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Issue Home August 9, 2005 Site Home

100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the D.A.
Straight From Starrucca
The Healthy Geezer

Food For Thought

100 Years Ago

CLIFFORD: Royal Base ball boys had a very good game last Saturday with the Harrison House pets of Carbondale. Score--Carbondale 10 and Royal 7. If the dirty work of one or two Carbondale players was cut out, Royal would have won by a big score. Royal will play East Benton, at East Benton, next Saturday, Aug. 12th.

FLYNN: This place has organized a ball team for the remainder of the summer. They will be heard from later.

HARFORD: The 50th anniversary of the wedding of Ansel J. Stearns and Ann Brewster Stearns, postponed from April 11th, was held on Wednesday of last week. A good number of Stearns, Brewster’s and other relatives assembled by invitation. Prof. George A. Stearns, County Superintendent of Schools, presided. One interesting feature of the gathering was the presence of several relatives and friends who attended the wedding half a century ago. AND: A good number of visitors are now in town and we are glad to hear that the Central House, the temperance hotel under the management of Mr. and Mrs. Seamans, is enjoying a fair share of patronage.

GREAT BEND: Horses are arriving daily to train for the races to be held here on the 16th, 17th and 18th. The track is in fine condition and some fast stepping will be witnessed. Every effort will be made to have these races properly conducted; nothing of a questionable character will be tolerated. AND: Dr. Ebenezer Gill died August 1st, his death probably removing the last survivor in the county who fought for the Lone Star State during the Mexican War. Dr. Gill manufactured the Gill pill, which has been a great seller. He was a prominent Mason and the Gill Chapter, No. 12, Order of the Eastern Star, of which he was a worthy patron, was named for him.

ST. JOSEPHS: The eleven months old son of Mr. and Mrs. J. Ryan, who was badly scalded by getting into a pail of hot water, is fully recovered under the treatment of Dr. Gardner.

THOMPSON: Gus Burns is preparing to open a meat market on Main street. Such a place has been needed for a long time and ought to be a profitable outcome. AND: The Thompson Flour & Feed Co. have dissolved partnership and the business will be run at the old stand by Arthur Smith, one of the old firm.

NEW MILFORD/MONTROSE: Capt. Henry F. Beardsley was born in New Milford township July 18, 1836 and died Aug. 9, 1905. He attended Wyoming Seminary, taught school for several terms, and in 1861 commenced the study of law with McCollum & Searle. The commencement of the war at this period touched the martial chords of his energetic spirit and receiving authority from Gov. Curtin, he became one of the foremost in organizing a company at New Milford and vicinity to go to the front. He was elected captain and his command, known as Co. F, 141st Regiment, P.V.I., served with bravery and distinction through its term of service. He was in many hard fought battles, among which were Fredericksburg, Chambersburg, and Chancellorsville. Among the comrades it was a standing joke that the captain’s tall, spare, but nevertheless soldierly frame, afforded an almost impossible mark for the foeman, and from the accounts of his men as to his intrepid bravery it would almost seem such to be the case. An instance of Capt. Beardsley’s coolness and strategy was shown when in the enemy’s hands. On the forced march from Arlington Heights to Poolsville, which his regiment was obliged to make, Capt. Beardsley was disabled and left behind. In the role of a Quaker cattle buyer, however, and aided by his Quaker host, he outwitted his would-be captors. A valise containing his commission and private papers fell into the enemy’s hands, but so well acted was his part that his real identity escaped detection. After his return to the county he edited and published a paper at New Milford. He was elected in 1875 Register and Recorder and served three successive terms. Remaining a resident of Montrose he was chosen commander of Four Brothers Post, G.A. R. and held the office for 11 years. The captain will be missed on our streets; he will be missed at our gatherings or at a political meeting; he will be missed by the comrades at their encampments, while relatives will mourn for one who was kind and loving, staunch and true, noble and generous.

FRANKLIN FORKS: The Boys and Girls of ’76 held their 10th annual picnic at Salt Springs last Thursday. The day was fine and a bountiful dinner was served to about 180. After dinner the company was highly entertained with speeches by Rev. Marsland of Franklin Forks and Rev. Warnock of New Milford and fine singing by a selected choir. The graphaphone entertainment given by Mr. Stephens, of Montrose, was appreciated by all.

SOUTH MONTROSE: The Dukes Mixture team played the S. Montrose Semi-Professionals here on Saturday. They played ball too, the score being in their favor either 27 or 28 against 8. It was decidedly interesting at the start, when the score was in its youth, but in the third the batting commenced and the Duke’s Mixtures ran in 19 scores. Home runs were numerous and the player that did not have at least two homers to his credit was “benched” and a more proficient swiper installed. Jack Robinson, the skillful cutter of fine glassware, acted as umpire and the S. Montrose boys insist he was the best player on the Duke’s team. A return game will probably be played here tomorrow afternoon, when the Semis say they will make the Dukes look like the proverbial thirty cents.

