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

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

100 Years Ago

HALLSTEAD: The First National Bank of Hallstead will give $25 in cash to the person bringing the largest load of adult people into that place on Wednesday, Dec. 20. Two other purses will be given to the next two largest loads, $10 for the second load and $5 for the third. Get out your hay rigging and see how many people you can take to Hallstead that day.

Isaac VanAuken, of Brooklyn township, made a pleasant call in Montrose last Thursday. He was born in New Jersey, not far south of Milford, Pa., 77 years ago and came to Brooklyn when two years old and has resided there continually ever since. He has been a regular subscriber for the Independent Republican from its first issue more than 50 years ago, and we would be glad to have him continue the paper as much longer.

The parents of Maude Haynes, who suddenly disappeared from her home in this Borough, Wednesday evening, think that she was kidnapped and is being detained in this place or immediate vicinity. They have, at least, been so informed by a Binghamton clairvoyant, however much that information may be worth. The girl was last seen by those who know her, at 8:15 p.m. Wednesday evening and then she was in Oakland, apparently on her way home. She wore a red tam o’shanter, black skirt, silk waist, black stockings and high shoes. Her coat was brown trimmed with green and had brass buttons. The distracted parents of the child are more than ever convinced that she has been kidnapped. The mother is nearly crazed with grief.

Daniel Merrill, for a long time an employee of the DL&W railroad, has been retired on a pension and has relinquished his position as night watchman at the engine house. Mr. Merrill has for many years been in the Lackawanna’s service and has been the night watchman here ever since the railroad came into Montrose, some 14 years ago. He has been a faithful and trusted worker and is deserving of the best the company can give him, together with the well earned rest which comes after years of unremitting labor.

Last Friday afternoon, while jumping from a Lehigh Valley train, Paul Clark was thrown, after alighting on his feet, and received a broken wrist besides cuts and bruises on the face. He was on his way to Post’s pond for a skate and got on the train intending to ride as far as the switch, where he supposed the train stopped. But the train didn’t stop and he attempted a flying leap with the above results. He is recovering from his injuries rapidly, but riding on the Pullman in the future, after the manner described, will have little charm for at least one boy.

Miss Sadie Chamberlain, of Union Hill, has charge of telephone central.

J. P. Tingley celebrated his 88th birthday at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Levina Williamson, in Binghamton, Nov. 23. Uncle Jeremiah Tingley was an old time resident of Franklin township. We wish him many happy birthdays.

Lee Shadduck has moved in the store just vacated by D. A. Shadduck and is now prepared to see you best goods at lowest possible prices. D. A. Shadduck has moved into the Mrs. Godwin house. AND: Clarence Garey and wife have reached their new home in Colorado where they are keeping house again.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.:
A dance at Patrick O’Brien’s, and a rattling time is reported. AND: The raccoon hunters have been very successful, but seem to have been interrupted by the appearance of ghosts, on a recent expedition.

This town had a holiday appearance last week, Wednesday and Thursday. The Pomona Grange held forth on those days and a large concourse of people from all over the country was present. The Grange prepared an elaborate feast of good things and there was enough and to spare which they divided with their neighbors. All Lenox was there and stable room was at a premium.

Milton Hanyan shot a wild cat on the Carr place, near the pond, Thanksgiving Day.
DIMOCK: L. F. Thornton was up to the county seat Thursday. Mr. Thornton is an extensive dealer in raw furs of all kinds, and has an advertisement to that effect in to-day’s paper. People having any furs to dispose of would do well to write him.

Ned Park’s house burned on Tuesday of last week with nearly all its contents, including nearly 80 bushels of potatoes. No insurance. He expects to move the house from the farm he lately bought down onto the foundation of the house that was burned some years ago. AND: Rev. W. F. Boyce went to Herrick last week to return a horse he got there some weeks ago, which did not prove to be the right kind of a horse for a minister to drive. It was one of those western Broncos.

