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Issue Home August 9, 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 Starrucc

100 Years Ago

FOREST CITY: Because they played ball on Sunday the Hillside Coal and Iron company, who own the Forest City base ball grounds, has had the grounds plowed up.

RUSH: S. B. Roberts, photographer at Rush, makes fine reunion groups for clearness, arrangement, and distinctness. Open for dates anywhere. Roberts has made a set of some 30 different post card views, which are on sale at S. B. McCain’s store in Rush. They are taken from the prettiest localities in and around Rush and Fairdale and are among the most attractive we have seen.

ST. JOSEPH: A picnic will be held Aug. 15, by the St. Joseph and St. Augustine churches, for the benefit of the parishes, on John J. Kane’s beautiful lawn, and only a step from Stone’s Corners--main entrance on Forest Lake Avenue. A canvas will cover dancing pavilion and dinner tables as a safeguard against thunder showers. The Forest Lake Band, made up of many pieces, will furnish music, and a grand time is promised.

HEART LAKE: Heart Lake was the centre toward which the people of this section congregated last Sunday. The mercury hovered around 90 degrees in the shade and at that popular resort the bathers and boating parties were numerous, and the people flocked in on trains, carriages, automobiles and wheels, seeking the refreshing atmosphere of the lake. The humidity in the cities was something intense, while the people of town and country, despite the high temperature, felt the heat less owing to the almost continuous breeze.

HALLSTEAD: There have been an unusually large number of entries for the races at Hallstead on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of next week, and the outlook for some speedy races is promising. Wednesday 24 horses arrived at the track and this was followed by a carload yesterday morning, while more will continue coming until the opening day. A vaudeville attraction has been engaged and will give performances between each heat. The management has put forth every effort to make this meet the best ever held on the Hallstead-Great Bend track and there is every indication for success.

GREAT BEND: “Myrtie” Crandall, one of the illustrious family by that name at Smoky Hollow, hear Great Bend, was arrested with a gang of Italians, who were living in cars in the neighborhood of the Erie switch at the latter place, Saturday night. She was suspected of living with the Italians in a shockingly immoral manner and a raid was planned when the whole crowd was in a state of intoxication and wanted to fight. Policeman Fred Hunter was bitten on the arm by the woman and in the mixup, she ripped out the cuss words for the bunch. After the hearing she promised to leave the Bend “forever and a day.”

SUSQUEHANNA: The Cuban Giants played a game with the Erie league team on the local grounds Monday and defeated them by a score of 5-0. Our boys played a ragged game throughout, having eight errors to their credit. Ahearn pitched a fine game and should have been given better support. The Cubans are ball players and should have won the game anyway, but the local team can give them a better game than they did if they will stay on earth during the game.

AUBURN TWP.: The death of Capt. John Guyle, a well-known citizen, occurred suddenly at his home, Aug. 1, aged about 70 years. He had not been feeling well the day before, though he had been assisting in the hay field, and was found dead in his bed the following morning. Deceased had a splendid war record. He was a member of Four Brothers’ Post, and always at the front in every movement. His funeral was largely attended and the national flag was displayed widely in Auburn on that day. The Four Brothers Post had charge. John Guyle joined the service in “62” as a private in Co. H. 141st Regiment and was promoted to Captain July 4, 1864, in which position he served to the close of the war.

MONTROSE: Never, in the history of Montrose, has so many applications for board been received as this summer, nor so many people turned away--hundreds of them. In former years applicants were mostly from New York or Philadelphia and now add the Wyoming and Lackawanna Valleys, especially Pittston and Wilkes-Barre. Montrose needs a summer hotel to take in and care for all these people who wish to come to “Beautiful Montrose.” Who will start the ball rolling?

ELK LAKE: C. M. Young was in Montrose last week. His firm, C. M. Young & Son, are making a specialty of gasoline engines and other farm machinery, as their advertising indicates. They are established at both Elk Lake and Springville and are reliable.

UNIONDALE: Wirt Jones, a young lad, got thrown from a horse and broke his collar bone by the fall. The rein broke on the bridle when the horse was running, and this threw the boy to the ground. He is selling the paper, “Pa. Grit” published at Williamsport, every Saturday morning, and he was around on his usual trip with his arm in a sling. It is commendable for the boy to try to earn something, and I hope he will get the patronage of every citizen in town.

