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Issue Home September 6, 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

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: The most disastrous wreck that has ever taken place on the Montrose branch of the Lackawanna occurred on the down trip Wednesday evening. The accident happened at A. L. Millard’s crossing, just below Tiffany station, and while Engineer Spence had a very narrow escape from death, none of the passengers or trainmen were injured. The engine, which after being derailed, was ditched and thrown over on its side and was so badly damaged that it had to be towed to Scranton by the wrecking crew and must undergo extensive repairs. It appears that a temporary crossing had been made over the track on the Millard farm, which was really the cause of the disaster. It was made by laying planks alongside the rails so that a wagon, when heavily loaded, might be drawn over it. The supposition is that in passing over the track late in the day, the wagon wheels dislodged a plank and shoved it upon one of the rails, where it lay un-noticed. When struck, the wheels left the rails and bounded along the ties for perhaps a 100 ft. The train was going about 40 miles an hour and after it tore along for the distance mentioned, the driving wheels jumped the track and the engine plunged to the right, striking a stone wall and toppling over on its side. Luckily only a box car followed the engine, the coaches remaining on the rails. Few of the passengers realized the extent of the accident, until informed or themselves witnessing the damage wrought, although the sudden stopping of the train, as the engine was reversed, jolted the occupants of the cars considerably.

RUSHVILLE: J. S. Hillis and daughters started Wednesday evening for their new home in Seattle. They were passengers on the L & M train derailed below Tiffany station and consequently delayed in pursuing their journey across the continent.

LAWTON: The Lawton Fair yesterday drew a big crowd, it being estimated there were present 4,000 people. It was an ideal fair day and all attending were well satisfied.

JACKSON: Joe Callahan, of Susquehanna, caught in Butler Lake what was perhaps the largest pike or pickerel ever caught in an inland lake in the county. It weighed twelve and one half pounds.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: Our school was to have opened on Tuesday last, but for some unknown cause it did not, perhaps the Lawton fair. AND: Friendsville was expected down to play a game of ball on Sunday last, but failed to come.

FRANKLIN: S. D. Turrell has sold the D. O. Turrell house to Owen Tiffany, who will remove it to Steam Hollow and rebuild it.

LENOX: Mr. and Mrs. Orrin Rose welcomed to their home, on Saturday evening, Sept. 1, their 10th child, a daughter.

MONTROSE: Brown & Fassett, the millers, offer three prizes for loaves of bread baked from their Pure White flour and exhibited at the county fair. The first prize will be a barrel of flour, the second a half barrel and the third a quarter barrel. Susquehanna county has some good bread bakers and here is a chance to exert their skill to profitable purpose if they win.

HARFORD: The determination of the Harrisburg authorities to stop gambling at fairs does not apply to Harford, as we never have tolerated it.

BRACKNEY: J. C. Mahoney reported frost along the creek flats.

BINGHAMTON: Rev. Dr. R. A. Torrey, the world-renowned evangelist, and Chas. M. Alexander, the famous singer, who have been conducting such wonderful revivals in this country the past year, are to have charge of a great evangelistic conference in Binghamton, Oct. 8-9-10. The conference is to be held in the West Presbyterian church and will probably be one of the most notable religious gatherings ever held in that city, and preparations will be made accordingly.

HARFORD: The students of the Harford Graded School, with the teachers of 1880-96, held a reunion recently at Tyler’s Lake, as guests of Supt. and Mrs. Stearns. It was delightful to those who had gathered from near and far to have a social time and look into each other’s faces once more. The teachers present were, Prof. Thatcher; County Supt. Stearns; Arta Sweet, of Denver, Col.; Miss Katharine Quinlan and Mrs. J. M. Clark. It being a very hot day they were treated to ice cream and lemonade.

THOMPSON: Miss Mildred Barnes, daughter of S. D. Barnes and a graduate of the State Normal School, at Mansfield, began her first term of teaching in the Herrick Center school, and her many friends expect she will be a success in this effort as she has been in her former endeavors.

WELSH HILL, Clifford Twp.: The summer boarders have about all gone, also the campers, for another year.

FOREST CITY: Plans are underway for a co-operative grocery store to be opened in the Kennedy Building on South Main street, under the auspices of local union men. J. L. Morgan will manage the venture.

