Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript

Watch This space for information on upcoming events in Susquehanna County.

Issue Home January 7, 2003 Site Home

Along The Way... With P. Jay
Slices Of Life
100 Years Ago
Straight From Starrucca

Along The Way... With P. Jay

Some Crime Stats

If you do not think the Susquehanna County’s District Attorney’s Office is busy better think again. Statistical information dealing with crimes in the county focuses on a total of 344 crimes that were prosecuted here in 2001. In addition, some crimes were committed in 2001 that have not yet been prosecuted. Moreover, not all of the crimes processed through the DA’s office in 2001 are factored into the 2001 Crime Statistics for Susquehanna County.

In fact, First Assistant DA Jason Legg said the total number of crimes processed in 2001 may actually exceed 500. As I said in the beginning, if you do not think the DA’s office is busy, think again.

The Crime Statistics Report is very interesting. Let me share some of the information with you. The report breaks the crimes into various categories, including types, locations, ages of offenders and other interesting findings.

Charts included in the report show that Bridgewater Township and the Borough of Montrose are the most highly crime-inflicted areas of the county. But the report suggests that the high crime rates are probably due to the fact that Montrose is the most populated borough in the county.

Of the 344 crimes that were the subject of the report, 200 were committed in townships, 134 in boroughs, and 10 in unspecified areas. Montrose topped the list with 43 crimes, followed by Bridgewater with 39. Lenox and Great Bend townships tied for third, with 23 each, followed by New Milford Borough with 21 and Forest City Borough with 20. All of the other boroughs and townships were far back.

Only five of the 40 boroughs and townships in the county were crime free in 2001. They included the townships of Harmony, Jessup, Lathrop, Oakland and Thompson. Middletown Twp. and Friendsville Borough had one criminal incident each.

The most frequently committed crime in the county during 2001 was theft and the culprits in more than half the crimes were people under 25 and most between the ages of 18 and 25. The oldest person processed for committing a crime in the county during 2001 was 76.

The second most common crime in the county in 2001 was driving under the influence of alcoholic beverages. Some 34 percent of those arrested for drunk driving were between the ages of 18 and 25.

While drugs are believed to be readily available throughout the county, drug related crimes only accounted for 14.5 percent of the crimes committed during 2001. As might be expected, the leading age group for all drug crimes is also between the ages of 18 and 25.

There were 28 violent crimes in the county in 2001 and only three were sexually related. One was a rape and the other two were statutory sexual assaults. Altogether, sex crimes made up less than one percent of the total crimes in the county.

Peeking at politics

Susquehanna County’s three auditors are expected to seek new terms this year. The dynamic trio includes Republicans Holly Tyler and George Starzec and Democrat Clara Jane Brown.

Some new names are being bandied about as the list of wannabe county commissioners continues to grow.

Latest entries are in the Democratic column where MaryAnn Warren of New Milford Borough and Katherine Shelly of Thompson Township are expected to enter the Democratic primaries next Spring.

Mrs. Warren is a member of the Milford Borough Council and has been affiliated with the Susquehanna County Chamber of Commerce since its inception. Ms. Shelly is an attorney and has also been an active environmentalist for a number of years.

The more we put our ear to the ground, the more we keep hearing that Commissioner Gary Marcho will not be a candidate for reelection. When his term is up at the end of this year, he will have served almost 11 years as a commissioner so he will leave with a pension –when he reaches retirement age- and paid lifetime health insurance, which segues me into the following little gem.

Attorneys who hold part-time county jobs receive benefits including health insurance and enrollment in the county’s pension program and are not required to be union members. However, other part-time county employees are required to pay monthly union dues and do not qualify for any benefits. Why is this practice allowed to continue year-after-year in Susquehanna County?

Back to Top

Slices of Life

Cleaning Up

There comes that time when it’s no longer feasible to indiscriminately keep shoving stuff into already full drawers, under the beds, into the attic or the basement. Eventually you have no idea what you have, or where to find what you do know you have. I’m there!

