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Issue Home November 1, 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
Veterans’ Corner

100 Years Ago

HALLSTEAD: The young people of Hallstead and Great Bend held a masquerade ball at Kistler’s hall, Great Bend, on Hallowe’en evening. The music was furnished by Susquehanna people and all report an enjoyable time.

SUSQUEHANNA: The rabbit season opened yesterday, now the sportsmen want to use judgment and not use ferrets. No sportsman will use one and it is against the law and should be lived up to. AND: Bert L. White, of Montrose, who recently resigned as Rural mail carrier, Route 2, is removing his family to Susquehanna where he has a good job in the wood working department of the Erie shops which is in line with his trade. He is a pleasant and straightforward young man and the Democrat wishes him all kinds of success in his change. Fred Hawley, the plumber, also has a job in the Erie shops there.

BROOKLYN: A dancing class of over 30 members has been formed here. Prof. Fuller has placed a piano in the village hall for the class, which meets every Saturday evening.

SPRINGVILLE: E. H. Sherman and family are preparing to leave for California and they expect to start Wednesday of this week. Mr. Sherman and his wife are highly esteemed and their going will be a matter of regret. The lodge, ladies’ aid and church will miss their presence and help. They have the best wishes of their neighbors and friends as they start on their western trip. Friends gathered for a little surprise on Monday evening. About 40 were present and spent a very pleasant evening.

UNIONDALE: Found between Susquehanna and Windsor a ladies’ hand satchel; contents two watch keys, hair pins, black beaded and common purse, thimble and C, &c; tell what the C was, and which side of the river lost, address L. P. Norton, Uniondale, Susq’a Co.

GLENWOOD: The blacksmiths of this county are trying to form a union, which, undoubtedly, will be a success. Let the good work go on.

OAKLEY/HOP BOTTOM: On Saturday last, about noon, a freight train going east on the D.L. & W. was wrecked between this place and Foster [Hop Bottom], caused by a broken car wheel. An oil tank exploded, then took fire and burned four carloads of oil in barrels. The flames, which were terrific, were seen for miles. Traffic on the road was interfered with until about midnight in consequence. No one was hurt, though a large crowd had gathered to see the sight.

PLEASANT VALLEY, Auburn Twp.: Some of the farmers in Auburn are being greatly annoyed by losing their turkeys while out rambling on their farms. It is feared they are shot or killed by some of the many hunters or their dogs that throng the woods and fields. The hunters ought to appreciate the farmers’ kindness in allowing them the privilege of hunting the game on their farms without destroying their property, and should the miscreants be found out, they may not fare so fine.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: Judging from the amount of cider made on this hill this fall there will be considerable visiting done. Friends who did not know you for the past two years will call.

RUSH: The Rush High School opened Oct. 21st, with a large attendance and bids fair to be a success, which is the wish of all sensible people.

UPSONVILLE, Franklin Twp.: A big wind storm visited this place Oct. 27, 1906 and did some damage to orchards and buildings. Considerable thunder and lightning, followed by snow, followed this storm. It completely unroofed the big barn of R.C. Tobey, taking rafters and everything and hurling them off in the meadow below.

MONTROSE: A very enjoyable masquerade dance was given by the young ladies of the Semper Felix Club to their gentlemen friends at the Colonial Wednesday night. The party composed a score of couples, who met at the Curry boarding house prior to the dance, being in costume, and were admitted by card. When all were assembled they walked to the hall, a short distance away, and for a number of hours rollicking All Hallowe’en merriment held sway. The costumes varied from the gorgeous to the severely plain, and were somber or ludicrous, as their wearers designed. His Satanic Majesty and witches joined heartily with the parson, Mother Goose, Goddess of Liberty, the Grecian maid, the Jew Hibernian, Uncle Josh, cowboys and girls, Indian Princesses and a score of other characters in having for their one object a good time. The hall was decorated in autumn style, with pumpkin moonshines, Japanese lanterns, bunting and paper festooning much in evidence, creating a beautifully weird effect.

HARFORD: Harford Choral Union was organized on Tuesday--President, Dr. Hooven; vice president, Eva Sophia; director, Prof. J. A. Sophia; secretary, Minnie Darrow; treasurer, Rev. U. Usher. Meetings on Fridays at 7:30.

THOMPSON: The farmers of Thompson township are putting up “No trespassing on these premises” on their farms. The city shooter has made it dangerous for some to venture from the house, their shooting was so reckless.

LAKESIDE: The L. L. A. have purchased a fine new bell for the School building so that now they can tell the time of day by the ringing of the bell.

FOREST CITY: The application for a county bridge over the Lackawanna river was approved by the Grand Jury.

