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Issue Home May 16, 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

HALLSTEAD: Hallstead is having an attack of oil fever. Some of the citizens, who felt sure there were indications of oil sufficient to warrant a test, raised funds to bring an expert, who pointed out many indications through an instrument used for locating oil deposits, and told them oil was certainly to be found there, and they are now planning to put down a test well. Let her spout.

MONTROSE: Electric lights have been placed on Monument Square for evening concerts by the Odd Fellows Band. The boys came out Monday evening with their overcoats on and played a number of selections on Public avenue, but wouldn’t tackle an open-air concert on the green. AND: The remains of Elbert “Bert” Barney, aged 26 years, who died at his home in Edgewood, N.J., May 14, 1907, of that dreaded disease, typhoid pneumonia, were brought to Montrose for burial. Mr. Barney was born in Brooklyn, this county, and on his parents moving to Montrose he became a student in the high school. He attended Andover college and later entered Princeton University where he became a popular football star. Many old friends gathered with the relatives at the station last Friday afternoon when the body was brought here for burial.

HEART LAKE: Arthur L. Titman, of Elmira, N.Y., has leased the Harvey Griffing store, merry-go-round, boats, etc., for the season. Art will make a pleasant host.

ALFORD: The Hubbard House, kept by Rev. and Mrs. H. L. Hubbard as an eating and boarding house at the junction of the L. & M. and D. L.& W. railroads, at Alford, was burned to the ground on Tuesday morning last. The fire started at 7 o’clock and caught from the kitchen stove. The alarm was quickly spread over the quiet village, and the citizens turned out en masse to lend whatever help they could. Rev. Mr. Hubbard, at the time the fire broke out, was at Heart Lake, where he is engaged in acting as a supply pastor of the M.E. Church and was telephoned for. He hastily came to the scene of the conflagration and joined the force of men in saving what articles were within reach. The loss is about $2,800 to Mr. and Mrs. Hubbard and they were insured for $750, through the agency of Titsworth & Son. The loss to the traveling public is great, as it was a convenient place for travelers to dine. It is not known at present whether the Hubbard House will be rebuilt or not.

HOPBOTTOM: The 11th of October last we were visited by a snowstorm, which covered the fruit on the trees with snow. We have been visited by snowstorms more or less up to the 11th of May 1907.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: Several of the milk men about here joined the Farmers’ Union. We all hope to get better prices for our milk and will have to if we follow the orders of the New York men’s rules that have been laid down to us.

LINDAVILLE, Brooklyn Twp.: A. L. Mack has purchased a fine new surrey.

SOUTH GIBSON: H. D. Pickering started Monday for Michigan, to take treatments for rheumatism.

GELATT: The County Commissioners were viewing the ground where the new county bridge is to span the main stream of the Tunkhannock creek. They stated that the prospects were fair for a bridge this summer. AND: Carpenters are at work on the new summer cottages that Mrs. Hine is having built at Rilly [Rillie] Lake.

SUSQUEHANNA: Mrs. Marcella P. Leslie, widow of Joseph Leslie, has received through her attorney, Sebring & Cheny of Corning, N.Y., $4,600 in settlement of an action against the Erie Railroad Company on account of the death of her husband on Feb. 15, 1906. All old Erie Railroad Company men will remember “Joe” Leslie, one of the oldest and best locomotive engineers on the road, and will recall his tragic death on the night of Feb. 15, and will be pleased to learn that his widow receives such a substantial amount from the railroad company.

FOREST CITY: William Wolford, of Delaware St., was instantly killed in the Erie mines last Monday. He was a young man of good habits and well liked by all who knew him. The bereaved family has the sympathy of the community.

HARFORD: The project of putting in an electric light plant either at Harford or Gibson and lighting Jackson, Gibson and Harford, is being discussed. It is said that the water power at those towns would be a guarantee of good light at a low figure.

