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Issue Home March 28, 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

FRIENDSVILLE: A favorite poetess in Carbondale is "Mary Rose," formerly of Friendsville, and familiarly known to us as Miss Mary Byrne. She united with the Order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and in religion is known as Sister M. Rosline.

LITTLE MEADOWS: Thomas Evans was a visitor in Montrose the first of the week for grand jury duty. Mr. Evans has been a subscriber of the Montrose Republican for nearly half a century, commencing before the Civil War, and has always since been numbered among the paper's most valued subscribers. He was a member of Co. C, 151st Regiment, which went out from this county under Capt. Crandall. Mr. Evans saw considerable service and has a war record of which he may well be proud.

WAYNE COUNTY: Joseph Ferguson, of Sterling, Wayne county, has been made famous as a bear killer and a well-preserved widower of 57 years in quest of a thrifty widow for a mate, through the publication of a letter written by himself to the New York World, which paper also contained a picture of him standing beside one of the bears he killed hanging from the limb of a tree. He says that he has a farm containing 135 acres, stocked with horses, cows, hogs and sheep and has all the necessary equipments by way of utensils to carry on farm work. He is willing to remain on the place or will sell out and go elsewhere to live if the widow who accepts him prefers to do so. In a postscript he says, "This is business and no humbug."

SPRINGVILLE: Charles Lee is proving to be a very efficient clerk in Avery's store.

HARFORD: Mr. and Mrs. James Howell have adopted a little daughter from the Maternity Hospital in Binghamton.

UNIONDALE: Miss Daisy Bronson has manifested some considerable skill in handling a rifle during her stay in Southern California. She has a gun and a dog and takes long trips hunting. One day the dog jumped into a pond of water, and after coming out he was rolling on the ground trying to shake off, when he uttered a terrific howl of pain, the cause was the bite of a snake that was burrowed in the ground, all but his head. After the first cry the dog was game all right, and dug the snake from the ground and Miss Daisy came forward and shot its head from the body. She has also killed considerable game besides. She can walk seven or eight miles and her health is much improved. [Miss Daisy was a former Uniondale young lady and married Austin Cole, of San Diego, in 1908.]

AUBURN TWP.: P. J. Rickard, the well-known West Auburn miller, dropped dead while oiling his wagon yesterday afternoon, being found by John Devine, who was passing, some time later. He was lying on his back, one hand still clasping the wrench, which he had been using. The body was removed to his residence and Dr. Beaumont called, but life was extinct.

GREAT BEND: From Great Bend comes the harrowing tale, by drowning, of Rolin, the little son of Mr. and Mrs. P. S. McDaniel of that place, in the Gillespie Creek, on Sunday afternoon. The child, who was between the ages of two and three years was playing with several other children on the bank of the creek, throwing stones into the water from the road bridge, when he suddenly lost his balance and fell into the swollen stream. The strong current carried the little fellow down stream, and the remaining children, by their cries, attracted the attention of men at work nearby to the spot. The child had then been carried along some distance, and they followed as rapidly as possible. A dog belonging to R. T. Gillespie plunged into the turbid water and grasped the child's clothing in his teeth, but was unable to tow the unconscious child to the shore. The body was finally lost to view and it was feared it had been carried out into the river, which was but a short distance from the scene of the accident. A thorough search, however, revealed the body lodged in the bushes at the mouth of the creek, after being in this water for half an hour. Dr. E. P. Hines was called and efforts were made to resuscitate the child, but without success.

MONTROSE: The Montrose Telephone & Telegraph company have been at work this week erecting poles on Public avenue, preparatory to stringing a cable and establishing themselves in their new exchange, over Pope's express office.

WELSH HILL: The first electric storm of the season passed over this place Friday evening, lightning striking the large barn of Henry Butler, doing considerable damage to the barn and killing a St. Bernard dog.

