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Issue Home September 12, 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
A Day In My Shoes

100 Years Ago

LAWTON: This is the day of the Lawton Fair. With the big rains of this week, it looked more likely that they would have boat races than any other kind of amusement. But, yesterday afternoon the wind changed to the west and looked more formidable. D. D. Lathrop, C. E., has been here and staked out a trotting course for the Lawton Agricultural Club. The course is one-third mile, with [an] 18 foot road bed.

MONTROSE: Montrose ought to have day service electric lights. Such dark afternoons as Monday, last, they are needed about as much as evenings.

GIBSON: Galen Tingley has gone to Flushing, L.I., where he will teach in the Kyle Institute.

UPSONVILLE, Franklin Twp.: Fred Dearborn has fitted up a very nice wagon to carry the school children from Upsonville to the East school.

HOPBOTTOM: The new building that the creamery company is erecting out of concrete blocks will be nearly fireproof and cost about $20,000.

LAKESIDE/CLIFFORD/SUSQUEHANNA/HARFORD: At Lakeside, on Monday, the large farm barn of Mrs. John Stoddard was struck by lightning and burned with its contents, there being no insurance. The bolt of lightning struck the building shortly after six, before the evening chores were done and the fire was not discovered until eight. In Elkdale, Clifford township, three large barns and their contents, owned by Wallace Watkins, were set on fire [by lightning] and destroyed. There being no insurance, it was a total loss to the owner. In the vicinity of Susquehanna damage, it is said, of $25,000 was occasioned. Among the losses are the dwelling house of Daniel Nicholson, between Susquehanna and Great Bend; the large farm barn of Judson Davis, near Windsor, totally destroyed with 50 tons of hay--loss $1,500, partly covered by insurance and the barn of Edward Griggs, damaged by lightning, but not insured. In Harford, Alonzo Tiffany’s barn was struck by lightning and burned. He was badly burned about the face while trying to rescue a horse.

CLIFFORD: Clifford’s nuptial event, to take place at N. E. Gardner’s, Wednesday, Sept 11, when Miss Kate Gardner and John Knickerbocker are to be united in marriage, is the present talk of our town. About 200 inhabitants [were] issued plenty of rice and old shoes for luck.

KINGSLEY: Our school house is nearing completion after having another story added and repainted inside and out.

LENOX: Porter Hunt came very near being killed in a run-a-way accident Saturday, because of too much fire-water.

HALLSTEAD: The residence of J. G. McCreary was struck by lightning on Wednesday, the bolt following the chimney into the living room. Mrs. McCreary was rendered unconscious by the shock and it was only after much effort that the physicians succeeded in reviving her. The children also sustained lesser shocks, while the floor was badly torn up and articles of furniture damaged.

HARFORD FAIR, 50th Anniversary: You all must attend the first day of the fair, Sept. 25th. At 11 a.m. a dedication service for Rev. Lyman Richardson’s new monument, costing $500, will take place in the cemetery. Profs. Hine and Thacher, scripture and prayer, and Rev. Charles M. Tower, of Oneida, N.Y., the address. In the afternoon the founders of the society yet living, and all who were present at the first fair, together with those who have attended nearly every one since, will be assembled and fitting services and short speeches from each will be the order of the day. The drum corps will give the flavor of old time music. As for the second day, the last day, we cannot begin to tell you all now.

BIRCHARDVILLE: On Sept 7th, the postmaster here received notice that the Rural Free Delivery Route, from this place, which has been pending since last spring, has been granted. The proposed route covers nearly all the territory south and west of Birchardville, and will serve mail to nearly 400 patrons. It is rather longer than most of the R.F.D. routes, being 25 ½ miles long.

FOREST CITY: Another detachment of four men of the state constabulary [police] arrived in town Monday. They are stopping at the Forest House. The men are mounted, uniformed in black, with patent leather leggings and wear helmets, presenting a natty appearance.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: George Keeney has put in several kinds of cow stanchions and would be pleased to show the farmers how they work. He will take orders for any kind.