HOPBOTTOM: Hopbottom is certainly waking up. A charter has recently been granted Scranton parties to install a system of waterworks and now comes the report that Tarbell’s Pond, near that place, has been purchased by parties with a view of furnishing the town electric lights, using the water from the pond as a means of generating power to run the plant. We hope such is the case and we also hope that Hopbottom has got borough officials with sufficient backbone to see that the citizens are not buncoed. Propositions from speculators often have a missionary-like sound, but experience proves that it’s the coin of the realm they are after. A “square deal” for everybody is what is wanted.

SUSQUEHANNA: On the morning of July 28, between 10 and 11 o’clock, a sewer which is being constructed on East Main street, caved in, burying Philip Muscanara and Dominick Pisanto. Fathers Broderick and Kelly were soon at the scene of the accident and assisted in the act of rescuing the entombed men. Muscanara, after being entombed for more than two hours, was comparatively uninjured. His companion when found, was dead. His collar bone was broken and three ribs fractured. His death was due to suffocation.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay

This place is gonna rock!

Don’t look now my friends but Susquehanna County is on the threshold of a phenomenal growth pattern that could finally bring the county into the 21st century.

If the politicians on the local and county levels will cooperate rather than interfere, the belief here is that a lot of industrial and commercial development is on its way. Look for some exciting things to start happening before the end of this year and continue through 2115.

No, I do not own a crystal ball. And I am not a psychic either. But I can apply common sense to what is happening in the county and come up with some good thoughts. For example, during the period from July 27 through August 3, some $3.2 million dollars in real estate transactions were recorded in the county. That may be a record week. And while many of the properties that were sold were the usual Mom and Pop sales to sons and daughters for a dollar bill, there were a number of properties sold in the $200,000 and $300,000 brackets.

Despite a little undercurrent against it, improved rail transportation is also heading our way and that is what prompted me to suggest a long term growth pattern. With prices of gasoline and diesel fuel climbing, the resurrection of rail freight becomes a strong likelihood.

Street talk has it that new Ford and Chevy dealerships are coming to the county as well as a couple of small manufacturing facilities. There’s also talk of new mini-malls and a motel. If things like this come to pass, other entrepreneurs will be looking for a piece of the action in Susquehanna County. So if we accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and don’t allow any mister in between, we may finally see a break in the clouds and some sunshine for our county.

The Fair is coming!

The 148th Harford Fair will be held Aug. 22-27 at the Fairgrounds.

This year’s event features another excellent lineup of country/western entertainers highlighted by the appearance of Blake Shelton (Goodbye Time). Also at the Fair will be Billy Currington (Party for Two), a large animal show, ATV Drags, and the Rawhide Rodeo. And, of course, the Demolition Derby.

Grandstand tickets for the Blake Shelton and Billy Currington show are sold out but you can get bleacher seats for five bucks. Not a bad deal.

The Light Parade was very nice!

Last Thursday night’s Light Parade, which is a part of the annual Old Home Week Celebration in Forest City, was great. Not the best one I have ever seen in the borough but really nice.

Nobody asked me, but if they did, I would say the top three floats were (1) the Acting Company; (2) Honesdale National Bank; and (3) The Basket Place.

And finally...

The last thing I need is to get into a writing contest with Fred Baker II. So I will not answer his epistle. Besides, I had my shot at him and he had his at me, so it makes us even. Or is it odd? Whatever!

There is, however, one point that Mr. Baker corrected that really did not call for the correction he made.

I believe I wrote that this isn’t Charleston and Mr. Baker is no Paul Revere. In his letter, Mr. Baker said I had my wars mixed up and that Charleston was the Civil War and Paul Revere was the Revolutionary War. I know that Mr. Baker. You donut.

I meant to type Charlestown which is where Paul Revere started his famous ride and not Boston as Mr. Baker inferred. Revere’s ride was from Charlestown to Lexington.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

On April 2, 1999, two Pennsylvania Game Commission Officers entered the property of Donald Ickes to question him about possible violations of the Game Laws that occurred approximately four months earlier. At the time, Ickes was in his corn field building a fence. The officers asked Ickes to produce identification, but refused to tell Ickes what they were investigating. Ickes refused to identify himself. Ickes left the field and went into his home, and returned carrying a video camera. The officers continued to request identification, and Ickes continued to refuse the requests, indicating that his attorney had told him not to discuss anything with them. After several refusals for identification, the game commission officers issued a citation to Ickes for violating § 904 of the Game Law, which requires a person to produce identification when requested to do so by a Game Commission Officer.

