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Issue Home April 11, 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: Considerable mystery surrounds the death of Mrs. E. L. Handrick, wife of Dr. Handrick, on Wednesday last. On Wednesday morning Dr. Handrick left home to attend a patient and on his return in the afternoon his wife was missing. Thinking that she had stepped out to a neighbor’s, he put his horse in the barn. She failed to return, however, and a search was started, which finally resulted in the discovery of her body in an unused well at the rear of the house. The well is only about 11 ft. deep and the body was in a sitting position with the water up to the woman’s neck. How the affair took place cannot be accounted for and all suggestion of suicide are discredited by Dr. Handrick, as the woman’s life had been devoid of unpleasant incidents. In the morning she was seen by neighbors going to a brush pile at the rear of the house to throw away a pan of garbage and she was seen returning in the direction of the house. Whether she gained the house or fell into the well at that time cannot be discovered. When found life had been extinct for some time and it is thought that the shock from the fall caused it, as there was not enough water in the well to drown her. She was the daughter of the late Dr. Leet, one of the first settlers of Friendsville, and sister of the late Dr. N.Y. Leet, of Scranton.

UNIONDALE: Last week a team of horses drawing wood broke through the ice and one horse settled so far that they took the other one to pull it out, then the wagon was in so far that they had to hitch to the end of the tongue to get that out.

SHANNON HILL,Auburn Twp.: Wednesday, March 27, the Ladies Aid Society met in the basement of the church and tied a nice quilt, which was presented to Libbie Cole and the members of the society to Mrs. Will Swisher, of West Auburn, who lost all of her household goods by fire. The ladies also donated to her a nice lot of clothes, muslin, gingham, canned fruit and carpet rags. Mrs. Swisher resided in this place several years ago and she wishes to thank her friends for their kind remembrance to her in her time of affliction. Dinner was served and the school children and teacher were invited and were served at one table. A very nice time was had by all. Receipts $6.00.

ARARAT: Mrs. Elbertun Leach and family have moved to Carbondale, but the miserable saloon business goes on just the same. She is succeeded by Chas. Walker, who seems anxious to keep up the reputation of the place. The devil always finds some one to carry up his satanic business, but we sorrow to think that a place like this, that is feeding on the life and souls of our young men, has the protection of our glorious government, and is licensed to rob our homes. The whole nation is wondering where the little Marvin lad is, and is mourning in sympathy with that bereaved father, but what of the boys that are being daily lost--lost to parents, lost to manhood,:-just through this legal channel and there is no fuss made about it. Is this “the land of the free” that we talk so much about? God help us.

FAIR HILL,Jessup Twp.: The Ladies Aid will meet at the church Thursday to remodel the cushions and enjoy a basket lunch, the gentlemen cutting wood that has been given for the church.

NEW MILFORD: The Jay House is now owned by H. G. Stratton, who is conducting the business with great success. Mr. Stratton is a genial and popular hotel man, having worked at the business a number of years, and his hotel equipments, table board, etc., cannot be excelled in any hotel in Susquehanna County.

FOREST CITY: A. L. Morgan, one of the oldest residents here, is moving his family to Binghamton.

HOP BOTTOM: Pupils having the best record for attendance during the last month of school are: Floyd Titus, Maurice Packer, Clarence Phillips, Ermon Palmer, Claude Phillips, Paul Hettes, Thursey Palmer, Edna Wright, Belle Hine, Alice Aldrich, Myrtle Titus, Emma Patterson, Mildred Patterson, M. Meeker, Bulah Hine, Maude Reynolds and Marion Kerr.

FLYNN,Middletown Twp.: People should be on their guard for Sunday night walkers, or eve droppers, or have the blinds down. AND:In Middletown Twp. the hens are working overtime this spring. For the first week in April our hustling merchant, M.M. Curley, took in an average of 250 dozen per day.

