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Issue Home February 27, 2008 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Straight From Starrucca
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Food For Thought
Earth Talk

100 Years Ago

BROOKLYN: I. Z. Babcock, who resides near Ely Lake, made a call at the Republican office one afternoon. He is 82 years young and well preserved and generally contented with life for a man of his years. Mr. Babcock, to make sure that the editor should not pay one cent postage rates on his paper, paid in advance to Jan. 1, 1910. He is the kind of a man who keeps the editor from growing cynical and morbid, and of the type you can “trust with your pocketbook.” AND: Steps are being taken looking toward the securing of a charter and forming an association to take charge of the cemetery on the hill, which is sadly neglected. It was established nearly 75 years ago in connection with the Universalist church, which stood across the way.

MONTROSE: Dr. J. G. Wilson’s team ran away with him near Tiffany [Corners], Tuesday afternoon, and were stopped almost exhausted, after a run of a couple of miles, on Grow avenue. The doctor was thrown out at the start, the top covered sleigh dragging along on its side. The top was packed full of snow but no damage was done. The snow was dug out and the parties started out after the doctor, who, undisturbed and enjoying the humor of the situation, was hiking into town afoot.

FAIR HILL: Arthur Bolles, Ashley Jagger and Ethel Andre were pleasant callers at J. R. Beebe’s and enjoyed a few games of Flinch Saturday evening.

GELATT: A sleighload from here attended the donation at Harvey Brown’s last Thursday night for the benefit of the Methodist preacher at Jackson.

SUSQUEHANNA: The formal opening of the new Hotel Oakland took place here last Saturday evening to the accompaniment of band music and good cheer. The building, up to date in all respects, and under the management of John J. McGinty, was visited by hundreds of citizens during the evening, who were piloted through the different apartments by an efficient corps of attendants. The plans of the hotel were prepared by County Commissioners’ Clerk W. H. Foster whose ability as an architect is proven by the beauty, exactness and convenience of the building.

RUSH: Thomas Fitzpatrick, a wealthy and highly respectable farmer, residing in Rush Twp., near West Auburn, accidentally killed himself on Monday afternoon last. It seems that Mr. Fitzpatrick took a shotgun and went out to shoot sparrows. About 3 o’clock in the afternoon some one heard a muffled report of a gun, and soon after the dead body of Mr. Fitzpatrick was found, the charge of the gun having entered his heart. He was about 40 years of age and his tragic death has cast a gloom over the community. What makes it still more sad is that he was to be married this week to Lizzie Carroll, of Retta.

GREAT BEND: The body of James Donovan, who committed suicide by jumping from the river bridge at Great Bend in November last, was found in the Susquehanna river near Selinsgrove a few days ago, and a paragraph in a Philadelphia paper led to identification by his relatives. The body was seen by the foreman of a gang of track laborers on the Pennsylvania railroad, who succeeded in recovering it, and it was buried Feb. 19. Accompanied by F. E. Burke, undertaker at Great Bend, Mrs. Donovan went to Selinsgrove and had the body exhumed and taken to her home. The body when found was destitute of clothing except where his underclothing was held for a few inches by his shoes, which were in a good state of preservation. The flesh had not been cut and mangled by contact with the ice for 200 miles, as might be supposed, which gives credence to the theory that the body had been carried down the river by the high water at the time of drowning.

AUBURN FOUR CORNERS: The Auburn stage was discontinued February 22. Our stage driver, Mr. Lowe, made his last trip to Montrose. What will we do without the Montrose stage? AND: The school in this place was closed on Monday on account of the illness of [the teacher’s] Mr. Sheldon’s father, George Sheldon, of Lynn.

LENOXVILLE: A dramatic company from Lenoxville presented a drama entitled “Under the Laurels” at South Gibson last Wednesday evening. The little village can boast of some fine speakers and beautiful singers.

