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Issue Home May 9, 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

FOREST LAKE: On April 19, Elder W. C. Tilden, one of the best known and most beloved men in Susquehanna County, completed 50 years of service in the ministry, serving as pastor of the following churches: Forest Lake church during the fifty years excepting one year and eight months; Middletown church, 22 years, and afterward 12 years, in all 34 years; Liberty, 12 years; Rush church 7 years; Hallstead church, 8 months, and preaching many times at Dimock, Herrickville, Camptown, Jackson, Auburn, Laurel Lake and other places. His work has included 5,823 sermons, with an addition of 893 funeral sermons, in all 6717. Number baptized, 237; marriages, 339; miles of travel, 140,000.

ARARAT: Our new merchant, Will Arthur, has his store neatly fitted up with a supply of fine groceries, ready for business. We wish him every success.

FRIENDSVILLE: The death P. Matthews, 80 years of age, occurred at his home. He was a native of Ireland and immigrated with his parents to America when a child. He has resided in Friendsville for half a century. His occupation was that of a wagonmaker. He is survived by a wife and seven children.

MONTROSE: J. M. Jeffers has been remodeling his pleasant home, and added five rooms, with a view to entertaining an increased number of summer boarders this season, and he has lots of applications. He and his wife are splendidly fitted to entertain them, to say nothing of the yellow legged chickens Mr. J. always has “on tap,” of a specially toothsome breed. It is also in one sense a public benefit when families like Mr. Jeffers open their homes to summer boarders, as it brings that many more people to town.

HEART LAKE: Mr. Hillis is furnishing the third story of the boarding house and when completed there will be room for about 40 guests. The season will open about June 1. Mr. W. H. Wall expects to open the Lake Side House about June 1.

UNIONDALE: A letter received today from Mrs. D. B. Carpenter, of Ballard, Washington, claims that her son, Lawyer Frank Carpenter, has bought him a place and is building a fine house near Puget Sound, in sight of the Olympic mountains. The house is to be very modern in all its details. She also says they have a society there, called the Pennsylvania Club; all people from Pennsylvania can join. They have a hall and meet for a social time. Last week a Mr. James Hamilton, formerly of Carbondale, joined their number. He is a civil engineer there.

THOMPSON: The Bordens are enlarging their facilities for business. They have recently put on two large teams to haul milk from the region round “Sugar Loaf” over in Wayne County. AND: Dr. McNamara hopes to finish the outside carpenter work on his house on Main street. Little has been done on the inside, so he has quite a job to do before he can occupy it.

DIMOCK: A farewell dance was given at the Dolan House, Thursday eve., May 2. The ball room will be partitioned into bedrooms. AND: Frank Cope, Jr., will give a lecture at [the] Literary rooms Saturday evening, May 18. All are cordially invited.

MELROSE: There was another wreck on the Erie at Melrose. Eight cars were off the track. The work hands were called from here at 5 a.m. to help clear away debris. The road was blocked with trains all the forenoon.

GLENWOOD: A stray horse came to the barn of Melvin Deakin, Friday--gray, with bob tail and about 18 years of age. Owner can have horse by paying charges and for this advertisement.

FOREST CITY: The Forest City base ball team is to be re-organized this year under the management of John Morrison. Ground has been secured from the D & H company on the right side of the road leading to Vandling, south of Mrs. Farrell’s hotel. The work of grading will soon be started. The team will be composed entirely of Forest City players.

HARFORD: Tunis Miller is suffering with an acute attack of appendicitis. He is attended by Dr. Taylor, of Hopbottoom, and he hopes he will get along without an operation.

BROOKLYN: Mrs. Charles Tiffany offers her fine farm and town residence for sale, which includes the Tiffany water system, which supplies the greater part of the town with water. It’s a fine proposition for the right man.

SOUTH GIBSON: The Harford Dairy company is doing a rushing business in their creamery here. Our merchants all have a full line of seasonable goods, and pay the hightest prices for farmers’ produce, and our milliner has a full line of fashionable goods for women and children. Fuller & Chamberlain can supply hardware and farming tools; so our little town is a good place to come to get your wants supplied.

SUSQUEHANNA: An appropriation of $8,000 for the Simon H. Barnes Memorial hospital has passed the House. The bill was introduced by Hon. E. E. Jones of this county.