BORDEN’S CONTRACT DAY: The Borden’s Condensed Milk Co. will contract for their supply of milk for the next six months, on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The contract books will be opened at 7 a.m. and close at 4 unless the quantity desired be procured at an earlier hour. The company is prepared to handle a larger quantity of milk this fall than ever before, on account of better shipping facilities. It is hoped that a large number of new dairymen will sell to the company this fall as their prices usually exceed any other prices in the country.

NEWS BRIEFS: Now that the schools are reopening, it is well for every scholar to read the following: The average educated man gets $1000 per year. He works forty years, making a total of $40,000 in a lifetime. The average day laborer gets $1.50 per day, 300 days in the year, or $450 per year. In ten years he earns $4500 or $18,000 in a lifetime. The difference between $40,000 and $18,000 or $22,000 equals the value of an education in dollars. To acquire 12 years of school of 180 days each, or a total of 2160 days, divide $22,000, value of an education, by 2160, number of days required in getting it, and we find each day of school is worth a little more than $10 to the pupil. AND: Chestnutting time is not far distant. The frosts will give the signal to gather them.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Sherwood Gets His Share

Early in 2005, USA Today broke the story regarding the Bush administration paying Armstrong Williams, a prominent Washington columnist at the time, to promote its education policy, possibly violating U.S. law.

Williams received $240,000 for his help through a public-relations firm hired by the Education Department. As part of his deal with the Bush administration, he was paid to convince other journalists that they should write about No Child Left Behind as well. After the deal leaked out and he was terminated by Tribune Media Services, the syndicate that distributed his column, he said he regretted taking the contract.

However, when Ralph Neas, president of People for the American Way, called on Williams to hand back the cash, Williams balked. He was quoted at the time as saying, "That would be ludicrous because they bought advertising and they got it."

A number of federal laws prohibit taxpayers’ money from being used to influence public opinion including the Anti-Lobbying Act of 1919 and the Anti-Deficiency Act of 1906. But, as usual in Washington, things have a way of falling through the cracks or of being shelved until they are forgotten.

Right now I have in front of me four pieces of advertising paraphernalia from the office of Congressman Don Sherwood. The most recent one arrived last week. For all intent and purpose, they are carefully written informative flyers designed to keep Sherwood’s constituents informed about what he is doing in Washington. My friends, trust me, they are all pieces of campaign literature. And they all have inscriptions on them that read, “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”

Here’s one that reads: “Congressman Don Sherwood...Serving the 10th District of Pennsylvania. Working for Pennsylvania’s priorities: A strong Economy; Quality health care; Lower energy prices.” Republican friends of Sherwood tell me that is not campaign material. You be the judge.

Here is another: “Controlling spending in Congress... A Special Report...Congressman Don Sherwood....Control Spending, Cut Taxes, and Create Jobs.” And on the flip side: Congressman Don Sherwood. “..Fighting for lower taxes for seniors; Protecting small businesses and job growth; voting to stop a major tax increase.” That’s not political either, is it?

Here’s more “non-political” stuff from Congressman Sherwood: “Working for your priorities in Pennsylvania: Job creation and economic growth; ensuring our first responders have the resources they need; stopping illegal immigration; fighting methamphetamine.”

It hasn't been too long ago that there were published reports of Sherwood’s campaign bankroll growing in leaps and bounds. If this be the case, why is he using taxpayers’ money to bolster his re-election campaign? And these aren't typewritten letters on typical 8 1/2 x 11 inch paper. These are spiffy looking, multi-colored and multi-paged brochures that cost big bucks to produce and mail.

Oh, yes, there is something else of interest printed on all of them – “Public Document, Official Business.” Really! Since when is mailing out a piece of campaign literature at taxpayers’ expense considered official business? Since when is a six-page brochure featuring seven pictures of Congressman Sherwood considered official business?

Don’t worry all you Sherwood faithful, your congressman won’t get in trouble over this one. Although heaven only knows he should. But you can bet the ranch that he is only one of many congressmen dipping into the federal coffers for every penny he can get. However, he is the only congressman representing us and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like politicians who get thousands and thousands of dollars donated to their campaign funds and continue to bleed the taxpayers.

