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Issue Home November 15, 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

GREAT BEND: Last night at about 8 o’clock the barn just back of Franklin street, owned by William Colsten, was burned, together with its contents and a loss estimated at $800 was sustained. The barn is located on the hill near the residence of Terrance Murray and in a rather isolated position. As soon as the flames were discovered the fire company responded to the alarm, but it was impossible to save the barn. The firemen devoted their efforts to saving the Murray residence. It is now firmly believed here that a fire bug is operating in this place and Hallstead, and steps are to be taken by the village officials to apprehend the incendiary. It was but a short time ago that the Hallstead High School was burned, with great loss to that town, and only a few days ago an attempt was made to burn the old creamery near the Erie tracks in this place. The fire in the latter place is known to have been of incendiary origin and no other explanation can be made for the fire at Hallstead. Both towns are becoming excited over the matter.

BROOKLYN: E. L. Weston, of Brooklyn, had the misfortune to lose two valuable cows. He had let his cows into his orchard about an hour each day, but his attention being called in another direction they were left in about three hours, with the result that all ate too much. Two could not be saved.

MONTROSE: Consider Wood, grandfather of our townsman, Sylvester Wood, was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, having enlisted in Rhode Island in Feb. 1777 and served three years as a private under Col. Rufus Putnam, and was discharged at Highlands, N.Y., Feb. 9, 1780. The noted warrior was engaged in several important battles and has a good record in the War Department. On the 11th of Sept. 1820, Consider Wood appeared before the Court of Record, “holden at Meansville (now Towanda) in and for the said county of Bradford,” and made personal application for pension. The grandson, Sylvester Wood, is a member of Four Brothers’ Post G.A.R., and it may be said of him that his was an inheritance of the military spirit. AND: “Doc” Carey was the first on the boulevard on runners this morning and the first of the season. Eight inches of snow makes fair sleighing.

DIMOCK: C. W. Barnes has been appointed Constable for Dimock township.

NEW MILFORD: Leo Benninger and Charles Risley have secured positions as firemen on the Lackawanna Railroad. AND: T. J. McCarthy is temporary Lackawanna agent here. Wm. Cooper, night operator, is taking Mr. McCarthy’s place in the tower days, and Fred Farrar, of Scranton, is working nights. Rumor says that the Lackawanna tower operators are to be given an eight-hour schedule after Jan. 1.

MIDDLETOWN TWP.: Middletown has two game wardens who are looking after the game law some. AND: From all appearance our new telephone line is going to die a natural death. The farmers around here haven’t enterprise enough to put up a clothes line.

FRANKLIN TWP.: Will Van Cott, of New Milford and B. F. Walters, of Whitney’s Point, came through here Tuesday making contacts with agents for Patten and Stafford Co., manufacturers of the celebrated New York Champion horse rakes.

HEART LAKE: The box social at G. F. Allen’s was a success, the most interesting feature of the evening being “The Girl I Left Behind Me;” principal actors, two bashful young men; place, depot platform; object, two lunch boxes planned for four but consumed by two.

SOUTH GIBSON: Our town has been flooded with hunters the past two weeks.

SOUTH MONTROSE: R. E. Carey has the boss cider mill, having put in a new gasoline engine. With his hydraulic press he is able to make seventy-five barrels per day.

RUSH: A very pleasant family gathering was held at the home of W. H. Deuel on Oct. 27, and there were present 43 of the family, including 10 children out of 13. John of New York, Samuel of Binghamton, and Asa of Tracey Creek, were not present, but the children who attended were: Alice Rhinevault Marcus of Orwell, Lorinda of Lestershire, George of Montrose, Mary of Lestershire, Ranston, Fay and Hattie of Jessup. At 11 o’clock they commenced to fill the house of closely affectioned relatives. Refreshments were served and some fine music given on the graphophone, by Reed Snow of Franklin Forks.

HARFORD: J. L. Robbins is a veteran of the Spanish-American War, enlisting in Co. D, 21st. Infantry. He fought in the great battle at Santiago, and was one of the fortunate American soldiers to escape death in that scene of awful bloodshed, on the memorable July 1st, of 1898. Mr. Robbins afterwards went to the Philippines. He served in the army for three years lacking ten days, as faithfully as becomes any boy in blue, and when his health became impaired he was granted an honorable discharge. Mr. Robbins tells some interesting tales with relation to hardships encountered in army life, and we were glad to listen to him.