ELK LAKE: July 3, 1865, Co. C., 203d Regt., Pennsylvania Volunteers, was discharged from the United States service and not until the last eight years have they met as an organization. On Sept 4th, they met at Elk Lake in Grange Hall. The day being stormy but few of the old veterans assembled. Lt. A. B Stevens, whom many of the boys had not seen since 1865, made the trip from his home to greet them. And the boys were immensely pleased to see him. Experiences were related until the dinner call sounded, when the boys did the “square thing” to a “square” meal served by the Ladies’ Aid. The officers elected were: President, Josiah Fuller; Secretary and Treasurer, S. O. Culver; James Daughterty and Hiram Hosford were admitted as honorary members.

NEWS BRIEFS: Railroad statistics show that about 25,000 tramps were killed on the different railroads in the United States last year. Nearly as many more were injured. AND: Real estate about the village of Conyngham, Luzerne county, has gone up a peg or two on account of the reviving of an old Indian legend. It has been handed down for many generations that an Indian warrior once boasted that if the white man only knew what a store of wealth was hidden between the Sugarloaf and Nescopeck mountains, he would refuse to sell the land.

BACK ISSUES of 100 Years Ago can be found on our website,

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

A reader recently requested information on the proper operation of All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) and snowmobiles, especially in connection with the unlawful use of said vehicles on private property. For instance, Susquehanna County is fortunate to have a wonderful organization that has converted an old railroad track bed into a public trail. The Rail-Trail Council of Northeastern Pennsylvania maintains and controls a trail that runs through much of the southeastern corner of Susquehanna County. During the summer, the trail is open to hikers and bikers, and, during the winter, the trail allows the use of snowmobiles provided the users are members of an approved snowmobile organization. On the other hand, the trail is not open to the use of ATVs or other recreational vehicles during the summer months. While the rail trail is open to the public, it is still considered private property owned by a non-governmental entity. What happens if an operator of an ATV unlawfully uses the rail trail? The Vehicle Code provides the answer.

No person may operate an ATV or snowmobile upon private real property without the consent of the owner of the real property. In this regard, upon request of a landowner, an operator must stop and identify himself, and, if requested by the landowner, immediately remove the ATV or snowmobile from the private real property. If the real property is posted, it is presumed that the operator knew that he was not permitted to operate the ATV or snowmobile upon the private real property. In the case of the rail trial, the property is clearly posted, and any operation of an ATV on the trail may result in a citation under the Vehicle Code.

The penalties for the unlawful operation of an ATV or snowmobile upon private real property can be substantial. If there is no damage to the real property, the operator faces a fine of $100. If the real property has been damaged, then a first conviction results in a $500 fine, plus restitution for the damage to the real property. If an operator is convicted a second time for causing damage to private property, there is a fine of $1,000 plus a suspension of the operator’s driver’s license for six months.

As to age restrictions for use of ATVs and snowmobiles, no person under 10 years of age may operate an ATV or snowmobile upon state-owned land. No person between the ages of 10 and 15 shall operate an ATV or snowmobile unless: (1) the child is being supervised by a certified safety instructor; (2) the child is operating the ATV or snowmobile upon property owned by a parent or legal guardian; or (3) the child has obtained an appropriate safety certificate for the operation of an ATV or snowmobile.

Finally, the Vehicle Code imposes absolute liability upon the owner of an ATV or snowmobile for the negligent use of the ATV or snowmobile. In other words, if you let a third party use and operate your ATV or snowmobile, you are liable for any damages caused by the third party during the use of the ATV or snowmobile.

In short, residents of Susquehanna County should celebrate the existence of such a wonderful attraction as the rail trail maintained by the Rail-Trail Council. While the Rail-Trail Council allows the public to use the trail at no cost, the public must obey the restrictions and regulations established by the Rail-Trail Council, including the provision that no ATVs are permitted on the property. If the regulations are violated, a criminal prosecution may be the end result.

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 get indigestion often and can’t figure out why. How can I find what is causing it?

Indigestion, or an upset stomach, is a general term for discomfort in your upper abdomen. This discomfort can take the form of burning stomach pain, nausea, heartburn, bloating, burping and vomiting.

If, in addition to your upset stomach, you experience sweating, shortness of breath or pain radiating to the jaw, neck or arm, get medical attention immediately; you could be having a heart attack.

We all get indigestion occasionally; about one in four of us gets an upset stomach at some time. But, if you are suffering from this condition regularly, you should see a doctor. Indigestion – also known as “dyspepsia” – can be the result of something more serious than stuffing down a hot dog on-the-run.