GREAT BEND: The second annual ball of the American Chair Mfg., Co.2, Employees’ Aid Association, will be held on Friday evening in Clune’s Opera House. Music by Conner’s popular orchestra. A buffet lunch will be served on the stage. April 12 is the date.

HARFORD: W. L. Thatcher is busy preparing his history for the 50th anniversary of the Harford Fair. A big time is expected. Don’t you forget it!

MONTROSE: H. E. Cooley, local representative for the Pope-Hartford automobile, has recently sold two large 22-horsepower touring cars, one going to Maryland and the other to a gentleman at Mount Pocono. Both were handsome, finely constructed machines. This year there has been an unprecedented demand for cars, and the various manufacturers find it impossible to supply the trade. Many farmers are placing orders for autos, and the prejudice against them in the country is gradually being overcome. A number of local people are considering purchasing machines this summer.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Susquehanna bowlers defeated the Lackawanna club of Binghamton Tuesday evening, at Edwards’ parlors. The home players are playing in fine form, and if they continue, have a good chance to win first place in the league.

DIMOCK: Luman Thornton will soon fill his new store with a fine lot of goods.

NEWS BRIEFS: The feather duster must go. It is charged with spreading the germs of tuberculosis. And the latest idea brings moistened scraps of newspaper spread up on the floor when the floor is swept, as an arrester of the spread of dust. It has the same effect as snow scattered over the floor, except that it is not liable to melt and is therefore cleaner. AND:The pansies which attracted our attention Sunday morning were buried in snow on Monday morning. Crocuses shared the same fate.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay



A first!

I would imagine by now you folks are tired of my telling you I have been covering Susquehanna County government for, well, let me see now, by golly it’s almost 18 years. I apologize for doing it one more time but I need to in order to make a point.

In all the years that I have been writing about county goings on and particularly in the political arena, I don’t think I ever saw any organization, civic or political, endorse a candidate for elective office. Until now, that is! And suddenly, two organizations have stepped forward and announced they have endorsed Attorney Michael Giangrieco for county commissioner.

Those brave enough to make the declarations are the Fraternal Order of Police, and the Susquehanna County Tax Collectors Association. My hat goes off to these two organizations not because of whom they endorsed, but because they had the nerve to stand by their convictions and make endorsements.

If more organizations and individuals would come forward and speak up for whomever they might feel would better serve them in county or local government, we just might end up with better public servants. As a journalist/columnist in Northeastern Pennsylvania for a pile of years, experience has taught me that most elected officials in this area are elected on the basis of names, popularity, or both.

In Susquehanna County, candidates for county office offer little more than the same old political rhetoric we've been hearing for years. And once in office, they grab credit for just about everything but inventing the wheel or the telephone. There are some, mostly those who seek what is commonly known as a “row office,” who have to show results because their positions demand it. The work done by office holders like Cathy Benedict, Mary Evans and Sue Eddleston can be measured by their performances and most of the results of what is accomplished in their respective offices is on file and readily available to their constituents

In recent years, it has been a pleasure watching District Attorney Jason Legg and Sheriff Lance Benedict extend the duties of their offices beyond what had previously been the custom. Working together, these two gentlemen have improved the county’s role in law enforcement far beyond what had been done in the past. I suppose the argument can be made that Legg is now fulltime, but even before his fulltime status, he was focusing his attention on ways to improve the office of district attorney. For openers, his presence in his courthouse office was much more frequent than previous part-time district attorneys.

And what about the current crop of county commissioners? Well, I must say that I do see Commissioners Roberta Kelly and Mary Ann Warren quite frequently in the courthouse. Prior to their elections and since I started covering county government in 1989, perhaps former commissioners with the most time spent in the courthouse were Warren Williams, John Blachek and Lee Smith.

Signs of the times

The political season is upon us and our highways and byways are becoming cluttered with campaign signs. If any of my readers ever ran for elective office and purchased signs, you know they are not cheap. And, unfortunately, I have already been informed that some campaign signs are being stolen and/or destroyed.