ARARAT: The free Methodist camp meeting begins the 22d of this month. A few are already on the ground.

HOWARD HILL, Liberty Twp.: There was a haying bee for Isaac Travis last Thursday. He has been sick a long time. There were about 40 there. AND: Rev. S. W. Lindsley has purchased him a horse, so now he can stay for Sunday evening services at the Mission, beginning at 7 o’clock.

SILVER LAKE: There are more boarders than ever at Rose’s famous summer resort.

LAWTON: A large rattle snake was seen by several near M.A. Wood’s, supposed to measure about four feet. AND: The lightning Monday afternoon killed four of Frank McCormick’s pigs.

THOMPSON: Dr. W. W. McNamara, who recently bought the Lyden lot on Main street, is moving the old building thereon one side preparatory to erecting a dwelling of large proportions and up-to-date style.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay

When a Baker behaves like a butcher!

In the July 26 issue of the Susquehanna County Transcript, Fred Baker, a wannabe candidate for county commissioner, accused me of yellow journalism. It was his way of retaliating because I took him to task for making an issue out of the fact that the light on the American flag at a war memorial near the courthouse was not bright enough.

He said I took yellow journalism to a “whole new level and speculates upon scenarios without any basis in fact, to conclude whatever fantasy comes to his uniformed mind.”

“I long for the days of long ago,” Baker wrote, “when reporters would investigate a story, learn the dynamics of both sides and report the same.”

Mr. Baker, if you had done some homework on P. Jay Amadio, you would find that he earned his first awards in journalism from the New Jersey Press Association in 1959. His column, Line-A-Type, was awarded third place in competition with all newspapers in the Garden State. Does that go back far enough to the days of long ago?

And Mr. Baker, you have a lot of nerve writing about the dynamics of both sides of a story after your recent and unjust castigation of Barnes-Kasson Hospital and some members of its executive staff. Had you scraped below the surface and looked into the issue, you would have learned, as I did, that members of the Iveson family on the payroll at Barnes-Kasson are not paid annual salaries of $600,000 each as you wrote in your letter to the editor. I don’t know where you got that number but common sense should have told you that a hospital the size of Barnes-Kasson could not afford to pay anyone on its staff $600,000, let alone pay that much to four or five employees.

And let me tell you that the Ivesons who are on the payroll at Barnes-Kasson are well qualified for the positions they hold. They have college degrees to prove it. I don’t know where you heard Barnes-Kasson being referred to as the “Iveson Piggy Bank,” but since you get most of your propaganda from Jeff Loomis, I can only assume you also got that from him.

And let’s focus for a moment on that bank letter that you used as your source of most of the information you cited in your letter. It was written to Roberta Kelly, chair of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners. She made copies for Commissioners Loomis and Mary Ann Warren. Loomis made multiple copies and passed them out like free movie tickets.

I am not sure, Mr. Baker, if what you did by citing the contents of a letter to the county commissioners is legal or not. But, at best, I would say it certainly wasn't kosher. As for Mr. Loomis, he has been behaving like a loose cannon ever since he returned to the Board of Commissioners in 2004. He makes copies of everything he can get his hands on and then gets you, Mr. Baker, to write letters and raise hell about them. This time, both of you may have bitten off a bit more than you can chew.

Mr. Loomis took it upon himself to declare a highly confidential letter as a public document. It isn't the first time he has done it and it probably will not be the last time either. He relishes in being able to find anything he can that he feels will give him an opportunity to pick on the two women that serve with him on the Board of Commissioners. The sole purpose of Mr. Baker and Mr. Loomis combining their literary talents to discredit the hospital was really aimed at taking a shot at Mrs. Kelly.

The letter indicated that a loan established for a project at Barnes-Kasson County Hospital in Susquehanna Depot is past due. The county commissioners put the county on the line to make good for the loan if the hospital defaults. But the hospital did put 12 months worth of payments in escrow to be used when and if the hospital cannot make a payment when it is due. So far, the hospital has dipped into that escrow account for three payments. And, while the last payment used with escrow funds was made on June 20, a more recent payment made by the hospital was paid from the hospital’s checking account.

My friends, if you have been following the news in recent years you know that many, many hospitals across the nation are having financial woes. I guess it is just something that goes with the territory. Some hospitals are merging. Some have formed consortiums to increase their buying power. And, yes, some small hospitals are being swallowed up by larger hospitals. However, in the case of the latter, the services remains the same in the small hospital but the cost of those services now become comparable to the rates of the larger hospital.

