Is it too early to put up the Christmas tree?

Morgan Hall

The Ashland Beacon


    Halloween is over, there is a crispness in the air. The leaves that were changing vibrant colors of orange, red and yellow are finding their way to the ground. The leaves cover the ground like a blanket, as the autumn settles in to stay awhile. 

     For many folks, November is the month to be thankful. Often on social media, you will see folks do a daily post acknowledging what they are thankful for in their lives. I enjoy doing photo challenges where I post a new picture daily with my thankful sentiments. 

     In school, the kids are drawing their hand turkeys and pasting leaves onto construction paper. Families are discussing who is making what for Thanksgiving. It's a month full of quiet bustle.

        Although, some begin their Christmas season early. I am guilty as charged. For me, Thanksgiving is a day and Christmas is a season. 

     After all, the Winter Wonderland of Lights begins on November 14 at the Central Park bandstand at 6:00 p.m. It's rather hard not to get into the Christmas spirit when the heart of our city is lit up like a beacon for all the Christmas light lovers to indulge in. Additionally, the Paramount Arts Centers' Annual Festival of Trees begins on November 17 and ends on November 27. Most children that have grown up in the tri-state area, go on field trips to the Paramount with their local school, or with their scouting troops on scout night. It's a family-friendly event that you don't want to miss. 

       As a child, I remember my family always putting up their tree on the day of Thanksgiving. We were already gathered together for a family dinner, so it just made sense to decorate then. Many folks in this area put their tree up in November because they celebrate Advent and this year Advent Sunday is November 27. The advent season ends on Epiphany which is January 6. 

       Some folks insist on waiting until December 1 or later, to put up their Christmas trees and that's their prerogative. Nobody is forcing anyone into the Christmas spirit. Keep your traditions with your family sacred and held close to your hearts. 

       Christmas music has already made its way to our ears, via radio stations. A couple of our writers, Sonya Newman and Gary Newman like to kick off the holiday season at midnight on October 31 and commemorate it with a dance. Sonya likes to share a Christmas song via social media daily in November."It's official, Christmas Season has now begun! I will be accepting any peppermint-flavored treats," shared Sonya. 

      The recent time change this past Sunday may have a few folks still reeling. It's going to get dark sooner and with darkness comes seasonal depression. Which is also a good reason to get your decorations for Christmas up around your house. The magic of Christmas lights can stir joy into anyone's heart. 

      Whether you have already started listening to carols and decorating for Christmas, or you're holding off for a while, do whatever makes you happy! The Ashland Beacons Holiday magazine will be in the stands soon with stories about local families and it will include those delicious holiday recipes. Stay tuned. 

Picture: Morgan Hall

Picture: Festival of Trees

Picture: Morgan Hall

Picture: Thanksgiving plate  

The Boys of Fall: November 8, 2022

James Collier

The Ashland Beacon



   Playing the entire season without a bye until the week before the playoffs might have been just what the doctor ordered for Ashland.

   Since starting the season 2-5, the Tomcats have yet to lose as they have rolled off five straight including a 49-6 beat down of Magoffin County Friday night at Putnam Stadium in the opening round of the Class 3A Playoffs. Ashland raced out to a 28-0 lead after one quarter of play and had the running clock in motion before halftime.

   Asher Adkins opened the scoring frenzy by the Tomcats with a 16-yard pass from LaBryant Strader and a 7-0 lead only one minute into the contest. Adkins second score of the game, a 21 yarder from Strader was bookended by an Austin Nichols 16-yard scamper and a Braxton Jennings 2-yard plunge with 21 seconds to play in the first.

   Brandon Houston joined the scoring ranks 23 seconds into the second stanza after hooking up with Strader for a 64-yard pitch and catch. Tay Thomas streaked 45 yards to the house for the final Tomcats’ score of the half to start the clock in motion the rest of the game.

   Strader only threw five passes while connecting on four, three that went for scores. Thomas led the Tomcats with 75 yards on three carries. Jennings added 46 yards on five totes.

   Ashland welcomes Belfry Friday night for the second round of the playoffs at Putnam Stadium.



   Hosting a playoff game was big for Boyd County.

   Fitting they used several big plays to hammer Anderson County 41-14 Friday night in the opening round of the Class 4A Playoffs at Boyd County High School.

   Boyd County scored six touchdowns in the game with the first five traveling 48 yards or more. Rhett Holbrook dashed 66 yards late in the first quarter for a 6-0 Lions lead after one but the best for the Lions was still to come. Malachi Wheeler darted 61 yards to paydirt with 4:59 to play in the half. Cameron Collins followed suit with a 79 yarder as the clock struck zeros to end the half.

   Rhett Holbrook added the air attack to the mix to start the second half with touchdown passes of 48 yards and 56 yards to Trey Holbrook and Josh Thornton, respectively early in the third. Blake Waulk broke the plane for a 1-yard score for the final Lions TD of the night and a 41-0 lead.

