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Issue Home October 31, 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

SUSQUEHANNA: Numerous changes and improvements have been completed at the Simon H. Barnes Memorial hospital, which will make it line with the best institutions of the kind in the State. The interior has been redecorated and refitted and next summer it is planned to build an annex to make room for various departments and increase the efficiency of the hospital. The location of the hospital is an ideal one, and the citizens who are working for its maintenance and improvement are to be congratulated on its flourishing condition. The work at the hospital is under the supervision of Miss Bertha Miller, matron, formerly of Binghamton. At the present, in addition to the matron, there are four nurses.

DIMOCK: Wanted—A blacksmith and horseshoer to locate in Dimock. AND: An automobile passed through this place on Sunday last during the hard rainstorm, on its way to Scranton.

LAUREL LAKE: Rev. A. M. Bertels will continue to preach here every Sunday morning until the roads become impassable.

NEW MILFORD: On Monday night thieves entered the barn of E. T. Oakley and stole a horse, wagon, harness blankets, etc., owned by W. F. Shields, and up to the time of going to press no clue to the thieves has been discovered. The horse, a dark bay weighing about 900 lbs., is marked as follows—a deep scar on one front foot extending across hoof into hair, also deep depression on both sides of neck. Mr. Shields offers a reward for information leading to the arrest of the thieves and recovery of the property.

GLENWOOD: Joseph Cadden, a Glenwood farmer, sent word to police headquarters in Scranton on Monday to be on the lookout for a thief who had stolen his horse, carriage, harness and blankets. Saturday night his barn was entered and the party hitching the horse to the carriage drove away, without arousing the occupants of the house.

HERRICK CENTRE: While hunting for game in the woods near here, quite recently, Earle Miller met with a distressing accident, which may cost him the use of one eye. Miller was hunting with Wm. Vandervort and when the latter fired at a bird, Miller was within range and three of the shot hit him in one eye, and two in the other. The physicians in attendance are not yet certain whether they can save the sight of either eye or not.

FOREST CITY: Sidney Lott has been made outside foreman at the Clifford Colliery to succeed R. A. Randall, who last week resigned after 20 years of service. Mr. Lott, although young in years is old in experience along this line. He knows a breaker from top to bottom and will make a good successor to a good man.

SOUTH MONTROSE: Knight Millard, while at his work in the Allen sawmill, on Tuesday afternoon, met with a very distressing accident in having a thumb and finger taken off. Dr. Fred S. Birchard dressed the wounded hand, which is getting along as well as can be expected.

THOMPSON: Conductor Polk Palmer was injured about the head and body in a collision between the Erie “flyer” and the rear end of a train entering a siding near Thompson, Monday night. The engine was derailed and the caboose and several freight cars badly damaged. The engineer and fireman of the “flyer” jumped and escaped injury, and none of the passengers were hurt, but badly shaken up and scared. Conductor Palmer has been injured in wrecks a few times before, but always pulls through. AND: We have a full installment of winter at this writing.

GELATT: Mr. Spruke, of Scranton, and Mr. Parham, of Pleasant Mount, met the farmers here last Thursday with a view of locating a cheese factory here. It was decided to try and get fifty shares of stock at $25 per share.

HOP BOTTOM: In Foster, at the home of the bride’s parents, Oct. 23, 1907, occurred the marriage of Miss Hazel E. Cobb and Ellery B. Sterling. Rev. Houck officiated.

HARFORD: The annual meeting of Harford Public Library association will be held in the Congregational church on Friday evening, Nov. 15. There will be music and a debate, of which the subject will be “Resolved, that women should be home makers instead of bread winners.” Debaters announced later.

HEART LAKE: Apples are more plentiful than most people anticipated. L. E. Griffing is prepared to take all the cider apples that come, also sweet apples for jelly. Jake Wahl is anticipating a large retail trade of sweet cider. Keep it cool, Jake.

FLYNN: The roads here were blockaded by the wet snow on the trees, bending them over the roads in some places. Dr. Hickok had to cut some trees out of his way in order to attend a patient on Sunday, last.

MONTROSE: A special dispatch to the Philadelphia Press, from Bellefonte, of Oct. 19, says: “The 1100 undergraduates to-night are wild with enthusiasm over [Penn] State’s 8 to 6 victory over Cornell. A big bonfire is burning on the campus and the students are parading the town and singing songs. The College Athletic Association had a leased private wire direct to Ithaca and the plays were received as the game progressed and when the final score and State’s victory were announced hats were smashed and the students went wild with delight. In the last three athletic contests with Cornell, State has won two, so there is good cause for rejoicing.” The four students at State College from Montrose and vicinity, Harold Warner of Montrose, Homer Butterfield of South Montrose, Ralph Jameson of East Bridgewater and Earl McCain of Rush, were we learn, as wild as the wildest ones mentioned above, with enthusiasm over the victory won by the football eleven of State College. Three of the successful players are fellow Sophomores of Warner and Jameson and like Warner are preparing for mining engineering.