ROYAL, Clifford Twp.: One of the largest weddings ever known in this vicinity was held Feb. 12th, when T. F. Wells, Esq., joined together in matrimony, Joseph Doud, of Royal, and Addie Edsall, of Towanda. Mrs. Griffin, of Lenox, played the wedding march; Grace Mitten was best girl and Willis Wilson, best man. There were about 80 persons present. They were served sandwiches, 5 kinds of cake, cheese, coffee, olives, a great variety of mixed candies, oranges, etc. They played the old game of snap and ketch ‘em, when the bridegroom had to run for dear life to ‘ketch’ the bride. Afterward the guests presented a nice little pot of money and congratulated the bride and groom.

THOMPSON: Rumor has it that the Flyer will make only one trip a day over the Jefferson branch after the first of March. Poor old Flyer, it has shown the infirmities of old age for some time past. AND: The basket ball game between the Thompson team and the Susquehanna team passed off without any disturbance or marked feature.

UNIONDALE: Alfred Lewis will leave next month to seek a location in Wyoming. He says Uncle Sam owes him a farm and he is going to get it.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Earle Edwards is working for Mr. Platt at the birch oil distillery.

LANESBORO: Hurled with terrific force by an explosion of dynamite, a huge boulder crashed through the roof of a blacksmith shop in [the] Lanesboro stone quarry, Friday morning, seriously injuring Herbert Brown and exploding a large quantity of dynamite that was being thawed out. A number of workmen narrowly escaped death in the second explosion and but for their prompt and courageous work Mr. Brown would have been killed. The accident occurred in the quarry of J. A. Taylor. The workmen were blasting and after lighting the fuse of an unusually heavy charge, they ran to the shop, taking shelter behind it. The fearful detonation of the exploding dynamite was heard for miles around. The boulder, weighing fully half a ton was thrown 200 ft. and crashed into the shop and set fire to the building. The stove was overturned, struck Mr. Brown and broke his leg. At the risk of the dynamite exploding in the shop, the workmen rushed in and dragged Mr. Brown outside, just before the dynamite ignited.

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

I received an email requesting clarification on the regulations relating to the transportation or carrying of a firearm. Unfortunately, the rules relating to firearms are not easily dissected. It is generally unlawful to conceal or transport a firearm outside your residence (or real property) or place of business without a license. If a person was eligible for a license, but simply did not obtain one, then the unlawful concealment or transportation is a misdemeanor of the first degree; otherwise, it is a felony of the third degree.

You have to start with the definitions of a firearm under the statute, which describes a firearm as follows: “Any pistol or revolver with a barrel length less than 18 inches or any rifle with a barrel length less than 16 inches, or any pistol, revolver, rifle, shotgun with an overall length of less than 26 inches. The barrel length of a firearm shall be determined by measuring from the muzzle of the barrel to the face of the closed action, bolt or cylinder, whichever is applicable.” Thus, “firearm” has a limited definition under the Uniform Firearm Act, and generally does not apply to “long” rifles or shotguns.

Now, back to the prohibition relating to the concealment or transportation of a firearm without a license; there are numerous exceptions. I will cover a few of those exceptions here. First, law enforcement officers, military personnel (while on duty) and security officers are exempt from requiring a license to carry or transport a firearm. Second, a citizen going to and from a target shooting event provided the firearm is unloaded while transported. Third, firearms dealers are also exempt, provided the transportation of the firearm occurred during the course of the business activities. Fourth, a consumer may transport a firearm from the place of purchase to the consumer’s home, provided the firearm is transported in a “secure wrapper.” A gun owner may also transport a firearm to and from his different residences (or for sale or repair), provided that the firearm is in the “secure wrapper” while being transported. Fifth, licensed hunters may also have unloaded firearms in their vehicles, provided they are hunting. Sixth, there are various licenses that would allow a person to transport or conceal a firearm, and, if you have a valid license, the prohibitions do not apply.

