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Issue Home August 8, 2007 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
Veterans’ Corner

100 Years Ago

DEATH OF EMILY C. BLACKMAN, Author of the History of Susquehanna County, PA. The remains of Miss Emily C. Blackman, who died at Jacksonville, Fla., reached Montrose, via the Lehigh Valley Railroad, on Monday. The casket was taken immediately to “Ingleside” her late home on Church Street in Montrose. Her pastor and a large assembly of friends conducted a brief but very impressive service. Miss Blackman was the last of her father’s family. A cousin, Miss Eva Root, from Cooperstown, NY, was the only relative present. Harlan Page Blackman, her adopted brother, could not be reached. Miss Blackman was born in Gilbertsville, Otsego co., NY, July 15, 1826 and moved to Montrose in 1836. Her early education was principally obtained at the Montrose Academy. At the age of 15 she commenced teaching as an assistant in the academy, while still attending classes. After she left the Academy she was preceptress at Towanda, also teaching three years in Chester, Pa. She taught in the schools of Wisconsin and Illinois and the Freedman’s school in Mississippi from 1866 to 1868. During all these years she had been a student of languages and music, becoming an accomplished music teacher. She was of a literary turn of mind and her greatest work is her History of Susquehanna County, upon which she spent four years of conscientious, painstaking labor. No one, but a historian, can appreciate the labor required in searching through countless old dust-covered records, newspaper files and diaries to ascertain a date, a name of a fact, which requires only a short sentence to express when found, and the interviewing of the oldest inhabitants and the comparing of conflicting statements. Miss Blackman was active in the Home and Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church, the Soldiers’ Aid Society and Sanitary Commission during the war, and Freedman’s Aid and the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union. She was a charter member and helped establish the Susquehanna County Historical Society. [Reprints of Miss Blackman’s History of Susquehanna County, PA are available at the Historical Society.]

GREAT BEND: In view of the fact that the Erie has decided to house nonunion men here, the striking machinists’ union, of Susquehanna, will send 25 men here for picket duty.

THOMPSON: Everett Ely, who met with a serious mishap last week, while whitewashing stables for the Bordens, is improving and bids fair to regain his eyesight. AND: Leslie & Mabel Kenyon are wearing smiling faces. Wonder why? They have a Larkin lawn swing.

ARARAT: We are glad to report an improvement in the condition of Fred Brooks, who is suffering from Cardiac Dropsy. Dr. M. L. Miller, of Susquehanna, is treating him.

FOREST CITY: In response to an alarm of fire, Enterprise Hose Co. turned out Saturday evening to do service for the first in over a year. Mischievous boys had set fire to a pile of refuse alongside of John Maxey’s barn, on Delaware street, and the dry combustible stuff was soon in a high blaze. A few buckets of water quenched the flames before the firemen reached the scene.

SPRINGVILLE: John Titman has purchased a new Keystone hay-loader, which works to a good advantage on his large smooth fields. It being the only one in the neighborhood, it is quite a curiosity to some of the people.

MONTROSE: On Tuesday night between 9 and 10, the residents of Lake Avenue were startled by pistol shots and it quickly became known that Fred Reynolds had shot Miss Alice Howard, daughter of B. M. Howard. Reynolds had worked and boarded with Mr. Howard most of the time for several years, and was not supposed to be vicious, though addicted to drink. Samuel Howard, of Scranton, a nephew of B. M. Howard, was visiting for several weeks and Reynolds seemed not to have been pleased with this and on Sunday he left, coming back on Tuesday and asked for a revolver he had left there. Miss Howard, fearing trouble, refused to let him have it and Fred went away, saying he would get another one and said something about shooting. When evening came Fred was up near the Howard home, apparently watching the house, while Sam Howard and Miss Alice were out for a walk. Finally, after the rest of the family appeared to be abed, he went and sat on the Howard porch. When Sam and Alice returned Fred quickly drew a pistol and shot, and Miss Alice screamed, having been hit between the ankle and knee. He fired two more shots, neither which took effect, and then crossed the street and up into the woods towards the fair grounds. Later he was seen near the Country Club house and it is supposed he went down the Snake creek. [Reynolds went down Snake creek as far as Small’s hotel, then came back and stopped at the Munger farm, then crossed over the hills eastwardly and passed to the east of Montrose and down into South Bridgewater, his native locality, to Richard Reynold’s where he was arrested last night.]

CRYSTAL LAKE: Dr. Chas. Decker was called this morning to attend Emmet Kirby, the wealthy owner of the Kirby stores in many cities, and who was summering at the lake. He suffered an attack of paralysis.

NEW MILFORD: Jesse M. Vales has been appointed a member of the capitol police force at Harrisburg and assumed his new duties August 1. Jesse will make a good-looking policeman and he will not run till he has to.

