Century-Old Time Capsule Contents to be Revealed

Century-Old Time Capsule Contents to be Revealed

Lora Parsons

The Ashland Beacon

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Centuries ago, in the year 1675, Sir Isaac Newton--in a letter likely only intended for one set of eyes--penned the words: “If I have seen further [than others], it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Fast forward 349 years and the truth of that sentiment can still be found in others who don’t want any sort of singular credit for something they know they aren’t solely responsible. This is exactly the case with the Christ Methodist Church congregation, a body of believers whose sole purpose in everything they do is to lift up Jesus, not self. Their recent discovery of a time capsule behind the building’s cornerstone has provided members with an opportunity to share the spotlight with one another as they tell the story of their own history.


Steven Wheeler, knowing that the 100th anniversary was approaching, found himself curious about whether or not there might be a time capsule somewhere inside the building’s structure. While the church originally started in 1892, the building housing it wasn’t constructed until 1924, and Wheeler just felt like the possibility of a time capsule was high. He approached several of the older church members to see if they knew anything about one but ran into dead ends over and over. No one had any information of such. Still, Wheeler found this curiosity something he just couldn’t shake. As many with questions often do, he turned to YouTube to research time capsules and found there a wealth of information about their common locations in buildings of that age. Following these digital leads, he decided to investigate further. With the help of his daughter, Mackenzie, the two worked to run a camera behind the cornerstone, where his curiosity ignited into a possible hit.  He initially dismissed the idea as wishful thinking, reasoning that it was likely just some utility element the camera had picked up. He decided to remove the cornerstone just in case there actually was something in the camera’s view.

Wheeler called Pastor Michael McAlister with the news that he just might have seen something there. Wheeler’s son, Conner, also showed up to help with the removal of the cornerstone, all of which Pastor McAlister recorded. Wheeler’s curiosity was promptly rewarded with a 12-inch long, 10-inch wide wooden box built of crude planks of wood, dusty with age and bowed upward almost as if by the same sense of hope that drew Wheeler to continue on. After pulling it from the place it had rested for just shy of 100 years, Wheeler shook the box to confirm that there actually were contents inside. The decision was made to open the box just a bit in order to determine if the contents were merely building materials or the makings of a snapshot into the world from 100 years ago. Two boards were carefully removed, while the recording rolled on, catching a glimpse of what appeared to be two books and perhaps some Sunday School material. After seeing that the box was indeed intentionally placed there as a time capsule, Wheeler said they nailed the boards back in place “to let the Deacons and Elders open it” the rest of the way.

Since then a growing sense of wonder has accompanied the entire congregation. Wheeler finds himself in awe that “God would choose me to reveal this to.” Speaking with him leads directly to his acknowledgment that so many others in the church deserve the spotlight that this find tries to put him in the center of. He mentioned several faithful servants of God and the church in sharing the details of the story, reiterating each time their collective desire to be sure that none of them received credit for the excitement that the time capsule has generated. As a whole, the congregation wants two messages to take center stage as they unveil the capsule’s contents. The first of those messages is that “God’s Word and work are still relevant today,” and the other is that the congregants who buried this time capsule are the ones who deserve any credit that should be given. They are the giants in this story--those men and women who “paved the way, cleared the path for us to serve the Lord. We can’t carry their water,” Wheeler shared. Going on to quote the Biblical truth that “faith without works is dead,” he reiterated again just how indebted their whole congregation is to the church’s forefathers in having the foresight to not only bury the time capsule but to do so likely knowing that one day their legacy just might be used to cheer on a new generation of workers for the Kingdom. The whole purpose of those attending Christ Methodist Church is to draw others into a relationship with Jesus so that His service continues. That’s what they sensed was the desire of the church workers who placed the time capsule behind the cornerstone in the first place.

That’s their desire now--to continue that legacy. And, that’s the legacy they hope to leave behind in sharing this 100-year-old artifact with the community. Their ultimate desire is to simply share Jesus with whoever might be intrigued by their unique find. The Bible tells us, after all, in 1 Peter that a cornerstone has been laid down--a cornerstone chosen and precious. Without question, Jesus is the cornerstone this scripture refers to, and it is His great love for us that Christ Methodist Church has rested upon for the past 100 years. It’s no small miracle that their cornerstone contained a time capsule, in a sense, allowing parts of the congregations from the past to live on, a century into the future. And, they would be quick to tell you that it is a personal relationship with the chief Cornerstone--Jesus--that will allow all believers to live on into Eternity forever.