Now, if you are getting angry at this point, please don’t shoot the messenger. I did not draft, write or vote for the statute. You need to remember, as well, that the statute has a very limited definition of a “firearm.” There are, however, other prohibitions regarding “any pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle” – even where the barrel length exceeds the requirements set forth in the definition of a firearm under the statute. For instance, it is unlawful to transport a loaded pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle in any vehicle, unless you are a member of law enforcement, military, or a security officer. The penalty for unlawfully transporting a loaded pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle is a summary offense with a fine up to $300 or incarceration up to 90 days.

You may want to know what constitutes “loaded” under the statute. In order for the pistol, revolver, shotgun or rifle to be “loaded,” “the firing chamber, the non-detachable magazine or in the case of a revolver, any of the chambers of the cylinder contain ammunition. In the case of a firearm which utilizes a detachable magazine, the term shall mean a magazine suitable for use in said firearm which magazine contains such ammunition and has been inserted in the firearm or is in the same container or, where the container has multiple compartments, the same compartment thereof as the firearm.” The tricky part of this definition is the concept that a rifle could be considered loaded if you are transporting it in a gun case with the loaded magazine thrown into the same case and not physically separated from the rifle. Of course, if you obtain an appropriate license, these prohibitions may not apply.

You may be confused at this point, and I would not blame you. Unfortunately, the Uniform Firearm Act is not a statute that is easily explained. There are general prohibitions followed by many exceptions, followed by exceptions to the exceptions. If you have concerns or questions, your best bet is to seek guidance from a local law enforcement officer before engaging in conduct that you are concerned may violate a regulatory provision.

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’ve been having a lot of gas recently. In addition, I’ve been getting sores in my mouth. Any ideas about what’s causing this?

I receive many questions from readers looking for help in diagnosing their health problems. I’m extremely careful to avoid giving personal medical advice. I’m a journalist who provides general information about health. Only a doctor who has examined a patient is qualified to diagnose, and even the experts have trouble figuring out what’s wrong with patients.

Here’s an example of a problem that exemplifies the difficulty of diagnosis. The following are symptoms of a common disease you may never have heard of. Some of the symptoms contradict each other. Here goes:

Gas, abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, constipation, pale stool, weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, unexplained anemia, bone or joint pain, osteoporosis, behavioral changes, tingling numbness in the legs, muscle cramps, seizures, missed menstrual periods, infertility, recurrent miscarriage, delayed growth, mouth sores, tooth discoloration and itchy skin rash.

These are symptoms of celiac disease, a digestive ailment that damages the small intestine and interferes with nutrition. People with celiac disease cannot tolerate a protein called gluten, which is in wheat, rye, and barley. There is a scientific debate about gluten and oats.

If you notice or experience any of the signs or symptoms common to celiac disease, see your doctor.

Celiac disease is commonly underdiagnosed because some of its symptoms are similar to those of other diseases. Celiac disease often is confused with irritable bowel syndrome, iron-deficiency anemia, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, intestinal infections, and chronic fatigue syndrome.

There are other reasons for the underdiagnosis of celiac disease. Many doctors and healthcare professionals are not knowledgeable about the disease. And only a small number of U.S. laboratories are experienced and skilled in testing for celiac disease.

It’s estimated that about 1 in 133 people in the United States has celiac disease. However, Americans are not routinely screened for celiac disease. More research is required to determine an accurate number of the people with celiac disease in the USA.

Celiac disease runs in families. Sometimes celiac begins after surgery, pregnancy, childbirth, viral infection, or severe emotional stress. Some people develop symptoms as children, others as adults. Although celiac disease can affect anyone, it tends to be more common in people of European descent

A person with celiac disease may have no symptoms. People without symptoms are still at risk. The longer a person is not treated for the disease, the greater the chance of developing malnutrition and other complications such as loss of calcium and bone density, intolerance to dairy products, cancer and disorders of the nervous system.

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten-free diet. For most people, following this diet will stop symptoms, heal existing intestinal damage, and prevent further damage.