As soon as the Christmas rush was over and New Year had come and gone, I began to pull apart the dining room. Drawers that could be used for linens and other serving related items were piled high with mementos, reel to reel tapes, old cameras, outdated calendars and assorted things that I hadn’t used in years and probably wouldn’t use again.

I started three boxes; one said "Christmas Department Store," one said "yard sale", and the last one was marked, "garbage." Now we’re getting somewhere.

As I’m working in the dining room, a serviceman is shampooing my kitchen carpet. He finishes that quickly and with time to spare, he agrees to do two more rooms before he leaves. I can’t believe my good fortune.

But cleaning up is not just about things. It also means ruminating over long-held beliefs and opinions. Do some of them need re-examined and maybe even discarded? Are there new and better ones to take their places? Has more information come to light on particular issues since we accepted an old belief?

In the last category, my mind immediately goes to the retractions the pharmaceutical and health care fields have made this year. The big one for us women was the back-pedaling on hormone replacement therapy after the enthusiasm with which it was prescribed a decade ago. The newer blood pressure medications came under scrutiny this week for, in some cases, being no better and much more expensive than the diuretics that have been on the market for years. And orthoscopic knee surgery was being questioned as sometimes being no more effective than placebo surgery.

Interesting to me in all this hoopla was that when I wrote a story some time ago about the high cost of medications, a well-known local doctor sent me information on how the pharmaceutical companies were "encouraging" doctors to prescribe these expensive medications. It was his contention that many of the older, less-expensive drugs (no longer under patent!) were equally as effective.

Embarrassing to me, as I inspected my beliefs, were judgments made where, in the end, I had to say, "I was wrong." Anyone who has made that admission knows how hard it is to say those three little words. We all want to think that we are right on every issue. Well, in many cases right and wrong are not absolute, and we might as well let go of that ardently defended belief that we know it all.

This year I will try to clean out more of the prejudices from my life. Replace some of the anger with joy. Give up the no-nonsense attitude and substitute more whimsy. And while I will probably never get over the dread of shopping, I do intend to clean out my overworked closet with its outdated clothes and emerge in finery almost as stylish and abundant as that of Vanna White. And if you believe that one, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you. Happy New Year!

Back to Top

100 Years Ago – 1902-2002

SUSQUEHANNA: Miss Louise Curtis has been elected principal of the Gibson school, to fill out the unexpired term of Prof. Ernest Tiffany, who resigned on account of ill health. AND: Messrs. Manning Thompson and Howard Collins have gone with the Alonzo Hatch moving picture company for a 20-week trip.

ARARAT: It is understood that N.L. Walker will take a clerkship in the office of the Secretary of Internal Affairs, at Harrisburg, made vacant by the death of the late B.H. Prizer.

FOREST LAKE: We think our stage driver, Mr. Winner, is rightly named, as he has won our neighbor, Mrs. Ella Hollis and on Sunday morning the happy couple went to Apalachin, N.Y. where they were united in marriage by Rev. G.D. Fisher. They were attended by Miss Helen Howell and Myron Campbell of Apalachin. May peace and happiness follow them through life.

UPSONVILLE: Jerry Banker is attending the meeting of the American Devon Cattle Club at West Chester, Pa. He is recognized as one of the very foremost among the breeders of Devons in this country. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of this association for 16 years and president of the same association for 6 years.

MONTROSE: E.H. True, who has lighted his store for several months by means of a private acetylene plant, will be obliged to remove his plant in order to maintain the insurance on his store and goods, as the insurance company have entered protest. Since the explosion of the plant at the Jay House, New Milford, the feeling against private gas plants has deepened, and in this case it undoubtedly precipitated matters.

