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Issue Home July 19, 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

BROOKLYN: The subject of Rev. Drury’s sermon, to the young and others, on Sunday morning, will be, “What is it Worth in Money.” This theme is especially for the times.

MONTROSE: Plans were completed yesterday for an extensive building operation by J. J. Ryan, the hardware man, and W. A. Harrington, the liveryman, for the erection of a large building, or rather two buildings, with a joint party wall between. The Ryan part will be 33x60 and the Harrington, 30x50. The construction will be of cement and cement blocks, and will be up-to-date all around. George Sauter has already begun work, getting ready for the foundations. The location is in the rear of Ryan’s store and adjoining Harrington’s livery.

OAKLAND: Dist. Atty. Denney went to Susquehanna to inquire into the Maude Haynes case. He says so far as he knows no arrests are contemplated and he learned little of importance. The fact that the initials of the murdered girl were marked in large letters in the inside of one of her shoes is one of the puzzling features of the case. It is an unusual thing for anyone to wear their initials on the inside of a shoe and this fact alone may throw a different light on the case. Why her relatives looked for this unusual means of identification the first thing after the body was found and why the initials of the murdered girl were placed in the shoe in the first place are questions that have caused considerable comment in official circles.

FOREST LAKE: Lee Lincoln, formerly of Forest Lake, went to Lestershire a few years ago to work in the Endicott-Johnson factory. Later the firm transferred him to its big tannery at Endicott, where he has advanced step by step, ‘till he is now assistant to the foreman in that great plant, one of the largest tanneries in the world--perhaps the largest. Good for the Susquehanna county boy.

UNIONDALE: They are putting a double track on the O. & W. R.R. The report of some of the blasts make the people on this side of the valley think of earthquakes. AND: Miss Edna Burdick is engaged at the Telephone central during the absence of Mrs. L. Lockwood. AND: The school board has engaged as teachers, Mr. Bradford, as Principal and Miss Jennie Watson, of Great Bend, as primary teacher.

BIRCHARDVILLE: A strange looking man passed through this place a few days ago, carrying a large banner with the inscription, “The World is coming to an end.” No other information could be had from him. He passed on towards Montrose. It is thought he was out of his mind. AND: Slauson & Robinson have a new ’phone in their store

HARFORD: Mr. Andrews, of Scranton, who is at present visiting his parents here, has entertained a number of residents--adults and children--with rides in his automobile.

THOMPSON: A band of Gypsies visited last week.

HALLSTEAD: The members of the Hallstead Fire Co are being supplied with goggles and smoke respirators to be used in fighting fire. It is also being planned by the fire department to divide the borough into five or six wards and to have a fire alarm system for each ward. They will be operated by electricity and will be connected with the roundhouse so that when the alarm is given it will be known just in what part of the town the fire is located.

LENOXVILLE: Miss Madge Bennett has accepted the position of vice-principal in the Lanesboro High School.

RATTLESNAKES: Dr. D. C. Ainey killed a rattlesnake on his farm near New Milford measuring over 4’ in length. In Hallstead Robert Stuckey and Geo. Steele, while returning from the reservoir, discovered a large rattlesnake in the road at the head of Pine St. They quickly dispatched him--it measured 4’ and had ten rattles and a button. In East Bridgewater Mrs. Elmer Pickett, who resides on the Giles Watrous farm, while out berrying on the Kent place, was bitten and her condition is still serious. Dr. Mackey was summoned and has since been successfully treating her, although last night her condition was not thought so favorable. This is the first instance known that rattlers have been in the immediate vicinity, residents of the neighborhood where the accident occurred claiming, however, to have seen the poisonous reptiles thereabouts before.

TUNKHANNOCK: Fourteen-year-old Loretta Rosengrant was married at Tunkhannock recently to Claude Ross, a lumberman, after obtaining her father’s consent. Her father, in 1900, sold her mother for $3, and in the paper which was drawn to record the transaction was the statement, “and to throw in the little girl.” She met Ross in the Wyoming lumbering district, where her mother and Palmer took her after the sale and have since been living.

FOREST CITY: Mrs. M. Hendler, Main Street, advertises: “Owing to the fact that I am going out of business my entire stock consisting of $8,000 worth of clothing and shoes must be sold at once. They have been marked down to fifty cents on the dollar.”

