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April 4th

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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: Former Congressman Galusha A. Grow died at his home in Glenwood, Sunday afternoon, as a result of a general breakdown attributed to old age. Mr. Grow was elected to congress from the Wilmot district, of Pa., as the youngest member of that body in 1851, and after retirement from public life for 30 years, he re-entered the House of Representatives as congressman-at-large from Pennsylvania, 14 years ago. He retired four years ago, his public service in the house extending over the longest period, although not continuous service, of any man who ever sat in that body. His retirement was celebrated at Montrose with a big demonstration. During the ante-bellum days he was one of the best-known men in the United States and in 1864 he came within one vote of being nominated for vice-president in place of Andrew Johnson, who became president on the death of Abraham Lincoln. Mr. Grow was elected Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1861 and occupied that position during the first two years of the war until his retirement from congress in 1864. Mr. Grow’s greatest public service was as the “Father of the Homestead Act,” through which measure many million acres of western farm lands were opened up to settlement by homesteaders, an act which had been credited with doing more than any other one thing for the development of the great West. Mr. Grow was the last surviving member of a family of six children. He never married.

GIBSON: Little Thomas Cameron, while playing with other children at throwing stones into the water, lost his balance and fell into the rolling waters, which carried him rapidly down stream. He was rescued by Sherwood Ball, who, on hearing the screams of the children, jumped from the shop window and caught the boy as he passed by.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Erie has ordered three locomotives of the American Locomotive Co., which will weigh 410,000 pounds each and will be the three largest in the world. The engines will be used between Susquehanna and Hornell. AND: Prof. Killian, of the Susquehanna Public schools, after 42 days under quarantine at his home on Broad Street, occasioned by the illness of his daughter with scarlet fever, is able to go out, as the quarantine has been discontinued by the health authorities.

HALLSTEAD: Edwin R. Weeks, the impersonator, has returned to his home in Binghamton from a tour of the New England States where he has been filling engagements, the season being now closed. The “Castle” so prettily located along the road which leads to the top of Mt. Manotonome, at Hallstead, is Mr. Weeks’ summer home.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: James Conboy has purchased a horse and wagon for creamery purposes. AND: Edward Gillin lost an old family horse one day last week, 35 years old and highly prized by the family.

OAKLEY, Harford Twp.: Mrs. Whitman and Ralph are just getting an attack of mumps. AND: M. C. Young sold his horse to a Mr. Betts, last week, for $75.80.

BROOKDALE, Liberty Twp.: The Brookdale Chemical Co. has closed its factory for an indefinite period.

BROOKLYN: Nearly a year ago a Village Improvement Society was organized in our town, which has been the means of removing some unsightly fences, and encouraged several residents to improve their property by painting buildings and giving better care to lawns and shrubbery. Last fall, through their efforts, about a dozen street lamps were set up and a man was engaged to fill and clean them. But it is a matter to be regretted that persons who agreed to light these lamps on dark or moonless nights do not attend to it with regularity. Consequently our streets are often without sufficient light on cloudy nights. We hope the Society will remind people of their duty, and that in the coming summer they may secure still further village improvements.

SOUTH MONTROSE: J. B. Sheen recently received a pair of richly bred Berkshire pigs from the Aldoro Farm at Rosston, Pa. They bear the aristocratic names of the Duke and Earl of Montrose.

MONTROSE: The Misses O’Neill have taken possession of the Wm. M. Post house, South Main Street, and will open it to summer boarders. It is a fine place for that. AND: A. E. Badgely and little daughter, of Binghamton, were in town Friday. Mr. Badgely has the contract for the erection of the Historical building in Montrose and is preparing to push the work. He is sure to complete the building within the contract time--by August--and it will be a beauty.

