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Issue Home September 19, 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

GREAT BEND: John Carneke, who resides near Stevens’ Point, walked in his sleep from a third floor window in the Central House, at Great Bend, Monday night. He escaped injury with the exception of a broken thumb, his flight through the air not resulting more seriously owing to the fact that he landed on a hatchway door, which, however, suffered more serious damage, being used to start the fire next morning. The landlord was awakened by the rattling of the window shutters of his room, just below John’s, which he found afterward was caused by the falling man’s hand coming in contact with the same as he shot through space. The landlord went downstairs and assisted the man to the office of Dr. Hine, where the injury was attended to, and all returned later to their dreams undisturbed, John resolving in the future to walk no more with eyes closed.

RUSH: In the popular lady contest at East Rush, Miss Blanche Gray received over 2000 votes and was awarded the beautiful silver ice pitcher.

HICKORY GROVE: Early Monday morning robbers called at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Cole and assaulted them. The robbers called Mr. Cole to the door of his home with loud callings for assistance for a neighbor, who was said to have been taken very ill. Mr. Cole then opened the door to learn more about the matter, only to be confronted by three masked men who quickly overpowered and bound and gagged him, throwing him on the floor in a corner, while they proceed to ransack the premises. They were at their work when Mrs. Cole was aroused and gave battle, felling one of the brutes with a chair. Just as she did it, however, she too was felled and rendered unconscious with a weapon in the hands of another of the men. All this took place in view of her helpless husband and the robbers succeeded in getting away with $600 in cash besides much other valuable property that was in the house. It was some time before Mrs. Cole regained consciousness and when she did she released her husband and arousing their neighbors a search was prosecuted, but without success. Evidently the highwaymen are the same who attempted to perpetrate an outrage on the aged Nitchke couple at Great Bend, but were foiled in their attempt.

MONTROSE: Rev. Dawson Edwards, a valued employee of Beach’s foundry, leaves today for a visit among his children in Chicago, Ill. The “Elder” has been a main-stay in Zion church and Sunday school for many years, and his vacation is a well-deserved one. AND: The Montrose Telephone Company is keeping pace with the march of progress and is installing a new and up-to-date switchboard which cost over $1000, which will greatly enhance the service rendered. This company has purchased the Gibson line, which gives them Harford, Gibson, and other towns in the eastern part of the county.

HOP BOTTOM: John Shiner, a native of Syria, who has been in this country less than three years, living most of the time at Hop Bottom, likes this country so well he sent back to Syria for his wife and child, who arrived in New York Thursday, and Mr. Shiner went down to meet them and bring them home. The freedom and liberty, in America, delights the foreigner. How often do we Americans appreciate the superior conditions under which we live.

DIMOCK: Good reports come of the work of Guy Titman, who is out playing ball with the big league teams.

STARRUCCA, Wayne Co.: While returning from church, Sunday morning, a couple of those “Fresh Guys” drove up behind Henry Walker with an auto, and without giving Mr. Walker a chance to hardly turn out, rushed by without checking their speed. Mr. Walker and wife were thrown out [of their rig], receiving severe injuries to themselves, and doing extensive damage to the rig. These same two gentlemen will possibly settle for their sport.

SPRINGVILLE: Warren Dunlap expects to move his family to Bear Creek, near Wilkesbarre, where they will engage in taking boarders. They expect to leave in 3 weeks.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Arthur Gary and wife, of Walker, Iowa, and Theodore McKeeby, of Hallstead, are visiting at Myron Strange’s.

OAKLEY: Aunt Lydia Gardner died at her home near Loomis Lake on Friday, the 13th, at 4 p.m. She was a very old lady, and was highly respected by all who knew her. Her age was a few months over 93. She not only remembered events which occurred in her childhood days, repeating stories told by her grandfather, who was a Revolutionary soldier, but was interested in current events. She also remembered the ages of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

FOREST CITY: A man, a melodeon and a “monk” meandered through the municipality on Monday, the monk gathering in money for the man who moved the machinery in the melodeon. AND: Mr. Jacobs, the merry-go-round man, who has been running his pleasure machine in this place for the past month, will close the season here. He has made arrangements to store the outfit in Vandling and will reopen here in the spring.

TUNKHANNOCK: Saturday afternoon the Lehigh Valley train going east on the Montrose branch ran into a couple of milk cars which were left standing on the track near Tunkhannock. The passenger train from Montrose is usually a little late and a freight engine was doing some switching and had left the cars on the branch line. The passenger train was going at a lively rate of speed when the collision occurred and all the passengers were more or less shaken up, some of them being rather seriously injured, among the latter being Miss Virginia Welles, of Wyalusing and Mrs. W. H. Stone, of Binghamton, who suffered severe bruises as a result of the collision, as did also the mail clerk, James Fields. The engineer and fireman jumped and escaped injury.

