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Local author publishes second novel

By Shirley Shuman
Readers who enjoyed Andrea Tonkin’s first novel can look forward to reading more from the local writer soon. Tonkin will have a book signing for her second novel, Standing on the Edge, in the Bulk Food Store Café at Flatwoods Mall Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Standing on the Edge is set, Tonkin said, “in small town West Virginia” and includes “some history of our state as well as local history.” Tonkin noted that she finds it interesting to research landmarks in our county and include what she finds in her novels. “Some of the background information readers will learn is about the Sutton Dam,” she commented, and went on to say, “First of all the physical aspect of its size is amazing but also what a beautiful asset it is to our state.”
Asked about the main character or characters of the novel, Tonkin explained that, because there are “two corresponding story lines that eventually intertwine, there are really five main characters.” Luke, Jenalyn, and Mr. Johnson are the headliners in the main story. Larry and Addison are the main characters in the sub-story, she noted.
The plot, the author explained, is about choices. “In our personal relationships, and in marriage in particular,” she said, “choosing love, commitment, and devotion is a choice. Men and women are intricately different. This is how God designed us. You can choose to see your spouse’s differences as a flaw or as a strength.” Tonkin commented that the story line brings Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” to mind. “The road you take and choices you make, that is all the difference,” she said.
In the novel, Luke is a young man who wants commitment from the woman he loves. However, the young woman has been hurt in a previous relationship and isn’t willing to take that road again. Then, Luke meets an older, wiser gentleman named Mr. Johnson, who has tremendous insight into relationships and the humor in them. The older man helps the younger look at his relationship with Jenalyn in a new light. He also forces Luke to question his own motives in the way he treats her.
Tonkin explained that the idea for Standing on the Edge “came from observing those around [her] and, of course, from personal experience.” She added, “In general, I don’t believe people realize how much personal experience plays in the minds of writers. For example, who would believe that Cujo by Stephen King came from attempting to drop off his motorcycle to have work done on it and this huge St. Bernard came out of a barn and scared him to death?” Continuing, Tonkin noted tht the dog, according to its owner, was friendly but “hated King.”
Using another example of personal experiences that build into something larger, she cited country songwriter Alan Jackson, who says that all the songs he has written are based, at least in part, on personal experiences. “You take some small situation, and you build on that. You do what fits,” Tonkin noted.
Although she began writing this novel in January, she actually had the general outline “a bit longer than that.” Explaining more about her writing process, Tonkin said, “I always know the beginning and ending of my novels and then I fill in the in-between.” She also noted that she usually writes at night but has had “to try to change that habit” because “If I’m not careful, I can begin writing at 8 p.m., planning to write for only a few hours but lose track of time.” She added, “Six hours can pass, and I feel as though I’ve been at it only two hours,”
Tonkin’s first novel was published in 2013. Explaining why she hasn’t written sooner, she said simply, “Life happened.” She does, however, plan to commit “to a more regulated writing time and keep it.” Noting that writing “requires self-motivation and dedication,” she added, “Writing is therapeutic for me.” As support for that statement, she said that she wrote the first novel “with no intention of publishing.” However, some of her friends read it, and each urged her to publish it. “My readers really motivate me,” she commented.
Obviously entranced with the idea of writing, Tonkin urges anyone who has thought of writing to do so. She often encourages them to journal because, she says, “Writing is good for the soul” and adds, “Memory is a tricky thing: it often forgets. Words put to page remind you. They renew you.”