CAMP SUSQUEHANNOCK: The Camp Susquehannock boys were defeated by the Athletics for the third time out of four games Monday, the score being 2-1. The Camp boys find the “bunch of farmers” as they call them, a swift aggregation of twisters. Come again.

JEFFERSON JUNCTION, Harmony Twp.: One of the worst freight wrecks that the Erie Railroad Company has ever experienced occurred early Sunday morning here, when 42 loaded coal cars were piled in a heap. The Junction is not far from Lanesboro, and is the point where the Erie and the D L & W join, using the same tracks from there to Carbondale. The wreck was due to the air brakes refusing to work and when the train, going at terrific speed, arrived at the curve at the Junction, it seemed to leap into the air and then settle into a heap. The head brakeman was slightly injured.

FOREST LAKE: The fifth annual reunion of the descendants of Canfield Stone was held at Forest Lake on July 27. One hundred and ten were present. This is the smallest number in attendance in years, due to rush in the haying among the farmers.

HARFORD: Warner Wilmarth’s old family horse, Kit, fell dead in the harness some day last week, while hauling a load of hay from the field.

NEWS BRIEF: Notwithstanding this to be a day of automobiles and more coming constantly into use, yet it will be a long time, if ever, before they supersede the horse. Some very handsome machines can be seen daily speeding over the streets of the town, and they may attract attention for their fine construction, ornamental brass work or noiselessness in running, but the true horseman will never fail to appreciate the fine points of a good horse.

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

On July 27, 2004 around 7:00 p.m., James McCoy entered the Old Country Buffet Restaurant in Philadelphia. Given that it was dinnertime, the restaurant was filled with approximately 250 patrons. McCoy had become ill after dining at the restaurant earlier in the day, and he associated his illness with the food he consumed at the restaurant. McCoy sought out the manager of the restaurant to make his complaint. The manager asked McCoy some questions to verify his claims, including asking for a description of what he ate and whether he had his receipt. As they were discussing the matter, McCoy and the manager made their way to the business office, and the manager had to take care of some other business for another group of customers. The manager requested McCoy to take a seat and wait for him while he attended to the immediate business. McCoy complied for a brief time, and then entered the business office without permission and removed a handgun from his pocket. This resulted in the predictable response of the manager fleeing his office into the kitchen area to get away from the gun-wielding, sick, angry customer. McCoy started to follow the manager, apparently did not have the energy to continue, and then fired five shots in the general direction of the kitchen area where the manager had sought refuge. Apparently satisfied that he had delivered his message, McCoy left the restaurant.

McCoy was arrested for a litany of felony firearm offenses, such as Carrying a Firearm without a License; Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, and Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied Structure. After a judge trial, McCoy was convicted on all counts and sentenced to a period of incarceration of 6 years to 15 years. McCoy appealed his conviction for the Discharge of a Firearm into an Occupied Structure, contending that he did not shoot into the occupied structure because he was already inside the occupied structure. Rather ingeniously, McCoy contended that he could not be guilty of discharging a firearm into the structure because he did not shoot into the structure; rather he shot within the structure.

The statute in question makes it unlawful for any person to “knowingly, intentionally or recklessly discharge a firearm from any location into an occupied structure.” McCoy contended that the statute unambiguously made it unlawful to shoot into an occupied structure from any location outside the structure. McCoy argued that any other interpretation would be inconsistent with the statutory language and the use of the preposition “into” by the Legislature.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court rejected McCoy’s argument and sustained his conviction. After reviewing the statute, the Court determined that the language “from any location” clearly included both the inside and the outside of the residence, i.e., any location, and that McCoy did discharge a firearm into an occupied structure when he shot his handgun inside the restaurant.

This case is a terrific example of how detailed and careful the Legislature must be when drafting criminal statutes. To some degree, they must predict future conduct intended to be criminalized by the statute and provide language that clearly prohibits the offensive conduct. Many citizens do not appreciate the difficulty and expertise involved in the creation of legislation, but this case demonstrates how a simple preposition can be used to fashion an argument to avoid criminal liability. If the legislature had failed to include the language “from any location,” McCoy would have prevailed through clever reliance upon a simple preposition.

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. Over the years, I’ve been buying larger shoes. Could it be that my feet are getting bigger, or is it that I’ve gradually begun to prefer shoes with more room in them?

Feet do get bigger over decades of pounding. Some people over the age of 40 can gain half a shoe size every 10 years. I know my feet are larger than they used to be. When I was in my twenties, I wore a 10 1/2 shoe; in my sixties, I’m wearing a size 12.

The foot is a complicated machine. It contains 26 bones, 33 joints, and more than 100 tendons, muscles, and ligaments.

Feet flatten out because the supporting tendons and ligaments lose their elasticity. As the tendon along the length of the sole elongates, the arch lowers. This condition contributes to bunions, which are inflamed swellings of the small fluid-filled sacs on the first joints of the big toes.

