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Issue Home June 20, 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

UPSONVILLE: A very enjoyable social surprise was tendered E. J. Lindsey on Thursday last, it being his 74th birthday. Soldiers and friends from Montrose, Heart Lake, New Milford, and Hallstead were present. It was a genuine surprise, also a double surprise, for they left a token in remembrance of the day with Comrade Lindsey [Corp. Co. B, 143d PA Volunteers]. He wishes to express his thanks to all who joined in this festive occasion.

MONTROSE: Over 11,000 pounds of butter were shipped from the Lehigh Valley station here on Tuesday and 12,030 pounds from Springville the same day.

SUSQUEHANNA: Susquehanna and Nicholson citizens are enthused over a proposed electric line to connect the two towns. South Gibson, which is on the projected route, has also roused up much enthusiasm, and the construction of the road was warmly advocated at a mass meeting the first of the week. AND: An appropriation bill was introduced by Hon. E. E. Jones [Harford], in the House of Representatives, giving the Simon H. Barnes Hospital $5000. Too much praise cannot be given the public officials, as well as to the local citizens of influence in that borough, in which Rev. P. F. Brodrick deserves special mention.

FOREST CITY: Many Forest City people have been in Montrose this week, interested in the suit instituted by that borough against James Fuller. Mr. Fuller, it is alleged, is erecting a wooden structure within a section of the town which is contrary to an ordinance prohibiting such a procedure, as it is within the fire limits and endangers the buildings of abutting property owners. Another objection is that the material being used in its construction is wood from a breaker torn down some years ago and is permeated with oil and coal dust, making it highly combustible. Judge Searle has rendered no decision as yet, and it may be he will refuse to, considering that the council has the power to decide the matter.

HEART LAKE: While disappointment is manifested following the announcement that the I.O.O.F. Band had decided to celebrate at Heart Lake instead of Montrose, on the 4th of July, the change is a good one, nevertheless, and affords a splendid opportunity for a day’s outing at this very pleasurable summer resort. Excursion rates will be secured, and presumably a special night train will run. The attractions will be band selections, boating, merry-go-round, dancing, games, ball game, etc., etc. Go and spend your morning with the band boys. You must turn out with the crowd at Heart Lake and join in with “the blare of the trumpet and drum” in making the eagle scream with enthusiasm.

NEW MILFORD: On Friday afternoon John Meehan, an aged and respected resident of New Milford, met with a painful accident while going to Hallstead on business. He was a passenger on train No. 45, one of the milk trains going west, and in his excitement did not get off the train at the station but was carried by to the lower crossing at Church Street. The train had gathered considerable headway after it got in motion, and when Mr. Meehan went to alight he was thrown to the ground with such force that his leg was broken and he was otherwise badly shaken up.

HARFORD: The entertainment given at Odd Fellows’ hall on Monday evening, by “Comical Tom,” was not very well attended.

BROOKLYN: We are glad to welcome our young friends from the various schools, which they have been attending. Some have come with the satisfaction of having finished their course. Among these are Josie and Luella Gere, of Mansfield; and the following are expected home soon: Leon Stephens, Clare Whitman and Levi Stephens of Pennsylvania State College; Fannie Spencer and Charles Savige, of Wyoming Seminary; Florence Packard, of Mansfield.

SOUTH GIBSON: The Aid Society met at William Decker’s last Wednesday and 83 persons sat down to a chicken dinner, with cake, pie, puddings, ice cream and Bananas. Visitors were present from Gibson, Clifford and Welsh Hill.

HALLSTEAD: For the past year the Mitchell House has been far too small to accommodate the great number of travelers and vacationists who have sought accommodations at this popular hostelry. In order to accommodate better the traveling public Mr. Clune is building a large extension to the hotel, which will be three stories high and contain 25 additional rooms for guests. When finished Mr. Clune expects to have one of the largest and most modern hostelries outside of the largest summer resorts and big cities.

ARARAT: C. V. Roberts met with a serious accident one evening while crossing the track near the station. He was struck by an Erie pusher and badly cut about his face besides internal injuries. He was unconscious when found.

GLENWOOD: A band of Gypsies went through this place a few days ago, taking money from those that were foolish enough to show they had the long green. It was done in such a manner that it was not missed until too late to get it back. O foolish mortals!

NEWS BRIEF: The year 1816 is often referred to as the cold year. As the “oldest inhabitants” cannot remember that year we have to depend upon history for the fact. We quote from a reliable source the following which may be of interest at present: January and February had been mild; March was not cold and vegetation had gotten well started when about the middle of April winter seemed to set in in earnest. Snow and sleet fell for 17 different days in May. In June there was either snow or frost every night. During the month the snow was 5 inches deep for several days in succession in the interior of New York State, and from 10 inches to 3 feet deep in Vermont and Maine. July was cold and frosty; ice formed as thick as a pain of window glass in every one of the New England States. August was still worse. Ice formed nearly an inch thick and killed nearly everything in the United States. In the spring of 1817, corn, which had been kept over from the crop of 1815, sold for from $5 to $10 a bushel, the buyers purchasing for seed. There was little or no corn matured in 1816.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Or do we turn the other cheek?

