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Issue Home February 14, 2007 Site Home

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

From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
Veterans’ Corner

100 Years Ago

NEW MILFORD: The Jay House has recently installed electric lights, call bells and a barber shop. They are now figuring for an elevator.

GELATT: E. P. Whitney is the man who fired the first shot at the battle of Gettysburg. Although 78 years old the veteran is as robust and happy as a man of middle years and tells of his experience in the war, recalling his sufferings in the Salisbury prison and all the famous battles in which he fought. Mr. Whitney was born in Gelatt in 1833 and is engaged in farming. He has a comfortable home and a farm of 100 acres. He enlisted in the army for three years on Oct. 1, 1862, with Company B, 17th Regiment, Pennsylvania Cavalry, at New Milford, and during his stay in the army participated in 73 battles. On July 1, 1863, he was stationed on the line picketing. Shortly before 6 o’clock in the morning he spied the enemy approaching. “They were about a mile off,” said Mr. Whitney, “and when they got near enough, I fired at them. We immediately formed a picket line. We held them back until 10 o’clock, when the infantry relieved us.” In the winter of 1864-65 Mr. Whitney, with nine others, were detailed by Brigade Colonel Sheridan, stationed 60 miles above Shenandoah Valley, W. V. The ten were captured about 30 miles above Winchester by Mosby’s guerrillas and thrown into prison. Five weary months Mr. Whitney spent in prison walls, and after he was relieved he went to Annapolis, Md. A week later he was given a furlough and went home. In the spring of the same year the war closed and he did not return to the army.

LATHROP: Union Grange No. 152 P. of H., met with the Worthy Secretary and wife, Mr. and Mrs. E. E .Johnson, Jan. 25, for their annual installation of officers. The Grangers are anticipating the erection of a new Grange hall in the near future, the land opposite the M. E. church at Lakeside having been purchased of the Nicholson Water Co.

BROOKLYN: W. L. Sterling is talking of buying the Waterworks, which was owned by Charles Tiffany and connecting his large spring on the “Baker” property with the present system and thus supply the town with spring water and also good fire protection. AND: The old mercantile firm of A. Ely & Sons is succeeded by Luther S. Ely, one of the members who will continue the business. “Luce” has a lot of friends who will heartily wish him well.

MONTROSE: On Tuesday afternoon between twelve and one o’clock, four persons in a bobsleigh, in passing the door of the laundress, Mrs. Joanna W. Brown, on Church Street, stopped and picked up a pillowcase with lace edge--the property of Mrs. Brown. The parties looked toward the clothes line, and must have known to whom the article belonged. A neighbor was an eye witness to it. Please return the pillowcase.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Beach Sanitarium Co., which recently purchased the old Beebe homestead, has been enlarging and equipping it with all the requirements of a first class sanitarium. It will make a specialty of the cure of cancer by the Beach method, a treatment exclusively controlled by the company, which has been successful in hundreds of cases and has not a single record of failure. No knife is used. The treatment consists entirely of the injection of a serum that effectually removes the cancer permanently and with very little pain. The alterations in the building are nearly completed and the company is about ready to accept patients, of which a long waiting list has been awaiting the completion of the building. The company is a responsible one with ample capitol and intends to advertise themselves to people all over the country so that in all probability Susquehanna will soon be a famous for its cure of cancer as Mt. Clemens, Mich., is for the cure of rheumatism.

HARFORD: Henry W. Booth, who had just recovered from a serious illness, sustained painful injuries, Saturday, by a tree falling on him.

GREAT BEND: While harvesting ice on the river, the large team of draught horses owned by J. W. Snedaker went through the ice and were rescued with difficulty, but with the aid of ropes, planks, & c., they were saved, and aside from a bad drenching they were none the worse for their experience.

ELK LAKE: Elwood Griswold is filling the ice house at the Star Creamery.

CLIFFORD: Last Thursday, Friday and Saturday our streets were filled with coal teams. AND: R. E. Wells made a business trip to Scranton last week; he expects to be the proprietor of the Royal hotel in the near future.

SPRINGVILLE: Lost:- A young man fresh from the vine clad quarries of the east. If in quest of a job see A. L. Stevens.

LAWSVILLE: We are having a good show at present. It is given by Mr. Cot and family. Mr. Cot represents the Standard Medicine Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio.