   Rhett Holbrook threw for 159 yards and a pair of TDs. Wheeler rushed for 95 yards on five carries. Collins added 93 on a pair of attempts.

   Boyd County welcomes Boyle County Friday night for the second round of the playoffs.



   Raceland’s defense had to stand tall Friday night when the Rams welcomed Nicholas County to open the Class A Playoffs at Ram Stadium. The Blue Jackets took the opening kickoff deep into Rams territory only to fail to cash in on a fourth down attempt. Logan Lundy’s first pass of the night sailed into a Nicholas County defender’s hand to give the ball back to the visitors in nearly the same spot. Yet again, the defense surrendered nothing.

   But the Rams offense never slowed the rest of the way with five consecutive touchdowns to close the half en route to a 48-6 win. Conner Hughes provided Raceland with its first points of the night after a bubble screen from Lundy and a pair of shifty moves by Hughes sprung him 68 yards for the score. Isaac Browning pinballed his way to paydirt on the next Rams possession from 47 yards out for a 14-0 lead after one.

   Lundy hit Mason Lykins on a 46 yarder for his first of two touchdowns on the night in the opening minute of the second quarter. Jules Farrow gashed through the Blue Jackets defense for a 55-yard TD for his longest run of the season and Lundy tossed his third TD in the game to Noah Wallace before the break and a 35-0 halftime lead.

   Lundy and Lykins started the running clock after a 37-yard strike midway through the third. Parker Ison closed the scoring with a 4-yard plunge 20 seconds into the fourth.

   Lundy threw for 276 yards and four TDs. Lykins hauled in five balls for 114 yards. Hughes added 89 yards on four catches. Browning led the Rams with 105 yards on eight carries for his first 100-plus rushing game this season.

   Raceland welcomes Paris Friday night for the second round of the playoffs.




   It had been over a decade since Greenup County had played host to a playoff game. Fitting the Musketeers wanted to make the experience one they would never forget when they welcomed Pike County Central to the ‘Farm’ Friday night to open the Class 3A Playoffs.

   Greenup County racked up 417 yards of offense while allowing only 92 as the Musketeers cruised to a 47-0 win over the Hawks for their first home postseason win since 2007.

   Ike Henderson dented the scoreboard for the Musketeers with a 1-yard score with 6:43 to play in the opening frame and a 6-0 lead. Brady Howard returned from a mid-season injury to haul in one of his five catches on the night and an 11-yard TD from Tyson Sammons.

   Henderson’s second endzone visit came 13 seconds into the second quarter and a 20-0 lead. Sammons tossed a pair of TDs to end the half, a 76 yarder on a screen pass to Hunter Clevenger who found a crease and a lane to paydirt. Cade Hunt hauled in a 25-yard score with seven seconds to play in the half.

   Jayce Griffith’s 17-yard score midway through the third put the clock in motion the rest of the way for the Musketeers. Austin Walker added a 1-yard run late in the fourth.

   Sammons threw for 235 yards with Clevenger’s 76 yards leading the way. Howard had 66 yards. Hunt added 46. Sammons added 68 yards in the rushing attack. Henderson had 63.

   Greenup County travels to Lawrence County Friday night for the second round of the playoffs and a rematch of a Week 3 win by the Musketeers over the Bulldogs, 17-14 in Louisa.


   A 14-14 tie in the second quarter quickly turned into a 56-14 blowout win for Belfry over Russell Friday night in the opening round of the Class 3A Playoffs.

   Ethan Pack threw for 123 yards and a touchdown in the losing effort. He was also picked off twice. Carson Patrick hauled in the lone receiving touchdown while catching five passes for 70 yards. Ethan Oborne led the Devils with 47 rushing yards. Ben Totten added 46. Colby Rock provided the other Russell score.

   Russell closes its season at 2-9.



   Fairview battled the top seed of District 5 but ultimately could not find enough to topple the Mustangs as the Eagles fell, 36-14 in the opening round of the Class A Playoffs.

   Austin Miller threw for 167 yards and a touchdown. He also ran for a score. Caden Thomas rushed for 69 yards on 14 carries. Jeremy Harper led the way with seven receptions for 82 yards. Cameron Harper added 48 yards and a touchdown on two catches.

   Fairview closed the season at 1-10.

Lady Lions Record Season Comes to an End


James Collier

The Ashland Beacon

   Boyd County raced out to a sizable lead in the opening set Thursday against Paul Lawrence Dunbar in the 2022 State Volleyball Quarterfinals at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.

   Leading 11-6, the Lady Lions looked poised to continue its dominance over their foes only to watch the Bulldogs even the frame at 15-15 followed by a 10-1 run to take the set, 25-16. Boyd County could find no answer the rest of the way to slow down the Region 11 Champions as the Lady Lions fell 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-12) to the Bulldogs.

   Dunbar stayed with its hot finish from the first set with a 7-2 surge to open Set 2. The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 10 and closed on a 7-0 run for a 2-0 lead in the match. Both team's volleyed for position in the third set before Dunbar snapped a 7-7 tie with a mini 4-0 run followed by a 7-0 run to clinch the win.

