Trooper Tradition: KSP Needs Community Help with Annual Christmas Charity Program

Tammie Hetzer-Womack

The Ashland Beacon


   Some Christmases aren’t filled with tinsel, ribbon candy, and a turkey feast. We tell children Santa knows them personally – at Christmas time, you’re expected to be a nice child who graces Kris Kringle’s list. 

   Then, one day, the sound of jingle bells is erased in a toddler’s mind by a heavy knock on the front door of the rural trailer. Not only is the weather outside frightful, but a feeling of Jack Frost enters your family home, learning your parents - for sure - will make the Naughty List. Sleigh bells in the snow are drowned by sirens, and the multicolored, festive bulbs strung across the rooftop seem to dim with only the glow of blue in the nighttime sky.

   Kentucky State Police Trooper Shane Goodall saw this story so many times. He tries to honor Christmas in his heart and keep it all year, as Charles Dickens might say. See, these troopers at KSP Post 14 must serve as Princes of Peace and Wonderful Counselors all year but, during this yuletide, as families gather, sometimes Krampus shows up to kill the kindliness in the air. Kids see all that.

   “For troopers, at one time or another, so many get to know these kids personally in firsthand settings,” relayed Goodall, speaking of the annual Shop with a Trooper Christmas event, which provides Seasons Greetings to underprivileged young people. “You get to know these kids in a bad, very bad, situation, and they come to see we are not there at the house for good…

   “Usually, Mom or Dad is going to jail.”

   The benevolent holiday event assigns a KSP Trooper to shop at Ashland Riverhill Walmart one-on-one, pushing a shopping cart and allowing the child or teen a day where kindheartedness is key. Children get a chance to witness the immortal mercy of Mary. Miracles abound from the manger to the messages of magnificent joy. Goodall has faith that purchasing a pair of woolen mittens for a child delivers memories and brings melody in their relationships with police. Goodall says this acceptance of Christmas gladness and gifts helps break down harsh barriers and relieves some of the fear children might experience.

   Goodall understands the impact of Shop with a Trooper. “They run inside Walmart, ready to shop, and they’re looking for one specific trooper – usually someone they met at their own home. The kids hug them, and then we move to go shop together.”

   He believes that Shop with a Trooper not only touches the hearts of kids, but also creates anticipation in fellow troopers. “As a trooper, you see a lot of bad, and bad, and bad,” offered the 21-year KSP veteran and Public Affairs Officer. “Something like this takes the monotony out of only seeing negative situations and builds morale among troopers. We truly look forward to it.”

   Children eagerly await Shop with a Trooper, aromas of holiday sugar cookies and confections lined along a buffet table in abundance for kids’ enjoyment in Walmart. The children will enjoy a Chick-fil-A feast, pose with Old Saint Nick and the Grinch for Christmas photos, and be aglow, assigned a towering trooper, their polished brass buttons shining bright as New Year’s Eve fireworks.

   According to Goodall, this yearly project is entirely self-funded and conducted through community and business donations of the pure-of-heart. On this December 15th Noel, tummies are nourished, neighborhoods are blessed with love of Nativity, and a network of State Trooper elves provide nostalgia of a Polar Express trip to the North Pole. As the economy suffers, unwrapping an event of such unconditional compassion is difficult to uphold. The program serves over 100 kids and needs snowballing donations. Taking care of Boyd, Carter, Greenup, and Lawrence counties, bestowing benevolence and brotherly and sisterly love upon babies is costly.

   Goodall explained why annual numbers are growing:

   “We share assistance to struggling families. Due to the drug epidemic, we find more grandparents raising their grandchildren. Just meeting day-to-day needs is difficult. To provide the extras for Christmas is nearly impossible. When it’s hard to afford to buy eggs, milk, gas, or just put food on the table, one cannot save enough money for Christmas.”

   Troopers often meet the children served by Shop with a Trooper on emergency calls. Post 14 keeps a log of children who would be blessed by this bounty of Christmas. Goodall also fields phone calls recommending specific children who are in need. As prices increase, they found the over forty-year-old program is becoming increasingly difficult to conduct. They will spend over $20,000 this year on this Night Divine.

   The program continues to operate, giving to less-fortunate – even through 2020, the year Covid-19 struck our communities. Needy families sent lists of Christmas wishes to KSP. Teaming with Hope’s Place Child Advocacy Center, the troopers, their families and their families gift-wrapped presents for 125 kids and held the presents in a storage building (AKA Santa’s Workshop). Families were allotted times to pick up the gifts at Boyd County Community Center.

   “It was just sad,” Goodall said. “You know these kids are alone and suffering through the pandemic, but we hope seeing Santa made things a little brighter.”

