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Featured In Our Jan. 18th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Issue Home January 10, 2006 Site Home

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

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

100 Years Ago

THOMSON: The old log bridge spanning Pope’s pond in the township caught fire recently and was entirely consumed. Fortunately the new iron structure built by the county was in a passable condition at the time. AND: The Foster Brothers are preparing to enter into the mercantile business in Thomson, in the Foster block. It is the best store in town.

SPRINGVILLE: The barn owned by Elias Titman, on the land that joins I. W. Strickland’s, was consumed by fire on Friday night, Jan. 5, about 11:30. The barn contained a lot of matched lumber, a quantity of shingles, hay and farming implements. It is a big loss to Mr. Titman, with abut $100 insurance on all. “Fire Bugs” are too plentiful. Who is safe these days? AND: Mrs. Emily Riley, one of our oldest citizens, was 85 years old on Sat., Jan. 6, 1906.

GREAT BEND: Speaking of nice weather and balmy climate, on Tuesday, Jan. 2, 1906, Mrs. B. B. Todd, Miss Eloise Wilmot and Dr. Treat, played croquet on Miss Wilmot’s lawn.

NEW MILFORD: F. W. Dean shipped nine carloads of apples from Susquehanna Co. The last seven cars of these were loaded at Foster Station and most of the apples came from the orchards of E. L. Weston, E. S. Eldridge and J. J. Austin, of Brooklyn; also one car was loaded at Heart Lake and one at New Milford. C. G. Gage, agent for Mr. Dean, has shipped from Thorndike, Me., 13 carloads. These apples were marketed in the following states: Georgia, Texas, New Jersey, Illinois, Nebraska, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Iowa.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: The telephone line from Brooklyn to Nicholson was completed last Friday.

LAUREL LAKE: The teacher and pupils of the Laurel Lake school have been much annoyed for the past couple of weeks by a man loitering about the woods behind the school.

HOWARD HILL, Liberty Twp.: Ernest Ingraham and Geo. LaSure have the telephone in their houses now and surely think they are all right.

LENOXVILLE: On Saturday evening the people of Lenoxville and vicinity were shocked to hear of the sudden death of Mr. Daniel S. Robinson. He has not been feeling quite as well as usual during the day but was able to be around. Mr. Robinson spent his lifetime of 80 years in Lenoxville and was always a man of excellent character, a good neighbor and was much respected by all who knew him. He is survived by a wife and three sons, Daniel, Solomon and George.

RUSH: The great temperance drama, “Ten Nights in a Bar Room,” will be given at Trinity church on Friday evening, Jan. 12, by East Rush Sunday School. Admission fee, adults 15c, children 10c.

WEST AUBURN: Winter is with us again in reality. The ground is covered with a thin white mantle, and the wind is howling beautifully, filling the air with snow.

FRIENDSVILLE, LITTLE MEADOWS, etc.: A telephone line is being completed between Friendsville and Apalachin, N.Y. Also a branch built from a point near Hefferon’s Corners, three miles south of Little Meadows to Jackson Valley. The line connects at Friendsville with local (or Stone) line. From Apalachin it is expected the line will be continued to Vestal to connect with the York State Telephone Co. At Jackson Valley the line connects with the People line. The new line was constructed by an independent company, superintended by Minkler Bros. of Little Meadows.

SUSQUEHANNA: Alonzo Boyden, the oldest man in Susquehanna county, celebrated his 97th anniversary, Jan. 8, 1906.

MONTROSE: Merchant Tailor Chas. VanBell returned from Brooklyn, N.Y., Tuesday, where he has been taking a course in a tailor’s cutting school. He brings with him a diploma showing he passed in class A. Montrose can be justly proud that she possesses a tailor who is cutting after the latest New York style.

HEART LAKE: The Mountain Ice Co. expect to commence putting in ice Monday. The Diamond Dairy Co. began putting up ice Wednesday.

FAIRDALE: The funeral of David Olmstead occurred on Wednesday. He was one of the oldest residents along the Wyalusing Creek, more than 75 years.

FOREST CITY: Earle Golden has brought an action for damages against the Hillside Coal and Iron Co. for $20,000, for injuries received in their mines in Forest City.

CHOCONUT: Michael Bahen, said to be the oldest resident of Susquehanna County, died Monday at his home in Choconut. He was 96 years of age and had been a resident of Choconut for 65 years. He is survived by a widow, six sons and eight daughters, one of who is sister Mary Chrysostem, of St. Mary’s convent in Scranton.

HALLSTEAD: John F. Healy, manager of the American Chair Co., of this place, is in Grand Rapids, Mich., attending the annual exhibition of furniture manufacturers.

