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Issue Home April 25, 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

APRIL SNOW: The late snowy weather reminds some of the older people of snows we had in April of other years. Slight snow storms and squally weather have been quite frequent in April. Some of the most remarkable were about 1848. On the 12th of April that year a regular thunder snow squall occurred, which brought nearly five inches of snow in about one hour and a half, with bright flashes of lightning and peals of thunder. In 1855 about 24 inches of snow fell on April 20. But probably the greatest fall of snow that fell in one storm was on April 19, 20 and 21 in the year 1857, 50 years ago, when in some localities the new snow measured nearly four feet. A picture on a well-known old map of Susquehanna county shows some of the Montrose men of that day, clearing Public Avenue of the latter fall of the beautiful.

HARFORD: The members of this year’s class of the Harford school were in Montrose on Friday, having the class picture taken at Bronson’s studio. The seven graduates are: George and Charles LaBarre, Ray Tingley, Fay Hallstead, Helen Wilmarth, Pearl Ransom and Frieda Robinson. AND: Levi Lure Leroy, aged 76, died at his home in Carbondale early Sunday morning. The deceased was a native of New York state and for many years resided at Harford where he conducted a store and farm. He served for three years during the Civil War as a private in Co. G., 14th Regt., N.Y. heavy artillery, and was a member of the G.A.R. Post at Harford. The body was taken to Harford Wednesday morning, services being held in the Congregational church and interment being made at that place.

AUBURN TWP.: The Auburn High School graduates a class of four on May 1. The exercises are necessarily postponed a couple of weeks, owing to a case of scarlet fever having developed among the pupils, and the school will be re-opened on Monday. The graduates are: Arthur Carter, Benjamin Pierson, Marcella Keough and Maude Mericle.

FAIRDALE: The Bell telephone company has added two new phones in this vicinity. One in the parsonage for Rev. W. F. Boyce, and one in the house of George Brotzman. D. M. Roe also had a new one put in his store last week.

BIRCHARDVILLE: The band of gypsies, which have been staying here so long, have moved on.

NEW MILFORD: One of the principal events of the year will take place at the Opera House on Thursday evening, May 2. On this date the commencement exercises of the High School will be given. Graduates are sixteen in number.

BROOKLYN: A meeting was called at George Terry’s store to take steps toward improving our streets and the surroundings of residences in town, and all the people are requested to set aside Wednesday, May 1st, for that work and meet in the morning prepared to work all day in cleaning the streets and yards in town. Brooklyn is one of the pleasantest towns in the county and the buildings are kept well repaired and painted, but the streets and sidewalks need attending to, so it is hoped there will be a general rally on May 1st.

HOP BOTTOM: A musical treat is in store for the people of Hop Bottom and vicinity, Thursday evening, May 2. The Hallstead Male Quartette, of which Dr. F. Ellis Bond and Wm. H. McCreary are members, Mrs. Osborn of Harford, and others, will assist in the entertainment.

FOREST CITY: The dedication of the First Methodist Church of Forest City will take place on Sunday, May 5. The church is practically completed and it is expected to be entirely complete, with slight exceptions, before the time of dedication.

GIBSON: Frank Benson is one of the largest producers of maple syrup and sugar in the county. He has already made over a ton of sugar this season, with prospects of doubling the amount. His grove consists of over 800 trees.

STARRUCCA: Fire destroyed the Mountain House last Saturday afternoon. There was an insurance of $2000 on the building and $500 on contents.

SUSQUEHANNA: Fred H. Pride died on Sunday after a short illness of typhoid pneumonia. Mr. Pride has been the foreman of the Transcript office for several years and previous to that had been employed in the government printing office at Washington. He was a brother of B. F. Pride, formerly editor of the Susquehanna Journal. One daughter, Miss Christine Pride, of Bolivar, N.Y., survives. Interment beside his wife in the cemetery at Elliotville, N.Y.

MONTROSE: Joseph Jordan, who recently relinquished his position in Beach’s machine shop here, left Scranton on the 19th inst., and sailed from Boston to Port Limon, Costa Rica, where a most lucrative position awaited him in the machine shops of the great Northern Railway, of which his brother, Thomas Jordan, is master mechanic.

SPRINGVILLE: After a seven months term of school that has had all the rumblings of an earthquake, our little village has settled down once more to its accustomed quietness.

CARBONDALE/THOMPSON: Mrs. Lettie Brownell, of Carbondale, is seeking a divorce in the Lackawanna courts. It was alleged by Mrs. Brownell that her husband deserted her. Brownell contends that it was his wife that deserted him, for the reason that he does not want to leave the farm on which they have spent the better part of their lives, while she persists in living in Carbondale. Both parties are aged and have a number of grandchildren. It is questionable whether or not the Lackawanna court has jurisdiction in the case. The parties are, or were formerly, of Thompson.

