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Issue Home November 14, 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

MONTROSE: Nov. 8, 1907 was a red-letter day in the annals of Susquehanna county. For months her citizens, and especially those living at the county seat, had watched with interest the progress in the erection of the fine building fronting on Monument Square, which was to be the permanent home of the County Historical Society and Free Library Association. At last it stands complete, except that the unfinished grading requires an improvised plant walk to the front entrance. Old Glory was displayed just outside the walk in front. After days of stormy weather the morning was ushered in with auspicious omens, and all hearts were glad. During the morning session it was resolved that the reading room be opened at once but the opening of the library is delayed until the books are arranged and catalogued. In the afternoon Francis R. Cope, Jr., with a background of silken flags and bunting, spoke and thanked all for their generous support. Hon. Thomas L. Montgomery, State Librarian, spoke about what Benjamin Franklin did for Pennsylvania in the advancement of education and congratulated the county citizens that they did not have to appeal to Andrew Carnegie to fund their library. Numerous other speeches were interspersed with piano, vocal and poetry recitations. After the evening session there was a reception and inspection of the building. [From the beginning the library has been a county library, known to be the first county library in the State of Pennsylvania.]

SILVER LAKE: A crazy man named Sullivan residing in Silver Lake township, attempted suicide one night this week. Details are meager, but he is reported recovering although his windpipe was badly gashed in slashing his throat with a knife. The man is the same one who created a sensation in the jail several years ago, when in an insane condition he set fire to his bed and attempted to burn the jail down.

ST. JOSEPH: M. J. Sweeney is still delivering his celebrated spring water. Send him orders at St. Joseph, Pa. Six large bottles for 50 cents, delivered.

HALLSTEAD: John Pike died at his home last Saturday morning, aged 70 years. The funeral took place from St. Mary’s church, Binghamton, Rev. J. S. Fagan, of Great Bend, officiating. Interment in Binghamton. The deceased is survived by a wife and two children, Hon. William J. Pike, U.S. Consul to Kehl, Germany, and Mrs. L. D. Sawyer, of Candor, N.Y. Deceased was one of the best-known men on the line of the D. L. & W. Railroad, where most of his active life had been spent as locomotive engineer.

BROOKLYN: After an absence of 26 years from his native county, E. P. Ely is now visiting relatives and friends at Brooklyn, where his younger days were spent. He was a caller in town Wednesday and stated that he went to southern Michigan in 1866 and has since made his home in the west, where he has enjoyed life and is prospering.

RUSH: Wm. Clemens Kunkel, son of the late John Huston and Sarah Spragle Kunkel, born in Kunkeltown, Monroe Co., Pa., on June 3d, 1841, died at his home in Rush, Sept. 13, 1907. He was the last of six sons, three of whom died in the Civil War. He leaves a wife, two daughters and six sisters to mourn the loss of a faithful husband, a loving father and a kind and loving brother. He had been a life-long sufferer.

FLYNN: Mrs. James W. Flynn has purchased a fine little road pony for her own special driving. One that is not afraid of an automobile or the [railroad] cars, and perfectly safe for a lady to drive. AND: Another way in which our telephone line will be useful to some--one man proposes to have the number of his phone on a tag on his horse or cows, so when they stray away anyone will know to call up Jim.

GLENWOOD: Mrs. Bucklin, on going to feed her chickens one morning last week, found 19 dead ones, the work of minks.

SUSQUEHANNA: James Paye, one of our live citizens, was here the first of the week. He is still in the livery business, also selling wagons, sleighs, horses, etc. and gets his share of the business.

HERRICK CENTRE: A law suit, Saturday, before Squire Bowell, resulted in trashing out a good bit of family dirt and keeping lawyers Gardner and Bunnell from their supper, until after 7 o’clock.

GELATT: On account of the high water the old Pope dam was dammed again last week by people living on the low lands.