As of January, Senators and Representatives received salaries of $165,200 per year. In the House, an amount is appropriated to cover personnel costs (up to 18 full-time employees), office expenses (for travel costs, office space and equipment), and a mail allowance (for official Congressional business). From the Library of Congress we are told “Funds can be diverted from one expense category to another but cannot be used for personal expenses or campaign expenses.” Really!!

Figures compiled in 2004 show total appropriations per congressman in that year ranged from $701,136 to $1,636,750. Between his salary, monetary allowance and campaign contributions, will someone please explain to me why our congressman should be preparing and mailing campaign literature at taxpayers’ expense?

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

In June 2003, Samuel Cordoba dated a man with the initials of J.C. for about two weeks, and, even in such a short period of time, their relationship was sexual. Cordoba and J.C. began performing oral sex upon each other without the use of condoms. Thereafter, J.C. saw prescription bottles in Cordoba’s medicine cabinet, and became fearful that Cordoba had HIV/AIDS. Cordoba did not disclose that he had any life threatening contagious disease prior to the sexual contact. After this discovery, J.C. confronted Cordoba in an attempt to confirm his fears. Cordoba admitted to J.C. that he was infected. As a result, J.C. went to the police to report this deception and demanded the arrest of Cordoba. Since that time, J.C. has been tested every six months, and his tests have been negative.

As a result of J.C.’s report, Cordoba was arrested for Recklessly Endangering Another Person, a misdemeanor of the second degree, which requires proof that a person recklessly engaged in conduct that placed or may have placed another at risk of death or serious bodily injury. The Commonwealth argued that the reckless act was the act of Cordoba engaging in oral sexual intercourse while he was infected with HIV/AIDS. The trial court dismissed the charges, concluding that there was insufficient evidence. In its opinion, the trial court determined that J.C. had consented to the sexual contact, and that the legislature had not intended to criminalize consensual sexual contact simply based upon the failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease. The trial court relied upon a public policy argument that those infected with HIV/AIDS “carry a heavy burden, and to further stigmatize them would accomplish very little.” The Commonwealth filed an appeal, contending that there was sufficient evidence to support the charge.

The Superior Court wholly rejected the trial court’s decision. The Superior Court noted that the Commonwealth need only prove that Cordoba’s conduct may have placed the defendant in danger of death or serious bodily injury. In other words, the Commonwealth need only demonstrate “that there may have been the possibility or risk of harm, regardless of the likelihood of the manifestation of that harm.” The Superior Court also concluded that the contraction of HIV/AIDS would constitute a serious bodily injury for purposes of the statute as such an infection could lead to death. With respect to the argument that Cordoba did not act recklessly, the Superior Court simply noted that reckless conduct includes conduct that constitutes a “gross deviation from the standard of conduct that a reasonable person would observe.” In this case, the unanimous panel of the Superior Court concluded that Cordoba’s conduct was reckless and may have placed J.C. at risk of death or serious bodily injury. As such, the Superior Court reversed the dismissal of the charges and remanded the case for trial.

As to the consent argument, the Superior Court questioned whether there was any actual consent by J.C. where Cordoba never disclosed the potential for infection. In other words, J.C. could not have consented to allowing Cordoba to place him at risk of death or serious bodily injury when J.C. was unaware of that such a potential existed. Thus, the trial court’s contention that the victim consented was wholly rejected.

But what if J.C. had consented? Under the statute, consent of a victim is not a defense to a charge of recklessly endangering another person. Thus, if the facts had been different, and J.C. had known of the disease and consented to the sexual contact, and thereafter he and Cordoba had a fight that motivated J.C. to report the matter to the police, there is nothing in the statute that would allow a defendant to avoid accountability for the reckless conduct based upon the willingness of the victim to engage in the reckless conduct. The Superior Court acknowledged that there was nothing in the statute that provided a consent defense, but refused to opine further, as those facts were not present in this case. The court only noted: “If and when the Commonwealth were to decide to prosecute an individual for such activity, it could certainly raise constitutional issues that are well beyond the scope of our decision here.”

