Halloween Town Returns to Russell

Morgan Hall 

The Ashland Beacon

     If you are familiar with the 90s cult classic series of Halloween Town, you will find Russell will be bringing the Halloween spirit this upcoming Saturday. Halloween Towns movie description elaborates, 

"Marnie and her kids get a big shock when they follow grandma home to Halloweentown - and find out they come from a family of witches. The town is the only place where supernatural beings can lead a `normal' life, but the trouble is looming, and on her 13th birthday Marnie not only finds she is a witch, but that she and her family are involved in a fight against the evil that is threatening to take over the world." You may not be traveling to an alternate universe; but here in the mortal world, the city of Russell will be celebrating Halloween and all are welcome to join in on the fun!

      After speaking with Kristie Patterson, from Revitalize Russell she confirmed, "We have food trucks coming and there will be music playing in the streets. 

At 4:00 p.m. we're going to have Downtown deals where all the storefronts will have specials. You can shop from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. At 5:00 p.m. the Monster March begins, which is a Halloween parade. At 6:00 p.m. trick or treat begins and the kids will be able to trick or treat with all the businesses, there are 60 businesses already registered." Don't be surprised if the adults are also dressed up to pass out candy. Because in Halloween Town everyone is happy to dress up and enjoy the Halloween festivities. 

      Located beside the fire station will be the haunted tunnel. Patterson shared that the tunnel is family-friendly and suitable for young children. Many folks prefer spooky as opposed to scary, especially for little ones. Don Fraley, Diamond Lewis, and John Callihan will help set it up. 

      There will be photo opportunities with a giant pumpkin and sasquatch, who will also be in the parade. Patterson added, "We had Spiderman last year and the kids loved taking pictures with him." 

     All of this can't happen without volunteers. Patterson told us there are so many volunteers that there are too many to mention, however, she wanted to emphasize their efforts and let them know they are appreciated. Patterson and four other people make up Revitalize Russell, simply to bring new businesses and activities to their town. Tracy Frye is President, Dr. Lori Mccoy and Alona Gillum are the Vice Presidents, Sarah Gabbard is the Secretary and Patterson is the Treasurer. They plan all of these events together, it's a collaboration and group effort. 

     Since last year was huge, they are much better prepared this year. Last year, they had close to 3000 people, and folks ran out of candy within the first hour. This is a total bummer, but it is awesome to have such a great turnout. Especially since it started raining. Fingers crossed the rain clouds stay away this time. 

      "Come out for a snack or dinner, shop, watch the monster March, and let the kids trick or treat, '' concluded Patterson. It's that magical time of the year when the cool weather and colored leaves abound. Watch out for all those things that go bump in the night. Russell is bringing the spooky and keeping it kooky. 

Next phase of work to begin Oct. 19 on new King’s Daughters Medical Center Emergency Department


   For the past several weeks, work on a new Emergency Department at King’s Daughters Medical Center has been proceeding mostly behind the scenes. Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 19, most of Bath Ave. between 22nd and 23rd Streets will be permanently closed as work ramps up on the new project, slated to open in late 2024.

   “We are excited to begin construction on our new Emergency and Imaging facility which will serve the needs of our community well into the future,” said Chief Nursing Officer and Vice President for Patient Care Services Curtis Metzler, R.N., BSN.

   Senior Director of Clinical Services Jason Blevins said, “We’ve listened to our team members and our community. There are several elements we are excited to have, including covered ambulance bay drop-off points, separate and secure access points for law enforcement and also for behavioral health patients, and a dedicated entrance for walk-in patients as well.”

   “We are designing the facility to be easier for our patients,” Radiologist Candy Boykin, M.D., said. “We will have two CT scanners actually in the middle of the Emergency Department. We will be closer to our emergency patients than ever before.” The new Imaging Department location—including cardiac imaging, MRI, nuclear medicine, ultrasound and X-Ray—will be adjacent to the new Emergency Department.


Better patient flow

   One of the main goals for the new Emergency Department is to keep lobby/waiting area volumes low. Most patients will be assessed in a triage area. Instead of returning to a lobby, they will proceed to a care initiation area. This is where a provider will see and assess the patient, and order tests. From there, the patient will move to either a “results pending” area, a care initiation area for needed treatment, and for patients who require more advanced care, they will move to a private treatment room.