Now that the primary election is history and we have a voter registrar who appears to be settling in for the long haul, should we forget about the recent fiasco that cost the county unexpected thousands? What the heck, the election is over and the new registrar has a few months to learn his job before another election pops up.

My friends, I am sure there are some people that are prepared to buy that thinking. Let us just let bygones be bygones and move on. That lackadaisical approach to resolving issues is almost accepted as standard operational procedure (SOP) in our county.

Sending county employees off to seminars has also become accepted practice. It’s like sending them on a paid vacation for a period of time. When I was mayor in Forest City back in the 1980’s, I went to a Pennsylvania State Association of Boroughs conference. A couple of others from Forest City, who shall remain nameless, also attended the same conference. At every classroom I attended, I looked for them and never saw either of them. Then I saw them eating dinner so I asked if I could join them and they were cordial.

As the dinner proceeded, I found myself totally unable to participate in the conversation. I guess it was because, while I was attending classes all day, they were golfing. So they were re-living the day’s round and, since I was not there, I could only laugh at their occasional joking about missed putts and lost golf balls.

The point is, do we put the cart before the horse when we hire what appears to be capable employees? Take a glance at the number of 911 dispatchers that have come and gone in recent years. Some of them don’t even make it through their probationary periods and they are gone. Last week, for the umpteenth time, a dispatcher was terminated because she never showed up for work after accepting the job. And the Comm. Center isn't the only place where this happens. The big fear here is that one of these days, a new employee is going to pull off a real faux pas and cause some injuries or property damage.

The solution? Wouldn't it be safer if, for example, a prospective 911 dispatcher was to sit through a shift before being hired and observed an experienced dispatcher on the job. The prospective employee would get some first hand knowledge of what will be expected from him/her before he/she is hired. That way if the job appears to be too difficult or nerve racking the prospective employee can simply say, “thanks but no thanks” and the search for a needed dispatcher can go on.

One of the many clichés that comes to mind at times like this is, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Better to give a job applicant a taste of what they can expect before they are hired rather than process his/her employment application only to have hired a no-show.

Do we need 40?

Do you know that we have 40 municipalities in Susquehanna County and more than half of them have populations under 1,000? Are you aware that we have eight municipalities with populations under 500 and one borough, Friendsville, with less than 100 residents?

The largest populated township in Susquehanna County is Bridgewater with 2,668 residents. Clifford is the only other municipality in the county with more than 2,000 inhabitants.

So what’s the point? Quite simply, that it may be time to start thinking seriously about merging some of these lightly populated communities. Certainly it is at least worth a peek to see if consolidating some of them would result in a noticeable increase in state aid.

I know, I know! I can expect phone calls and letters because for some reason or other, merge and consolidate are fighting words in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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

Since 1987, Wyatt Ingram has raised white tail deer commercially on his property in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. Ingram has a special permit from the Game Commission that permits him to breed and raise the deer in an acre pen, surrounded by a 10-12 foot high fence. Unfortunately, neighborhood dogs enjoyed tormenting the caged deer, which caused the deer to become panicked, to the point that they would ram and thrash into the fencing. As a result of such behavior, the deer could injure themselves and become worthless for commercial sale.

On June 24, 2005, two neighboring dogs, a Saint Bernard named “Cujo” and a pit bull mix named “Mommy,” began running outside the fence, harassing the deer and putting them into a frenzied state. When Ingram discovered the problem, he grabbed his 12-gauge shotgun, filled it with buckshot, and went out to defend his deer. Ingram shot and killed Cujo, and shot and wounded Mommy. Ingram did not tell anyone that he had shot the dogs; he dumped Cujo’s body out behind his house, and later lied to the police when they came to investigate. After Cujo’s body was found, the police again questioned Ingram, and he again lied and indicated that he had no knowledge of the incident. After apparently struggling with his conscience, Ingram finally called the police and admitted to shooting the dogs and explained the circumstances.

Ingram was then arrested for two counts of cruelty to animals for shooting the dogs. The Cruelty to Animals statute makes it unlawful to intentionally kill any domestic animal. A violation of the statute is a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable by up to two years incarceration and a $5,000 fine. After a bench trial, Ingram was convicted and sentenced to three days to 12 months incarceration, followed by 12 months probation, and 500 hours of community service. Ingram appealed his conviction.

Ingram contended that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction, as he had a viable defense to the shooting. Under the statute, it is a defense if a domestic animal is shot to defend another domestic animal from destruction. In other words, if you find your neighbor’s dog mauling and killing your dog, you are permitted to kill the neighbor’s dog to protect your dog’s life. Ingram contended that he was defending his deer, and as such, he was justified under the statute in shooting Cujo and Mommy.