In short, a person infected with a sexually transmitted disease may be arrested and charged with recklessly engendering another person where that person fails to disclose the existence of the disease prior to engaging in sexual intercourse with a consenting victim. If there is full disclosure, and the parties mutually agree to engage in sexual activities with full knowledge of the dangers inherent thereto, it would appear from the cryptic language in this recent decision that criminal charges would not be permitted based upon unspecified constitutional concerns.

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

I’ve received quite a few inquiries related to breast cancer. I can’t answer them all in one column so I’m doing a three-part series. This is the first installment.

Breast cancer is second – behind lung cancer – as the leading cause of cancer death in women. This year, about 40,970 women will die from breast cancer in the United States. The chance of developing invasive breast cancer at some time in a woman's life is about 1 in 8.

The female breast is composed primarily of milk-producing glands (lobules), ducts that connect the glands to the nipple, and soft tissue. Breast cancer is a malignant tumor that has grown from breast cells. Nearly all breast cancers start in the ducts or lobules of the breast. The cancer can spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body, but it will continue to be defined as breast cancer.

There are many forms of breast cancer. Infiltrating ductal carcinoma (IDC) is the most common form. It starts in a duct, then breaks through the duct wall and invades the tissue of the breast. At this point, it can metastasize through the lymphatic vessels and the bloodstream. About 80% of invasive breast cancers are infiltrating ductal carcinomas.

Lymph plays a major role in breast cancer. It is a fluid that carries immune-system cells through lymphatic vessels. Lymph nodes are small collections of these cells in the vessels. Almost all lymphatic vessels in the breast connect to lymph nodes under the arm.

Cancer cells that enter lymphatic vessels can spread and begin to grow in lymph nodes. This is why doctors check the lymph nodes to see if breast cancer has spread.

Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) is the most common type of noninvasive breast cancer. The term “in situ” means the cancer is confined to its original site. DCIS denotes that the cancer cells are inside the ducts but have not spread through the walls of the ducts into the surrounding breast tissue. About 20% of new breast cancer cases will be DCIS. Nearly all women diagnosed at this early stage of breast cancer can be cured.

There are many risk factors for breast cancer.

The risk rises with age. About 77% of women with breast cancer are older than 50 when they are diagnosed.

Breast cancer risk is higher among women whose close relatives have the disease.

A woman with cancer in one breast is at high risk of developing a new cancer in either of her breasts.

Women who started menstruating before age 12 or who went through menopause after age 55 have a slightly higher risk of breast cancer.

Having multiple pregnancies and becoming pregnant at an early age reduces breast cancer risk.

Long-term use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause increases your risk of breast cancer.

Drinking alcohol is linked to an increased risk of developing breast cancer.

Obesity is a breast cancer risk, especially for women after menopause.

Evidence is growing that exercise reduces breast cancer risk.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Recently I received a letter asking about peripheral artery disease (PAD) and peripheral neuropathy. The first subject follows naturally from my recent series of articles on hypertension, and the latter is an extremely common condition that shares many symptoms with PAD. Thank you for writing in with this question.

As you may recall from last week, arteries that are exposed to elevated pressure start to thicken and narrow. This results in less blood flow and starves everything downstream. Arteries can become permanently narrowed after years of elevated blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, elevated blood sugar (diabetes) and cigarette smoking. Arteries can also spasm and become temporarily narrowed after exposure to substances such as caffeine, nicotine, decongestants, and certain medications. The result of either temporary or permanent narrowing is impaired flow, and if permanently narrowed arteries are further subjected to spasm, tissues and organs downstream can actually die from lack of blood flow. That’s one of the reasons cigarette smoking is so bad for you: it causes arteries to narrow both chronically and acutely, while also reducing the amount of oxygen in the blood.

The symptoms of peripheral artery disease can be remembered as “5 P’s”: Pain, pallor, pulselessness, paresthesia, and poikilothermia. Complicated words, for sure, but pretty straightforward and easily explained.

Pain is self-explanatory: muscles and other organs that don’t get enough oxygen start to hurt. With PAD, it’s usually the muscles in the legs that hurt, usually after exercise, with a symptom called “claudication”. Claudication is cramping, aching or stabbing pain that develops with exercise and resolves with rest. The term is usually used for symptoms in the legs or arms, but similar symptoms can occur in the heart and chest, where it is called “angina”.