Employing local contractors

   The new Emergency and Imaging project is using local contractors as much as possible. King’s Daughters construction manager Mike Layne estimates more than 300 construction jobs with skilled tradespeople, both local and regional, will be working on the Ashland campus.


Parking changes

   Construction projects often can bring parking issues. At King’s Daughters, a small fleet of shuttles has been transporting patients, visitors and KDMC team members to their destinations on the Ashland campus since August. Seven-day-a-week shuttle service for team members, patients and visitors runs every 10 minutes from lots J, K and L, from 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. A map of the Ashland campus and available parking areas is attached.

   More parking changes are coming soon, including at one of the most visible spots on campus. Parking in front of Patient Tower II along 22nd Street is getting an upgrade. By reworking how the lot is laid out and removing the heart statue, 32 spots, including much-needed additional handicapped spaces, will be added. This change will bring a total of 89 parking spots at this location. While construction takes place, the flag poles in front of Tower II will be temporarily stored and later relocated near the new Emergency Department.


Facts about the new building

  • Care initiation area with five exams areas, 12 results pending areas for low-acuity patients, and a stat lab for blood draws and EKGs
  • Two trauma bays to accommodate up to four patients simultaneously, with direct access to in the in-department CT scanners
  • Multiple procedure rooms
  • Isolation areas: negative air pressure rooms beside a separate decontamination entrance, as well one near the main entrance
  • Separate, covered ambulance entrance with triage bays
  • Separate entrance for patients being brought in by law enforcement officers, and behavioral health patients
  • Dedicated work area for EMS and law enforcement officers to complete documentation
  • Specially equipped bariatric exam room
  • Two separate decontamination entrances and isolation pod
Family Photo
A three generation family photo.

Mother & Daughter Breast Cancer Survivors

Mother and Daughter Breast Cancer Survivors

By: Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon


The bond between a mother and her child is a bond that is unlike any other. It is a bond forged within the womb long before you ever laid eyes upon each other. It is a bond that is unwavering, unconditional, and everlasting. Teri Schwartz and her daughter Heather Pack share a bond that goes far deeper than just that, of a typical mother-and-daughter relationship; because both have witnessed and lived through one of life's most unexpected curve balls. Schwartz and Pack were diagnosed with breast cancer just one year apart from each other, and both kicked cancer's ugly butt. Schwartz's daughter was the first to receive the unexpected and devastating diagnosis. "I was cooking dinner for my family before we headed out to the National Day of Prayer walk. I had an itch near my left armpit, and when I scratched it, I felt a little round hard bump. I was still nursing my daughter, but knew it felt different than a clogged milk duct. My mom worked for my family doctor then, and he wasted no time the next day by sending me to the KDMC Women's Center. I underwent a mammogram and ultrasound that day, and it was determined I needed a biopsy. My biopsy was scheduled for the following Monday, and it was Wednesday that I received the report that it was cancer. I had just turned 30 in February, and my daughter had just celebrated her first birthday on April 30. I found the lump on May 6. It was on May 12 that our entire world changed, and I was told it was cancer." shared Pack.



     Things began to move quickly after the diagnosis. Pack soon found that her days were filled with countless doctor appointments, tests, and more unexpected news. "I was scheduled for an MRI of both breasts, since I was still nursing and they couldn't get a clear picture to ensure we were only dealing with the one spot. The MRI showed that it was just one spot and that my lymph nodes were clear. This was great news! So, after that, I was scheduled for a lumpectomy on May 28 and told we were looking at stage one. Surgery quickly revealed it was, in fact, in my lymph nodes. The pathology report revealed that it was exactly five of my lymph nodes and that I had stage 3A- ER+, PR+ & HER2+ breast cancer. Learning that it was stage three was probably a bigger gut punch in the gut, than hearing I had cancer." declared Pack. After a long and hard-fought battle, Pack finally heard the words that she had long awaited on May 28 2010, that she was cancer free after undergoing a lumpectomy. However, her journey was not yet over due to Pack's particular type of cancer. Pack started chemotherapy in July 2010, followed by a series of treatments and surgeries. "In October 2011, I went back into surgery, had a double mastectomy, and began the reconstruction process. As a result of being ER+ and PR+ and my late staging, I was placed on an oral pill for ten years. Because of the possibility of side effects from the oral pill, I opted to have a hysterectomy in October 2012. It was not an easy journey and especially more difficult considering the ages of my children. But I was blessed with an amazing support system made up of my family, friends, church family and community members that helped with our kids, sent meals, did laundry, cleaned my house, took me to treatments, etc. That allowed me to concentrate on just getting better and getting this behind us." said Pack.