In reviewing the statute, the Superior Court noted that the justification defense applied to the protection of a domestic animal, which the statute defines as “(1) any dog or cat; (2) equine animals; (3) bovine animals; (4) sheep; (5) goats; and (6) any porcine animal.” The court noted that white tail deer do not fall within any of the categories defined as domestic animals under the statute. Although the deer were fenced and raised by Ingram, they were not domestic animals under the statute, and he did not have a justification defense that allowed him to use deadly force against another domestic animal to protect them.

Even if the deer were considered domestic animals, there was no proof that the dogs were destroying the deer. Ingram argued that the deer were being destroyed because when they injured themselves, the deer became commercially worthless. The Court simply noted that destroy generally means to kill or slay, not to render commercially worthless. The dogs were clearly harassing them, but not destroying them.

Ingram then argued that he was permitted to kill the dogs under the Game Law, which permits a dog to be destroyed where the dog is found in close pursuit of a big game animal so as to endanger the big game animal. The Court also rejected this argument, noting that there was no pursuit in this case because there was a fence between the dogs and the deer, and, likewise, there was no danger of the dog attacking the deer because the fence protected them from the dogs. Ingram’s appeal failed and he will now be a guest of his local county jail for a short period of time.

Over the years, we have prosecuted several cases involving persons shooting a neighbor’s dog, usually under similar circumstances to those faced by Ingram, i.e., where the offending dog has wandered onto the defendant’s property and is harassing other animals. The use of deadly force against a domestic animal applies similar standards to the use of deadly force against another person. Harassing or annoying behavior is simply not a justification to kill your neighbor’s dog. There are other options available to shooting a dog – call your neighbor, call the dog warden, the humane society or the police, but don’t shoot the dog unless absolutely necessary to save the life of another animal or person.

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 seem to get diarrhea more often now than I used to when I was younger. Any ideas why?

Before I offer you some general information about diarrhea, I urge you to see a doctor for a diagnosis. As I tell everyone who writes to me, I’m a journalist, not a physician.

Diarrhea is caused by bacteria, viruses, parasites, certain foods, medicines and diseases. Diarrhea is a common malady that usually lasts a day or two and goes away without treatment.

Here’s a question for you. Ever notice how often diarrhea is mentioned as a side effect in the package inserts for medicines?

Seniors often get diarrhea from medicine. This is a complex subject.

The first issue is that seniors take a lot more medicine than younger people. The average older person takes more than four prescription drugs and two over-the-counter drugs daily. The high intake of medicine increases the odds that one or more of these medicines could give you diarrhea.

Older people have more health problems, and these add to the mix of potential causes of diarrhea. Older bodies process drugs slowly so that they tend to stay in our bodies longer. And some drugs work differently on older people.

Then there are the problems of drug-drug interactions and overdoses because we take so much medicine and retain it our systems.

Diarrhea can be much more than an inconvenience. Diarrhea causes dehydration, which can be lethal to older people. With the fluid you lose from diarrhea, you also lose salts that your body needs. Diarrhea can make a victim pass more than a quart of watery stools a day.

Dehydration symptoms include thirst, reduced urination, dark urine, dry skin, fatigue, dizziness, fainting.

You should see a doctor if your diarrhea lasts more than three days, or if you have dehydration symptoms, severe abdominal or rectal pain, a fever of 102°F or higher, or blood in your stools.

In many cases of diarrhea, the only treatment needed is replacing lost fluid and salts. Adults should consume broth, non-citrus fruit juices, flat ginger ale and ice pops.

As your condition improves, you can start eating bananas, plain rice, boiled potatoes, toast, crackers, cooked carrots. Smaller meals are recommended because they’re easier to digest.

When you have diarrhea, avoid dairy products, fat, high-fiber foods, sweets, spicy foods, carbonated beverages, chewing gum, caffeine, and any food or beverage that is hot.

It is common to get diarrhea when visiting a foreign country. It’s so common that the medical community has a name for it: traveler's diarrhea.

The following are some tips for avoiding diarrhea away from home.

Don’t... drink tap water; use ice cubes made from tap water; drink unpasteurized milk or dairy products made from it; eat raw fruits and vegetables; eat meat or fish unless it is well-cooked and served hot; eat food sold by street vendors.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

A late congratulation goes out to Josh Williams and Perri Weldy for graduating Susquehanna Community High School on June 9. Also, a late congratulations goes to Caitlin Piercy for graduating. Caitlin graduated from Cyber School, which is totally awesome! Way to go, guys!

Each student plans on attending college. Perri wants to go into Foreign Relations at Mary Baldwin College in Virginia! Caitlin wants to major in music and rock out on her French horn!

Gale Williams is engaged to Tom Reddon! Tom is a former Susquehanna resident who now lives in Bloomsburg, PA. I am glad to see my grandmother finally happy after the passing of my grandfather, Gary Williams.

I hope everyone is enjoying the beautiful weather! I know that I am! We finally opened our pool, and even though the water is still a little chilly, it is still really refreshing! Have a great summer!


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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans Corner This Week

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