JAIL BREAK: While the two prisoners in the jail were in the jail yard for exercise Sunday, Walter Brugler affected his escape, at evening. As near as we can learn, he took a board he found in the yard, took it up to his cell, which was about even with the top of the jail yard wall, and some six feet from the wall. Then he took the bed blankets, torn into strips, tied together, thus making a sort of rope, one end of which he fastened at his cell window. He then went back down into the yard, climbed up the top to the board mentioned, walked on to the top of the wall with its upper end still fast, put the rope down the outside of the wall, slid down it and dropped to the ground outside the wall, and to--freedom. Brugler was to have been tried next week for the robbery of Cooley & Son’s store, last summer. Sheriff Pritchard offered a reward of $50. It is reported that Brugler took breakfast at Charles Mead’s near Heart Lake, Monday morning.

HEART LAKE: Several from here attended the April Fool social at New Milford Monday evening and all report a very pleasant time and thanks to Carl and Guy for taking the loads.

FAIRDALE: A few days ago while B. A. Risley was trying to catch a pig, he struck his hand on a rusty spike, making a bad wound, but by prompt treatment the poison was taken out and it soon healed.

HARFORD: In connection with the medicine show held at the Odd Fellows Hall last week the largest number of votes and prizes were awarded as follows: Miss Myrtie Forsyth, the most popular young lady in Harford, and the little daughter of Lenn Brainard, the finest baby

NEWS BRIEF: The “honk-honk” of the automobile is a welcome sound after the long and tedious winter.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay



The Meteor Chronicle Fires Another Round

On the heels of the February issue regarding teenage sexual activities, the lead story in the March edition of the Montrose Area High School newspaper, Meteor Chronicle, zeroes in on students who arrive at school daily under the influence of alcoholic beverages or drugs.

“Approximately 25 MAHS students, mostly senior-high,” the lead story on page one reads, “arrive at school each day under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

The writers responsible for the article indicate most of their information came from interviewing a Susquehanna County juvenile probation officer. The immediate thought here is if a juvenile probation is aware of what’s going on at the school, he should be doing something more about it than talking to high school newspaper writers.

The article quotes the exploits of Richard (fictitious name), a student who parties with other kids at a cabin where alcoholic beverages are available. Richard told the writers that he also drinks at home with his parents.

From the onset, the article appears to be sending a worthwhile message to teens and their parents. Unfortunately, it falls short of its intended goal when the writers begin presenting pros and cons on the subject.

One girl is quoted as saying she and her friends are good kids who get good grades in school and participate in school activities including sports.

“My friends and I drink,” she added. “I hate when people think drinking is bad.”

Like it or not, drinking is bad for teenagers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (DCD) claims that alcohol use by persons under age 21 is a major health problem. DCD said alcohol is the most commonly used and abused drug among youth in the United States, more than tobacco and illicit drugs. The Center unveiled staggering statistics that in 2004, across these United States, there were over 142,000 emergency room visits by youth 12 to 20 years of age for injuries and other conditions linked to alcohol.

The problem of underage drinking has reached such drastic proportions that four weeks ago the U.S. Surgeon General’s Office appealed to Americans to do more to stop America’s 11 million underage drinkers from using alcohol and to keep other young people from starting.

“Too many Americans consider underage drinking a rite of passage to adulthood,” said Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu. “Research shows that young people who start drinking before the age of 15 are five times more likely to have alcohol-related drinking problems later in life. New research also indicates that alcohol may harm the developing adolescent brain.”

The 2005 National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimates there are 11 million underage drinkers in the United States. Nearly 7.2 million are considered binge drinkers, meaning they drank more than five drinks on occasion, and more than two million are classified as heavy drinkers.

“Alcohol remains the most heavily abused substance by America's youth," said Dr. Moritsugu. "This Call to Action is attempting to change the culture and attitudes toward drinking in America. We can no longer ignore what alcohol is doing to our children.”

Sure there is a drinking problem in our schools. And undoubtedly there are drugs and sexual activities. But these problems are not confined to Montrose Area High School or to Susquehanna County. They are nationwide! However, having covered Boards of Education meetings in two states, I can tell you that most school administrators prefer not to air their school district's dirty laundry in public. It doesn't project a very good image of the school or the municipality.