HALLSTEAD: Hallstead base ball players, through the generosity of Hon. James T. DuBois, are to have a fine base ball diamond. The plot is located north of the Harmony creek bridge and comprises some three acres of level land peculiarly fitted for the players of the national game. A running track will also be constructed and a high board fence will enclose the entire area. John Connors captains this year’s team, which is already getting in proper trim, and the fans of that vicinity are anticipating a whirlwind nine this season.

EAST BRIDGEWATER: On the down trip Friday morning the Lehigh Valley locomotive struck a team of horses at Coon’s Crossing, about two miles from Montrose, killing both. The animals belonged to D. T. Brewster of Montrose, and J. W. Smith, who lives on the Brewster farm. They were being driven to the field with simply their harnesses on by a brother of Mr. Smith’s, who is a deaf mute. Not noting the approaching train, the horses were struck broadside just as they were crossing the track, mangling them badly. The driver escaped unhurt.

NEWS BRIEF: There was difficulty on a telephone line recently, the receiver apparently having been taken off and left off several hours. The trouble man was sent out and finally discovered that in the residence of one of the subscribers, an old lady had taken down the receiver and was using it to darn stockings on.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly!

The Good!

This week, Americans across this great nation of ours are observing National Hospital Week. Now, this doesn’t mean that you should consider an overnight stay at your local hospital. But it wouldn’t hurt to sit back and recall the time that you or a loved one was a hospital patient, and, because of it, are alive today.

When we are hospital patients, we have a tendency to gripe about everything from the food to the care to the cost, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. But, my friends, be honest with yourself now. Isn’t a hospital the safest place to be when you are ill or injured? You bet it is!

National Hospital Day began on May 12, 1921. That happened to be the birthday of Florence Nightingale who died 11 years earlier at the age of 90. In 1953, National Hospital Day was changed to National Hospital Week. That would have been about three years before Montrose General Hospital opened its lifesaving facilities on Grow Street in Montrose.

Today, Montrose General is Endless Mountains Health Systems. Frankly, I am not turned on by the name. I kind of like a hospital that can be associated with a community. As the county seat, Montrose was obviously the logical choice for a hospital and it has more than proven its worth to the borough and the other municipalities it serves.

Without going into a long dissertation, let me just point out that Endless Mountains Health Systems is planning a new state-of-the-art facility near the Montrose Area High School. You will be seeing and hearing a lot more about it in the coming months, and undoubtedly you will be asked to contribute to the cause.

My friends, this is a project that deserves your support. It hasn’t been too many years ago that you came close to losing the hospital and that would have been a major loss to the area. I lost my job at The Scranton Times about that same time because I spoke at a public meeting I was assigned to cover for the newspaper. What I said at the time is there are three things a community should never close – a church, a school and a hospital.

The Bad!

We are still hearing some grumbling from Susquehanna County employees over Commissioner Jeff Loomis’ suggestion that Montrose Borough put meters or sell parking rights to county workers who use a sizeable chunk of the borough’s free parking lot behind the county building on Public Avenue. And who can blame them? They have been parking there for years thanks to the borough’s courtesy and when a council member asked the county to contribute toward repaving the lot, Loomis passed the buck to the employees.

One borough official told me that Loomis forgets the borough provides the lot and plows it during the winter months. He further noted that Loomis should be aware of the fact that the borough police keep things under control in and around the county courthouse and its other downtown buildings at no expense to the county.

And, by the way, Loomis certainly did not endear himself to the crowd at the recent Farm Bureau’s Candidates Night. As told to me, he took off on one of his typical outbursts when he was advised that his three minutes of speaking time had expired.

The Ugly!

One person at the meeting called it a fiasco. Another said there were some costly errors and the county is going to spend a lot of money straightening things out. A third person just shrugged shoulders and said something like, “It’s a hell of a mess.”

They were all referring to an emergency meeting called by the Board of Elections last Thursday in the wake of complaints of mistakes on sample ballots for the May 15 primary election in Susquehanna County.

The bottom line? A new printing of the Republican and Democrat sample ballots for the second time in a couple of weeks. There were misspelled or misprinted names on  the ballots of both major political parties and party chairpersons, GOP Donna Cosmello and Democrat John Hoffman were pretty upset about it. Seems they mailed out some of the erroneous ballots at considerable cost to their respective political parties and they are demanding reimbursement from the county because they will need to do the mailing all over again with what everyone hopes will finally be correct sample ballots.

