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Issue Home September 20, 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

LENOXVILLE: Clarence G. Stephens, the enterprising grocer, held the fifth annual gathering of his customers on Tuesday. On reaching Lenoxville one at first would have supposed that a county fair was in progress from the number of people present--one thousand being a low estimate. The South Gibson band of 25 pieces enlivened the occasion with choice music, and a base ball game between clubs from Royal and Lenoxville resulted in a tie, the score being 3-3 at the end of seven innings. Refreshments of all kinds were served. In the store a force of 14 clerks were kept busy all the time attending to the wants of the many customers.

FOREST CITY: Failure of a brake to work on a southbound Forest City trolley car, at the Simpson crossing, Friday forenoon, caused a wreck in which two passengers were severely injured and three others sustained more or less shock by being thrown from their seats. The severely injured were Robert Ramsey of Scranton and John Pastine of Wilson Creek. The car, which was in charge of Motorman William Van Gorder and conductor John Farrell, was lost control of by the failure of the brake to respond to the motorman. There was a train being switched on the railroad and the car crashed against it.

SUSQUEHANNA: Benjamin F. Pride, formerly editor of the Susquehanna Journal, has accepted a position on the editorial staff of the Binghamton Republican. Mr. Pride has been a resident for 35 years in Susquehanna, but owing to his acceptance of this position will remove to Binghamton.

GELATT: Some time Saturday morning burglars entered W.A. Wheeler’s general store at Gelatt and stole a number of small articles. They then proceeded to W.W. Pope’s undertaking rooms, which are situated between Gelatt and Jackson, and blowed open a safe belonging to A.W. Conrad, J. P., who had an office in Pope’s building, securing $170 in cash and a number of valuable papers. While in the undertaking rooms, they destroyed two mirrors. As yet there is no clew as to the identity of the parties.

JERSEY HILL: After Rev. A.R. Fiske of Auburn 4 Corners had gone to Sunday school at Jersey Hill, Mrs. Fiske was getting ready to go to church at a later hour. Having an errand, she went into the spare bedroom when she was attacked by a large milk snake lying in the wash bowl wound around the pitcher. Her cries for help soon brought Mort Grow, who killed the unwelcome house pet. Mrs. Fiske was somewhat frightened. She stood on a chair and fished the rest of her clothes out of the clothes press with a long pole and since then she is very careful that there are no “snakes in her boots” when she puts them on.

MONTROSE: The road stretching from the Methodist church down Bank street as far as Mrs. Annie Fancher’s is sadly in need of improvement. At present its condition is worse than “the rocky road to Dublin,” and pedestrians do not relish the idea of walking over thousands of small cobble-stones. They should be cleared from the road by some one belonging to the “good roads” clan. AND: “My impression of the first annual exhibition of the present County Agricultural Society is that it was held in the fall of 1847, in the Court House, and that I attended it. The vegetables and domestic manufacturers were there, but the stock was on the Green, and the following year the Fair, too, was held there in a tent. Can any one assure me that my location of these two exhibitions is correct?” E.C.B.

BROOKLYN: Our High School began on Sept. 17, with Prof. Beardsley, of Little Meadows, as principal, Miss Nellie Stilwell of Dimock, Assistant; Miss Titus of Lenox, intermediate and Mary Hearn, primary. The attendance is larger than last year, as the school in the Peckham district is closed. Only one school, that at Alford, is kept open in the township, all the children being brought into town by “kid wagons.”

SILVER LAKE: John A. Gillooly [Gillooley] and wife have two bright little boys (the last one was registered September the 10th, 1906), to brighten their beautiful home and to be brought up in good old Democratic style. Oh yes, Friend Gillooly, we’ll take a cigar, thank you, and if grandma Kanane wants to pass around some of her good, old-fashioned pumpkin pie, we wouldn’t object, Oh no.

HARFORD: The Harford Fair premiums amount to over $1400. This is a fair where you see all your friends--it’s a great family reunion. Morning trains No. 15 North and 2 South will stop at Kingsley the morning of the 27th for the accommodation of the fair visitors. The Kingsley Cornet Band will furnish music for the fair. The band is now under the instruction of C. M. Sutton, Binghamton. Of course there will be the merry-go-round for the children. Bring an exhibit of some kind. It will help the fair.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: The best ball game of the season was played here Sunday. The Middletown Centre nine and the Hill nine chose some from each nine and played a close game. Talley was 3 and 1. Tierny from New York and Michael Redding were the pitchers. The game was between the two batteries.

