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Issue Home February 7, 2007 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: All scarlet fever cases are of light form. Quarantine was lifted from the home of Richard Stack Sunday.

FAIRDALE: Mr. and Mrs. Fred Birchard are rejoicing over the arrival of a pair of twins but we are sorry to note they will move on with the medical show.

NEW MILFORD: Parties were in town last week looking over the old tannery, which has been idle for the past four years. AND: This is a good time for the farmers to talk up good roads and how to improve roads by reducing the grades so the teams can handle the loads easier. It’s to the farmers’ good to have better roads.

JACKSON: Dr. Thomas Jefferson Wheaton, one of Wilkes-Barre’s oldest physicians and a native this county, died on Jan. 2nd. Deceased was the 9th child of a family of 14 born to Moses and Sarah (Ballon) Wheaton, who were residents of Jackson. He attended the district school of that place and the Harford Academy and later studied medicine with his brother, Dr. W. W. Wheaton, also taking the lectures at the Eclectic Medical College at Rochester, N.Y. He practiced medicine from 1849 to 1858 in Bradford and Susquehanna counties and Binghamton. During the Civil War he was on the iron clad monitor “Dictator,” and upon its conclusion took up the practice of dentistry in Binghamton and in 1873 in Wilkes-Barre, and then retired from active business. He is descended from Robert Wheaton who came from England to this county in 1636 and joined the colony of planters at Salem, Mass.

UPSONVILLE & Franklin Twp.: The school on Franklin Hill has closed and the scholars attend the East school. F. L. Dearborn takes them to and from the school each day. AND: Last Friday night students of the Baker school took a sleigh ride to Montrose to view the newly burned district.

ALFORD: J. M. Decker is filling the D.L. & W. Co. ice house and T. C. Tingley is filling the creamery ice house.

MONTROSE: Becker and Wilson will cease to operate the cut glass factory longer than this spring, as they wish to go elsewhere, though the business is a profitable one, apparently. Others have the business under consideration. Whether it will be continued by other parties depends on the attitude assumed towards it by the businessmen of Montrose. AND: A club known as the “Topsy Girls” was very pleasantly entertained by Miss Alice Gardner at her home on South Main St. During lent these girls will dispense with playing cards, as is their custom, and instead will embroider and read together.

HARFORD: Our representative Hon. E. E. Jones, of Harford, has introduced a bill in the lower house of the state legislature for an appropriation of $15,000 to the Simon H. Barnes Memorial Hospital at Susquehanna.

SUSQUEHANNA: E. F. Hopton has exchanged his new Collier street hotel property, in Binghamton, with C. Fred Wright, of Susquehanna, for a farm of 322 acres in Susquehanna county, and 50 percent in cash. The farm contains a large tract of timber and five dwellings. The hotel, which is practically completed, contains 65 rooms and all the latest improvements. Mr. Wright will not run the hotel himself, but will employ a manager.

CHOCONUT: The will of the late Miss Ellen Heavey was admitted to probate on Monday by Surrogate Parsons in Binghamton, and letters of testamentary issued to Rev. Father J. J. Lally of St. Joseph. The estate consists of personal property amounting to $1400, most of which is bequeathed to Catholic clergymen.

SOUTH GIBSON: On account of poor health, W. Earl Maxey has sold his mercantile business to Sheriff Pritchard & Sons, who are doing business at the old stand. Mr. Maxey and wife have gone to Clark’s Summit, where his mother resides. In the near future he will take a trip to another climate.

PLEASANT VALLEY, Auburn Twp.: Some from this place have taken advantage of the fine sleighing during the past week by hauling lumber to Meshoppen for Frank Carter and Redding & Hahn.

WELSH HILL: The people of this place are busy harvesting the large crop of ice on Lake Idlewild.

BROOKLYN: A Valentine Social will be held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. M. W. Palmer next Thursday evening. Teams will take all who wish to go. A pleasant time is assured.

