Fastpitch Highlights: May 9, 2023

Fastpitch Highlights: May 9, 2023

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

Bryna Wellman by Lora copy



   Ashland went 1-1 this week with a win over Elliott County and a loss to Pike County Central.

   Ashland defeated Elliott County, 10-5. Jada Erwin fanned nine and allowed only two hits from the circle. Grace Delaney went 3 for 5 and drove in three. Aubrey Foster and Aubrey McCreary went 2 for 4. McCreary drove in three and doubled. Maddie Kersey and Erwin doubled.

   Ashland fell 4-3 to Pike County Central. No stats were reported.

   Ashland visits Russell Monday, Greenup County Wednesday, Lewis County Thursday and plays Montgomery County and Dixie Heights at Boyle County on Saturday.



   Boyd County went 3-0 this week with wins over West Carter, Fleming County and Bath County.

   Boyd defeated West Carter, 15-1 in five innings. Jaycie Goad went 2 for 2 with a home run and 2RBI. Makenna Mulhearn went 2 for 2 and drove in three. Sara Bays, Savanna Henderson and Elise Sparks added two hits each. Gracie Gilbert, Henderson and Sparks doubled. Bays fanned six in the win.

   Bays went 3 for 4 with a triple and 4RBI to lift Boyd County to a 13-3 win over Fleming County in six innings. Emily Shivel, Elyn Simpkins and Mulhearn each had two hits. Henderson added a triple. Shivel had a pair of doubles and Simpkins added another.

   Boyd dropped Bath County, 7-6. Shivel tripled and drove in four. Addison Miller, Kyli Kouns, Simpkins, Goad, and Bays added a pair of hits.

   Boyd visits Raceland Monday, welcomes Lawrence County Thursday, Johnson Central Friday and Belfry and Dunbar on Saturday.


   Fairview went 2-1 this week with wins over Cross Lanes Christian and New Boston and a loss to Elliott County.

   Kailyn Adkins went 3 for 3 as Fairview fell to Elliott County, 6-1. Carole Shannon went 2-4. Madison Loving doubled in the loss. Annabelle Menshouse struck out nine from the circle.

   Fairview defeated Cross Lanes Christian, 6-1. Olivia Meade and Adkins went 3 for 4. Loving was 2 for 3 and drove in two. Shelby Gibson had a pair of doubles and drove in two.

   Fairview knocked off New Boston, 13-3 in six innings. Menshouse fanned nine. Shannon went 4 for 5. Adkins was 4 for 4 with 2RBI. Zoe Grant went 2 for 2 with 4RBI.

   Fairview visits Morgan County Monday and East Carter Thursday.


RACELAND 17-11-1

   Raceland went 1-3 this week with losses to South Webster (13-4), Russell (7-4) and Letcher County Central (7-3) and a 10-1 win over Belfry. No stats were reported.

   Raceland welcomes Boyd County Monday and visits Bath County Wednesday.


   Russell went 3-0 this week with wins over Raceland, East Carter and Greenup County.

   Russell defeated Greenup, 10-2. Audrey Patel struck out seven while holding Greenup to only four hits. Haylee Thornsbury homered twice and drove in seven. Bella Hall went 2 for 3 with a double. Raegan Osborn had a 3RBI double.

   Russell knocked off Raceland, 7-4. Ava Howard and Hall went 2 for 3 with a double and 2RBI. Patel homered.

   Russell defeated East Carter, 7-1. No stats were reported.

   Russell welcomes Ashland Monday, visits Lewis County Tuesday and welcomes Symmes Valley Thursday.



   Greenup County went 1-1 this week with a win over East Carter, 15-0 in four innings and a 10-2 loss to Russell. Skyler Lawrence went 2 for 3 in the loss to Russell with a pair of doubles. She drove in both Musketeer runs. Kamrin Chapman had the other Greenup hit.

   No stats were reported in the East Carter win.

   Greenup County welcome Rowan County Monday and Ashland Wednesday.

Holy Family’s Got Talent

Holy Family’s Got Talent

Deidra Bowling-Meade

The Ashland Beacon

let it go

   American poet Maya Angelou once stated, “I believe that every person is born with talent.” Each of us has our own special gifts to share with others.  Sometimes, it takes extra encouragement and help from others for us to find our talent.  Holy Family Catholic School teacher, Julie Peacock, makes it her mission to share her love of the arts with her students so that in turn they can explore their own talents. Ms. Peacock believes in her students, and it shows. 