DIMOCK: Don’t miss the entertainment in the M.E. church next Saturday evening, Sept. 22nd by Miss Ada Storm, of Philadelphia. Miss Storm has had special success along the line of evening entertainments and the friends at Dimock will no doubt enjoy this treat.

FRANKLIN: Almond Southworth has just returned home from the South, where he has been living for the past 2 years for his health, and it has done him good.

NEW MILFORD: The “Home Coming” is a thing of the past and was a success from start to finish. The town was finely decorated. The streets cleaned and lawns attended to, that the home comers might realize what they had lost by leaving New Milford. It was a most interesting sight to see them clasp hands then wait for recognition and many faces were wet with tears they could not restrain as friend met friend they had not seen for years. The Hallstead band furnished music. Col. Pratt did himself proud in an address of welcome. Joe Hibbard, of Kansas City, came next with a speech. Will McManus captured the crowd with a song, “I Want to Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune” changed to “I Want to Hear an Old New Milford Tune” played by Hager’s Cornet Band. Then followed a speech from A.B. Smith, an old New Milford boy. After that came dinner, the photographing of the “old timers”, a ball game, fire works and a dance in the evening.

DUNDAFF: Miss Mabel Hamerstine, living near here, inherited $5000 from a distant relative in Pittsburgh and received a check for that amount the other day. When her wealth became known, she had 14 offers of marriage in about a week.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Spring of ‘07 Could Be A Dandy

If last week’s meeting of the Susquehanna County Board of Commissioners can be considered a preview of next year’s Republican Primary Election campaign, don’t go away folks. It promises to be a dandy.

Fred Baker III, who is acting more like a candidate every day, took on Roberta Kelly at the commissioners’ meeting and found out that she is no paper tiger. Political experts would probably call it a draw or perhaps give Baker a slight edge on their first real confrontation but round two should be nothing short of stunning.

By the way, Baker has already told a number of people that he will be a candidate in 2007, so he is almost forced into running to maintain any semblance of credibility. Wonder if he will run with Jeff Loomis as a team – Mutt & Jeff – or will he go solo. And if he does go solo, since they both live in the Montrose area, will they be vying for a lot of the same votes?

As expected, ballots on both sides of the political spectrum will probably be crowded. Besides the incumbents, Kelly & Loomis, undoubtedly Lee Smith will be throwing his hat in the ring, Tom Jurista will also be there. So will Baker. And there may be a surprise or two.

On the minority side of the fence, Warren will probably face some competition. Sam Merrill, vice chair of the Railroad Authority, has been dropping hints that he may run. Barney Wilkins, who is the party’s state committeeman, is also testing the water to see if he can muster up enough support to float nominating petitions next February. And don’t rule out former commissioner, Cal Dean.

Keep your eyes peeled here week by week and we'll try to keep you as up to date as possible on Who Wants To Be A County Commissioner.


Francis X-traordinary

Last week the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania announced the reappointment of Attorney Francis X. O’Connor of Great Bend to the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board. His second three-year term began on September 19.

To the average layman, serving on the board doesn't sound like much but when one considers all the lawyers there are across the Commonwealth and the disciplinary board only has 16 members, it becomes something worth crowing about. O’Connor is also the first and to date the only attorney from this neck of the woods to serve on the disciplinary board.

The board was created in 1972 to consider and investigate the conduct of any person subject to the Pennsylvania Rules of Disciplinary Enforcement.

A tip of the soft hat and a hearty congratulations to Francis X. O’Connor.


And in Clifford Township

Folks in this sprawling township are bragging about their local ambulance and who can blame them. The Fire Department ambulance was cited by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Service Council for the Pennsylvania Ambulance Service of the Year Award.

You got to hand it to those folks in Clifford Township. They pull together when needed, work together at every opportunity, and play together. And there are very few volunteer organizations who work hard for everything they got but Clifford most certainly is one of them.