The final reveal of the time capsule’s contents will take place Sunday, March 17 at 10:35 a.m., at the church, located at 2335 Pollard Road, Ashland, KY 41101. Soup will be served for lunch following the service, and the time capsule will be fully opened at 12:30. The church would especially love to have anyone with connections to its past congregants in attendance, so they can share just how much it means to them that the work of those who have gone before has left a trail worth following. They are indebted to those on whose shoulders they currently stand.

BCMS Student Spearheads Stuffed Animal Drive to Benefit KY State Police, Post 14

BCMS Student Spearheads Stuffed Animal Drive to Benefit KY State Police, Post 14

Lora Parsons

The Ashland Beacon

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Gracie Justice, Boyd County Middle School 8th grader has a heart for service, a mind that can plan, and a never-quit attitude that our community has recently benefited from.  Justice has only one standard:  excellence, and she applies it to everything she does.  This time, that specifically means our local KY State Police--Post 14 and children in our community will be on the receiving end of what Justice put together. The short explanation of what she did was:  she spearheaded a stuffed animal drive at Boyd County Middle School.  But, the rest of the story illustrates the kind of student her teachers and peers know her to be.


In truth, the goal that Justice is trying to reach at this year’s upcoming KUNA conference in Louisville, began when she entered middle school as a 6th grader and joined the KYA/KUNA programs offered to students.  Sponsored by Melissa Prater, Library Media Specialist, and Dustin Adams, 8th grade Social Studies teacher, Justice was introduced to the world of mock government. KYA (Kentucky Youth Association), held each Fall, and KUNA (KY United Nations Assembly), held each Spring, are both sponsored by the YMCA. These provide students with an opportunity to work together to solve relevant, current, real-world problems collaboratively.  Through KYA, they write and attempt to pass bills into laws at the state level. And, through KUNA, they write resolutions to highlight an international issue from an assigned country (France this year, for BCMS). They present their final research and proposals to the student delegation, mimicking the law-making processes at both the state and international level. While BCMS has had incredible showings at these conferences, even receiving the Premier Delegation distinction in 2021, Prater said, “This year’s goal by Gracie sets the bar even higher as she is the first from our school to run for office. We’re so proud of what she’s trying to accomplish!”  What exactly is that goal of Gracie’s? To not just attend the conference and succeed as a delegation, but to, “Be in control of the whole thing.” Gracie has her sights set on holding one of the three presiding officer positions. Itching for a gavel in her hand, she claimed that she wants to “run the assembly, which includes gaveling people out for things like running out of time during their campaign speeches or for not addressing the Chair appropriately.”

While all students have the option of running for one of these prestigious positions, not all do the required leg-work to pave the way for actually becoming Secretary General, President of the United Nations General Assembly, or President of the Security Council.  At the conference this March, Justice will set up her tri-fold display board so others can get to know her and her platform on day one of the Assembly. She’ll give a campaign speech that evening that sponsors will use to narrow the field of candidates. The tri-fold boards of those who survive that cut will stay on display during day two of the conference, ending in a second speech from candidates. Voting then occurs on day three, choosing who will run the delegation the following year. As nerve-wracking as this may seem, Justice knows that “It’s worth it to reach the goal I’ve got.”  In addition to these requirements that will take place later this year, students wishing to run for office have to make the decision early and prepare ahead of time by organizing and carrying out a community service project.

To that end, Justice began thinking about her campaign platform months ago. She decided on three areas of interest to her: violence against children, gender equality, and quality education. Knowing that her community service project needed to be in alignment with one of these, she and her mom, Nancy Justice, began brainstorming. Gracie’s first thought was a clothing drive for The Neighborhood, but she realized it wasn’t quite on track with the platform she’d created.  In an attempt to tighten up her campaign purpose, she decided she would focus on doing something for children who were facing traumatic moments in their lives. A stuffed animal drive seemed perfect because it was something she and her peers could connect to. To help prepare for the drive, she proposed that Communication Arts students use their graphic design and communication skills to help her advertise. Having done this kind of work last semester when she was in that class, Gracie knew that an assignment of this kind would be perfect for current Communication Arts students. She needed them to write the announcement that would be read each morning and afternoon over the intercom by one of our principals, and she needed a way to advertise to the community through Facebook. Students eagerly got to work creating both of these. They were happy to help a fellow BCMS classmate, but they also knew the cause Gracie had chosen was a worthy one.  Their class work would potentially be used to help our local state police officers have stuffed animals on-hand they could give to small children they encountered in their work.

