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Issue Home July 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

ST. JOSEPH: Twenty Scrantonians expect to enjoy an outing at St. Joseph the latter part of the month. Years ago, before the college burned and when the sisters conducted an academy there, the beautiful vale of St. Joseph had many summer guests including church dignitaries and wealthy city people. Perhaps history will repeat itself in the coming years and bring people seeking rest and quiet, within the doors of the large- hearted country folk.

SUSQUEHANNA:A force of men are engaged in the erection of a steel suspension stack for the new Erie stationary boilers here. The stack, when completed, will be 150 ft. high, 14 ft. in diameter at the base, and taper up to the top to 4 ft. in diameter. It will take about six weeks to complete the job, which is a dangerous one for the employees.

LATHROP TWP.: William Walsh, who was recently convicted by Justice VanScoten as being implicated in the dynamiting of Card’s pond, by his attorneys J.M. Kelly and R. B. Little, appealed the case to Judge Searle, who after full argument granted an appeal, setting aside the sentence of the justice and sending the case to the next Court of Quarter Sessions to be tried by a jury, when Mr. Walsh’s attorneys are confident they can clear him of the charge.

MONTROSE: A five-piece orchestra discoursed a number of choice selections at the music store of A. L. Smith, on Church street, last Saturday evening. The orchestra was composed of the following--I. W. Oakley, violin; Harvey M. Birchard, cornet; H. A. Lyons, cello; Master Ralph Smith, clarinet and Mrs. Ella VanCampen, pianist. It gives pleasure to announce another concert, to be held at the same place next Wednesday eve.

HOPBOTTOM: The old creamery has been torn down and a new concrete building will be erected. The creamery is running a pasteurizer and doing business in the former creamery just below. It will be some time before the new building will be ready for business.

STANFORDVILLE: The picnic and fantastic parade held in L. E. Stanford’s grove at Stanfordville, July 4th, was largely attended and greatly enjoyed.

SPRINGVILLE: Ziba Lott was quite seriously injured by the premature explosion of a blast on the Fourth while at work in his stone quarry. He was drilling out an old hole that had failed to explode, when the drill set it off. He received the full force of the blast in his face, and it is feared the sight of one eye is destroyed. He was taken to a Wilkes-Barre hospital for treatment.

TRIPP LAKE: The members of “Camp Susquehannock,” made up of students who seek rural climes instead of city pleasures for their summer vacation, have pitched near Tripp Lake, under the supervision of G. C. Chafer. The party is composed of the following: “Bid” Llewellyn, C. C. Storrick, Grant Burns, Ray Watson, Percival Moses, Keeney Smith, Walter Schwartz, George Fullerton, Kenneth Burns, Lloyd Disbrow, Lawrence Murdock, Monte Maze, E. J. Dillon, Earnshaw Murdock and E. B. Parsons.

NEW MILFORD: What came very near being a fatal accident to three persons occurred at the D.L.&W. crossing Sunday night. A livery carriage driven by James Strange, containing W. S. Edgar and Mrs. H. I. Brown, of New York, was run into by a fast freight, killing both horses and demolishing the vehicle. Other than a broken bone in Mr. Stranage’s left ankle and a few slight cuts and bruises, the occupants escaped with their lives. The accident took place at the Phinney crossing, Mr. Edgar and Mrs. Brown being en route to the New Milford to board the midnight train to the metropolis. As they neared the tracks Mr. Strange, who was driving slowly, looked carefully up and down the line to see if all was clear. Everything appeared all right and he proceeded to drive across, when suddenly the fast freight loomed up out of the darkness as the horses were directly upon the tracks, striking them with terrific force and hurling the occupants many feet, while the carriage was literally smashed to pieces. Mr. Strange, a veteran of the Civil War has seen many dangers, but as he says, “I can’t get it out of my head, that flapping of the wreckage of the wagon against the car wheels as they whirled past, not knowing but that any moment I might be pulled under.” The crossing mentioned is a particularly dangerous one and improperly guarded. Residents nearby state that not infrequently the trains run through without giving a warning whistle or ringing of the bell.

KINGSLEY: The Kingsley Concert Band will hold an ice cream social on Friday evening of this week. The South Gibson Band will be in attendance and the person holding the lucky number will win the piano. Do not miss it.

LENOX: The school directors met last Saturday and engaged teachers for the coming term. The appointments generally give good satisfaction to the school patrons as well as the teachers. AND:In Lenoxville, Miss Madge Bennett, while returning from Carbondale Saturday, had the misfortune to have her knee badly injured. The horse became frightened at an auto, thus causing the accident.

ARARAT: The annual gathering of the Smith family was held in Jackson, the 6th, at the home of Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Conrad. There were present thirty of the children and grandchildren of Edward and Cynthia Smith, in three generations. All had a good time, but there was a feeling of sadness in the thought that Fred Brooks was too ill to attend with the rest.