DIMOCK: Walter Newton has purchased a fine 4-year-old colt of Glen Watrous, which is a good single driver. Walter also has a phonograph to give you some nice music when you call at his home.

THOMPSON: Ernest Potter, who has been in the employ of the Erie company for some time, has reopened his blacksmith shop and is doing a rushing business at the old prices.

LAKESIDE: F. E. Benson, of the N. E. Telephone company, placed a phone in the home of B. C. Tourje on Monday.

NEWS BRIEF: The postoffice department will hereafter give preference to married men, with large families, in dealing out new jobs and passing around the promotions. Rather hard on a young fellow too poor to marry. AND: [Susquehanna] County Commissioners, G. E. McKune, O. A. Tiffany and M. J. Lannon, yesterday morning started out on their long trip about the county delivering ballots [for the coming election]. This is a delightful journey for these busy officials and they always look forward to it with keen enjoyment. Often their horses are unable to get through the drifts and then they are treated to superb exercise by frequent health-giving walks of from three to five miles with arms lightly encircling thirty or forty pounds of “saviors of the country.” The weather was pretty moderate yesterday, but doubtless all three are sighing for a good cold snap, with plenty of snow and wind.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Oh boy, have we got candidates!

Folks, in case you have not been paying attention, the list of candidates for President of these United States is huge. Both major political parties have more than enough men and women anxious to occupy the White House. Just how good they are is something else.

Anyway, in case you are wondering who’s on the list, let me run them down for you. Those who have either announced or are wannabe candidates if they can muster up some support and, more importantly, plenty of greenbacks, include:

Republicans: US Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas; John Cox, a CPA from Chicago; former Virginia governor, Jim Gilmore; former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich; former New York mayor, Rudy Giuliani; US Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee; Duncan Hunter, Congressman from South Carolina; US Senator John McCain of Arizona; former New York governor, George Pataki; Congressman Ron Paul of Texas; former Massachusetts governor, Mitt Romney; former Wisconsin governor, Tommy Thompson.

Democrats: Warren R. Ashe of Virginia; Laura David-Aarin of Tennessee; US Senator Joseph Biden of Delaware; Wesley K. Clark of Arkansas, retired US Army General; US Senator Hillary Clinton of New York; Randy Crow of North Carolina; US Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut; former US Senator, John R. Edwards of North Carolina; Michael K. Forrester of Colorado; Dan Francis of New York; Alfonzo Jones of California; former US Senator Mike Gravel of Virginia; Karl E. Krueger of South Dakota; Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio; US Senator Barack Obama of Illinois; Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Rev. Aldred C. Sharpton of New York; former governor, Tom Vilsack of Iowa.

A pay raise would help

With the recent demise of the county’s occupation tax, I hear many tax collectors are unhappy and frankly I cannot blame them. They are losing a sizeable chunk of income.

While I supported abolishing the occupation tax, I would not have objected if the county offered the tax collectors a little something to compensate them for their loss. It’s not an uncommon practice and it is done quite frequently on the state and national levels of government.

For example, if I am not mistaken, the minimum wage tax bill that will take the hourly rate from $5.15 to $7.25 has an added amendment in it. I believe the amendment provides some relief for employers who must shell out the added hourly wage increase.

A little added compensation in their real estate collections might make life a bit easier for the tax collectors.

What’s going on?

What in Sam Hill’s name is happening to our beloved computer internet?

I don’t know about you, but I am getting more and more frustrated each time I go on line. I mean I just cannot get what I am after. Let me give you an example.

One day last week I decided to confirm what I thought was Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. In the search engine I typed, “Pennsylvania 2007 Primary Elections” and clicked. I waited and finally something was coming in. It read: “2004 US Presidential Election Results.”

Next I tried, “U.S. Primary Election Days by States.” In a couple of minutes this message came back at me: “Internet Explorer cannot display these web pages.”

Then I tried, “Pennsylvania 2007 Primary Election date.” After a bit, I received the following message: “Voter Registration Service -$9.95 per month. Live Forum and Election reminders.”

I finally decided that the League of Women Voters would probably be my best bet. These gals are sharp and always on the ball. Well, almost always.

I typed in “League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania.” The following message came back at me: “Shop Brite! Find true love on Match.Com. Browse profiles and pics for free.”

