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Issue Home August 23, 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

LAWTON: The Middletown Centre base ball players met Ed. Redding’s aggregation of ball tossers in their final game of the series, Sunday p.m., and were defeated. Several sensational plays were made on each side. One of the most striking was Thos. Reilly’s fielding, also Dr. McGovern’s curves, which the Centre boys failed to connect with. The game was impartially umpired by Dr. Hickok, of Rush. Score: Centre 4, Hill 6.

UNIONDALE: It is reported that Hon. Philo Burritt has sold his farm. His farm is part of the original estate that has been held by the same family for a good many generations and another owner will hardly be reconcilable to the people of this place. AND: We sincerely hope that the “canned sauce thieves” that are troubling Thompson will not visit Uniondale.

SPRINGVILLE: A.O. Dunlap is placing new furnaces, both in the school building and in the M. E. church. An ice cream social will be held in the parlors of the church Thursday evening, Sept. 6th for the furnace funds. An interesting program is being arranged. Come out and have a good time.

LENOXVILLE: Mr. Wright has purchased the house and blacksmith shop of A. H. Mead, in Harford, and his son-in-law, Eugene Lewis, will occupy the same. Mr. Mead is finishing off the rooms over his tin shop, which his family will occupy.

FLYNN: James McCormick thinks the stage route between Flynn and Birchardville is as nice for a drive as any they make.

FAIR HILL: There was no preaching here Sunday on account of illness of the Pastor’s wife but her many friends will be glad to learn she is improved.

BROOKLYN: The Brooklyn Improvement Association has purchased ten lamps, so that no one will have to walk in the dark hereafter. AND: Dr. Earle Ainey is open to do all kinds of dental work. He has set up the long expected chair in his father’s office.

FOREST LAKE: Jas. J. Lannon, of Topeka, Kansas, has been visiting friends in Forest Lake, his former home. He “went west” a year and a half ago, accidentally stopped off at Topeka, got a job with a railroad company, and has been promoted twice. Good for the Susquehanna county boy. We like to hear of their successes, wherever they are. And they are usually getting right to the front.

WEST AUBURN: Elmer B. Lacey, Aug. 21st., shipped to Wm. S. Drew, of Horseheads, N.Y., one of his famous Oregon Fir Silos with White Pine roof. Lacey’s Patent Silos seem to be taking the lead wherever introduced, and the Oregon fir is undoubtedly one of the best materials for silo construction.

NEW MILFORD: Walter L. Main’s renowned circus will show Saturday, Sept. 1. You will want to go and take the children, of course. This show was at Montrose several years ago, when it went on wagon, and gave an excellent exhibition. It has been enlarged to two full trains now.

MONTROSE: Lewis T. Harrower, the miller opposite D.L.&W. station, announces to the public that he is now ready to do buckwheat grinding for all who wish. AND: T. S. Wheatcroft, of Brooklyn, N.Y., arrived here Saturday with his family en route for Forest Lake, where they intend rusticating for a couple of weeks. “Tom” is well known in this section, having at one time conducted a large and successful store in the village of Rush. He is now, however, at the head of the Automatic Merchandizing Co., which paid its stockholders 16 per cent at the last annual declaration of dividends. To the people of the New England States “Tom” is known as the “Peanut King,” and he deserves the appellation as he keeps constantly on hand something like $10,000 worth of peanuts for his patrons.

THOMPSON: A. L. Croft, according to the Plaindealer has named his newly born, ten-pound boy, Teddy Roosevelt Croft.

SILVER LAKE: Henry F. Walton, speaker of the House of Representatives, has appointed Hon. H. J. Rose, one of the reception committee at the dedication of the new capitol at Harrisburg on Oct. 4th. Twenty-five members of the House of Representatives and twenty-five senators constitute the committee. Considering the large number from which Speaker Walton could select his committee it is something of an honor to receive the appointment.

KINGSLEY: A new industry recently started here in the manufacture of apple barrels by S. E. Tiffany.

FRANKLIN FORKS: J. W. Palmer and George Stockholm are in Minnesota, attending the National [G.A.R.] Encampment. They will also visit in Michigan.

DIMOCK: When you want to take a fast ride step in the carriage of Elder Cleaver, as he drives the fastest horse in town.

SUSQUEHANNA: Prof. Frederick Benson, a graduate of the Ithaca Conservatory of Music and a former resident, has been chosen to succeed Prof. J. J. Kelley as director of the conservatory of music of Wesleyan College, West Virginia.

FOREST CITY: The oppressively hot weather had something to do with keeping down the attendance at the Opera house Monday evening to see the “Girl from Klondike,” put on by the Tried and True Dramatic club, but those who went were pleased by the performance. The play was not so much to our liking as others the company has put on but it called forth some clever work by the actors never the less. The company, as usual, gave a bunch of specialties well worth the price of admission. A little later in the season they promise a new production that will rival anything they have yet given.

