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Issue Home September 5, 2007 Site Home

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

100 Years Ago

NORTH BRIDGEWATER: While in North Bridgewater recently Fred Stockham of Brooklyn, N.Y., met with a thrilling experience in which his life might have been lost, but for the bravery displayed by his companion, Kenneth Crandall, in saving the young boy from a horrible death. They were on their return from a berry patch in the woods, and arriving at the big creek in the vale, decided to fish awhile in the inviting stream. About four o’clock their sport took an ill turn. The mammoth Guernsey bull belonging to Mr. Tyler, grazing in the midst of a herd of cattle, suddenly took exception to anyone fishing on the premises, and with a snort and bellow of warning, made a “center rush” in the direction of the young fishermen. No second warning was necessary, and with pails of berries and disheveled fishing tackle, the pursued ran for dear life for the nearest fence, which was some distance off. The bull made rapid progress and was furious, clawing and tearing the earth. On reaching the bars, it was too late to let them down, and they were made too close together to crawl between, so in order to save themselves the fence must be jumped. Kenneth did so, and Fred, for some reason, hesitated. The animal was only a few steps from the lad, and in a moment more would have gored him to death. Crandall quickly realizing his peril, again jumped the fence, grappled Fred and threw him over the other side, where he landed in a pail of berries, safe and sound. Just as Kenneth reached the boy to minister to him, the infuriated bull dashed into the fence, and was baffled in his purpose. The two young fishermen will never forget their danger, and Mr. Crandall received many congratulations for his daring act of heroism.

GREAT BEND: All the lumber for building the derrick at the proposed oil well near here has been delivered and work has commenced on the derrick, which will be 75 ft. high. Not only are there anticipations of striking oil and gas, but it is confidently believed that the locality is on a direct line with the coal deposits of Forest City and Carbondale.

UNIONDALE: A very important business deal has been arranged by which D. B. Gibson, of Montrose, will take over the wholesale meat business of Stephen Bronson, of Uniondale. Mr. Bronson has conducted the business for nearly 50 years, during which time he has built up a large business and established a reputation for integrity. We are pleased to say that he has amassed a comfortable competency during this active career and will, we understand, as soon as his business affairs are adjusted, go to California, where part of his family are now sojourning, for an extensive stay. Mr. Gibson will take up his residence here, but will continue his business in Montrose.

GIBSON: Mr. and Mrs. E. T. Senior started for Connecticut with team, expecting to be a week on the road.

AUBURN: School began Monday at Auburn Centre, Ernest Cobb, of Opposition will board at A. S. Mericles’ and carry the children from this place there. Lola Green began her school at Silvara. Ethel Green begins her school at Opposition where she taught last year, and Maude Mericle begins her school at Retta. We wish them great success.

FOREST CITY: Invitations have been issued for the marriage of Miss Mary Gertrude Miskell, the charming young daughter of Mr. and Mrs. James Miskell of Delaware St., and Michael Edward Troy, a young man of excellent character. Both are well known socially. The wedding will occur Sept. 25, at St. Agnes Church.

FLYNN, Middletown Twp.: Andrew Phalen is making big improvements, enlarging his cellar and bringing the water in the house.

CLIFFORD TWP.: Thos. E. Jones, an aged resident of this place, died Aug. 22, 1907, and was laid at rest in Welsh Hill cemetery the following Sunday. He was a widower, and was born in Wales 84 years ago.

NEW MILFORD: Robert Mitchell, son of Charles Mitchell, formerly of New Milford, is singing in opera at a Boston play house.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Miss Flora Bell, of Birchardville, is back in the Montrose Telephone Exchange, as day operator, and Miss Belle Dunlap is the new night operator.

RUSH: We correct the mistake in print last week. Mrs. Swan had her dwelling house and not her hen house painted.

SPRINGVILLE: Charley Barber has hung out his shingle and is doing shoemaker work.