Pallor refers to poor skin color. Arteries and capillaries narrow, making the skin pale and cool, and causing the desired rosy blush of skin to fade. Skin literally feels cool to the touch, and capillary blood flow is noticeably delayed when, for example, you pinch a fingernail and wait for the pale area under the nail to refill with blood. It should take less than 2-3 seconds in a healthy person for this to happen, but can be delayed in the presence of PAD.

Pulselessness is self-explanatory: common sites for checking the pulse include the elbow, wrist, ankle, and foot. With PAD, pulses may not be able to be felt, and must be “found” with an ultrasound. Blood pressure readings in the arm and the leg are often compared (ankle-brachial index) to further demonstrate and quantify impaired pulses and arterial flow.

Paresthesia (pare-ess-thee-zee-a) refers to altered sensation. It means that areas are numb or tingly, unable to sense touch or, conversely, hypersensitive. Everybody has had the sensation of their foot or hand “falling asleep” and that prickly/tingly/numb feeling is “paresthesia”. This can result from impaired blood flow, but can also be due to nerve problems (peripheral neuropathy). Circulatory problems can lead to nerve problems, so it’s often complicated to figure out why somebody has a numb or tingly foot. Tests of nerve conduction as well as arterial flow are usually required, and a series of blood tests to look for vitamin deficiency, circulatory impairment, and other conditions are necessary. “Peripheral” neuropathy means that the problems are outside of the brain and spinal cord. Like PAD, peripheral neuropathy causes pain and paresthesia, but there usually are preserved pulses and capillary blood flow.

The final “P” of PAD is “poikilothermia” (poy-killo-thermia) which is a fancy term for “abnormal temperature”. Nobody really uses the term poikilothermia any more, except for the fact that it starts with “P” and thus helps us remember the signs and symptoms of PAD. All it means is that extremities are cool to the touch.

Diagnosis and treatment of PAD and peripheral neuropathy can be complicated because so many symptoms overlap, and because so many different things can cause the conditions. The flip side, though, is that causes usually CAN be identified and treated, and a number of treatment options exist. Controlling and treating underlying conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, nutritional deficiencies, and medication reactions are all extremely important in treating both conditions. PAD may even require surgery to bypass a blocked artery, but usually such drastic measures are not needed, and certainly shouldn’t be seen as the first step, nor an inevitable consequence to living with PAD.

As always, 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

It was a golden opportunity for two girls, recommended by their teacher, to spend a week in Washington, D.C. at the National 4-H Conference Center, taking part in the Young Scholar Program.  Mishawna Hargett, daughter of Julie Hargett, chose as her program, “Nature’s Tightrope” which explored environmental issues. Michaela Rhone, daughter of Dean and April Rhone, chose “Greek Mythology” as her course of study. Nobody could go to Washington, D.C. without sightseeing a bit. The girls came home full of new impressions and ideas. Both girls are excellent students.

Carl and Virginia took a weekend off and drove to Modena, NY to visit son, Brett.

Raymond Sampson, who passed away April 17 at his home in Mechanicsburg, PA is being brought back to the place where he grew up (Starrucca) and will be buried in the Starrucca Cemetery, with a short graveside service, Sunday at 1 p.m. There will be a luncheon at the Baptist Church following the service.

Raymond and my husband were childhood pals. When he went to work at IBM, he encouraged Clyde to go with him, but Clyde felt he should be close to home to look after his mother, so missed a rewarding career, but Raymond worked with the company for thirty-eight years. He retired in 1980 and he and his wife traveled all over, gathering statistics for his genealogy of the Sampson family. The Sampson family was part of the founding of Starrucca. Raymond also published several papers on his remembrances of growing up here, which I believe are still available. He will be sorely missed by family and friends. He was an admirable Christian man.

I had the pleasure of having my sister, Betty and husband, Bob, Lansdale, PA spend four days with me last week. On Saturday we betook ourselves to Sterling, Wayne County for the annual school reunion. Out of my class of ’33 of fourteen graduates, only five remain. Four of us attended the reunion, all of us in our ninetieth year, some already past, some approaching and all of us making light of our aches and pains and having a good time reminiscing.

Nancy, my daughter, arrived last Friday, bringing with her a five-gallon pail of paint that I needed for garage and porch.


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