SCRANTON: Now it is asserted there will be no more Black Hand men to terrorize Scranton and vicinity, and the law-abiding Italians will not be subject to the terrible threats sent them by vicious countrymen. Brave Father Cerutti, backed up by a large number of loyal countrymen, have organized a society to be known as St. Joseph’s Protective Society, and propose to take active measures against the Mafia. No expense is to be spared to clean out the gang of desperadoes. We might add that among others who will take a deep interest in this protective society is Paul Caruso, formerly of Montrose, and his relatives of that city. They have received messages demanding money or life.

BACK ISSUES of 100 Years can be found on the Historical Society’s website,

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

The Dog Days of Politics

On January 29, 2006, China celebrates New Year’s Day. In China it’s the year 4704 and 2006 is the Year of the Dog. In Susquehanna County or, more specifically in Susquehanna County politics, it may be the Year of the Dog Eat Dog!

It is no secret that the county commissioners have been feuding almost from the very first day they were sworn into office in 2004. For the most part, despite the fact that one is a Republican and the other a Democrat, the two women on the board have pretty much stuck together and appear to be on the same page most of the time.

The third commissioner is Jeff Loomis, who was recycled after one term in office that was followed by a four-year hiatus. Mr. Loomis spent most of 2005 writing letters aimed at discrediting his colleagues on the Board of Commissioners. He criticized Commissioners Roberta Kelly and Mary Ann Warren at every opportunity and recruited help from whomever would listen to him. For the most part last year, Mr. Loomis took his pleas for help to veterans and 911 emergency volunteers, including firemen and ambulance crews.

This year it appears Mr. Loomis intends to seek some help from the Row Officers. However, thus far, his efforts to recruit the row officers appears to be successful in some corners but, for the most part, row officers usually stay pretty clear of controversy and just do their own thing.

However, recent gossip spreading through the courthouse has two of the county’s row officers attempting to team up with a county commissioner for a Salary Board meeting while Commissioners Kelly and Warren were not available. The way we hear it, the county solicitor called a quick halt to that highly irregular maneuver. We are told the intended purpose of the meeting was to hire a relative of one of the individuals involved in attempting the meeting. Actually, the young lady in question is in her own right well qualified for the position and has proven her ability while holding down a part-time position in the courthouse in 2005. The last thing she needed was political interference.

Speaking of row officers, last May, while most county residents here were bored with the lack-luster primary election campaigns, there was one hell of a political fight going on in Allegheny County. Seems there was a referendum on the ballot asking county voters to answer yes or no to a question that would merge and replace six of 10 elected row offices with appointed positions.

When the dust had cleared and the counting was over, the referendum passed by a whopping margin of 119,095 (yes) and 44,059 (no). This year Allegheny County will start the phase out that will take three years to complete. When it is over, the elected register of wills, prothonotary, clerk of courts and jury commissioner will be merged into one director of court records. The elected coroner will be replaced by an appointed medical examiner and an appointed real estate manager will replace the elected recorder of deeds. Four other elected row offices – treasurer, district attorney, sheriff and controller will not be affected.

Allegheny County Controller Mark Patrick Flaherty estimated the mergers would save the county $773,000 a year. Of course there may not be that large a savings if Susquehanna County did what Allegheny County did, but the savings should be appreciable. And if a county with a population of 1,250,867 can manage with the change, couldn't Susquehanna County with a population of 41,812?

By the way, row offices in Pennsylvania date to the 1830s. In the early 20th century, a progressive movement led by President Theodore Roosevelt, targeted government corruption and wanted to reduce elected offices that dealt with collecting records, not forming policy.

While on a visit to Pittsburgh more than 50 years ago, President Harry S. Truman quipped: "What the hell is a prothonotary?" Before that, several statewide commissions had proposed amending the Pennsylvania Constitution to allow counties to do away with their row offices.

Of course, in all fairness to a previous conservative county administration some years back, the offices of Clerk of Courts and Prothonotary were merged as were the offices of Recorder of Deeds and Register of Wills. And more recently, the county treasurer assumed the responsibility of running the Tax Claim Bureau.

The Year of the Dog should be mighty interesting so if you ever wanted to attend a commissioners meeting, this might be the time. The commissioners meet the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in the County Office Building on Public Avenue.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

The courts frequently encounter a familiar DUI scenario: the intoxicated driver has decided to “sleep it off” by parking the car and taking a nap in the hopes of waking in a revived, and less intoxicated, condition. How does the law address theses occurrences?

In order to have committed the offense of driving under the influence, it must be demonstrates that the defendant was operating the motor vehicle or that the defendant was in actual physical control of the motor vehicle while intoxicated. The first option is easy to grasp – you were drunk and you were driving. The second option has greater potential for nuances and, as a result, there is a good deal of case law on what constitutes “actual physical control” of a motor vehicle. Last month, the Pennsylvania Superior Court added another chapter in Commonwealth v. Brotherson.

