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Issue Home March 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

GLENWOOD: This town has been kept in a whirl of excitement for the last month, sleigh ride parties, socials, dances, surprise parties, oyster suppers, card parties--in fact the whirl has been so great it makes the head dizzy. AND: What might have been a serious accident occurred here Wednesday evening. A livery rig from Nicholson was driven up here and on starting back, the horse became frightened at some logs and shyed out of the road striking on other logs, throwing the young men out then hitting the curb stone of the sluices, tearing the cutter to pieces and leaving it scattered along the road. The horse never stopped until it reached home. We are told they could not get the horse out of the stable next morning.

HARFORD: Miss Gertrude Stearns, a graduate nurse from the Philadelphia hospital, with city experience, has returned to her home at Harford and will take up her profession in this county, for the summer at least. She makes this change in order to be at her home more of the time, feeling that her work would not be as confining here as in the city. The people of Harford and surrounding towns are fortunate in having Miss Stearns take up work here.

SILVER LAKE: Joseph Ward, of Laurel Lake, was here Tuesday. Mr. Ward has lived in Silver Lake township longer than any other citizen, except one, Alpheus Whipple, 77 years, and gets around as gracefully yet as the younger men. He is one of the men that years do not seem to make old.

JACKSON: Jackson had a conflagration Monday morning resulting in the total destruction of the old Geary hotel, occupied as a hotel for over seventy years. The fire, discovered by Wm. Cole, had gained such headway that it was found impossible to save the hotel, and attention was given to E. W. Pickering’s store near by. The hotel, vacant at the time of the conflagration, was last occupied by Freeman Howell, whose household goods were stored in the building and totally destroyed. The fire was thought to have been of incendiary origin. A light snow had fallen during the night and there were sleigh tracks leading to and under the meeting house sheds nearby and the track of a man from there to the rear of the hotel and back again. The hotel had recently been purchased by Joseph A. Perry and the court, upon remonstrance of the citizens of Jackson, refused a license.

BEECH GROVE, Auburn Twp.: We are having a fine run of sleighing now, which makes it easy to get the summer wood hauled as well as a sleighride for pleasure now and then. AND: In West Auburn, the house occupied by Will Swisher, known as the G. L. Swisher house, was destroyed by fire last Saturday evening. Mrs. S. was putting the children to bed when Harold, a small boy, upset a large lamp, which caught fire. Nothing was saved and there was no insurance.

GREAT BEND: Great preparations are being made for the 2nd annual ball under the auspices of the American Chair Co. employees association to be held in Clune’s Opera House, April 12. Conner’s orchestra; tickets 50 cents. AND: Miss Lulu Brown is the assistant of Miss Genevieve Jackson, who has charge of the Central for the North-Eastern Telephone Co. Miss Jackson also has all the daily papers and magazines, novels and stationery.

SUSQUEHANNA: The bowling team is winning from all comers at present. Tuesday evening they defeated one of Binghamton’s crack teams in three straight games.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: G. Hayes went to Binghamton and had three teeth extracted and has been suffering with neuralgia in his face the past few days. The dentist said he never saw teeth pull so hard.

MONTROSE: Chief of Police W. E. Tingley has a couple of hens that should be arrested for disorderly conduct. They created a stir on the L & M yesterday when the morning train pulled in, which created considerable comment among the trainmen and spectators. The chief has a fine flock of chickens at his home near the tracks and yesterday being a fine day the chickens were allowed some exercise. When the train came in the startled chickens attempted to fly home, being across the tracks, but failed to calculate the speed of the approaching locomotive. Two of them truck the engine, one landing on the pilot, where it clung, the other flying into a drivewheel, where it “looped the loop” in one continuous performance until the station was reached, a couple of hundred yards below the starting point. They were unharmed, but “didn’t know where to get off at,” so Engineer Spence showed them, but they didn’t want to leave even when persistently “shooed.” Up until a late hour last night no news of the missing birds had been received.

BROOKLYN: John H. Platt, of the Wheel and Wood Bending Co., of Bridgeport, Ct., is in town purchasing large quantities of white ash. He finds several lots of this kind of lumber in Brooklyn and vicinity.

LATHROP: Elmer, the youngest child of Mrs. Chas. Hunt, near Lathrop, was fatally injured last Friday afternoon. He was on his way to school with his two brothers. They were riding with Charles Rockwell, and when near the school house the boy fell off and the sled passed over him. He lingered till about midnight. The funeral was held on Monday from the home of Mrs. Peter Phillips, with interment in the Deckertown cemetery.

FOREST CITY: While returning to their home in Clinton last week George, Robert and William Watts had an exciting time. In descending the mountain one of the holdbacks of the harness gave way and the horse became unmanageable. Oran Wagner, of this place, was driving a team in front and the Watt’s horse landed in his sleigh. Robert was thrown into a snow bank and George and William were thrown with considerable force against the sleigh, but fortunately were not badly hurt.

