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Issue Home January 16, 2008 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 Shoe
Food For Thought
Earth Talk

100 Years Ago

SUSQUEHANNA: The members of the “Kidders’ Club” of this place enjoyed (?) a sleighride to Hallstead last week. After roaming around the village and not wishing to clash with the curfew, which sputters regularly at 8 o’clock, they returned home at 7:55 p.m. from the picturesque village of Herald post card fame. Those present were: Misses Katie Judge, Camilla Hennessy, Anna O’Malley, Mary Hickey, Nellie Kane, Agnes Malloy, Anna Creegan, Esther Ahern, Katie Creegan, Louise O’Connell and Isabelle Burns. Misses May Ryan and Rachael O’Connell chaperoned the party.

FOREST CITY: Charles Todd, a bright former Forest City boy, and one time valedictorian of a high school graduating class there, has been given a local preacher’s license by unanimous vote of the Forest City Methodist church. Mr. Todd is a student at Syracuse University.

MONTROSE: After a long illness with cancer, Mrs. Martha Slaughter Smith, wife of Rev. George Smith, died at her late home in Johnstown, NY, on Jan. 12th, 1908. Mrs. Smith was born in this place and was highly respected by all who know her. Several years ago she married Rev. George Smith, son of the late Rev. William and Betsey Smith, both pioneers of the Negro race in Montrose. Late years Mrs. Smith dwelt in New York state, where her husband is prominent in the circles of the African Methodist Episcopal church. The remains were brought to Montrose yesterday when the final funeral services were held. Interment was made in the Montrose Cemetery. AND: The doing away of the stage lines in favor of free mail delivery may be progressive, but the old stages running in and out of Montrose are an accommodation to many people.

BRANDT: Owing to the Kessler Co. plant working with only a part of the help, a number of the employees have taken advantage of the Erie company ice cutting at Hathaways, near Ararat Summit, and are working there for awhile.

JACKSON: C. D. Washburn, a veteran of the late [Civil] war, was in South Gibson Jan. 11th and installed the new officers in A. J. Roper Post, G.A.R. for this year. Mr. Washburn is a prominent candidate for county treasurer. He was the guest of Comrade H. D. Pickering while in town.

SOUTH GIBSON: W. W. Resseguie has returned from State College, where he has been for some time learning to improve on the old ways of farming. AND: Fourteen couples from this place went on a leap year sleighride to Roberts’ hotel in Jackson, last Friday evening, and report a good time.

LENOX: The teachers of Lenox met at Glenwood January 11th. Miss Vida Sherman was elected chairman and Miss Blanche Hoppe secretary. Miss Hoppe then read a paper on the teaching of English in the primary grades. Miss Ruth Ross read a paper on Recitation. Both papers were thoroughly discussed by the teachers. Those present were: Misses Vida Sherman, Ruth Ross, Faye Hallstead, Freda Robinson, Blanche Hoppe, Lloyd L. Call and Fred N. Hardy.

PLEASANT VALLEY, Auburn Twp.: About 50 of the friends and neighbors gathered at the home of J. Schoonmaker on Jan. 10th, it being his 50th birthday. At first he thought he was having visitors, but as they continued to come he began to think they had a purpose and he realized it was his birthday. They came from Auburn Centre, Beech Grove, Retta, Rushboro, South Auburn and Camptown. The ladies were provided with well filled baskets, and a sumptuous dinner was served. After the feast was over, all assembled in the parlor and sitting room, where Mr. Lowe made a few well chosen remarks and presented him with a sum of money amounting to $10.50, with the request that he purchase a present that he could keep in remembrance of the occasion. He was also presented with a beautiful birthday cake, made in the shape of a pyramid, by Mrs. Harriet Ainey, aged 77 years. As it was his request “not to have it cut” it was placed in the centre of the table, where all could look at but not touch it. The evening was spent in playing games. Fine music was rendered by Ethel Green at the organ and J. and Bruce Green with the violin. The cake was then cut and lunch was served, all pronouncing it very fine and appetizing and not to be beaten by a younger cook.

SPRINGVILLE: Last Wednesday afternoon the village people were shocked to learn that Miss Madeline, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. L. Blakeslee, was dead. Her sickness began with scarlet fever. Appendicitis developing later, an operation being prohibited on account of first sickness, her death being caused by the latter trouble, although an operation was performed as soon as her condition would permit. Miss Blakeslee was an estimable young lady and she had very many friends wherever she was known. Her age was fifteen years.

