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Issue Home December 6, 2006 Site Home

100 Years Ago
Along the Way...With P. Jay

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
The Family Doctor
Veterans’ Corner

100 Years Ago

BROOKLYN: The people of this town are agitated over the new road law recently passed by the legislature, which provides that a vote shall be taken in each township to decide whether the road tax shall be paid in cash or worked out. In 1871 a special road law was passed for Brooklyn township, providing for the payment of cash tax and the contracting of keeping the roads in repair for a term of five years. The roads in the town were measured and divided into about mile sections and let to the lowest bidder to be kept in repair for five years, payable so much per year. The operation of the law has been very successful for the past 35 years and it has been noted that the town of Brooklyn has had the best roads in Northeastern Pennsylvania, but it was not thought the new act would repeal the local law, but as the contract expires next March, the proposition to pay cash or go back to the old way of serving time on the road in lieu of paying tax. A petition is being signed asking the court to grant an order to so vote at our February election, and it seems now as though our special road law, which is most practicable in the interest of good roads, will be a thing of the past.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: The Thimble party held at Thomas Shields on Friday evening was worth remembering, as everybody had a first class time.

NEW MILFORD: Geo. E. Bennett, who recently sold out his grocery business in this place, has secured and taken possession of the Kendrick Cafe in Susquehanna.

CLIFFORD: Our town is progressive. Will Lott, our blacksmith, is over run with work. AND: We had a very quiet wedding Tuesday, Nov. 20, when Walter Lyman and Sadie Morgan, both of Lenox, were joined together in the holy state of matrimony by T. J. Wells, Esq.

SUSQUEHANNA: Whether a young man, of Susquehanna, was implicated in the robbery in Roy Leonard's store at Endicott or not, one thing is quite certain and that is he knows something about the gang who did and could, if felt so disposed, furnish some very damaging evidence. He was caught with the goods on by Detective Stephenson, and Mr. Leonard identified the same as being from his place of business. The young man told many conflicting stories as to how he came in possession of the goods. First his brother gave part of them to him but he finally admitted having no brother. Then he told the officers he bought the pieces for sixty cents from an unknown person. He admitted knowing "Tennessee Red," of Susquehanna and several other well-known characters who make their home at Canavan's Island. The young man is now out on bail furnished by relatives. He will be arraigned before Judge Ingerson, Saturday. Later: The hearing was put over till after the holidays. It is now said the police do not think the young man was in it, and that he has told who he got the watches from, and a number of arrests will be made.

LAUREL LAKE: Last Wednesday morning, St. Augustine's Church was the scene of one of the prettiest weddings of the season when Anna O. Shea became the wife of Thomas Campbell. Rev. Father Lally performed the wedding ceremony. Miss Mary Walsh, of Binghamton, as bridesmaid, and Francis, brother of the bride, as best man.

CRYSTAL LAKE: Randolph Potish was hunting on the Sanborn farm near here and came across a flock of pheasants in the orchard. He shot one and the others did not fly at the report of the shot but seemed to be in a stupor. He picked up seven and carried them to a farm house, put them in a box, tied the feet of one and left it on the porch. After a short time it sobered up and flew off to the woods. Investigation showed the pheasants ate fermented apples and all had a "jag on" and Randolph is feasting on pheasant now.

MONTROSE: Contractor G. O. Ayres is pushing work on the new club house of the Country Club, as fast as possible. It will be a large one, somewhere about 50 ft. square, if we remember correctly. It is located on the Lake Avenue corner of their grounds. Notwithstanding the cold weather of this week, the men employed in erecting the foundation of the Historical Society [and Library] building have kept bravely at work and several courses of dressed stone now rest on the solid wall of concrete. The work, we understand, has been continued so that the contractor may realize a payment on what has been accomplished, while if he ordered work to cease with not the required amount done necessary to secure the first payment, the money he put in for material, labor, etc., would be tied up until spring. The contractor, A. E. Badgely, is the same who erected the annex to the court house. This was so well done that excellent and satisfactory work may be expected of him.

LANESBORO: Master Edward Gilson, who spent last week awaiting the decision of the Juvenile Court, with reference to his case, in which he was charged with malicious mischief, has been sent by Very Rev. P. F. Brodrick, of Susquehanna, to Father Baker's Home for Boys, at West Seneca, N.Y., near Buffalo. The doors of this immense institution, under the protection of Our Lady of Victory, are open to white and black, Catholic, Jew or Protestant, and thousands of homeless boys have been cared for there, and given a free education and taught any trade desired. The "boys" run a printshop as well, and have a large band under the direction of an eminent professor of music.