DIMOCK: George W. Woodruff was on Saturday appointed by the President to be Assistant Attorney General of the United States, detailed to the Department of the Interior. He has been connected with the Forest Service since Dec. 3, 1903. He was originally selected to take charge of the legal work of the Forest Service when that work began to assume importance, because he was known by Mr. Pinchot to possess special qualifications for this work. Since the transfer of the Administration Department to the Department of Agriculture the questions of law involved in the work of the Forest Service have made Mr. Woodruff intimately familiar with the workings of every phase of the public land laws. Mr. Woodruff was born in Dimock, Pa., Feb. 22, 1864. He spent most of his boyhood on a farm, taught school at 15, graduated first in his class from a state normal school, worked awhile on the farm, and in 1885 decided to enter Yale. At Yale he was Phi Beta Kappa. He was on four varsity teams, rowed on four crews, and was a member of the track team. In his senior year he was captain of the Yale crew, which never lost a race during his college course. He is a member of Phi Epsilon and of the Yale Skull and Bones Society

NEWS BRIEFS: Go out in the garden and dig some horseradish. It's good for you at this time of the year. AND: Now that the warm spring days are on deck, the baseball fever is beginning to make itself felt among the sporting element. Groups gather and discuss the matter before and after school hours. In fact, some of the enthusiasts of that sport have already used their pedal extremities in making a home run on the diamond

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


 (Editor’s Note: This is the first of a two-part series on the February and March editions of Meteor Chronicle, the Montrose Area School District’s newspaper.)

The February Edition

“At the age of 13 she had become infatuated with more than his chestnut brown hair and his tall, athletic build. His gentle demeanor and thoughtful words enchanted her.”

The quote above was taken verbatim from a somewhat controversial article that appeared in the February edition of the Meteor Chronicle. The article went on to explain that the tall boy with the athletic build subsequently became the benefactor of the girl’s feelings when the two decided to crank the friendship up a notch and become “Friends with Benefits.”

“For the uninitiated,” a column writer at Columbia University wrote, “’friends with benefits’ is a fairly recent term to describe friends/acquaintances who hook up. Hooking up is a convenient way to describe the activities since it wipes away the first base/second base clarity and covers all variety of sexual encounters.”

The opinion here is that the Montrose Area School District hung a dark cloud over this revered municipality by allowing the school newspaper to publish the article. And, at its March meeting, the MASD Board of Education compounded the issue with its hands-off approach to the article.

Before you go off on a tangent and start shouting that this is modern America, permit me to point out a few “what ifs.” But first, back to the article in the school newspaper. The article moves ahead a couple of years in the life of the 13-year-old girl who the authors named Sarah. They gave the boy the fictitious name of Alex.

“Since Alex,” the article reads, “Sarah (now 15 years-old) has been 'friends with benefits’ with 10 people over a period of three months. She became addicted.

“The more I had sex the easier it was to have it – I was the one who always pushed for sex,” said Sarah

I wonder how supporters of the article would feel if “Sarah” was their daughter? Or, what if they have a daughter who is intrigued by the article and they learn that she is a participant in a Friends with Benefits relationship?

There is yet another concern. The school newspaper is distributed to the homes of students from kindergarten to 12th grade. Should material explaining Friends with Benefits be given to elementary students? Should the experience of a promiscuous 15-year-old high school girl be spread across the pages of a newspaper that is distributed to grade school kids?

One of the authors of the article on Friends with Benefits, said in an interview that it is within their rights as “professional journalists” to publish it. Perhaps it is, if they were employed by a supermarket tabloid. But, as a paid professional journalist, I can say that no newspaper I ever worked for would send a reporter out to interview a 15-year-old girl about her sex life.

If these kids are ever fortunate enough to be gainfully employed by a newspaper, they will learn mighty quick that sensationalism is not what the business is all about. They will also learn that their rights as “professional journalists” are dictated by real editors and publishers, and that no matter how they feel about a story they uncover, it doesn't get published until it meets with the approval of the newspaper editor.

The Pennsylvania School Code points out that public school students have the right to freedom of speech as provided by the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the Commonwealth. That doesn't automatically make them “professional journalists.” It simply reaffirms their rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. The same freedom applies to all Americans.