HALLSTEAD: Edward Nichols was serenaded by a mysterious visitor who played his instrument beneath Mr. Nichols’ window on several occasions last week. Friday Mr. Nichols armed himself with a club and carefully searched his grounds for the intruder, which was found and proved to be a yellow rattler. Mr. Nichols quickly dispatched his snakeship, which measured 5 ft. and 4 inches.

BROOKLYN: The kid wagons are on the go again, and school has begun with much success.

MONTROSE/BROOKLYN, The Great Race continued…..They again put on the whip and reached the hotel in Brooklyn shortly after the Doctor, they having gone the distance a little over 7 miles, through the deep mud, in one hour and 5 minutes and the Doctor in two minutes less time. On their arrival, the Dr. came out of the hotel and started back, and they followed. They almost overtook him again near Col. Watrous’s but he kept the lead in splendid style, although they received occasional reports from residents along the route, that he was riding with his brother. Some of them enquired if the Dr. was crazy. The Dr. and his brother deny that he rode, and the former alleged that there was no violation of the terms in his holding on to the buggy. While Post and Hinds were coming down the hill by the “Dunn place” the Dr. was ascending the opposite hill, and they reached town about 20 minutes after he did. The case was referred to arbitrators, viz. W. K. Hatch, F. Fraser, and J. F. Dunmore, who met the next evening, but from the absence of material witnesses, or other causes, adjourned for the oysters, and continued the case till the following evening. After several similar adjournments and much difficulty with refractory witnesses, who could not find it convenient to attend the court, but were always on hand to help discuss the oysters, the case was finally decided in the Doctor’s favor, Fraser dissenting; and it is expected that hereafter the doctor will drive the sorrel in his rounds to visit his patients, except in cases of emergency, when he will go afoot.


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

During the course of a law enforcement investigation, Anthony Diodoro admitted that he viewed hundreds of photographs depicting child pornography on his personal computer. Diodoro also admitted that he specifically and intentionally used his personal computer to visit websites containing that material. As with any computer, whenever you visit an internet site, the images from that site are saved in the computer’s internet cache file. These images can later be retrieved easily from the computer’s cache file if the user so desires, and the pictures that Diodoro viewed were retrieved from his computer.

Diodoro was charged with 30 counts of possession of child pornography, and was convicted and sentenced by the lower court. You may recall that in November, 2006, I wrote a column outlining Diodoro’s appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Diodoro argued that the Commonwealth had failed to prove that he had possessed child pornography because the pictures were simply automatically saved in the cache file, not specifically downloaded or copied by him to some other source. Diodoro testified that he did not know that the images were automatically saved on his computer, and, as such, he thought he was simply viewing child pornography, not possessing it. A three-judge panel of the Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed with Diodoro’s argument that the Commonwealth had no evidence to prove that Diodoro knew that the 370 pictures depicting child pornography were automatically saved to his internet cache file. The court concluded: “We hold that absent specific statutory language prohibiting the mere viewing of pornographic images or evidence that the defendant knowingly downloaded or saved pornographic images to his hard drive or knew that the web browser cached the images, he cannot be criminally liable for viewing images on his computer screen.” As a result, Diodoro’s conviction and sentence were reversed. Upon the Commonwealth’s request, the entire Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed to review the decision, and the collective wisdom of the Superior Court exceeded that of the smaller panel.

On August 23, 2007, in a 7-2 decision, the Superior Court reversed itself and reinstated Diodoro’s conviction and sentence. In finding that there was sufficient evidence to convict the pedophile, the court noted that Diodoro “intentionally sought out and viewed child pornography. His actions of operating the computer mouse, locating the Web sites, opening the sites, displaying the images on his computer screen, and then closing the sites were affirmative steps and corroborated his interest and intent to exercise influence over, and, thereby, control over the child pornography.” Because there was sufficient evidence that Diodoro took affirmative steps demonstrating intent to have control over child pornography, the court reasoned that there was sufficient evidence to support a conviction for possession of child pornography even though Diodoro claimed that he merely viewed it.