At last count, about a dozen names were wrong. Counting the initial printing and then reprinting the sample ballots a second time, could cost the county a total of $45,000. Unofficial reports put the cost of the ballots at $15,000 for each printing.

This my friends is Ugly with a capital U.

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

In a previous article, I recounted a high-speed chase between a Coweta County (Georgia) Deputy Sheriff and a 19-year old driver, Victor Harris. While operating under a suspended driver’s license, Harris was traveling 73 mph in a 55 mph zone, and the deputy attempted a traffic stop. Rather than stopping, Harris simply kept on going. Another Deputy Sheriff joined in the chase, with a marked patrol car with emergency lights activated. Harris refused to stop, weaving along a two-lane country road, passing other motorists despite double yellow lines, and running through stoplights. Harris was reaching speeds of 80-90 miles per hour, and covered nine miles in a six-minute span. Eventually, the chase was ended when one of the deputies used his patrol car to ram Harris’s vehicle off the road. As a result, Harris lost control of his vehicle, crashed and suffered injuries that caused him to become a quadriplegic. Harris then sued for money damages contending that the deputy had used unlawful and excessive force in ending the traffic pursuit.

The matter made its way to the United States Supreme Court, and the United States Supreme Court in an 8-1 decision determined that the deputy sheriff used reasonable force, and that the 19-year old has no legal claim. In his majority decision, Justice Scalia noted that the Court had reviewed the videotape of the chase, and it was apparent that Harris posed an “actual and imminent threat” to other motorists and pedestrians. Justice Scalia stated that Harris had intentionally placed himself and the public at risk through his reckless conduct, and forced the deputy into a difficult decision – use force to stop Harris or keep chasing him, thereby continuing the substantial risk to the innocent public.

As to the argument that the deputies should have simply discontinued the chase, Justice Scalia determined that this was not a reasonable option. First, there was no way to convey to Harris that the chase was “off,” and Harris may simply have continued to drive in a reckless and dangerous manner even after the deputies had ceased their pursuit. Moreover, as a public policy, Justice Scalia opined that such a rule would create “perverse incentives” in that every motorist would know that freedom was in their grasp if they could simply outrun the police by driving at dangerous speeds, swerving in and out of traffic, and running stop signs. For the 8 justices in the majority, the creation of such a rule was intolerable, and Harris lost his case.

Justice John Paul Stevens was the lone dissenter – and he blasted his colleagues. Justice Stevens argued that the issue was one best left to a jury to determine whether the deputy had acted improperly, and that the Court should not have created a per se rule that gave police the power to use force to stop high speed chases. In particular, Justice Stevens was disturbed that the majority had relied heavily upon the videotape of the high-speed pursuit in making factual determinations that were different from those determinations made by the judges of the lower court. In essence, Justice Stevens argued that it was improper for the Court to determine as a matter of law that the deputy acted reasonably, especially where other judges had already determined that the conduct was unreasonable. If judges disagree, Justice Stevens argued that it was a question that should be submitted to a jury to assess the reasonableness of the conduct.

If you are interested in the case, the United States Supreme Court has posted the video of the high-speed chase on its website for the public to view. If you go to, and look to the case of Scott v. Harris, you can actually view the chase and the facts upon which this decision is based, and then you can make up your own mind as to the reasonableness of the deputy’s actions.

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

This is the last in a three-part series on smoking.

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 doing my part by offering this unusual series of columns. No scolding or exaggerated scare tactics. I’m giving you just the facts in a chain of bulletins.

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

Here are more facts.

Cigarette smokers die younger than nonsmokers. Smoking shortens lives by about 14 years.

In the more than four decades since the first Surgeon General’s report, smoking has killed an estimated 12 million Americans.

Tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the United States, causing nearly 440,000 deaths each year.

Because of exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (“second-hand smoke”), an estimated 3,000 nonsmoking Americans die of lung cancer every year.

Tobacco use accounts for about one third of all cancer deaths in the United States.

Smoking causes almost 90 percent of lung cancers.

More than 7 million current and former smokers suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), the name used to describe both chronic bronchitis and emphysema. About 85 percent of COPD deaths are caused by smoking.