At 10:45 p.m. on March 24, 2001, a police officer found John Brotherson asleep in his parked car, which was located on the basketball court of a closed playground. At the time John was found taking his snooze, the gate to the playground was closed – so the only access for John to his resting place was across the lawn and ultimately to the basketball court. Although John was asleep, he had an open 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor inside the vehicle with him – and his car was running. The police officer knocked on John’s window, woke him from his slumber, and arrested him for DUI. A later blood sample revealed John had a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.118% -- which, of course, is over the legal limit for operating a motor vehicle. A lower court convicted John of the DUI offense, and the appeal followed. John’s argument was that he was simply enjoying a cocktail in his parked motor vehicle – not operating the vehicle while intoxicated.

The Superior Court noted that the Commonwealth must demonstrate more than the mere fact that the defendant started a parked vehicle in order to support a conviction for DUI. In this case, however, the Superior Court noted that there was more than an intoxicated person in a running parked motor vehicle. It was apparent that John had moved the vehicle – as his vehicle was at rest on a basketball court of a gated children’s playground. Furthermore, John’s blood alcohol content was excessive as compare to the amount of alcohol found in the vehicle, i.e., it is apparent that John had been drinking prior to moving the motor vehicle across the lawn area of the playground to its parked location on the basketball court. In upholding John’s conviction, the Superior Court concluded its reasoning as follows: “Emerging from this collection of evidence is a clear illustration of the very type of public safety danger that the DUI statute was designed to combat: a drunken driver behind the wheel with engine running, having driven when he ought not and where he ought not.”

John’s case is not unusual. We have had cases of intoxicated drivers parked on the side of township roads, highways, interstate 81 or at a rest stop area. These cases all contain the same elements – it is apparent that the motor vehicle was moved (or operated) prior to coming to rest in its current location. Although the police officer may not have actually observed the operation of the motor vehicle, where it is apparent that the vehicle has been operated on a public highway and the operator is intoxicated, a DUI arrest will occur. In those circumstances, as in Brotherson, such arrests and convictions are generally upheld.

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 Geezer

Q. What is acetaminophen and why do I see it listed on so many products in my medicine cabinet?

Acetaminophen is the most widely used pain-reliever and fever-reducer in the world. It is contained in more than 100 products. Tylenol is the best known over-the-counter (OTC) acetaminophen product. It is also a component of well known prescription drugs such as Darvocet and Percocet. Acetaminophen also is known as paracetamol and N-acetyl-p-aminophenol (APAP).

Acetaminophen is available without a prescription. Follow the directions on the package label carefully. If your doctor prescribes it for you, the prescription label will tell you how often to take it.

Taking too much acetaminophen can lead to liver damage. The risk for liver damage may be increased if you drink three or more alcoholic drinks while using medicines that contain acetaminophen.

The maximum daily dose of acetaminophen is 4 grams in adults. The toxic dose of acetaminophen after a single acute ingestion is about 7 grams in adults. The at-risk dose may be lower in some susceptible populations, such as alcohol abusers. When dosing recommendations are followed, the risk of liver toxicity is extremely small.

Acetaminophen is one of the most common pharmaceutical agents involved in overdose, as reported to the American Association of Poison Control Centers.

One of the problems with acetaminophen is its widespread use. You have to check your medicine cabinet to see what products contain acetaminophen. Then, if you’re taking more than one medication, be sure you don’t exceed the maximum daily dose.

Adults should not take acetaminophen for pain for more than 10 days without talking to a doctor. Acetaminophen should not be taken for high fever, for fever lasting more than 3 days, or for recurrent fever without a doctor's supervision.

There are basically two types of over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers. Some contain acetaminophen and others contain non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples of OTC NSAIDs are aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and ketoprofen (Orudis).

NSAIDs are associated with stomach distress. You should talk to your doctor before using NSAIDS if you are over 60, taking prescription blood thinners, have stomach ulcers or other bleeding problems.

NSAIDs can also cause reversible damage to the kidneys. The risk of kidney damage may increase in people who are over 60, have high blood pressure, heart disease or pre-existing kidney disease, and people who are taking a diuretic.

You should talk with your healthcare professional if you have questions about using an OTC medicine before using it in combination with other medicines – either OTC or prescription medicine. Combining prescription medicines and OTC medicines can lead to problematic drug interactions.

All older adults should consult their doctors before taking any OTC medication or herbal.

Often, older adults use many drugs at the same time, including prescription and OTC drugs. They also process drugs differently than younger adults. This is why older adults need to be especially careful about drug-drug interactions.

If you’re a senior, talk with your doctor about all of the drugs and herbal health products you take. He or she can tell you whether you are at risk for having a bad reaction from taking an OTC drug.

If you have a question, please write to

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