GREAT BEND: Henry Ackert, an old resident of Great Bend, who is well and favorably known, is now conducting the Kane Hotel and restaurant, near the Erie station in that place. Mr. Ackert was many years ago proprietor of the Valley House, destroyed by fire, in that place.

NEW MILFORD: One of the most shocking accidents ever recorded in New Milford, occurred Monday evening, when Ray Howell, son of Mr. and Mrs. Ira Howell, of that place, was instantly killed by a freight train on which he had been stealing a ride. The young man, with a number of boys, had been in Hallstead for the day, and when the time came to return home they decided to make the trip on a freight train, which was pulling out of Hallstead. Nearing New Milford, Ray began to climb down from his lofty position on top of one of the box cars in order to be ready to leave the car at the New Milford station. The other boys managed to land safely, but when Ray was about half way down the ladder on the side of the car, his foot caught and he plunged headlong under the wheels, which ground his life out instantly. His uncle, Postmaster Howell, witnessed the accident. Ray was 18 years of age, a general favorite, and a bright future was predicted for him.

BRANDT: Another large wreck occurred at the chair factory on Sunday night, when five cars of westbound Delaware & Hudson coal train were derailed and badly piled up. The tracks were both tied up for hours and all passengers from both directions were transferred at the scene of the derailment. No one was injured and the accident was thought to be due to a broken wheel under one of the cars.

NEWS BRIEFS: There are nearly 3000 graves of Confederate soldiers in Woodlawn cemetery, Elmira, N.Y., who died in that city during the rebellion, while prisoners of war. Each grave will soon have a marble marker, with name, residence and war record, the entire expense to be borne by the U. S. Government. AND: Automobiles have gone into winter quarters and the all-the-year round horse is now the only highway puller of passengers.

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

A jury trial always has some uncertainty, even with the strongest cases. The O.J. Simpson murder prosecution is the classic example of jury nullification, i.e., a jury simply refusing to convict despite overwhelming evidence of guilt. After each jury trial, I speak with jurors and discuss their experiences with them. Sometimes, the jurors will ask questions or explain some aspect of their deliberations. I am often surprised over the things that jurors find important to their deliberations. Two examples immediately come to mind.

The first example involved a trial where the defendant delivered cocaine to an undercover police officer. The defendant could not dispute that he delivered the cocaine, instead he argued that the police officer entrapped him into committing the crime. As the jury deliberations dragged into the evening hours, I began to wonder what the jury was debating. As the jury remained out, the defendant became increasingly nervous, and I became increasingly uncertain as to the result of the case. As the jury continued its deliberations, a plea agreement was reached, and the defendant pled guilty to a felony drug offense with a mutually agreeable sentence. Afterwards, I discovered that the jury had voted 11 to 1 to convict the defendant, but one juror refused to vote for a conviction because he believed that it was wrong for the state police to be out of their uniforms, i.e., undercover. Obviously, this reasoning had nothing to do with the law, but was a personal belief that the juror could not overcome during the deliberation process.

The other example was also a drug case, involving the delivery of methamphetamine to a confidential informant outside the presence of the police officer. The defendant consented to an interview with the police, and admitted to delivering the controlled substance. Again, the jury deliberated for some time, and eventually returned a guilty verdict. Afterwards, several jurors came to see me and asked me a question concerning Miranda warnings and the absence of those warnings in the case. Miranda was not applicable to the case because the defendant was not under arrest when he confessed to the crime, i.e., the Miranda warnings simply were not required. Moreover, the court never instructed the jury on any Miranda issue. Despite the fact that it was never addressed in the trial and there was no jury instruction to consider it, a juror had argued to his fellow jurors that they could not consider the defendant’s confession because it had been obtained in violation of Miranda. Of course, the juror was wrong, and, thankfully, the other jurors convinced him that it was not their job to consider that issue.