GLENWOOD: A birthday party was held at the home of P. H. Hunt, it being his 51st birthday. The house was well filled with sons and daughters and grandchildren. At the conclusion of the feast a beautiful chair was presented to Mr. Hunt by the children; a set of dining room chairs for Mrs. Hunt; then Mr. Hunt made a fine speech and was so overjoyed he occupied the chair for the rest of the day.

FRIENDSVILLE: A Leap Year dance, the first of the season, was held at A.O.H. Hall on the evening of Jan. 8th. About 50 young people were present. Good music was in attendance, refreshments were served, and all report an excellent time. AND: The Friendsville Literary and Dramatic Association has been organized.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Mr. Platt, the birch oil manufacturer, made a business trip to Binghamton, Saturday.

NEW MILFORD: The New Milford Musical Club enjoyed a sleighride to the home of W. A. Benson, near Brushville, Wednesday evening.

THOMPSON: Leroy French, who has been clerk in the corner store for a year or more, entered Keuka College, making three students there from Thompson.

NEWS BRIEFS: The cawing of crows in the early morning has been heard. Old weather prognosticators tell us that it indicates an early spring. AND: About $8,000,000 were spent for automobiles in this country last year. Imagine the amount of stink and dust those purchases raised.

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

During the late evening hours of August 3, 2002, a 17-year old juvenile male was walking home from a convenience store when she was approached by Terrence Gallagher. Gallagher stopped his car, asked for directions and offered the juvenile a ride. The juvenile accepted. Gallagher then asked the juvenile if he liked to drink, and the juvenile said that he did, so Gallagher drove to a bar, got some beer, and took the juvenile back to Gallagher’s parked RV, where they began to drink. Apparently, they were thirsty and ran out of beer, so Gallagher went out and got some more beer. After returning to the RV, Gallagher performed an act of oral sex on the intoxicated juvenile male. After this occurred, the juvenile wanted to go home, but Gallagher would not allow it, as he contended that he was too drunk to drive the boy home. Before he took the child home the next morning, Gallagher performed another act of oral sex upon him. The next day, after discussing the matter with his girlfriend’s mother, the juvenile male reported the matter to the police.

Gallagher was charged with a variety of different offenses in connection with the alleged sexual assault of the juvenile male. After a bench trial, he was found guilty of luring a child into a motor vehicle, and furnishing alcohol to minors. The trial court sentenced the defendant to two to four years in state prison for his conduct in connection with luring the child into his vehicle, and followed that with one year of probation for furnishing alcohol to the child. The defendant appealed his conviction on the offense of luring a child into a motor vehicle.

On his appeal, Gallagher argued that he reasonably believed that the child was not a juvenile, but that he believed that the victim was over 18 years of age. The trial court had already determined that Gallagher did reasonably believe that the child was over 18, but still convicted him of luring a child into a motor vehicle. The question became whether the statute prohibiting the luring of a child into a motor vehicle was a strict liability offense, i.e., did it really matter that the defendant did not believe that he was luring a child, but that he was luring an adult?

The offense of luring a child into a motor vehicle prohibits any person from luring or attempting to lure a child into a motor vehicle without the parents’ consent, unless the luring is reasonably necessary to provide the child with assistance. There is nothing in the statute as to the intent – it simply says that you cannot lure a child into your vehicle. The trial court determined that the Legislature intended this to be a strict liability offense – if you lure someone into your vehicle who turns out to be a child, then you are guilty unless you can demonstrate that you had parental consent or the child needed assistance.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court considered this case and reversed Gallagher’s conviction. The Court conceded that the statute did not have a specific provision relating to the intent of the defendant with reference to the age of the child. Still, the Crimes Code has a default provision that essentially indicates that where a statute is silent as to the intent necessary to commit a crime, it is presumed to be either conduct that is “intentional, knowing or reckless.” In this case, the trial court had already determined that the defendant reasonably believed that the victim was over 18 years of age. Thus, he could not have intentionally or knowingly lured a child into his motor vehicle because he did not know he was dealing with a child. Finally, the defendant could not have acted recklessly either, as the trial court already determined that the defendant’s mistake of age was reasonable. If his age assumption was reasonable, it cannot be said that he acted recklessly. So, Gallagher was set free.