Political campaign materials such as signs, pens, buttons and so on is a custom that may be as old as elections or close to it. Some candidates, particularly those who lose elections, are reluctant to get out there and collect them after the election is over.

I am not sure if it can be done, but wouldn't it be nice to see municipalities pass some sort of legislation that would require permits for these signs, along with a pledge that the candidates or their campaign workers would collect and dispose of them after the election, or pay a fine if they are not removed within a reasonable amount of time. Maybe somehow it could be incorporated into a littering law.

How much?

Someone recently asked me if I knew how much it costs the Montrose Area School District to publish and distribute the school newspaper. I have no idea but the thinking here is that it must be pretty expensive. Keep in mind that, when it is published, it is inserted in Mullligan's Review and distributed throughout the school district. I doubt very much if Mulligan’s Review does this for nothing.

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

The trial was not going very well. The young defense attorney was becoming frustrated, particularly with the judge who continually overruled meritorious defense objections. The defense attorney was undeterred, and he continued to zealously represent his client with countless objections to the prosecutor’s case. The judge continued to overrule the objections, and it became apparent that the judge was losing his patience, and this suited the defense attorney just fine. The defense attorney objected again, and the judge finally lost his composure and ordered the defense attorney into the judge’s chambers alone.

The young attorney dutifully strode silently across the well of the courtroom with the eyes of the prosecutor, jury and spectators weighing upon him. Embarrassment and humiliation battled with anger and frustration as he and the judge quietly entered the judge’s office. As soon as the door closed, the defense attorney spoke and refused to back down on his principles.

“Your honor,” the defense attorney heatedly blurted, “my objections are valid and are supported by the constitution.”

“I know,” the judge calmly assured the defense attorney, “but I have found that my way works better than the constitution. Now get back out there and stop objecting.”

Attorney Joseph McGraw told me this story when I was a young prosecutor just cutting my legal teeth. At the end of the story, Joe chuckled at the memory of the event, and reflected that perhaps the judge was right that his way was easier than the constitutional path, but noted that the judge was still wrong in allowing the temptation of ease to override constitutional protections. As I look back on the story, I believe that Joe was imparting upon me an important lesson in his own unique and wonderful way. Prosecutors have power, and power can be as intoxicating as any drug. While Joe had served his career as a defense attorney, he had encountered countless prosecutors, some who sought justice irrespective of the difficulties that a just path entailed and others who wielded their power in a manner that suited the easiest path without regard to justice.

I share this story with you in honor of Joe’s memory. Joe went to his eternal rest on April 2, 2007, and with his passing, the legal profession lost a legend. Joe practiced law for nearly five decades in northeastern Pennsylvania, including serving as Lackawanna County’s first chief public defender for more than 10 years. He was uniformly respected and admired, an achievement rarely attained by those in the legal profession. He was a gentleman in every sense of the word, and had a persona that naturally attracted an audience. I remember walking into a hotel the night before a conference and seeing Joe in the lobby with a gaggle of young attorneys surrounding him, listening to his every word. After I had checked in at the front desk, I found myself joining the small crowd so that I could hear some of Joe’s stories. He could have been a professional storyteller – he possessed charisma and charm, his voice carried easily, his smile was infectious, and his delivery and timing were perfect. These skills are inherently necessary for any good trial attorney. I never had the honor of facing him in trial, but his reputation tells that he would have been a mighty adversary.

This is not to say that we did not have our legal battles, and a few of those battles turned into heated affairs. On one such occasion, after the gavel had fallen and the judge had departed, Joe smiled at me, slapped me on the back, and asked me if I wanted to go get a drink. He must have seen surprise on my face because he laughed and left me with another piece of advice. He told me that attorneys should always strive mightily as advocates against each other in court, and afterwards, they should strive mightily to be friends. Good advice from a good attorney and friend, and the world would be a better place if we all took Joe’s advice. I was blessed to have briefly known him, and the legal community was blessed by his five decades of service.