SCRANTON: A terrible tragedy occurred at Hillside Home, near Scranton, Wednesday afternoon, when Ignantz Krewsyp, an inmate, suddenly became a raving maniac, and having secured a long, sharp, amputating knife from the surgeon’s office, killed two patients--Mrs. Annie Golden and Mrs. Ann Van Vallen. Mrs. Golden was a widow, 53 years of age. Her name is enrolled on St. Mary’s [Montrose] parish register and she is a sister of Mrs. John Donohoe, of Dimock. The funeral will be held from St. Bonaventure’s Catholic Church in Auburn.

NEWS BRIEF: In 1903 we had very wet weather during June, July and August; wetter than it has been this season, an exchange says. But it does not seem possible. AND: Every Catholic family in the Diocese of Scranton [of which diocese St. Mary’s church in this place is a part], will be assessed $1 to assist in paying for the new Bishop’s House, in Scranton, now being erected. The cost of the residence will be $75,000. There are about 40,000 families in the diocese. Members of the Scranton parish will pay half.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Do I hear...

Susquehanna County Commissioners Roberta Kelly and Jeff Loomis squared off against one another at last week’s meeting. I know you are all saying to yourselves, “Ok, P. Jay, so what else is new?” But, my friends, this one was just too good not to share with you.

Years ago when I was an elected official in New Jersey, I attended most of the annual municipal conventions in Atlantic City. These were held before the casino days when the Boardwalk featured a variety of entertainment, restaurants with a wide assortment of delicious cuisine, and bargain (?) prices on everything from Planters Peanuts to caviar.

Among the attractions were a number of auctions that featured jewelry, household items such as dishes, pots and pans, assorted knick-knacks, and a variety of gadgets and gimmicks. Some of the auctions included watches, rings, costume jewelry and small kitchen appliances. And, of course, strategically seated in the crowd were the shills. Their objective was to bid on items so that others in the crowd would join in and prices would go higher and higher.

So what does this have to do with a couple of county commissioners arguing in Susquehanna County? After witnessing last week’s meeting, I am becoming more and more convinced that Fred Baker is Jeff Loomis’ shill in the audience.

Baker arrived at the meeting dressed in his American Legion garb and presented himself as spokesman for Legionnaires. He said the American Legion is extremely concerned because the light bulb shining on the American and POW flags at the Korean-Vietnam Memorial near the courthouse is not bright enough.

“We feel,” Baker said, “it is totally inadequate to light the flag with a 150-watt bulb.”

Well, that opened the door for Commissioner Loomis who said he wanted to take $1,300 from the county budget and install an adequate lighting system at the memorial. He said he was stopped from doing it because neither Commissioners Kelly nor Warren would vote for the expenditure.

The shill did his job. He opened up the can of worms for Loomis and set the stage for the ensuing argument between Loomis and Kelly. And then he tried to gloss over it by standing up and praising the three commissioners for their guidance and work during the recent flood.

What bugs me about all of this is why the American Legion would send someone to the commissioners’ meeting to gripe about such a simple issue as an inadequate light bulb. I talked about it with Allen Luce, the county’s maintenance supervisor and he told me it was an ordinary 90-watt bulb and he has since replaced it with a 150-watt floodlight and the lighting problem has been resolved.

Walk for Wellness

We told you here last week that the Walk for Wellness will be held Wednesday, August 2, 2006. But I don’t think we told you it will take place from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Blue Ridge, Elk Lake and Mountain View schools.

Folks the money raised during this event will be used to advance and expand the variety of services offered at the Endless Mountains Health Systems in Montrose. You may recall that EMHS took over Montrose General Hospital when it was in dire straits and defied the experts who said it could never succeed. People like Ray and Ruth Wilmarth and a whole bunch of dedicated employees and folks on the Board of Directors proved what can be accomplished with faith, hope and charity.

The Walk for Wellness is another charitable event so please do all you can to help make it a huge success. And for more information, call (570) 289-4226.

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

As a result of a recent publicized court case, I have received numerous requests to explain the animal cruelty statute. The statute provides in part: “A person commits an offense if he wantonly or cruelly ill-treats, overloads, beats, otherwise abuses any animal as to which he has a duty of care, whether belonging to himself or otherwise, or abandons any animal, or deprives any animal of necessary sustenance, drink, shelter, or veterinary care, or access to clean and sanitary shelter which will protect the animal against inclement weather and preserve the animal’s body heat and keep it dry.” 18 Pa. C.S. § 5511(c). In considering this statute, there has been substantial question as to the mens rea (intent or state of mind) required to sustain a conviction under § 5511(c). In other words, is negligence in the care of an animal sufficient to support a conviction, or must the Commonwealth demonstrate intentionally cruel conduct toward an animal? If you review the statute, it indicates that a defendant must act wantonly or cruelly toward the animal in order to be guilty of the offense.