A large and substantial trough with a plentiful supply of good water has been fixed by the road side near the hotel, a much needed provision at the village’s upper end.

This week is seeing the passing of Richmondale. Tuesday, a gang of men began to tear down a part of the breaker. The steel tower, for the present, will probably be left standing, but that too is likely to be removed. For several months the mine has been idle and a month ago the store was closed and the goods removed to Peckville. The breaker was built about 13 years ago by the Elk Hill Coal and iron company, of which W. H. Richmond was president. A year later the steel tower was erected. This was a novelty and attracted considerable attention. About 7 years ago the property was acquired by the Scranton Coal company.

The Betsey Ross house, the home of the American flag, has been purchased and will be turned over to the Nation to be preserved and June 14 next, Flag Day, has been named for the dedicatory ceremonies. The price paid $25,100, was raised in small amounts, mostly by pupils in schools. AND: Listen to this, mothers and girls, Harper’s Bazaar says: The woman who goes into a matrimonial partnership without knowing thoroughly the trade of housekeeping is a fraud and false pretender, just as her husband would be if he did not know his trade or business or profession well enough to finance the new household.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

Commissioners need lessons in PR

Call it politics! Call it petty nonsense. Call it anything you want. But, my friends, when our county commissioners begin behaving like they are still in grade school, we have got us a problem.

And when one of the commissioners rifles off letters chastising his fellow commissioners, we have a situation that, quite frankly, makes me madder than watching someone pouring ketchup on a meatball hoagie. I haven’t decided whether Commissioner Jeff Loomis is on an ego trip or whether he just doesn't cotton to the fact that his colleagues on the Board of Commissioners are women.

So what has me so lathered up? I thought you would never ask. Read on.

Mr. Loomis recently rifled off another of his poison pen letters against his fellow commissioners. As near as I can determine, this one went to whomever wanted to read it. At the core of his latest epistle was criticism of Commissioners Roberta Kelly and MaryAnn Warren for failing to come up with $50,000 to finance a consultant’s study and recommendations on how to improve the county’s communication system. As has been his habit since he traded his boxing gloves for a ballpoint pen, Mr. Loomis again shot from the hip.

Two weeks before he sent out his letter attacking Mrs. Kelly and Mrs. Warren, Mrs. Warren sent a letter to Congressman Don Sherwood requesting that he do all in his power to find the $66,000 needed to hire a consultant to study the county’s communications system and make recommendations aimed at improving it.

“I know we need that study and that we need to improve our communications system,” Mrs. Warren told me. “But instead of keep going to the taxpayers, I wanted to see if Mr. Sherwood could find the money to finance our needs.” She said the last call she had from Mr. Sherwood’s office seemed to indicate that he is close to getting the money the county needs. And Mrs. Warren did not rule out the idea that if the congressman doesn't come up with the money, the county will find a way to finance the study.

I must also point out that Mr. Loomis is not the only commissioner who could use a few pointers in public relations. I am told that Commissioner Kelly walked out of the last Communications Advisory Committee meeting while the meeting was still in progress. Not very becoming for the county’s chief executive officer.

There are amicable solutions to most problems if only our commissioners would realize they are supposed to be working together for the betterment of our county. The three of them behave like they are in a tug-o-war and afraid of falling into a mud pond. Frankly I would rather see them fall in the mud than slinging it at each other.

If there is one thing that we can be proud of in our county, it is the volunteer firemen and ambulance crew members. These guys and gals deserve our fullest support and when they hear our commissioners are feuding over something as important as a good communications setup, we are lucky they are so dedicated because it is almost an invite for them to just throw in the towel.
I understand a number of firemen intend to be at the next commissioners’ meeting on December 14. My hope is that one of them will speak on behalf of all of them, rather than have a half dozen of them echo the same sentiments over and over. It is a very important subject but there is a simple solution. The county is in dire need of an improved communications center and it is the responsibility of the county commissioners to see that it becomes a done deal.