FOREST CITY: A very exciting runaway occurred on July 4th. A horse being left on the street with a little boy in the wagon, the animal became frightened and ran about one-half mile. The little fellow clung in the seat and escaped without being injured.

CLIFFORD: The Fourth of July was dull in our town this year. Nothing more than an ice cream festival was celebrated. Some of our good people attended the Uniondale horse trot when Levi Patterson, of Carbondale, won about everything. More of them attended the ball games at Royal. Those who stayed at the Royal hotel party report a very enjoyable time. Music by Prof. Hays, of Scranton. The hall, with the spring floor, was filled and the chicken supper and refreshments were all that heart could wish.

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Along the Way...With P. Jay


Fine and Dandy!

If any of you questioned the motive behind Commissioner Roberta Kelly’s insistence that Gary Wilder was the man to fill the vacancy in the Voter Registration office, I have news for you.

Last week, Gary fined Roberta $380 for violating campaign finance reporting laws. Seems she, along with commissioners Jeff Loomis and Mary Ann Warren, filed their reports late. Roberta also failed to file a waiver of affidavit. Loomis and Warren were fined $130 and $40 respectively.

“I personally am not bothered by it,” Roberta told me, “because I assume he is doing research and it indicates he is following the letter of the law. I believe in allowing people to do their jobs. I have full confidence in him and always did.”

As I understand it, Gary did his homework and then consulted with Ray Davis, the county solicitor. I am told that after doing some of his own research, Davis also supported Gary’s action.

Others fined by Gary for late filings included George Starzec, a county auditor, $60; David Darrow, candidate for county commissioner, $40; and, James Lynch, candidate for district judge, whose case has been referred to the district attorney’s office.

Frankly, I was a bit confused by the action because I have always been lead to believe that a fine of any kind must be meted out by a county or district judge. I wondered what right a voter registrar had to fine someone. But when I checked with the Commonwealth, I learned that, unless it is criminal, an election violation on the county or local level can be disposed of by the Office of the Board of Elections.

Gary can also be credited with bringing another issue to the service and finding the correct answer. When a person cross files for an elective office does he/she have to pay two filing fees? The answer is no.

Go Joe X

Known and loved by his followers on Channel 16, weatherman Joe Snedeker will take to the road again on July 22 and expects to bicycle his way throughout 16’s coverage area while drumming up contributions for St. Joe’s Center in Scranton.

This time the financial donations will take on an even more powerful meaning as Joe attempts to conclude his 10th year by raising a total of $1 million dollars for St. Joe’s. And that, my friends would be an average of $100,000 a year. For this reason, it is being called the 10-Year Million Dollar Thank You Tour.

For the first time, Joe’s bike will take him to Montrose on July 26 where he will visit with friends and sponsors from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., then spend a night at the Montrose Bed and Breakfast before continuing on the way to his familiar spot in front of the TV camera for the annual St. Joe’s Telethon and Festival in Scranton. There is a community effort being put together in Montrose that includes signs, flags, banners and, hopefully, streets lined with friends and supporters of Joe’s efforts.

You can help Joe reach that million-dollar mark by making a donation to St. Joseph’s Center. You can make a flat donation or sponsor him by the mile.

Clifford Firemen’s Picnic

Clifford Township Firemen’s Picnic will begin on Thursday, July 26 and end on Saturday, July 28. It reflects a change from the traditional four-day picnic that had been held for years to a three-day event. The annual parade will take place on Thursday at 7 p.m. sharp. A gigantic fireworks display is scheduled for Friday, July 27 and a chicken barbecue will be featured on Saturday, July 28. And, of course, plenty of good food and live music nightly.

My friends, if you have never visited this affair, you have been missing one of the premier firemen’s picnics in this area. Mark it on your calendar.

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

Prosecutors are supposed to wear the white hat – they are the good guys who help put criminals in jail to make our communities safer. What happens when a prosecutor loses his way and uses prosecutorial power for personal gain? The entire nation watched it happen on our television sets as Mike Nifong, a prosecutor in North Carolina, pursued rape charges against several college students, which has become known as the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. It is difficult to even begin to recount with brevity the egregious conduct of Nifong in any detail – it included public statements to the media improperly aimed at condemning the accused students, the alleged suppression of certain exculpatory evidence, and the apparent use of the criminal justice system to pursue a prosecution to further his personal political aspirations in an election year. As a result of his egregious and unethical conduct, Nifong was stripped of his license to practice law and his position as district attorney. In the end, the system worked: it exonerated the accused students and it disciplined and removed the offending prosecutor.

