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Home Improvement Special Featured In Our April, 26th Issue Of The Susquehanna County Transcript

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Issue Home April 18, 2006 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
The Family Doctor
Blue Ridge Senior Center Update

100 Years Ago

Auburn/Rush - Auburn township is preparing to erect a high school building at Auburn Centre and Rush township expects to open one in the Grange Hall at Lawton, next September.

Dimock - J. H. Cokely, formerly of this county and who has relatives in Dimock, is a resident of terror-stricken San Francisco.  His acquaintances here are hoping that all is well with him at this time.

Montrose - Undertaker J. C. VanCampen received his new funeral car from the makers, James Cunningham Son & Co., of Rochester, N.Y.  It is a modern eight-column, rubber-tired car and plainly, yet elaborately constructed, being a model of neatness in tasty design and careful workmanship.  The heavy hangings in the interior of the car and about the driver’s seat produce a rich and pleasing effect, while several ingenious devices add to its value and usefulness to the funeral director and assists in facilitating the movement of a funeral cortege without unnecessary delay.  Mr. VanCampen has his place of business on South Main Street open, in the basement of Mrs. Jessie B. James’ millinery store, and intends, besides doing furniture repairing, to carry a fine line of carpets.

Middletown - The ground is broken for the new schoolhouse and the framed timbers are on the ground.  The skimming station has been erected at the Bisbee pond and rumor says there will be a store near by.

Lathrop - T. J. Davies, Esq., of Montrose, received word that the appeal taken by the Carlucci Stone Co., before the Supreme Court, has been reversed and that he has therefore won a signal victory, as the verdict of the jury was $15,000, the largest amount ever awarded in this county.  In 1904 Leroy T. Welch brought an action against the stone company alleging that he had sustained injuries at one of the quarries operated by that company in this county.  The amount claimed was $50,000.  Welch claimed that stones and dirt caved in upon him while he was at work. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Welch for $15,000 and the Carlucci Stone company appealed.

Silver Lake - A boiler in the Rose sawmill, that has been in use for 15 years, was repaired for the first time recently.  The mil is now running on full time.  There is a large number of logs to be sawed, some very large ones--but not as large as some cut near Montrose--one log having furnished 20 cords of stove wood, it is said by one who saw it.

Hallstead - Three youths from Hallstead, aged about 15 years, while returning from Great Bend on Thursday evening, near ‘Lavers’ bridge, about one-half mile south of the town, were held up by two foot pads, who wore masks, and whom they did not know.  The boys were relieved of what spare cash they had, amounting in all to about 95 cents.  AND  John Harley, supported by an excellent company of artists, will present his drama, entitled, “A Foxy Tramp,” for one night only, at Clune’s Opera House, on April 20.

Susquehanna - The Erie has 38 engines stored on sidetracks here.  They have all been over-hauled and in first class condition.  AND  Several holdups have occurred in our town of late and it is about time it was stopped in one way or another.  The wrong man will be stopped if this thing keeps up, and a little cold lead may stop it.  We understand several have applied to the authorities for permission to carry a revolver.  Mr. Watrous was held up on Sunday morning, but escaped from the gang without contributing.

Lanesboro - It is said the tannery property has been purchased by Matthew Stipp, of Scranton, and that it will be transformed into a silk mill.

Lenox - The frost is all out of the ground and our roads will soon be passable again.  AND   W. B. Manzer recently sold his pacing colt for $200 to a party from down the valley.  Will understands the method of raising good horses.

South Montrose - We are again without a blacksmith at this place, George Tesford, having gone back to his farm in Springville.

Thompson - Sugar makers have seemed to thrive, notwithstanding the dark, damp weather of last week.  They are delivering the full amount of sugar at good prices.

Uniondale - On account of lack of interest, the public library is closed for the present.