Meanwhile in Clifford...

Ever wonder how Clifford Township gets so much done for just a few bucks? Well, I have said it here before and I am sure I will say it again and again. The township supervisors and the township residents – well, most of them anyway – work hand in glove to get things done as effectively as possible. And, I might add, as inexpensively as possible.

And township businesses do more than their share. For example, in the back of the municipal building the township put is a new garage/storage center. The dirt road leading to it was always like a mud pond after every rainfall. So the supervisors decided to do something about it.

State Aggregates of Clifford came forward and said they would donate the stone. Barhite Excavating also of Clifford agreed to bring in their equipment to spread the stone. Within a matter of hours, the mud pond had become a dry passable entrance to the township garage.

“It’s people like that that help us keep our tax rate down,” John Regan, chairman of the Board of Supervisors, said.

Judge Brainard?

When Suzanne Brainard resigned as chief county clerk, she said she wanted to explore other possibilities. I understand one of them might be as a candidate for District Magistrate when Eugene Franklin steps down at the end of 2007. And she just might have enough chutzpah to pull it off.

In the meantime, I am told the commissioners will advertise for a chief clerk to succeed Mrs. Brainard. One person who expressed an interest is George Starzec who has been a county auditor for a good number of years so he is certainly familiar with the county finances. Cathy Benedict was an auditor before she became county treasurer and she is doing an excellent job so it would appear that another auditor could make the transition and become chief clerk.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

By now, you may have already heard the news that I will become a full-time district attorney effective January 2, 2006. Ever since I became a part-time prosecutor for Susquehanna County in September 1999, I have found the use of the part-time denotation humorous. There was very little about the job that was part-time, anymore than I felt that I was a part-time attorney for my private clients. Both jobs were demanding on a full time basis – which only meant longer hours for both positions and less time at home.

A little history might be helpful in understanding how Susquehanna County will finally have a full-time District Attorney. For many years, the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s Association has been lobbying the legislature to make all of Pennsylvania’s district attorneys full-time positions. Interestingly, there were only two states east of the Mississippi River that still allowed a district attorney to work part-time – and Pennsylvania was one of those two states. The proposed legislation had the support of all major groups – with the exception of the County Commissioners, who rightly cried out about the increased costs. So each year the proposed legislation would appear and die out because of the concern over funding for the positions. In July 2005, however, the legislature passed a bill that will effectively make all of Pennsylvania’s district attorneys full-time over the next couple years. The bill finally won approval because the state agreed to reimburse the counties for a portion of the cost of the full-time salary – namely 65% of the full time district attorney’s salary would be reimbursed by the state. This was terrific news for the counties as each county is currently footing the entire bill for the local district attorney’s salary – whether full-time or part-time. As a result of the compromise, the counties would actually be saving money with a full-time district attorney because of the state reimbursement.

As I noted above, there is a phasing in period whereby all of the part-time district attorneys will become full-time over the next several years, either at the next election or through a limited opting in period. There are over 40 part-time district attorneys in the Commonwealth – and the expiration of our terms is different across the board. As to my situation, where I have two years remaining on my current term, the statute required that I conduct an analysis with “due diligence” to determine whether the public safety and administration of criminal justice in Susquehanna County would be better served with a full-time district attorney immediately. If Susquehanna County would benefit by having a full time district attorney, then the statute indicated that I could opt to become full-time effective January 2, 2006, but that I could not make any formal declaration until December 1, 2005 and no later than December 31, 2005 – a very small window for a serious decision. If I made no decision by December 31, 2005, then I would remain part-time until the expiration of my term, at which point, the district attorney position would then become a full-time position.