Recently, there was a shocking case of jury nullification in Michigan. Orange Taylor III was charged with the murder of Laura Dickinson, a 22-year old female college student. Dickinson was found two days after her death in her dorm room, naked from the waist down with a pillow over her head. There was no doubt that Taylor entered her dorm apartment – he was caught on video surveillance entering the dorm room, there was fiber evidence inside the dorm room that placed Taylor in the room, and Taylor’s semen was found on the inside thigh of the victim. Because of the decomposition of the body, the medical examiner could not say with 100% certainty that Dickinson died from suffocation, but given the position of her body with the pillow over her head, the medical examiner indicated the suffocation was the most likely manner of death.

Taylor was charged with rape and murder. For his part, Taylor admitted that he was in the victim’s dorm room, but he contended that he entered the dorm room to commit a burglary, that he found the victim already dead, and, as he was aroused, he masturbated over her dead body. Thus, the defendant attempted to explain both his presence in the room and his semen on the body of the victim. The defendant also suggested that the victim may have died of a heart attack, as opposed to being suffocated – despite her being found in such an unnatural position, half-naked with a pillow over her head.

Even with the seemingly overwhelming evidence, a Michigan jury was unable to convict the defendant. The jury was deadlocked with 10 members voting guilty, and two members voting not guilty. The judge was forced to declare a mistrial, and the case will be set for another trial, where hopefully a more sensible jury panel will be found.

The right to a jury trial is an essential constitutional component that protects citizens from an overreaching government. It assures a citizen a right to be judged by his or her peers prior to a government imposed sanction of incarceration. At the same time, juries can do strange and seemingly unexplainable things based upon personal perceptions, beliefs or prejudices that are difficult to anticipate, and, there are times when people are left wondering whether a particular jury has achieved justice.

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’m a 76-year-old woman and I have to take a long nap every day because I’m up nights urinating. I know a lot of my contemporaries have the same problem. I’m curious to know how widespread this is.

First, don’t presume that the nightly bathroom trips are insignificant. See a doctor to determine the cause. There are solutions to your problem, but they depend upon a diagnosis.

You’re suffering from a very common problem called “nocturia,” the need to urinate at night. Some people with severe nocturia get up as many as six times a night to go to the bathroom. The International Continence Society defines nocturia as two or more voids at night.

Nocturia is more common among seniors than younger people. In a survey taken by the National Sleep Foundation, about two thirds of the adults (55 to 84 years old) polled reported an urge to go to the bathroom at least several nights a week.

There are a variety of reasons for nocturia in older people.

First, we produce less of a hormone that helps us retain fluid. Because of this decreased capacity, seniors produce more urine at night. Second, the bladder—a muscular sac—loses its capacity to hold urine. Third, we have more health problems that can affect the bladder.

Both men and women get nocturia.

Many men suffer from nocturia because of benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate. The prostate is a walnut-size organ that surrounds the tube (urethra) that carries urine from the bladder and out of your body.

BPH is common in men 50 and older. An enlarged prostate may squeeze the urethra, making it hard to urinate. It may cause dribbling after you urinate or a frequent urge to urinate, especially at night.

Pelvic organ displacement, menopause and childbirth can cause nocturia in many women.

The pelvic floor is a network of muscles, ligaments and other tissues that hold up the pelvic organs: the vagina, rectum, uterus and bladder. When this hammock-like network weakens, the organs can slip out of place and create disorders.

A woman reaches menopause when a year has passed since her last period. Menopause, like many of the changes in a woman’s body through her lifetime, is caused by changes in hormone levels. Menopause can make it difficult to hold urine.

There are other medical conditions that cause nocturia. These include infection, tumors, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver failure, diabetes and sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea is much more common in older adults and men. Apnea is Greek for “without breath.” People with sleep apnea stop breathing for as long as 30 seconds at a time. These interruptions can happen hundreds of times a night. The breathing cessations may wake you.

There are people who overproduce urine at night. This is called “nocturnal polyuria. ” It can cause nocturia, too.

Other causes of nocturia that are not medical conditions are drinking caffeine, alcohol or too much liquid close to bedtime. In addition, diuretic medications can contribute to the problem.