Ironically, Ickes did not have hunting or trapping licenses. In fact, the complaint that the officers were investigating was an allegation that Ickes had interfered with hunting activity by flying an airplane over an area where hunting was occurring for approximately 1 ½ hours. Further investigation eventually cleared Ickes of any wrongdoing.

As to the citation for refusing to identify himself, Ickes challenged the citation at the local magistrate district judge, lost and was fined $800, plus costs. Ickes then challenged the constitutionality of § 904 and lost at the lower court and the appellate court. Being one not to be deterred, Ickes took his cause to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In essence, Ickes argued that the law was unconstitutional because it was too vague – in other words, there was no clarity as to the reasons and circumstances under which a Game Commission Officer could simply demand identification. For instance, as to Ickes, he was not hunting or trapping, was on his own private property working on a fence, and was eventually cited and fined for his refusal to provide identification.

In an opinion authored by Justice Eakin, a former District Attorney, the court noted that “[S]ection 904 authorizes game commission officers to stop any citizen, anywhere, at any time, engaged in any activity, whether legal or illegal, demand identification and charge him with commission of a summary offense if compliance is not forthcoming. By failing to prescribe with clarity under what circumstances an individual may be stopped and asked to produce identification or what a detainee must do to comply, section 904 vests game commission officers with unbridled discretion to interrogate whomever they choose under any circumstances they choose and leaves to their discretion whether or not the compliance is adequate. . . . [Section 904 purports] to give Pennsylvania Game Officers powers that no other law enforcement officials possess, including the ability to demand identification from any person without regard for a standard of suspicion. While this Court recognizes the Commonwealth should provide law enforcement with every tool necessary to accomplish this mission, in this circumstance, the statute is indeed overly broad.”

In attempting to justify the statute, the Commonwealth argued that the Vehicle Code contains a similar provision that requires motorists to produce identification. The Supreme Court, however, noted that the Vehicle Code required that identification could only be requested if there was a reasonable belief that the operator of the vehicle had violated the Vehicle Code. As to this provision of the Game Law, there was no requirement that it apply only to persons with hunting or trapping licenses engaged in hunting and trapping activities. In other words, Ickes was simply building a fence, was not a person with a hunting license, and there was no reason that Ickes, who was not a member of the regulated hunting class of persons, should be subjected to the same rules and regulations. Thus, Ickes conviction was reversed and his persistence paid off.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.

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Straight From Starrucca

What a buzz there was at the Starrucca School reunion, Saturday, July 30 at the Community Hall. Eighty-six voices blended into a cacophony of sound that was a delight to the ear. The dinner was delicious, catered by Helen Levchak Carpenter and family. Fifty-fifty was won by Bob Carangelo’s grandson, who with his grandfather kept us supplied with music. “Yankee Swap” brought a lot of laughs. Finally, officers were elected for 2006 – President, Clinton Glover; Secretary, Rebecca Cizike; Treasurer, Francis Buck; Historian, Douglas Glover.

Ten men and women who were my students were there. Only sorry I didn’t get a photo of them with me. They were: Ann Brooker Figura, Miriam Brooker Fancher, Louise Glover Murphy, Gladys Wall Stephens, Boyd Bedford, Jr., Donald Brownell, Robert Carpenter, Douglas Glover, Charles Levchak, and Sluman Glover. Johnnie Levchak wanted to be present, but a few days before reunion was rushed to Wilson Hospital with a heart attack. Hope you’re on the road to good health, Johnnie. We missed you!

Last Wednesday, Shannon Crawford and sons, Dylan and Gavin visited her aunt, Ruth Slocum to welcome her Texas cousins, Rikki Pearson and son, Seth and daughter, Shaylynne along with Lee Slocum II’s children, Brantly, Yancey and Jody. A good time was had by all.

On Friday evening, July 29, a small family barbecue at Lee and Ruth Slocum’s was held. Attending were Mary and Walt Rentner, Ronnie and Margot Parsons, daughter, Sara, along with the Texas cousins. Hours of reminiscing brought a lot of fond memories and good laughs.

Last Sunday after Baptist Church a baby shower was held for Felicia Shimer and her newborn baby. She is the daughter of the Fishers, who live in the Baptist parsonage.

Vacation has ended for Josh Fisher and sister, Haley who have been visiting Grandma Fisher for three weeks in Swan Lake, Arkansas.

Ruth Mroczka will be displaying her quilts and wall hangings at the fairs around us. She has exhibited two quilts and one pillowcase at the Wayne County Fair. This week, three at the Harford Fair, and she hopes seven of them will be displayed at the Northern Wayne County Quilt Show, Sunday, August 14.

