after eight innings at a 4-4 tie. Grant Slater struck out 11 in the contest. Gunnar Gerahart drove in two. Jacob Vanover and Brayden Coleman doubled.

   Boyd County fell to Lexington Catholic, 4-2. No stats were reported.

   Boyd County welcomes Ashland Monday, visits Shelby Valley Tuesday, Hurricane Thursday, welcomes Raceland and Paintsville Friday and Saturday as part of the Boyd County Derby Classic.


   Fairview defeated Green, OH, 10-2. Tamel Smith went 4 for 5 with an RBI. Tanner Reihs went 3 for 4 and drove in two. Izaac Johnson was 2 for 4 and struck out seven from the bump. 

   Fairview welcomes Elliott County Monday, visits Glenwood, OH Wednesday, Coal Grove Friday and plays a twin bill with Lewis County Saturday.


   Rose Hill was idle this week.

   Rose Hill welcomes Portsmouth Monday, visits Tolsia Tuesday, welcome Elliott County Thursday and Menifee County Saturday.



   Raceland went 2-1 this week with wins over Russell and Buffalo and a loss to Russell.

   Raceland fell to Russell in Game 1, 7-6. Kadin Shore worked five innings, gave up only three hits and struck out 10. Conner Hughes, Brayden Webb, Clay Coldiron and Parker Fannin each had a pair of hits. Webb homered. Hughes and Fannin doubled.

   Raceland defeated Russell 13-3 in six innings in Game 2. Coldiron worked five innings and struck out five. Hughes went 3 for 4 and drove in three. Fannin was 3 for 4 with an RBI. Connor Thacker, Parker Ison and Coldiron each delivered a pair of hits.

   Raceland defeated Buffalo, 3-2. No stats were reported.

   Raceland travels to Lewis County Monday and welcomes the Lions Tuesday to close out district seed play, welcomes East Carter Thursday, visits Boyd County Friday and welcomes Morgan County and Paris Saturday.


   Russell went 3-2 this week with wins over Raceland, Mason County and Wolfe County and losses to Raceland and Johnson Central.

   Russell took Game 1 against Raceland, 7-6. Nick Adams went 2 for 3. Kyle Mokas earned the win in relief. Clark Looney got the save.

   Russell fell to Raceland, 13-3 in six innings. Adams led the way with a pair of hits and a double. Ethan Oborne homered. Mokas doubled.

   Russell defeated Mason County, 3-2. Nathan Totten went 2 for 3 with a pair of doubles. Oborne delivered a two-run homer. Looney tossed a complete game while allowing only four hits.

   Russell defeated Wolfe County, 4-1 and fell 4-0 to Johnson Central. No stats were reported.

   Russell visits Greenup County Monday and welcomes the Musketeers Tuesday to close district seeding play and visits Fairland Friday.


   Greenup County went 3-1 this week with a sweep of Lewis County, a win over Wheelersburg and a loss to East Carter.

   Greenup defeated Lewis 8-6 in Game 1. Kasey Gammon went 3 for 3. Hunter Clevenger added a home run and a double while driving in four. Jack Gullett launched a three-run go-ahead home run in the seventh.

   Greenup won 16-0 in four innings over Lewis in Game 2. Carson Wireman through a no-hitter and struck out eight. He went 3 for 3 and drove in five. His homerun was one of four hit by the Musketeers. Cohen Underwood, Gavin Roy and Clevenger added long balls.

   Greenup defeated Wheelersburg, 9-8. Ty Logan went 2 for 3 and drove in a run. Gullett and Underwood doubled.

   Greenup fell to East Carter, 6-3. No stats were reported.

   Greenup closes district seed play with a visit from Russell Monday and a trip to Russell Tuesday. They welcome Pikeville Friday in the Peoples Bank Classic.

Fastpitch Highlights: May 2, 2023

Fastpitch Highlights: May 2, 2023

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

Josie Atkins by Lora copy



   Ashland went 0-2 this week with losses to Boyd County and Bath County.

   Grace Delaney and Jada Erwin collected the only two hits for the Kittens in an 11-0 loss in five innings to Boyd County.

   Ashland fell to Bath County, 6-5. Delaney went 4 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI. Addi Lane homered and drove in two. Erin Patrick added a pair of doubles.