THOMPSON: They are loading another [railroad] car with apples, which brought a number of Jackson farmers over this morning, notwithstanding the drizzling snow. AND: Herbert Burchel has his new saw mill nearly ready for work, and E. C. Gelatt has begun work on his lumber job. Both of these enterprises are in the township just north of the boro, and indicate plenty of work for good hands.

NEWS BRIEFS: It is said that in order to keep the odor of vegetables, cauliflower, turnips and cabbage from permeating the house, lay a cloth over the top of the pot in which they were boiled and then sprinkle a little salt over the cloth. This is a very simple remedy and is said to be very effective. AND: Heretofore the Government has made its own postage stamps, but after February next the American Bank Note Co. will do the work under contract. This company will have to deliver twenty-seven millions of stamps daily, six times a week. AND: It would be very gratifying to the editor of the Republican if persons who borrowed one volume of “Life of Abraham Lincoln,” and also of “James A. Garfield” would return them to this office. The Lincoln volume has been out a long time; the Garfield volume not so long--about three years.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE at for back issues of “100 Years Ago.”


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Along the Way...With P. Jay


A Democrat Congressman in N/E PA

Wow! A Susquehanna County Democrat is going to Washington. Congressman-elect Chris Carney of Dimock Township. Isn't it something?

I haven’t been this excited since Mr. Smith went to Washington in 1939. I am sure most of my readers do not remember that motion picture that starred James Stewart as Mr. Smith, but if you ever get the opportunity to see a re-run of it watch it.

I found the following item on the internet very interesting:

“Pennsylvania’s 10th congressional district has been represented by Republican Don Sherwood since 1999. However, in the 2006 midterm elections, the Democratic nominee Chris Carney emerged the winner. The district’s shift in 2006 was the most dramatic of any House seat that switched from Republican to Democrat. Sherwood won in 2004 by an 86% margin, which switched to a 6% margin in favor of Carney in 2006.”

My friends, I have to admit to you that I really did not expect Chris to win the election. Not that he isn't qualified for the position because he definitely is. Not that he hasn't worked hard for the chance to serve the people of Pennsylvania’s Tenth Congressional District because he has. Christ has been campaigning for a couple of years.

My concern was not about Chris Carney or his capabilities. My concern was the way the Tenth Congressional District was reassembled about three years ago. The object of realigning voting districts is intended to preserve the so-called one person, one vote rule. Simply stated, the one person, one vote rule requires that each district in a single-member district election system contain an equal number of people.

The U.S. Supreme Court described the rationale for this rule as follows:

“Legislators represent people, not farms or cities or economic interests. As long as ours is a representative form of government, and our legislatures are those instruments of government elected directly by and directly representative of the people, the right to elect legislators in a free and unimpaired fashion is a bedrock of our political system.”

The one person, one vote rule made its debut in the 1960s. Before that, when state and local governments divided up political power, they did not have to consider the number of people being represented in each district.

Actually, I suppose if we were to count the voters in election districts we might be surprised to learn that the number per district is fairly close. The belief here is that the discrepancy comes in when we count the number of Republicans or Democrats in these districts.

A prime example is our own Susquehanna County. Everybody knows that in this county, Republicans hold a comfortable voting margin over the Democrats. But just for a little extra insurance, whomever carved up the county voting districts took Forest City and only Forest City out of our county and put us in a state legislative district across the border in Lackawanna County. That’s one way of removing a sizeable block of Democrat votes out of the county. Sort of makes Susquehanna County Republican candidates for state office a bit more secure.

Ever since I became a journalist way back when, Dan Rather was one of my heroes. I never met the man personally but I did see him when we both were covering the Johnson-Kosygin Summit in Glassboro, NJ, a few years back.

In case you missed them, here are a few of what I like to call Ratherisms from, who else, Dan Rather:

“She ran away with it like a hobo with a sweet potato pie.” – on Hillary Clinton’s Senate victory.

“I’d say as ugly as a hog lagoon after a bachelor party.” – on the Virginia Senate race.

“If you ain't got the yolk, you can’t emulsify the Hollandaise.” – on why Rep. Don Sherwood didn't win.


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

Every single person understands that child pornography is not only evil, but also that you can be arrested for possessing it. On November 2, 2006, the Pennsylvania Superior Court defied this conventional understanding by concluding that the mere viewing of child pornography on your computer is not necessarily criminal. The decision has caused immediate outrage and action within the law enforcement community.

In that recent case, Anthony Diodoro admitted that he viewed hundreds of photographs depicting child pornography on his personal computer. Diodoro also admitted that he specifically and intentionally used his personal computer to visit websites containing that material. As with any computer, whenever you visit an internet site, the images from that site are saved in the computer’s internet cache file. These images can later be retrieved easily from the computer’s cache file if the user so desires.

Diodoro was charged with 30 counts of possession of child pornography, and was convicted and sentenced by the lower court. On appeal, Diodoro argued that the Commonwealth had failed to prove that he had possessed child pornography because the pictures were simply automatically saved in the cache file, not specifically downloaded or copied by him to some other source. Diodoro testified that he did not know that the images were automatically saved on his computer, and, as such, he thought he was simply viewing child pornography, not possessing it.

On the other hand, the Commonwealth argued that Diodoro possessed the child pornography the very moment that he viewed the internet sites – and that his action was not accidental in that there were 370 photographs depicting child pornography on his computer. Diodoro conceded that he intentionally viewed child pornography and that he knowingly visited websites depicting child pornography. Diodoro simply asserted he liked viewing the child pornography, not possessing it.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed with Diodoro’s argument, as the Commonwealth had no evidence to prove that Diodoro knew that the 370 pictures depicting child pornography were automatically saved to his internet cache file. The court concluded: “We hold that absent specific statutory language prohibiting the mere viewing of pornographic images or evidence that the defendant knowingly downloaded or saved pornographic images to his hard drive or knew that the web browser cached the images, he cannot be criminally liable for viewing images on his computer screen.” Diodoro’s conviction and sentence were reversed.

The inherent flaw in the reasoning of the Diodoro decision is the false distinction between viewing and possessing the child pornography. If a defendant were found to possess a child pornographic magazine, there is no doubt that he would be guilty of possessing child pornography. What if the defendant contended that he only intended to look at the pictures briefly before throwing the magazine away? Or, if the magazine was not found in his possession, but had his fingerprints on it? If the Superior Court’s ruling was applied to those facts, it could be argued that the defendant did not intend to possess the magazine, but only view the photographs.

The moment a defendant begins to view the child pornography, there is an act of possessing it. The defendant controls where he travels on the internet, and, upon selecting out sites with illegal material, the defendant possesses that material the moment it comes upon his computer screen, albeit the possession may end upon terminating the internet session. Thus, the cache files demonstrate that the defendant did possess child pornography through the act of viewing it on his computer screen. The defendant knowingly and intentionally sought out the illegal material on his personal computer and viewed nearly 400 different images of child pornography. As noted above, the defendant understood that child pornography is illegal, yet he purposefully sought out the material on the internet and viewed it. Logic dictates that this is possession.

The response to the Diodoro decision has been immediate and swift. The legislature is already working on language to amend the applicable statute to make the “viewing” of child pornography a criminal offense, as well as the possession of such pornography. Hopefully, the legislature will act quickly.

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I had a bird’s nest in my chimney and our heating guy told me we were probably getting some carbon monoxide in the house. He said that this is bad for your health. How bad?

A. Carbon monoxide (chemical symbol CO) is a colorless and odorless gas that can kill you. CO is a byproduct of combustion. It comes out of car tailpipes, gas ovens, fireplaces and heating systems.

That bird’s nest was blocking the evacuation of CO out of your chimney from your furnace and hot-water heater. The gas was backing up into your house.

Red blood cells absorb CO more readily than they pick up oxygen. If there is a lot of CO in the air, the body may replace oxygen in blood with CO. This blocks oxygen from getting into the body, which can hurt you and eventually kill you.

People with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems are more susceptible to the effects of CO. And many seniors fit into one or more of those categories.

The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, irregular breathing, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. You should go outdoors and breathe some fresh air immediately if you suspect CO poisoning. If you stay in the house, you could become unconscious and die. Then get medical attention right away.

The proper operation and maintenance of all fuel-burning appliances is the most important way to reduce the risk of getting dangerous CO in your home. When appliances are kept in good working condition, they produce little CO. Also, having your chimney checked regularly is smart.

Signs that might indicate improper appliance operation include: decreasing hot water supply; furnace unable to heat house or runs constantly; sooting, especially on appliances; unfamiliar or burning odor; increased condensation inside windows.

Here are some no-nos: leaving a car running in a garage even with the door open; operating a gas generator in the house; burning charcoal indoors; using a gas oven or dryer to heat the house; putting foil on the bottom of a gas oven, because it interferes with combustion.

And here’s one that may surprise you. Do you have a car with a tailgate? If you drive with a tailgate open, you must open windows to make sure air is moving through your car. If only the tailgate is open, CO from the exhaust will be pulled into the car.

Next to preventing the production of CO, the best defense against this lethal gas is a CO alarm. CO gas distributes evenly and quickly throughout the house. A CO detector should be installed outside bedrooms to alert sleeping residents.

If you have a question, please write to


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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Q. I am interested in learning more about phlebitis. (I.B., Susq.)

A. The Latin work “phlebo” means “vein” (somebody who draws blood is a “phlebotomist”), while the suffix “itis” means inflammation, as in tonsillitis and appendicitis. Phlebitis, then, means an inflammation of the vein, and in almost all cases, this is due to blood clots (thrombosis), making the full name of the disease “thrombophlebitis” (pronounced: throm-bo-flib-itis). To be totally scientific and specific, though, one can distinguish between vein inflammation FROM clots (thrombophlebitis) and clots forming from an injured vein (phlebothrombosis). Sometimes the difference is more than academic, because treating the cause prevents the complication.

As an example: some medications can cause veins to become irritated, swollen and red. This in turn causes clots. In other cases, clots can form in a healthy vein and lead it to become swollen, red and irritated. Obviously, the treatment for these two distinctly different processes is very different.

In most cases, though, the clot forms first, and the vein becomes irritated and swollen. Sometimes, the process is very obvious, (when the vein is superficial), and other times it can be silent, if the vein is deep. Unfortunately, it is the silent cases, the deep vein thrombosis, that can lead to serious, even life-threatening complications.

Over a century ago, a famous physician named Rudolf Virchow identified the three conditions most likely to cause clots to form in veins. This constellation of conditions is still called “Virchow’s Triad” and is recognized as a high-risk condition for clots in veins. The triad is venous stasis (reduced blood flow), vein damage, and hypercoagulability (increased clotting). Venous stasis is the most common, and can result from sitting in one position for as little as one hour. Vein damage is often subtle and forgotten, for example, when somebody has an ankle sprain or broken leg, all the attention is focused on the ligaments and bones. Hypercoagulability is a side effect of many diseases and conditions, and can also be inherited through genes and run in families. Unfortunately, people are seldom tested for hypercoagulability before suffering from clots. Even more unfortunately, hypercoagulability is a well known side effect of a medicine that lots of women take: the birth control pill.

When a clot forms in a vein, flow is reduced, leading to further clotting. The vein starts to stretch and becomes reddened and sore. When the vein is just under the skin (superficial) this is readily visible as a tender red streak or lump.

When the vein is deep, there may be no symptoms other than a dull ache, a sense of heaviness, or a vague and subtle swelling. Superficial thrombophlebitis usually resolves with simple treatments, while deep vein disease requires blood thinners. The superficial veins have lots of valves, which prevent clots from traveling, while the deep veins can (and often do) lead to small clots floating through the circulation to lodge in the lungs and heart, where they can cause major problems.

Varicose veins are stretched, prominent veins in the legs. They can both cause and result from superficial thrombophlebitis, and are usually an indication of vein disease that can be treated before problems arise.

The classic setup for deep vein thrombosis is a long trip in a car or plane. It is very important to break up the trip into shorter segments where possible, and at the very least, stand up, stretch, and walk around a little bit every hour. Another classic cause of deep vein problems is surgery in the hips, pelvis, or legs. Anybody who has had a hip replacement has been on blood thinners, and now you know why.

If there is a family history of blood clots in the legs, or especially if there is a history of pulmonary embolism (blood clot to the lungs), you should be screened for clotting abnormalities. This can be easily done through blood tests.

If you are on the birth control pill, or hormone replacement therapy, it is imperative to quit smoking, since cigarette smoke thickens blood and makes it more likely to clot at the same time that nicotine damages veins and makes them more likely to trigger clots.

Superficial disease is painful and noticeable, but not dangerous: a routine appointment is OK. Deep vein disease is subtle and potentially serious, so it is important to be seen right away if you have pain or swelling in the calf, especially if you smoke, take medications, or have other medical problems. An ultrasound of the leg is usually enough to rule out a dangerous clot, although sometimes an injection of dye into the vein followed by X-rays (also known as a venogram) is necessary.

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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