     Sadly, just one year later, Pack's mother, Teri Schwartz, was also diagnosed with breast cancer. Pack stated," I was diagnosed a year before my mom. It was a shocker when I was diagnosed because we had no family history, and I had breastfed all three of my children, which is supposed to lower your risks of breast cancer. So, when my mom was diagnosed almost exactly a year after me, we were even more dumbfounded. Thankfully my mom's cancer was caught early enough that she just had to have the lumpectomy, followed by radiation and then take five years of the oral pill." Schwartz shared, "I was diagnosed with breast cancer at 52 years old, on April 29 2011, almost a year from when Heather was diagnosed. I went for my yearly mammogram in 2010, which showed some scattered calcifications, so they scheduled me for a repeat mammogram in six months to check on them again. When I went back for the six-month follow-up mammogram, there were other calcifications, so I was sent to see a surgeon for consultation. I had a biopsy that returned negative, but the surgeon, Dr. Legenza, felt something wasn't right. So Dr. Lagenza sent me to have another biopsy called a MIBB that took out several different samples from the breast, and it showed cancer."

     Schwartz describes her breast cancer journey as nothing like that of her daughters. "I ended up having a lumpectomy of my left breast. Thankfully, my cancer was caught very early, as it was all encased. I was diagnosed with stage DCIS stage zero, which means it was all encapsulated, so no lymph nodes were involved. I had surgery and had to allow time for the incision to heal. I was scheduled at the Tri-State Regional Cancer Center, to see the Radiation Oncologist. I was scheduled to start several rounds of radiation after they marked me and tattooed the left breast area, where they would radiate the area to kill any other cancer cells. I was also placed on Tamoxifen for the next five years, which is a pill you take daily to treat breast cancer and may also help prevent it in women at high risk. For me, my journey was not anything like what my daughter had to face. She is most definitely a "true warrior.” proclaimed Schwartz. "Beating cancer for me was great! But for me seeing my daughter beat cancer has been the biggest blessing in my life. I have never felt so guilty in all of my life because I was diagnosed at a very early stage and Heather had to go through so much with her journey. It should have been me that had to endure what she did—watching the journey she had to take before I was diagnosed, made my journey seem like nothing. After Heather and I were diagnosed with breast cancer, it made me realize, even more, that time is so precious we just never know what can happen in a blink of an eye. I am so thankful for God watching over us both through our journeys and all the kind people along the way that has sent up many prayers and all the kindness they offered. " added Schwartz.

     Breast cancer doesn't discriminate. It doesn't care how old you are or if you have a family history or not. It doesn't care if you've done all the right things to lower your risk of developing it. The bottom line is that it can still hit you when you least expect it. "So be diligent. Do your self-exams, know your breasts, and don't be afraid to ask for someone to check things out, if things don't seem right." declared Pack. Schwartz, Pack's mother, added, "I would like everyone to know it is very important to do your self-breast exams. If you feel anything of concern, please see your physician. A lot of people say they can't tell anything when they do an exam, but if you do your breast exam regularly, you will know if something feels different and when you are of age to have mammograms, please make them a priority. They can detect cancer at an early stage, even more so with the technology available today. Cancer knows no age, so please be vigilant with the breast exams and any changes you notice and seek medical advice for the next steps to take. As we all know, cancer has no age limits, and we know our bodies better than anyone else." 

Lori Beth Mays’ Journey

Lifting It All in Jesus’ Name-Lori Beth Mays’ Journey

Deidra Bowling-Meade

The Ashland Beacon


“I pray for your healing

That circumstances would change

I pray that the fear inside would flee in Jesus' name

I pray that a breakthrough would happen today

I pray miracles over your life in Jesus name, in Jesus name”

Katie Nichole’s song “In Jesus' Name,” has carried Ashland Independent Schools Elementary Curriculum Coordinator Lori Beth Mays through her current battle with breast cancer.  Mays’ Christian faith above all else is what is seeing her through her recent diagnosis of invasive ductal carcinoma on June 27th, 2022… her 42nd birthday.  Invasive ductal carcinoma is a type of breast cancer that starts in the milk ducts of the breast and moves into nearby tissue. In time, it may spread through the lymph nodes or bloodstream to other areas of the body.