In the prior column, I voiced a position similar to the new majority decision: “The moment a defendant begins to view the child pornography, there is an act of possessing it. The defendant controls where he travels on the internet, and, upon selecting out sites with illegal material, the defendant possesses that material the moment it comes upon his computer screen, albeit the possession may end upon terminating the internet session. Thus, the cache files demonstrates that the defendant did possess child pornography through the act of viewing it on his computer screen... Logic dictates that this is possession.”

Logic and common sense are dangerous weapons – and too often the general public perceives that both are lost to the law. In fact, the two dissenting justices in the recent decision continued to maintain their prior position that Diodoro never exercised control over the child pornography because he never took affirmative steps to do anything other than view it. In this regard, they compared Diodoro to a visitor at an art museum who views the paintings and then leaves. The dissenting justices maintain that a museum visitor never exercises control over any of the paintings, and, likewise, they argued Diodoro never controlled the child pornography through his mere act of viewing it. Which side of this decision is more logical? You know where I stand.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801.

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I have Dupuytren’s Contracture. It runs in my family. I think you should write a column about this because it affects older people.

Thank you for this suggestion. It got me researching hand disorders, a subject that has many colorful names for some nasty afflictions. Here are some of them:

Dupuytren’s Contracture

At its worst, Dupuytren’s Contracture can turn a hand into a claw because the fascia – the connective bands of tissue inside the palms – shrink and make the fingers curl inward. The condition, in its milder form, creates small lumps or bands. Dupuytren's Contracture isn’t usually painful.

Dupuytren’s is more common in older adults, men and whites from northern European background. The late President Ronald Reagan and former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher both suffered from Dupuytren’s.

This condition is hereditary. And it may be linked to alcoholism, diabetes, epilepsy and smoking.

It is rare for Dupuytren’s to affect the thumb and forefinger. Usually, the ring finger and pinky feel the results. Sometimes, the middle finger may be involved. Dupuytren’s Contracture often affects both hands, but usually not equally.


Ganglia (ganglion cysts) are benign, gelatinous lumps that usually are found on the back of the wrist. However, they also appear on the front of the wrist and on the backs of fingers. Ganglia are the most common masses found on hands. Women are three times more likely than men to get ganglia.

These cysts usually are painless. If they do act up, the fluid can be removed with a needle. You may have heard of a folk remedy for crushing ganglia by putting your hand on a table and hitting the cyst with a heavy book. This is not a good idea; you may hurt yourself and it’s unreliable. Besides, some ganglia disappear without treatment.

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

The median nerve runs from the forearm into the hand through an area at the wrist called the carpal tunnel. If this nerve is compressed by swollen tissue, you may feel pain, weakness or numbness in the hand and wrist. This common condition is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

This syndrome is suffered by workers who make repetitive movements with the wrist extended. So, carpenters using screwdrivers and people who do a lot of work on computer keyboards are more likely to suffer from this condition.

DeQuervain's Tendonitis

DeQuervain's Tendonitis is an irritation and swelling of the sheath that surrounds the thumb tendons as they pass from the wrist to the thumb. A tendon is a cord or band of inelastic tissue connecting a muscle with its bony attachment. The swelling can cause pain along the thumb side of the wrist.

The pain is usually intense when grabbing objects or twisting the wrist. In diagnosing DeQuervain’s, a doctor may perform a Finkelstein test in which the patient makes a fist and then bends the wrist away from the thumb.

Heberden Nodes and Bouchard’s Nodules

Osteoarthritis can create bumps at the end joints of your fingers and thumbs. These are Heberden Nodes. Overgrowths of bones over the middle joints of the fingers are Bouchard's Nodules.

As joints wear down, small bone spurs develop and make the joints appear bumpy. A bone spur is just extra bone that is usually smooth, not spur-like. You can get these growths on other places in your body such as the shoulders, hips and feet. Usually, no treatment is necessary for these nodes because they aren’t painful and don’t impede your fingers.

In addition to the above are hand deformities with descriptive names, such as Trigger Finger, Swan Neck, Duck Bill and Boutonnière.

