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Issue Home October 24, 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

SPRINGVILLE: Alderman Myron Kasson and wife came up from Scranton recently in their auto, and when in front of the William E. Lott house Mr. Kasson dodged a mud hole and ditched the machine and had to get a team to pull it out. AND: Many people are remarking that a barn full of skunk skins is not the most pleasant thing in town.

PLEASANT VALLEY, Auburn Twp.: Jay Rifenbury and wife started Wednesday for their home in Oklahoma, after an extended visit with his parents and friends here. We wish them a safe journey.

HARFORD: David M. Smyth, a former Harford boy, died Oct. 11, 1907, at Hartford, Conn., after a short illness of paralysis, aged 74 years. His remains were taken to Pasadena, California, to rest beside his beloved wife and daughter. He leaves four sons, residing in Hartford and Chicago, and three brothers and two sisters in Pennsylvania. He was quite a remarkable man. At an early age he became an inventor, and during his lifetime controlled about 60 patents. He had a literary bent, having written a poem entitled, “The Hermit of the Saco,” and also a biographical work of himself in his latter days.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: Miss Maude Gleason went to Potter county last March and was married recently to Rennie Mumford, of that county.

FAIRDALE: Our obliging mail carrier, Mr. Light, says the Wyalusing creek road is in a very bad condition from the Rush line to Fairdale bridge--and so say all who have to drive over it.

GREAT BEND: Everything was covered with a couple of inches of snow on Sunday, Oct. 20th.

MONTROSE: Will the patrons of the Montrose Public Library please see if they have overlooked any books belonging to it, at their homes, and return them this week without fail, as they are being made ready for the new library. Will the one who has “The Master’s Violin,” by Myrtle Reed, please return it?

RUSH: The marriage of Clifton Hickok, of Brooklyn, N.Y., and Miss Belle Hooper, occurred at the home of the bride in East Plainfield, N.J., on Tuesday afternoon. Mr. Hickok was formerly of Rush, served as county surveyor and is possessed of a large number of friends throughout the county, while the bride is a young woman of many charming qualities. Mr. and Mrs. Hickok arrived here yesterday on their wedding tour, after which they will commence housekeeping in a neatly furnished home in Brooklyn.

HEART LAKE: Guy I. Bayless, a young man residing near here, was the victim yesterday morning of a painful and serious accident. With other men he was engaged in pressing hay on the C. W. Hoyt farm, when his foot became caught in the press. The powerful machine closed on the limb, breaking his leg, and crushing it badly to the knee. While the injury is of a very bad nature, physicians hope to save the leg and eventually restore it to its former usefulness. The young man is a member of the Modern Protective Assn., a beneficial organization, and will be entitled to benefits while incapacitated for work.

SILVER LAKE: John Murphy, the oldest man in Susquehanna county, died at Laurel Lake on Thursday, Oct. 17, 1907. He had reached the century mark and was born in Ireland. Since before the war times, Mr. Murphy had resided in Silver Lake township, where as a citizen he was highly respected. The funeral occurred from St. Augustine’s church, at Silver Lake, last Saturday morning.

LITTLE MEADOWS: Mrs. Nora Boland died at her late home on Thursday, Oct. 17th, and the funeral occurred on Monday from St. Thomas’ church in that village. The deceased is survived by her husband and several children.

FOREST CITY: D. V. Buck, of Gibson, is here moving a couple of buildings. Mr. Buck is a former resident of Forest City and a skilled hand in this line of business. AND: The sale of tickets for the Rock Band Concert, which will be given in the Opera House on Oct. 31st, is meeting with success. Not only will Mr. Till and his three daughters perform on the Rock Piano, but also play on glasses and swinging harps. Miss Mildred Till is an elocutionist of no mean ability and Miss Ester Till is the soloist in the First Reformed Church of Bayonne. The evening’s entertainment will be one of the treats of the season.

HERRICK CENTRE: Emory Miller attended the Binghamton fair and on his return home bought a fine organ as a present to his little daughter, Dorthea, who will begin immediately to cultivate her musical talent by taking instructions of Herrick’s painstaking music teacher, Mrs. Hoel.

HALLSTEAD: The new eight-room school building, which replaces the one burned about a year ago, has been completed and is now being used. It is admirably adapted for the place and the School Board is being complimented for being able to produce such a fine building for so little money. The building is of solid brick, with all the modern improvements, and accommodates 450 pupils at a cost of only $13,000.

LENOXVILLE: Don’t forget the “Toe Social” and chicken supper at W. S. Miller’s Saturday evening, Oct. 26. Come and bring your best girl.