UNIONDALE: Sunday morning a long procession of gypsies passed through here toward Pleasant Mt., with poor horses that could neither limp nor trot. They were telling fortunes as usual. AND: The roads in town under the supervision of Stanley Norton are much improved. The looks alone do him credit.

FRIENDSVILLE: The Friendsville Grange held a meeting on Saturday conferring the third and fourth degrees of membership on a class of fourteen. In the evening a sumptuous banquet was served by the young people. Among the out of town members present were Hon. Henry Rose, of Silver Lake, and Attorney R. B. Little and son, of Montrose.

DIMOCK: Francis R. Cope, Jr. and family, of Germantown, Pa., are occupying their summer home on Cope Hill. AND: L. F. Thornton placed the large windows in the front of his store building last week and is receiving dry goods and groceries preparatory to opening a store.

ELK LAKE: Mr. Quackenbush and family, of Scranton, are occupying their cottage.

NEWS BRIEFS: The American people, according to statistics, paid $5,000,000 in 1906, for the support of base ball teams. AND: The new law increasing the school teachers’ [pay] will take effect on June 1. All teachers who hold a professional, permanent or normal school certificate will be paid not less than $50 per month, and teachers holding certificates of less grade will be paid not less than $40. The State will pay the increase and so the new law will not work any hardship in the small districts.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Kelly aiming at November election run

Susquehanna County Commissioner Roberta Kelly, who was the top vote getter in the 2003 commissioners’ race, may have lost last week’s primary election contest to Michael Giangrieco and incumbent Jeff Loomis but don’t count her out just yet.

Kelly is ready to do battle in November in an effort to retain her seat on the Board of Commissioners. She told me she will watch her current situation very carefully and rely on the advice of her attorney regarding any recount or other action.

“We are going to take a long look at the entire voting process,” she said. “We will wait and see what this process brings out.” Kelly said she may have to wait for the Board of Elections to certify the primary vote and after that she will make her announcement.

“I am not going down without a fight,” she said. “I intend to run as a write-in candidate in November and I intend to win.”

There is no question in the minds of most that write-in campaigns are extremely difficult. However, writing in on the ballots in Susquehanna County are as easy as ABC. If Bob Cordaro can do it successfully in Lackawanna County, there is no reason to believe it cannot be done in this county.

Most of the phone calls I have received regarding the primary election are from individuals with one question, “How did Jeff Loomis win?”

Of course, the simplest answer is he won because he got the second most number of votes among the half dozen GOP hopefuls vying for two nominations to the Board of Commissioners. Bear in mind my friends that over the years, statistics have shown that incumbent candidates for office generally have a 16-to-20 percent edge over their opponents before the polls open on Election Day.

In addition, one of the main reasons why people vote in county and municipal elections is because, by habit in this county, elections are more like popularity contests. A longtime, widely known name is more apt to put a candidate in office than a list of qualifications as long as your arm. And it goes without saying that one of the most successful and respected names in sections of the county that count the most, is Loomis. The family operated a highly successful business in the Montrose area for many years.

On the other hand, one of the main reasons why people do not vote is apathy. Many voters take the position that, no matter who wins, they still have to go to work in the morning and they still have to pay taxes. In last Tuesday’s election, only 31.2 percent of the registered voters in the county bothered going to vote.

The fact that Bridgewater Township, where Loomis lives, is one of the Republican strongholds in the county doesn't hurt either. There are 1,182 registered Republicans in the township. That’s tops among the 40 municipalities in the county and more Republicans than the combined total of Oakland Borough, Oakland Township, Lanesboro Borough, Susquehanna Depot, Thompson Borough and Thompson Township.

At the moment, it appears we could be in for a long, hot summer and it will not only be the temperature that could rise. It’s been a lot of years since I covered a political campaign that featured a good, old-fashion, knock-down, drag out fight. The 2007 General Election campaign in Susquehanna County just might produce one.

Memorial Day 2007!

Memorial Day is a day parents and loved ones across the nation set aside to remember those who died serving our country. This year, it will be observed on Monday, May 28 even though the actual Memorial Day is May 30.