No my friends, I am not hallucinating. And I don’t have time to sit and dream up these things. I have a fairly new Dell computer and I am a good typist. At times I do think my house is haunted but I figure most ghosts would be too old to know how to jam up a computer.

Drop me a line and tell me if you have had any strange reactions from your computer. If you request it, your name will not be used. Email me at:

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

Police often encounter a familiar situation – an underage drinking party with minors running in every direction to avoid being caught. How does a police officer handle 20, 30 or 40 intoxicated minors dashing here, there and everywhere? Normally, a police officer would simply herd them up and detain them pending a completion of his or her investigation. In other words, the police officer would have to identify each minor and determine which, if any of the minors, were consuming alcoholic beverages. A recent decision of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has seriously undermined the police officer’s ability to handle this situation.

In April, 2003, after an undercover operation, several police agencies conducted a raid upon a party at a fraternity house near a local college. The fraternity was charging a cover charge to enter the fraternity house, and, once inside the residence, the fraternity was also selling alcoholic beverages to the partygoers. Several undercover agents purchased tickets several days before the party, and then attended the party. After being inside the fraternity house, the officers noted numerous students, who appeared under 21 years of age, purchasing and consuming alcoholic beverages. As the crowd grew larger, the undercover officers called for additional police power, and numerous police officers entered the fraternity house. The process then began of acquiring identification from the party patrons to verify the age of each person. The party patrons were divided into two groups, a 21 and over group and an under 21 group. After they had sorted the partygoers by age, the over 21 group was allowed to leave the residence. As to the group of those under 21, the officers then began to administer a portable breath analyzer to determine if each person had unlawfully consumed alcoholic beverages. As a result of this operation, 56 students were given underage drinking citations.

A group of 24 students banded together and sought to suppress the evidence obtained during the party – namely, the results from the breath tests that revealed the presence of alcohol. The students contended that they were unlawfully detained inside the fraternity house while they were initially identified and grouped by age. The students argued that they were detained generally and without individualized suspicion that they were engaged in criminal activity. The trial court agreed with the students that their detention had been unlawful, and granted the suppression request. The Commonwealth appealed this decision, and the Superior Court affirmed the suppression of the evidence. Thereafter, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court granted review.

In a divided opinion by a 4-3 vote, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court agreed that the police officers’ conduct had been unreasonable and suppressed the evidence. It was the generalized nature of the group seizure that bothered the majority of the Court, namely that the officers could not articulate any specific basis for the seizure of the bulk of the 54 students except that they were present at the party when the police arrived. The Court questioned whether such generalized group seizures were proper when weighed against the nature of the crime being committed. The Court noted that such generalized, limited seizures have been approved when a serious crime is involved and they are limited in nature, i.e., DUI checkpoints and roadblocks. In this case, the Court indicated that the underage drinking offense was not a serious offense, and, as such, it was not reasonable to simply detain the entire group of students generally to sort them by age and then test them for alcohol consumption. The Court concluded as follows: “[T]he actions of the officers were geared toward general crime control and the discovery of ordinary criminal wrongdoing, which [is] insufficient to justify a suspiciousless stop.” The evidence was suppressed and the 24 students avoided prosecution.

The decision was a 4-3 vote, with the three dissenting justices strongly challenging the reasoning of the majority. Justice Eakin, a former prosecutor, attacked the soft underbelly of the majority’s reasoning. He challenged the contention that the detention of the students was “suspicionless.” There was no doubt, based upon observations of the undercover officers, that there were underage students consuming alcohol at the party. There was also no debate that the officers could have apprehended each individual student provided the officer could provide specific facts to support his conclusion that this particular student was underage and consuming alcohol. The majority could not accept the group seizure concept where the officer could not articulate specific grounds for each of the 54 underage drinkers. Justice Eakin concluded that such a requirement was unreasonable and concluded his opinion with a rhetorical question: “If [the police] have the ability to ask one young drinker for ID, how does that authority evaporate simply because there are many suspected underage drinkers?” A good question.

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 a social drinker who has several glasses of wine every evening, but I’m told I can avoid any liver damage if I drink plenty of coffee. Sounds ridiculous. What do you think?

There was a study of more than 125,000 people who drank coffee. The study, published recently, showed that one cup of coffee a day cut the risk of alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver by 20 percent. Four cups a day reduced the risk by 80 percent. It’s not known yet why coffee protected livers in this study.