Bridgewater Twp. - Jasper Jennings wrote the following on the history of Bridgewater Township:  When the first grist mill was built at the outlet of Jones lake, near Montrose, by Bela Jones, Abinoam Hinds went to Philadelphia with a yoke of oxen and his horses and carted the mill stones from that distant city to their destination.  He also brought the first load of goods from New York city, to be sold by Isaac Post, at Montrose.  The first pioneer in the township was Stephen Wilson, who came in 1798.  His was the first orchard in Bridgewater and he grew the trees from seed.  The first child born was Almeda Wilson in 1800. Daniel Foster built the first saw mill and John Reynolds built the first fulling and woolen factory.  They came in 1800.  Joshua Raynsford taught the first school in 1803.

Forest City - The Muchitz Hotel, corner of Main and Center Streets, has a fine table board and light, warm and airy rooms with reasonable terms.  W. F. Tell, Proprietor, welcomes country and transient trade.  The Freedman House, on Main Street, is a well-heated establishment with electric lights.  The bar is stocked with the choicest wines and liquors.  Fell Beer on tap.  Rates are $2 a day.

News Brief:  AWFUL!  Earthquake at San Francisco/City on Fire/Hundreds, Perhaps Thousands Killed.  At 5:10 a.m., April 18, San Francisco was visited by the worst earthquake in the history of the Pacific coast, and one of the worst in the records of authentic history.  The shock lasted for three minutes. Buildings in the business center toppled,the water mains burst, great fissures opened in the earth and fires immediately broke out.  The large steel and iron-framed buildings held together and did not fall, although they were practically wrecked inside.  All the frame and brick and stone structures in the business district were practically demolished.  Immediately after the shock fires broke out in all directions, and owing to the lack of water, the flames swept over the ruins, practically unchecked.  The loss of life is 1000 or more. The confusion is frightful.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Department heads play role in payroll

A few years ago, Susquehanna County came up with a pay plan that gave its employees an annual increment period. There would be no more raises whenever a department head was in a generous mood.

Well, there are loopholes in just about everything and it did not take long for department heads to figure ways around the county pay plan. The two ideas that worked the best and continue to be effective today are (1) give the employee a promotion; and, (2) give the employee extra work so he/she could qualify for extra pay.

The bottom line was that departments suddenly had more employees with titles than the Queen of England. Employees working any length of time were elevated to deputy status. Some departments now have first and second deputies and where there is no more room for deputies, the trump card is played and the employee chosen for a pay raise suddenly is bogged down with additional duties that deserve additional money.

It almost happened again at the last meeting of the Salary Board. Judge Kenneth W. Seamans recommended a $1,500 pay raise for Michelle Jerauld, assistant director of the Domestic Relations Department. The board acknowledged that Jerauld has already received her annual increment this year but for some reason or other, Judge Seamans apparently felt she deserved an additional $28 a week. More than likely, the judge took his cue from Jerauld’s boss, Raebelle Taylor, director of Domestic Relations.

Commissioner Jeff Loomis seconded a motion to approve the raise but he prefaced it by stating that he was going to second it only to “bring it to the floor for discussion.” He then proceeded to speak out against the increase.

Loomis pointed out that Jerauld is already paid more than the deputy jail warden and he doesn’t believe that is fair. He said the deputy jail warden has more responsibilities.

“Everybody wants more money when they take on one or two more responsibilities,” Loomis said.

Commissioner Roberta Kelly voted for the raise. She said the money to pay Jeraud is in the budget, Jeraud has taken on extra duties, and she also pointed out that the recommendation came from Judge Seamans.

“I agree with Mrs. Kelly that the money is in the budget,” Loomis said, “but I am voting on what I consider fairness when you look at what other people get.” He then voted against the raise.

Commissioner Mary Ann Warren voted against it because she said she did not have enough information on it. Treasurer Cathy Benedict voted for it without comment.

The motion failed because it ended with a 2-2 tie.