NEWS BRIEFS: Statistics show that more than 5,000 school teachers in Pennsylvania have reason to begin work this month with unusual pleasure. They will receive from $5 to $15 more a month than they received last year, and this fact alone is enough to lighten toil. Of the 26,250 teachers employed in the State, one-fifth will be affected by the increase in salary. AND: Tours of the coal mines by visitors are now a thing of the past, and all persons who are not employed in the underground workings will hereafter be forbidden entrance thereto by the coal companies. Heretofore it has been the custom of persons who have out of town visitors to plan a trip in one of the mines in the vicinity, and the guests were usually delighted with the novelty. This decision was due to the liability act passed by the recent legislature.

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

Federal criminal law prohibits the distribution or production of marijuana. As a result of various efforts to legalize so-called medicinal marijuana, some states are seeing their permissive marijuana laws running afoul of federal criminal statutes. This conflict of laws is creating an interesting dichotomy in law enforcement efforts in places like California – where state law enforcement officials assist federal investigators in apprehending offenders that have not violated any state law, but are committing federal offenses. The wisdom of a legislature in enacting a statute that plainly violates a federal criminal statute is questionable at best – and some would argue that such legislative action that encourages the illegal possession of a controlled substance is itself criminal.

But what happens when the legislature directs its public employees to actively engage in criminal activity? Recently, the New Mexico legislature and Governor Bill Richardson told the New Mexico Department of Health that it had to assist and oversee the production and distribution of medicinal marijuana throughout New Mexico. Dr. Alfredo Vigil, the head of the Department of Health and a wise man, told the legislature that he would not put his employees at risk of being prosecuted for violating federal drug laws and he was directing them not to comply with the legislature’s directive. Furthermore, New Mexico Attorney General Gary King also warned that state employees could face federal prosecution if they become involved in the marijuana production process.

Those advocating the medical use of marijuana expressed outrage that the Department of Health would not assist in the unlawful production and distribution of marijuana in New Mexico. Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico has threatened to sue the Department of Health to compel them to enter into the business of growing marijuana and distributing marijuana for medicinal use. The Drug Policy Alliance New Mexico complains that if the Department of Health fails to comply, then those seeking medicinal marijuana will have to find a local drug dealer to get their “medicine.” Thus, a legal battle may be brewing – would a state court order state employees to assist in the production and distribution of marijuana where such conduct constitutes a federal felony offense? If this occurs, will the federal government allow a state to blatantly and openly violate a federal felony statute?

This is a classic battle of federalism – states rights versus federal control. This battle, however, has been waged and lost many decades ago, and it is established that the federal government through the Food and Drug Administration has exclusive control over the controlled substance business. If proponents of medicinal marijuana want to have it recognized as a lawful drug, then the proper procedure is for application to the Food and Drug Administration, which would then review the claims that the drug is safe and effective. Of course, the medicinal marijuana supporters have tried to do this on numerous occasions – and have failed each time, as the FDA has never found that the risks associated with marijuana are outweighed by the benefits. After failing to convince the FDA that marijuana is a safe and effective drug, the pot proponents have now taken their battle to the state legislatures – where money is more important than science, and where legislators, not doctors, are making decisions that marijuana has medicinal value.

The forces that have fought to destroy state rights now find themselves scrambling to find a way to restore state sovereignty – at least to the extent to give states the authority to allow their citizens to get high for medical purposes. On the other hand, the more conservative state rights crowd that has protested the expansion of federal authority over the last century now takes great satisfaction in watching their more liberal friends reap what they have sown. As the old adage goes, be careful what you wish for.

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 have vivid memories of my mother’s dentures in a glass next to her bed. As I enter my seventies, is this what I have to look forward to?

Let’s start with a definition. “Dentures” – also called “complete dentures” or “plates” – are for people with no teeth. Dentures cover your entire upper or lower jaw. There are removable partial dentures, too; these are made of replacement teeth attached to plastic bases, which are connected by metal framework.

If you practice good dental hygiene, you should be able to avoid dentures as you get older. Losing your teeth is not considered a normal consequence of aging. Teeth are designed to last a lifetime

Advancements in treatment and better oral hygiene have made dentures less necessary. One reputable survey showed that the rate that seniors lose their teeth has dropped by 60 percent since 1960.

But, if you are among the unfortunate who require dentures, here is some useful information.

Those dentures your mother wore can’t compare to the modern choppers. The latest technology and better materials make the dentures of today more comfortable and better looking.

Dentures are placed on the gums, which are over bone. Sometimes one or more natural teeth are kept, and they fit under the denture. A denture that is anchored by real teeth is called an “overdenture.”

An overdenture is more stable; it inhibits shifting in the mouth. Teeth used in overdentures are usually given a root canal, which replaces the pulp with filling material. The pulp is known commonly as the tooth’s “nerve.”