Mays had her first mammogram in May this year, and her doctor was concerned with the initial results.  More appointments were scheduled and a genetic test was ordered.  Mays stated, “My mom, Lena Rogers, was diagnosed in 2004 with breast cancer, and is a survivor of 18 years. She was 59 years old when diagnosed. Thankfully, we found out that I do not carry the gene. This was a relief as I immediately thought of my 11-year-old daughter, Raegan.” After much thought and prayer, Mays was scheduled for a bilateral mastectomy on August 18th, 2022.  The surgery lasted around eight hours with Dr. Legenza and Dr. Ray (reconstruction) involved. After all, reports came back from the double mastectomy, Mays was told she would need to undergo chemotherapy due to a high Oncotype score, meaning she was at high risk for recurrence.

Mays has been unable to work since her surgery, which she has found challenging. Most weeks are full of doctor appointments between her reconstruction doctor and medical oncologist.

Mays shared, “These last few months have been an emotional roller coaster for my family, and I know through prayer that God has helped carry us through the highs and lows we have experienced.  While being off work, I have been able to spend more time in my Bible and listen to music.  I have found that Jesus has been right there to comfort me through it all.  He has given me strength when I have been at my weakest.”  

The cancer journey is still a struggle even for a person of faith.  God understands this; it’s a growing experience in our relationship with Him.  Mays described her emotional journey: “I have had moments of fear throughout this process, the most recent when Jason had to shave what hair I had left on my head this past Sunday.  However, I have also felt an overwhelming sense of peace that God was at work in our lives.  Jason and I have tried to draw as close to God as possible over the last few months.  We have prayed more consistently as a family and have spent more time in our Bible.  God has been a part of this story from day one of my diagnosis, and I’m so grateful I can put my trust in Him.  He has blessed us immensely, even on our darkest days, we have felt His love.  We have also felt the love and prayers of our friends and family like never before.”

Mays has had an enormous support system to help her through this time. Mays proclaimed, “I feel so many people are praying for me and cheering me along each step.  It’s incredible to feel as loved and supported as I do now.  My family has been incredible throughout this entire journey. My husband has only missed one appointment, and a close friend, Christina Wamsley, was able to fill in that day.  My mom and sister have been able to join Jason on chemotherapy days and have been ready to fill in whenever needed to help with the kids.  My brother and nephew have driven to Ashland many weeks to make sure I get to sporting events, as Jason and I try to divide a conquer with two active children. My mother-in-law and father-in-law have stocked our refrigerator and pantry numerous times to make sure we are well-fed. My Life Group from Wildwood Church of God has covered me in prayers and prayed over me.  Family and friends from the Tomcat Basketball Team, Tomcat Baseball Team, Ashland Middle Cheerleading Team, and Tomcat Nation have gifted us with meals, gift cards, and love.  There are so many cancer survivors who have been there for all of my questions and are ready to help whenever needed, especially Jolinda Howard and Amy Lynch.  My hairdresser, Amy Gray, has been a blessing along with so many others in our community.”    

Mays is making progress daily and hopes to return to work as soon as possible.  She is driving again after waiting six weeks post-surgery and anticipates chemotherapy ending in early December. Mays is currently at the two-week mark from her first round of chemotherapy. Jason Mays, Lori Beth’s husband, added how proud his wife makes him, “She hasn't lost her joy.  Lori Beth has a huge joy tank that stays filled most time.  Her joy is derived from her faith, and she has been fervent in her devotions and her walk with God.  She hasn't missed much of Jayse and Raegan's activities.  Raegan is playing middle school basketball and Jayse is playing fall-league baseball with the high school - she has been to probably 95% of their games. Even in times like this, she always puts others above herself, especially her students and the student-athletes we are closely associated with.”