THAT COUNTY POOR HOUSE: As next Tuesday is election day, is it not time the farmers in this county wake up to the above question and decide to vote a solid no and let the towns support their own poor. The Auburn & Rush Poor District, Auburn, Rush, Springville and Forest Lake is a farming community and they are keeping their own poor very nicely on an average of less than 4 mills levy for the past six years. If Montrose, Forest City, New Milford, etc., want a county house, let them build it themselves. The farmer has all the tax he can bear on hand now. [The writer of the above evidently misapprehends the provisions of the law governing county poor houses. The expense will be charged to the towns according to the number of inmates they have. If Auburn, for instance, should have but four and Forest City 12, Forest City would pay three times as much as Auburn, but the cost for each would be less pro rata, when there is but one poor house and one set of officers to maintain, then where there are several sets of stewards and other officers.]



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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Kelly is confident of the future

No matter what you might think about Roberta Kelly, chair of the county Board of Commissioners, there can be no question about her dedication to the county, its people, and her enthusiasm about its future.

For example, the financial woes that caught up to Barnes-Kasson Hospital this year have prompted a number of county residents to challenge the wisdom of the upper echelon that is running the place. My friends, I have told you this before and I will repeat for any newcomers, Barnes-Kasson is no different than half the hospitals across the nation.

Kelly sits on the Board of Directors at B-K, and recently the board agreed to bring in an outside consulting firm to review the financial affairs of the hospital. Not a bad idea really because often when we are extremely close to something, we can’t see the trees for the forest. All you pessimists out there, who might think an outside firm peeking at the hospital’s financial records means some serious problems, might want to take a page from Roberta Kelly’s outlook.

“The positive measures that are soon to be implemented at the hospital,” said Kelly, “will allow the hospital to be evaluated so it will not only survive, but flourish.”

Undoubtedly there are some concerns on the part of the county and the bank that loaned the hospital a sizeable stack of greenbacks a few years ago. Rightfully so. But in this country we do not – or at least we should not – condemn a facility that has been providing medical treatment to many, many people for more than 100 years. Oh, if there is a bad apple in the barrel at B-K, it should be removed but it doesn't mean the whole barrel should be thrown out.

“The hospital will always be a vital component of Susquehanna County, thanks to the measures being taken,” Kelly said. “The employees and patients should be assured they are the number one priority in keeping Barnes-Kasson strong. There will be an ongoing effort to keep the public informed with correct facts, so they can be assured that the hospital will grow strong and continue to serve Susquehanna County for many years.”

Kelly’s vote of confidence for the hospital comes at a time when the employees and the patients need a boost. Would be nice if the other two commissioners would follow her lead and say something nice for a change.

Meter Fines Increase in Montrose

I've seen meter maids come and go in Montrose. Some were extremely tough and others were a bit more compassionate. All of them pursued the job with one thought in back of their minds – make money for the borough. This is especially noticeable now that Mayor John Wilson is also the borough’s meter enforcement officer.

I can understand the extremely strict enforcement along those streets where parking spaces are vital to the merchants. But I have to sympathize with some individuals who park on Lake Avenue and feed the meter while waiting for their case to begin in the courtroom, only to have it run out just when it is their time to appear before the judge.

And, by the way, an overtime parking ticket in Montrose is now five dollars if it is paid within three days. From days 4 through 10, the fine doubles and after 10 days, a citation is issued.

The best of Yogi Berra

Been a slow week, friends. Nursing a miserable cold. I am sure you know what that’s like. Anyhow, here are a few of what I call Yogiesms from the mouth of Yogi Berra:

“If you don’t know where you’re going, chances are you will end up somewhere else.”

“You should always go to other people’s funerals. Otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

“ A nickel ain't worth a dime anymore.”

“Nobody goes there any more. It’s too crowded.”

“90 percent of short putts don’t go in.”

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces. I’m not hungry enough to eat eight.”

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

I recently heard that the internet is slowly displacing the other media outlets – print, radio and television. While the internet continues to develop with seemingly no limit, the potential for the other forms of conventional media is admittedly limited. More and more families rely upon the internet for news, weather, shopping, entertainment, and communication services.

To some degree, I tend to favor the more old-fashioned and conventional forms of communication. While I routinely research legal issues online, I would still prefer to hold the old, dusty book in my hands and look upon the printed page. Like John Henry’s battle with the steam engine, I steadfastly maintain that I navigate those old books faster then the rattle of the keyboard and the click of the mouse. Slowly, with each passing year, I become more and more dependent upon internet technology for legal research, and use less and less the traditional research tools of huge treatises, large digests, and volumes of legal reports. When you can get to the exact case with a click of a mouse, why would you walk through the forest of shelves in search of one volume that in its many pages contains the single case that you need? Why ruffle through the pages when you can have it on your screen instantaneously?