FOREST CITY: George Goodman, who has been boring for coal on the Watt-Williams tract above Forest City, found evidence of a very valuable mineral deposit and has purchased the tract, which comprises several hundred acres. The core shows the coal to be of very excellent quality and the vein of good thickness. The property, which it is said brought a goodly sum, has already been transferred to Mr. Goodman, and, it is said, he will soon begin the erection of a large breaker. The colliery will be at the extreme north of the anthracite coal field. AND: Mr. and Mrs. John Muchitz, of Austria, parents of Martin Muchitz, arrived in Forest City on Christmas eve and will hereafter make their home with their son. It was a happy Christmas for this family that had been reunited after so many years.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Thursday afternoon a party of 25 started from this vicinity, their destination being Asa Coleman's near Herrickville, Bradford Co. Oysters were served and dancing indulged in until the wee small hours. Breakfast was served and all returned to their homes, reporting a fine time.

CLIFFORD: Clifford's new club, which is proving such an important spoke in the social wheel, has at last received a name. It is to be known as the "Knogrowold" and has chosen the following officers, president, Doctor J.W. Edwards; vice president, L.E. Taylor; secretary Miss Ruth Miller; treasurer, P.A. Rivenburg; executive committee, Miss Ella Maude Stewart, Mrs. P.A. Rivenburg, Messrs, E.G. Greene, W.M. Bennett, and Dr. Edwards. The club meets at Finn's hall every Tuesday night and plans ping pong, etc.

EAST BRIDGEWATER: In Los Angeles, Cal., Dec. 28th, Fred A. Baldwin entered into his rest. He was the son of Geo. H. Baldwin, dec. and Paulina (Tiffany) Baldwin, and was 37 years of age at his decease. His father died when Fred was a mere lad, and his early life was spent with his mother on the old homestead farm of his grandfather, the late Matthew Baldwin, deceased, in East Bridgewater, locally known as the "Baldwin Hill." When Fred became of age he followed Horace Greely's advice to young men and went West. For the greater part of 16 years he has resided in western Arizona. A few months ago consumption developed and he was directed by his attending physician to go to Southern California, where the end came.

LAWSVILLE CENTRE: A quantity of buckwheat and chickens were stolen last Saturday night from Frank Travis' and Webb Hollenback's. The perpetrators were found and we trust severely punished.

HARFORD: The band will hold a masquerade and box social at Odd Fellows' Hall, Wednesday evening, Jan. 28. Ladies are requested to bring a box with lunch for two.

NEW SUSQUEHANNA COUNTY OFFICIALS: At the Court House this week the new officials have settled down to work. R.N. Brush assumed the duties of the Sheriff's office. G.E. McKune, of Harmony, M.J. Lannon, of Susquehanna, and A.O. Tiffany, of Dimock, are in the Commissioners' office. P.H. Lines, of Great Bend, was here to take charge of the Treasurer's office. He will be here part of the time and when he is not here, W.A. Titsworth will attend to his matters. T.W. Atkinson, U. Kinney and M.J. Lee, the board of auditors, are right busy at the County accounts. B.B. Buffum commences his second term in the Register's office. Deputy Sheriff Leonard, who thoroughly understands the Sheriff's office and its affairs, is retained; and W.A. Titsworth, the same, as Commissioner's clerk; and W.N. Barnes, deputy Register.

OAKLEY: The latest news is that Oakley is to be connected with Kingsley by a telephone line, in the near future.

NEWS BRIEFS: A few drops of oil of lavender poured into a glass of very hot water will purify the air of a room almost instantly from cooking odors. The effect is especially refreshing in a sick room. AND: The return of the miners to work resulted in a marriage boom such as the region never before experienced. Since the settlement of the strike over 400 licenses to marry have been issued in Luzerne county alone. AND: The assault on one Republican by another on county committee day (last Saturday), wherein a good umbrella was smashed on the offender's head, was a mild illustration of the brotherly unity and good will among our Republican neighbors. While some heads are not of much account, perhaps good umbrellas are valuable. AND: An exchange announces that "the United States leads the world in furnishing armor for battleships and corsets." That's no joke; it's the truth.