My friends, county government is weird at times and this is one of those occasions. Section 1622 of the County Code reads as follows: “Salary Boards Created-There is hereby created in each county a salary board which shall consist of the three individual members of the board of county commissioners and the county controller in counties where there is a controller, or the county treasurer in counties where there is no controller.”

Ready for the kicker?

Section 1624 of the same County Code reads as follows: “Procedure and Action of Board- (a) Except as herein otherwise provided, whenever the board shall consider the number or salaries of the deputies or other employees of any county officer or agency, as such officer or the executive head of such agency shall sit as a member of the board, as long as any matter affecting his office or agency is under consideration and no longer.

What does it mean? It means that if Loomis or Warren do not change their votes, Raebelle Taylor, as department head, can join the Salary Board at its next meeting, make the motion to give Jeraud the pay raise, vote for the motion and it will pass by a 3-2 vote. Or, as executive head of the Domestic Relations Department, Judge Seamans can appear at the next Salary Board meeting and exercise the same option that is available to Taylor and the result will be a 3-2 win for the raise.

You gotta get up pretty early in the morning to stay ahead of politicians and the laws that they conjure up or revise. And in Susquehanna County, you can stay up all night and they will still come up with a way to beat you.

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From the Desk of the D.A.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.  The purpose of this designation is to raise national awareness of sexual violence together with tools to prevent it.  In Susquehanna County, the occurrence of sexual violence is unfortunately not unusual – Susquehanna County has one of the highest rates of sexual abuse in the state when considered on a per capita basis.  This statistic means one of two things: (1) Susquehanna County has an unusually high number of sexual predators; or (2) law enforcement and child protective services in Susquehanna County are doing a better job at uncovering and substantiating cases of sexual violence.  In either case, there is no escaping the reality that sexual violence exists in Susquehanna County.

The overall statistics are both frightening and staggering.  According to statistics compiled by the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), 1 out of 4 girls and 1 out of 6 boys will be sexually assaulted by the time they reach 18 years of age.  Generally, victims under 18 years of age account for over 67% of the sexual assault cases reported to law enforcement.  Of the child-victims, 90% knew their attackers prior to the sexual assault, namely such persons as parents, babysitters, other household members, and/or siblings.  Adolescent victims of sexual assault experience a higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, sexual behavior, pregnancy, and/or suicide.  According to the Department of Public Welfare’s Annual Child Abuse Report, there were over 4,600 sexually abused children in Pennsylvania in 2005. 

In Pennsylvania in 2002, police received 3,453 reports of forcible rape, which resulted in 1,432 arrests.  These statistics do not include the number of convictions resulting from those arrests, but one would expect that a smaller number of rapists were actually convicted of the crime.  Therefore, less than 50% of the reported rapes ever even result in an arrest, let alone a conviction.  These statistics do not account for the unreported incidents of sexual violence.  For instance, sexual assault centers in Pennsylvania serviced over 37,000 persons in 2002-03.  The estimated cost of sexual abuse in the United States annually is approximately $127 billion.

The statistics are endless.  The simple truth is that so long as one person is a victim of a sexual assault, we have a problem.  With this in mind, please consider attending the Sexual Assault Awareness Forum hosted by the Women’s Resource Center, to be held on Thursday, April 20, 7 p.m. through 8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Montrose.  This forum provides a tremendous opportunity for you to learn about the criminal laws relating to sexual assaults and the healing process for victims and their families.  There will be three speakers addressing the public and accepting questions.  I will give a brief presentation relative to the various criminal statutes that govern sexual assault cases, and field any questions that the audience may have regarding the manner in which the criminal justice system handles sexual violence.  Geri Barber, a Training Program Director at the University of Scranton, will discuss the healing process for victims of sexual violence from a counselor’s perspective.  Finally, Martha Cuomo, the Susquehanna County Coordinator for the Women’s Resource Center, will review the different tools that may be utilized by a sexual assault victim (or his or her family) in the healing process.