Trooper Shane Goodall stopped by BCMS to receive the donations and took some time to speak with Gracie and the other KUNA participants who helped gather and bag the stuffed animals that had been collected.  In expressing his gratitude on behalf of Post 14, he shared that enough plushies had been collected to place several in every road unit. He also pointed out they would “not only be used during domestic violence responses, but also traffic accidents, and other situations where smaller children might find themselves anxious, hurt, or scared.” While their exact destination may never be known, he assured students the stuffed animals would be a welcome addition for officers dealing with younger children, and the comfort they provided would be appreciated by the families involved. Taking the opportunity with this captive audience, he also stressed to students that the officers who serve our community are:  “Here for you all. We don’t want you to not like us or to be scared of us. Anything we can do to help you is what we’re here for.”

To say the students and staff at BCMS are proud of Gracie would be an understatement. I have full confidence that if given the opportunity, all 654 students, all BCMS staff, the troopers of KSP--Post 14, and the future children in our community who will benefit from her stuffed animal drive would all checkmark “Gracie Justice” on voting day!  Thank you, Gracie, for being an example to us all of serving others and for going “above and beyond” in everything you put your hands to!

Not in Our House! Rambow Archers Make Their Mark

Not in Our House! Rambow Archers Make Their Mark

Jarrod E. Stephens

The Ashland Beacon



Every competitive sport has its own uniqueness that makes it what it is. Ball sports and their raucous crowds and loud bands energize the competitors as they struggle to win. NASP archery is quite the opposite. It’s all about concentration and making the perfect shot.

NASP archery tournaments are quiet and organized to ensure clear concentration for the competitors. The only noise is the sound of arrows hitting the targets and the archer’s inner self-guiding each shot. Our region is home to some of the best archers in the state, and one local school district continued its streak of excellence at a tournament that it hosted.

At the conclusion of the Raceland Shootout, the message found on Coach Doug Burchett’s Facebook page said it best. “Not in Our House!” Burchett has been coaching the Rambow’s Archery team since 2006 and has set the bar of excellence that shines from elementary through the middle and high school teams. 

Several years ago, I asked Doug what he liked about archery. His answer was clear. “I just love working with the kids,” Burchett said. “I really wish I would have started working with kids earlier in my life.”

If you ever see Doug at archery practice or a NASP tournament, it won’t take you long to detect that his energy and enthusiasm for the sport are quite contagious. You will likely hear him singing with the archers as he lines them up for their flight.

For Doug and his teams, winning has become quite a tradition year after year. This season has been no exception. His Rambow Elementary team won first place in the tournament with a score of 2,956. The win gives them eight straight first-place finishes for the season. Two of the top 10 boys were Rambow team members as well as four of the top 10 girls.

Logan Erwin placed sixth with a score of 253, and teammate Hunter French placed eighth with a score of 248. For the girls, Lea Lizarraga placed first with a score of 269. Kendall Moore shot 256 which was good enough for third place. Bailee Dean shot a 248 and placed sixth while Calli Bentley shot 244 and placed 10th.

The winning for the Rambow Archers did not stop at the elementary level. Raceland’s Middle School Archery Team also placed first with a score of 3,132. Like the elementary team, several middle school archers placed in the top 10. First place was taken by Gatlin Stephens with a score of 284, and Caden Smith earned second place with a score of 279. Ninth and 10th places were also taken by Raceland archers. Jaden Corbin and Stephen Kesner both scored 269 which gave them the final two spots in the top 10. In the girl’s division, Lilah White claimed second place with a score of 279, and Eva Thomas placed fifth with a 268.

In the high school boy ranks, Billy Hughes placed fourth with a score of 283. In the high school girl division, Madison Hampton placed second with a score of 285.

Tradition runs deep in the Raceland archery family as many archers are the siblings of archers in the past. At present, the Raceland Elementary Archery team ranks sixth in the state and 16th nationally. Lea Lizarraga ranks 16th in elementary girls Kendall Moore ranks 46th.

The middle school team is currently ranked 40th in the state. Gatlin Stephens is ranked 11th in the state, and Caden Smith is ranked 28th in the state middle school boy’s division. Lilah White ranks 24th in middle school girls.

With nearly five weeks remaining before the NASP State Tournament in Louisville, the Raceland Archery Teams still have some opportunities to darken their mark on dominance in the region. While nothing in the future of competition is a given, one fact stands out. If you want to want a first-place archery trophy in Raceland, you are going to have to come take it because as coach Burchett put it, “Not in our house!”