Back to Top


THREE AREA SERVICE POSTS Honored With "Combat Flags" (The following was compiled with the help of Robert Franks, Quartermaster of the Great Bend Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 6223): Several months ago the VFW Post was honored by the presence of Gregory Sheer, USAF Major. Major Sheer has been a pilot during Desert Storm, Bosnia, and Afghanistan. At present he is headed to Qutar, on the Saudi Arabian Peninsula. He is the crew chief of a KC–135 R of the 99th Air Refueling Squadron called "RamRods." Motto of the group is, "Nobody Kicks A--S With Tanker Gas."

Prior to leaving the post, Major Sheer was presented three American flags by Mr. Franks, which the major took with him on flying missions over Afghanistan supporting operation "Enduring Freedom." These missions show America’s dedication and devotion to duty in the fight against global terrorism.

Upon his return recently to Musa-Stiles VFW Post 6223, Great Bend, major Sheer presented the post one of the flags that "flew with him" to Senior Vice Commander, Jim Willson, along with a Certificate of Authenticity. He also presented one of the flags to Ken Westcott of the Hallstead–Great Bend American Legion Post and the third one to Lee Slater, a member of the Strider-Teskey Post 86, Susquehanna, who later presented the flag to Post Commander Peter Janicelli, at a regular meeting on December 18. Each flag will carry the Certificate of Authenticity.

Prior to leaving, Major Sheer, in a stirring speech, gave a talk about the US involvement in that area called "Enduring Freedom."

The VFW Post is very proud of the major, as he is a life-member of the post with his last remark being, "We are not only comrades, but also friends."

(NOTE: Major Gregg is stationed at Warner Robins AFB in Georgia; his mother and stepfather, Donna and Bill Ball reside in Great Bend, being neighbors of Quartermaster Franks. The major is a graduate of Honesdale High School. He has ties in Susquehanna, where he once resided. He is a dedicated serviceman, being in his 20th year of military life.)

The certificate reads: "This flag, dedicated to the Strider-Teskey American Legion Post 86, Susquehanna, was flown by a KC-135 R crew from the 340th Expeditionary Air Refueling Squadron over Afghanistan on a combat mission supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. These efforts show America’s dedication and steadfast devotion to duty in the fight against global terror, and the vindication of the thousands of innocent people that perished during the World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. May God grant them and their families peace.

Gregory Scheer, Major, USAF

Director of Operations, 340 EARS

COMBINE THE TWO: I have been asked to answer the letter to the Transcript from former residents Jim and Mary (Casey) Bradstreet, now living in Las Vegas. Mr. Bradstreet is a former Susquehanna Boro secretary.

Since Mr. (Izzy) Benson’s letter asking to merge the ‘Centennial and the school reunions, I have been in contact with members of the Reunion committee. In a "nutshell," it is an impossibility at this time to change the date of the reunion. It has been a standard date every year – first Saturday in June – thus those that attended last year’s function, no doubt have already made plans for the "First Saturday in June." Vacations may have been set, plus other details that had to be attended to prior to the reunion. No doubt arrangements have been made for lodging, etc. Also another BIG reason is that the Iron Horse hall has been reserved for that date; the band has been reserved for that date also.

The committee informed me that about 225 people attended last year’s reunion. All of them would have to be notified of the change. "No way," said the committee. It’s a shame this wasn’t thought of about three years ago, and I am sure the committee would have agreed. The paperwork is enormous, just to contact those that attended past reunions in addition to the classes to be honored.

It sure would have been nice to combine the two; "Maybe next time!"

WOMEN BOWLERS Score High: Some scores bowled at Riverside Lanes by members of the Women’s League are mighty good. Recently Shari Girton ripped the pins in the Mike Tarbox Memorial League on games of 206, 239 and 247, a 692 total. (I’m not sure, but the 692 may be the highest total ever bowled at the Riverside Lanes by a woman.)