The opinion here has always been if it isn't broke, don’t fix it. Barnes-Kasson County Hospital has been around since 1904. It survived depressions, recessions and obsessions. And it surely doesn't need incorrect expressions that convey wrong impressions.

I spoke with Sara Iveson, executive director of Barnes-Kasson Hospital and she said she doesn't think the combined annual salaries of the Ivesons that work at the hospital would be $600,000.

And Mrs. Kelly said Mr. Baker’s comments contain incorrect information and are misinforming the public on the issue.

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

On May 13, 1994, Matthew Musladin went to the home of his estranged wife, Pamela, in order to pick up his son for a visitation. Tom Studer, one of Pamela’s friends, and Michael Albaugh, Pamela’s brother, were also present. Musladin and Pamela got into an argument, and Musladin pushed Pamela to the ground. In response to seeing Pamela shoved to the ground, Studer and Albaugh came out of the house to give aid. Musladin then grabbed a gun out of his car and fired two shots at Studer and killed him. According to Musladin, Studer was holding a pistol, and Albaugh was holding a machete, and Musladin contended that he fired the weapon in self-defense, and, as such, that the killing was justified. Musladin was arrested for homicide.

At the murder trial, the family of Studer attended each of the 14 days of proceedings. On each day of the trial, at least three family members wore buttons on their shirts that had a picture of the victim. The family sat in the front row, right behind the prosecutor, and in plain view of the jurors. Prior to opening statements, the defense attorney requested the judge to direct the victim’s family to remove the buttons. The defense attorney contended that the jurors would be prejudiced by the presence of the photographic buttons attached to the shirts of surviving family members. The judge denied the motion. Matthew Musladin was convicted of first-degree murder.

Musladin then appealed these issues through the California appellate courts without success. After exhausting his state court appeals, he was entitled to seek relief in federal court through a habeas corpus proceeding. Fortunately for Musladin, California sits in the jurisdiction of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals – a court known for its liberal leanings and decisions. Musladin argued again that he was denied a fair trial because of the insidious message conveyed by the murder victim’s family through the use of the buttons with his photograph.

The Ninth Circuit noted that a defendant is entitled to a fair trial, and a trial court must take steps to eliminate any outside factors that would improperly influence a jury. For instance, courts have determined that an unfair trial results when a defendant is forced to wear prison garb and is shackled in front of the jury. The rationale seems obvious: a jury will presume the defendant is guilty if they see him in his prison garb, handcuffed and shackled. In terms of buttons, the United States Supreme Court has already determined that spectators cannot wear “anti-rape” buttons while they are watching a rape trial, as this would place undue pressure on the jurors and result in an unfair trial for the defendant.

In considering the buttons, the Ninth Circuit opined: “[T]he buttons actually depicted the individual that the defendant was charged with murdering, and represented him as the innocent party, or the victim. Here, the direct link between the buttons, the spectators wearing the buttons, the defendant, and the crime that the defendant allegedly committed was clear and unmistakable. . . . The buttons essentially “argue” that Studer was the innocent party and that the defendant was necessarily guilty.” As a result of the insidious nature of the buttons, and the manner in which they tainted the defendant’s trial, the murder conviction was reversed.

If you disagree with this decision, you are not alone. Senior Circuit Judge Thompson dissented from the decision, essentially noting the obvious: “Here, the buttons were three to four inches in diameter, and, except for the victim’s picture, there was nothing else on them. The buttons conveyed no ‘message.’” Justice Thompson noted that, if anything, the only message that the buttons conveyed was the grief the family felt over the loss of a loved one. Justice Thompson concluded by noting that with or without buttons, jurors recognize groups of family members of victims sitting in courtrooms during homicide cases and the “addition of buttons worn by them showing only the victim’s photograph would add little if anything to any possible risk of impermissibly prejudicing the jury.”

If you read the decision, and the sound reasoning of Judge Thompson in his dissent, the logical extension of the majority’s holding would be to prohibit victims (with or without buttons) from being in the courtroom because their mere presence serve to potentially prejudice the jury. The prosecution appealed the reversal of the murder conviction, and the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments on this case. It will be interesting to see how the High Court feels about buttons.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, PA 18801.