As the statistics demonstrate, sexual violence unfortunately touches so many lives, and this forum provides not only victims, but also the general public, with a chance to openly discuss sexual violence, society’s response to that violence, and the necessary process of healing.  If you have the opportunity, I would encourage you to come down and participate in the forum.

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. Whenever I drink a little too much wine, I find that I wake up at night and my heart seems to race for a while. Can wine do that?

The short answer is yes. But, first, it sounds like you haven’t told a doctor about this. And you should—immediately. What you’re describing could be atrial fibrillation. The risk of atrial fibrillation increases with age, particularly after age 60.

Atrial fibrillation - also called AF or Afib - is the most common form of irregular heartbeat. It is an abnormal heart rhythm originating in the atria, the upper chambers of the heart. The rate of impulses through the atria can range from 300 to 600 beats per minute.

Because the atria are beating rapidly and irregularly, blood does not flow through them as quickly. This makes the blood more likely to clot. If a clot is pumped out of the heart, it can travel to the brain causing a stroke. People with atrial fibrillation are five to seven times more likely to have a stroke than the general population.

Infrequent and brief episodes of atrial fibrillation can be triggered by overindulgence in alcohol, caffeine and food. Doctors sometimes call AF “holiday heart.”

However, some of the most common causes of AF are high blood pressure, a variety of heart problems such as coronary artery disease, chronic lung disease and pulmonary embolism, which is a condition that occurs when an artery in your lung becomes blocked.

In at least 10 percent of AF cases, no underlying heart disease is found. In these cases, AF may be related to alcohol or excessive caffeine use, stress, certain drugs, electrolyte or metabolic imbalances, or severe infections. In some cases, no cause can be found.

Among the commonly used tools to diagnose atrial fibrillation are the electrocardiogram (ECG); a Holter monitor, a small external recorder usually worn for one to three days, and a portable event monitor that enables a patient to record an AF.

Many people live for years problem-free with atrial fibrillation. However, chronic atrial fibrillation can cause problems. Besides stroke, there is the danger that clots can travel to other parts of the body (kidneys, heart, intestines), causing damage. AF can decrease the heart's pumping ability by as much as 20 to 25 percent. AF combined with a fast heart rate over a long period of time can cause heart failure.

AF symptoms include a racing or fluttering heart, fatigue, dizziness, feeling faint, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath. However, you can have atrial fibrillation without symptoms.

Initially, medications are used to treat atrial fibrillation. There are also medications to prevent blood clots. In addition to taking medications, there are lifestyle changes you can make. These include: quitting smoking, limiting alcohol and caffeine, avoiding activities that seem related to your irregular heart rhythm.

When initial remedies don’t correct or control AF, a procedure such as electrical cardioversion may be necessary. In this procedure, an electrical shock is delivered to your chest wall to restore a normal rhythm.

Then there are devices such as an implantable atrial defibrillator that delivers low-dose therapy to convert AF to a normal heart rhythm.

Patients with chronic AF not relieved by medication or procedures are candidates for surgical treatment. Many of these approaches can be performed with minimally invasive (endoscopic or “keyhole”) surgical techniques.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca

A Memorial Service for Nelson Dickey will be held Saturday, April 22 at 11:00 a.m. in the Starrucca Methodist Church.

Barb and Roger Glover have returned from a fall and winter sojourn in Mesa, Arizona. They were witness to the destructive hail storm damage in Tennessee. They were fortunate to escape the severe storms in the mid-west and arrived home without trouble.

Did you mark your calendar for the Baptist Church dinner Thurs., April 27 at noon?

Barbara Remington made a surprise visit Sunday past and did an errand for the Easter Bunny. I must say he has excellent choice of chocolate and the jelly beans are flavored nicely, too.

Renee Wander was so fed up with the slow work of getting the foundation of her house repaired that she has left and bought a home in upper NY State.