CHRISTMAS HINTS: A nice Meerschaum or brier pipe, or box of cigars makes an ideal present for your friend. Burnt wood outfits, also patterns for burning, fancy baskets and novelties. How about a croquet set, or a fine hammock for a gift. Oh yes, iron toys, mechanical toys, shooting gallery, swords and children's wash sets. Drums, pianos, mouth organs, tubaphones, photograph albums, toilet sets, collar & glove boxes, all at your local stores.

NEWS BRIEFS: In 1896 there were 608 Grand Army Posts in Pennsylvania. At present there are but 523, showing a loss of 82. Death is rapidly depleting the ranks of the veterans of the Civil War. At the close of 1905, 640 Posts had been organized in the State. The largest membership was that of Ezra Griffin Post, at Scranton-428; 39 Posts had a membership of 10 each; 8 of 9; 3 of 8; 4 of 7, and 2 of 5. AND: The new electric railroad from Scranton to Factoryville is nearly graded and much of the track is laid. This road will eventually be extended to Tunkhannock and may come over the hill to Nicholson. This road is of the standard gauge and will increase the value of property in the towns thru which it passes. A large power house is being erected at Dalton, also a large car barn. AND: The plan they pursue in New England of observing Apple Tuesday might well be adopted in this state; the exact date is immaterial, the idea is the thing. In their school on that day the New England children had instruction in the planting, pruning and grafting of apple trees. It is expected in this way to promote the interest in that section in apple products.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Some After-Election Fallout

Well folks, the November election appears to be history.

To the best of my knowledge all of the national and state challenges, recounts, legal maneuverings, etcetera, etcetera, are finished. Other than the return of the Donkey Serenade in Washington, the only other change I noticed was the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is now controlled by a very slight Democratic margin.

There are, however, a number of significant thoughts to boggle your mind right here in little old Susquehanna County. For example, are the Democrats creeping up on the Republicans in our county? Or are more and more Republicans in the county finally realizing that no one will report them to Condoleezza Rice if they throw an occasional vote to a member of another political party?

Whatever the reason, as Red Buttons might say, strange things are happening in Susquehanna County. For example, who would have thought that incumbent Democratic Governor Ed Rendell would waltz to an easy win in predominantly Republican Susquehanna County? The governor took 33 of the 43 voting districts in the county and ran second only to long-time county favorite Sandy Major.

Scranton’s Bob Casey did not win in the county but he did far better than John F. Kennedy did back in 1960. And, while Casey only won 18 districts in the county compared with 25 for Santorum, he showed strength in a number of surprising places. For example, Casey defeated Santorum in Clifford Township, Herrick Township, both voting districts in Montrose and he tied Santorum, 302-302 in Springville Township. Casey also faired well in Forest City and Susquehanna boroughs, but those results were expected.

When the dust had cleared, the final county numbers in that US Senate race was, Santorum, 7787; Casey, 7318. In that 1960 presidential race, the county vote was Nixon, 10,201; John F. Kennedy, 5,760. Interesting isn't it?

County resident Chris Carney, who will replace Republican Don Sherwood in the Tenth Congressional District, can also walk proud with his showing in the county. Four-term Republican Congressman Sherwood defeated Carney in the county by the slim margin of 7589-7496. The Sherwood margin of victory in the county fell far short of the party’s expectations.

In the race for state senator, Lisa Baker, who served for years on retiring Senator Charles Lemmond’s staff, also fell short of the vote expected for her by county Republicans. But Ms. Baker had too much support in other counties and successfully turned back the challenge of Democrat Bob McNamara. Nevertheless, McNamara made a good showing for his initial run in the political arena and did very well in Susquehanna County. The final count in the county was Baker, 3314; McNamara, 3,113.

In other contested elections, Sandy Major easily defeated Green Party candidate, Jay Sweeney in the county, by a vote of 8965-1889. And Tina Pickett dumped Diane Ward in the county, 2055-694. Incumbent Democrat Representative Jim Wansacz, ran unopposed, and picked up 441 votes in Forest City, the only municipality he represents in Susquehanna County.

There were tie votes in two municipalities for different elective offices. In New Milford Borough, Carney and Sherwood each received 130 votes. And in Springville Township, Casey and Santorum had 302 votes each.

Well, that’s it. Our election wrap-up for 2006.

But friends, do not go away. The race for Susquehanna County Commissioner comes up in 2007 and it could be a dandy. There are about six Republicans who are set to throw their hats in the ring and, at last count, there were four Democrats considering tries for the brass ring. Of course, you can count on incumbents Roberta Kelly and Jeff Loomis to be among the undaunted GOP candidates and incumbent Democrat, Mary Ann Warren, to remain in the political arena as a slight favorite to hold her seat.

