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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

MONTROSE: The unassuming little trefoil, the shamrock, had its day of special recognition on Tuesday. The little streamers of green fluttering from the coat lapel, the green cravats worn by many, whether sons of Erin or not, or the small silk green flag in the home picturing “the harp that once thro’ Tara’s halls,” told the story of “St. Patrick’s Day 08, in Montrose,” and there was no other demonstration marking the day. To the Editor’s sanctum a few sprays of genuine shamrock, from Ireland, found its way, with the compliments of Miss Mary Gilmartin of this place. Miss Gilmartin received a package from her old home in Ballina, Mayo county, pulled from the old sod by her brother, Thomas, who owns a large estate there. A number of postcards received giving pleasant home-land views, are greatly prized by Miss Gilmartin.

FOREST CITY: The physicians of Forest City have organized a local medical society and [have] underway a number of prosecutions for alleged violations of the law prohibiting the practice of medicine by those not qualified.

OAKLEY: A large, able-bodied tramp, called at several houses here on Monday, asking for something to eat and after getting dinner twice, evidently made up his mind to ply his trade farther from a telephone line.

RHINEY CREEK, Liberty Twp.: Mrs. E. J. Fish attended the Stanfordville Ladies’ Aid Society at the Baptist parsonage in Hallstead last Saturday. Owing to the fact that lumber wagons were the carryalls and the road over the hill in a “snowbank then mud hole” condition, the trip was not entirely without adventure. Dinner was served to 62 people.

LAKESIDE: During the absence of Pearl Barrett Saturday, some unknown persons entered his house and robbed the house of all they could find to eat, including two dozen eggs. They must have had Easter in view.

LAWSVILLE: Thirty-two couples attended the leap year oyster supper at Creamery hall, Mar. 13, and all report a good time.

GREAT BEND: Francis Kane was severely injured about the head by falling off a train near the Erie station about 6:30 Saturday night, and wandered about in a dazed condition until found about 8 o’clock. He was removed to his home and Dr. A. F. Merrill dressed his injuries. At this writing he is rapidly improving. A number of young men have been injured here by jumping on trains, and all maimed for life.

RUSH: The Kinney sale, near the Rush poorhouse on March 12, proved to be a warm day; the crowd was so large it looked like campmeeting. Six fell down in the slush, but when Frank Gray and Will Lowe (with his Sunday go to meeting clothes on, who is up visiting from Pittston) went down in the barnyard slush, along with the baptism of Silas Smith, and Auctioneer Cox’s story of the politicians, who were present in great numbers – all of this kept the crowd in an uproar of laughter. It was a large sale, good prices, and everybody thought it would at least take two days, but Auctioneer Cox was there with the mustard, and was through at 5 p.m.

BROOKLYN: J. M. Whitman, the contractor, has traded his house and lot at Lindaville for the large building, formerly owned by Mr. Shumard at Mack’s Corners, and will take the building down and use it in building several fine cottages on Maple street, if he can secure the land.

SOUTH GIBSON: Fred Chamberlain has purchased H. D. Pickering’s furniture store on Clifford street.

ELK LAKE: On Tuesday the house of Sam Carlin was destroyed by fire, with its entire contents. The family was away from home at the time. There was a small insurance. The family moved into M. L. Biesecker’s house.

DIMOCK: Dixie, a Collie owned by the Woodhouse family, near Cope’s Lake, is dead. Dixie was in his 19th year and had many friends in adjoining towns as well as here.

NEW MILFORD: The Shields Stone Co. has abandoned all its stone quarries in this vicinity and the machinery and derricks are being taken out.

ARARAT: During the thunder storm Sunday afternoon, March 15, lightning struck the big stock barn of L. D. Brooks, splintering it from top to bottom, but doing no further damage excepting a good shaking up in general. Mr. Brooks was in the barn, having just closed a door, and the lightning came down a board not more than eight feet away.

DIMOCK: The woman who sent to Sears-Roebuck for a man on trial, expects him to arrive now in a few days.

HERRICK CENTRE: The removal of the flyer, the early morning train, is universally deplored and causing great inconvenience to the traveling public.

FRIENDSVILLE: The following item of interest, especially to the early settlers of Friendsville, appeared in the Philadelphia Standard and Times of March 14th: J. M. Donnelly, one of the pioneers of Choconut, Pa., has passed to his reward, in the 88th year of his age. Mr. Donnelly was well known in Scranton, where he spent the greater part of his life, and in almost every town and hamlet of Susquehanna county, his honesty, generosity and true Irish wit are proverbial. His funeral was largely attended from the Church of the Holy Family in Scranton. The remains were then taken to Friendsville and laid to rest in St. Francis Xavier’s cemetery that contains the graves of the parents of the poet Griffin. The deceased is survived by three sons, Edward and Joseph of Buffalo, N.Y., and John of Connellsville, Pa.; also by two daughters, Miss Mary Donnelly of Scranton and Sister M. William, of the Immaculate Heart Convent, at Centralia, Pa.

NEWS BRIEF: The small boy with his pockets chock full of marbles is a sure harbinger of spring.