Local healthcare student
reflects on experience at BCMH

Braxton County Memorial Hospital continues to serve as an educational site for healthcare students completing their clinical rotations. Katie Flint of Gassaway is one such individual. She says, “My practicum time at BCMH / Braxton Community Health Center has been a great experience. Erin has been a wealth of knowledge and the entire staff have been so helpful.” Board Certified Family Nurse Practitioner, Erin King, served as preceptor for Katie during her clinical rotation at BCMH. Katie also extends a ‘special thank you’ to Dr. Russ Stewart, Dr. Stephanie Frame, and Dr. Doug Given for including her in the clinic and allowing her the opportunity to see some of their patients as well. She says, “Thank you to all the patients who allowed me to care for them. The experience of clinical hours is vital in piecing together the information learned through the classroom! So again - thank you for giving me the opportunity and welcoming me so graciously!”
Katie originally graduated from Glenville State College / WVU with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2001. She has worked as a Registered Nurse in a hospital setting, and transitioned into an administrative / supervisory role for the last five years. She will graduate with a Master of Science degree through WV Wesleyan’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program this December. She says, “I look forward to the advancement in my education with the prospects of working as a Family Nurse Practitioner, and hopefully serve our community.” When asked about her family and hobbies, Katie says, “I have a wonderfully supportive husband and four active children. My hobby is having my face in a book or being a cheerleader at my kids’ sporting events!”
With her bright smile and friendly yet professional demeanor, Katie has been a pleasure to work with, according to her co-workers The staff of Braxton County Memorial Hospital extends best wishes to Katie Flint in all her future endeavors!

Sutton man charged with
possession of counterfeit money

Carl A. Payne, Jr. of Sutton has been charged with possession of counterfeit money with intent to deliver.
According to the criminal complaint, on November 22, Braxton 911 dispatch received a complaint of someone purchasing a trailer using counterfeit money. West Virginia State Police SR/TRP G.H. Jones responded to the call and met with the victim. He told the officer that he had met with Payne at the Sunoco in Little Birch where he received a $100 bill for a trailer. The victim also showed the officer Facebook messages setting up the trade.
When the victim tried to use the $100 bill to purchase gasoline at Go-Mart, the cashier stated the bill was counterfeit.
WVSP TFC L.D. Mohr was able to locate Payne, and the trailer in question, at his residence. Payne informed the officer that he had taken the $100 bill from his son due to it being a fake. He stated he forgot it was a counterfeit bill when he went to purchase the trailer and had used it.
Payne was released on a $10,000 cash, surety bond set by Braxton County Magistrate David Singleton.

Dominion donates to charitable groups including Mountaineer Food Bank

Dominion Resources once again marked the holiday season by providing more than $1 million in grants to help feed, shelter and care for people in need across the company’s footprint. Donations will be shared by 140 non-profit organizations that provide critical community services in 13 states including West Virginia through Mountaineer Food Bank. This is the second year that Dominion has given more than $1 million in Critical Community Needs grants (https://www.dom.com/corporate/our-commitments/community/charitable-giving-and-the-dominion-foundation/critical-community-needs-grants) through its charitable arm, the Dominion Foundation.
“While the Dominion Foundation works year-round to support worthy charitable causes, these grants are earmarked for programs that deliver the basic necessities, such as safe shelter, nutritious meals and medical care, to people in our communities.” said Hunter A. Applewhite, president of the Dominion Foundation. “It is especially fitting during the holidays that we support organizations that are improving lives and building greater stability in the places we call home.”
A $25,000 grant was awarded to the Mountaineer Food Bank’s Produce Just-In-Time project. The program will focus on decreasing hunger in West Virgina, and increase access to healthy and fresh foods. Produce deliveries to the food bank will be timed to coincide with regular food distribution to those in need.
Other organizations in West Virginia receiving grants include a $12,500 grant to the Big Creek People-In-Action of War, W.Va., that will be used for critical housing rehabilitation needs in McDowell County. That area has the lowest standard of housing in the state and the funds will be used to make critical repairs for low income and elderly residents.
A $10,000 grant to the Covenant House of Charleston, to aid in its efforts to reduce homelessness and improve food security. In 2015, Covenant House welcomed near 40,000 visitors to the Drop In Center in Charleston and provided AIDS outreach to 22 of West Virginia’s southernmost counties
A $15,000 grant will go to the Old Man Rivers Mission in Parkersburg, to provides food for the homeless, disabled and impoverished, serving approximately 560 families a month. The grant will be used to install an emergency generator to keep the Mission operational in the event of a power outage.
A $7,000 grant was awarded to the Pocahontas County Senior Citizens to assist with the nutritional and social needs of the senior population of the county. The grant will help the center reach out to those who are isolated or alone with meals and socialization and support ongoing programs at the senior centers.
A $10,000 grant goes to the Rea of Hope Fellowship Home, Inc., in Charleston for its Safe Housing and Employment Support Program for women. The ROH works with other agencies to provide safe housing, GED preparation, job readiness programs and other support programs.
A $5,000 grant was awarded to the Tri-County Help Center in St. Clairsville, Ohio, to provide essential needs to the victims of domestic violence who are attempting start over. Victims in Belmont County in Ohio and Brooke, Marshall and Wetzel Counties in West Virginia will have access to basic household needs when leaving shelters and starting out on their own.
A $7,500 grant was presented to Wheeling Health Right, Inc., in New Martinsville, to continue to provide free dental care for those in the Northern Panhandle who otherwise would be unable to afford emergency care. The funds will enable the clinic to provide additional services and outreach.
An $8,000 grant was awarded to the World Changers in Calhoun County, to provide meals to children in need on weekends and holidays when school is not in session. The program utilizes three county schools to feed nearly 100 students.