And it’s not only the fire company that works together, but just about every organization in the township from the board of supervisors to every volunteer group in the township. Take a look at what they have accomplished at the site of the former Clifford School since it was taken over by the township.

But the accolades for the time being belong to the fire department and, more specifically, its ambulance group. Congratulations guys and girls!


Last But Far From Least

I am not sure what is going on in Susquehanna County, but I went into Voter Registration last week and asked for a new voter registration list. They did have them on compact discs for something like four bucks; the last list I got was free.

They got a new gal behind the counter since Linda Hollenbeck left and she said the compact discs with the countywide list of voters are no longer free. I asked how much and she said two cents a voter. I thought gasoline prices were kind of off the wall but this is ridiculous.


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

Boba Fett was the first bounty hunter that I ever knew. For those few who have never watched the Star Wars saga, while in the Cloud City of Bespin, Fett, with the assistance of Darth Vader, captured Han Solo, a rogue, smuggler, and captain of the Millennium Falcon. A notorious intergalactic gangster, Jabba the Hutt, had put a reward out for the capture of Han Solo, who apparently had stiffed Hutt in some nefarious smuggling deal. Hutt paid Fett the reward for the capture of Solo after Fett turned Solo over to Hutt.

Unfortunately, Hutt was not a governmental entity, and did not have the legal ability to authorize the apprehension of Solo. Hutt wanted Solo for purely personal reasons – revenge. Boba Fett did not apprehend Solo because there was an arrest warrant outstanding. Fett was acting as a wholly personal agent in the apprehension of Solo and turned Solo over to a known and notorious crime organization run by Hutt. In common parlance, Fett kidnapped Solo and was paid for this criminal act by Hutt. If Fett and Hutt had been in Susquehanna County, they would have been arrested for Kidnapping, Unlawful Restraint, and False Imprisonment. Of course, Han Solo was abducted in a galaxy far, far away, and there were either no laws governing such activity or no one to enforce the those laws.

Mexico is not a far away galaxy, but a sovereign nation neighboring the United States. Mexico apparently not only has laws governing kidnapping, but also has the means to enforce those laws. Dog the Bounty Hunter a/k/a Duane Chapman was arrested in Honolulu in connection with his activities in apprehending an absconding defendant in Mexico. The defendant had been charged with serious felony offenses, relating to the rape of three separate women, and fled the country in the middle of his trial. The defendant was ultimately convicted and sentenced to over 100 years in prison. Dog made it all possible by apprehending him in Mexico and bringing the rapist back to the United States to face justice. So, you might say, what is the problem?

Dog has his own television show where viewers can watch him and his crew hunting and catching bail jumpers, i.e., persons who failed to appear for court and warrants are issued for their arrest. Dog runs a bail bond business. In other words, he takes money from people to help them post bail. If the bail is $50,000, and the defendant cannot afford to pay the money, his family can pay Dog a portion of that money and Dog will post the bond to the court guaranteeing the appearance of a defendant. Dog takes a percentage of the money posted by the family for his fee for acting as the surety for the bail. When a defendant fails to appear or absconds, Dog is on the hook for the entire amount of the bail unless the defendant is apprehended. Generally, under such circumstances, Dog has the legal authority to apprehend those individuals who have jumped their bail, i.e. failed to appear and/or absconded without further notice. Dog’s authority, however, is not unlimited. While the United States Supreme Court has suggested that a bounty hunter may pursue bail jumpers across state lines, no such authority exists when you enter other countries, such as Mexico, unless the country has specifically granted the bounty hunter such authority to act.

Dog apparently learned where the defendant had absconded – and it was in Mexico. Dog and his posse went down to Mexico and successfully apprehended the defendant, but never turned him over to the Mexican authorities. The Mexican police demanded that the defendant be turned over to them, Dog refused and charges were filed for kidnapping and related charges. Dog posted bail, and apparently failed to appear on his hearing date. As in Dog’s show, the failure to appear before the Mexican court resulted in a warrant for his arrest, which was eventually served by United States Marshall Service, which means Dog is in jail and awaiting his transfer to Mexico.