Indigestion can be a symptom of acid reflux disease, an ulcer, gallbladder disease or appendicitis. It can also be a warning sign for stomach cancer, although this is rare. Some medicines can give you indigestion. Occasionally, persistent indigestion is caused by a problem in the way food moves through the digestive tract.

Seeing a doctor is especially important if you are older than 50. Some other red flags are a mass in your stomach, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, unexplained weight loss, black stools.

One of the best tips I have found to determine what causes occasional indigestion is keeping a diary of the foods you eat. A friend of mine tried this. By analyzing what he ate and how he reacted, he figured out that he was lactose intolerant. If you want to avoid indigestion, here are some no-no’s.


* Pack in large meals. Take food in smaller doses.

* Gobble food. Put your fork down until you’ve finished chewing a mouthful and have swallowed it.

* Drink caffeinated beverages. Caffeine makes the stomach produce more acid.

* Overindulge in alcohol. Alcohol can irritate the stomach lining.

* Smoke. Smoking can irritate the stomach lining, too.

* Eat highly acidic, fatty or spicy foods.

* Don’t let stress overwhelm you. Easy to say, but learning relaxation techniques will reduce stress and indigestion.

* Exercise or lie down immediately after eating.

* Eat two hours before you go to sleep.

* Take a lot of anti-inflammatory medicines such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Switch to acetaminophen.

* Chew with your mouth open.

Indigestion can be treated successfully with medicines. Some block the formation of acid. Others are antibiotics. If a medicine you're taking for some other condition gives you an upset stomach, you might have to switch to another medicine.

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

A State Of Uncertainty

Zionism is "pollut[ing] the entire world." " It is the work of Satan, a blasphemy, a sacrilege." "A source of wars." "The state of Israel is illegitimate." Outrageous! Rubbed-raw hostility. Who would be so bitterly contemptuous of Israel? Surely, it must be Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? No, they are not his words. Then certainly it is Syria's leader, Bashar al-Asad? No, again. Perhaps, then, they were spoken by a member of an Islamic fundamentalist organization like Hezbollah? Strike three.

These are the words of Grand Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum (1887-1979) the late leader of the world's largest Hasidic sect with some 120,000 adherents. The rabbi was also an outstanding Judaic scholar and author of many important works on the Torah. How, then, could he be an anti-Zionist, vehemently against the state of Israel?

To understand this paradox – an anti-Zionist, anti-Israel rabbi – one must first understand exactly what Zionism is. Zionism is a political – not religious – movement that supports a homeland for the Jewish people in Israel. The driving force behind Zionism was Theodor Herzl (1860-1904), an atheist. His dream was realized in 1948 when Israel became a state – a secular state.

But according to Rabbi Teitelbaum, the Jews were to wait for the Messiah to lead them into the Holy Land. His study of the Talmud led him and his followers to believe that the nascent state of Israel violated a sacred precept: "not to ascend to the Holy Land using force." He foresaw this as an act of impatience that would bring nothing but trouble and turmoil to the Jewish people. His warnings have proved prescient.

Israel is a land of religious and political factions. At the right are the various Hasidic sects that will not participate, support, or even formally acknowledge the state of Israel. At the other end of the spectrum are the nonreligious Zionists with their differences. The middle is occupied by 38 bickering political parties, representing every combination and nuance of these two antagonistic extremes.

And if there is turmoil within Israel, there is nothing but trouble without. Israel is a beleaguered nation surrounded by enemies. On the North she is bordered by Lebanon and Syria; the East, Jordan, Iraq, and Iran; the South, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt. And on the West, Israel has her back against the sea. However, though encircled by tormentors, she is allied with the most powerful nation in history, the United States.

Israel's present Zionist government is headed by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. He, together with US neocon hawks plan an out-all war with Iran and Syria. Such a war, they think could secure Israel's future. Others, however, believe that Israel is ill prepared for such a conflict and point to last summer's failed campaign against Lebanon. It's a tug of war that could go either way. But if President Bush's increasingly tough talk directed at Iran is a guide, the fanatical Zionists will have their way.

The question is this: Will Israel be able to hold onto the lands she has conquered? Will she finally be totally victorious and enjoy her first day of peace since her establishment almost 60 years ago? Or, as Rabbi Teitelbaum has predicted, "Zionism [is] bound to call the wrath of G-d upon His people." But the rabbi envisions this destruction to be requisite to the coming of the Messiah who will freely give to His people the Holy Land that they impatiently took by force?