NEWS BRIEFS: That candle grease the kids rubbed on your plate glass front [windows] last night, Mr. Merchant, can be removed with gasoline, kerosene or ammonia—Bon Ami or Saporlic won’t touch it. Instruct the clerk not to swear as he rubs away, or vainly tries to. We were young once, a long time ago, and have forgotten—almost—the tricks we did which were equally as bad. Considering it was All Hallow’een, they were quite docile. Beans and flour played their usual parts, and the annual lugging away of gates took place, to be toted back later by the complaining owners.

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

On April 19, 1995, Mylee Cottle was convicted in the State of New Jersey for committing first degree murder in connection with the shooting death of Darren Williams during a traffic altercation. During the course of the criminal proceedings, Cottle was represented by attorney Steven Olitsky. According to Cottle, his attorney mentioned to him that he was “disturbed” prior to trial with a personal matter, but Cottle was not told the specifics. As it turns out, the defense attorney had also been arrested for the crime of stalking, in the same court with the same prosecutor handling the case, and was facing a potential period of incarceration of up to 18 months. Moreover, the defense attorney was also being investigated by the prosecutor’s office for wrongfully appropriating client funds for his personal use.

Cottle was never told that his attorney had pending criminal charges, or that his attorney was under investigation. The prosecutor knew about the pending charges and the ongoing investigation because they were prosecuting both the defense attorney and Cottle. The prosecutor never informed Cottle that he might be sharing a cell with his defense attorney. Eventually, as a result of his criminal behavior, the defense attorney was disbarred, but the disbarment came long after Cottle was convicted of murder. Now, over a decade after his conviction, Cottle has discovered this information and is seeking a new trial on the basis that his attorney could not have adequately represented him, given the defense attorney’s pending criminal charges and the ongoing criminal investigation.

In the pending appeal, the prosecutor’s office still maintains that they had no obligation to disclose this information to Cottle; rather, his defense attorney should have disclosed this information. On the other hand, Cottle maintains that his attorney could not have effectively represented him burdened with the knowledge that he might soon be going to jail. Further, there was also the potential that the defense attorney was beholden to the prosecutor, i.e., the defense attorney was afraid to offend the prosecutor in Cottle’s murder case because the prosecutor might retaliate against the defense attorney in his personal criminal matter.

So should Cottle’s 17-year old conviction be reversed based upon the fact that his defense attorney also had pending criminal charges? Normally, where a defendant contends that his counsel was ineffective at trial, a defendant must demonstrate what specific conduct by his counsel resulted in prejudice to the defendant, i.e., but for the attorney’s conduct, the defendant would not have been convicted. In this case, it is not apparent that Cottle can demonstrate any actual conduct by his defense attorney during the trial that was ineffective except for the specter of the pending criminal charges hanging over his defense attorney’s head. Instead, Cottle is asking the New Jersey court to fashion a bright-line rule that simply recognizes an inherent conflict arising from such a situation, namely a defense counsel with current pending criminal charges cannot represent a criminal defendant in the same county with the same prosecutor.

There is so much wrong with this picture that it is hard to even know where to begin. What was the prosecutor thinking, allowing an indicted defense attorney to try a case while the prosecutor was also prosecuting the defense attorney? It seems that common sense would scream out that this was a bad idea in a simple traffic case, let alone a homicide. What was the court thinking in allowing the defense attorney to appear and represent a homicide defendant when the defense attorney had pending criminal charges before the court? Even if the court decided to allow the defense attorney to continue representing criminal defendants, at a minimum, the defense attorney should have been made to disclose his problems on the record to the defendant so the defendant could have made a knowing decision on whether he wanted the defense attorney to continue in his representation.

In short, the defense attorney may have done everything right during the homicide trial, but there is no way to meaningfully remove the residual stench from the entire proceeding, caused by the seemingly clandestine relationship between the prosecutor and the defense attorney created by the pending criminal charges. Still, the New Jersey court could conclude that the conduct was inappropriate, but that Cottle cannot demonstrate any prejudice, i.e., the evidence was so strong that the defendant would have been convicted regardless of who was representing him. The facts present an interesting (and disturbing) scenario for the appellate court.

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

My columns usually start with a question from a reader, but this one was suggested by a sharp newspaper editor who thought I should warn seniors to get a flu shot. Thanks for the idea.

The last flu season in the U.S. and Canada was mild, but health officials are predicting that this season will be nasty. Flu season in the northern hemisphere can range from as early as November to as late as May. The peak month usually is February.

More than 200,000 flu victims are hospitalized annually in the United States; about 36,000 people die from it. As much as 20 percent of the U.S. population gets the flu each year.

Flu is a contagious illness of the respiratory system caused by the influenza virus. Flu can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis, ear problems and dehydration.

Droplets from coughing and sneezing spread the flu. An adult with flu can infect others beginning one day before symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick. Children may spread flu for more than seven days.