As I was pulled reluctantly into this brave new world, I was contacted by a local resident, Robert Curley, with a proposition: he volunteered to design a website for the District Attorney’s Office. I graciously accepted his offer this past spring, and the voyage began for the creation of a website for this office. I wish that I could say that I have a vague understanding of how it all happened, but I do not have any real comprehension of what is involved in the website creation process. Mr. Curley would routinely come to the office to review his progress with me, which generally meant that he would let me play with the website a little bit to see how I liked it. We hope that you enjoy the product.

At this point, the website is up and running. The site now has historical sentencing information from 2001 to the present date. This sentencing information is the same information that is provided to the local press every month, and it has been compiled for your review. There is a search engine designed into sentencing index to allow searches by the offender’s name. We have also included information concerning general services provided by the office, as well as links for other websites of interest. For instance, you can access the online State Police Megan’s Law Registry from a link in our website. Finally, the articles that have been printed in the local press over my first two years in office are included and indexed for easy reference.

We are still working on ideas for future projects for the website, and, if you have any suggestions, please let us know what you would like to see. You can visit the site at, or, if you visit the county’s home page at, there is a link that will allow you to access our site as well. I invite you to take a trip to our virtual office and let us know what you think.

In conclusion, I would like to thank Robert Curley for his vision and hard work on this project, as well as the assistance that David Yulke, the county’s MIS director, provided to him. But for Mr. Curley’s offer to take the yoke up on this project, John Henry and I would still be comparing notes on steel hammers and dusty books.

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. My wife has complained of being short of breath while shopping in the mall. She says it’s just a sign of age, but I’m concerned about her.

A. The likelihood of suffering shortness of breath or “dyspnea” (disp-nee-ah) becomes greater the older we get. As we age, our air passages get smaller, chest muscles weaken, and our lungs become less flexible. These changes reduce our air flow.

Dyspnea should happen rarely to healthy people. It can be brought on by exhaustive exertion, high altitude, extreme temperatures. Otherwise, shortness of breath is commonly a sign of a medical problem. So your wife should get this symptom checked by a doctor immediately.

Dyspnea is associated with the major breathing disorders that can develop in seniors. These disorders are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, obstructive sleep apnea, pulmonary fibrosis, pulmonary thromboembolism and aspiration.

COPD involves difficulty in exhaling. Emphysema and chronic bronchitis are COPDs. Emphysema makes the small air spaces in the lungs collapse. Bronchitis is inflammation of the airways.

Most asthma is caused by allergies to airborne particles such as dust and mold. The airways become inflamed, which causes them to spasm. Unlike COPD, asthma is reversible.

Diagnosing conditions in seniors can be challenging, because asthma in older people is often difficult to distinguish from emphysema and chronic bronchitis. In addition, many seniors have both emphysema and chronic bronchitis.

Obstructive sleep apnea is common in older adults. People with sleep apnea stop breathing for as long as 30 seconds at a time. These interruptions can happen hundreds of times a night. Obstructive sleep apnea occurs when the muscles in the back of your throat relax, narrowing your airway and cutting off your breathing.

In pulmonary fibrosis, the lung’s air sacs become filled with scar tissue. The damage is permanent. Pulmonary fibrosis usually begins in your 40s or 50s, but can develop at any age.

Pulmonary thromboembolism is a life-endangering blockage of a blood vessel by a blood clot that travels – often from the legs – to the lung and damages tissue. Pulmonary thromboembolism is most common after age 65.

When something from your mouth goes down “the wrong pipe,” you have aspiration. Aspiration is inhaling food particles, liquids or bacteria. If the amount of aspirated material exceeds the ability of the immune system to handle it, you can get a serious lung infection.

Symptom of shortness of breath can be caused by a variety of abnormalities in organs other than the lungs.

When the heart fails, it loses its ability pump blood. This elevates pressure in the blood vessels around the lung. Sometimes fluid collects in the lungs and interferes with breathing, causing shortness of breath, especially when a person is lying down.

A low red-blood-cell count causes dyspnea because the red cells carry oxygen. When their number is extremely low, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen.

In addition, a high thyroid level, shock, systemic infection, kidney or chronic liver problems, stroke, nerve and muscle disorders, and anxiety can bring on dyspnea.