The obvious foods with gluten are breads, pastas, and cereals. But, gluten is also in many processed foods such as frozen French-fried potatoes and soy sauce. Many products such as cosmetics, household cleansers, stamp and envelope adhesive, medicines and vitamins contain gluten.

There are gluten-free substitutes for many problematic foods. Many cities have specialty grocery stores that sell these gluten-free substitutes.

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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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

The Asian Ladybug: a Jeckle or Hyde?

Click, click- click, plop! Great! As I sat in my easy chair reading the Transcript, one of those disgusting ladybugs just bounced off the lampshade and into my cup of coffee. I thought ladybugs were supposed to be one of the good guys (gals?). Well, it seems as if they lead a dual life, depending on the time of year and location. As children, we all were taught that ladybugs (also referred to as lady beetles) were beneficial, since they fed on destructive insects.

An adult Asian Ladybug.

However, this species, the Multicolored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis) can be a great nuisance when they invade houses looking for warm overwintering sites. Once inside they emerge on warm sunny days to crawl about on windowsills and walls or bounce off lights. Balmy, bright spring days attract large congregations of the beetles on southern sides of buildings. Besides just being an annoying pest, they emit a noxious odor and leave behind a yellow staining substance.

While there are nearly 500 North American species of ladybugs (all members of the beetle order Coleoptera), the Asian lady beetles are not native to our area, but a foreign species imported from northeastern Asia by the USDA. They were released to combat destructive aphids and scale insects that attacked the pecan trees, which provided a valuable nut crop. Released in Louisiana and Mississippi in 1979 and 1980, they have now spread throughout the Midwest and Northeast. By 1999 their abundance reached such proportions so as to be considered a pest, threatening native species, and irritating people with household invasions. Their numbers have become a threat to the natural biodiversity of some areas, even to the point of displacing the native American ladybugs.

The Asian Ladybug in its larva stage.

Only about ¼-inch long, the coloration and spots on these Asian ladybugs varies greatly. With shades of tan, orange or red, some individuals may have as many as 20 dark spots while others have none. Those without spots are generally the males. The Asian ladybugs can usually be distinguished by a small dark “M”-shaped pattern on the white area located behind the insect’s head. None of our native ladybug species have that feature. Elongated, orange-yellow eggs are laid in masses of 5 to 30, usually near colonies of potential food insects. The larval stages look much different than the adults and are generally are not recognized as ladybugs. Dark colored and flecked with a yellow-orange, these elongated, “alligator shaped” larvae are covered with numerous fleshy spines. They are active predators that can rapidly crawl about vegetation, pouncing on their favorite insect prey – aphids. This larval stage lasts 2 to 3 weeks, after which they pupate on a nearby plant. The cocoon is usually attached to a host plant, but sometimes can be found clinging to the exterior of a building. It takes about a month for the beetles to mature from an egg to an adult ladybug. There can be multiple generations produced in a year, depending on weather conditions. The life span for the adults can be up to 3 years, but it is generally much shorter.

In North America, the Asian ladybugs have very few natural enemies. Tiny wasps and flies may parasitize some, while others are infected by fungal pathogens. The ladybugs’ only natural defense, besides flight, is the foul smelling chemical that they discharge from their leg joints when threatened by birds or other predators.

While relatively unnoticed during the warm summer months, the cooler days of autumn cause the beetles to leave the fields, yards and forests and head for more protected locations. Unfortunately, our heated homes are one of their primary destinations. Swarms of these beetles end up attracted to houses on sunny afternoons from September through November. Scientific study indicates that these Asian ladybugs are attracted to the exterior surfaces of the south or southwestern sides of houses that are illuminated by the bright afternoon sun. Further, the house color or surface type (wood, vinyl, brick) is less critical than the presence of contrasting features. Such features include dark shutters on light siding and white trim on dark background material. Homes near woods and fields are particularly susceptible to ladybug invasions. Once on the side of a home, the adult beetles seek out crevices, knotholes or any spaces behind chimneys, fascia boards and other trim through which they can gain access into attics and crawlspaces. Any buildings in need of repair or those with loose-fitting windows are especially vulnerable to invasion. Unlike the Asian species, most native ladybugs hibernate in aggregates under leaves or in debris.

