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Issue Home July 12, 2006 Site Home

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

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

100 Years Ago

BRUSHVILLE: The crop of raspberries is fine this season and there are many berry pickers out. All are cautious not to encounter the blacksnakes which inhabit our hills. We have the usual summer supply this season and several have been captured and killed. The other day Alfred Brush, son of ex-Sheriff R. N. Brush, shot and killed one that measured 5 ft. in length. The black serpent was coiled round and round, up on the limb of a tree, down by the mill. Alfred fired but once and shot its head off.

RUSH: For Sale--The Rush House. Good location; remodeled, new plumbing, hot and cold water. For further particulars inquire of R. H. Hillis, Rush, Pa.

GIBSON: Alfred Chandler died at the Hillside Home, near Scranton, on Thursday, July 5. He had a mania for rare coins, old newspapers and relics, and traveled about the country a great deal on foot, making him a well-known character. AND: Mrs. Caroline Sweet recently celebrated her 85th birthday. Children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were present to the number of fourteen. Aunt Caroline is a Sweet and well old lady for one who has attained such an advanced age, and she can work yet, as those who partook of her excellent dinner can testify and it was all prepared by her own hands.

HEART LAKE: A couple of Montrose lads who went to see the Binghamton maids here last Friday night, had a delightful moonlight walk home Monday morning. They understand the meaning of “forced” marches and in the future will lock the stable door.

TRIPP LAKE: The camp composed of young men, conducted by G. Carlton Shafer, has been named “Camp Susquehannock.” Mr. Shafer now has in the party some 13 lively young fellows, whom he tutors a portion of the time, if they are so inclined, or are permitted to indulge in the various outdoor sports enjoyed by healthy, vigorous young Americans, such as canoeing, swimming, fishing, roaming through the woodlands, and the like. They are college students, sons of well-to-do parents, and the country life and surroundings is what appeals to them during the summer while the manager also reaps a reasonable compensation for his services. The camp is conducted on lines similar to that of Camp Choconut, which was instituted near Friendsville a number years ago and is still growing in popularity. While the boys are subject to quite rigorous discipline, yet they enjoy a peculiar, untrammeled freedom which is suited to their physical and moral welfare, and parents may be assured their sons are surrounded by promoting influences when in the wild, care-free atmosphere of either camp.

SUSQUEHANNA: George Boyden, of Susquehanna, who was arrested in Starrucca July 1, for illegal fishing, was brought before J.P. Mumford. J.D. Miller appeared for the defendant and asked for his discharge on the grounds that the arrest had been made illegal, etc., but the Justice held the that everything was legal and proceeded with the case. When Boyden was arrested he had three trout in his possession and was fined $10 for each. Mr. Boyden would not settle so the Justice sentenced him to 30 days in the Honesdale jail. The Game Warden took Boyden to Honesdale, Mr. Miller accompanying them and going before Judge Purdy and obtained a writ of habeas corpus directing the sheriff to bring Boyden before the court. The case was argued and the Judge discharged him on the ground that no illegal act had been committed and the season for trout is now open and the fish were over the length required by law. The case aroused much interest here and the next time an arrest is made it will be done according to law.

FAIRDALE/LYNN: Fairdale went over to Lynn the 4th and enjoyed a very interesting game of ball--score resulting 11 and 12 in favor of Lynn. The Lynn boys and their mothers are all right and know how to treat a visiting team up-to-date. But the umpire and those young ladies--Deliver us!

LATHROP TWP.: Tarbel Lake, at this place, is very beautiful since the Nicholson Water Co. has had the shores cleaned and raised it to its greatest capacity. There is a great deal of fishing. Carp are abundant but very hard to catch.

GREAT BEND: A large crowd enjoyed the first concert given by the Union Band in the new pagoda, donated by John Clune, on Saturday evening. The Italian clarinet player was a great addition, having studied music in the conservatories abroad.

BROOKLYN: Rev. D. C. Barnes and Rev. Wilcox have recently had a Bell telephone installed in their residences.

MONTROSE: The firm of Becker and Wilson and their corps of glass cutters enjoyed a clam bake at Jones’ lake, Thursday afternoon. AND: Rosemont cottage is full to overflowing and has control of 8 rented rooms in other houses and is constantly turning away applicants for board, same as all other people who take summer boarders. It’s a great misfortune Montrose hasn’t a summer hotel to hold the many people who wish to come here. Why not?