At the time of her 692, Shari was averaging 171 as a member of the Dave Dibble Construction team.

Other high totals: Shari Girton 659; Barb Wolf 626 and 638; Mary Spencer 606, 607; Melanie Lee 600; Carrie Towner 237, 583; Barb Wolf 245 and 214; Teresa Felter 570.

IN THE MAIL: Clarence "Izzy" Benson, one of our subscribers living in Columbia, SC, has informed this writer that he also was in attendance at the boxing match I referred to in my brother’s (A.J. "Puff" Parrillo) tribute. Izzy said, "I also saw them fights. They were held in an old theater in Binghamton, around 1938-39. The fights were promoted by the British Relief Fund and were called "British Gloves." Other lads from Susquehanna participating were Jack Carrington and Billy Mauro. (Thank you, Izzy.)

A LAUGH OR TWO... A lawyer was riding in his limousine when he saw a family eating grass by the side of the road. He ordered his driver to stop the car. "Why are you eating grass?" he asked the father.

"We don’t have any money for food," the man replied.

"Come along with me, then," the lawyer said.

"But sir," the man said, "I have a wife and two children."

"Bring them along," the lawyer replied.

The family climbed into the limousine. The poor man said, "Sir, you are extremely kind. Thank you."

The lawyer replied, "No problem. My grass at home is almost two inches tall."

A woman goes into the post office to buy stamps for her Christmas cards. "What denomination?" the clerk asked.

"Oh, good heavens! Have we come to this?" the woman asks. "Well, give me 50 Catholic and 50 Baptist."

What’s a good holiday tip? Never catch snowflakes with your tongue until all the birds have gone south for the winter.

Back to Top

Straight From Starrucca

I thought the Christmas snowstorm might have marooned my sisters, Jean and Betty and husband, Bob but the plucky man next door, Jean’s son-in-law, came for us in his front wheel drive car, and with the bottom of the car dragging on the snow and some careful maneuvering, we were able to meet our deadline reservation for Christmas dinner.

My other concern was for my son, Nelson, who was to leave with his wife and granddaughter the day after Christmas for a vacation in Florida. The afternoon of the storm it took him three and a half hours to go ten miles from work to home. He called from Frackville, Thursday p.m., off 81. They were on their way.

I got here in a roundabout way on Tuesday, the 24th. Daughter Nancy picked me up in Starrucca and drove me to Allentown exit where my sister, Betty was waiting for me. From there to Lansdale, where I stayed overnight. On Tuesday a.m. took off for a two-hour trip to York.

On the way over, the first thing caught my eye was a mushroom cloud of smoke (?) coming from the nuclear plant at Limerick, PA. In Boyertown we were near Madeline Thorn’s grandson-in-law’s place of business. Further on we saw signs for Ephrata, where "The Cloisters" intrigued my husband and I many years ago. Another sign was for Mountville, where I believe a former Starrucca resident now lives. We crossed the Susquehanna River at Columbia and wondered how long it took that water to come from Susquehanna. We passed so many car lots with hundreds of cars. (Wonder what they do with the ones they don’t sell?) Before we reached York, we passed a home in the shape of a shoe. It was an interesting ride, but I was so exhausted had to stay home from Christmas Eve service.

Back home in Starrucca, the funeral service was held for Gary Williams on Saturday, December 21, in the Methodist Church, with Rev. Grove of the Baptist Church conducting the service to a packed auditorium with standing room only. Since I was not there I cannot describe the military aspect, only to say there was a twenty-one gun salute in Gary’s honor. His remains will be interred in the Starrucca Cemetery in the spring. Dinner was served in the Baptist social rooms. Gary will be sorely missed by family and friends, and I send my deepest sympathy to them.

I’m told the luminaries were placed along the roads but were soon covered with two feet of snow. They must have looked nice while the snow piled up around them.


Back to Top

News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe