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Issue Home November 29, 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: A new rural free delivery route is soon to be opened which will go via Tingley and Hallstead, having its starting place from Hallstead. It was secured thru the efforts of Postmaster Simrell of Hallstead, and will give daily mail service to about 110 families. AND: One of the most progressive and up-to-date stores in the county is The People’s Store, which, under the pushing and liberal management of its popular proprietor, V. D. Hand, has made a wonderful growth.

WEST AUBURN/ST. CHARLES, Mo.: Married in St. Charles, Mo., Nov. 14, 1906, by Rev. Robert W. Ely, Henry S. Bolles and Miss Ella F. Townsend, both of St. Louis. The groom is the eldest son of Geo. W. and Lucetta L. Bolles of West Auburn, while the bride is the eldest daughter of Mrs. Ellen F. and the late Capt. Geo. E. Townsend, a veteran Mississippi river steamboatman. They immediately began housekeeping in their new home in Edgewood Park, a suburb of St. Louis.

MONTROSE: An article about a band concert a half-century ago leads some of our younger readers to ask where “Bloomer Hall” was and why so called. Well, the building now occupied by Billings & Co. originally extended clear thru from Public avenue to Chestnut street and was owned by the late B. R. Lyons, who fitted up two-thirds of the upper story as a place for entertainments. About that time Mrs. Bloomer was advocating dress reform and the papers were filled with articles for or against the short skirt for women, with pantalettes brought close around the ankle. Altho the idea was adopted only to a limited extent, the widespread discussion led Mr. Lyons, who was in favor of the reform, to fix upon “Bloomer” as the name for his hall.

FOREST CITY: A Carbondale correspondent writes interestingly of the passing away of Richmondale, a little hamlet a few miles from Forest City, as follows: “Richmondale is practically no more. Last week a force of men began to tear down the mammoth steel shaft that for years was a distinctive feature of the little mining hamlet. The iron work of the tower has been sold to J. E. White, of New York, a fact that blasts all hope of a resumption of operations at the colliery. The heavy stone foundations of the tower are being torn away and it is expected that on Tuesday everything will be in readiness for hurling the huge steel structure to the ground when it will be broken apart and used as junk. Richmondale was named for Wm. H. Richmond, who was at the head of the company that erected the Richmondale colliery, and established the little mining hamlet upwards of twenty years ago.”

SPRINGVILLE: The firm of Avery & McMicken has dissolved, Mr. McMicken retiring. Mr. Avery will continue the business and has secured the services of W. R. Meserole as clerk, and ordered a new sign. AND: Lott Brothers, E. W. Lott senior member, has extensive quarries at both Springville and South Montrose and gets out stone of a superior quality, which finds a ready sale in the city market. They employ several men.

NEW MILFORD: Miss Jane Boyle has resigned her position as librarian at the Pratt public library. She is succeeded by Miss Elizabeth Shelp. AND: Word has been received from Havana, Cuba, saying that Mr. and Mrs. Wm. Huntley and two sons, who left here Nov. 8, have arrived in that port safely.

RUSH: The friends of Mrs. A. Canfield made her a wood bee. She is worthy of any help she may receive from her neighbors, so let the good work go on. AND: Sometime since the First National Bank became convinced that some of the notes put in the bank by W. E. Harvey, of Rush, contained forged names as endorsers and prepared for his arrest. An execution was also taken out and Sheriff Pritchard went down to make a levy on the personal property and about the same time Constables Chapman and Perigo went down to arrest Harvey, and all got there about the same time. The sheriff read his legal paper to Harvey, standing beside the road, while the constables stood near, expecting to make the arrest as soon as the Sheriff had finished his business, but about that minute Harvey jumped and ran into the bushes, without so much as saying good night. Constable Chapman fired his revolver after him three times, but without effect, and as darkness was now coming down, Harvey made good his escape. It is reported that he afterward drove to Binghamton, where he left his horse and buggy, leaving a note in the buggy requesting the return of the horse to Lawton. There is much sympathy for Mr. Harvey’s family.

DIMOCK: James M. Calby is an expert carpenter and has been engaged for nearly two years in erecting up-to-date barns on Mrs. Norris’s farm [Woodbourne] here. As a side-line he has a nice little farm with a lot of nice cattle on it. “Jim” is all right.

UNIONDALE: Mrs. Frank Westgate has excited the envy of her neighbors by receiving a new set of fine china dishes, also several pieces of very nice furniture has found its way into her house.

MIDDLETOWN: At last our telephone line is now going to be built. At a meeting held recently the following officers were elected: President, R. D. Owen; Sec., F. J. Conboy; Treas., Lawrence Coleman; Directors, E. T. Beaumont, J. T. Jones, and F. J. Golden. Also at the same meeting the wire and other necessary fixtures including the phones were ordered of the agent, F. P. Conboy.

FLYNN: The old maids and old bachelors seem to be more than pleased on account of the telephones being in their residences, for what reason I can’t say; perhaps they can talk to their lovers better at a distance. AND: James Conboy is moving the old school house to his home, for an addition to his barn.

BIRCHARDVILLE: The co-operative creamery company have sold out to Mr. Possinger, of West Auburn; consideration, $1900.

THOMPSON: The election returns make Thompson the banner Prohibition district in the county.

HARFORD: The boys of Mrs. O. J. Maynard’s class will hold a box social in the lecture room on Monday, Dec. 3. Ladies will please provide boxes with lunch for two. Boxes will be sold. AND: The Creamery company had a successful barn raising on Friday. Nearly 50 men helped and these were provided with a good dinner in the lecture room.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Some good news coming?

There may be some good news on the horizon for Susquehanna County taxpayers. Your county commissioners, along with Chief Clerk Sylvia Beamer, have been hard at work in recent weeks preparing a budget that can finance the county in 2007. Sources tell me their efforts have paid off.

For openers, I am told there is a strong possibility that real estate taxes will not increase next year. And now, are you ready for the pièce de résistance? There is also a strong possibility that the commissioners may abolish the county’s occupation tax.

Unfortunately, the commissioners cannot direct the municipalities and school districts to do away with the occupation tax. But it is a step in the right direction and, who knows, maybe boroughs, townships and nah... school districts spend money like it is going out of style and need every cent they can get their hands on.

Of course we will not know for certain if the above goodies will come into fruition until final action on the budget is taken sometime next month. But the mere fact that both proposals are being given strong consideration is a hope that the commissioners will give all of us a nice Christmas present.

Shortly after I heard about the taxes remaining stable and the possibility that the occupation tax will go away, I made my way to Commissioners Row in the Warner Building. Jeff Loomis was the only commissioner in his office, but he was the one that I was most interested in seeing anyway. Over the years, Jeff and I have had our differences but I do respect his knowledge of mathematics and of the county budget.

I quizzed Jeff about what I had heard and he stopped a fraction short of confirming it. Furthermore, he did give me a strong indication that he is prepared to support both issues.

Folks, if the county occupation tax is abolished, we have one individual to thank for it – Jim Jennings of Brooklyn Township. Jim planted the seed a number of years ago and nurtured it at every opportunity.

This has me puzzled

The last time I looked, Susquehanna County owned less than two miles of roads in the county. So why do we own 31 bridges?

From here it looks like a century or so ago, some of our county commissioners refused to part with the bridges when the state and/or municipalities assumed ownership of the roads. The end result is, the county is responsible for maintaining bridges that connect roads we don’t own. Guess that explains why the county has a bridge crew but no road crew.

Back in the 1960s when the Lackawanna River Basin Sewer Authority built a sewage treatment plant in the Forest City area, the authority offered to take the sewer mains off the borough’s hands. As told to me, borough officials were adamant about keeping the sewer mains and refused the offer. The end result is, the sewer authority is only responsible for one main trunk line that travels to its treatment plant off Route 247. The borough must maintain the mains. The sewer authority collects fees for treating the sewage that travels through the borough mains enroute to the treatment plant. Very similar to the county’s predicament.

Kind of reminds me of that old country-western song, “She Got The Goldmine; I Got The Shaft!”

Anyhow, four county bridges damaged by the June flood will be fixed by a combination of dollars coming from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). They include English Flats in Liberty Township at a cost of $968,000; two bridges in Bridgewater Township at a total cost of $795,542; and, a bridge in Franklin Township at a cost of $40,442.

It is too bad FEMA and PEMA will only restore the bridges to the conditions they were in prior to the flooding. There will be no dikes installed to hold back the water during heavy rains.

And, oh yes, these same agencies will pay $111,120 to have Dubois Creek in Hallstead cleared of a generous assortment of debris that washed into it in June.

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

On July 6, 2004, Omar Oree committed an assault, including knocking the victim unconscious, kicking and slapping the unconscious victim while he was on the ground, throwing a can of beer at the unconscious victim’s head, and finally grabbing the unconscious victim’s hair and slamming his head into the cement. As a result of the assault, the victim required surgery to relieve fluids collecting on his brain, and ultimately it was determined that the assault caused the victim to suffer from organic brain syndrome. Although the victim gained consciousness, he could no longer bathe, dress, comb his hair or brush his teeth without assistance. Because of his condition, the victim will live in a nursing home for the rest of his life.

Omar Oree was convicted after a jury trial of two misdemeanor offenses, namely Simple Assault and Recklessly Endangering Another Person, but the jury acquitted him of the felony Aggravated Assault charge. Because the misdemeanor offenses involved the same conduct, they merged for sentencing purposes, and Oree was sentenced to 1 year to 2 years in a county facility, with work release privileges. Despite the serious injuries caused to the victim, Oree requested that the sentencing court allow him to serve his incarceration in home confinement rather than actual incarceration. The sentencing court denied this request.

The interesting part of the case, however, involved the sentencing court’s order that Oree make restitution for the cost of the victim’s nursing home care. In the course of the sentencing proceeding, the Commonwealth presented evidence that the victim’s nursing home charged the Department of Public Welfare $436 per day for the victim’s care. After calculating this amount over the course of the victim’s life expectancy, it was determined that the total cost for the victim’s care over the remainder of his life would be $1,229,229.09. The sentencing court then ordered Oree to make restitution in that amount – that’s right, Oree was ordered to pay over $1 million dollars in restitution for the victim’s care.

Oree was not pleased with this portion of the sentencing order, and he appealed. Oree argued that there was no foreseeable means for him to pay the restitution as he had no savings and was employed as a machine operator with a monthly income of $2,500. Oree contended that after paying rent, electricity, heat, food, and other basic necessities, he had only $75 per month in disposable income. In other words, Oree argued that he was living paycheck to paycheck and he lacked the financial ability to make $1 million in restitution.

In essence, Oree argued that his sentence was cruel and unusual as the restitution amount was grossly disproportionate to the misdemeanor offenses for which he was convicted. The Pennsylvania Superior Court summarily dismissed this argument, finding that the applicable statute in Pennsylvania required a sentencing court to order restitution where the criminal conduct caused personal bodily injury and financial loss. In this case, the evidence clearly demonstrated that Oree’s assault had permanently disabled the victim, and, as such, there was sufficient evidence to support the restitution order.

As to the suggestion that Oree would spend the rest of his life attempting to pay the $1 million in restitution, the Superior Court again rejected Oree’s objections. The Superior Court noted that a restitution order is not cruel and unusual punishment simply because it will take a defendant a lifetime to pay. The restitution framework simply holds a defendant financially responsible for his criminal conduct – and the Superior Court upheld the ability of a sentencing court to impose that financial accountability upon a defendant through a criminal sanction.

Oree will now spend the rest of his life attempting to pay the restitution order. Oree cannot discharge the restitution through a bankruptcy proceeding – and there is no way for him to avoid responsibility for making payments toward the restitution. Oree will be placed on a court ordered payment plan, and, if he misses a payment, he will be incarcerated. For the rest of his life, as he makes a monthly payment toward his $1 million restitution, Oree will be reminded of the pain and devastation that he caused. Certainly, there is justice in that.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. What’s the difference between a CAT scan and an MRI?

The CAT scan, MRI and others are known as diagnostic-imaging tests. Let’s go over the common ones.


One of the oldest forms of medical imaging , an X-ray examination uses electromagnetic radiation to make pictures.

An X-ray machine passes a beam through your body and records an image digitally or on film. Body tissues produce different results. Tissues show up in shades of gray. Bones look white. Lungs that contain air appear dark.

Sometimes you take a contrast medium such as barium and iodine to outline an area of your body. This medium may be injected, swallowed or taken as an enema. The contrast medium appears opaque on X-ray film, providing clear images of structures such as your digestive tract or blood vessels.

CT scan

Computed tomography, known as a CT scan or CAT scan, uses X-rays and computers to produce precise images of cross-sections of the body. It is much more revealing than a conventional X-ray.

A CT scan employs a doughnut-shaped machine called a gantry. The patient lies on a table inside the gantry while an X-ray tube rotates around the patient’s body sending radiation through it. Detectors measure the exiting radiation and convert it into electrical signals.

A computer gathers the electrical signals and assigns them a color based upon signal intensity. The computer then assembles the images and displays them on a computer monitor. Some CT scans require a contrast medium.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses a magnetic field and radio waves, instead of X-rays, to create pictures of cross-sections. In many cases, MRI gives more information than a CT scan or other types of diagnostic imaging. Sometimes contrast agents are used to enhance the images.

Most MRI machines are large cylinders. Inside the machine, the human body produces very faint signals in response to radio waves. These signals are detected by the MRI machine. A computer then interprets the signals and produces a three-dimensional representation of your body. Any cross-section can be extracted from this representation.

There are MRI machines that are open on all sides. These newer open MRI scanning systems are useful for the claustrophobic, obese or anyone who feels uncomfortable about lying inside a cylinder.

The MRI often helps with the diagnosis of central nervous system disorders such as multiple sclerosis, because it produces such high-resolution images of the brain and spinal cord.

Nuclear Imaging

Nuclear imaging detects radiation from the body after a radiopharmaceutical agent or tracer is either injected or taken orally. The images are recorded on computer and on film.

While other imaging methods assess how the organs look, nuclear imaging shows how organs work. For example, nuclear imaging can analyze blood flow to and from the heart.

Nuclear imaging provides information that other imaging techniques cannot produce.

When undergoing a nuclear-imaging exam, the patient lies on a table under a special camera that takes a series of pictures. A computer connected to the camera detects the radiation coming from the body organ being examined and makes a series of images.


Ultrasound examination, also called diagnostic medical sonography, uses high-frequency sound waves beyond the range of the human ear to produce precise images of structures within your body.

Ultrasound imaging is based on the principles of sonar used by ships to detect underwater objects and by bats to catch flying insects.

During an ultrasound, a technician presses a hand-held transducer against your skin. The transducer generates and then receives reflected high frequency sound waves from your body. However, some ultrasounds are done inside your body.

Information about your body is sent from the transducer to a computer. The computer then composes images based on this data.

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Q. Is gall bladder disease a hard diagnosis to make? I have heard that the only way to arrive at that diagnosis is to do several “rule-out” tests. What would these tests be, and is there a specific order? (P.G.)

A. This is a great question for the column for a lot of reasons. Gall bladder disease is extremely common, and the question of how a doctor arrives at a diagnosis, as well as the role of “rule out” tests are important things to discuss. Also, gall bladder issues and abdominal pain frequently occur at this time of year, when dietary excess is part of the Spirit of the Season.

The gall bladder is about the size (and color) of an old lime, and is located just beneath the liver, on the right side of the body, just below the ribs. It serves to store bile, which is an essential part of digestion. The liver is constantly making bile, which is then carried to the intestines through a series of small tubes called bile ducts. One of these ducts goes off to a sac which can store bile until it is needed. The sac is the gall bladder, and because bile can sit there for a while, sometimes crystals will form in the bile and settle out of solution to form small stones, much the way sugar settles out of coffee as it cools, and forms a sludge at the bottom of the cup.