In the end, Dog went to Mexico and acted without legal authority in apprehending the absconding defendant. At a minimum, Dog should have handed the defendant over to the Mexican legal authorities, which apparently was not done. In this regard, Dog’s actions were akin to those of Boba Fett, as both acted without legal authority for the pure financial reward of a bounty. In either case, such action is not lawful. The only difference is the nature of the person apprehended and ultimate disposition: Dog brought a rapist to justice; Boba Fett attempted to condemn an action hero to death. While we despised Boba Fett, I suspect we will praise Dog.

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

This is the last installment of a three-part series on breast cancer.

Breast cancer strikes most often when men are in their sixties.

Male breast cancer? Men do have breast cells that can become cancerous. The disease is uncommon in men; it represents only 1% of all breast cancers. Because of its rarity, many men aren’t aware it exists. And that’s a problem.

For unknown reasons, the incidence of male breast cancer has been increasing. About 2,000 men in the U.S. are diagnosed with breast cancer annually.

Young boys and girls have a small amount of breast tissue made up of a few ducts. At puberty, female hormones in girls make breast ducts grow, milk glands form and fat increase. The male hormones in boys prevent further growth of breast tissue. Men's breast tissue contains ducts, but only a few if any lobules.

The most common symptom of male breast cancer is the same as it is for women – a lump. Other signs include: skin dimpling, a new indentation of the nipple, redness or scaling of breast skin, a clear or bloody discharge from the nipple.

Some risk factors for male breast cancer are:

Age. The average age for a man diagnosed with breast cancer is 67.

Family. About 20 percent of men with breast cancer are related to someone with the disease.

Genes. About 7 percent of breast cancers in men are inherited.

Radiation. There’s a higher risk to men who underwent chest radiation treatments when they were younger.

Klinefelter Syndrome. Men with this syndrome make lower levels of male hormones – androgens – and more female hormones. This can cause gynecomastia, benign breast enlargement. Men with this condition may be at greater risk of breast cancer. Many medicines used to treat ulcers, high blood pressure, and heart failure can cause gynecomastia, too.

Estrogen. The risk is small for men who take estrogen – the main female hormone. Estrogen drugs may be used to treat prostate cancer.

Liver disease. This can increase your risk of gynecomastia and breast cancer.

Obesity. Fat cells convert androgens into estrogen.

Alcohol. Drinking alcohol raises the odds that a man will develop breast cancer. The risk increases with the amount of alcohol consumed.

If a man has a family history of the disease, he should consult a doctor about regular testing. Diagnostic tests for men include a clinical breast exam, mammograms, ultrasound, biopsy and, if indicated, a nipple discharge exam.

Breast cancer treatment for men is similar to that given to women. Some men may need only surgery. Others will need surgery and radiation, chemotherapy or hormone therapy.

There isn’t much tissue to a man's breast, so removing the cancer usually means excising most of the tissue. The procedures that are used on women to save breast tissue aren’t practicable for men.

Most men with breast cancer require a modified radical mastectomy. In this procedure, a surgeon removes the entire breast and some underarm lymph nodes, but leaves chest muscles intact.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Q. Please educate me on lumbar or spinal stenosis (Della).

A. Thank you for writing with your question, and I am glad you asked about such a common and disabling problem. Many people suffer from this condition and it definitely merits discussion and publicity.

“Stenosis” is the medical term for narrowing, and “spinal stenosis” means narrowing of the spinal canal or the small openings on the sides of the canal through which the nerves exit the spinal cord to travel throughout the body. The lumbar spine is the lower part of the back, where the problem most often occurs.

The spinal cord is about the size of a pencil in diameter, but it serves as the major trunk line for the nervous system, and extends down from the brain to the lower back, encased in and protected by the bones of the spine. The bones of the spine are stacked one atop another all the way from the neck to the pelvis, and there are small openings between the individual bones through which nerves exit the spinal cord. The nerves or the cord itself can be compressed when scar tissue or bone builds up and narrows the space through which the nerves pass. When the nerves are compressed or squeezed, a painful process develops and results in both back and leg pain, altered nerve function and weakness.

Spinal stenosis describes this condition, lumbar spinal stenosis describes where in the spine it is happening.