HEART LAKE: Farmers are complaining of their potatoes rotting.

Be sure to visit our web site,, for more “100 Years Ago” articles—and take advantage of the automatic indexing.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Now it can be told!

My friends, I wrestled with this week’s column for quite some time before I finally decided to go with it. I really don’t like digging up bones, especially when they are my own. However, in a recent letter to the editor and in his anxiety to impugn my credibility, Mr. Fred Baker III intimated that I did something really bad when I was fired by The Scranton Times 10 years ago.

While I hesitate to expose my personal business to the general public, I cannot let Mr. Baker’s insinuation go unanswered. And so, here is what happened and somewhere in the bowels of this Commonwealth, there is sworn testimony to support what I am about to tell you.

It began on November 9, 1995, when the Susquehanna County Commissioners held a public hearing on the matter of whether the county should co-sign a $2.5 million loan that would allow Endless Mountains Health Systems to take over Montrose General Hospital. Needless to say, the hospital was suffering grave financial problems at the time.

I was covering the meeting as a reporter for The Scranton Times. By that time, I had been covering Susquehanna County government for the paper for about six years. But I was a taxpayer in the county for 23 years.

Permit me to digress for a moment and insert something very relevant. In 1992, my late wife, Frances, had a massive heart attack. For three days, she hovered between life and death at Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre. She actually spent 16 days in that hospital and I drove the 90 miles every morning to be with her and returned home in time to get my assignments done for The Times. From that time until her death in 1998, we were paying over $400 a month for medication to keep Frances alive. She was worth every cent.

Back to the 1995 commissioners’ meeting. There were a number of taxpayers expressing their opinions on the pros and cons of the county becoming involved with a private enterprise. Unfortunately, I was the only one present from the southeast corner of the county. Warren Williams was chair of the Board of Commissioners at the time and he expressed concern that no one was present from the Forest City area. He spotted me in the audience and asked if I had any comment concerning the issue.

I stood up and said if I could be recognized as a taxpayer for 23 years in the county and not as a reporter assigned to cover the meeting, I would comment. Mr. Williams acknowledged my request and I spoke.

Basically what I said was that there are three things in a community that I would not like to see close – churches, schools and hospitals. I singled out Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale for saving my wife’s life. The doctors agreed she would not have survived if the ambulance had to take her to Scranton.

There was a reporter present from the Independent and he chose to quote me in his article. However, instead of quoting me as P. Jay Amadio, taxpayer, he quoted me as P. Jay Amadio, a reporter for The Scranton Times. The Scranton Times has an unwritten rule that prohibits reporters from talking at meetings they are assigned to cover. Every reporter I ever met since I started in this business 50 years ago, makes enemies. One of my enemies forwarded a copy of the Independent’s article to the managing editor of The Times and he called me on the carpet. I explained why I had spoke and what I said, but he fired me on the spot.

I was a union member at The Times and the union promised to fight for me. But the union attorney told me it would be a long, drawn-out process. So, I filed for unemployment compensation and started collecting it, until The Times learned what I was doing. I was assured by employees at the Employment Bureau that I would be allowed to continue signing-up for unemployment. Then I learned about the power of the Lynett Tribunal. They fought the issue and even though Commissioners Williams and Blachek testified on my behalf at the hearing, I lost the right to collect unemployment.

My fellow employees at The Times took up a collection and presented me with $1,000 so my wife and I could enjoy Christmas. But I still had the $400 monthly medicine bills, a mortgage on our home, and a few other debts, not counting food and utilities. Besides experience in journalism, I was also a radio personality for 8 years on WCDL-AM and WLSP-FM in Carbondale. So I sought jobs in radio or newspapers but no one would touch me. I was 63 years old and out of work. Try finding a job at that age.

I asked The Times for my severance pay because the medical bills were piling up. At first, they refused. Then they sent me a lengthy legally-prepared sign-off agreement advising me that I must drop the suit against them, promise not to sue in the future, promise not to contact the American Civil Liberties Union and a number of other organizations. I was over a barrel and would have agreed to anything to get my hands on money for my wife’s medicine. I signed off.

Larry Souder of WPEL in Montrose offered me a part-time position covering county government and I accepted. In December of 1996, Chuck Ficarro, publisher of The Transcript, also offered me a part-time position and I accepted. I now do part-time work for WPEL and The Transcript.

So there you are my friends. The reason I am no longer at The Scranton Times.