Recently, in Commonwealth v. Simpson, the Pennsylvania Superior Court considered an appeal from a conviction for animal cruelty. The defendant was found to have kept animals in a building with poor ventilation, with floors covered with feces and urine, which caused a stench in the building. The conditions were such that the paws of the animals were wet from being forced to walk in their own feces and urine. Id. In making its determination that the defendant was guilty, the lower court concluded that the defendant had not acted “cruelly and wantonly,” but had acted with negligence sufficient to support a guilty verdict under § 5511(c). On appeal, the defendant argued that negligence was insufficient to support a conviction under § 5511(c), and, as such, his conviction should be reversed. The Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed, and found that the statute required proof of “wanton” or “cruel” conduct, and that mere negligence was insufficient to support a conviction. The Court defined wantonly as “recklessness with utter indifference to the resulting consequences,” and cruelly as “intentional and malicious infliction of mental or physical suffering on a living creature.” Because the lower court specifically found that the defendant had acted negligently, not wantonly or cruelly, the Superior Court reversed the conviction.

Shortly after the Simpson decision, the Superior Court faced the same issue in another case. In Commonwealth v. Tomey, the defendant was convicted under § 5511(c) for failing to provide access to food, water and clean and sanitary shelter to 14 dogs. In that case, a police officer entered the defendant’s residence and was struck by the strong odor of ammonia. The police officer noticed large amounts of dog feces and urine spread about the floor of the residence. The police officer also noted empty food and water bowls, and counted four dogs running loose in the living room. The police officer could hear other dogs barking and/or scratching in other areas of the residence. The police officer, with the assistance of the SPCA, executed a search warrant on the residence and fourteen dogs were seized and removed.

A veterinarian examined the dogs and determined that they were generally in good health, but that the presence of the unsanitary conditions (feces and urine on the floors) presented a health risk to the dogs. A dog groomer testified that the dogs were stained with urine and had a strong odor of feces. All of the dogs required bathing, nail clipping, and ear cleaning, and one required treatment for sores found on its neck. All of the dogs needed their coats brushed out, and some had to be partially shaved because of the condition of their coats. In light of this evidence, the lower court found the defendant guilty of ten (10) counts of cruelty to animals under § 5511(c), sentenced the defendant to a $1,000 fine, and ordered the forfeiture of the dogs. Id. The defendant appealed, contending that the Commonwealth could not demonstrate that he had acted “cruelly and wantonly” as required under § 5511(c).

In rejecting this argument, the Pennsylvania Superior Court noted that the defendant’s conduct was “wanton,” i.e., recklessness with an utter indifference to the resulting consequences to the animals. In determining that the defendant had acted wantonly, the Superior Court concluded: “[T]here was sufficient evidence for the [judge] to find, beyond a reasonable doubt that [the defendant] had wantonly denied his dogs access to clean and sanitary shelter. . . . That the dogs were in good general health when they were taken into custody was providential; it most certainly is not, as [defendant] argues, evidence that the home was sanitary. Moreover, this Court cannot help but be struck by the danger of keeping fourteen (14) large dogs in one small, fetid house, with no access to sufficient food, water or ventilation. Even without the veterinarian’s testimony that the dogs were at risk for disease, infection and parasites, we believe this danger to be so obvious that no reasonable person could have overlooked it.”

Where a person intentionally beats, maims, or kills an animal, a violation of the animal cruelty statue is clear. In cases where the intent is less clear, the animal cruelty statute requires proof of more than mere neglect in the care of an animal; rather, at a minimum, it must be demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt that an animal caregiver has acted wantonly, i.e., with a reckless indifference to the animal’s care under circumstances that a reasonable person would understand presented a danger to the animal. Tomey provides an excellent example of a severe case of neglect that rose to the level of wanton abuse of animals. Ultimately, in cases involving neglect, a judge must weigh the evidence to determine whether the neglect was criminal, as in Tomey, or simply non-criminal neglect.