            Mays desires to positively influence others through her cancer journey.  Mays advises those who are hesitant about having a mammogram, “Please make the appointment, and don’t cancel it.  Find one to two friends that will hold you accountable… reach out to me, if needed. This is what it took for me.  Amy Lynch was one of two friends who held me accountable to make the appointment.  Amy would send me text reminders to make my appointment and she made sure I knew the phone number to call.  She was also there praying with me minutes after I received the call to come back for a second mammogram, and she’s been there ever since.  My cancer was caught early; it was stage one.  Thankfully it had not spread, and only one lymph node had to be removed.  I am forever grateful that I had friends making sure I did not cancel my appointment (this time).”  Above all, Mays is lifting praise in Jesus’ name.

Internet Classes Coming to Local Senior Centers

Senior Internet Cafe Coming to Local Senior Centers

Morgan Hall

The Ashland Beacon 

     Local seniors will have the opportunity to go online at their local senior centers very soon. Tim Wright is an Aging Finance Specialist with FIVCO Area Development District. FIVCO serves five counties within our region. According to the FIVCO ADD website, they assist in: home care, regional transportation, revolving loan funds, tourism and recreation, workforce development, and aging & disability services. 


     Wright gives us a breakdown of how the senior internet cafe evolved, "I started here in March, we have seven centers in our five-county area. I was traveling around and introducing myself. I like computers and I like helping senior folks. I thought I would put this together and maybe it would be something they would like. We had some extra funds Kentucky had delved over to us and we were trying to find ways to use those funds. So, I proposed a basic computer class for seniors." After the proposal was approved Wright bought 36 Dell laptops, seven projectors, and other supplies needed. 

     In today's world of technology, seniors are expected to do more and more online. It's imperative that they have access to the internet and they know how to use it, as many companies prefer bill pay via online services. "We want to attract more seniors to the centers and help them with their fear of computers, this gives the options and confidence to maybe pay their bills online," explained Wright. 

      How many computers will be provided to each senior center? Wright shares the details, "We will have five Dell laptops per center. The first class will be on October 18 at the Greenup Senior Center and on October 19, I will be at the Boyd County Senior Center." Wright plans on using a PowerPoint presentation while keeping the seniors involved. He will be going over computer basics: mouse, keyboard, laptop vs. desktop, etc. He assures me he will give folks a lot of time for questions and demonstrations. 

      Amy Darby, Director of the Boyd County Senior Center shared via their Facebook page, "Since everything is moving to online, it is important for Seniors to learn at least basics computer skills." Darby is elated about the upcoming computer class at the center. 

      The senior centers that will be adding these new basic computer classes will be Boyd County Senior Center, Greenup County Senior Center, and Greenup County Flatwoods Nutrition Center. The first internet class is on the books. "I enjoy computers, I enjoy working with seniors and I enjoy teaching," added Wright. Wright explains that he works closely with the directors of the senior centers, "I just want to help you, I don't want to put any pressure on you. I'll bring it in, set it up and it will all stay there at the centers. If they want to use the laptops themselves- say the director wants to get them out one day a week, that's great. I'm going to be there for one hour once a month. So, the directors can allow access to them at their discretion."

     The Beacon wanted to hear about Wrights' passion for seniors, "I am older myself and to see seniors struggling, I just have the compassion to go help them to make their life a little bit easier. Seniors are often overlooked."

     Wright shared a study done by Meals on Wheels in the North Eastern District and Southern Western Ohio, "Seniors are consumers or customers and should be treated as such. Their opinions matter, they are real people." Wright suggested that once he is in their shoes, he hopes that people show him that same courtesy. Wright believes independence is key, "If you can be independent as long as possible, by using a computer to do the basic things, that's important. Who knows where we are headed electronically," explained Wright.

     If you haven't found a senior center to hang out in yet, you have so many to choose from in the tri-state area. If you wish to participate in the basic computer classes that will be provided in Boyd, Flatwoods, and Greenup, you do not have to be in regular attendance to come to check it out. There are no income restrictions. The only stipulation is that you are at least 60 years of age to attend. 

     If you're a senior and you're looking for a welcoming atmosphere, stop by a local senior center in your neighborhood. Spend your golden years making new friends and enjoying fellowship and fun with other seniors. There is a place for you, you belong, you're important and loved.