I know I am probably in the minority on this one, but I have a problem with changing important historic dates. I understand that they are changed to boost our economy, for example, annual Memorial Day Sales. I also realize that by stretching a weekend an extra day, a lot of folks can visit parents or grandparents and witness the Memorial Day ceremonies in the old home town.

But sometimes it just seems like we are not satisfied unless we are making changes that compromise the purpose of a day and turn it into a shopping extravaganza.

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

Several months ago, I read a student editorial in a local school newspaper addressing the military draft system, and the suggestion by Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY) that the draft should be reinstituted. The student contended that the concept of a draft “violates American values,” and the student asserted that “a draft is at its core involuntary servitude.” The student argued that “by forcing someone to join the military, the country would be violating the very principles on which it was founded.” In conclusion, the student urged our leaders “make decisions that will uphold the values our country is built upon: justice, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness,” and that the draft would violate all of those values.

Over the last several months, I found myself contemplating the student editorial and its implications to the collective consciousness of our younger generations. The assertion that the draft constitutes “involuntary servitude” was particularly disturbing in that “involuntary servitude” is the term used in the 13th Amendment for the abolition of slavery. The same “slavery” argument against the draft was raised in a 1918 before the United States Supreme Court. The Supreme Court simply opined that it could not “conceive” any theory by which a draft constituted involuntary servitude, and noted that a draft was simply “the exaction by government from the citizen of the performance of his supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation.” In other words, the rights to liberty, justice, freedom and the pursuit of happiness are not free – and there are occasions when defense of these freedoms requires tremendous sacrifice.

America has grieved for her fallen sons and daughters who answered the call to service in the defense of our values and freedoms. Depending upon the source, the statistics can differ substantially on the number of military men and women who have died in service to their country. Over one million military personnel have been killed during wartime in service to their country both on and off the battlefield. The wartime fatalities have been staggering: World War I saw over 110,000 deaths, World War II saw over 400,000 deaths, the Korean War saw over 50,000 deaths, Vietnam saw over 90,000 deaths, and over 3,000 deaths in the current War on Terror. Some of these fallen patriots volunteered for service, others were drafted into the service of their country. Each paid the ultimate price so that we could live in a country blessed with liberty and freedom. Each one served the “supreme and noble duty of contributing to the defense of the rights and honor of the nation.”

How does this relate to the student editorial? First, we are blessed in this Nation to be protected by an all-volunteer military. Many of those volunteers are roughly the same age as the student writer – and it would have been refreshing to read an editorial extolling the sacrifice of young men and women across this Nation who have willingly given themselves to the cause of defending our values and freedoms so that there is no need for a draft system. It is interesting that the same society that produces the student writer who condemns a draft system as “involuntary servitude,” also has the incredible capacity to create and maintain a volunteer military to defend itself.

Second, I found myself considering my maternal grandfather, who voluntarily entered the Army when the United States entered World War II. When he volunteered, he was around the same age as the student writer, yet he still willingly set aside his personal goals and aspirations to serve his country. He was one of the lucky ones – he came back wounded but alive. I still recall the scarred bullet holes that ran across his back that I would see whenever we went swimming – the remains of the wounds he received while fighting against Germany in the European theatre. I did not even know that he received the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star medals for his service until I saw them resting upon his coffin at his funeral. Tom Brokaw has termed my grandfather’s generation as the “greatest generation” for their attitudes, sacrifice and service. Brokaw’s title was earned by their blood and sacrifice, but it should also make each of us question our own generation and how we measure up to the standards set by our forefathers.

On this Memorial Day, I hope you can take the time to go to one of the many memorial services throughout the county and reflect upon the sacrifices of our children, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, grandparents, and even the strangers who simply went off to protect us without even knowing our name. Some volunteered, and some were drafted – but they shed their blood so that we could live free and secure. We are called upon as a nation to remember them once a year – a paltry repayment for their sacrifice, but an important one nonetheless.