Daring to Dream Students Showcase Entrepreneurial Spirit in Business Pitch Program

Daring to Dream

Students Showcase Entrepreneurial Spirit in Business Pitch Program

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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The Glockner Dare to Dream high school regional business pitch competition is underway! This annual event is held at Shawnee State University and provides area high school students with the opportunity to create a business idea and pitch it to a panel of judges for the chance to win thousands of dollars in prize money.

Prize money is divided equally among the winning team members and can be used on anything their hearts desire. This is a great way for local high school students to experience what being entrepreneurs is all about and encourages them to think outside the box and realize their ideas can be brought to life with hard work, dedication and discipline.

The Dare to Dream High School Pitch Competition will be celebrating its 11th year March 5 at 5 p.m. This year’s Glockner Dare to Dream Competition will be hosted by Shawnee State University inside the iconic Kricker Innovation Hub, which is a landmark facility that promotes entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.

The competition is open to the following counties in within the Tristate area: In the state of Ohio- Lawrence, Scioto, Pike, Gallia, Adams and Jackson counties. In the state of Kentucky- Lawrence, Boyd, Greenup and Carter counties. In the state of West Virginia- Wayne and Cabell counties.

Student groups consist of no less than three and no more than five members. Together, they come up with a business model to successfully pitch before a panel of judges. Each group’s presentation is limited to just five members, and rules states that every group member must participate in the presentation. The group must also include a Power Point with their presentation. At the end of the presentation, the panel of judges has five minutes to ask questions before they move on to the next team’s presentation. Once all student presentations have been made, the panel of judges will then go to deliberate and come to an agreement on who will advance to the next stage of the competition.

Last week, students in Boyd County High School’s FBLA program had the opportunity to pitch their business ideas to the esteem panel of judges during the first stage of the competition in hopes of earning the privilege to move on to the final stage of competition. Boyd County High School’s Business teacher, Logan Wallace, got started in the Dare to Dream program last year and decided to bring the opportunity to the students. Wallace shared, “It’s so much fun to see how their ideas flourish into successful businesses. I am just very proud of all the students and how much they put into their pitches. “

April Perry, CEO and Chair of Kentucky Farmers Bank, is also the Lead Judge for the Glockner Dare to Dream High School Regional Pitch Competition and has been involved with the program for 12 years. Perry shed light on the program, “I think this program is great for the students because it teaches them to solve problems. We tell them to find a problem and try and come up with a solution to solve it.”

In addition to problem sharing, Perry went on to add, “It also teaches them that they can take their ideas and turn it into something that they can go out and make money with. This hopefully encourages them that they can go out and create a new business and have it become successful. I think the Dare to Dream High School Pitch Competition is great for our community because we need small businesses. It’s the small businesses that are really the heart of our local community, and so these students learning how to take problems and develop solutions and then monetize them is just really great for our communities.”

Six teams competed from Boyd County High School in the hopes of advancing to the final round, but only two teams could move on. Parker Gibson, Chase Queen, Bryce Lemaster, and JK McKnight were the first team chosen to advance to the finals. They came up with a clever way to help college students pick the best roommate possible with their app called Roomie. Users of the Roomie app would be able to complete a short profile of questions that would help them be paired with potential roommates who share the same interests.

The second team from Boyd County to make it through to compete in the finals were called Over Again. Hallie Barnett, Taylor Bartrum, Faith Burnside, Holly Marcum, and Alex Martin came up with a unique way to turn trash into cash by recycling old pop cans and turning them into delicious smelling candles. In addition to candles, the group also found a way to make coasters from trees that had either fallen or lost large branches.

An alternate group was also chosen. The group consisted of Jacob Vanover, Jason Ellis, Audrey Biggs, Haleigh Steele and Natalee Ruggles. They came up with a really cool way to offer students at BCHS an alternative to unhealthy drinks such as soda pop. The group started a smoothie making business called The Mixer- Smoothies and had already received an overwhelmingly positive response from the students.

Boyd County High School’s winning teams will advance to the finals March 5 where they will have one last chance to perfect their presentations in the hopes of being this year’s Dare to Dream winner.