WELSH HILL, Clifford Twp.: There will be a Hallowe’en social in Cambrian hall on Thursday evening, Oct. 31. A cordial invitation is extended to all.

NEWS BRIEF: The first snowstorm of the season visited the county on Sunday, Oct. 20th. In the early morning, the leaves of autumn, which shone resplendent and rich in golden hues by moonlight the night before, were heavily mantled in millions upon millions of flakes of snow. And it fell all day long, making an exceptionally dreary October day, and robbing autumn altogether of its poetic beauty. Trees felt its weight and strong branches bent low over the sidewalks, causing the pedestrians considerable inconvenience in going to church. In a number of cases the boughs snapped off and fell to the ground. The snow, it is said, fell to the depth of four or five inches.

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

The “Jena 6” saga has now resulted in congressional hearings over the manner in which the United States Attorney handled (or did not handle) the entire affair. The Jena 6 involves the arrest of six African American juveniles after they had beaten a white student. Critics of the case contend that the Jena 6 were excessively charged in connection with their assault upon the white student. In support of this position, the critics note that three months prior to the beating, three different white students had hung nooses over a tree branch outside a local high school. The three white students received administrative punishment from the school for their actions, but no criminal charges were filed. There is no connection between the student beaten by the Jena 6 and the noose hanging incident.

In response to the perceived injustice perpetrated upon the Jena 6, the House Judiciary Committee decided to conduct a hearing and required two Justice Department officials to testify. In particular, Donald Washington, the United States Attorney for the area involved in the Jena 6 case, testified as to his response to the incident. Donald Washington is the first African American to serve as United States Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana. During the course of his testimony, Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) actually shouted at him and asked: “I want you to tell me why you, the first black Western U.S. district attorney in Louisiana, did not do more. Why didn’t you intervene? I don’t know what to say; I’m outraged.”

Representative Lee incorrectly called Washington a “district” attorney, when in fact his title is simply United States Attorney. But this was the simple tip of the iceberg when it comes to her fundamental misunderstanding of our federal criminal justice system. Historically, the role of the federal government in criminal justice has been relatively limited, which is a direct result of the restraints placed upon federal authority by the Constitution. Over the course of our history, the Congressional power has expanded across the board, including an expansion of the federal government’s role in the criminal justice system. Despite this expansion, the federal government’s role in criminal justice remains rather limited and the overwhelming majority of all adult arrests, prosecutions and convictions occur in the state system. When it comes to juvenile offenders, the federal government is simply not involved, period.

To his credit, United States Attorney Washington calmly explained this to Representative Lee – he did not act because he did not have any authority to act against juvenile offenders. This was a local matter for the state and local officials to review and resolve. In response to Lee’s tirade, Washington responded aptly: “We still have a system called due process.” Ah, due process. The concept that we are governed by laws, that officials are expected to follow those laws, and, when all else fails, the courts will provide the final forum to assure that rights are protected. To his credit, Washington understood that the federal government could not act because it lacked the authority to do so.

It is shocking that Representative Lee did not know that the federal government does not generally prosecute juvenile offenders – especially given her position on the House Judiciary Committee. Still, I would rather give her the benefit of the doubt that she acted in ignorance, not with malice. If she did understand that the federal government does not prosecute juvenile offenders, then her conduct in berating and shouting at United States Attorney Washington is shameful, as it was designed solely by her political motivations. Moreover, her decision to question Washington’s response as inappropriate based upon his race is equally disturbing, i.e., as a black United States attorney he should have acted differently. Is Representative Lee suggesting that the manner in which federal authority is exercised should depend upon the color of one’s skin? If she truly believes what she suggested, then she does not understand the concept of due process. Thankfully, United States Attorney Washington does.

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 I have a fever, at what temperature should I go to the doctor?

An oral temperature above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or a rectal or ear temperature above 101 F is considered a fever in the majority of adults.

If your temperature reaches 103 F, you should contact a physician. Another alarm bell is a fever that lasts more than three days.

In addition, get to a doctor immediately if you have a fever with any of the following:

Unrelenting vomiting, trouble breathing, a strong headache, confusion, pain when urinating, swollen throat, skin rash, sensitivity to light, stiff neck, chest pain, extreme listlessness or irritability, and abdominal pain.

A fever usually means your body is fighting an infection from bacteria or a virus. In older adults, the immune system doesn’t function as efficiently as it does in younger people. The body's fever response to infection is not always automatic in elderly people. More than 20 percent of adults over age 65 who have serious bacterial infections do not have fevers.

Body temperature fluctuates during the day between 97 F and 99 F. When you wake up, your temperature is at the low end of the range; it increases as the day progresses. The common standard for a “normal” temperature is 98.6 F. However, the range of normal is about a degree above or below 98.6.