   Taylor Bartrum led the Lions with seven kills. Carly Mullins added six kills and a block and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

   Boyd County hosted the opening round of the state tournament against 10th Region champions Bishop Brossart winning in three sets (25-18, 25-20, 25-13). Bartrum had 16 kills, followed by Mullins with 12 and Emma Sparks 11. Sparks was also presented with a plaque recognizing her for 1,000 career kills as a Lady Lion.

   Boyd County closed its season at 37-5 while surpassing last season’s 34 wins for the most in a single season. Boyd County graduates seven seniors from the program; Ally Caldwell, Carly Mullins, Emma Sparks, Laney Blevins, Lyndsey Ekers, Sophia Gifford and Layken Roach.

Mystic Market: Russell

Carly Stout

The Ashland Beacon


     Appalachian Folkology and Sage & Root have partnered together to bring something magical to downtown Russell. The Mystic Market, a newly launched union between the two local businesses, is a community market with small businesses, artists, healers, herbalists, and readers, all joined together for an afternoon of great food, locally crafted teas and brews, and unique shopping. 


     Mystic markets have grown in popularity throughout the years, and the two businesses are enthusiastic about offering something unique to the Russell community. 

     The Mystic Market will be held on November 5 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Eridanus Brewing, at 501 Ferry Street in Russell. Kristen Matthews, the owner of Appalachian Folkology, will be hosting an enchanted tea party, teaching individuals who sign up for the class how to craft their tea and learn the ancient art of tea leaf reading. 

     A secondary class, Herbal Broom Making, is also available, where individuals will learn how to create a beautiful herbal broom and adorn it with trinkets and charms. Both classes are limited, and tickets are required. 

     In addition to the classes, the brewery will be open, serving up your favorite herbal teas, coffee, and craft beers. Dragonfly Cafe will also be open and on-site. 

     Eridanus Brewing’s parking lot will host the market, and vendors will be set up with a unique range of goods, from houseplants and ethically sourced crystals to hand-poured candles, custom guitars, fashion, artwork, herbs, and more. Mystical attire is welcomed.

     Last month the brewery hosted Ghouls & Goblins Night Out and sold out the venue completely. This event is also anticipated to be well attended, so purchasing tickets in advance is recommended. Interested vendors can still join the Mystic Market, inquiries can be submitted to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Mystic Market is a ticketed event, with tickets priced at $5 per adult and $3 per child. Your ticket will also include a gift from Sage & Root and Appalachian Folkology. Tickets can be purchased online at: questions on ticket purchasing, please contact Eridanus Brewing at 606.388.2326

When you Embrace History...

Sasha Bush

The Greater Ashland Beacon


    The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the collection, documentation, preservation, and study of Ashland Kentucky, and its rich black history as well as black history across America. The museum plans to continuously cultivate black history experiences and honor the accomplishments of all that have played a vital role in black history.

     The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum have plans to provide education for all current and future generations for many years to come. History should not be forgotten… it should be celebrated and honored. “Black history isn’t a separate history! Black history is all our history, and we need to understand that. The importance of learning about black history and how it has helped to shape our nation is so vital to our children in so many ways. Embracing all aspects of our history plays such a huge role in developing young minds and creating a true character. To not repeat history, we must study it, learn from it, and share what we have learned with others. The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum intend to do just that. 

     Bernice Henry and Darrell Smith, founders, and owners of the C.B, Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum have had this dream of making black history readily available to everyone, and it's finally becoming a reality. Henry shared with the Beacon, “We have currently raised $72,000. We are so honored and humbled at the amount of community support and support throughout the Tristate that we have received. We know how excited we are, but to realize how much this journey will mean to our community is almost overwhelming. This museum was the dream of my nephew Darrell Smith, who started a black history and information page on Facebook over a year ago. This page became a successful endeavor and received so many positive responses. Darrell and I just want everyone to know how much we appreciate all the positive support and encouragement that has been afforded toward us as we work toward opening this museum in Feb. 2023," stated Bernice Henry, one of the Museum owners.

     Since the first announcement about this wonderful endeavor, the popularity and support from the community have been nothing short of amazing and continue to leave both Henry and Smith in absolute awe and gratitude. The C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum are always looking for new and exciting ways to keep the community involved and spread the knowledge of important parts of history that many may not know about. On Nov. 5, 2022, the C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum will hold a fundraiser dinner that is to be hosted by Sal’s Italian Eatery with a cash bar provided by Bombshells & Ales. This event will take place at the Union, located at 2020 Carter Avenue, Ashland Ky 41101 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Music will be provided by DJ David “Party Maker” Austin. Tickets can be purchased at The cost of the tickets is $50 per person and all proceeds will go toward the C.B. Nuckolls Community Center and Black History Museum. It is sure to be a night full of fun, laughter and most importantly coming together to support a dream that is quickly becoming a reality. 

“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is like a broken-winged bird that cannot fly.” Langston Hughes