Justice Eakin dissented and stated that he believed that the Legislature had intended to protect children with this statute, and he could not support a decision that abrogated the Legislature’s intent. In voicing his disagreement, Justice Eakin concluded: “Some children may look older than they are, some younger, but if one intentionally lures them into a vehicle, appearances should not give the lurer absolution. Such an interpretation does not support the Legislature’s aim of protecting children from predators such as [Gallagher].” Despite the force of Justice Eakin’s dissent, he stood alone in his opposition.

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. We had a fire in our retirement community recently and an older woman died. Now I’m worried about fires. What can I do to protect myself?

Seniors face the highest risk of perishing in a fire because their senses don’t detect danger as easily as they used to, and they don’t move quickly to escape during an emergency. So, fire safety is especially important to all older people

I went to a bunch of experts and collected suggestions for protecting seniors against fire. The following is a list of 20 tips distilled from all the best material.

1.) First, here are fire-emergency recommendations:

If you must exit through smoke, crawl under it (smoke rises).

Cover your mouth and nose with a moist towel or an article of clothing to protect yourself from dangerous fumes.

Always touch closed doors; if they are warm, don’t open them. Don’t touch doorknobs.

If your clothing is on fire, drop to the floor and roll to extinguish flames.

Avoid elevators; use stairs or fire escapes.

2.) Install smoke alarms on all levels of your home and outside all sleeping areas. You double your chance of surviving a fire with alarms. Vacuum and test them regularly. Replace all batteries at least once a year. Replace your smoke alarms every ten years; they lose sensitivity.

3.) Plan a primary escape route and alternates. Discuss your escape plan with family, friends, neighbors and run fire drills. See if everyone can evacuate your home within three minutes – the time it can take for an entire house to go up in flames.

4.) Being on the ground floor is safer in an emergency. If you live in a multi-story house, sleep on the ground floor near an exit.

5.) Make sure that the windows in every room are easy to open. Get escape ladders for upper floors and keep them near windows.

6.) Ask your fire department for a home-safety inspection. Ask for suggestions to improve your escape plan.

7.) The primary cause of fire deaths among older adults at home is careless smoking. Enough said.

8.) When cooking, use a timer if you have to leave the stove. Don’t cook if you take medication that makes you drowsy. Keep dish towels, aprons, napkins away from stove tops. Don’t wear loose-fitting clothing when cooking.

9.) Don't overload electrical outlets and extension cords.

10.) Buy a fire extinguisher. An extinguisher on each level of your home is ideal. A fire-sprinkler system is worth considering.

11.) Do not exceed the wattage recommended for light fixtures.

12.) Replace appliances that spark, smell unusual, or overheat.

13.) Don't put electrical wires under carpets.

14.) Keep lamps and night lights away from fabrics.

15.) If children are in your home, make sure you put plastic safety covers on electrical outlets.

16.) Children playing with matches is a major cause of fires. Hide matches and lighters when kids are around.

17.) Keep portable space heaters away from anything flammable.

18.) Put screens on fireplaces to contain sparks. Have the chimney cleaned annually.

19.) Keep candles away from kids, pets and curtains.

20.) One of the major causes of household fires is flammable liquids. Store them safely away from heat sources and children.

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

Diana Germaine Pickering

Diana Germaine Pickering was born at Carbondale General. She was raised on a small farm in Hop Bottom and graduated from Mt. View High School. She enlisted in the Army for a three-year tour and left for basic training at Fort Dix, NJ in September, 1979. While there, she received the award of Trainee of the cycle. After basic training, she went to advanced individual training for Morse Code Intercept at Fort Devens, Mass. She then moved to her permanent duty station in Augsburg, Germany. She was assigned to the 326 Army Security Agency and worked side-by-side in field operations with the German and British Armies.

“The places I visited while in the Army will always be etched in my mind,” Diana said. “Denmark, Spain, Switzerland, Austria, Hawaii, and, of course, France and Germany. I guess I followed in my father’s footsteps.” Her father, Louis (Jim) Pickering of Hop Bottom joined the Army in 1954 when he was 19. Although he was trained as an Infantryman, he ended up working in transportation while in France. He moved military families in and out of housing. While in France, he met and fell in love with a beautiful French woman named Rose Marie Broquaire, Diana’s mother. In December, 2007 they celebrated fifty years of marriage.