Ashland Beacon Brings Home First Place at the Annual KPA Awards

Ashland Beacon Brings Home First Place at the Annual KPA Awards

Sasha Bush

The Ashland Beacon

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   If you want to be the best… then you have to beat the best! That’s exactly what the staff of The Greater Ashland Beacon accomplished recently when they brought home that coveted first place editorial award for being named the best newspaper in the “Weekly 1” category at the Kentucky Press Association annual awards ceremony.

   Coming in first place is no small feat in this category because the competition was fierce. Second place went to The Falmouth Outlook, which was founded in 1907. Third place went to The Bourbon County Citizen, which is one of the oldest newspapers in the state of Kentucky and dates back more than 200 years.

   With a dedicated team of reporters, photographers, editors, ad designers, layout artists, and salespeople, The Greater Ashland Beacon brought home a total of 18 awards in the “General Excellence” category. Here is a breakdown of the awards that our talented staff brought home….

   It was a clean sweep for the category of “Best Enterprise/Analytical Story as our Editor Deidra Bowling-Meade, snagged first and second place for her articles on Blazer High School’s Criminal Justice Class and her article on the Harpers and how they embrace each day with change. Coming in for the third-place spot is one of our newest reporters, Gwen Akers for her article on the school transportation in Boyd County. Deidra Bowling-Meade also brough home second place in the category of Best Business/Agribusiness story.

   James Collier, our dedicated sportswriter snagged a first award in Best Sports Story for his compelling article about one local teen’s comeback from injury.

   The Greater Ashland Beacon also had a clean sweep in the category of Best Sports Picture. Kim Cole-Young, one of our newest photographers, brough home first place for a spectacular baseball photo. Sarah Christian, a long-time Beacon photographer, snagged the second-place spot and Larry Boggs, who has been one of the Beacon’s photographers since its founding, brought home third place in this category.

   The category of Best Sports Picture Essay has always been one that our staff has done well in, and this year was no different. Coming in first place was Philip and Lora Stewart for their great coverage of the girls’ basketball state tournament run. Lora Stewart also took the second-place category in this category for her adorable collection of young t-ball players just enjoying a day on the field.

   Sasha Bush, our Associate Editor brought home quite a few awards, including first and second place in the Best Use of Social Media/Multimedia category. Second place in the Best Video category went to both Bush for her creative video and Tim Lacey for his amazing photos of local cheer national champions. Bringing home third place in the Best Video category was Lora Stewart and Sasha Bush with their collaboration of coverage for the local little leagues 2023 season. Sasha also brought home a third-place finish in the Best Feature Picture category for her heartwarming photos of a solider embracing his children for the first time in months.

   Melissa Hamilton, our very talented Graphic Designer, and staff came in second place in the category of Best Special Section/Sports Special Section for our annual Christmas magazine.

   First place for Best Sports Page/Section went to our amazing sports staff for the impressive layout, catchy lede and high-quality photos. Another first place award was seized by the talented Kimberly Smith, our Chief Layout Artist and Lora Stewart for the eye-catching layout and design of our annual Pink Paper that we do each year in honor of breast cancer awareness.

   But we aren’t done yet… those awards were just the ones that the Greater Ashland Beacon was awarded for the category of editorial excellence. In addition to taking the first-place excellence award for best weekly one paper in the state we also took second place for advertising… bringing home a total of nine awards!

   Melissa Hamilton was the queen of this category as she brought home a total of five awards which includes the following… first place in the categories of Best Real Estate Ad, second place in the category of Best Department/Discount Jewelry Ad as well as second place for Best Food/Alcohol Ad. Melissa Hamilton alongside Philip Stewart and staff also took the first place award for Best Special Section/Magazines for the annual 2022 Christmas magazine. Coming in second in the same category was Sasha Bush, Lora Stewart, and Philip Stewart for the tedious work they did bringing the spring sports magazine to life.

   Philip Stewart snagged a first-place award of his own in the category of Best Entertainment/Dining Ad for his eye-catching design of the Creative Cow Ice Cream shop ad. Adding to the collection of first place awards… Sasha Bush also took first place for the category of Best Online Digital Ad. Sasha Bush, Philip Stewart, and Lora Stewart also placed second in the category of Best Cover for their spring sports magazine. Melissa Hamilton and Charlie Billips took the third-place award for the same category.

   Shewww…. what a year it has been and none of this would have been made possible without you… our dedicated readers and advertisers! The Greater Ashland Beacon continues to be a shining light for sharing all that is positive in our little community. Thank you for always supporting us and providing us with top notch content to write about and capture. We look forward to what this next year brings and can’t wait to see what we can do at the next Kentucky Press Associations Annual Awards show.