HARFORD: A new steel boat may now be seen on Tyler lake, the property of E. E. Jones.

UNIONDALE: The ladies’ aid of the Presbyterian church met at the Misses Tinker’s Thursday of last week. The fatted calf was killed and almost consumed. 70 took dinner from it. They live about 2 miles from here, and the drive was very enjoyable.

FOREST LAKE: The ice cream social held by the C.E Society, on the lawn at Mr. Joseph Potts, was a very enjoyable affair. The cream was excellent and easily disposed of, while the peanut and candy stands were liberally patronized.

MIDDLETOWN TWP.: Charles and Martin Golden are home on vacation from New York, but do not look so Yorkey as some others from that place.

PLEASANT VALLEY, Auburn Twp.: Glenn Linabury and Louis Postleman assisted Cyrus Tyler in moving his house last week.

FRIENDSVILLE: Mass was celebrated at the Catholic church by the Rev. Father Colligan, who was ordained June 29. During the services he delivered a short though eloquent sermon, in which he displayed splendid oratorical power. Father Colligan is a grandson of the late Michael Bahen, of this place and a nephew of Father J. P. Colligan, formerly of Little Meadows.


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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Always attachments

It seems the Susquehanna County Commissioners cannot do anything without spicing it up with a smidgen of controversy, even when it involves something as compassionate as helping some of their employees who suffered flood damage. |

As I mentioned last week, all roads leading to Montrose on Wednesday, June 28, were impassable thanks to one of the worse floods in county history. Old timers tell me this flood even topped the 1972 version.

A lot of homes and lands belonging to county employees suffered extensive flood damage. Some even lost their homes; some suffered irreparable damage to furniture, appliances and personal belongings; and, some watched helplessly when the river crested and swallowed their prized possessions.

I told you last week that it took me three hours to get from my home in Forest City to the county courthouse. And even then, I had to carefully maneuver my vehicle through a closed off section of Route 706 to get to Montrose. Something, I might add, that a person with a newer model car than my ‘92 Caravan may not have been able to do.

Anyhow, the question arose as to whether or not the county employees who could not make it to the courthouse that Wednesday – and most of them didn't – should be paid for the day. Commissioner Roberta Kelly quickly rendered her opinion and said the employees should not be penalized because they could not get to work. She said she would ask the other commissioners to consider paying them. She has not changed her mind. The thinking here is that her compassion for the county employees – and especially those who suffered personal losses – will long be remembered by them and they will be better employees because of Roberta Kelly’s thoughtfulness.

Apparently the other commissioners balked at the idea of paying workers who did not show up for work because they felt it was not being fair to the handful of employees that did show up. And so, another controversy developed.

However, at press time, Commissioner Jeff Loomis said he was prepared to pay the employees if the union would state in writing that the move would not be construed as a precedent for getting days off with pay for inclement weather conditions, vehicles breaking down, flat tires, etc., etc.

Jack McGrail, one of the wheels in Teamsters Local 229 that represents all county unionized employees, quickly shattered that possibility.

“Contractually they don’t have to pay them,” said McGrail. “But if they want to pay the people, I have no problem with that either.” He said that, because of the inability of many employees to get to their jobs due to flooded roads and washed-out bridges, he would not recognize a county decision to pay the employees for the day as a precedent to promote additional paid days during inclement weather conditions such as snowstorms.

McGrail said he opposed a suggestion that the employees be paid but then be forced to tell the payroll department whether they wanted to give up a personal day, vacation day or a sick day.

“As I said,” McGrail concluded, “if the county wants to pay them, fine, but not force them to take a sick day, vacation day or personal day.”

Mary Ann Warren, minority commissioner, said she will not vote in favor of paying the employees that did not work on June 28. She said it would not be fair to those county workers who tackled the elements and made it to work. And she expressed concern about spending taxpayers’ money.