Send your letter to Santa to the
Braxton Citizens’ News

Make your list and check it twice! Dear Boys and Girls, Mrs. Claus and I are once again happy to name the Citizens' News as our official headquarters to receive your letters to Santa. This is the 40th consecutive year the nice folks at your county's largest newspaper have been helping us. The Citizens' News tells me that, as in the past, they will print your letter and a picture of you at no charge, as space permits, between now and Christmas. Just send your letters to me at:
Santa Claus 
c/o Citizens' News
P.O. Box 516, Sutton, WV 26601
Don't forget to write soon, I'll be checking my list to see who's been naughty and who's been nice. Santa Claus
Letter and pictures may also be received by email, send them to editor@bcn-news.com

Tales from the Brush

By: Bradley Shingler
The first week of rifle season in this beautiful state is a magical time. I whole heartedly believe it should be a state holiday. This year was no exception in regards to magic. Finally, luck was a lady. Either that or bad luck was busy elsewhere and left me alone.
Regardless of what anyone else says, taking a whitetail buck is luck. Period. True, you can add or take away from your area to improve your odds, but a free ranging whitetail deer is as fickle as the wind on a ridge. The wind Monday was constant, cold and miserable. There were gusts around 20 mph that made my sit particularly fun. I sat on stand shaking my head thinking ‘here we go again’. Every shot I heard caused my stomach to knot a little more. It was better for some than me however.
Justin Rose, his father Tony and our farm elder, Kirby Jones were in the right place at the right time and all 3 harvested bucks the first morning. Justin and Tony were sweet enough again this year to allow me to field dress their deer. I went home that night with my tag still in hand. If I may, let me describe my relationship with Justin Rose. He is 36 and I am 35. Technically, we are the world’s oldest teenagers. We laugh at each other’s jokes, constantly try and gross the other one out and gossip about everything we hear. So if I had to nail us down with a description, I’d say we are like old women at a beauty shop with terrible gas.
Tuesday was more of the same, minus the wind. I got home that night still clutching the tag I started the season with. Wednesday, however, would be much more kind to me. Justin and I were sitting on stand doing what we always do, laughing and cutting up. Does and yearlings filed in and out browsing on greenery. Shortly after a rather loud outburst of giggling and coughing, Justin looked on the hill and said ‘there comes a dandy Brad’. And man he wasn’t kidding. The scene reminded me of something you would see on the Outdoor Channel. Our very own Prince of the Forrest stepped out in the clearing. I immediately drew down on him and fired. The shot was true (as all of mine are) and he was down.
I have often heard folks speak of ‘ground shrinkage’. That is where you get to your animal and it isn’t as big as what you believed it to be. This was the total opposite. The closer I got to him, the bigger he became. I stood there, mouth agape, staring in disbelief at the biggest buck I had ever taken. Then the shakes set in. The smile on my face was the kind I make when I hear of Lincoln being good to classmates. It’s a smile of pride. I can’t quote Justin here, but I assure you he was congratulating me. I am the only person that might have been as happy as he was.
As I sit here typing this, I really can’t imagine next year being better than this one. So much can happen in a year. I am sure I will be sitting here 12 months from now wondering how the most recent first week could be out done. That is the thing about magic, it always has you wondering how…….



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