NEWS BRIEF: “The Presidents Lark” President Roosevelt’s chief recreation nowadays seems to be found in giving the secret service men nervous prostration. Whenever he can escape their scrutiny he does so, and each time there is an epidemic of nervous prostration in the corps. It is a tough job to dodge the secret service men, for, knowing his disposition to do so, they are on the alert, and they know most of his tricks. Tuesday night, however, he succeeded in eluding them for an hour and a half and had the time of his life. He had not been gone for more than a minute before his guardians discovered his escape, and they were thrown into a panic. One of them started on a rapid run toward Senator Lodge’s, while another deployed along the avenue toward Georgetown on horseback. Two more hastened into streets where the President had occasionally taken a horseback ride, while a fifth investigated to see if a horse was missing anywhere and found that the President was undoubtedly afoot, wherever he might be. Meanwhile, happy in his newfound freedom, the President had made a beeline for the white lot, the big vacant space back of the White House ground. It is big enough to hide 50 Presidents and so gloomy at night that no President would ever be suspected by the most imaginative guardian of a desire to go there. The President walked all around this big lot a dozen times, momentarily expecting to be over hauled and recaptured. Finally he became bold and walked down one unfrequented street and turned up another. He walked ten blocks and back, meeting hardly anybody, and returned to the White House chipper and exultant. As he arrived he ran into half a dozen limp and disheartened looking secret service men, who had given up the chase and were preparing to lose their jobs. He grinned pleasantly at them and vainly they tried to grin back.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


No Ma Bell, but who needs her?

Congratulations to North-Eastern Telephone Company (NEP) of Forest City on its recent launching of Susquehanna County’s own wireless telephone service. It’s certainly is a feather in the caps of Ed Tourje, president of NEP, and Don Todd, vice-president.

A nice crowd was on hand for the inauguration of yet another milestone in NEP’s 100-year-plus history. Having been born and raised in nearby Vandling Borough, I can remember our family’s first NEP telephone number - 894. There was no dial on the phone. You simply picked up the receiver and in a short time a voice would say, “Number please!”

For a while, we were on a party line which meant we shared the phone service with two or three other area residents. Oh, we all had different phone numbers but we had to count the rings when the phone rang to find out if the call was ours. And, when you picked up the phone to make a call, you had to give a quick listen because somebody else on the same line may be using the phone. So you would have to wait until they finished talking to make your call.

If you have ever watched Green Acres or Little House on the Prairie, you will have some idea of what we had to tolerate. Well, it wasn't quite that bad but you get the picture. Of course, if you were a part of the elite and could afford a private line, you had smooth sailing from the get-go. Thankfully, NEP kept up with modern innovations and we graduated to dial telephones with private lines.

Through the years, I have seen NEP progress from a small telephone company in a small town to a conglomerate that includes cable television, internet service and wireless phone service. I understand they are also getting ready to add high definition television.

Political season is approaching

Next week candidates for elective office can begin circulating petitions and, from what I hear, look for a crowded field of candidates for county commissioner. Just remember, my friends, that you can only sign as many petitions as there are openings for elective office.

The Pennsylvania Election Code reads as follows: “If a person shall sign any nomination petitions or papers for a greater number of candidates than he is permitted under the provisions of this act, if said signatures bear the same date, they shall, upon objections filed thereto, not be counted on any petition or paper and if they bear different dates, they shall be counted in the order of their priority of date, for only so many persons as there are candidates to be nominated or elected.”

On the Republican side of the ballot, we are just about certain that incumbent Commissioners Roberta Kelly and Jeff Loomis will be seeking reelection. However, don’t look for them to run as a team because that just will not happen. Their views on county matters are about as far apart as George W. and Senator John McCain are on the war in Iraq.

There may be some fresh blood joining the list of old the faithful who are becoming perennial candidates. The most prominent name we hear is Attorney Michael Giangrieco, who served 10 years as county solicitor. If anyone should know the county and the laws that govern it, it’s Giangrieco. Then, too, it would be nice to see a professional man join the Board of Commissioners.