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I get a lot of gas and someone told me it would help if I stopped chewing gum all the time (ex-smoker). That sounds like bunk to me. What do you think?

It’s not bunk. When you chew gum, you swallow more often and some of what you're swallowing is air. In addition, artificial sweeteners such as sorbitol that is found in some gums can give you gas.

But, what exactly, is gas?

Most people produce between a pint and a half-gallon of gas each day. Oxygen, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen from swallowed air make up a large part of gas or “flatus.” Fermenting foods in the colon produce hydrogen and methane as well as carbon dioxide and oxygen.

The unpleasant odor of some flatus is the result of trace gases, such as hydrogen sulfide, indole, and skatole, which are produced when foods decompose in the colon.

We release gas upwardly by belching and downwardly by flatulence. When we swallow air and don’t release it by belching, the air will work its way down and out the rectum. About half the gas passed from the rectum comes from swallowed air.

For the record, normal people pass gas about ten times each day. Twenty times daily is still considered normal.

Some people suffer from bloating caused by gas. Most who suffer from bloating do not generate excessive gas, but they don’t move swallowed air fast enough. Sometimes, gas in these people moves in the wrong direction, returning to the stomach. The gas accumulates and produces discomfort. Some feel more discomfort than others because they don’t tolerate intestinal stretching well.

Another major cause of gas is partially digested food passing from the small intestines to the colon, where bacteria processes the food further and produces gases.

Discomfort from gas is usually nothing to worry about. However, you should go to a doctor if you have other symptoms such as abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract and sometimes heartburn.

Here are some ways to alleviate bloating: Eat multiple small meals during the day instead of two or three large ones. Chew food thoroughly and don't gulp. Eat slowly. Don't eat when you’re nervous or hurried. Don't smoke; it makes you swallow more air. Avoid gassy foods. Some of the usual suspects are beans, onions, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, artichokes, asparagus, pears, apples, peaches, prunes, whole-wheat bread, bran, beer, soda, ice cream. Cut down on fatty foods. Fat slows digestion, giving food more time to ferment. If you take a fiber supplement, try cutting back and then build up your intake gradually. Reduce consumption of dairy products. Or try using products that help digest milk sugar (lactose). Use over-the-counter aids. Add products such as Beano to high-fiber foods to help reduce the amount of gas they produce. Try using simethicone, which helps break up the bubbles in gas. Charcoal tablets also may help.

If you have a question, please write to

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The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

School will be starting in just a couple of weeks and already I am getting approached for “ADHD Medicine” refills. It’s always a difficult request for me to address and a complicated issue to consider. The whole question of whether or not we should medicate children to control behavior is a profound one, but in practical terms, many children need medication to function properly and effectively. Refilling and continuing medications for Attention Deficit-Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is something that requires careful consideration by both parents and their children’s’ doctors.

Clearly, many children have trouble thriving in school. Determining why this may be requires close collaboration between educators, parents, and health care providers at many levels. With very clear definitions for the conditions, about 19% of children exhibit significant behavioral problems and about half of those involve problems with significant attention deficit or hyperactivity. Those statistics alone suggest that only half of school-age kids exhibiting behavioral problems in school or at home actually have ADHD.

Symptoms attributed to ADHD can have multiple causes and explanations. This is an important point because no child should be prematurely labeled as having ADHD. The medications used for the condition wouldn’t be very helpful if the child doesn’t have it, and missing a different (correct) diagnosis could have profound consequences.

Behavior, of course, is a complex product of genes, upbringing, environment, learning and development. The first step in evaluating a child’s behavior is to recognize that all of these elements are important, and pay appropriate attention to them all. There are medical conditions that must be considered, and things like anemia, thyroid disease, lead poisoning, metabolic conditions, and developmental delays must be identified and ruled out. Fortunately, these usually only need be considered when establishing the diagnosis, and can be permanently ruled out after one test.

Parenting styles and coping skills must be candidly discussed. Children can always find our buttons and push them, thereby driving us crazy, and it’s an important part of parenting to recognize when we’re overwhelmed or stressed. High-maintenance children don’t all have ADHD, and medications can’t be used to take the place of parenting.

Teachers and school resources can be used to identify specific problem behaviors and it is important to involve them early in the school year if the child is having difficulty. Just as parents mustn’t rush their children into the diagnosis, neither should the schools, but parents and teachers can work together in the child’s best interest, and determine if medications, or other specific interventions, are truly needed.