If the school administrators at Montrose High are aware of the sexual activities of their students, the drinking and the drug abuse, they should be next in line behind the probation officer, pledging cooperation with law enforcement agencies on a plan to stop it. And since they allowed the February and March issues of the Meteor Chronicle to print the articles, one can only conclude that they are well aware of what’s going on at MAHS.

And, as was said here before, while the intent of the writers may have been in the right place, their February and March articles would be more at home in the pages of a supermarket tabloid.

When I discussed these articles with state and local officials, invariably the first words out of their mouths were, “Where are the parents of these kids while all this is going on?”

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

Around this time last year, this column told of the miraculous journey of 5-year old Brooke Arnold and her battle with a brain tumor. The story involved a fortuitous meeting with a stranger in the Charlotte airport, who happened to manage several radio stations in Alabama. The stranger never introduced himself, but he prayed for Brooke on his flight, and, upon returning home, used the internet to discover Brooke’s plight. The stranger then asked his radio listeners to pray for Brooke’s recovery. While Brooke’s initial prognosis was bleak, her surgery went better than expected. The story seemed appropriate for such a holy week because it demonstrated a family’s suffering, a stranger’s kindness, tremendous faith, and, ultimately, a visible sign of God’s grace in the successful surgical procedure, i.e., a result that wholly contradicted the medical assumptions of Brooke’s condition. A few weeks ago I saw a poster advertising a celebration for the end of Brooke’s chemotherapy. Brooke has successfully battled cancer and her miracle stands complete.

Last year, I heard of Brooke’s story by mere happenstance through an email forwarding chain. With Easter quickly approaching, there was something providential in the timing, inspirational in the content, and redeeming in the struggle. After receiving the family’s permission, Brooke’s story appeared in this column during the Christian holy week prior to Easter Sunday. Hopefully, Brooke’s story, then and now, fills your heart with faith, hope and love.

As Easter approached this year, I received a correspondence from a young couple that had lost their 5-year old daughter, Megan, to a drunk driver last March. The drunk driver has been prosecuted and sentenced, and will be spending the next several years in a state correctional facility. The criminal case concluded approximately four months ago, and, as a prosecutor, you close the file and move onto the next case.

But for a crime victim, closure is not so easily achieved. For Megan’s family, the letter was prompted by the one-year anniversary of their precious daughter’s death, a date that a prosecutor may easily forget, but a family never will. Within the letter, there was a small, wallet-sized school picture of their daughter, Megan, taken during the previous school year. I had seen many pictures of Megan throughout the criminal proceeding. For the sentencing hearing, the family had prepared a slide show collection of photographs of Megan from her birth to her grave. This collection was both powerful and emotionally moving, but it could not compare to the tiny photograph that I now held in my hands, and the faith and love that had bestowed it upon me.

As I stared at Megan’s photograph, I recalled the senseless events that led to her death, namely, a man that did not go directly home from work as required by his restricted occupational driver’s license, a man that instead went to a bar and consumed large quantities of alcohol with his friend, a man who was thrown out of the bar as a result of drunken behavior, a man whose friend allowed him to drive despite his intoxicated state, a grandmother making a lawful left hand turn into her church with her small grandchildren in her vehicle to attend a youth group activity, the intoxicated man driving too fast making and illegal pass of another vehicle and colliding with the side of the grandmother’s vehicle, a horrific collision that resulted in a small and precious 5-year old girl being ejected from her vehicle and suffering injuries that caused her death, the intoxicated man fleeing the scene of the accident in a smoking and broken vehicle which he ended up parking behind a business establishment so it would not be seen, and the intoxicated man simply going home and getting into bed where he was pulled from his drunken slumber by the police. While these are simply facts for a prosecutor, they constitute harsh reality for Megan’s family. As I wondered how Megan’s family endured such loss, I read the following words in the letter from Megan’s parents: “Our family is so different now. We’ve lost our spark, our Megan. Even though this has happened to us, we hold tightly to the promises of Scripture, those five amazing years with our daughter, and the hope of heaven.”