The following are some symptoms that indicate a medical condition: shortness of breath at rest, with exercise, when lying down or upon exposure to allergens. In addition, you may have a problem if shortness of breath is accompanied by: chest pain or discomfort, arm pain, jaw pain, neck pain, swelling in the ankles and feet, fluid weight gain or unintentional weight loss with reduced appetite, unusual fatigue, sweating, yellow or green phlegm, blood in spit, fever, wheezing, persistent cough, blue lips or fingertips, fainting.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

When is a cold just a cold? When is it something more serious, like a sinus infection or strep throat? When do you need antibiotics? These are all questions I am asked on a daily basis, and so it seems worth writing about to try and allay some fears and explain a few things.

The fact is, despite all of the incredible advances in medical science, we are still unable to “cure” the common cold, or “cure” most viral infections. By “cure” I mean eliminate the cause, instead of just treating the symptoms. In treating viral infections, we’re still unable to eliminate viruses. The best we can do, in many cases, is reduce their activity or treat the symptoms they cause.

Head colds and chest colds are almost always caused by viruses, and there are hundreds of different strains and varieties. Because we move the equivalent of several gallons of air through our respiratory tract each minute, it is extremely easy for us to inhale a virus. Remember, several thousand viruses can fit on the head of a pin, and so moving gallons and gallons of air makes it really only a matter of time before one of those impossibly small particles gets into our bodies. Because we have many lines of defense in our respiratory system, most viruses are trapped before they get very far into the body, and thus cause problems in the respiratory tract.

A virus isn’t alive. It is a small strand of DNA or RNA in a protein shell, and has no life processes of its own. That is why we can’t “kill” a virus. Once it is within the cells of your body, it hijacks the cell’s metabolism to reproduce more of itself, and sometimes the only way to get rid of the virus is to kill the host cells. An example of this is “freezing” a wart (warts are caused by a virus, too) in order to make it go away.

Antibiotics work by interrupting essential life processes in living cells, and bacteria have enough of these processes going on to be sensitive to antibiotics. Viruses, on the other hand, do not.

Since the vast majority of colds and contagious illnesses are caused by viruses, the odds are much greater that antibiotics aren’t needed for most colds and respiratory tract infections. Some people, of course, are much more susceptible to bacterial illnesses, or have serious other medical issues that make it imperative to treat aggressively and early. For most people, though, there is no benefit to taking antibiotics “just in case” and doing so exposes the individual to risks of allergy, other reactions, side effects, and resistant germs. What many people don’t realize as well is that taking an antibiotic when it is not needed also puts everybody else in the home at risk for resistant infections and complications.

Certainly, it is possible for bacterial infections to develop along with or soon after a virus, and there are a few clues to this so you can know when you really do need antibiotics: first of all, the presence of a fever is suggestive of a bacterial infection. Respiratory tract viruses and common head colds and chest colds don’t produce a fever. If your temperature is over 100.5, you may need an antibiotic. Another clue is length of illness. Viruses usually get cleared within a week, but if symptoms have been going on for longer, this may be a sign of secondary infection as well. (“Secondary infection” means that a virus started the problems, but then a bacteria took over.) Finally, the presence of truly foul or bloody drainage is good indicator that something more than a “cold” is going on. Without getting too graphic, when drainage from the nose or chest is clear (or even a little yellow) the cause is usually viral (or allergy). Bacterial infections cause a truly foul-smelling, foul-tasting or bloody drainage. Notice that the color isn’t all that important: viruses can make nasal or chest drainage green or yellow and so the color of drainage isn’t very helpful.

One way to remember the signs of a secondary bacterial infection requiring antibiotics is the word “FLIP.” I sometimes give a prescription for antibiotics to patients and write that word on the back of it. If they develop the worrisome signs, they can “flip” the prescription over and fill it. “FLIP” stands for Fever, Length of Illness, and Pus.

Sinus infections are almost always the result of a secondary infection, and the “FLIP” criteria are reliable. Treat the underlying virus with decongestants, nasal sprays, other over-the-counter remedies, fluids and rest, and you can usually avoid secondary infections.

Strep throat is a specific infection of a specific area with a specific germ: group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus. It’s a bacteria, and it causes a severe sore throat and fever. It does NOT cause runny nose, cough, cold symptoms or congestion. In fact, if you have any symptoms OTHER than sore throat, especially if you do not have a fever over 101, you can be almost certain that it is NOT strep throat, and you do not need antibiotics. There is no harm in waiting a couple of days to see how symptoms progress and develop. The complications of untreated strep throat are actually extremely rare and so there is no great urgency to treating the infection, and no dire consequences of waiting a few days.

As always, if you have questions about health issues or medicine, you can write to me at, or care of the Susquehanna County Transcript. To schedule an appointment with me at the Hallstead Health Center, please call (570) 879-5249.

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Veterans’ Corner

No veterans' corner this week.


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