Mark this date on your calendar

I'll have more on this in next week’s column, but I just want you to make a note of this day – Wednesday, August 2, 2006. That is this year’s date for the Walk for Wellness Fund Raiser and it will be held at three school tracks – Blue Ridge, Elk Lake and Mountain View from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

My friends, I don’t ask too much from you but this is an extremely important event and your participation in it will help a lot of people. In case you are not familiar with it, the Endless Mountains Medical Care Foundation, supporters of the Endless Mountains Health Systems, benefits from this affair. And I am sure most of you know that Endless Mountains Health System is planning a huge construction program aimed at providing the Northwest area of the county with expanded medical and hospital care.

So, what are you waiting for? Go mark Wednesday, August 2 on your calendar as Walk for Wellness Day. Thanks a bunch, folks.


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From the Desk of the D.A.
By District Attorney Jason J. Legg

NBC has a popular television news program where it cooperates with law enforcement in arresting persons attempting to have sexual relations with young children through the use of the internet chat rooms. If you have not seen these programs, NBC has someone pose as a child and communicate in internet chat rooms with random persons. The “child” always indicates his/her age so that there is no contention that the perpetrator had no knowledge of the alleged child’s age. If the NBC agent is propositioned on the internet, they attempt to elicit as much information from the perpetrator as possible in connection with the acts that the perpetrator wants to perform. Eventually, the NBC agent will tell the perpetrator that her parents are gone, and she invites the perpetrator over to her home for purposes of engaging in the acts described throughout the chat room discussions. When the predator arrives, he is arrested by law enforcement.

Although NBC has sensationalized these types of investigations, law enforcement entities have been performing them for some time. As a result, there have been cases throughout the nation where defendants have attempted to avoid prosecution on a variety of defenses. For the most part, defendants have been unsuccessful.

One of the defenses asserted is the defense of impossibility. The defendant contends that he could not have committed the criminal offense because he was never actually talking with a minor child. There are two potential forms of impossibility: factual impossibility and legal impossibility. Factual impossibility is not a defense. In other words, if a person intends upon committing a crime, and set out to commit that crime, he cannot then contend that he is innocent because he was mistaken as to the target of that crime.

A common example of this is the use of a decoy deer outside of hunting season – a poacher might shoot the decoy with the intent and belief that it was a real deer and then find out that it was a stuffed deer. Although it may have been factually impossible for the crime of poaching to have been committed, the defendant intended to commit a crime and took substantial steps toward the commission of the crime, and, as such, is guilty of attempting to commit that crime. Likewise, in the cases involving internet luring of children, a defendant cannot avoid conviction simply because the “child” was a decoy. If a defendant has clearly manifested an intent to commit a crime against a child, and taken steps toward the commission of that crime, then the defendant cannot hide behind the defense of impossibility when it turns out that he was duped.

In terms of legal impossibility, this requires a showing that the acts, if actually committed as intended, would not have been a criminal act. In other words, legal impossibility involves situations where a person believes that they are committing a criminal act and has every intention of committing a crime, but it turns out that what they were doing was not criminal. For obvious reasons, the defense of legal impossibility has no applicability in these circumstances.

Defendants also assert the defense of entrapment. Essentially, entrapment requires a defendant to demonstrate that the government’s conduct was of such a nature that a reasonable person in the defendant’s shoes would have been enticed to commit the crime. This defense has had little success in the context of internet luring of children. In particular, the undercover agent always discloses the age of the “child” in the initial contact. A reasonable and law-abiding person would not continue to engage in discussions with a minor child involving sexually explicit material and propositions. The mere fact that the government created the opportunity for the defendant to commit a crime does not constitute entrapment; rather, a defendant must demonstrate that the government’s conduct was so outrageous that any other reasonable person, faced with the same situation, would have done as the defendant did. Generally, jurors are not sympathetic to the claims of an internet predator that they would have acted in the same sexually aggressive manner toward a child, and, as such, these entrapment defenses generally fail.

Finally, defendants have also asserted that their rights have been violated because the government unlawfully recorded their internet conversations. The courts have uniformly rejected this argument by noting the very nature of chat room and instant messaging imply consent of the users for the messages to be recorded.

As the NBC programs have demonstrated, it is staggering the number of adults using the internet as a means to meet and exploit children. When resources are available, these internet sting operations against internet predators are important tools to combat the abuse of children. When caught up in these sting operations, internet predators have failed miserably in attempting to avoid prosecution for luring children through the use of their internet communications.