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

No Veterans' Corner This Week

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The Road Less Traveled
By Bob Scroggins

EDITOR’S NOTE: As regular readers of the County Transcript know, Bob Scroggins has long been a regular contributor to the Letters to the Editor section. After much consideration, we have offered Bob his own column. For those of you who look forward to his weekly editorial, it will make it much easier to find. Following is Bob’s first column.

Weirdness By Another Name

Political correctness (PC) is difficult to define. Broadly speaking, any comment that may, by the most convoluted contortions, be construed as prejudicial or discriminatory is a breach of PC. But regardless how gingerly one treads, the final arbiters of guilt are the politically protected groups. To mix a metaphor, guilt is in the ear of the beholder. Examples abound of those who unknowingly stumbled onto this minefield.

Poor Larry Summers. All he said was that men are better at math than women. Heavens! Harvard's ivy-covered walls came crashing down on its hapless president. Strange omens were said to appear in the sky. Mysterious tremors rumbled through the earth. Larry Summers had run afoul of PC.

One would suppose that academic freedom would be honored in academia. A reasoned give-and-take discussion would ensue. The debate would not necessarily bring agreement, but neither would it breed acrimony or necessitate an apology since offense was ever intended. That's not what happened.

When MIT biology professor Nancy Hopkins heard Summers' remark she felt sick. "My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow. I just couldn't breathe because this kind of bias makes me physically ill."

Dr. Summers could have defended himself against this hysteria by citing the differences in I.Q. between men and women. On average, there isn't any. But the distribution of intelligence is quite different. Men occupy the extreme ends of the bell curve. As the curve trails out on either end, it becomes increasingly male. Go far enough out in either direction and it becomes exclusively male. Put another way, more men are idiots (in the clinical sense) than women. At the other end, when one gets into the airy heights of a Gauss, Newton, or Ramanujan, the domain is solely male.

Dr. Summers said none of this. What he did do was apologize over, and over, and over again. He became a serial apologist, an accomplished groveler. Alas, it was to no avail. He is no longer president of Harvard University.

More recently Don Imus ran up against PC. Referring to the Rutgers women's basketball team as "that's some nappy-headed hos there, I'm going to tell you that." He later wished he hadn't.

Imus' show was noted for outrageous and often offensive humor. Here he used the language of rap and hip-hop stars. But PC offensives have little to do with intent and everything to do with how the favored few wish to interpret them.

Imus' apology should have been sufficient: "What I did was make a stupid, idiotic mistake in a comedy context." Imus was wounded. There was blood in the air. Sponsors dashed to the exit door. Soon Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson made their inevitable appearances. It became a media feeding frenzy, culminating in the program's cancellation.

Mel Gibson had his encounter of the third kind with PC. He made a remark while being thoroughly intoxicated. "Jews are responsible," he said, "for all the wars in the world." One would think that the raving of a drunk would hardly be taken seriously. Certainly, if liquor were a truth serum, it would have been effectively employed at Abu Ghraib. Nevertheless, a national furor erupted that uncounted apologies could not extinguish. His career in Hollywood is problematic.

Now, one would suppose that denying the Holocaust would be akin to denying WW II, they strain credibility equally. Not so in Canada. Doubt that six million perished in concentration camps and one will be given time in jail to reconsider.

In Britain, noted historian David Irving earned three years jail time for hazarding a dissenting opinion about the Holocaust. And in Germany, a similar denial was punished with a five-year term.

Sweden, too, has formalized PC into law. A Swedish pastor was jailed for reading passages in the Bible which condemn homosexuality. Homosexuals are members of the western Brahmin class. Saying anything that they find offensive, even reading verses from the Bible, can put you behind bars.

The ranks of the unassailable are sure to swell; as they do, the bounds of free speech will shrink. Yet to opine something that is not in some way controversial is to venture nothing. PC will eventually lead to a world of weak and withered speech, speech that offends no one because it says nothing.

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