Other GOP prospects thinking of taking a shot at a commissioner’s seat include Tom Jurista, Fred Baker II, and former commissioner, Lee Smith. We were also told there’s a fella from Auburn Township giving it some thought but we haven’t heard his name yet.

On the Democrat side, incumbent Mary Ann Warren will try for a second term. Barney Wilkins, Democratic State Committeeman, has also expressed an interest in the commissioner’s race. A dark horse candidate on the Democratic side would be former commissioner, Calvin Dean.

Undoubtedly there will be more candidates on both sides of the political game board. The stakes keep getting higher and, in 2008, the commissioners will be paid $50,000. Not bad for a part-time position.


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

In late 2002, Matthew Bullock was living with his girlfriend, Lisa Hargrave, who was 23 weeks pregnant with his child. On New Year’s Eve, the couple celebrated with alcohol and cocaine. At some point during the evening, Bullock decided that Hargrave had used enough cocaine and that she should stop so she would not harm the unborn baby. An argument ensued, and Bullock strangled Hargrave to a point where she was nearly unconscious. Because Bullock “feared” the police, he wrapped Hargrave’s feet and hands with masking tape and fled from their residence. As he was leaving he could hear Hargrave yelling and trying to free herself, so he returned and taped her mouth shut. As he was leaving, he could still hear her struggling, so he returned this time and strangled her to death, and dragged her into a closet, and left. Approximately six days later, he appeared at a police station and confessed to strangling Hargrave to death, and led the police to the closet where Hargrave’s body was decomposing with the tape still wrapped upon the corpse. Bullock was charged with counts of criminal homicide, both as to Hargrave and the unborn child. A jury found Bullock guilty of third degree murder as to Hargrave and guilty of voluntary manslaughter as to the unborn child. In making its finding, the jury determined that Bullock was mentally ill when he committed the criminal acts. After his conviction, Bullock filed an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the criminal statute that protects unborn children from homicidal acts, known as the Crimes Against the Unborn Child Act.

Bullock contended that the statute was unconstitutional because it failed to include a requirement that the Commonwealth prove that the fetus was viable outside the womb of the mother. Bullock argued that if the fetus could not survive outside the womb, then the fetus was never alive, and, as such, he could not have killed another human being. In essence, Bullock argued that the statute was too vague because a person of ordinary intelligence would not understand that an unborn child would include a “non-viable fetus” that Bullock contended was not a living creature, not a child.

On December 27, 2006, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court unanimously upheld Bullock’s conviction and wholly rejected Bullock’s argument that viability was a necessary component of the criminal statute. The court noted that the statute plainly protects unborn children during all periods of gestation – from fertilization through birth. As to the viability requirement, the court simply noted “to accept that a fetus is not biologically alive until it can survive outside of the womb would be illogical.” The court concluded “the concept of a fetus or unborn child as a victim of violence is neither obscure nor difficult to grasp,” and that a person of ordinary intelligence would understand that they could be charged criminally for killing an unborn child.

Finally, Bullock argued that he was denied equal protection because “natural fathers who kill their unborn children are similarly situated to pregnant mothers who kill the fetus they are carrying.” Bullock contended that he was denied equal protection because the statute allowed for a mother to have an abortion without criminal responsibility, but if the natural father terminated the pregnancy, the natural father would be charged with homicide. As he was the natural father of the unborn child, Bullock contended that he should be afforded the same right as the natural mother to terminate the pregnancy. The Court also rejected this argument, noting that there is no right “to unilaterally kill the unborn child that another person is carrying.” The Court simply noted that mothers and fathers are not similarly situated because of the mother’s “unique connection to the fetus,” and, as such, the Legislature could properly make an exception to allow the mother to unilaterally kill an unborn child while denying the same right to the natural father.