By the way, now that the elections are history, in case you have not been paying attention, you only have 18 shopping days left before Christmas. And if you plan on mailing presents anywhere, best to get those packages to the post office ASAP if you want them to arrive in time.


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

Crank. Ice. Speed.  Chalk. Glass. Whatever the street name, methamphetamine, or meth, is an addictive drug with toxic effects on both its users and the community. Meth and the clandestine labs used to make meth have become such a scourge in the law enforcement community that the United States Department of Justice designated November 30 the first-ever National Methamphetamine Awareness Day. If we are going to fight this highly addictive and destructive drug effectively, it is important we all understand its dangers.

Unfortunately, meth is a national problem that has reached Pennsylvania. Once thought to be isolated to the mid-western United States, it is increasingly moving east and into the mainstream. In fact, over the last two years in Pennsylvania, 189 labs have been shut down. Right here in Susquehanna County, local law enforcement efforts have resulted in uncovering and shutting down several methamphetamine labs, and convicting those involved in the production process.

The destructive effects of meth are countless. The drug itself is a powerful central nervous system stimulant. It is highly addictive and has devastating effects on both the brain and body. Abusers show symptoms of violent behavior, anxiety, confusion, and insomnia. They can also have hallucinations, mood disturbances, paranoia, and delusions. Poor hygiene, open, infected sores from intense, delusional scratching, and decayed and discolored teeth are just some of the horrible, physical byproducts of a drug that literally rots away a user’s physical appearance and health.

Because meth is inexpensive to make, often with easily obtained cold medicines and common household items, it is more common than most people think. In fact, meth labs are no longer considered a strictly “rural” problem. These days, labs are found in rural, city and suburban residences; barns, garages, and outbuildings; back rooms of businesses, apartments, and hotel and motel rooms; even on boats and in the trunks of cars.

Dirty and dangerous, every clandestine, homemade meth lab is a ticking time bomb – literally. Explosions, serious environmental hazards, and dangerous concentrations of chemicals and gasses pose deadly risks to innocent family members, too often children, who are severely neglected and exposed to the deadly drug and its by-products. Neighbors are exposed to the highly volatile lifestyle and physical dangers, as are investigators, once they are on the scene. And all too often, there is the cost of human life.

Fortunately, there is some good news in the war against meth; Pennsylvania is working hard to avoid the full-blown epidemic faced by states to our west. Last year, our state legislature and governor passed legislation putting cold medicines most often used in meth production behind the pharmacy counter. The Pennsylvania State Police has made its Clandestine Laboratory Response Team and its Special Emergency Response Team available to assist in securing lab sites and recovering and processing evidence. Attorney General Tom Corbett has worked cooperatively with district attorneys and other members of law enforcement in communities where meth is most prevalent, combining manpower, equipment, and training to fight the problem. And on behalf of the children, they are working on a statewide “Drug Endangered Child” protocol for law enforcement, medical and social service personnel responding to an incident where children are found in a clandestine laboratory setting.

Meth is a community-wide problem that requires public vigilance with a law enforcement response. If you know a meth user, you can get them help by contacting the Drug and Alcohol Commission at 278-1000. If you suspect a meth lab is in your community, immediately call the Pennsylvania State Police at 465-3154. Do not investigate yourself. Only law enforcement can respond with individuals who are trained to deal with dangers (like invisible yet fatal chemicals and fumes) that lie within these labs.

No state will ever be completely immune to the tragedy of meth. But the more we know about it, the better equipped we will be to deal with this terrible, horrible, highly destructive drug. I encourage you to find out a little more about meth at What you learn might just save a life.

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. I had a bad cold so I asked my doctor for an antibiotic. He seemed reluctant, but I insisted and he gave me the prescription. I was supposed to take it for 10 days, but I stopped after 7 because I felt better and I...

A. Stop! Next you’ll tell me you prefer not to cover your mouth when you cough.

Taking antibiotics unnecessarily and not completing your prescription are the leading causes of “superbugs,” bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. These superbugs are one of the most serious threats to global public health.

The first thing you should know is that antibiotics are used to combat bacteria, not viruses. So, these potent drugs should be used for infections of the ear, sinuses, urinary tract and skin. They’re also used to treat strep throat. They should not be used for viruses that cause most sore throats, coughs, colds and flu.

However, doctors in the USA write about 50 million antibiotic prescriptions for viral illnesses anyway. Patient pressure is a major cause for these prescriptions.

When you don’t finish your prescription, your antibiotic doesn’t kill all the targeted bacteria. The germs that survive build up resistance to the drug you’re taking. Doctors are then forced to prescribe a stronger antibiotic. The bacteria learn to fight the stronger medication. Superbugs are smart, too; they can share information with other bacteria.