   Obligingly, Goodall is quick to thank the overflowing work of Walmart’s People Lead, Ann Perry, who ornaments the party with sheer love; and the Santa’s Helpers at Chick-fil-A who eagerly exalt the love of Jesus by providing meals to the children and families in attendance.

   “They’re just incredible, I can’t say enough. They are enthusiastic and go out of their way just to help us.”

   Goodall is uplifted by the union of our community to continue the Shop with a Trooper program. Giving and receiving, making spirits bright, Christ entering to bless these little Christmas cherubs. He still needs our help as the sheer volume of children makes Shop with a Trooper increasingly hard to sustain. If you would like to give, send checks to: Kentucky State Police Shop with a Trooper: 5975 U.S. 60, Ashland, KY 41102

   For more information, call KSP Trooper Shane Goodall at 606.694.5648. Leave a voicemail with your name and phone number if no answer.

Charles Russell Elementary School Always Putting Students First

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon 


   On December 13, 2022, Charles Russell Elementary School will be hosting a Christmas carnival that will be FREE for all students and their families. The Christmas carnival will begin at 4:30 p.m. and last until 6 p.m. Kerry Bocook, principal of Charles Russell Elementary School shared with the Beacon, “Our staff is hard at work transforming our school into a festive Christmas atmosphere. We have district employees and staff family members volunteering to make our carnival a success. We will also have several students from Ashland Paul Blazer High school to run the games and activities.”

   Bocook went on to share that during the Christmas carnival they will offer various activities for everyone to participate in. Among the scheduled activities will be STEM activities, games, photo booth, Christmas cake walk, ornament crafts, Christmas trivia, decorating with Mrs. Claus, hot chocolate with the Polar Express Train Conductor, and you can even have punch with everyone’s favorite Christmas character… THE GRINCH! In addition to all these amazing activities, Charles Russell will also feature a parent education room with useful tips on how to budget for the holidays, as well as sharing family-friendly Christmas recipes.  

   “This will be held in conjunction with our 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant that funds our after-school program. We have had several donations from community partners such as, Members Choice Credit Union, Tomcat Brewhouse, Ashland Credit Union, Kroger, Tim Hortons on Winchester Ave, Great American Cookies, Middough, The Mill, and Reynald Christy to sponsor our event,” noted Bocook.  Prior to becoming the principal, Bocook served as a teacher at Charles Russell Elementary School. “This is my second year as principal of Charles Russell. It has been wonderful to be able to open our doors back up to our families and community after the last few years of Covid restrictions. This has been a big year for our school with the installation of a new playground and kicking off our 21 CCLC after-school program. Over 40% of our students take advantage of this daily program that provides homework help, additional academic support and intervention, as well as offering a variety of enrichment activities, such as character building, Kindness Club, Lego Club, yoga, art, and STEM,” stated Bocook.

   Big things are certainly happening at Charles Russell Elementary School. With the school having such a dedicated group of teachers and staff, as well as a community’s support behind them, how could they not continue to do great things? One thing is for sure… everything they do at Charles Russell Elementary School is always with the students’ best interest at the forefront. Heading into the near year, Bocook stated, “We are looking forward to celebrating our students as they grow. We are planning to host more programs and events to share with our families, build our after-school program, add to our playground, and continue to make Charles Russell a great place to learn, grow, and be loved.” 

Christmas on the Square: Greenup County Celebrates the Spirit of Christmas Homestyle

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


   Members of the Greenup Beautification Project have been working tirelessly downtown getting Greenup decorated in preparation for its first ever Christmas on the Square. This event is sure to be one that the entire family can enjoy. Christmas on the Square takes place on December 10, 2022 beginning at noon and will run until 4 p.m. Amy Dowdy, one of the event’s coordinators shared with us, “This is a new thing to this area. What we are doing is an interactive Christmas tour of our little town of Greenup that provides a great opportunity for your families to visit a few our churches, our businesses, and various clubs.”  The day starts off with live music from some of your favorite local artists. Festive holiday music will be going on all from noon to 4 p.m. in the Fiscal Courtroom. Christmas carolers will be present singing some of your favorite holiday tunes and spreading that good ole’ Christmas cheer.  Vendors will be setup from all around, so you can not only listen to some great music but also shop for those last-minute Christmas gifts. You are sure to find something nice for everyone on your list. This is a great way to spend time with your family, support your community, and support small local businesses all at the same time. 