   Ashland welcomes Rowan County Monday, Elliott County Tuesday and Pike County Central Saturday.


   Boyd County went 3-0 this week with wins over Fairview, Ashland and East Carter.

   Boyd County defeated Fairview, 19-0 in three innings. Jaycie Goad and Emily Shivel went 3 for 3. Makenna Mulhearn drove in three with a pair of doubles. Kyli Kouns and Grace Stevens added doubles.

   Kylie Thompson tossed a five-inning shutout in an 11-0 win over Ashland. Myla Hamilton went 3 for 3 with a home run, double and 4RBI. Savanna Henderson, Elyn Simpkins and Kouns each had a pair of hits. Simpkins collected two doubles. Thompson homered.

   Boyd County knocked off East Carter, 7-6. Hamilton and Henderson each had three hits. Sara Bays, Henderson, Goad and Shivel doubled.

   Boyd County visits West Carter Monday, welcomes Fleming County Thursday, Bath County Friday and Henry Clay Saturday.


   Fairview went 3-1 this week with wins over Menifee County, Cross Lanes Christian and Tolsia and a loss to Boyd County.

   Sydney Johnson collected the only Eagles hit in a 19-0 loss to Boyd County.

   Fairview defeated Menifee County, 14-2 in five innings. Madison Loving, Carole Shannon and Johnson each had three hits. Shelby Gibson, Marista Tackett, Loving and Shannon tripled. Olivia Meade homered.

   Kailyn Adkins went 4 for 5 to lead Fairview to a 14-8 win over Cross Lanes Christian. Annabelle Menshouse, Johnson, Gibson and Tackett each had two hits. Shannon tripled.

   Menshouse struck out 10 over five innings to lead Fairview to a 10-0 win over Tolsia. Zoe Grant went 3 for 3. Menshouse and Shannon homered. Meade tripled.

   Fairview visits New Boston Monday, Elliott County Wednesday, welcomes Cross Lanes Christian Thursday and New Boston Friday.



   Raceland went 4-2 this week with wins over Huntington High, Highlands Latin, Ballard Memorial and Beechwood and losses to Greenup County and Bracken County.

   Raceland defeated Huntington High, 11-7. Kali Vance went 3 for 4 with a home run and 2RBI. Bryna Wellman, Peyton Mackie, Davanna Grubb and Makena Francis had two hits. Grubb homered and drove in three.

   Raceland fell to Greenup County, 14-8. Kaitlin Kartchner went 3 for 4 with a triple and RBI. Vance homered and drove in three.

   Raceland went 3-0 in pool play of the All “A” State Tournament with wins over Highlands Latin, 12-2 in six innings, Ballard Memorial, 2-1 and Beechwood, 10-6. The Rams fell to Bracken County in the quarterfinals, 7-2. No stats were reported.

   Raceland visits Russell Thursday and meets Letcher County Central and Belfry Friday and Saturday in the Tim Short Classic at Perry County Central.


   Russell went 1-3 this week with a win over Greenup County and losses to Coal Grove, Lincoln County and Madison Southern.

   Audrey Patel struck out eight to lead Russell to a 6-5 win over Greenup County. Haylee Thornsbury went 3 for 4 with a double. Paige Hutchinson homered.

   Russell fell to Coal Grove, 10-9. Bella Hall, Josie Atkins, Thornsbury and Patel each had a pair of hits.

   Russell fell to Lincoln County, 11-6 and Madison Southern, 10-9 in the Madison Southern Triangle. No stats were reported.

   Russell visits Greenup County Monday, Lewis County Tuesday, welcomes Raceland Thursday and East Carter Friday.


   Greenup County went 1-1 this week with a win over Lewis County and a loss to Russell.

   Greenup fell to Russell, 6-5. Skyler Lawrence had two hits with a double. Kamrin Chapman also doubled. Laela Matthews blasted a two-run home run.

   Greenup defeated Lewis County, 16-11. Maddy Steele and Matthews each went 3 for 4. Steele drove in four behind a double and triple. Rilee Dillow homered.

   Greenup County welcomes Russell Monday, visits West Carter Thursday and welcomes East Carter Saturday.