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. My doctor says it’s time for a colonoscopy. Please tell me I shouldn’t worry about this exam.

You definitely shouldn’t worry. I’ve had the three major tests for colon cancer: sigmoidoscopy (very uncomfortable), the barium enema (a nightmare) and the colonoscopy.

I was given anesthesia for the colonoscopy and all I recall is getting on the examining table, feeling like I had a cocktail, and waking up in recovery as rested as if I had a late-afternoon nap on the beach.

The colon, or large bowel, is about a five-foot tube that connects the small intestine to the rectum. It removes water and nutrients from digested food.

The colonoscopy is the gold-standard procedure for colon-cancer detection. The colonoscope is a slender, flexible, lighted tube with a video camera at its tip. The examining physician inserts the tube into the rectum. The scope inflates the colon to provide a better view. The camera sends pictures of the inside of the colon to a TV monitor. The exam takes 15 to 30 minutes.

During the procedure, a doctor can remove most abnormal growths such as polyps with tiny tools passed through the scope. Most polyps are benign, but some can turn into cancer. By getting the polyps early, a colonoscopy can avoid a major operation.

Patients are given pain medication and a moderate sedative. Discuss sedation with your doctor in advance. People I know who’ve had the procedure have experienced different degrees of alertness, recall and discomfort.

After the exam, you might feel some cramping or gas, but it should stop within an hour. By the next day, you should feel normal. You’ll probably need someone to take you home because it takes a while for the sedative to wear off.

If no abnormalities are found, you’ll probably be told to come back for another exam in three to five years. If there are abnormalities, you may have to return more often.

Now for the bad news. The preparation for a colonoscopy is awful.

Preparations vary. You take either pills or liquids to purge the colon completely. You may need an enema. You will spend a lot of time on the throne.

My doctor prescribed the liquids; they taste awful and you have to drink a lot of them. Next time, I plan to ask if I can take the pills.

During the 24 hours before the exam, you have to drink only clear, nonalcoholic liquids. You can eat only soft foods such as Jell-O. And nothing can be red because it could be confused with blood.

Your diet may permit liquids up to two to four hours before the exam. My doctor required total abstinence on exam day.

There are other colon exams available. These include CT colonography (“virtual colonoscopy”), sigmoidoscopy and barium enema.

CT colonography uses computed tomography (“CAT”) scanning, a minimally invasive procedure. CT colonography is an alternative for patients who are at risk of complications from colonoscopy such as patients who are frail. If a virtual colonoscopy finds significant polyps, they have to be removed by conventional colonoscopy.

Like a colonoscope, a two-foot sigmoidoscope is a slender, flexible, lighted tube with a tiny video camera linked to a monitor. In a sigmoidoscopy, the doctor inspects only the lower parts of the colon.

A barium enema, or lower gastrointestinal (GI) examination, is an X-ray procedure. To make the intestine visible on an X-ray image, the colon is filled with a contrast material containing barium, a silver-white metal.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

Last Wednesday was the National Honor Society dinner at Susquehanna Community High School. Meghan Gilleran, Aaron Soden, Craig Soden, Perri Weldy, Kaitlin Flor, Tara Flor, and I received awards. Keep up the great work!

I want to wish Craig Soden a belated birthday. He celebrated his 18th birthday on May 2. Also, I want to apologize for not mentioning him for receiving a place on the Honor Roll last quarter.

My sister, Cindy Williams, celebrated her 17th birthday on the 5th of May. Happy birthday, Cindy!

Saturday May 19, I am holding a Starrucca Clean-Up and I desperately need volunteers! It will run from 10:00 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m. with refreshments afterward! Please, if anyone is interested please call me at (570) 727-2301.

A group of volunteers are currently working on the Starrucca Community Hall. The floor was damaged in the last flood and they are paying for it out of their own pockets! Unfortunately, there are a select few who refuse to offer their time to help out the community and it is a shame.


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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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