NEWS BRIEFS: The bill prohibiting the buying, selling or wearing for adornment any Pennsylvania wild bird or part thereof has been passed by the House

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Along the Way...With P. Jay



More Loomis-matics

Considering the number of Republican candidates for county commissioner, it has been a rather quiet campaign thus far. In fact, it has been downright boring. The only GOP candidate making any noise at all is incumbent commissioner, Jeff Loomis, and he would probably help his cause more by not saying anything.

For example, in his most recent political ad, he brags about not raising the real estate tax millage three years in a row. On the surface, that might appear to be quite an accomplishment. But when you scratch a bit below the surface, you find that the current administration re-opened the budget they inherited in 2004 from the previous administration and upped the real estate tax by a whopping 2.75 mills. Getting that additional revenue in for four straight years most certainly should be sufficient to enable the commissioners to run the county without increasing taxes.

“County real estate taxes,” Jeff states in his ad, “are currently contained by cutting expenses, consolidating all purchases through one office to achieve maximum savings, and by relying on our highly trained, professional department heads to run their offices smoothly and efficiently.” My friends, that’s political rhetoric at its best.

Let’s set the record straight. For openers, Mr. Loomis had little or nothing to do with the success of most departments. Give the electorate credit for that. Voters are responsible for some of the most successful departments in our county government. They keep progressive and responsible department heads in office. Departments such as those headed up by Cathy Benedict, Sue Eddleston, Mary Evans, Jason Legg and Lance Benedict.

And then, of course, there are those longtime employees who not only run efficient departments but also bring in a nice chunk of revenue year after year. People like Jeff Shoemaker in adult probation and John Lester in juvenile probation. Then there’s our chief assessor, Ellen O'Malley and her capable crew; and, President Judge Kenneth W. Seamans, whose hefty fines pump a lot of money into the county’s piggy bank.

Jeff said the commissioners reduced government growth. Really! That’s difficult to believe when one stops to look at the number of new employees in the courthouse since 2004. Admittedly, many of them were needed because some departments were definitely understaffed. But you don’t increase the work force without increasing the payload.

Jeff concludes his political propaganda by noting that it takes an experienced, business professional to balance the county’s $20.9 million budget. I agree with him. Think the county will ever hire one?

Hear and Dare

While the primary elections have been anything but interesting, the November election could be worth watching. Besides the routine Republican and Democrat candidates, Tom Jurista of Silver Lake Township will also be on the ballot as an Independent.

Had the recent opportunity to renew acquaintances with Leon Allen whom I had not seen in a few years. Leon will be on your Democrat ballot as an unopposed candidate for county commissioner along with incumbent minority commissioner, Mary Ann Warren. With two slots to be filled, Mary Ann is also without opposition in the primary election.

Congressman Chris Carney (D-10th District) is working on his war chest as he looks ahead to 2008 when he will seek reelection. The opinion here has been and always will be that congressmen should be elected to four-year terms. The idea of having to seek reelection every couple of years is ridiculous. We elect United States Senators for six years but limit our congressmen to two years. Is it just me or do you see something wrong with that scenario?

Wanna do something that will make you feel real good? Put aside a buck a day and when Endless Mountains Health Systems kicks off its fund drive for the new hospital in Montrose, you'll be ready with your contribution and it won’t put a dent in your household budget.

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

No matter how hard you search for answers, there can be no explanation for the evil acts committed by the gun-wielding lunatic on the Virginia Tech campus. There have been countless news reports of the “manifesto” left by the murderer, wherein maniacal claims of righteousness pervade his self-proclaimed justifications for the slaughter. These snippets demonstrate the deranged and perverted mind of a sociopath, and questions now center upon how better to protect our citizens and how the system can be changed to prevent such attacks in the future. In a good and civilized nation, we embrace the pain of the victims’ families, we vow to fight for a day when we are free from such terror, and we condemn the killer’s acts. There are places in the world, however, where such monsters are allowed to roam free and execute civilians based upon the killer’s perceptions of righteousness.

Recently, the New York Times did a story on one such place: The Islamic Republic of Iran. Under Iranian (Islamic) penal code, there is a provision that allows murder charges to be dropped providing that the accused killer can demonstrate that the slaying was necessary because the victim was “morally corrupt.” Moreover, even if the slayer was mistaken as to the “moral corruption” of the victim, the charges will still be dismissed if the slayer truly believed that the victim was “morally corrupt.” In the case of such a mistake, however, the slayer is required to pay “blood money” to the victim’s family, which is determined by a senior cleric every year and currently amounts to $40,000 for a wrongfully killed man, and $20,000 for a wrongfully killed woman. As if this barbaric law were not enough, there are “clerics” who apparently encouraged the faithful to kill the “morally corrupt.” In addition to the religious clergy encouraging this conduct, the New York Times reports that the government, through President Ahmadinejad, has encouraged these volunteer vigilantes known as the Basiji Force to engage in such conduct.