Another reason feet enlarge is that the force of your weight thins the fat pads cushioning the bottom of the feet. The loss of padding can cause corns and calluses, which are protective layers of compacted, dead skin cells. Thinner pads also lead to soreness.

Not all older people notice that their feet have been getting bigger. A recent study of senior patients at a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital found that three quarters of them were wearing shoes that were too small.

Properly fitted shoes are important to the health of your feet. The following are some pointers to remember when buying shoes:

The uppers on shoes should be made of a soft material that can match the shape of your foot.

Leather shoes reduce the possibility of skin irritations.

If you buy new shoes with leather soles, rough up the surfaces before walking, especially on carpet.

Consider thick soles to cushion your feet if you have to walk on hard pavement. This is an important consideration if you are visiting countries such as Italy, which has many cobblestone streets.

Opt for low heels. They are more comfortable and safer.

The best time to measure your feet is at the end of the day when your feet are largest.

Most of us have one foot that is larger than the other, so fit your shoe to your larger foot.

Don't select shoes by the size marked inside the shoe but by how the shoe fits your foot.

When fitting shoes, make sure there is about a half-inch extra space for your longest toe when you are standing.

Make sure the ball of your foot fits comfortably into the widest part of the shoe.

Your heel should fit comfortably in the shoe with a minimum amount of slipping. The shoes should not ride up and down on your heel when you walk.

Walk in the shoes to make sure they fit and feel right. Then take them home and spend some time walking on carpet to make sure the fit is a good one.

If you have a question, please write to

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Straight From Starrucca
By Danielle Williams

No Straight From Starrucca This Week

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Veterans’ Corner

This is the first of two columns devoted to the Miner family, which has a history rich in military tradition.

William H. Miner

William H. Miner, enlisted in the National Guard August 16, 1932 to August 15, 1935. He was attached to the Battery B Field Artillery 109th in Tobyhanna, PA.

The father of Spc. 4 William s. Miner, Sr. (U.S. Army).

The grandfather of Spc. 4 William S. Miner, Jr. (U.S. Army).

The father of Spc. 5 John D. Miner (U.S. Army).

The father of Cpl. Edward H. Miner (U.S. Marine).

The grandfather of Spc. 4 Edward D. Miner (U.S. Army).

The grandfather of Lt. Cpl. Patrick D. Miner (U.S. Army).

The father-in-law of Cpl. Raymond A. Riker (U.S. Army).

The grandfather of Chief Master Sgt. Raymond R. Riker (U.S. Air Force).

The great-grandfather of Airman Raymond M. Riker (U.S. Air Force).

Cpl. Raymond A. Riker

Cpl. Raymond A. Riker was inducted into active military service on April 30, 1953, at the age of 20.

Honorably released from active military service on April 29, 1955.

Rank at time of separation: Corporal.

Specialty: Personnel Administrative Supervisor.

Place of separation: Fort Lee, Virginia.

National Defense Service Medal

Good Conduct Medal

Spc. 4 William S. Miner, Sr.

Spc. 4 William S. Miner, Sr. was a graduate of Tunkhannock High School, Class of 1953.

Enlisted in the U.S. Army from March, 1958 to January, 1961.

Completed Basic Training at Fort Dix, New Jersey.

Completed eight weeks Radio Relay Commutations training at the U.S. Army Southeastern Signal School at Fort Gordon, Georgia.

Was stationed at Fort Hood, Texas, with the 53rd Combat Signal Battalion.

Was stationed in Hawaii for two years with the 125th Signal Battalion 25th Infantry Division attached to the Wolf Hounds.

Received the Good Conduct Medal.

William is the son of Elizabeth and the late William H. Miner of Tunkhannock.

Cpl. (E-3) Edward H. Miner

Cpl. (E-3) Edward H. Miner graduated Tunkhannock High School in June, 1956.

He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps on March 28, 1957.

After boot camp, was assigned to the B Company 2nd Anti-Tank Battalion, 2nd Division Camp Lejeune, N.C. He was involved in two different training exercises in Vegus, Puerto Rico, each consisting of six weeks. In 1958 he was assigned to go on a Mediterranean Cruise; this was normally a three-month assignment, but President Chamoun of Lebanon requested from President Eisenhower some urgent help because Syria was trying to influence the government. They were in Lebanon from July 15 to August 15. The total time of this assignment was six months.

In 1959, he graduated from N.C.O. leadership school.

In 1958, he received the Good Conduct Medal, first award.

In 1959, he received the Good Conduct Medal, second award.

He received the Proficiency Tech Award from September, 1959 to March, 1960.

Received an Honorable Discharge in March, 1960.

Cpl. Miner is the son of William and Elizabeth Miner, Tunkhannock.


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