Don’t forget the square dance August 20 at the Starrucca Community Hall. Music provided by “Just Us.” Refreshments.



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The Healthy Geezer

Q. I’m pretty sure I have arthritis in my knee. Is there any danger this will spread?

First, anyone who thinks they may have arthritis should see a doctor. Self-diagnosis is hazardous to your health. Now for some information about arthritis all geezers should know.

Arthritis, which comes in different forms, is inflammation of the joints. Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and gout are the three most common forms of arthritis among seniors. Osteoarthritis is the most prevalent. None is contagious.


You get osteoarthritis when cartilage – the cushioning tissue within the joints – wears down. This produces stiffness and pain. The disease affects both men and women. By age 65, more than 50 percent of us have osteoarthritis in at least one joint.

You can get osteoarthritis in any joint, but it usually strikes those that support weight. Common signs of osteoarthritis include joint pain, swelling, and tenderness. However, only a third of people whose x-rays show osteoarthritis report any symptoms.

Treatments for osteoarthritis include exercise, joint care, dieting, medicines and surgery. For pain relief, doctors usually start with acetaminophen, the medicine in Tylenol, because the side effects are minimal. If acetaminophen does not relieve pain, then non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen may be used.

The dietary supplements glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are used by many who say the supplements can relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis, which is characterized by inflammation of the joint lining, is very different from osteoarthritis. It occurs when the immune system turns against the body. It not only affects the joints, but may also attack other parts of the body such as the lungs and eyes. People with rheumatoid arthritis may feel sick.

There’s a symmetry to rheumatoid arthritis. For example, if the right knee is affected, it’s likely the left knee will suffer, too. Women are much more likely than men to get rheumatoid arthritis.

Treatments for rheumatoid arthritis include exercise, medication and surgery. Reducing stress is important.

Some drugs for rheumatoid arthritis relieve pain. Some reduce inflammation. And then there are the DMARDs (disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs), which can often slow the disease. New types of drugs called biological response modifiers also can help reduce joint damage.


Gout usually attacks at night. Stress, alcohol, drugs or an illness can trigger gout. It’s caused by a build-up of crystals of uric acid in a joint. Uric acid is in all human tissue and is found in foods.

Often, gout affects joints in the lower part of the body such as the ankles, heels, knees, and especially the big toes. The disease is more common in men. Early attacks usually subside within 3 to 10 days, even without treatment, and the next attack may not occur for months or even years.

Most people with gout are able to control their symptoms with treatment. The most common treatments are high doses of oral non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or corticosteroids, which are taken by mouth or injected into the affected joint. Patients often begin to improve within a few hours of treatment.

If you have a question, please write to


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Food For Thought

It is frightening to see the list of known toxic chemicals that we put into our landfills each year just by throwing out our used electronics and the associated batteries. These are only the chemicals that our “experts” admit to.

With time and contact with each other and with the minerals and toxins in the ground and water, these chemicals combine and recombine to cause multiple reactions resulting in new toxic chemicals that create health risks, water contamination, airborne toxins, etc. And we wonder why so many people we love and care about are suddenly, devastatingly ill.

We can each do our part to prevent some of this from happening. When an electronic item needs to be replaced, we need to determine if the original item is no longer usable, or is just no longer useful to us. If it is truly non-useable, then recycle it. If it is just no longer useful to us, then find it a new home. There are many organizations that will give your old computer, or cell phone a new home, or that will recycle your unusable electronics.

There is even a recycling alternative for all those promotional CD’s that come in the mail. The following web sites are electronic recycling locations in our vicinity. One is in our own county, in close proximity to I-81. By supporting it, you will not only be preserving the environment, you will also be supporting a local business and the local job market.

Electronic Recycling: Envirocycle, Hallstead PA, phone: (570) 879-2862, Days/Hours: Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Web Link: Location Notes: This site offers a National mail-in program. For more information, please call or visit the website.

Materials Collected/Services Offered: Electronics, Compact Discs (CDs)/DVDs, Computer Monitors, Computer Recycling, Electronics, Inkjet Cartridges, Office Machines, Televisions, Toner Cartridge Reuse, Cell phone and Equipment Reuse/Recycle, Computer Donation, Telephone and Equipment Reuse/Recycle.

Staples Superstores:

Materials Collected/Services Offered: NiCd Batteries, Rechargeable Batteries (non-NiCd), Electronics, Inkjet Cartridges, Toner Cartridge, Reuse: Cell phone and Equipment Reuse/Recycle.

Cingular Wireless:

Materials Collected/Services Offered: Reuse: Cell phone and Equipment Reuse/Recycle.

Environmental toxins affect all of us. They should concern all of us as well. By recycling, we support the economy and the environment.

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