But what is the fallout for all prosecutors arising from Nifong’s conduct? In the national media, some commentators are suggesting that Nifong’s conduct was not an aberration, but common prosecutorial conduct. These critics contend that many prosecutors act like Nifong in using their power for political advantage, and Nifong simply had the misfortune of getting caught. To the critics, the high conviction rates of 90% or better for most prosecutors demonstrates a dark side to the criminal justice system – that prosecutors routinely use threats and intimidation to strong arm innocent persons to plead guilty to offenses they did not commit. Nifong simply ran into defendants that could afford good defense attorneys who would stand up to his intimidating tactics. The critics ignore all of the constitutional protections and rights that are afforded defendants to prevent a wrongful conviction, and simply assume that prosecutors, like Nifong, use the criminal justice system in a manipulative manner to seek their own personal agenda.

As I have said repeatedly in this column, our criminal justice system is not a perfect system – but it is the best system devised to date. As a core component of that system, prosecutors are given broad powers to achieve the goals of justice. Prosecutors routinely are called upon to review cases to determine whether there is sufficient evidence to proceed with a prosecution. Where a prosecutor determines that the evidence is insufficient, this decision obviously results in disappointment, anger, and resentment from a victim and his or her family. Where a prosecutor approves criminal charges, this decision has a tremendous impact upon the life of the defendant and his or her family. Even after approving the criminal charges, the prosecutor is then ethically bound to seek justice and resolve the case in a just manner, which may mean a plea agreement or a trial. All of these decisions are subject to criticism and different prosecutors faced with similar facts may make different decisions.

In the end, the integrity of the criminal justice system depends upon public confidence in the prosecutor and his or her decision-making process. A prosecutor must earn the public’s confidence and respect. Like any relationship, this takes time, requires patience and honesty, and depends upon the content of the prosecutor’s character. In achieving justice, a good prosecutor will make decisions that are unpopular with his or her constituents, but, if the prosecutor provides a reasonable explanation for the decision, the public will understand. A prosecutor is also bound to make mistakes along the way, but, if the prosecutor has proven his or her integrity, the public will accept the mistakes and not suspect some darker motive.

Somewhere along the way, Mike Nifong lost his moral compass – he left the path of justice for a darker road. He became a persecutor instead of a prosecutor, perpetrating injustice rather than seeking justice. Despite the claims of the critics, he is not an example of a larger problem in the criminal justice system; rather, he is a powerful reminder to the 30,000 state and local prosecutors across this country that we must remain ever vigilant to our true purpose of seeking 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

Q. If you think you’re having a heart attack, should you take aspirin?

Heart attack is a subject too vast for one column. We’ll need three. This is the first installment.

A blood clot in a coronary artery narrowed by cholesterol and other substances is the usual cause of a heart attack. Aspirin keeps blood moving through constricted arteries. Therefore, paramedics may give aspirin when they respond to an emergency to treat a heart-attack victim.

Aspirin reduces mortality from heart attacks. But taking aspirin is a subject you should discuss with your doctor. Aspirin could hurt you if your symptoms are caused by a different health problem.

Doctors call a heart attack a “myocardial infarction.” Loosely translated, the term means heart-muscle death. The clogged artery prevents oxygenated blood from nourishing the heart. This can lead to pain, the death of heart cells, scar tissue and fatal arrhythmias.

About 1.1 million Americans have a heart attack every year. About 460,000 of those heart attacks are fatal. About half the fatalities happen within an hour after symptoms begin and before the victim gets to a hospital.

How do you know if you’re having a heart attack? Here are six common warning signs:

1. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes. It may pause for a while and then restart. The discomfort can be in the form of pain or pressure. Some experience a squeezing or feeling of fullness. 2. Pain in shoulders, arms, back, upper abdomen, neck and jaw. 3. Shortness of breath. 4. Cold sweat. 5. Nausea. 6. Lightheadedness. 7. Anxiety.

Angina pectoris is the medical term for chest pain or discomfort usually caused by coronary artery disease. Angina (pronounced “an-JI-nuh” or “AN-juh-nuh”) is not a heart attack. However, there’s a higher risk of a heart attack if you have angina.

It is often difficult to tell the difference between a heart attack and angina. If you get angina, you should get medical attention immediately. Exertion brings on angina. It’s usually relieved by resting or taking angina medicine.

A heart attack can happen anytime – during exertion or at rest. Some heart attacks are like the ones you see in films and on stage; they’re sudden and dramatic. However, most heart attacks build gradually over several hours. Many heart-attack victims have symptoms days or weeks in advance.

If you think you’re having a heart attack, call 9-1-1 immediately. There are drugs that break up clots and open arteries; they work best when given within the first hour after the onset of an attack.

If emergency medical services are not available, ask someone to drive you to the hospital. You shouldn’t drive yourself, unless you have no other choice.

While it may seem macabre, planning for a heart attack is intelligent. Having a basic plan in place could save time and a life. Map out your steps if an attack happened at home or at work. For example, decide who would care for any dependents. And discussing aspirin with your doctor in advance will give you a clear course of action if you have a heart attack.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams


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Veterans’ Corner

No Veterans Corner This Week

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