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

The risk from bird flu is low for most people, because the viruses do not usually infect humans. The spread of avian influenza viruses between people has been reported very rarely.

Animal diseases that can be transmitted to humans are known as “zoonoses.” Seniors are among the most vulnerable to zooneses. You can get one of these diseases from a household pet.

Speaking of birds... Psittacosis is a common bird disease known as “parrot fever.” It occurs frequently in birds such as parakeets and cockatiels. Bacteria in bird droppings and nasal discharges can be inhaled. Psittacosis can develop into pneumonia and other health problems.

To help prevent transmission of psittacosis, don’t let birds fly around the house. Wash your hands after contact with birds. Wear a dust mask and gloves when cleaning a bird cage. Antibacterial drugs are used to treat the disease in birds and people.

Cats can carry a parasite that causes the disease toxoplasmosis. You can get it from cat feces. Wearing gloves while gardening or changing a cat’s litter box is important. Washing your hands afterward is advised.

Few people who carry the toxoplasma parasite become ill. Those who get sick may suffer from swollen glands and muscle aches. Antimicrobial drugs are available to treat infected people.

Worms can infect dogs, cats, and humans. Worms live in the intestines of animals and are expelled in the stool. Yards and homes can become contaminated from worm eggs that are passed in animal feces and hatch in the soil.

Just one roundworm larva has been known to damage the retina of the eye and cause blindness. Hookworm larvae can cause painful inflammation where they crawl just below the skin's surface. Drugs are available to destroy worms that infect dogs, cats and people.

People usually get salmonellosis by eating contaminated food. But it can also be transmitted to people through pets, particularly reptiles, baby chicks, and ducklings, which commonly pass the Salmonella bacterium in their feces.

People have to be especially careful around reptiles. You should not let them roam freely through the house. Always wash your hands with hot, soapy water after handling reptiles or anything they contact.

Most persons infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. Most victims recover without treatment. The elderly are more likely to have more severe symptoms.

Ringworm, a skin and scalp disease, is caused by fungi. People get it by touching an infected animal. Ringworm can infect cats, dogs, horses and other animals. In humans, ringworm may produce ring-shaped, reddish, itchy rash. Topical and oral medications may be used to treat ringworm.

Cat-Scratch Disease (CSD) may cause fever, fatigue, headache and swollen lymph glands. Most people get better on their own in about three weeks. Most cat scratches don't develop into CSD. If you are bitten or scratched, wash the area immediately with soap and water.

Rabies, a deadly viral disease, is transmitted through the saliva of a rabid animal, usually by a bite. Domestic animals account for less than 10 percent of the reported animal rabies cases. If you are bitten, immediately wash the wound with soap and water, let the wound bleed, and get medical help at once.

Mycobacterium is one of the main infectious germ families associated with fish and aquarium water. A common route of this infection in humans is through cuts or scrapes on hands or feet. People should wear rubber gloves when cleaning the fish tank and wash their hands well afterwards.

If I haven't mentioned this before, wash your hands often when you are around animals.

If you have a question, please write to

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The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

What’s the difference between fibromyalgia and polymyalgia? Could I have both? (J.B., Susquehanna)

My column on fibromyalgia seemed to strike a nerve, as I have heard from many people who suffer from the condition, or others like it. I feel for those with chronic pain, and if another column on the subject helps clarify things for people who suffer, it’s worth writing.

Both fibromyalgia and polymyalgia describe chronic pain syndromes. The suffix “-algia” means pain (the suffix “-itis” means inflammation) and both fibromyalgia and polymyalgia refer to chronic pain in the muscles and connective tissues of the body. Here’s another 50-cent word for you: “enthesopathy.” This refers to problems in the area where muscle tissue transitions to tendon. It makes sense that this would be a vulnerable area, since it is neither muscle (which is stretchy) nor ligament (which is tough), and is subjected to all of the force of muscle action. In fibromyalgia, the tenderness is usually in these areas, while in polymyalgia, it’s more in the belly of the muscle itself. This is because polymyalgia represents an inflammatory disease, in which muscle tissue is attacked by and damaged by the immune system, while fibromyalgia is more the result of chronic straining, microscopic injury to the muscle/tendon junction, and heightened sensitivity to pain. So fibromyalgia is the result of enthesopathy (and heightened awareness or sensitivity to pain) while polymyalgia is due to muscle inflammation.