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The Family Doctor

Hello, Susquehanna County and thank you for the warm welcome I have been given as a new doctor in the community.  I have recently joined the staff at Barnes-Kasson Hospital and will be working as a Family Physician at the Health Center facilities in both Hallstead  and Susquehanna. 

I thought that it might be helpful for the community to have an avenue for common and simple questions to be answered and was generously offered space for an “ask the doctor” column here in the Susquehanna County Transcript.  I look forward to answering your questions here, to address common problems, frequent questions and concerns.  Obviously, nothing can substitute for a face-to-face exam and evaluation, but so many times people have a simple question or general concern that doesn’t merit a trip to the doctor’s office.  I welcome your letters and requests and will try to answer a few of them in a weekly column here.

Being the first week of the column, I don’t have any questions yet, so I’ll try to address a few of the common ones I’ve heard:

What is a Family Doctor, and how does that differ from an old-time GP?

Like the old-time GP, Family Physicians care for all ages, all problems, and provide both inpatient and outpatient care.  Family Physicians, though, typically have 3 to 5 years of training after medical school, and have to pass rigorous exams every 6-7 years to demonstrate ongoing learning and proficiency.  A GP could hang out a shingle right after medical school and never open a textbook or journal again.  Family Medicine has been a medical specialty since the 1950’s and is considered a specialty practice by most hospitals and insurance companies.  Many Family Physicians can care for pregnancies and deliver babies, many do surgery and other procedures, and many have additional training in caring for adolescents, geriatric patients,  Sports Medicine, and Emergency Medicine.  A good FP can truly provide “womb to tomb” lifelong care, while never forgetting the patience, commitment and dedication of the old-time GP.

When should I see the doctor?

It might be helpful to think of visits to the doctor as falling into 3 main groups:  prevention,  acute/recent illness,  and emergency.   Preventive visits are recommended at various intervals for various ages and conditions, as defined by the specialty board and by agencies in Washington.  Healthy adults should generally be seen every 3-5 years for routine tests and screening.  Infants and children need to be seen more frequently, with newborns starting at every 2 weeks, infants every 2 months, and children aged 2 to 6 at least every year.  People with chronic conditions and special problems may need to be seen more often, and sometimes lab tests and follow up visits are needed as often as every 6 weeks.  If you’re reading this, and you haven’t seen a doctor in a couple of years, it’s time.  After that, it will be clear how often you need to come back.

What’s an emergency?

Good question!  Even big-city emergency rooms see people with colds and splinters, and every doctor has a horror story of a patient who waited quietly in the waiting room for an hour while having a heart attack.  It’s fair to say that it’s an emergency if YOU think it is, and you want or need to be seen right away.  Rather than providing an exhaustive list of symptoms, there are a few specific things that really should be seen today and a few things that need to be seen right now.   The “right nows”  are the things that merit a 911 call.   If you can’t make the call yourself,  it’s definitely a 911 call.   (Things like pain, weakness, unconsciousness, seizures, severe bleeding, difficulty breathing, or similar catastrophe).  If you’re too sick to go to work or school, it’s definitely a “today” visit and one of the nice things I’ve discovered about the Barnes-Kasson Health Centers is that they are very accommodating to walk-in patients and same-day appointments.  If you’re feeling rotten, call us!  We’ll get you in.   Finally, if you’re feeling rotten but can feel better with simple over-the-counter remedies  (Tylenol, Sudafed, Afrin, Cough medicines)  then call us for an appointment within a few days.  When it’s not an emergency or urgent visit, the course of the illness for a couple of days can be very helpful in figuring out what’s going on.

Why all the questions?