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The Road Less Traveled
By Bob Scroggins

You Can't Go Home Again

6:00 a.m. – The alarm goes off. Dad and mom struggle out of bed. From this moment on, there aren't too many moments to lose. They share the bathroom, take quick showers, dress. Mom puts three bowls on the kitchen table, a couple of cereal boxes, and milk. Tommy has trouble getting up. He always does.

6:30 a.m. – Everyone's dressed. Cereal is poured from a box of one's choice and covered with milk.

6:45 a.m. – It's out of the house. It will remain dark, silent, and empty for the rest of the day. Dad's in his car and off to work. Mom is in her car with Tommy and they're off to daycare. Tommy, with a zip-lock bag full of cookies, is duly deposited at 7:15. He will be in daycare for the next 10 hours. Mom is on her way to work.

4:00 p.m. – Mom is out of the office. She has some shopping to do, then Tommy to pick up, and home by 5:30 p.m. Dad's commute is longer. He will be home at 6:00. Tonight's dinner is pizza and soda. They're a bit bored with McDonald's and Taco Bell. TVs are flicked on. Tommy likes cartoons. Dad and mom have his and hers TVs.

A few hours bathed in the pale lights of cathode tubes end the day.

It's an average day for many households. Average, yes, but far from normal. It's the tail end of a revolution that started some 100 years ago. It was the dawn of the technological revolution. Dad still had to be in the mines before sunup and work till after sundown. He came home dirty and tired with a little more coal dust in his lungs than the day before.

Mom's life, in its own way, was just as demanding. Just as everyone depended on dad's pay envelope, so mom was indispensable. She made dinner, not just cooked it – she made it. Off-the-rack clothes were expensive and unnecessary. Mom made the clothes, laundered, ironed, and patched them. Then there was cleaning to be done and the children needed constant care and attention, and they got it.

Times changed. Technology was remaking the world and unmaking the family. The drudgery of work, whether in the mines, fields, or homes was done by machines. Mining machinery, tractors, washing machines, ready-made clothes, supermarkets; and something called fast-food started to come on the scene. The 40-hour workweek gave people something that formerly only the rich had – leisure. The future seemed bright.

Then somewhere in the zany '60s the technological revolution made possible another revolution – the social revolution. Society turned hard left from the Puritanical to the prurient. It was the free-swinging generation of sex, drugs, rock-'n-rock, and women's liberation. Men's role changed little. They did whatever it took to support the family. But mom no longer had to be the homemaker. She was free to work outside the home.

In 50 years the entire fabric of women's life was torn asunder. The womanly arts of homemaking, child care, cooking, and sewing became as old fashioned as high-buttoned shoes. Homemaking was demeaning. Any occupation outside the home was socially more acceptable. Childcare became daycare. Cooking was simply sliding a ready-made meal into the microwave. Clothing was professionally made, sized, cheap, and available in fashionable varieties.

Mom was liberated. She could be a stay-at-home mom, join the work force, marry, divorce, remain single, have children, not have children, or abort children. The aforementioned in any order or combination. A woman's role was redefined, revolutionized. By many – by no means all – it was supplanted by an insatiable and unsatisfying pursuit of youth and beauty. Chasing 18 was her new occupation.

The new woman spent incessantly on clothes, beauty products, jewelry, make-up, and shoes, shoes, and shoes. Her skin a tanning booth's pumpkin yellow, hair bleached, teeth a fluorescent white, nails glued on, face botoxed, breasts surgically enlarged, reduced, perked up, or evened out; hips liposuctioned, face abraded. Starvation diets with death-by-chocolate binges were the vogue.

But the new woman was sold a will-o'-the-wisp bill of goods by Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and women's magazines. She became enslaved to self. But narcissism is a lonely universe. Raising its head above all this fashionable foolishness is the primordial nature of men and women in a culture that is out of sync with biology.

Judging by six thousand years of human history, we live in an unnatural culture, an aberration, where the roles of men and women have been androgynized. It is a destruction culture, destroying 50 percent of all marriages. And it is a diseased cultural eating away at the very foundation of every civilization that has ever existed – the family. How and when this will end is anyone's guess, but end it will. Nature will not be shunted aside by gadgetry.

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A Day In My Shoes

No A Day In My Shoes This Week

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Food For Thought
By Lauretta L. Clowes DC

No Food For Thought This Week

From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

No Earth Talk This Week


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