   Peacock described how she found her passion for music and how it inspires her teaching, “When I was in the third grade, I began taking piano lessons from the late Thelma Johnson who was a legendary figure in music education in Ashland. She was at the end of her career when I knew her, having taught music at Booker T. Washington before integration, later at Putnam Jr. High and in retirement- when I knew her- she had an active piano studio out of her house on Carter Avenue. She sparked my interest in music, and I always remember her stories. She had been given free piano lessons from a nun at Holy Family church as a young girl while her mother was cleaning the church. Much of my music education, I learned from her early on, but I went on to study music and piano at Georgetown College and was a member of the chamber choir and jazz band.” 

   Peacock received her Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Kentucky and has taught in both public and private schools. Peacock commented, “This is my first year back to teaching after taking 13 years off to take care of my three children.  My youngest went to kindergarten this year, so I decided to go back when I heard they were looking for an art and music teacher at Holy Family, which is where my kids were already enrolled.  Prior to having children, I taught six years in higher education at both Cumberland College where I was the chair of the art department and as a grad student at the University of Kentucky. I have also taught art and music in various other arts venues including public schools, summer camps, art galleries and occasionally given private lessons.” 

   Peacock continued, “Music has always been something I have enjoyed, and I have really enjoyed sharing some of my favorite songs with the students at Holy Family.  Often, I will teach them familiar songs out of the hymnals such as ‘How Great Thou Art’, ‘There is A Balm in Gilead,’ ‘Were You There?,’ ‘Hail Holy Queen’ and ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing.’  Other times, we work on folk songs such as ‘The Crawdad Song’ and ‘This Land is Your Land.’ Middle school and 4th and 5th grade have been working on instrumental music most of the spring semester.  They had the opportunity to provide vocal and handbell music for the worship service at the Stations of the Cross service during Lent.  They also played handbells at the Christmas program.”

   Last Friday, May 5, kindergarten through middle school-aged students from Holy Family embraced their talents and put on a remarkable performance.  The performance consisted of 17 acts by Holy Family students ranging from singing, playing instruments, dancing, gymnastics, and comedy. Peacock shared, “For the talent show, I tried my best to get everyone to participate. Kindergarten, first and second graders have been working on patriotic songs on and off since the beginning of the year.  Many of them had not heard some of my old favorites like ‘It's A Grand Ol' Flag’ and ‘My Country Tis of Thee,’ but these songs soon became some of their favorites as well. A lot of kids had wanted to sing one of these songs for the talent show, so I decided to let everyone sing them and to just give some students solos and duets on some of the verses. Lately, third, fourth and fifth graders have been learning to apply the fundamentals of reading music by learning to play melodies on the recorder. Thus, I included the two recorder pieces in this year's talent show, ‘Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee’ and ‘Skip to My Lou’. Middle school students had a fun time singing two of their favorite songs, ‘We Will Rock You’ by Queen and ‘Let it Go’ from the movie Frozen.”

   In addition to the group songs, some students did their own routines.  The acts included: Hunter Peyton, Allie Pinston, Andrew Salem, Anthony Salem, and Jocelyn King each playing the piano; Addie Bauder, Alexia Hall, Kamsi Udeagwu, Mack Meade and Lucy Ymalay, and second grade boys with singing performances; and other performances that included Lucy Ymalay dancing to the song “Show Stopper” by Next Step, Piper Darnell and Somto Udeagwu performing Cheese Remix, and Jude Stafford and Elliot Virgin with comedy

   The students gave their all for the show and enjoyed the experience.

   Fifth grader Piper Darnell commented, “I enjoyed writing and planning the rap Somto and I performed. It was a little nerve-wracking getting up in front of everyone, but I had a good time and it was fun to have the school clap along!”

   Akachi Udeagwu, who is in the third grade, remarked, “Performing was fun!  I thought it was going to be scary and packed with people, but it ended up being less stressful.  I did mess up once or twice, but it was very fun.”

   Third grade student, Apollo Darnell, declared, “I had a lot of fun, and it was a great experience. It showed me I could do what I was afraid I couldn’t. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do my piece in front of the whole school, but in the end, it was a fun time.”