Polymyalgia’s full name is “Polymyalgia Rheumatica” (PMR) and it is named this because it is thought to be the result of auto-immunity, meaning the immune system attacks its own host, much like rheumatoid arthritis or lupus. One of the key diagnostic tests for PMR is called the “erythrocyte sedimentation rate” (ESR) which measures, indirectly, the level of inflammation in the body. If the ESR is high, PMR is likely, while if it’s low, fibromyalgia is more likely to be the cause of muscle pain.

ESR is an interesting test, and one of the oldest in medicine- it is said to date back to the time of Hippocrates himself. Simply put, the ESR measures how quickly blood separates into cells and plasma when it is left standing for an hour. Blood, of course, is made up of cells and water (plasma) and if you let a container of blood sit, the cells gradually sink to the bottom. It’s usually not much of a separation: after 1 hour, it’s unusual for the cells to drop even 10 mm (less than a half inch). In people with PMR, the rate can be almost 10 times that, with cells dropping 100 mm (nearly 4 inches) in an hour. What causes the cells in blood to settle to the bottom so quickly? Primarily it is due to proteins in the serum that cause blood cells to clump together, and those proteins are often released from activated white blood cells (inflammatory cells). So, a high ESR signals inflammation, and definitely demands some attention and further testing. With an elevated ESR and severe muscle pain, PMR is the likely diagnosis. With a normal ESR and widespread pain (especially at muscle/tendon junctions, and especially with other neurologic symptoms such as sleep disturbance, depression, etc), fibromyalgia is the more likely diagnosis.

You can certainly have both problems (and you deserve a lot of sympathy if you do!) but it is important to recognize that the conditions, having different causes and explanations, require very different approaches to treatment.

PMR is an inflammatory disease, and must be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs. One of the oldest and best understood anti-inflammatories is Prednisone, or any similar “corticosteroid”. Another well known family of anti-inflammatories is aspirin and ibuprofen, the so-called “non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs” (NSAIDs) . Many of these are available over the counter (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.) and others are by prescription. Some claim to protect the stomach (Celebrex and the infamous Vioxx) but none have every been shown to be any more effective in treating pain and inflammation than good old aspirin. The problem lies in the fact that these medications can wreak havoc on the GI tract, and often require administration of another medicine to protect the stomach.

Fibromyalgia should be thought of as a neurologic condition, and while there is some role for NSAIDs in relieving pain, the condition usually responds better to medication that reduce nerve activity, such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants. There is also a role for exercise, diet, sleep and stress reduction, as I wrote about a few weeks ago.

In summary, then, because the diseases are really quite different, one could possibly have both, but even if that unfortunate circumstance occurs, there are ways to treat both conditions simultaneously, and you mustn’t believe that you are doomed forever to live in pain. You’re not. There’s always something else to try, another combination of medications, lifestyle changes, diet and exercise.

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

Some late July 4 news – Lee and Ruth Slocum and grandson, Seth attended a humongous barbecue at the home of Robert and Linda Butts, Page’s Lake, PA. Family and friends enjoyed the repast and some stayed to watch the fireworks as they burst all around the lakeside. It was an enjoyable day and evening for all.

After years with pain, contending with all sorts of maladies, Virginia Kopp, 73, wife of Arthur Kopp was finally released from her suffering and gave up her soul to God, Friday night, the seventh of July.

There was no viewing, as her body was cremated, but a memorial service was held at the Starrucca Baptist Church on Saturday, the 15th of July, with neighbors and friends coming to offer their sympathies to the family.

Chelsea Kopp, daughter of Artie Kopp, Jr., is staying with her grandfather for awhile.

Mary Debalko gave a very informative talk to the seniors on Wednesday, the twelfth with three of her retrievers there to show how they were trained. The piece de resistance, though was a puppy, cute as all puppies are, that is in the process of being trained. There were 14 present.

We were glad to see Vivian Baker at the seniors’ meeting. She is recovering from a broken arm and hip; she fell attempting to get away from an extra-large bee. It did land in her hair, but she brushed it off.

July 27 at 5 p.m. there will be another lawn supper at the Baptist Church, sponsored by the ladies of the church.

July 26, Margaret Cross, from Hawley, representing the “Caregivers of America” will speak to the seniors. There will be a potluck dinner at noon.

Son, Dan was down and had his own troubles with the flood. He evacuated two families along the river, besides his own home. His bosses at Winsor Farms lost over a thousand acres of corn.


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