Immediately after dentures are made, they often feel odd in the mouth. There’s a period of adjustment. One difficult challenge is eating, which is never the same as it was before dentures.

The following are some pointers for eating with dentures:

* Don’t bite with your front teeth or pull your food outward from your mouth.

* Chew food on both sides of your mouth simultaneously to stabilize your dentures.

* Cut food into small pieces.

* When you first eat with your dentures, you should avoid sticky foods, raw vegetables and hard-to-chew meats.

* It is more difficult to feel inside your mouth when you wear dentures, so be careful with hot foods and anything with small bones.

And here are some more challenges that usually confront denture-wearers:

* Speaking is a different experience. You should try speaking slowly at first, and practice by reading aloud.

* You may have more saliva in your mouth.

* When you sneeze, cough or yawn, your dentures may loosen.

* Dentures have to be removed at least once daily to rest the tissue below them. Most denture-wearers remove their plates before bed, and store them a cleaning solution.

* After you have been wearing dentures for years, your jaws become smaller, and the dentures don’t fit as well. Slippage, gum irritation and odor indicate that your dentures may not fit correctly.

If your dentures need a correction, go to your dentist. Relining and rebasing are alterations that adjust your dentures. Rebasing involves making an entirely new denture base, while relining modifies the existing one. Both procedures maintain the denture's existing artificial teeth.

It is also a good idea to make regular visits to the dentist. In addition to tending to your dentures, your dentist can examine your mouth for bone loss, oral cancer, infections and other conditions.

One last note about adhesives. They make wearing dentures easier. However, adhesives should not be used to compensate for dentures that don’t fit correctly.

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

Driving Fast To Nowhere

General David Petraeus, the top US commander in Iraq, issued an open letter to his troops last month. One of the many perks of generalship is that one can say almost anything to the troops, even things transparently loopy, and never fear contradiction.

The general: "[W]e have achieved tactical momentum and wrested the initiative from our enemies in a number of areas...." He went on to list the successes: "uneven progress in security," Anbar Province pacified but much yet to be achieved in Baghdad, a decline in the number of attacks during the last two months, captured weapons, dismantled car bombs, thousands of insurgents killed or captured. And, strangely, another success, Iraqi soldiers sustaining two to three times our losses.

It was an uneasy reminder of our last days in Vietnam, when as victory receded new ways to define it made the daily news: the number of villages pacified, enemy areas secured, captured weapons, body counts. And those eminently quantifiable statistics of victory, the number of sorties flown, tonnage of bombs dropped, all accompanied by bar graphs, charts, enlarged photos, and press handouts. The victories continued until the last helicopter left the roof of the American Embassy.

Now General Petraeus stands where General Westmoreland stood in 'Nam. His tepid letter was notable for the paltry number of "uneven successes" he cited. So after four years, one million dead Iraqi, close to 4,000 dead Americans and 40,000 wounded, and an expenditure of half-trillion dollars we "have wrested the initiative from the enemy." This was said with pride and without sarcasm. To reverse that – said with sarcasm and without pride – would have been uncomfortably closer to the truth.

Before George Bush went blundering into Iraq, the Middle East was like a Calder mobile. Its 16 nations suspended like a finely-tuned mobile, each piece precisely positioned, maintaining a precarious balance with the whole. Cut one supporting string and the entire structure would collapse in disarray. That string was Iraq and the Middle East is in disarray.

The influence of Iran is no longer balanced by Iraq. China and Russia are maneuvering for a foothold via Iran and Syria. Jordan buckles under the weight of refugees. Qatar and the United Arab Emirates question their close association with the West. And Israel watches in apprehension, wondering how this is going to play out.

As for Iraq, take a look at some of our accomplishments that General Petraeus did not cite: one million dead civilians, millions more wounded, three million fled to neighboring nations for safety. For those remaining, electricity, potable water, and waste disposal sporadic if they exist at all, crime and violence rampant, unemployment 70 percent, and an economy in tatters.

Many argue that we should get out, we must get out. But the President says we can't – and he's right, but not for the humanitarian reasons he gave. After all, for an administration that has trashed an entire nation, humanitarianism rings hollow. No, the reason we can't leave is the reason we went there in the first place: oil.

The oil fields of Saudi Arabia may be in decline. Their maximum pumping capacity is about 11 million barrels a day. They pump about 9.5 million a day. That leaves a cushion of some 1.5 million barrels. But most of this is thick crude, largely unusable. At the same time demand for oil is accelerating. The oil capital of the world may be slowly shifting to the vast, untapped reservoirs of Iran and Iraq. If we pack up and leave, China and Russia are sure to fill a power vacuum.

So there we are, hung up between perception and reality: we're winning, yet we're losing. And caught on a classic catch 22: we must leave, yet we can't leave. It's like trying to find the soft side of a board.

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A Day In My Shoes

No A Day In My Shoes This Week

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