The antibiotic vancomycin was, for years, a reliable last defense against some severe infections. But, recently, some superbugs have figured out how to resist even vancomycin.

More than 70 percent of the bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections are resistant to at least one of the antibiotics most commonly used to treat them. About 100,000 people die each year from infections they contract in the hospital, often because the bacteria that cause hospital-acquired infections are resistant to antibiotics.

Here’s what you can do about this problem:

Protect yourself by washing your hands often, handling and preparing food safely, and keeping up-to-date on immunizations.

Take antibiotics exactly as prescribed. If you cut your treatment short, you kill the vulnerable bacteria, but allow the resistant bacteria to live.

Never take leftover antibiotics from your medicine cabinet or from a friend. The antibiotic might not be right one to use. And, if it is, you probably won’t have enough pills to kill the germs in your system. This can lead to more resistant bacteria.

Don't pressure your doctor for antibiotics if you have a viral illness.

Penicillin, which was introduced six decades ago, was the first antibiotic. It was derived from mold. We now have more than 150 of these drugs. Antibiotics are a class of antimicrobials, a group that includes anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-parasitic drugs.

Previous treatments for infections included poisons such as strychnine and arsenic. When antibiotics arrived, they were called “magic bullets,” because they targeted disease without harming the host.

If you have a question, please write to


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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

Coronary artery disease (CAD) is still the leading cause of death in our society, and with this article I will begin a series on the problem, reviewing what it is, how we make the diagnosis, how we treat it, and what the future holds for this devastating condition.

Coronary artery disease refers to diseased arteries around the heart. Although the heart is constantly pumping blood, it does not draw any oxygen or nutrition from the blood pumping through it. Instead, there is a network of blood vessels around the outside of the heart, encircling it the way a halo, or corona, encircles the sun. These arteries are called “coronary” arteries and serve the all-important job of supplying the heart muscle with oxygen to survive. Since the heart is essentially a solid ball of muscle the size of your fist, and it has to contract and pump at least 60 times a minute, you can imagine that it needs a lot of oxygen and a healthy blood supply to survive. When the coronary arteries are plugged, heart muscle starves and eventually dies, which is what we call a heart attack, and used to call “having a coronary.” Like any muscle, the heart will cramp and hurt when it is starving for oxygen, even before it is damaged. Chest pain from this condition is called “angina pectoris” which is simply Latin for “chest pain.” Of course, there are lots of things besides coronary artery disease that can cause chest pain, but nowadays we use the term “angina pectoris” specifically to describe chest pain due to heart disease. What is tricky, and often deadly, is the misunderstanding that not all heart attacks cause chest pain, and not all chest pain is from heart attacks.

The coronary arteries will stiffen and narrow over time, while the amount of blood they can carry diminishes due to build up of plaque around the inside of the artery. The major causes of plaque buildup are smoking, diabetes, and high cholesterol. High blood pressure causes coronary arteries to stiffen and narrow, while also demanding that the heart pump more forcefully, making the heart demand more oxygen even while less is being supplied. Family history comes into play by determining how fast arteries plug up from age, cholesterol, and blood pressure.

As coronary arteries get more and more narrow, people will often develop angina pectoris, especially during periods of stress and exercise. At this point, the heart is at risk of damage, but hasn’t suffered any yet. Interventions at this point can often prevent a heart attack before it happens. Plaque development can also be slowed by strict attention to risk factors, and treatment of such conditions as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, and diabetes. Not all people with narrowed coronary arteries have angina, though, and often we will arrange for testing merely on the basis of risk factors, instead of waiting until symptoms develop.

Oddly enough, the greatest risk does not come from totally plugged coronaries. Since it takes many years for an artery to completely plug up, there is usually a redistribution of blood around the blockage over time. By the time a coronary is completely plugged, other arteries have usually taken up the load and kept the heart muscle supplied. The biggest risk for heart attack, surprisingly, comes from coronaries that are only partially blocked, even minimally blocked or narrowed. What causes most heart attacks is not plaque buildup, but plaque rupture, triggering a clot. Picture, if you will, a pan in which you fried bacon: immediately after cooking, the grease is liquid, but as the pan cools, a “skin” forms on top of the grease, hiding the liquid behind a thin layer of solid material. This is very similar to what happens in a blood vessel, where cholesterol and plaque are deposited behind a thin membrane. When the membrane cracks or splits, it exposes the underlying material and triggers a clot. It’s this clot , forming suddenly and abruptly in the wall of a coronary artery, that triggers a heart attack, and it is why we treat acute heart attacks with clot-dissolving drugs. It is also why aspirin (which prevents clotting) is used whenever a heart attack is present or suspected.

Next week: recognizing the signs and symptoms of coronary artery disease and heart attacks.

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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