For instance, in 2002 after watching a video from a “senior cleric” encouraging the killing of the “morally corrupt,” six members of the Basiji force took to the street and killed at least five “morally corrupt” persons. The New York Times reports that three lower court decisions found the Basiji members guilty of murder, but the Iranian Supreme Court just overturned the conviction based upon the penal law provision that allows the killing of the “morally corrupt.”

What type of civilized society not only allows vigilante killings, but also encourages bands of madmen to kill those perceived to be “morally corrupt?” What type of conduct could result in being dragged down in the street and beaten to death? According to the New York Times, an Iranian Supreme Court judge, in an interview, recently set forth examples of the “moral corruption” that warrants a vigilante death sentence, and such conduct included adultery by a wife (not a husband) and insults to Prophet Muhammad. Thankfully, there are voices of reason within Iran screaming for justice – civilized justice – not the type of justice meted out by the current corrupt leadership of Iran. At the moment, however, Iran remains a place where justice is perverted.

In the wake of the Virginia Tech massacre, a collective nation desperately searches for the motivation that would lead to such evil acts. But you cannot ascribe rational thought to a madman; rather, we must erect a law enforcement system that aims to prevent vigilante killings, and, where prevention fails, seek swift retribution and punishment of the killer so as to set an example that will have a deterrent effect. But imagine living in a country where such maniacs were allowed to kill based upon their perception of moral corruption, a country where the penal laws specifically grant vigilantes the authority to execute another citizen without any form of due process, and a country where the government seemingly encourages citizens to kill each other. While we collectively mourn and pray this week for the Virginia Tech victims, we can still be thankful that we live in a country that believes in the rule of law, due process, and impartial justice.

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

During my research on many health topics I have been amazed repeatedly by how pervasive the effects of smoking are on the body.

I quit smoking cigarettes in 1969, five years after the U.S. Surgeon General’s first report said that smoking causes lung cancer. I was convinced the report was right when it came out, but it took me five years to develop the willpower to give up my Marlboros. But, at the time, I didn’t realize that smoking could harm you in so many more ways.

The most recent Surgeon General’s report on the health consequences of smoking said, “Smoking harms nearly every organ of your body, causing many diseases and reducing your health in general.” The report also said, “Quitting smoking has immediate as well as long-term benefits, reducing risks for diseases caused by smoking and improving your health in general.”

If you smoke, you owe it to yourself to quit. And I believe you have an obligation to try to help others to quit. I’m going to do my part with this unusual three-part series. No scolding or exaggerated scare tactics. I’m going to give you just the facts in a chain of bulletins.

You can tack these columns up on bulletin boards and refrigerators. I recommend giving them to a smoker you love.

Here goes:

Smoking damages the immune system and increases the risk of infections.

The general health of smokers is inferior to the health of nonsmokers.

Many illnesses in smokers last longer than in nonsmokers.

After surgery, smokers have a greater risk of complications and a lower survival rate.

When smokers get skin wounds, they take longer to heal than those in non-smokers.

Women who smoke usually reach menopause sooner.

Smokers tend to have lower bone density. Postmenopausal women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than women who never smoked.

Smoking cigarettes causes heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.

Smokers who have a heart attack are more likely to die within an hour of the heart attack than nonsmokers.

Cigarette smoking doubles a person’s risk for stroke.

Cigarette smoking causes emphysema, which destroys a person’s ability to breathe. An early warning sign of emphysema is “smoker’s cough.”

Smokers commonly suffer from chronic bronchitis.

Smoking causes peripheral artery disease that can affect the blood flow throughout the entire body.

Smoking causes many types of cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States. These include cancer of the lung, esophagus, larynx, mouth, bladder, pancreas, kidney and cervix.

Smoking increases your risk of developing sciatica, a pain that runs down the back of your leg from spinal-disc pressure on a nerve. Smoking can block the body’s ability to deliver nutrients to the discs of the lower back.

Smoking causes cataracts.

Smoking during pregnancy is linked with the higher risk of miscarriage, premature delivery, stillbirth, infant death, low birth weight, and sudden-infant-death syndrome.

Smoking dulls your senses of taste and smell.

Smoking makes your skin age faster.

Smoking increases the risk of sexual impotence.

In the second installment of this series on smoking, we’ll report on nicotine, cigarettes of all kinds, cigars, pipes and smokeless tobacco.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Last Thursday, I was on my way home from school and I was stopped by construction along the Starrucca Creek Road. When I got home, I saw another crew working past my house on the Shadigee Creek Road. I noticed these crews were placing new guide rails along side the roads. The guide rails are along the Shadigee Creek Road going towards Shehawken and along the Starrucca Creek Road going toward Lanesboro.

Unfortunately, Doris Davidson has passed away, on the 14th of April. I send my condolences to the family and friends.

The Piercy’s made a trip down to Hershey a few weeks ago to play with the Dallas Brass. The Dallas Brass asked the Montrose band and a selected few from Susquehanna to perform with them on stage! The Piercy’s had a great time and can’t wait to do it again!



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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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