While they remain dormant during the cold days and nights of winter, the increasing intensity of the sun awakens the beetles on late winter and early spring days, inciting them to crawl about in search of escape routes. Unfortunately many of these routes take them to the home’s interior, causing the ladybugs to escape from behind baseboards, electrical fixtures, suspended ceilings and attic doors. Being attracted to light, the beetles are then often found around windows and light fixtures. An ambient temperature near 50 degrees Fahrenheit is sufficient to activate the dormant beetles.

Although they do not normally cause any real harm to humans, their infestations in and around homes makes them a nuisance. While they do not eat wood, clothing or food, nor do they transmit disease, like many insect pests, they apparently can trigger some allergies including asthma, sneezing and eye irritation. Consequently, people should avoid rubbing their eyes and nose after handling the beetles. Sometimes, when a flying beetle lands on a person it might lightly pinch the skin creating a startling but harmless sensation. Even though it may feel like a bite, it is the small spurs on their legs, rather than their mouths, that are likely the cause of the irritation. In the late fall, insect prey becomes scarce, and the beetles often turn to ripe fruit for nourishment. They have become a threat to the wine industry by damaging grapes on the vine as well as contaminating harvested grapes. Their strong defensive chemicals not only stain and smell bad, but also cause off-tastes that contaminate the wine produced from infested grapes.

While most people can tolerate an occasional ladybug in their home, large-scale invasions call for some means of control. Non-chemical means includes vacuuming and preventative elimination of entry points. Vacuums should be emptied immediately after use to avoid the escape of live individuals and the unpleasant odors associated with their chemical emissions. While it would be feasible to seal obvious cracks and gaps with screening, caulking, weather stripping and spray foam, it is difficult to locate and repair those small gaps (less than 1/8-inch), especially at the roofline of multistory buildings. Any exterior sealing should be accomplished in late spring or summer when the beetles have left and have not yet started to return in search of an overwintering site.

Insecticides are not usually recommended for indoor use and tend to be ineffective anyway, since they often leave behind undesirable residues and the yellow stains associated with distressed ladybugs. With the house closed up for winter heating, any insecticide applied interiorly is constantly being recirculated throughout the home. Application of household insecticide spray is basically ineffective because of the lack of physiological activity by the hibernating ladybug. At best, inside insecticide application will only be effective in eliminating a few pests at a time, while the main mass of ladybugs remains protected inside the walls, waiting for exodus at a later time.

Exterior chemical barriers can be applied if done at the proper time. This is a job best left to professional exterminators who are licensed to apply the various insecticides effective in deterring the insects. Among effective over-the-counter products that are registered in PA are Spectracide Triazicide, Ortho Home Defense Max and Bayer Advanced Powerforce Multi-Insect Killer. No single method is “foolproof” in totally eliminating or preventing the invasion of every single ladybug. The combination of several of these techniques could greatly relieve the stress of a massive ladybug invasion.

Since these beetles are actually a voracious consumer of unwanted plant pests, especially aphids, it would be desirable to let as many survive as we can tolerate. Aphids, sometimes referred to as plant lice, are small, soft-bodied insects that are extremely damaging to many plants. Not only do they suck the sap from plants but they also transmit many damaging plant diseases. As aggressive aphid predators, a sizeable ladybug population can control aphid populations, resulting in greater and safer harvests for gardeners and farmers alike.

So, as long as they stay in your garden and in your fields (and not in your living room) these multicolored Asian Ladybugs can be your friends.

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article or any other insect related matters, including identifications are welcome. Please email them to

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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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