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

Gestas and Dismas. During this Holy Week, I often find myself considering these two characters from the Gospel of Luke. Gestas and Dismas were the criminals executed with Jesus Christ on Calvary, one nailed to a cross to Christ’s left (Gestas) and the other nailed to a cross to Christ’s right (Dismas). We know from the Gospels that both men were convicted criminals – and, as punishment for their crimes, they were executed. Why consider such men during this sacred time? Perhaps my position as a prosecutor fuels my curiosity, as I deal with criminals every day. But I believe there is more to it. For me, Gestas and Dismas when taken together represent each of us – the darker, sinful, selfish part and a brighter, loving, redemptive part.

As Gestas hangs on his cross he belittles, mocks and ridicules Christ. Gestas challenges Christ – if you are the Son of God then save us. For Gestas, there is no faith except in his own selfishness. He wants God for a singular purpose – to save him from his punishment and death. To Gestas, it does not matter that he earned his sentence by his misdeeds. Gestas believes only in himself – and the things that serve his immediate needs. In today’s parlance, what have you done for me lately? Nothing – then you are useless to me and I will mock and deride you.

On the other cross, in his pain and suffering, Dismas discovers the truth about himself, his life, and his relationship with God. Dismas finally understood that his own selfishness nailed him to his cross. Dismas confronts Gestas, asks whether Gestas fears God as he and Gestas are receiving their just punishment for their crimes, while Jesus has done nothing to warrant execution. After rebuking Gestas, Dismas turns to Jesus and, with a repentant heart utters, to me, some of the most beautiful words in the New Testament: Lord, remember me when you come into your kingdom. In the midst of his pain, torment and suffering, Jesus rewards Dismas and tells him that today Dismas would be with Jesus in paradise.

Jesus opens his heart to this convicted criminal – and promises Dismas a place in paradise – not someday, but today. During the course of Christ’s Passion, he makes no such promise to any other person, not to his apostles, not to his mother, not to his friends and followers. The only person promised salvation is a convicted and condemned, yet repentant, criminal. By virtue of this promise of redemption and paradise, the Catholic Church considers Dismas to be the first saint and he has been appropriately designated the patron saint of prisoners.

Could there be a better example for a prisoner than Dismas? In the face of his punishment and execution, there is no hatred, no recrimination, no bitterness, no pity, and no self-loathing. While some might consider his execution unjust for his crime of being a thief, there is no sign from Dismas that he believes that he is the victim of an injustice. Dismas could have cursed, ranted and raved with Gestas in condemning his fate and demanding a miracle to secure his release. Perhaps, it would have been easier for Dismas to refuse to accept his mortality and fallibility. While Gestas did all of these things, Dismas has singular focus – his own repentance, forgiveness and redemption. And his faith was rewarded.

Could there be a better example for all of us than Dismas? Do we not all battle between the faith of Dismas and the selfishness of Gestas? How often do we find ourselves, like Gestas, asking for God to intervene to change our lives in some fashion for our own selfish reasons? How often do we find ourselves questioning our faith when things are not going our way? Do we reject God’s love because we cannot understand our own suffering, trials, or pain? Or do we find that we are more like Dismas, repentant, loving, acceptant and hopeful that God will remember us despite our sinfulness? No demands, only contrition, love, and most of all, hope.

It seems that Dismas and Gestas represent the best and the worst in each of us. If you are like me, when you look into the mirror, you are likely to see either character on any given day. In the end, like Dismas, we can only pray that the Lord remembers us when he comes into His Kingdom. During this Holy Week, I hope we can all try to be a little more like Dismas. I wish you and your family a blessed and holy Easter.

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. Some friends and I (all in our 60’s) have discovered similar traits in our husbands of late. There’s a general grumpiness and lack of grooming. We’ve been told that, as men age, their frontal lobes begin to shrink, and that this is the area of the brain which governs these qualities. Is this true? Are there remedies?

Researchers at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit have discovered evidence suggesting the male brain shrinks faster with age than the female brain.

“We found that age-related shrinkage was greater for men in three regions of the brain that are involved in thinking, planning and memory," said Dr. C. Edward Coffey, the study's principal investigator.

There was evidence of greater shrinkage around the frontal (front) and temporal (middle) lobes of men.

“We have known for a while that men tend to be more prone to age-related brain disorders such as memory loss and Alzheimer's disease. These findings may help provide an explanation for these sex differences,” Dr. Coffey said. "We are currently investigating the potential functional differences that might result from the acceleration of age-related brain shrinkage in men.”

Do men become grumpy and slovenly because of shrunken lobes? The jury is out on that question.

Researching this subject was a fascinating experience, because there is so much interesting information available about differences between male and female brains. Here are some of the most fascinating facts:

1.) Dr. Gabrielle M. de Courten-Myers, a University of Cincinnati scientist, has determined men have about two billion more brain cells than women, but the extra cells don't make them smarter than women.

2.) Louann Brizendine, a San Francisco neuropsychiatrist and author of The Female Brain, asserts that the difference between male and female brains explains why women like to discuss their feelings, while men love to dwell upon sex.