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

The Social Wars: Cancer

The government is juggling three at-home wars. On the socialistic front line are the War on Poverty, the War on Cancer, and the War on Drugs. This is a critique of that second war.

Its yellowish arms radiate outwards in wild, uncontrolled growth, sapping life from its host ‘till no life is left. It's the Big C, cancer, and if it doesn't scare you, it should. After heart disease, cancer is the second leading cause of death. By 2010 it is expected to be in the No. 2 spot.

Once a rare disease, this year 570,000 Americans will succumb to it. This is considerably more than the total number of US soldiers who died in WW I to the present time. If you are a man, your chances are one in two that you will develop cancer; if you're a woman, your chances are one in three. That added up to 1.2 million new victims last year. The projected figure for 2007 is 1.4 million new cancer cases.

Numbers like this inspired the National Cancer Act. When President Nixon signed it in 1971, he opened the federal purse to billions of dollars to fund what he termed the "War on Cancer." Since then, tens of billions of dollars have poured into the coffers of cancer research. Four decades later, isn't it time we asked...

Are we winning? Dr. John Bailer, who spent 20 years on the staff of the US National Cancer Institute and was editor of its journal, said this: "My overall assessment is that the national cancer program must be judged a qualified failure."

Failure? Yet we hear about how we're making progress: cancer rates cut in half by 2015, the odds of surviving cancer five years after diagnosis greatly improved, victims are surviving longer. Really? Well, grit your teeth and welcome to the world of cancer research. It's a world of deceit, greed, and towering hypocrisy. We'll discuss all three. Start with deceit.

Learning how to count. True enough, the odds of surviving five years after diagnosis have dramatically improved. But the five-year marker merely reflects early detection of the disease. It has no bearing on the length of the illness or its outcome. Whether cancer is detected early or late does not change anything but the statistics. And if a patient dies one day after the five-year all-clear time, it is still counted as a success.

Another way to skew the medical stats is to discount patients who die of cancer during treatment because they did not receive the full treatment. Using this method, cancer could be statistically eliminated overnight. Just give all patients with cancer an interminable treatment of anything. Guess what? No one dies from cancer because the treatment was never completed.

Further success is conjured up by judging the shrinkage of tumors as a measure of success, regardless of survival times. But tumor shrinkage is a poor prognosticator of survival time.

But what about the falling death rate? Beware of statements and statistics from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society (ACS); like the crocodile's smile, they are deceptive. They make an arbitrary adjustment for increased life span. And yes, with this manipulation the death rate drops, but by how much is carefully omitted; it's one-tenth of one percent.

What about greed? The NCI's budget for 2008 is close to $5 billion. These funds are carefully doled out to sustain an interlocking, self-serving network of agencies geared more to sustaining the cancer industry than to finding a cure. The result: After 40 years of research, survival time has increased. But by how much is not mentioned; it's months, not years.

The ACS ekes by on an annual $380 million, but generous donations from Big Pharma and chemotherapy manufacturers help it make ends meet. But before you donate to this "charitable" organization, consider that 75 percent goes toward operating expenses and fat-cat salaries.

We'll end with hypocrisy. Trying to develop a pill to cure cancer is like trying to find a pill effective against gunshots. The orthodox treatments of surgery, radiation, and chemo-"therapy" (a.k.a. slash, burn, and poison) are themselves carcinogenic. (Can something that causes cancer cure cancer?) Time has proven this approach to be tragically futile, yet the pretense of success is perpetuated.

The cancer establishment is focused on diagnosis and orthodox treatment. The New England Journal of Medicine cited this as a flawed approach: "The effect of treatments for cancer on mortality has been largely disappointing." It continues, "The most promising approach to the control of cancer is... prevention, with a concomitant rebalancing of the focus and funding of research." That was written 10 years ago. Nothing has changed.

Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Noble Prize winner, was more straightforward: "Cancer research is largely a fraud." Fraud? It's a multibillion dollar scam.

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A Day In My Shoes

No A Day In My Shoes This Week

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