The best way to combat the bug is to get the flu vaccine. You have to get inoculated annually because new vaccines are prepared every year to combat new versions of the virus. When you battle the flu, you develop antibodies to the invading virus, but those antibodies don’t work on new strains. The vaccine does not prevent flu in all people; it works better in younger recipients than older ones.

Personal note: I used to catch the flu every winter. About 10 years ago, I started getting the vaccine. I haven’t had the flu since.

Contrary to rumor, you can’t catch the flu from the vaccine. The flu vaccine is not made from a live virus.

The vaccine can be administered anytime during flu season. However, the best time to get inoculated is October-November. Adults over 50 are prime candidates for the vaccine because the flu can be fatal for older people.

You can get the flu vaccine from your doctor, at public health centers, senior centers, pharmacies and supermarkets.

There is a flu vaccine in nasal-spray form that has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for healthy people between the ages of 5 and 49. The nasal spray’s safety has not been established in seniors.

The recovery time for the flu is about one to two weeks. However, in seniors, weakness may persist for a longer time.

The common scenario for flu is a sudden onset of symptoms, which include chills, fatigue, fever, cough, headache, sore throat, nasal congestion, muscle aches and appetite loss.

While nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can be related to the flu, these are rarely the primary flu symptoms. The flu is not a stomach or intestinal disease. The term “stomach flu” is inaccurate.

When symptoms strike, get to a doctor as soon as possible; the faster the better. There are prescription antiviral drugs to treat flu. Over-the-counter medicines can help relieve symptoms of the flu. You should also drink liquids to prevent dehydration, and sleep to bolster your immune system.

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

Multiculturalism: Chasing The Rainbow

By this time we're all quite comfortable with multiculturalism. Like a well-worn sweater, or a pair of old shoes, it's part of us, like democracy and patriotism. Yet, it is an undefined term. It's the suffix "ism," meaning "a theory," that makes a definitive definition elusive. Just what is the "theory" of multiculturalism (MC)?

MC is a '60's neologism with a new-age flavor. It seems to mean a state where all religions, races, customs, and backgrounds live in an atmosphere of peace and harmony, singing "Cum-Bi-Ya." Well, pipe dreams and platitudes aside, let's take a hard look at MC and see exactly how theory meets practice.

In Indonesia, the Indonesians are busy butchering the East Timorese. The Moslems are using the Sudan as a killing field for animists and Christians. In Rwanda, the Tutus and Hutsis take turns chopping each other up. In the Mexican state of Chiapas, the police have wild-west shootouts with the Indians.

One could go on with the Vietnamese and the Montagards, the Moslems and Christians in Lebanon, the Malays and the Chinese, the Catholics and Protestants in Ireland, the Israelis and the Palestinians, and the French in Canada. And in Iraq, it's a free-for-all among the Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds. Look for MC and you're more likely to find mayhem and chaos rather than meaningful coexistence.

But isn't the United States a melting pot? John Jay, one of the founding fathers, didn't think so. Two hundred years ago he wrote in the Federalist Papers (No. 2) "that Providence has been pleased to give this country to one united people . . . descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs." For most of its history, the US was a homogenous nation.

The Immigration Act of 1965 changed that. It provided for chain immigration; i.e., relatives of nationalized Americans could bring over their relatives, and their relatives could, in turn, bring over their relatives, on infinitum. Immigration had turned into migration.

Huge influxes of immigrants are nothing new. Between 1890 and 1920 upwards of 20 million Irish, Germans, Italians, and East Europeans flooded our shores. There were prejudices and conflicts to be sure, but they had one overriding characteristic; they wanted to become Americans.

The last 40 years have seen another tide of foreigners. There are prejudices and conflicts here too, that's to be expected. But they have one disturbing characteristic; they want to retain their nationality and language. America isn't changing them. They are changing America.

Many of today's newcomers refuse to assimilate. As one Mexican said, "I think I'm still a Mexican. When my skin turns white and my hair turns blonde, then I'll be an American." The melting pot has become a salad bowl.

Well then, what about diversity being our strength? Diversity of thought, opinions, approaches? Absolutely. And diversity of talents? Indispensable. But diversity of ethnicities and languages has historically been a proven recipe for conflict. We should all get along together. That would be ideal. But we don't.

The truth is – if we dare to admit it – that we feel most comfortable with our own kind. This has nothing to do with prejudice, or fantasies of superiority. It's just that like gravitates toward like. Quite naturally people sort themselves into neighborhoods: Polish, German, Chinese, black, white, or Hispanic barrios. The question is this: Can each group retain their heritage while still blending into a national whole?

Now it's up to us to break the mold and get along. Thus far, we have been doing a pretty good job. Diversity may in reality become our strength – perhaps it already is – if not, it will tear America apart into factions warring over political and economic power. And when a group wants power, it's like a pack of lions tearing at the carcass of a wildebeest. The lions don't want to share the kill; each lion wants all of it

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A Day In My Shoes

No A Day In My Shoes This Week

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