One of the key diagnostic tools in determining ADHD is a questionnaire that is completed by both parents and teachers. Because the diagnosis is based on behaviors, the questionnaires ask about the presence of these behaviors. It’s important to think about whether the behavior is truly a problem. Much like a horoscope or fortune cookie, the things on a questionnaire can always seem to apply to everyone, at one time or another, and so the true relevance of any statement to a specific individual should be carefully considered.

Once the problems have been identified, possible causes considered, and other conditions ruled out, the next determination involves optimal treatment. Again, there are many possible avenues one can take in addressing behaviors, but for the small subgroups of children with a true neurologic condition that affects behavior and attention, medicines are clearly helpful, and strongly indicated.

Concerned parents and reluctant physicians have tried many things to avoid medications. While there is no arguing with the importance of a nutritious diet, the benefit of eliminating artificial dyes, food additives, or even extra sugar has never been conclusively shown to help treat ADHD. Similarly, supplements of everything from Vitamin A (which can actually be toxic) to Zinc (which is rarely significantly depleted) don’t help and may hurt. People have advocated special eyeglasses and “focusing” lenses for ADHD, and a quick search of the Web will reveal hundreds of non-prescription herbal and nutritional products, behavior modification programs, and homeopathic “cures” for ADHD. The first question to ask of any of these approaches is, where’s the evidence that it works, and how can you prove that it’s safe?

The prevalent theory to explain ADHD involves activity of neurons in the brain, and underdevelopment of inhibitory (calming) pathways. The theory is that stimulating these pathways results in less brain “static” and allows better focus and calmer, more controlled behavior. That’s the reason stimulants are used to control the symptoms of ADHD. Because stimulants are tightly controlled by the FDA, there are strict limitations to how many can be prescribed at a time, and how closely patients taking them must be seen.

Stimulants are not necessarily dangerous, but like all medications they should only be used only when clearly needed, clearly helpful, and clearly safe. It’s obviously important to use medications particularly carefully in children, and there are many side effects that must be carefully looked for in children taking stimulants.

In short, ADHD should not be a “knee-jerk” diagnosis in response to bothersome behavior. It’s certainly a possible explanation, but not the only explanation, for why children may be doing poorly in school. It’s not a diagnosis of convenience and it’s not a shortcut to better learning. Children should not be rushed into a diagnosis or a treatment program for the convenience of the parent, the school, or the healthcare provider. At the same time, it’s critical to recognize that some children simply cannot do it on their own and need some intervention to succeed. By working together and respecting the contributions each one brings to the discussion, the parents, educators, and healthcare providers can collaborate to do what’s best for a child, and provide exactly what is needed.

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, 853-3135 or 879-5249.


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Straight From Starrucca
By Margaret M. Dickey

The Girl Scouts and their chaperones have returned safely after spending the weekend at New River, West Virginia, experiencing all the thrills and spills of whitewater rafting. They should be good at it now, having done the rafting for several years.

Frank and Ruth Mroczka hosted their family reunion at their home on Jacob’s Ladder over the weekend before last. Family and friends came from Florida, Georgia, Michigan, New Jersey, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania. Highlight of the fun and games was Frisbee golf, using storm doors. This was a new one on me.

Perri and Misha Weldy spent some time recently with their sister, Regan, in Philadelphia. They did some  sightseeing, including Independence Hall, Museum of Art and checked out Drexel University.

The Weldy girls also entertained a weekend visitor from Scranton, Abby Kirby, five years old and had a great time catching fireflies, playing in the creek and doing what country kids do. Her parents came for her on Sunday.

A breakfast buffet featuring blueberry pancakes will be held at the home of Vivian Baker for Senior Citizens and the makers of the quilts for the homeless on August 9.

My daughter-in-law, Phyllis Dickey came down from Little Falls, NY to spend the weekend. Judy Fairchild came from Waymart, PA and son, Dan came from Harpursville, NY, so I had lots of company. We spent part of the afternoon at the former home of Maxine Dickey, helping to get rid of her household belongings. She has decided to make Barnes-Kasson’s extended care facility her home. Maxine seems to be very content there.

Thursday, August 10, at 5 p.m. the Baptists are having a lawn supper.


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