   The fun doesn’t stop there! Bring your kids for a fun-filled trip around the beautiful city of Greenup where they can experience the magic of Christmas… hometown style! Start your tour off at Holiday Central, which is where you will pick up your map and official goodie bag. “We will have different stops along the way that are highlighted with colorful holiday blowups outside to signify that it is one of the stops on your route. When you go into your stop, there will be a family activity that you will do. For example, the Christian church is going to have a hot chocolate bar where you will have the opportunity to make your own special hot chocolate. You will get the chance to make your own personalized frosted sugar cookies at the Methodist church, and the Lions Club will be furnishing hotdogs, as well as a candy cane reindeer craft for you to do,” noted Dowdy.  There are so many other stops along the way as you travel all over town visiting different merchants, churches, and civic groups.  Each provide you with a unique holiday experience while filling your bag up with tons of goodies. The best part about this experience is… IT’S FREE! 

   Live music, vendors, and a tour of the beautiful city of Greenup… what more could you ask for? How about a live nativity, free hotdogs, hot chocolate, apple cider, cookies, popcorn, and, of course, you can’t have all this Christmas merriment without having a parade! At 5p.m. the Greenup County Christmas parade kicks off, and it is sure to be a sight to behold. You don’t want to miss all the amazing vehicles, floats and performances planned for this parade that is sure to bring you joy with a lot of festive flair. Now you can’t have a parade without the jolly old man in a red suit. That’s right… SANTA will be making his appearance at the end of the parade and can’t wait to have his picture taken with you. This truly is a wonderful way to celebrate Christmas with your family, friends, and community. 

A Season to Remember for Raceland Rams

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon


   A berth in the State Championship was not a goal for Raceland Football this year. 

   It was the expectation. 

   After claiming a school record 13 wins this season which led the Rams back to the Class A title game for only the second time in the program’s 96-year history, the team felt like it was on the verge of getting over the one hurdle they have not been able to achieve, winning a state crown. 

   Although the Rams came up short in the bid for the title against Pikeville Friday at Kroger Field, the final outcome should not overshadow everything the team achieved. Raceland dominated its way through the season by outscoring its opponents by over 40 points a game while touting one of the top defenses in the state, regardless of classification. 

   Logan Lundy turned in a solid junior campaign after throwing for 2,372 yards and 35 touchdowns. Lundy surpassed 4,000 career yards early in the postseason and his mark this season is the first time a Rams quarterback has thrown for over 2,000 yards since Nathaniel Davidson tossed for 3,013 in 2016. His 35TDs are the most in team history which breaks Tyler Farley’s record set in 2010 of 29. Lundy accounted for seven additional touchdowns in the rushing game while running for 445 yards. 

   Raceland will return three of its four primary running backs led by Noah Wallace and Isaac Browning. Wallace once again led the team with 883 yards and 12 touchdowns. He racked up a career-high 146 yards in the Rams 49-6 win over Holy Cross in the State Semifinals. It was also the first time Wallace had rushed for over 100 yards in back-to-back games. Browning joined Wallace in the 100-yard club in the win over Holy Cross with a career-high 118 yards on 10 carries. It was his second 100-plus yard rushing game of his career, both coming this season. Browning finished with 666 yards and nine house calls. Jaxon Heighton added a pair of scores and 243 yards while working mostly in short yardage situations. 

   Raceland departs three of its four leading receivers led by Mason Lykins 737 yards and 12 TDs. Conner Hughes closes his career with the Rams at 49 total touchdowns after being limited by an ankle injury in the postseason. Hughes had eight receiving TDs this season and ran for four more. Landyn Newman hauled in 20 catches for 276 yards and three scores. Parker Fannin returns next season as the second leading receiver with 28 catches for 569 yards and nine scores. 

   However, as explosive as the Rams offense was this season, the defense was even better. The Rams held their opponents to under 11 yards a game much of the season and finished with an average score of 12.6 per game. The Rams rushing defense suffocated their opposition to the tune of 77.9 yards a game, which rose from 63 after a tough outing against a potential Mr. Football candidate, Blake Birchfield who ran for 231 yards in the championship game. Raceland returns a large nucleus of its defense including three of the four starting linebackers. The Rams’ secondary was stellar as well as they led the state in interceptions with 23. 

   No matter the case, the 2022 version of Raceland football is going to be one for the ages. Record books have been rewritten across the board and more trophies added to the cases that line the walls inside Raceland-Worthington High School. Coach Mike Salmons often jokes that Raceland has a stop sign, a red light, a railroad track and a football team and not necessarily in that order. But the community that pours out to support the orange and black every Friday night, rain or shine, certainly have something to be proud of. The boys of Ramland represented their tiny town with pride and the color of metal on the final trophy is not going to change that. 

   The Rams are built to last and although 2023 will feature several new names to the mix, fans should expect much of the same, another Rams winning season and hopes of a state title.