NEWS BRIEFS: A clerk in a Lestershire [Johnson City] store sleeps every night in a coffin, which he has rigged up as a bed in the basement of the store. It is not stated whether or not he is embalmed. AND: Owners of sugar maples are already preparing for a heavy run of sap, the ground being frozen deep and well covered with snow, which is propitious for the sugar-making season. AND: Monday was the anniversary of the violent blizzard of 1888. Railroad and street car traffic was almost entirely suspended in the east, and from the 11th to the 16th trains running from New York or Buffalo were unable to get through and there was practically no mail received for a number of days.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Another election on the horizon

The Republican Primary Election in Susquehanna County is shaping up to be one of the liveliest campaigns in recent history.

Four newcomers will join Fred B. Baker II of Springville Township in an all out effort to knock off GOP Commissioners Roberta Kelly of Susquehanna Depot and Jeffrey Irving Loomis of Bridgewater Township. And they are Attorney Michael Giangrieco of Forest Lake Twp., who is new to the political arena but certainly not new to county government, and first time challengers Raymond Telnock of Hallstead, Laura A. Watts of Bridgewater Twp., and David Darrow of RD2, New Milford.

Also expected to make another run for a seat on the three-member Board of Commissioners is Tom Jurista of Silver Lake Township. Tom ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat candidate eight years ago and as a Republican candidate four years ago. Word has it that he might run this year as an Independent

For some reason or other, the Republican Party leaders in Susquehanna County prefer an open primary election that gives all party members an opportunity to run against Republicans presently in office. I suppose it can be construed as the “American Way” but it does pit party members against one another, especially when the incumbent officeholders in the party are seeking reelection.

For example, there are six GOP candidates running for two seats on the Board of Commissioners. In the pack are the incumbents, Jeff Loomis and Roberta Kelly. The four challengers will have to point out some reasons for wanting the incumbents out of office. The end result is the Republican Party in the county becomes involved in a mini-civil war for two or three months and it sort of shoots a few holes in the party’s open primary concept.

Fortunately, Republicans in Susquehanna County heal quickly. That’s because, while there may be a few exceptions, the primary objective in joining the Republican Party is to kick the daylights out of the Democrat Party. And so, this year the Democratic candidates for county commissioner, incumbent Mary Ann Warren of New Milford Borough and Leon Allen of South Montrose can put the "Demobile" in cruise control and save their energy and campaign funds for the big one in November.

Of course the Democrats are not without their problems. While accepting the role of minority party in the county, there is no effort by the party leaders to unite their candidates in a joint campaign that might just shock the hell out of the Republicans. Biggest problem in the county’s Democrat Party is the candidates just do not trust each other. Apparently it reverts back to the belief that they cannot take two seats from the Republicans so it’s every candidate for himself/herself.

Anyhow, the only other race of any significance is for Magisterial District Justice in the southern corridor of the county. Justice Eugene Franklin is retiring and the race is on for a replacement. In this particular election, candidates can cross-file and run on both political tickets.

This year’s hopefuls include Suzanne Brainard of Lenox Township, Loris S. Eshelman of Clifford Township, James “Jay” R. Lynch of Clifford Township, and Attorney James A. Sposito, Jr. of Clifford Township.

Republican candidates running unopposed include District Attorney Jason J. Legg; Tony Conarton, county coroner; Mary F. Evans, register and recorder; Cathy Benedict, county treasurer; and county auditors, George P. Starzec and Holly H. Bialy. On the Democratic side, Susan M. Jennings is unopposed in her bid to replace Clara Jane Brown as minority county auditor.

Ah, those loveable kids

As you know by now, the district attorney’s new drug and DUI task force has a trained dog that can sniff out drugs and just about anything else its master demands of him. The dog’s name is Cash and the kids that have seen him simply love him.

When 14-year-old Ashley Kulick and her 10-year-old sister, Shania, learned that Cash does not have a flak vest to protect his precious body, they set out to do something about it. They are working on a fund raising idea that will end up with Cash (no pun intended) getting the protection he deserves.

And when I use the word deserve, I believe Ashley and Shania deserve a round of applause for their project. I hope some of my readers will send a buck or two for the cause. You’ll love yourself for it.

Ashley and Shania are daughters of Teri Gulick, who spends some of her time donating her services as a councilwoman in the Borough of New Milford.

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

Approximately 1 year ago, a 19-year old woman in Saudi Arabia met privately with a man who was blackmailing her by threatening to tell her family that she was having an affair with him. Under Saudi law, any sexual conduct outside wedlock is illegal. The young woman was placed in a precarious position of attempting to avoid humiliation of her family and potential arrest as a result of the blackmailer’s threats so she met with her blackmailer. Tragically, the young woman’s situation went from bad to horrific.