Justice Baer voted with the majority, but issued a separate concurring opinion, which none of the other justices joined, in which he opined that the Court’s decision “should not, and cannot, be interpreted as an attempt in any way to define, generally, a fetus as a life-in-being or as endorsing the notion that the interruption of the reproductive process is the killing of human life.” The majority opinion made a similar distinction, noting that the statute “does not purport to define the concept of personhood or establish when life as a human being begins and ends; rather, it imposes criminal liability for the destruction of a human embryo or fetus that is biologically alive.” In short, the opinion affirmed the criminal homicide conviction not for the killing of a human being; rather, the conviction related to the killing of a “biologically alive fetus,” i.e., an unborn child.

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’m afraid that my grandson may be using cocaine. Is there any way I can tell for sure? And how dangerous is this drug?

This is a topic that is unusual for The Healthy Geezer. It’s not about a senior health issue, but it does affect seniors. Many of us are grandparents who worry about the drug culture of our grandchildren. We also wonder if there’s anything we can do to prevent kids from getting into a drug habit. Well, the first step we can take is to educate ourselves. That’s what this column is about.

Cocaine, the strongest natural stimulant, is an addictive drug; you can be hooked with a single use. It causes a short-lived high that is immediately followed by depression, edginess, and a craving for more of the drug. Cocaine interferes with the way your brain creates feelings of pleasure, so you need more of the drug to feel normal.

Cocaine is extracted from the leaves of the coca plant. It is a drug that comes in the form of a white powder that is snorted. It can be converted to a liquid form for injection. Crack is cocaine processed into a crystal form for smoking. Crack, also called “rock,” looks like small chunks of soap.

Cocaine, in any form, is illegal. It is the most frequently mentioned illicit substance reported to the Drug Abuse Warning Network by hospital emergency departments throughout the nation.

Cocaine is lethal. It can cause strokes, heart attacks and respiratory failure. In addition, it can cause irregular heartbeat, depression, violent actions, and loss of sexual function.

According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, the following are the signs that someone may be addicted to cocaine: periods of severe depression; weight loss; decline in personal hygiene or appearance; constant runny nose; frequent upper respiratory infections; changes in sleep patterns; loss of interest in friends, family, and social activities; loss of interest in food, sex, or other pleasures; hearing voices when nobody has spoken, or feeling paranoid; expressing more anger, becoming more impatient or nervous; hallucinations.

And here are some more I collected from other sources: frequent need for money; intense euphoria; bloodshot eyes; dilated pupils; hyper-alertness; panic; seizures from high doses; the presence of any unexplained white powder; small spoons, mirrors, razor blades and rolled paper money used for snorting; small bottles with screw-top lids and small plastic packets for storing; increase in body temperature, respiration and pulse; grinding of teeth; obsessive touching or picking at various objects and parts of the body; repetitive dismantling of mechanical objects.

There are many slang terms for cocaine. Here are just some: big C, blanco, blow, blast, Bolivian, Charlie, coke, Columbian, girl, heaven, happy powder, Mama Coca, mojo, nose candy, Peruvian, pimp, she, sniff, snort, snow, toot, trails, white lady, stardust.

Cocaine was first used in the 19th century in surgery as an anesthetic and to reduce bleeding; it constricts blood vessels. Safer drugs came along to replace it.

According to the 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, about 33.7 million Americans over the age of 12 reported trying cocaine at least once. Among students surveyed, 3.7 percent of eighth graders, 5.2 percent of tenth graders, and 8 percent of twelfth graders reported using cocaine at least once.

Law enforcement sources indicate that one gram of cocaine powder usually sells for $100 in most cities. Crack cocaine tends to be sold in 0.1 and 0.2 gram rocks that generally sell for about $10.

In 1970, Congress classified cocaine as a Schedule II substance, which means it may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence.

For referral to treatment programs in your area, call the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Helpline and Treatment line at (800) 234-0420

If you have a question, please write to

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ASK The Family Doctor
By Dr. Richard Hacker

No Familiy Doctor This Week

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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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