Beacon Hoops: December 6, 2022

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon





   Ashland started its season on a positive note with a 67-37 win over Ironton St. Joe paced by 21 points from Zander Carter behind three triples. Ashland led wire to wire and touted a 34-20 lead at the half. Tristin Davis and Rheyce Deboard added 13 in the win. 

   Ashland fell to Great Crossing, 78-73 in the Jersey Mike’s Classic in Georgetown. Carter paced the Tomcats with 28 points. Tucker Conway tossed in 19 behind five 3s. Deboard added 11. 

   Ashland has its first 64th District tilt on Tuesday with a visit from Fairview followed by a matchup with the defending state champion, George Rogers Clark Saturday in the Boyd County Roundball Classic.


BOYD 2-0

   Boyd County rolled off a pair of wins to open the season while lighting up the scoreboard in both affairs. 

   Boyd County defeated Rowan County, 81-53 in its season opener. Cole Hicks led the Lions with 21 points while tossing in five triples. Jacob Spurlock added 18 points and was 4 of 6 from downtown. Jason Ellis had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Boyd County shot 48.1% (13-27) from beyond the arc. 

   Spurlock’s 25 points led the Lions to a 93-55 win over East Ridge. The freshman was 8 of 8 inside the arc and grabbed 10 rebounds in the win. Hicks added 23 points in the win and Ellis turned in his second double-double in as many games with 12 and 12. 

   Boyd County opens 64th District play with a visit from Fairview on Thursday followed by visits from Lewis County and Pikeville on Friday and Saturday, respectively in the Boyd County Roundball Classic.  



   Fairview collected a pair of wins to open the season before taking its first loss of the year at Fleming County. 

   Fairview outlasted Greenup County, 66-63 in the Eagles season opener. Tanner Johnson led the Eagles with 22 points. Tamel Smith netted 19 while going 4 for 8 from downtown and Mitchell Cox added 13. Steven Day scored six points and grabbed 11 rebounds. 

   Day led the Eagles with 27 points in their 78-66 win over West Carter. Tanner Johnson added 24 points and was 4 of 6 from beyond the arc. Izaac Johnson dropped in 12 and grabbed 12 rebounds. 

   Fairview suffered its first setback of the season with an 84-59 loss at Fleming County. Tanner Johnson led the Eagles with 18 points. Izaac Johnson and Smith each added 11. 

   Fairview hits the road for three games this week with a pair of 64th District tilts at Ashland on Tuesday and Boyd County on Thursday before closing the week at Elliott County on Friday. 



   Rose Hill took a spilt in the Royals two games this week, falling to East Carter, 73-33 while defeating Robertson County. 

   Christian Blevins dropped in 16 in the loss to East Carter. 

   Rose Hill won 73-66 over Robertson County. Blevins led the Royals with 29 points and hit four trifectas. John Vanhoose kicked in 12. 

   Rose Hill visits Raceland Thursday and welcomes Russell on Friday. 





   After falling in the Devils season opener against Martin County at home, Russell bounced back with a win over Rowan County in the opening round of the EKC Tournament Saturday night. 

   Damon Charles dropped 23 points and 10 rebounds in the Devils 73-59 loss to Martin County. Gavin Carter kicked in 17. Tatum Fleming had 12. 

   Russell overcame a 22-9 first quarter deficit against Rowan County by holding the Vikings scoreless in the second stanza that led to a 51-47 win. Carson Blum led the Devils with 12 points. Charles had 10.

   Russell moves into the semifinals of the EKC Tournament Tuesday night against host West Carter. Should the Devils win in that contest, they would play in the championship Thursday night at West Carter. Russell visits Rose Hill on Friday and plays Augusta in the Mike Murphy Classic at Mason County on Saturday. 



   Raceland started the season with a win at home, sort of. 

   The Rams had to open the season in its middle school due to the production of the Nutcracker Bash at the high school. Regardless of the venue, the Rams turned an 11-10 lead after one into a 68-53 win over Pendleton County.

   Christian Large led the Rams with 21 points. Holden Topping added 13 and Jacob Gauze had 12. 

   Raceland visits Lawrence County Monday, Spring Valley on Wednesday, welcomes Rose Hill on Thursday and plays Johnson Central Saturday in the Boyd County Roundball Classic. 



   Greenup County fell in both contests this week, losing 66-63 against Fairview and 55-42 to Rock Hill. 

   Cohen Underwood paced the Musketeers with 26 points in the loss to Fairview. Underwood was a perfect 11 of 11 from the field hitting nine shots inside the arc and draining a pair of triples. 

   Greenup County welcomes Fleming County on Monday, Elliott County on Thursday and Minford on Saturday.