The school code also reads as follows: “Students have the right to express themselves unless the expression materially and substantially interferes with the educational process, threatens serious harm to the school or community, encourages unlawful activity or interferes with another individual’s rights.” And, of course, every “professional journalist” must obey laws governing libel and obscenity and be aware of the full meaning of their expression.

And, finally, this advice for you high school boys. MSNBC News recently reported that a young man was sentenced to 10 years in jail for accepting a sexual favor from a 15-year-old girl. The young man was 17-years-old when the incident happened.

Next week, the second installment on the Meteor Chronicle

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

I received an email the other day seeking guidance on self-defense rights and the use of deadly force to defend a residence. This is a sensitive topic and, frankly, the laws of self-defense are not easily handled in a short article. With that caveat, I will address self-defense doctrine in a cursory fashion. Before I go any further, it is paramount to remember the most important rule: if you can avoid using deadly force, the law will not justify your decision to employ deadly force.

The roots of Anglo-Saxon laws relating to self-defense are ancient. Thomas Aquinas, a medieval philosopher and theologian, wrote extensively on natural law. Aquinas believed that God had written certain absolute rules (natural laws) that could be ascertained by observing nature. In addressing these rules, Aquinas found that there was one rule that superseded all others: the sanctity of life. As a rule, Aquinas stressed that human beings should strive to promote and sustain life – not destroy it. What happens when someone attempts to take your life or the life of a third person through means of deadly force? Aquinas recognized the difficulty with this question because lethal self-defense would violate the precept concerning the sanctity of life. On the other hand, the attacker had already violated natural law through the use of deadly force against another human being. Aquinas determined that the attacker had thus forfeited his natural rights in those circumstances, and lost the protection of natural law theory. If there was no other way to avoid the confrontation, such as retreating, the use of deadly force against an attacker to protect the life of innocents was viewed as acceptable and mandated by natural law.

Generally speaking, the common law relating to self-defense followed Aquinas’ reasoning. The justifiable use of deadly force has extremely restricted boundaries. First, deadly force may only be used in self-defense where the attacker has likewise utilized deadly force. In other words, you cannot bring a gun to a fistfight. Second, even when confronted with deadly force, a person generally has a duty to retreat if it can be done safely. If you can safely run or hide, you cannot stand your ground and use deadly force. Third, you must be the innocent party, not the instigator of the confrontation. If you started the confrontation with a weapon, you cannot later contend you acted in self-defense when the other party pulled out their gun in defense. Fourth, you must reasonably believe that the circumstances are such that you (or another innocent third party) are facing imminent death or serious bodily injury before you decide to utilize defensive deadly force. The threat must be imminent – it cannot be speculative or merely possible.

There are special rules when you are dealing with a person utilizing self-defense in his or her dwelling. First, there is no duty to retreat in a dwelling (unless you are the initial aggressor in the confrontation, then the duty to retreat still applies). Second, if someone is attempting to unlawfully enter your dwelling, the law still requires the use of non-lethal force if such force will thwart the invader’s action. If simply turning on a light or yelling a warning will stop the attempted entry, then you cannot use deadly force. If there is actual entry into the dwelling, there are different rules that apply to the use of deadly force. Even in those circumstances, however, the use of deadly force is not automatically justified. Even when an aggressor is inside your dwelling, the law still requires that the least amount of force be utilized to stop the invasion, unless the only alternative is deadly force.

The law generally mirrors Aquinas’ natural law theory – life is sacred and the justified use of deadly force is limited to those circumstances where there is no other viable alternative, which include such things as lesser force, retreat, requests to the aggressor to desist in the threatening conduct. Under the law, shooting is always the last resort.

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

In the last installment of The Healthy Geezer, we focused upon triglycerides. This column is a companion piece about cholesterol.

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance in blood. You need it to produce cell membranes, protect nerves, and make hormones.

The body can make all the cholesterol it needs. Most cholesterol is made by your liver. You also get cholesterol from foods such as meat, eggs and dairy products. Too much cholesterol is dangerous, because cholesterol can lead to blockages in your blood vessels.