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

When a person is arrested for committing a criminal act, he is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. You have all heard the words. But what do they mean? First, there is a presumption that a person is innocent and not guilty. An accused stands before a court and jury as an innocent person until the government proves guilt. A criminal defendant enters a courtroom wearing a cloak of innocence, and that cloak cannot be removed unless and until there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant has committed a crime. Because a defendant is presumed innocent, a defendant is not required to present any proof whatsoever nor is a defendant required to prove his innocence.

What type of proof is necessary to overcome the presumption of innocence? First, the necessary proof to convict a criminal defendant is the highest level of proof required by the law in any proceeding. In criminal cases, a prosecutor bears the most difficult task of any litigant in the American legal system in that the government is required to meet the most exacting standard imposed upon any party – proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, a defendant is presumed innocent and the government is required to prove guilt by overcoming the heaviest standard of proof. The criminal justice system was designed intentionally to protect the innocent from wrongful conviction. As a direct result, the system also provides substantial protection to a defendant.

Although you have all heard it, what does proof beyond a reasonable doubt mean? A reasonable doubt is a doubt that would cause a careful and sensible person to hesitate before acting upon a matter of importance in his own affairs. It must be real doubt; it cannot be imagined or manufactured. It must be based upon the evidence (or lack of evidence) presented at the time of trial. A reasonable doubt is the type of doubt that would cause you to reconsider an important decision, such as marriage or relocating to a different area. A reasonable doubt must be a serious and well-founded conclusion that stands in the way of a conviction.

The Commonwealth must present proof beyond a reasonable doubt in order to obtain a conviction. The Commonwealth does not have to prove guilt absolutely or with mathematical certainty; such proof in most cases would be impossible to tender. Rather, the Commonwealth must provide the jury with sufficient evidence of guilt that leaves the jury without a reasonable doubt as to guilt. Finally, the Commonwealth must convince all 12 of the jurors, not merely a majority of the jurors. Even if there is one juror who concludes that in his mind there is reasonable doubt, then the votes of the 11 other jurors are not sufficient to support a conviction.

Thus, the trial becomes a struggle between the prosecutor, who attempts to convince the jury that the evidence demonstrates guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, and the defense attorney, who attempts to highlight weaknesses in the case, or, in the lack of weaknesses, attempts to manufacture doubt in the minds of jurors. As a result, the evidence is spun in different directions with jurors being left to determine the truth. Therein lies the triumph of our criminal justice system: we rely upon randomly selected citizens, armed with their common sense and life experience, to sit impartially and determine the strength of the evidence. Remember, when a defendant is found not guilty, this does not mean that he is innocent; rather, it simply means that a jury (or judge) has concluded that the proof was not sufficient to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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 heard that older people are the leading victims of dog bites. Is this true?

No. More than 60 percent of the people who are bitten by dogs are children. The elderly are second and people like mail carriers and meter readers are third.

Children often don’t know how to act around dogs and frighten them into aggressive behavior. Older people are more prone to being bitten by an aggressive dog because they tend to be slower and weaker than younger adults. Mail carriers walk onto property the dogs consider their domain to defend.

Dogs bite more than 4.7 million Americans a year. About 800,000 of these victims seek medical attention. Of those injured, 386,000 require treatment in an emergency department and about a dozen die.

Here are some tips from the experts on how to avoid being attacked by a dog:

Don’t look a dog straight in the eye. This is provocative.

Do not run away from or past a dog. This can make them aggressive and want to chase you.

Never go up to a dog you don’t know and try to get friendly, especially if the dog is behind a fence, tethered or in a parked car.

If an unfamiliar dog comes up to you, stand still. Most of the time, the dog will sniff you and then walk away.

Never bother a dog that is eating or sleeping, and stay away from a mother tending to her litter.

If you're threatened by a dog, don’t yell. Respond calmly. In a commanding voice, tell the dog to go away. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly.

If you are attacked, give the dog an object, such as a jacket or tote to bite. If you are knocked down, roll yourself into a ball and lie still. Cover your head and face with your hands.

Call your doctor if: the bite is on your hand, foot or head; the bite is deep or gaping; you have any condition that could weaken your ability to fight infection; there are signs of infection; there is bleeding after 15 minutes of pressure; there are signs of a broken bone, nerve damage or another serious injury, and if your last tetanus shot was more than five years ago.

For bites that don’t require a doctor’s care, you should clean the wound with soap and water, apply pressure with a clean towel to stop bleeding, apply a sterile bandage to the wound, keep the injury elevated above the level of the heart to slow swelling and prevent infection, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound twice daily until it heals.

An immediate concern that comes to mind after a dog bite is rabies.

Rabies is uncommon in dogs in the United States. If a dog appears to be healthy, it probably does not have rabies. However, if you’re bitten by a dog, you should take some precautions.