Since the stenosis is usually the result of excess bone or scar tissue formation, this condition is more common in people who have injured their backs, even decades earlier, but it can also develop without any history of injury, because aging alone causes wear and tear on the spine that can lead to stenosis of the nerve passages.

People with spinal stenosis describe pain or weakness in their legs and back. There is often some degree of nerve impairment as well, resulting in altered sensation, numbness or tingling, muscle weakness and impaired reflexes. The legs can feel cramped, tired or weak but often feel better when you’re laying on your side or hunched over a bit, which are positions that “open up” the spinal column and provide a slight increase in the size of the nerve passages. In severe cases, the nerves to the bowels and bladder are compressed, and cause problems with urinary control.

Spinal stenosis can be diagnosed clinically, based on history and exam, but usually some form of imaging such as X-rays, CT or MRI will be done to confirm the condition.

Once the condition is identified, the first step in treatment is to begin exercise and physical therapy, which is often enough to help. By the strength of the back muscles and by improving posture, there is usually less pressure on the nerve and less stenosis. Medications that reduce pain and swelling can be helpful. Both steroids and non-steroid drugs such as ibuprofen or naprosyn are frequently used to relieve pain and to help relieve inflammation. Inflammation causes nerves to swell and also narrows their tiny passages even more, so relieving inflammation can lessen the pressure on a nerve two ways.

In severe cases, or where medications have failed, surgery may be needed, although some people get excellent results from having local injections where the nerve is being pinched. Injecting into the spine is difficult, and usually requires CT or X-ray guidance, but in experienced hands, it is not a dangerous procedure.

The most common condition confused with spinal stenosis is herniated disk disease. “Hernia” means protrusion (“poking out”) and the “disk” is a structure located between the bones of the spinal column, where it cushions the bones and keeps them from banging against each other. When a disk ruptures or herniates, it places pressure on just one or two nerves, typically causing “sciatica” or a sharp stabbing pain that is very well localized to a specific area of the back and leg. Spinal stenosis, on the other hand, causes a wider area of pain and usually less of an acute stabbing pain and more of a chronic, nagging, cramping pain that is related to position and activity.

Many other things can cause back pain and leg pain, so careful exam and detailed history is important. In some cases, therapy is all that is needed, in other cases medication or even surgery is necessary, so careful diagnosis is critical. Not all back pain is created equal, and it’s important not to jump to conclusions about the cause or the treatment needed.

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

The Piercys spent the summer swimming, playing badminton and croquet. At the end of July, they traveled to Grandma Piercy’s in Florida for two weeks. Every day they went to the pool, which was usually very warm, around 90 degrees. They walked to the beach for sunsets and shelling and visited the smallest Post Office in the U.S. The lobby held just Mary and Harrison, standing side-by-side, and they could only get out by turning around in place. Of course, they bought stamps and post cards. The flight home was beautiful and long. The pilot warned the passengers as he headed out on a longer course, which took them over Lake Erie, then he made big, banking circles where they saw the same nuclear power plant four times. They flew up the Jersey Coast, watching boats and landed with a great view of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan. The best time was when they thought Grandma would help them pack, anxious to send them home after two weeks, but Grandma did not want them to go! The end of summer brought the Harford Fair and all six Piercys volunteered to help at the Blue Ridge-Susquehanna Bands’ potato pancake and chicken spiedie booth. There was only room for two Blue Ridge workers to help. It was a fine day.

June Downton and her children (adults) spent a four-day weekend in South Hold, NJ at the home of Jeanne and Donnie Kutz. They especially enjoyed a boat ride around the bay. A great time was had by all.

I shudder to see first and second graders with backpacks! What in the world do they have in them to make them hunch over as they walk? I would be grateful for answer. Good topic for the PTA.

From another publication I cut out this little article on backpack safety:

Choose a backpack with wide, padded shoulder straps and a padded back.

Pack light. Organize the backpack to use all of its compartments. Pack heavier items closest to the center of the back. The backpack should never weigh more than 10 to 20 percent of the student’s body weight.

Always use both shoulder straps. Slinging a backpack over one shoulder can strain muscles. Wearing a backpack on one shoulder may also increase curvature of the spine.



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