So you’re hurting, or bleeding, or running a fever, you’re feeling rotten, and first the receptionist, then the nurse, then the doctor have a litany of questions, (often the same ones!)  before they can fix you.  Annoying, isn’t it?  But there’s a purpose to this:  the receptionist is asking to find out if you need to be seen now, today, soon, or whenever.   The nurse is asking to find out the same things, and to expand upon the information you previously gave.  She can also bring in the necessary equipment or labs or supplies she knows the doctor will need.  And the doctor is asking because the information is important, (usually enough to make the diagnosis), and so important that you’re given 3 chances to be certain of your answers.  Obviously, we don’t ask questions that delay treatment, and you’ll often find that things are being done while you’re being interrogated.  It’s not because your answers aren’t being listened to, it’s because we all want the same thing:  you to feel better as soon as possible.

When do I get to ask questions?

Anytime!  Everybody caring for you wants to be sure that you understand your condition, your treatment, your instructions and your medication.  When in doubt, ask!  You can be reasonably certain that we have heard that question before, you’re not the first one to have it, and truly, when it comes to your health, there is no “stupid” question.  Never leave the office with a question unanswered.  We all know that getting the doc on the phone to answer a question isn’t easy.  (Another reason for this column!) and both you and your doc want you to have all your concerns addressed before you leave the office.

How do I ask a question?

Before coming in, you can ask if you should be seen right away or on a less urgent basis.  The receptionist can often help you with this, or get a nurse to speak with you. Before seeing the doctor, you can ask the nurse about your concerns - she will pass them on the doctor.  Ask you doctor as he is examining you or writing up your prescriptions.  Ask your doctor again as the visit is “wrapping up”  and he is getting ready to leave.  Once he’s out the door, his mind is usually on the next patient.  If you get home and realize you forgot to ask something, call the office right away - your chart will still be handy and the information available.  Finally, if there is something you simply want to learn more about or have explained in general terms,  write to me at :“Ask the Family Doctor”,  c/o Susquehanna County Transcript,  212-216 Exchange Street,  Susquehanna,  PA 18847.  I will do my best to answer it in this column.

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Blue Ridge Senior Center Update

First off I want to say "Happy Birthday" to the following: Dorothy Helman, Shirley Travis, Richard Randall, Juanita Brewer, Bob Nichols, and Betty Goff who all celebrate in March.   Hope your special day was just great.

 We were rather busy this past month, it being the month of the Irish. Our rooms were decorated with lots of green.  And to continue the theme we had a corned beef and cabbage dinner.   It was held at 5:00 p.m. and everyone seemed to enjoy.

One afternoon a group of 20 went to New Milford and toured the new National Guard building.   The place was spotless and we enjoyed seeing the equipment and the many points of interest.  It was an afternoon well spent. After the tour we went to Brants and had ice cream.

A nice surprise on one Monday, Angie Wolfe, librarian from the Hallstead Branch Library came and presented a book review. She choose "The Great Gatsby". Everyone was pleased with her presentation. Come again, Angie.

Another day it was "Baby Day"  No, we didn't have any babies here, but pictures of ourselves taken when we were babies.  They were passed around and there was a guessing session. It was fun. 

But, a more fun time was the afternoon that someone  brought up the subject of “skunks”.  Yes, you got that right.  Question: Did you ever have a run in with one, or some kind of encounter?  Well, there were some pretty wild stories, from being in the attic, or the cellar but the best was the person who got sprayed and had to remove clothing outside and dig a hole to bury the clothes! I hope the weather was warm.

The representatives from the AARP helped those who needed it - with their taxes.   Always have a good many people take advantage of this service.   We also had a couple of speakers.  Dorothy Gardner from United Health Services spoke on the "Healthy Heart" and Linda Ball from the Area on Aging informed us about the new prescription drug plan, or Part D.  Both proved to be interesting.

Spring arrived in March and we have been enjoying the nice balmy weather. The spring flowers are about to start showing color and many are buying seeds. The weather is nice, the roads are dry, time to get out and meet us at the center!

We continue to play cards, dominoes, exercise and have our council meeting, where plans are presented for the following month.

Always something interesting going on at the Center - see you there. 

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