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
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’m a senior who’s having surgery and the one thing that scares me more than anything else is the anesthesia. Can you tell me anything to reduce my fear?

There are probably several sources for your fear. The first is that you’re older and wonder if you’re at greater risk than someone younger. The second is that anesthesia can be dangerous to anyone. The third is that you’ll lose total control when you’re under. I hope some of the facts about anesthesia will help with all of your fears.

Anesthesia is risky, but today it is safer than ever for all age groups. Your age is not as important a risk factor as your medical condition and the type of surgery you are having.

Safer drugs and major advances in the monitoring equipment doctors use in surgery have reduced anesthesia complications. In the last decade alone, deaths caused by anesthesia have dropped 25-fold, to 1 in 250,000.

In addition, shorter-acting drugs, more specific drugs and new intravenous drugs can minimize the nausea and vomiting that sometimes occur after anesthesia.

There are three main types of anesthesia: general, regional and local.

General anesthesia makes a person unconscious so that the entire body is pain-free. Regional anesthesia is used to block sensation in one area of your body. Local anesthesia numbs a small part of your body.

General anesthesia is used for extensive surgeries. The drugs used in general anesthesia are given intravenously or are inhaled. They act as hypnotics, painkillers and muscle relaxants, and they block your memory of the surgery.

Regional anesthesia is injected around a single nerve or a network of nerves that branches out and serves an area. For example, spinal, epidural and caudal anesthesia are injected into or near the spinal fluid, effectively numbing nerves that serve the lower half of your body.

Local anesthesia may be used to numb only a small area of nerves at the site where the surgeon plans to operate, such as for cataract surgery. Local anesthesia is also used for minor procedures such as skin biopsies and stitching a cut.

During local and regional anesthesia, patients often receive intravenous drugs for sedation so that they can be comfortably drowsy during surgery and remember little of their time in the operating room.

Before your surgery, you can also expect questions from your doctors regarding your anesthesia. The following have to be considered: medical problems you might have, medications you take, whether you smoke or drink alcohol, any allergies you have, previous negative experience with anesthesia, and adverse reactions to anesthesia by other family members.

The information collected by your doctors guides them in their treatment. For example, smoking or alcohol consumption can influence the way an anesthetic works in your body during surgery. Knowing whether you smoke or drink alcohol allows your anesthesiologist to choose anesthetics that are suited to you. And, some anesthetics include components of certain foods, such as albumin from eggs. Discussing food and drug allergies beforehand helps your anesthesiologist make important drug choices.

If you have a question, please write to


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The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

After the Flood

By the time you read this, the waters will have receded, but we’ll all be a long time recovering from the Great Flood of 2006. Having suffered the total loss of my office, and working a surprisingly busy temporary office in Great Bend, I’ve heard what’s on peoples’ minds and hope to address some concerns in this column.

Do I need a tetanus shot?

The answer is actually more often “no” than yes. Tetanus shots last 10 years, but if you had a primary series of 4 shots as a child, you may still be protected as an adult: there has never been a case of tetanus reported in somebody who completed a primary series of immunizations. Also, the germ that causes tetanus can’t grow in the presence of oxygen, and few wounds (really only deep puncture wounds) are likely to allow the bacteria to grow. Cleaning wounds thoroughly is still the best way to protect yourself from infection.

What other diseases am I at risk for?

I treated a couple of genuine heroes from the flood: people who had waded into water neck-deep to save others. They had a nasty rash and went right on antibiotics. The majority of people, though, were not immersed that deep, and their risk of disease is correspondingly much less. Cuts are likely to get infected and irritated if they were exposed to bad water, so check yourself out (especially if you’re diabetic) for cuts or wounds on your feet. Skin rashes that developed as a result of the flood could be candida or fungal as well as bacterial, and should be examined.

Besides skin infections, there are gastrointestinal diseases, ranging from simple diarrhea to full-blown hepatitis. Any acute diarrheal disease resulting from the flood would be over by the time you read this article. If you’re still suffering intestinal problems from last week, which may have resulted from contaminated water, you will need to be seen and treated. Fever is another important sign of illness requiring attention, but cases of hepatitis A, salmonella, e. coli poisoning, and other famous intestinal diseases, though dramatic, are rare. You’d know it by now if you had it, so if you’re feeling poorly, you should be seen.