   Kindergarten student, Mack Meade shared, “Performing in the school talent show was fantastic!  Ms. Peacock teaches me singing, and I want to thank her. She’s so nice.”

    Parent James W. King praised the efforts of the students and Ms. Peacock, “The Holy Family talent show was simply amazing. Every participant had a big smile on their face as they sang, danced, told jokes, played piano and guitar, and entertained the crowd. Holy Family School is truly blessed to have such an outstanding and talented music/art teacher in Ms. Peacock. She encourages and brings out the best from each child she instructs.”

   Jennifer Darnell, another parent from Holy Family School, agreed, “This was a wonderful opportunity for our students to practice presenting before others. They handled their performances beautifully, with obvious preparation and terrific audience engagement. As a parent, it was a fun glimpse into their school day, and Mrs. Peacock did a great job putting the show together.”

   Ms. Peacock enjoyed watching her students bloom before her eyes in their performance.  Peacock shared, “Overall I was pleased that so many students wanted to participate and took it so seriously. It was a great opportunity for all students to boost their self-confidence and take the spotlight for a few minutes. Several students surprised me with their hidden talents. Hopefully, everyone enjoyed taking a break and seeing everything from comedy to dancing to singing and playing guitar. The humor that some of the kids came up with on their own was another special treat that made the morning enjoyable.  I am pleased that almost everyone in the school wanted to do at least a little something for the talent show.  One student, Yatziri Sanchez even made snowflake props in her spare time for the girls to hold while they sang ‘Let it Go.’ The patriotic songs the primary kids sang while I played the piano were definitely one of my favorites. It might be because I have a kindergartener or maybe because they were just so cute.”

   Parent Nkechi Udeagwu responded, “I was so glad to see the talent show come back to Holy Family School this year. Ms.Peacock did an amazing job putting the show together.  The kids’ performances were very unique to their talents and quite diverse. It shows us what talents we have there and we need to cultivate more of it.  My kids were very excited to be part of it and had a wonderful time in the show.  I can’t wait to see what we will do next year!” 

   Ms. Peacock is already making plans for next school year with a musical production of The Lion King.  Other programs she intends on continuing include an elementary and a middle school Christmas program, a Veteran's Day program, and provide a vocal and handbell choir for some daily and special mass services.

    Without a doubt, Ms. Peacock will continue to make a difference at Holy Family Catholic School as she continues to build students’ interests in the arts in order to find their own talents.  Peacock stresses the value the arts have in education stating, “The arts are so important in schools because they help the brain develop creativity and problem-solving skills. Once you get the brain programmed to think creatively, this can be used in many other avenues of life. There are studies that show the importance of art and music in helping to make kids smarter.  The performance aspect of music is so exciting for students as well.  They have really enjoyed having the opportunity to sing solos or duets in mass and be part of the worship services.  The kids also enjoyed our Christmas program and our Talent Show this school year. I am very happy that so many students have shown an interest in art and music at Holy Family.”

   Holy Family’s Got Talent!  We look forward to seeing what’s in store next year from an amazing teacher and group of talented students. 

   “Embrace your talent and pursue it. You won’t believe what you can accomplish.”

Tragedy and a Kind Gesture Turn into Big Business for Miguel Ortega

Tragedy and a Kind Gesture Turn into Big Business for Miguel Ortega

By Gary Newman

Ashland Beacon


It’s National Lawn Care Month, and lawn care companies are in the full swing of spring.  Ortega’s Lawncare, Landscaping, & More is hard at work keeping customers’ lawns looking great.  You can tell there’s something special about owner Miguel Ortega from his warm smile and gentle nature; there’s a natural desire to like him.  He’s genuine, honest, humble, and thankful.  He’s not only the kind of guy you just want to cut your grass, but he’s the kind of guy you just want to know. 


The origin of his lawn care journey was built on a kind response to a family tragedy.  “It’s a sad history. One day, I was working in this little house. We were remodeling it, me and my brother,” Ortega began, “my brother got a phone call, and it was bad news for him.”  That phone call alerted Miguel’s brother that his wife was bad off with Leukemia, so he went back to Mexico and Miguel stayed.  “Three days later, he called me and said yeah, my wife has passed away,” Ortega recalled, “I was thinking what can I do to help him out.  I start thinking why not get a side job.  I asked my friends if they want me to cut their grass.  Some of them still give me grass cutting jobs.  I started with a push mower, a weed eater, and a little gas jug, and the old van. I used to put the push mower, weed eater, and jug in the van. That’s how I started. I never thought I’d be where I am now.” 