The lot deciding Israel's fate has been cast. (Perhaps ours, too, since we are so closely linked to that state.) We wait to see into which camp it will fall, the Zionists, or the zealots?

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EDITOR’S NOTE: JoAnn Wiser, an avid County Transcript reader, approached us with the idea of creating a community column, titled “A Day In My Shoes” where readers could share their daily experiences with each other and also get to know their neighbors better. We agreed that it is a good idea, and are pleased to offer JoAnn’s perspective as our first column. Submissions for the column are welcomed.

A Day In My Shoes

By JoAnn Wiser

As an off-duty correctional officer, I am constantly asked the same question: “You don’t have any bad inmates in your jail, do you? It is only a county jail.” If the people making this statement only had a clue! Yes, at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, we house murderers, rapists, child molesters, gang members, etc. The correctional institution is a very misunderstood environment. The public has little knowledge of its inner workings. Alleged criminals are sent to correctional institutions and as time passes the public forgets about them and the crime they had allegedly committed. The public can relax, confident in the belief that the inmate can no longer cause any problems or harm anyone. Wrong again!

Most incidents that occur inside a correctional facility are handled internally, and the public is rarely aware of these incidents. Unfortunately, correctional officers have to tolerate stress (and at times verbal/physical abuse) caused by inmates on a daily basis. Officers have been spit on, punched, kicked, harassed, threatened, doused with urine/feces, etc. Fortunately, no officers have been killed in the line of duty at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility. Officers also have to face the dangers of AIDS, hepatitis, TB, staph infection, and many other infectious diseases.

As with all correctional institutions, the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility has set rules and regulations in place to assure order, safety, and security. Officers are asked (by inmates) all the time to alter a rule for “just this once”. This is one of many ways inmates attempt to manipulate officers. Officers need to be fair, firm, and consistent at all times.

Some inmates even manipulate their own friends and family. They speak of harsh living conditions, abuse, etc. in an attempt to gain sympathy and/or monetary gain. The bottom line is that each inmate at this facility receives three  square meals per day, cable television, laundry services, recreation, visitation, etc. [Note: All county correctional institutions in the State of Pennsylvania must comply with “Title 37, Chapter 95” of The Pennsylvania Code (] Inmates at this facility are treated very well. In most cases, inmates who choose to follow the rules are released from incarceration on their minimum sentence date. Inmates who choose to disobey the rules may earn an extended stay and possibly more criminal charges (depending on offense and its severity).

As a correctional officer at the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, I am responsible for working all areas of the facility. Each officer must multi-task during his/her entire shift. Every officer must know all rules and regulations because the inmates test the staff all the time. Most career criminals are very knowledgeable in regard to the rights of prisoners guaranteed by law. Officers are required to make snap judgment decisions that concern the care, custody, and control of the inmate population. Officers are tasked with the responsibility to provide assistance (counsel) when an inmate is suffering from drug/alcohol withdrawal, and when an inmate is potentially suicidal. Correctional officers protect the community by housing (alleged) offenders in a controlled environment that is safe, humane, cost-efficient and secure. We try to maintain high ethical standards in our everyday activities, which can be extremely difficult at times.

The Susquehanna County Correctional Facility, as with all correctional institutions, is staffed 24 hours a day, seven  days a week. Officers are required to spend weekends and holidays on duty. Most people in the general public look forward to holidays. Typically, officers do not look forward to holidays. During holidays, officers are away from their families, spending their shift with inmates who are usually unhappy for numerous reasons, especially being kept away from their families. Many inmates become very depressed over the holidays and even suicidal.

In my opinion, the saddest part of my job is visitation day. The inmates’ families come to the facility, many with small children. Over the years, I have had many young children pull on my uniform and ask, “Why won’t you let me hug my mommy (or daddy)?” or, “Why can’t mommy (or daddy) come home?” Officers look like “the bad guys” to these young children. My heart breaks for these children because they want to be with their parents(s) so much. I wish there was a way to show some of the inmates just how much their actions have changed the lives of their families on the street.

In closing, the job of correctional officer can be a very stressful and dangerous job at times. It can also be rewarding at times. We are tasked with the duty to attempt to correct those who have broken the law, while maintaining order, safety, and security. The problem is that some inmates don’t want to be corrected and heavily influence those who do. It is a constant struggle.

JoAnn Wiser

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