What about cleanup?

Hauling up sopping wet carpet from my basement made me wonder what I was breathing, and I firmly recommend a mask for people cleaning up. Leather gloves to prevent cuts on your hands and durable rubber boots are well advised, too. If you have to rip out soggy insulation, definitely wear a mask and gloves as well as protective clothing. Spray down damaged areas with diluted bleach solution to impede fungus and mold growth. Dry out damaged or wet areas of your home to help prevent mold. You’ll want to keep windows open as much as possible to air out the house.

How long do I have to worry?

Cuts or wounds from the flood would be infected by now if they were cause for concern.

Intestinal symptoms have either cleared up on their own, or should be evaluated by a physician. Late and long-term complications and disease are rare and unlikely, especially beyond 4 weeks. The most likely long-term problem related to the flood will be nagging coughs and ongoing respiratory problems from the dust and silt that coats everything in sight. People with chronic bronchitis or asthma should definitely keep an inhaler on hand and be prepared for flare-ups of the disease.

Where can I get seen?

Barnes-Kasson Hospital was not damaged by the flood and the Health Center remains fully operational and accessible. Appointments can be made for visits in all the satellite facilities, too. A temporary office was set up in the Great Bend Borough Hall to see patients of our Hallstead office, and an ongoing temporary office will be operational while the Hallstead office is totally redesigned, updated and rebuilt.

What about medical records?

There will be a concerted effort to retrieve information from records damaged at the Hallstead office, meanwhile, the best thing you could do is make a complete and up-to-date list of all the medications you take, along with your supply and refills. Bring the list with you at your next visit so a new record can be created with an up-to-date medication list. Hopefully you have your own copy of immunization records, but if not, contact the last place you had to send a copy of your records or completed a physical. Schools, employers, life insurance companies and others may have a copy of your immunizations on file, and you should always keep your own copy of shots received. The hospital will have record of your recent labs and X-rays, while other documents lost in destroyed records can often be recovered with a few phone calls.

As always, if there is something you 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. You can also e-mail me at To schedule an appointment, call my office in the Barnes-Kasson Health Center, Hallstead Office, 879-5249.


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Straight From Starrucca
By Margaret M. Dickey

Michael and Dawn Romanofski and family, from Jacksonville, Florida left for home last Friday after spending a week with her mother, Joy Mead. While here they attended the graduation party of Adam Beam, son of Carl and Karen Mead Beam, Johnson City, NY, Sunday, July 2.

In order to give the Romanofski boys a thrill, Joy took them to McDade Park in Scranton and took a trip down into the anthracite coal mine. They deemed it “cool” and very interesting.

July 13, on Thursday, the Baptist ladies will have another lawn supper in their social rooms, starting at 5 p.m. Donation.

Roger and Barb Glover entertained her daughter Andrea’s two boys while she was undergoing an operation at Wilson Hospital. Taking care of two young, energetic boys was a bit exhausting, and Gram and Gramps realized they weren’t as young as they used to be. Their sister, Brittany was also there and a big help.

Senior citizens will meet Wednesday, July 12 at noon in the Baptist social rooms. A potluck dinner will tempt the palate, and because last meeting was canceled because of the flood, Mary Debalko will give a talk on dog obedience and have her dogs there.

The interim minister of the Thompson United Methodist Church is Lloyd Canfield of Honesdale. He preached his first sermon Sunday, July 2.

Joy and I attended a meeting last Saturday in Thompson Church to hear Mr. and Mrs. Gorzia talk about buying the Starrucca Church and making it into a historical museum. They have until August 1 to decide and come up with the money.

Don’t forget the square dance Saturday, July 15, 7 p.m. at the Community Hall. Callers will be Ray and Carol Rockwell, of “Just Us.”

The flood did some damage to the roads but not as much as previous floods. The road after the bridge, above Williams’ was gouged out about halfway and the same at bottom of the Callendar Road, leading out of Starrucca to Thompson.

Son Dan had his garden washed away and six inches in his house, and walked through waist-high water to get to work. Felt sorry for those who lost everything.



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