“Women have an eight-lane superhighway for processing emotion, while men have a small country road," Brizendine says. “Men, however, have O'Hare Airport as a hub for processing thoughts about sex, where women have the airfield nearby that lands small and private planes.”

3.) A brain-scanning study suggests that when males watch a mild electric shock given to a cheater, they don't feel his pain. Instead they enjoy it. Women's brains empathize with the cheater’s pain and they get no pleasure from it.

5.) Men tend to perform better than women at certain spatial tasks, target-directed motor skills, mathematical reasoning, and navigating. (Is that why they don’t ask for directions?) Women tend to excel at word tests, identifying matching items and precision manual tasks.

6.) Men and women with equal IQ’s achieve the same scores with different areas of the brain, Richard J. Haier, PhD reported in NeuroImage. He also found that women have more white matter and fewer gray matter areas related to IQ than men do.

But what about remedies for grumpy behavior? And here I have to admit that there must be something to this female reader’s complaint. After all, how did “grumpy old man” become a fixture in our language?

As an old, but not usually grumpy man, I have a recommendation. Take your grumpy old husband in your arms and tell him how much you love him and how much you appreciate all that he has done for you over many years.

I guarantee that, if you do this, his frontal lobe will grow.

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

Flies: nature’s aerial acrobats

Of all the insects, probably the most detested and least understood are the flies. No one really likes flies and we find their larval stage, called maggots, among the most repulsive of all creatures. Their buzzing, biting, defecating habits are among the most noticeable and annoying rites that accompany spring and warm weather. In actuality, there are many beneficial species of flies. For example, the tachnid flies parasitize the very destructive gypsy moths. Recycling is probably a fly’s most important role. As scavengers, flies feed upon and break down most all of nature’s debris, everything from rotten fruit and cow “patties” to road kill. Many of these “good guys” are inconspicuous and not as noticeable as those pesky, buzzing flies at the dining room table.

An adult horse fly.

The word “fly” is incorporated into the name of many insects. Examples of such include dragonfly, mayfly and butterfly. In truth, none of them are really members of the group made up of the pesky critters that are considered to be true flies. True flies are placed in the order Diptera (Greek, meaning two-winged). The presence of only a single pair of membranous wings distinguishes flies from most other insect groups. The second, hind wings have evolved into a pair of short, knobbed structures, called halteres. Acting as gyroscopes, these structures allow flies to perform amazing aerial acrobatic maneuvers. Most flies have conspicuous compound eyes as well as three simple eyes called ocelli. This arsenal of early warning organs makes it very difficult to sneak up on them. Dipteran mouthparts vary considerably, from sharp piercing stylets to sponge-like tubes.

An adult blow fly.

True flies are named using two words, a descriptor and the word fly. House fly, horse fly, deer fly, and blow fly are some examples of true flies. The group of true flies contains very diverse and successful insects. Many flies are irritating and dangerous pests that transmit disease, affecting the health of humans and animals. But others are important natural predators and beneficial plant pollinators. Flies occur in most all terrestrial and aquatic habitats.

Development of all flies involves true metamorphosis, progressing from egg to larva (maggots) to pupa and adult fly. Some species maintain the eggs in the body and actually deposit second-stage larvae instead of eggs. Such action explains the sudden appearance of maggots on a recent road kill. Flies cannot eat solid foods, instead they sip liquids. If they cannot directly suck liquids from a food source, they will regurgitate enzymes to dissolve the solids so that they can be sipped.

Since all flies have complete metamorphosis, the larvae look nothing like the adults. Some members of the Diptera family, like the crane fly and mosquito, have aquatic larvae. The larvae of many of the familiar flies, in the form of maggots, are voracious scavengers that rapidly devour the corpses of dead animals and birds. While some adult flies do not feed at all, others like the female mosquito are notorious bloodsuckers. Interestingly, the males of the same species only consume nectar or dew drops. Many species of flies are selective upon what species of creature they feed. Some flies only attack at certain times of the day.

The order Diptera contains 130 families and 122,000 species. Some species can beat their wings up to 1,000 times per second, accounting for their annoying buzz. Many flies are capable of hovering, rotating in mid air and even flying backward. At the base of the haltere are sense organs that enable a fly to know how fast it’s flying, when it’s turning, and if it is on its intended course. Their feet contain complicated structures that allow them to land and grip to any surface, even upside down.

Flies and their relatives are ever-present with people. It is fortunate that they are a food staple for many forms of wildlife. Without such natural controls the fly’s ability to procreate would soon take over the earth. It has been estimated that a single fly could produce progeny numbering in the billions over the course of one summer. Even though many flies become someone’s meal, some flies are so resourceful in protecting themselves against predation that they have become convincing mimics of bees and wasps.

Since members of the fly family are so prevalent and such diverse pests, they merit separate, more detailed accounts. Therefore, certain fly pests will be the subjects of future columns. Given the number of flies and our frequent encounters with them, “what’s buzzing you?” rather than “what’s bugging you?” might be a more appropriate byline.

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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