Hard work is certainly not a new thing for Ortega.  With a farmer father, he recounted the reason for his work ethic, “When I was little, he always taught me how to work.”  He remembered picking coffee beans in season, and that there was always some type of work that needed to be done on the farm.  “When I was little, I always had my mind looking forward to being somebody,” Miguel remembered, “Thank God and the customers that give me the opportunity to be who I am.”

Now, years later with a family of his own, he’s teaching work ethic to his son, who helps him in the continuously growing lawncare business.  “People stop by and ask if I pick up yards every day,” Ortega shared, “People stop by and ask if we can do this – tree removal, grass cutting, landscaping.”  Ortega’s Lawncare, Landscaping, & More services customers within a 25-mile radius of Ashland, extending into Ohio and West Virginia. “We do lawns, landscaping, pressure washing, painting, a little bit of everything,” Miguel noted, adding, “When they see how we do their work, then they recommend us to cousins and brothers.  People like to see the job; word of mouth is where I get my customers.”

Miguel is very complimentary of his customers, too.  “They are number one.  They like how we do things and that’s the main thing that makes me happy,” he detailed, “Just to see the happy people, happy customers when we get the job done.  I’m proud of myself that people think that about me.”     

Recently, Miguel had another life-changing moment when he completed his path to US Citizenship.  “I had to study some questions, and I did it. I am a citizen now.  I cannot describe how happy I was when I got my citizenship.  It means a lot!”

All things considered, Ortega expresses one thing above all else: Thankfulness.  “I thank God for the blessing. I was going to help my brother, and it’s led to where I am right now.”  His gratitude spills over toward all his customers and the people who’ve surrounded him. “I think Ortega’s Lawn Care is doing real good,” he stated, “It’s an important thing to help people, and a lot of people have helped me out.” 

You’ve got the recipe for a very successful business when you love what you do and genuinely want to take care of people and meet their needs and expectations.  It’s not one Miguel Ortega looks forward to walking away from.  “I like to work,” he said, “I’d like to get old and keep working.”

Are You Ready for a Food Coma?

Are You Ready for a Food Coma?

Grace Phillips

Ashland Beacon

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Tucked behind a black and white log cabin along US 60 near Summit, KY is the area’s newest food establishment and best kept secret around.  The bright colored signs along the fence in the front immediately caught my eye the day they went up.  Shrimp, fish, oysters, etc, had my attention and curiosity.  When you drive on the back of the lot, there sits a simple food truck but that’s where “simple” ends.  Food Coma features authentic Cajun seafood served fresh every day.  The official ribbon cutting ceremony was held on April 14th, but the restaurant had opened a few weeks earlier. 


I was able to sit down with owner, Michael Duley, while he took a short break between the lunch and dinner times to get details of the new business.  Michael, who actually owns his own computer forensic and litigation support company, says he has always been a “foodie.”   “When I go out of town for business and travel, I always look for the newest restaurant or the food I haven’t had anywhere else. It has always been a bucket list item to do a food truck or restaurant somewhere.  I’m 62 years old and started thinking… if I’m ever going to do this…. now might be the time.  I have a grandson who has developed the love of food from me, and I wanted to do something that he could also be a part of and one day turn over to him.”

Michael said he began kidding with his wife, “Don’t be surprised if I come home with a food truck one day.”  A few days later the opportunity fell in his lap and within a week or so he pulled the food truck in the drive and said, “Come see what I have!”   

How did you decide on what type of food to sell?  Michael told me, “I had worked at a Cajun restaurant, Hidden Cove in Lexington, many years ago working his way through school and loved the food.”   He went on to say, “Up here, people haven’t had a lot of Cajun, actually anywhere in KY.  There is seafood here and there but not Cajun.”  Michael was able to reconnect with the owner of the Hidden Cove and he shared some of the Cajun recipes from that restaurant that he is using now.  

Why a food truck?  “I thought a food truck would be the easiest, fastest, and most economical way and see how people here reacted.  I thought it would do really good, but you never know. However, I never dreamed it would be the success we have seen to this point.”   Food Coma was to be open 11-3 & 5-8 the first day of soft opening but had to cancel the evening hours because they ran out of food.