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. Is it my imagination or does my husband’s snoring get worse if he’s been drinking?

I’d have to listen to him snoring to give you an answer to that one. But I can tell you that drinking can intensify snoring.

As you fall asleep, your tongue, throat and the roof of your mouth relax. If they relax too much, they may partially block the flow of air to your lungs. Then the tissue at the back of your mouth vibrates, creating the sound of logs being sawed. As the airway narrows, the vibration intensifies and the snoring gets louder.

Alcohol relaxes throat muscles, so it promotes snoring. If you want to avoid snoring, you should stop drinking alcohol at least four hours before bedtime.

Here are some other causes of snoring:

A soft palate that is long and low restricts the opening from the nose into the throat. . That triangular thingy hanging in the back of the palate is called a “uvula.” If your uvula is long, that creates wood-sawing, too.

Overweight people have bulky neck tissue. Extra bulk in the throat narrows your airway.

A stuffy nose or one that is blocked by a crooked partition (deviated septum) between the nostrils requires extra effort to pull air through it. This creates an exaggerated vacuum in the throat, and pulls throat tissues together.

Very loud snoring may also be associated with obstructive sleep apnea, a serious condition. When you have sleep apnea, your throat tissues obstruct your airway, preventing you from breathing. Heavy snorers should seek medical advice to ensure that they don’t have sleep apnea.

About one quarter of adults snore regularly. Almost half of normal adults snore occasionally. Men snore more than women. And snoring usually gets worse as we get older.

Here are some ways to counteract mild or occasional snoring:

Sleep on your side. Lying on your back allows your tongue to drop into your throat where it can make you snore.

Tilt the head of your bed up four inches

Mouth-breathing during sleep can lead to snoring, so make sure your nasal passages are clear. If you have chronic nasal congestion, ask your doctor about prescription nasal sprays.

Avoid alcohol, tranquilizers, sleeping pills, and antihistamines before bedtime.

Lose weight.

Correct a deviated septum with surgery.

Place adhesive strips on your nose. They can open your nasal passages and make breathing easier.

There are more than 300 devices designed to cure snoring. Some of them work because they keep you off your back. A few stop you from snoring by waking you.

And here are some treatments for snoring:

Uvulopalatopharyngoplasty (thank God it has an acronym, “UPPP”) is surgery to tighten palate and throat tissue..

Laser Assisted Uvula Palatoplasty (LAUP) vaporizes the uvula and part of the palate.

Radiofrequency ablation employs a needle electrode to emit energy to shrink excess tissue.

Oral appliances are dental mouthpieces that help advance the position of your tongue and soft palate to keep your air passage open.

Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) involves wearing a mask over your nose. The mask is attached to a small pump that forces air through your airway, which keeps it open.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Well the weather has fooled me again. I was hoping that the beautiful weather would continue, but instead all I can see in the forecast is snow. Now all I can do is hope that the nice weather will return and stay.

Kristin Potter has informed me that her daughter, Rhiannon, went to see the play “Beauty and the Beast.” Rhiannon’s pre-school class took a field trip to see the play last week and Rhiannon loved it! Also, Rhiannon made her first musical performance at the Thompson Methodist Church on April 1. Gale Williams, Rhiannon’s grandmother, said that Rhiannon was magnificent.

Shannon Williams is now in her senior year of college at East Stroudsburg University as a Biology major. She recently had to give a presentation to the Pennsylvania Academy of Sciences in Pittsburgh, PA. Her presentation was about a new program that can decipher different types of bat calls. Shannon states that she does not want to study bats, but it is a good way that she can work up to a field she really wants to study. Good luck in your future, Shannon!

I hope everyone had a Happy Easter and enjoyed the time with their family and friends!


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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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