Even “social drinkers” can develop cirrhosis, a condition that causes irreversible damage to the liver. Whether you get cirrhosis depends upon the amount of alcohol you drink and a predisposition for the condition.

If you drink a lot of alcohol, you will hurt your liver. However, you will not necessarily get cirrhosis. You have a one-in-three chance of getting cirrhosis if you drink 8 to 16 ounces of liquor a day (or the equivalent in other alcoholic drinks) for 15 years or more.

More men than women get cirrhosis. There is a theory that more men get cirrhosis because they’re heavier drinkers.

Women can’t tolerate as much alcohol as men can. Studies show that a much higher percentage of women, consuming less alcohol than men, suffer from cirrhosis.

In the United States, excessive alcohol consumption is the single greatest risk factor for cirrhosis. Chronic infection with the hepatitis C virus is the second leading cause of cirrhosis.

The liver, which is located in the upper right side of the abdomen, is the largest organ in the human body. It weighs about three pounds and is – believe it or not – about the size of a football. You cannot live without a liver.

The liver is a multipurpose organ that performs hundreds of tasks. Among its functions are the digestion of fats, removal of harmful substances from blood, production of cholesterol, control of infections and the coagulation of blood.

In cirrhosis of the liver, scar tissue replaces healthy tissue; this blocks blood flow through the liver and prevents it from working efficiently.

At the onset of cirrhosis, there may be no symptoms. As the liver deteriorates, the following may occur: internal bleeding, fluid retention in the legs and feet, bruising, yellow skin and eyes, fluid in the abdomen, itchy hands and feet, dark urine, loss of appetite and weight, nausea, fatigue, and red spider veins.

Although liver damage from cirrhosis is irreversible, treatment can help prevent more damage and reduce complications. Giving up alcohol is the primary treatment. Improving nutrition is often part of treatment, too.

A doctor can diagnose cirrhosis through symptoms, a medical history, a physical exam, and tests.

Tests that are often used in diagnosis include a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or a scan using a radioactive substance that highlights the liver. A doctor might look at the liver using an instrument that is inserted into the abdomen. A liver biopsy – tissue sample – can confirm a diagnosis.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

After I heard that Margaret Dickey retired from writing “Straight from Starrucca,” I decided that it would be nice for another Starrucca citizen to continue on with the column. When I saw Margaret I told her that I was thinking about writing the column, and she told me to stop thinking about it and just do it.

It finally feels like winter this week. I was beginning to think that the snow and the cold were never going to come, but it is finally here. Unfortunately though, Susquehanna Community failed to give their students their first delay of the year. A high school senior and a Starrucca citizen, Bill McHale, stated, “It is so cold even the penguins couldn’t live here.” I agree with Bill on that one.

With the snowy weather coming, I would like to remind everyone to drive safely on our roads because they are not always in the best of conditions. As an EMT, I would encourage everyone to drive with extreme caution this winter!

Congratulations to Caitlin and Natalie Piercy for making District Band and Orchestra. Last week, District Orchestra was held at Susquehanna Community High School, but the concert was performed at Blue Ridge High School due to space problems. This week District Band is held on February 10, at Wallenpaupack. Way to go, Piercy girls!


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Veterans’ Corner

Post Commander Don Blaisure and Deputy District Commander Harold Wegman of American Legion Post 154 met with Congressman Chris Carney at the opening of his district office in Clarks Summit. Congressman Carney is a Naval veteran and a member of American Legion Post 154.

Pictured (l-r) are Commander Don Blaisure, Congressman Carney, and Deputy District Commander Harold Wegman, who had just presented Congressman Carney with a Deputy District Commander cap. This cap was given to the Congressman by his fellow Post 154 Legionnaires.

Congressman Carney’s military career is as follows.

He has been Policy Director of Intelligence support for the global War on Terrorism.

Defense Intelligence Agency strategic analyst to cent. Com. joint task force - south west area. Special consultant to office of the Dep. Sec. of Defense on terrorism and intelligence issues.

As Lt. Commander USNR, he served multiple tours overseas. He was activated for Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Noble Eagle. He has been awarded the following military honors: The Defense Meritorious Service Medal, personally presented by Dep. Sec. of Defense Paul Wolfowitz. Three Joint Service Achievement Medals, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

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