Eating, especially fatty, oily or greasy foods, causes the gall bladder to constrict and “squeeze”, which can sometimes propel sludge or a stone into the bile duct and plug it up. As you might expect, this is an extremely painful condition.

When making the diagnosis of gall bladder pain (also called “biliary colic”), a number of things are looked at: the quality, character, location, and history of the pain, the patient’s risk factors, and other possible causes for the pain. The diagnosis can often be made by the history and exam alone, and often a single test, an ultrasound of the gall bladder, is enough to make the diagnosis confidently.

Gall bladder disease is more common among women, especially in the child-bearing years. It is often triggered by fatty foods, and is more common among overweight people (and among people who have suddenly and rapidly lost a lot of weight). It is more common among Caucasians, and because of impaired digestion of fats and oils, often results in a lot of intestinal gas. Thus, the classic patient is a “fair, fat, fertile, flatulent, forty-ish female.” When such a patient presents with a history of severe and upper right-sided abdominal pain after a cheeseburger, there really aren’t a whole lot of other explanations besides biliary colic.

Ultrasound uses transmission of sound waves to generate a picture. Sound waves travel differently through solids than through liquids, so it is a near-perfect test to detect solids within a liquid, or stones within bile. When used for biliary colic, it is almost 98% sensitive (meaning it picks up stones when they are there) and 95% specific (meaning it doesn’t pick up stones when there aren’t any). By itself, an ultrasound is enough to reliably state whether gall stones are present, and if the stones are present and the symptoms are classic, nothing else is needed for the diagnosis. Gall stones seldom show up on plain X-ray, but plain X-rays are still important to rule out other causes of abdominal pain, such as ulcers or bowel obstructions. Nuclear medicine tests can be used to see how well the gall bladder fills and empties, and blood tests are used to rule out any infection, liver damage, or other problems that could cause abdominal pain. While these tests are all useful in evaluating the patient, they are not necessary for the diagnosis of biliary colic, which can be reliably diagnosed by history, exam, and ultrasound.

Although medications exist to dissolve gall stones, they are expensive, fraught with side effects, frequently ineffective, and useless in preventing further stones in the future. So, the only real cure for gall stones is surgery (removal of the gall bladder). The remaining bile ducts will still carry bile from the liver to the intestine, and removal of the gall bladder seldom results in any changes to digestion or any other problems. Thus, a classic patient with classic symptoms and a positive ultrasound will almost always be referred for surgery, making gall bladder disease a relatively easy problem to identify and to manage. Other conditions might be considered when the patient presents with an unusual history or exam, but most people do not need such extensive or complicated workups.

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

SP E4 Eric L. Jenner

SP Eric Jenner, Rush, PA, graduated from Elk Lake High School in 2001. He attended Bloomsburg University and worked until June, 2004 when he joined the Army. He went to Fort Benning, GA for 14 weeks of advanced basic training. Upon completion of basic training, he completed three weeks of Airborne School. In October of 2004,  he was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. He married Danielle Krukowski while home on leave in December, 2004. He was chosen to attend Fayetteville Community College in October, 2005 for EMT training. Upon completion of the course, he passed the National Board testing program and is a Nationally Certified EMT. In August of this year, he was deployed with the 82nd Airborne Division and is stationed at Fort Summerall, Beiji, Iraq.

SP Jenner has been awarded the Army Service Ribbon, Global Wars on Terrorism Ribbon, National Defense Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Iraqi Campaign Medal, Airborne Wings, and Expert Infantry Badge.

Eric’s father, David Jenner served in the Army during the Viet Nam War.

Eric’s current address is: D Co. 1/505 PIR, OIF V FOB Summerall, APO AE09393.

If you have a family member or loved one who is currently on active duty in a combat zone, and would like to have him/her included in the Veterans’ Corner, information may be sent to Harold Wegman, 24 Hinds St., Montrose, PA 18801.



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