Use a high-quality thermometer to check your temperature. Thermometers today are high-tech electronic gizmos with beeps and digital readouts. Those mercury-filled glass thermometers are out because they are environmental hazards. Tympanic thermometers that get a quick read from the ear are good for older adults.

Symptoms that can accompany fever include: headache, perspiration, shivering, aches, diminished appetite, dehydration and malaise. A fever higher than 103 F can cause seizures and hallucinations.

If you get a fever, it’s important to take in enough liquids to prevent dehydration.

Physicians often recommend ibuprofen, acetaminophen or aspirin to lower a high fever. Taking medicine to lower a fever is especially important for older adults with heart conditions that might be affected by the stress of fever.

But don’t take any drugs without medical supervision. Over-the-counter medicines can be harmful if you take too much of them.

If you have a fever below 102 F, medicine isn’t usually recommended to lower your temperature. Low-grade fevers may be your body’s way of fighting an infection. Take a tepid bath. Wear lightweight clothes.

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

Dying For Diet Soda

In Shakespeare's Macbeth, the three witches brew a poisonous stock of entrails, toads, and snake venom. "Double, double toil and trouble," they chant, "Fire burn, and caldron bubble." Today the updated nocuous concoction would be made of sugar or an artificial sweetener, acids, and sodium benzoate. And it wouldn't be found in a steaming caldron, but in a cold can of soda.

Soda is drinkable candy. A 12-ounce can contains 10 teaspoons of sugar. Ingesting this much sugar (really corn syrup) would ordinarily cause the body to reject it, but other ingredients help keep it down. The pancreas immediately pumps out massive amounts of insulin. This hormone clears the blood of sugar by channeling it to the liver where it is turned into instant fat. That's 160 calories added to the exact place where they are least welcome. But sugar's not through with you yet.

The sugar causes an initial boost of energy; it also causes an insulin spike which causes the blood sugar to plunge. After a few minutes, energy gives way to drowsiness. But that's no problem. Have another can of soda. No surprise, then, that for some, soda is the biggest single source of calories.

Maybe there's a way around this. What about replacing the sugar with an artificial sweetener?

The major players are saccharin, aspartame, and splenda. Each has its pluses and minuses, but one caveat they all have in common is this; they cause you to gain weight. In an experiment involving 600 participants, the subjects were divided into 2 groups. One group drank 1 or 2 cans of regular soda. They increased their risk of being overweight by 33 percent. The other group drank 1 or 2 cans of diet soda. Their risk of becoming overweight increased by 55 percent. A similar study done with laboratory animals yielded the same results.

So why should a sugarless drink cause a greater increase in weight than one that contains sugar? When the taste buds on your tongue detect something sweet, the brain sends a signal to the pancreas to prime it for a release of insulin. When the anticipated sugar does not arrive, the body craves the carbohydrates it was ready to receive but denied. The result: people who used artificial sweeteners ate up to 3 times the amount of calories as a control group.

Phosphoric acid and carbonic acid make soda the most acidic beverage that you can buy; it's close to vinegar. A pH of 7 is neutral, like water. Soda is 2.8. Since each successive number on the pH scale differs by a magnitude of 10, that makes soda 20,000 times more acidic than water. Soda is so corrosive that is eats away the enamel on teeth and does more harm than the sugar.

To normalize the pH of the stomach and blood, the body takes calcium from the bones. Calcium and other minerals that were part of the skeleton are detoured to pass out of the body. It's a shortcut to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis, the thinning and increasing fragility of the skeleton, was once an affliction associated with the elderly, mostly women because their bones are less dense to begin with. But now it is not uncommon to find teenagers with this condition. Dr. Michael Murray, ND, noted that "increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that contribute[s] to osteoporosis."

Completing the toxic trio is sodium benzoate. According to a British study this preservative damages the energy producing part of the cell and is linked to a number of neuro-degenerative disabilities including Parkinson's disease.

The amount of soft drinks, regular and diet, that the average American consumes is truly staggering, 557 12-ounce cans a year – that's 52 gallons! The health problems concomitant with that are distressing.

Although it's difficult to tease out the health effects from other dietary influences, there are a number of problems that are associated with sugar and sugar-free soft drinks: suppressed immune system, disturbed mineral balance, higher cholesterol and triglycerides, lower testosterone, decreased skin elasticity, cancer, weakened eyesight, related to obesity and alcoholism, cirrhosis of the liver, and accelerated aging.

So what are we saying, that a can of soda will kill you? Of course not – at least not right away.


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A Day In My Shoes

No A Day In My Shoes This Week

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