If you are familiar with the dog that bit you, check its vaccination record. Even if it has been vaccinated, it should still be quarantined for 10 days to insure it doesn't exhibit rabies symptoms. If the dog has rabies, you will need to get a series of rabies shots.

If the animal is a stray, call the animal control agency or health department in your area. They will try to find the animal so it can be tested for rabies. If the authorities can't find the animal that bit you, your doctor will probably want you to get the shots.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Last week’s column was an introduction to blood pressure and what the terms “systolic” and “diastolic” mean. I wrote about how we measure and report blood pressure, but didn’t get into why it’s so important. And it IS important, otherwise it wouldn’t be one of the very first things that’s done at every visit to every doctor.

Later columns will go into detail about just how high blood pressure can kill you in many different and nasty ways, but for now it’s enough to say that it’s a very important (in fact, a vital) sign of health, and should be properly measured and recorded.

When a blood pressure is taken with a sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff), the measurement is an approximation. That is, we’re reading the pressure in the cuff as the artery “pops open” after being squeezed shut from air pumped into the cuff around it. That means the right-sized cuff must be used, and it must be applied properly, in the right place, to get an accurate reading. You might notice that the person checking your blood pressure switches cuffs before checking you. This is because the inflatable bladder within the cuff has to completely circle the arm without significant overlap or else the pressure in the cuff will not accurately reflect the pressure in the artery below it. The standard-sized adult cuff fits most people, but children, the elderly, infants, and people with larger arms all need special cuffs. There are also cuffs for the thigh and the leg, although the standard place to measure blood pressure is the brachial artery in the arm (just in front of the elbow joint). This is the standard spot because it is closest to the level of the heart. When you think about it, you realize that the pressure of blood in your vessels must be higher in your toes than in your head, so we compromise and measure it roughly halfway up the body, at the level of the heart. The heart is the organ most directly involved in circulation, so it makes sense to be most concerned about the blood pressure at that level. After all, it is the diastolic pressure that fills the heart with blood for each beat. In order to get the best and most accurate measure of blood pressure, it is important to apply the right cuff in the right way to the right part of the person the right height. Which sounds more complicated than it is, but is emphasized because there are lots of gadgets out there which measure blood pressure in the wrist, finger or ear lobe and these are simply not as helpful or valuable (or accurate) as brachial (arm) pressures.

People with vascular diseases often have their blood pressure measured in their ankle and compared to that in their arm, something called the “ankle/brachial index”, which is useful in determined how badly arteries may be narrowed.

When monitoring blood pressure, it’s important to get several readings. Pressure is usually highest at the end of the day but most heart attacks and strokes occur in the early morning. (I always thought that was a great excuse to sleep late.) When you start monitoring your pressure, you should always check it in the mornings, as close as possible to awakening, and again at the end of the day. Random checks throughout the day may alert you to the times when your pressure is unusually high or low, which is important to know when timing medication dose. After several days of checking BP several times a day, it’s usually enough to check just once or twice, at the times you’ve learned your own pressure is highest. Always record the date, time and the measured BP in a daily log that you can review with your doctor. Pay more attention to trends rather than individual numbers. Your risk is a actually greater if your BP is always at 140/90 than if it goes up to 150/100 briefly every couple of days. Don’t be overly concerned about any one particular reading, again, it is the overall trend that is important. Certainly, a “top” number over 180 or a “bottom” number over 100 should not be ignored, especially if you are having any symptoms, and be sure to contact your doctor to discuss values like these. If you’re having any symptoms along with these high readings, you should be seen by your doctor or in the ER. I won’t list the dozens of symptoms of high blood pressure here because I want to keep it simple: if your systolic BP is over 180 OR your diastolic is over 100, AND you are feeling poorly, you should be seen urgently. The numbers alone don’t make it an emergency, but symptoms along with it do.

Next week: all about symptoms of high and low BP, and why and how it causes problems. As always, though, if there is something you want to learn more about or have explained, 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

Carl and Virginia Upright took time from their busy schedule to slip away to Bangor, PA where they were guests of his brother, David and wife, Chrissy, recently.

Kirk and Alice Rhone spent a few days of vacation with sister, Helen and husband, Bob Stone, Pitman, New Jersey.

Rosemary Cosentino and mother, Marie Soden from Tyrone, PA spent a pleasant afternoon with me last Tuesday. We got in a couple games of Quiddler.

Barb Glover is recuperating at home after surgery on her shoulder at Marian Hospital in Carbondale last Tuesday.

Vincent and Andrea Matta and children visited family in Ohio for four days and enjoyed the big amusement park called The Cedar Point.

It was a pleasure to have my grandson, Steve Dickey from Binghamton, NY spend Sunday afternoon with me.


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