These little girls, Megan and Brooke, have different stories to tell – one filled with unexpected joy and happiness caused by a miraculous recovery, and the other filled with unbearable suffering, pain and loss caused by a senseless criminal act. While Brooke’s story is easier to hear, Megan’s story may be even more important during this holy week. Ultimately, as Megan’s family attested, Easter is the divine promise that gives hope and faith to the world, and we should all hold tightly to that promise. Happy Easter.

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 heard that Botox can help if you have shaky hands. Is that true?

“Shaky hands” is a symptom of “essential tremor,” which is the most common movement disorder. The medical community calls it “essential,” because it isn’t linked to other diseases.

Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) injections, popular for ironing wrinkles, is used to treat muscle spasms and tremors caused by diseases such as multiple sclerosis, and neurological conditions such as muscle spasms of the neck, shoulders and face.

And, yes, it’s true that Botox is used to treat hand tremors. Injections can bring relief for up to three months.

Essential tremor (ET) is often confused with Parkinson's disease. Unlike Parkinson's disease, however, ET doesn't lead to serious complications. Parkinson's is associated with a stooped posture, slow movement, a shuffling gait and other difficulties.

Not all tremors are ET. There are more than 20 kinds of tremors. For instance, excessive caffeine, alcohol withdrawal, problems with thyroid or copper metabolism or the use of certain medications may cause tremor.

A genetic mutation is responsible for about half of all cases of ET. The only other known risk factor is older age. Although ET can affect people of all ages, it usually appears in middle age or later. Men and women are affected equally.

Abnormal communication within the brain causes ET. There is no cure yet for this disorder.

Tremor is an involuntary movement of one or more parts of the body. Most tremors occur in the hands. Tremors can also show up in the arms, head, face, vocal cords, trunk, and legs.

Victims of tremors usually get them when they make a delicate movement such as writing with a pen or tying shoelaces. Tremors usually disappear when a person is resting.

Some people have relatively mild tremors throughout their lives, but others develop more severe tremors and increased disability.

Most people with ET don't need treatment. The effects of the condition can be eased by avoiding what aggravates the problem – lack of sufficient sleep, anxiety, stimulants such as caffeine, and temperature extremes.

Drinking alcohol can calm tremors for up to an hour after consumption. However, tremors tend to worsen when the alcohol wears off.

Physical therapy and exercise can develop more stability in hands that shake.

And there are other medications besides Botox that can bring relief. These include beta blockers normally used to treat high blood pressure, anti-seizure medications and tranquilizers.

If tremors are severe and drugs don’t help, there are surgical procedures available.

Thalamotomy is a procedure that involves making a small hole in a part of the brain called the thalamus. The surgery destroys the faulty circuit or brain cells that modulate tremor.

An alternative to thalamotomy is thalamic stimulation. An electrode connected to a stimulation device is placed in the center of the brain. The stimulator is placed under the skin below the collarbone.

Electrical currents sent through the electrode interrupt communication between tremor cells. This process reduces tremors within seconds.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

The weather has been fantastic the past couple weeks. With the sun shining again, the snow is melting, marking the beginning of spring. But according to Mark McHale, the real beginning of spring only occurs when the robins come around again. Luckily, he has seen the robins! I hope that everyone is enjoying this beautiful weather while it lasts!

The house where the nuns used to live has been sold and bought. The new residents are expected to arrive in May!

PennDOT decided to fill in some of the many potholes crowding the Starrucca Creek Road. Even though they missed a few, I know most of us and our cars are grateful that they filled in the big ones. I just hope that they plan on filling the rest before the end of summer.

I am glad to hear the comments from my readers. I enjoy hearing the advice and the news about the column. I am always open to suggestions. Thank you very much!


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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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