While she was meeting with her blackmailer in his car, they were forced to stop by two other automobiles, and several individuals jumped from those vehicles, carrying knives and meat cleavers, forced her out of the automobile and abducted her. Over the next several hours, the young woman was raped 14 times by her seven captors. The men also beat her, took naked pictures of her and threatened to kill her if she told authorities. The young woman was fearful to report the matter to her family or law enforcement, as she knew that her abductors had nude photographs of her that could be circulated throughout her community. As a result of the trauma that she suffered, she attempted suicide. Eventually, she did inform law enforcement, and the events were confirmed through a law enforcement investigation.

As of this date, four of the perpetrators have been convicted of lesser offenses than rape because the Saudi Justice Ministry suggested that the rape could not be proven because there were no witnesses! Several of the men actually confessed, but later recanted their confessions. Because the defendants had recanted, the Saudi Justice Ministry indicated that it could not rely upon the confessions. The sentences for the convicted perpetrators were as follows: (1) 5 years and 1,000 lashes, (2) 4 years and 800 lashes, (3) 4 years and 350 lashes, and (4) 1 year and 80 lashes.

What about the 19-year old victim of this gang rape? Under Islamic law, it is unlawful for an unmarried woman to be alone with an unrelated man. The rape victim had been forced to meet with her initial blackmailer alone in his car. Apparently, Islamic law does not have any defense of justification or coercion (both of which would be recognized under Anglo-Saxon common law). Without any viable defense to her conduct, the 19-year old rape victim was sentenced to receive 90 lashes for her criminal conduct of meeting alone with her blackmailer! Fortunately for her, the Saudi government is merciful in that it spreads lashes out over several days, generally administering around 50 lashes per day. The young woman has appealed to Saudi King Abdullah to intervene on her behalf and spare her. The King has not yet acted on the request.

This particular case has highlighted to the international community the barbarity of Sharia (Islamic) law, and the lack of any proportionality in the punishment of offenders. In this case, several of the perpetrators actually confessed to the crime, but the Saudi Justice Ministry determined it could not use the confessions because the perpetrators had later recanted. The vast majority of criminal defendants recant their confessions after their arrest – yet, those confessions form the cornerstone for convictions throughout this country. What kind of justice system allows criminal defendants to simply change their mind after confessing to unbelievable atrocities? How can there be any justice where authorities contend that there are no witnesses to a gang rape? What about the victim’s voice? What about the initial blackmailer who witnessed the abduction with knives and meat cleavers? How could the rape participants receive such lenient sentences, including one defendant receiving fewer lashes than the rape victim? How could any justice agency sentence a teenage victim of a gang rape to receive corporal punishment in the form of 90 lashes?

In my meetings with victims, I notice than most victims are dissatisfied with our criminal justice system. Victims often are left with a feeling of being victimized a second time by the system itself. During those times, I candidly admit that our system of justice is not perfect, but it is the best system designed by human hands. The Saudi system of Sharia law fully illustrates this point.

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 presuming there actually was someone named Heimlich who gave his name to the maneuver for helping people who are choking. Am I right?

Yes, there actually is a Heimlich – Henry J. Heimlich, MD, who was born 87 years ago in Delaware. In 1974, Dr. Heimlich published findings on what became the Heimlich Maneuver. Since then, the method has saved about 50,000 people in the United States alone.

[Personal note: I met Dr. Heimlich and worked with a team on the initial program to educate the public about the maneuver. A day after our group learned the technique, one of my co-workers saved a boy who was choking on an ice cube.]

More than 3,000 people choke to death every year. Children younger than three years old and senior citizens are the leading victims.

Young children swallow small objects that get lodged in their throats. One of the main causes for choking among seniors is ill-fitting dentures that prevent them from chewing properly. This leads to choking on a piece of food.

Other causes of choking include drinking alcohol, which can dull the nerves that help us swallow, eating too fast, laughing while eating, eating and walking.

If you ever have to use the Heimlich Maneuver on someone who is choking, here is a basic guide:

Wrap your arms around the victim from behind. Bend the person forward a bit. Place a fist – thumb side in – above the navel and below the rib cage. Grab your fist with your other hand. Thrust your fist in and up as if you were trying to lift the person. Repeat this movement until the blockage is coughed out.

If a person with a blockage is unconscious, there’s a different procedure. Place the victim on his or her back. Straddle the victim’s hips and press your hands – one on top of the other – into the abdomen above the navel and below the rib cage. Use the upward trajectory you would use on a conscious, standing victim. Repeat until the blockage is removed.

If you’re alone and choking, use your fist in the same way you would on someone else, but bend over a railing, chair back or similar support to help you press your fist inward.

For all you parents, grandparents and babysitters, here’s what you do if an infant younger than one year old is choking:

Sit down and rest a forearm on your leg with your palm up. Place the infant face down on your forearm with its body tilted downward toward the head. Strike the middle of the child’s back gently with the heel of your hand. Repeat until blockage is removed.

If this technique doesn't work, hold the infant face up on your forearm with the body tilted downward toward the head. Place two fingers on the infant's breastbone and press inward quickly. Again, repeat until successful.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca

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Veterans’ Corner

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