About 80 percent of all smokers would like to quit.

Among US adults, cigarette smoking has declined from about 42% of the population in 1965 to about 21% in 2005.

It’s never too late to quit. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how long you’ve smoked.

Within minutes of smoking the last cigarette, the body begins to restore itself. After two weeks, circulation and lung function improve. A year after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s. At 10 years, the lung cancer death rate is cut in half. At 15 years after quitting, the risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.

Some smokers can just stop “cold turkey.” Others need help with drugs and behavior modification. Relapse rates are the highest in the first few weeks; they go down substantially after about three months.

One study found that the greatest reductions in cigarette use were achieved when smoking became more expensive and alternative recreational activities were provided.

Nicotine replacement therapies (NRTs) are medicines that relieve a smoker’s nicotine withdrawal symptoms. NRTs are available as patches, gums, inhalers, nasal sprays, or lozenges. NRTs should be used with behavioral modification.

Bupropion (Zyban) is a prescription antidepressant that affects brain chemicals involved in craving nicotine.

Varenicline (Chantix) reduces the pleasurable effects of smoking and helps reduce nicotine withdrawal symptoms.

If you want to quit smoking and need help, contact one of the following organizations:

American Cancer Society, 1-800-227-2345,; American Heart Association, 1-800-242-8721,; American Lung Association, 1-800-586-4872,; National Cancer Institute, 1-800-422-6237,; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Office on Smoking & Health,;, 1-800-784-8669,

If you have used tobacco, you should have regular oral exams by your physician or dentist. These exams will detect changes that could be cancer or a precursor of cancer.

Cancer and other conditions of the lung have the following symptoms: a new cough, a change in cough, coughing up blood, hoarseness, difficulty breathing, wheezing, headaches, chest pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, general fatigue, and repeated respiratory infections. However, many lung cancers have no apparent symptoms until they are advanced.

If you have been a tobacco user or continue to smoke or chew, it’s critical that you get regular medical attention.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Brian and Tara Kelly are moving into Doris Davidson’s house. They plan on setting up a temporary mobile home while they remodel the house.

Rhiannon Potter, Kristin and Donald Potter’s daughter, won the Spanish Olympics at her school last week. The bright young student of only four can name all her colors and family in Spanish. That is more than I can do after two years of Spanish. Way to go, Rhiannon!

With the warmer weather finally here, I want to make sure all the four-wheeler riders are staying safe by wearing their helmets. Also, I want remind people to please have their passengers wear helmets, especially young children. Please be safe when riding on the roads!

Elections are right around the corner! Please remember to vote for your favorite candidates on Tuesday, May 15!



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Veterans’ Corner

In continuing our look at three generations of military service, this week we feature the MacNamee family of the Montrose area.

George Francis MacNamee

1926 – 1994

George was born in Philadelphia and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 at the age of 17. He served on a destroyer in the Pacific during the end of World War II. He was very much a family man, having five children that he and his wife, Christine, raised in the Levittown, PA area. He worked for the Bell Telephone Co. for 34 years, was a volunteer fireman, and a Little League/Babe Ruth League coach.

George Frederic MacNamee

This George was born in 1948. After graduating Neshaminy High School in 1966, also at the age of 17, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines. His first duty was in the Caribbean as a fleet marine where he trained in force recon, guerilla and jungle warfare, amphibious assault, and in the manning of lines in Guantanamo Bay during the cold war standoff with Cuba.

He went to Vietnam in 1967, and upon making corporal, became a squad leader for Bravo Co. 1/4, 3rd Marine Division. He was awarded the Navy Achievement Medal with a combat “V” for valor.

George moved to the Montrose area in 1972 where he eventually met his wife to this day, Ellie Sherman Walter of the Springville area.

1st Lt. Travis R. Walter

Travis graduated from Montrose Area High School in 1999. He was a football team captain, a vice president of his class, homecoming king, and among other things, a member of the Honor Society. He was active in the community as a volunteer fireman. Since a young boy, his mind was set on attending the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated there in 2004 with honors. He chose infantry and after airborne training was accepted into Ranger School. He married Maren Johnson of Montrose. Travis now serves as a platoon leader with the 82nd Airborne in Afghanistan. He has just received new orders, and will become company XO when returning from his current mission.

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