Cholesterol is transported through the bloodstream in packages called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) deliver cholesterol to the body. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) remove cholesterol from the bloodstream. LDLs are often described as “bad” cholesterol; HDLs are called “good” cholesterol.

If there are too many LDLs in the blood, they will combine with other material in your bloodstream to manufacture plaque, a waxy crud that builds up on the inner walls of the blood vessels that feed your brain and heart. When this build-up occurs, you have a condition called “atherosclerosis,” which is commonly referred to as “hardening of the arteries.”

If a clot forms in blood vessels narrowed by plaque, it can block blood flow, which can cause a heart attack or a stroke.

The recommended levels of cholesterol are as follows:

Total cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL. (“Mg/dL” stands for milligram per deciliter.) “Borderline high” is defined as between 200 and 239 mg/dL. You’re risking heart disease if your reading is 240 mg/dL or more.

LDL cholesterol level should be less than 130 mg/dL. “Borderline high” is between 130 and 159 mg/dL. There’s heart-disease risk if your reading is 160 mg/dL or more.

HDL cholesterol levels should be at 60 mg/dL or higher to cut the risk of heart disease. You’re at high risk for heart disease if you have a reading less than 40 mg/dL.

If your total cholesterol level is high because of high LDLs, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. If your total level is high only because of a high HDLs, you're probably not at higher risk.

Some physicians use the ratio of total cholesterol to HDLs. The ratio is obtained by dividing the HDLs into the total cholesterol. The goal is to keep the ratio below 5 to 1.

Interesting fact: Male sex hormones lower HDL levels. Female sex hormones raise HDL levels. Draw your own conclusions.

What can you do to control cholesterol?

Diet: Cholesterol is in all foods from animals, so reduce your intake of meat, eggs and dairy products. Cut back on fatty foods such as snacks, desserts and anything fried. Eat vegetables and fruit.

Exercise: Regular physical activity increases HDL cholesterol in some people. Weight loss can help lower your bad cholesterol.

Smoking: Smoking lowers HDL cholesterol levels and increases the tendency for blood to clot.

Alcohol: People who consume moderate amounts of alcohol (one to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women) have a lower risk of heart disease than nondrinkers. However, alcohol can be unhealthy. For example, a small about of alcohol can make a big increase in triglyceride levels. Triglycerides are a fat in your blood that should be kept in check. Whether you should drink a moderate amount of alcohol is definitely a question you should ask your personal physician.

Medicine: Get your physician’s advice, too, about drugs to lower your cholesterol. If lifestyle changes don’t help you, you may need to take medicine to lower your cholesterol level.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Every Tuesday and Thursday, a group of giving people meets in the social room of the Starrucca Baptist Church. These ladies make sleeping bags for the homeless. They take seven-foot strips of material that is donated by the community and sew them together. Next, they fill the seven-foot pieces with old material, such as old sweatshirts and T-shirts, for stuffing. They join those pieces together and tie it. These talented ladies fold it in half and sew the outside of the pieces. To finish it, they place socks, hats, and personal items inside the sleeping bags and roll it up. They use neck ties to hold the sleeping bags together and to carry the sleeping bags.

Once the sleeping bags are made, they are transported to the cities. Most of these sleeping bags go to homeless shelters in Scranton, Binghamton, and Philadelphia. Sometimes, they are passed out to people living on the streets instead of going to a shelter. This event started in 1986 in Hop Bottom, Pennsylvania by Flo Wheatley. And it soon traveled to Starrucca in 1990.

These ladies are always accepting donations of old clothes or volunteers to help make the sleeping bags. Old clothes can be donated to the Starrucca Baptist Church. If you are interested in volunteering to help create these sleeping bags or to donate your old clothes you can call Marie Swartz at 727-2802 or Joy Mead 727-2518.

It is nice to see that people still care. Keep up the great work!

The Downtons had a get-together over St. Patrick’s Day. Todd Hadden from Pottsville, PA came up with his father, Ralph, on Friday. They came to spend time with their family and to enjoy the wonderful weather. I want to say Happy Birthday to Todd!


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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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