I had heard of Cajun food for years but to be honest had never tasted any.  Michael explained that Cajun style food comes from the Creole people who settled in the bayous of Louisiana.  It features a combination of French and Southern cuisine and the spices of the Creole people.  The people who settled in the bayous of Louisiana were very poor, and they used everything they had when cooking.  They needed food that would feed large families for pennies. That’s where the wonderful shrimp creoles, gumbo, jambalaya and other foods came from. 

What makes Food Coma unique?  The fact that every item is made fresh every day.  “Nothing is frozen or canned.  Every pot of gumbo or jambalaya is made fresh here every day.  We slice every onion, green pepper, and tomato every day.  The red beans take hours to cook.  We fry the fish and shrimp to order…nothing sits under a heat lamp, nothing comes from a can and just heated up. There may be a short wait for the orders to be ready, but that’s the same for every restaurant you eat at.”

This writer was extremely excited about the crab leg boil featured on the weekends only.  The portion was generous and featured crab legs, red potatoes, shrimp, andouille sausage, and corn on the cob.  The crab legs were perfectly cooked and amazingly good….to be honest I could have eaten a bucket full of them.  A single order is $21 or a double $30.  I can say this WILL NOT be the last time I enjoy this meal.  Other menu items featured at Food Coma Are Po’boys, fried shrimp, fried fish, Cajun skewers and a variety of sides. 

After being open for a month, there are a few changes on the way for the Food Coma beginning Tuesday, May 2nd.  The most notable change will be seating.  At this point, there were picnic tables outside or a small seating area attached to the back of the building.  Beginning with lunch on Tuesday, there will be seating available inside the main log cabin as well.  

Food Coma will also feature new hours: Tuesday –Saturday 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and 4 p.m.–8 p.m. with added hours on Sunday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.  “I think hitting the lunch crowd after church will be good for us.  We have had several ask about Sundays.” Michael continued, “We will be adjusting our menu as well.  A few things worked really well and others not so well.  We will be taking away a few things and adding new ones as well as adding specials in the coming weeks. One final change beginning Tuesday will be local deliveries. There will be a $40 minimum order required for delivery, and food will be delivered by our staff to ensure it arrives quickly and fresh.”

Food Coma is located at 8262 Midland Trail, Ashland, KY.  Food Coma also has a Facebook page you can follow for new menu items and specials.  For delivery orders call 606.465.1499. 

It’s Greenup Farmers Market Time

It’s Greenup Farmers Market Time

Kathy Clayton

Ashland Beacon

greenup farm

                While spring weather has been hit-or-miss so far, a sure sign of warmer weather to come is the opening of local farmers markets. In Greenup County, the farmers market season will begin Saturday, May 6, with an outdoor vendor market.


                Sponsored by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture’s Cooperative Extension Service, the Greenup Spring Market will be held at the extension office at 35 Wurtland Drive, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. While it’s a bit early for homegrown fruits and vegetables, vendors will be on hand to sell handmade craft items and food items. Everything offered for sale will be handmade/homemade by local artisans.

                Breakfast and lunch items will be for sale as well, from Dragonfly Outdoor Café and Chuys Mexican Street Food.

                The regular season will be held May 6 through November 4, at three different locations through the week. The Saturday market is open from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. This season will also feature two new locations and dates. Farmers will be selling their wares on Thursdays from 4-7 p.m., and on the second Tuesday of each month from 10:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Bellefonte Pavilion.

                Regular weekly features include Music at the Market on the first Saturday of each month, June through September, Know Your Food – Know Your Farmer on the second Saturday of the month, June through September, and the junior market for kids age 10 through high school.

                A number of special events are also planned, in addition to the Spring Holiday Market. Veterans will be honored at the Love Our Country, Love our Veterans celebration on July 1. Farmers Market Week will be observed August 12. Halloween and Trick or Treat activities will be held October 28, featuring special music. The season will close November 4 with the Christmas Holiday Market.

                This year’s list of vendors continues to grow, with nearly 50 on the list so far. For more information, call the extension office at 606.836.0201 or follow them on Facebook. It’s a good idea to check the schedule of special events, which are subject to change.