There is no doubt that Susquehanna County deserves a full-time prosecutor. I am proud of the work that I have accomplished over the past six years as a part-time prosecutor, both as an assistant district attorney and the district attorney, but the demands of maintaining a private law practice and filling the role as the chief law enforcement officer in Susquehanna County are tremendous. Such service, while rewarding, is also a constant act of juggling different interests and balancing many needs. Over the past six years, Susquehanna County has averaged roughly 500 adult criminal cases per year, in addition to appellate cases, post-conviction relief cases, summary appeals, juvenile cases, probation and parole revocations, and miscellaneous criminal matters. Each trial term, we are faced with the daunting task of reviewing anywhere from 50-75 criminal cases for trial for that particular month – together with the continuing task of keeping up with the new, old and pending criminal matters. Public safety and the administration of criminal justice are better served by someone with only one job – namely serving as the chief law enforcement officer for the entire county.

Although the decision is an easy one in the sense that I know it is the right decision, this is not to say that it was still not difficult. By becoming a full-time prosecutor, I am required to relinquish my private law practice, which I have slowly built over the last 6 years. In a political world with so many uncertainties, a part-time district attorney always had some financial security in the case of a sudden change in the political winds – and that security is now gone. Even more difficult, personally for me is the feeling of loss that I feel when I think of my private clients, many of who are my good friends and colleagues. To those persons, I would especially like to extend my deep gratitude and thanks for their support and friendship over the years – including your begrudging support of this decision.

I am blessed and privileged to have received the confidence of the residents of Susquehanna County in selecting me for this position, and, I would do a grave disservice to the county if I did not seize this opportunity to finally provide the county with a full-time prosecutor. I am excited about the upcoming two years of my first term and the new opportunities presented by this change in status, and I look forward to serving the residents of Susquehanna County in this position for as long as you will have me.

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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The Healthy GeezerBy Fred Cicetti

Q. I seem to have bad breath a lot. I’ve also noticed that my mouth is a bit dry most of the time. Could these two things be related?

Definitely. Bad breath is often a symptom of dry mouth, a lack of saliva. The medical term for this condition is “xerostomia.”

Other symptoms of this problem are: saliva that seems thick, sores or split skin at the corners of your mouth, difficulty speaking and swallowing, a change in your sense of taste, increased plaque, tooth decay and gum disease.

Everyone experiences dry mouth occasionally. We get it when we are under stress. But if you have dry mouth all or most of the time, you need medical help.

Most xerostomia is related to the medications taken by older adults rather than to the effects of aging. More than 400 medicines can affect the salivary glands. These include drugs for urinary incontinence, allergies, high blood pressure, depression, diarrhea and Parkinson's disease. Also, some over-the-counter medications often cause dry mouth.

Dry mouth can also be caused by cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, nerve damage in the head or neck, the autoimmune disease Sjogren's syndrome, endocrine disorders, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, anxiety disorders and depression.

Sjögren's syndrome can occur either by itself or with another autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. Salivary and tear glands are the major targets of the syndrome. The result of the syndrome is a decrease in production of saliva and tears. The disorder can occur at any age, but the average person with the disorder at the Sjögren's Syndrome Clinic of the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research (NIDCR) is in his or her late 50s. Women with the disorder outnumber men 9 to 1.

In addition, tobacco, alcohol (in beverages and mouthwash), drinks with caffeine, snoring and breathing with your mouth open can aggravate dry mouth.
If you think you have dry mouth, go to your doctor or dentist. Your doctor may adjust your medication that is suspected of causing the problem. Or, your doctor may prescribe a medication to stimulate saliva production.

There are other ways to improve saliva flow. Try sugar-free hard candy or chewing gum. Avoid lemon-flavored hard candy, because it makes saliva acidic, increasing the possibility of tooth decay. You can also sip water regularly, try over-the-counter saliva substitutes, avoid breathing through your mouth, and use a humidifier in your bedroom.

If you have dry mouth, you have to pay greater attention to your teeth. Brush your teeth with an extra-soft toothbrush after every meal and at bedtime. If brushing hurts, soften the bristles in warm water. Floss your teeth gently every day. Always use toothpaste with fluoride in it. If you have a sweet snack, brush right away.

If you have a question, please write to

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