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Issue Home May 7, 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

MONTROSE: Tunkhannock High School vs. Montrose High School tomorrow afternoon at Athletic Park. Game [baseball] will be called at 2 o’clock. The Tunkhannock team will surely come if the weather is favorable, not disappointing the fans as did the Keystone Academy aggregation. Get your megaphone down from the garret. AND: It is said a Nickelette will soon be established here for the amusement of the general public. AND: Hamilton Youngs, a colored citizen and faithful G. A. R. man, is critically ill. It is said his age has closely reached the century mark.

HALLSTEAD: There is a rumor that at least two more oil wells will be drilled during the spring – this may and may not be a rumor, but one thing is very certain, and that is that if the Hallstead Oil and Gas Co. is successful in getting oil in their first well that a number of wells will be drilled by them before another winter.

FAIR HILL, Jessup Twp.: Mrs. Josephine Bolles had a bee to move her household goods from the O. E. Green farm to Montrose. Mrs. Bolles left Monday for Hallstead, her new home.

PRATTVILLE, Middletown Twp.: We had occasion recently to travel the main road leading from LeRaysville to Prattville. This road has, in the past, been a very rough one after the breaking up in the spring. This year the split-log drag has been used on it. To see and to know what this simple device will do is to drive over this road and then drive over another road where the old way is still in vogue. Road supervisors should try the split-log drag.

FOREST CITY: The liveliest spot in town these days is No. 2 breaker, where the $30,000 washery is being built for the Hillside Coal and Iron Co. The new structure is to be of cement and will be the most modern building of the kind in the valley.

BRANDT: The sale of a lot of Brandt Chemical Co. bonds to satisfy an unpaid mortgage, which was to take place in Binghamton Monday, was enjoined. The Scranton Title and Guaranty Co. guaranteed the bonds.

LAUREL LAKE: Trailing arbutus, one of the most beautiful of early wild flowers, is found in many places around here.

SHANNON HILL, Auburn Twp.: John Ralston, of South Montrose, came down last Tuesday to begin moving Will White’s house. The family lived in the house all the time of moving and not a thing was damaged. He and his assistants understand their business.

CLIFFORD: Frank Hull, a resident of this place for 24 years, is again renewing old acquaintance. Mr. Hull moved to Nebraska and has prospered. AND: T. J. Wells has now his eighth J. P. commission, which if he should serve his term out, makes 40 successive years as Justice of the Peace.

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: A. L. Millard, a good Bridgewater farmer, told us this week that a rainbow in the morning meant that there would be 30 rainy days out of the next 40 and that he had watched it for years and knew it to be so. As there was a rainbow one morning early this week, he is now expecting lots of wetness. Charlie Ely told us that if it rained when the sun was shining it would surely rain the next day. And this occurred the first of the week, he said, on two or three days, and he was still looking for more rain.

FRIENDSVILLE: Lena A. Deuel announces she shall be at E. E. Lee’s, May 5 to 15th, with a full line of summer millinery. All the latest styles, at reasonable prices. AND: Leo Matthews caught some fine trout at Carmalt Lake on Saturday.

ARARAT: B. B. Stone was a victim of a genuine surprise the 13th, it being his 57th birthday. His amiable wife laid the trap, and Charlie walked right into it. Invitations had been given in whispers, so when Charlie returned from taking his milk to the station that morning and found that about 40 of his friends and neighbors had taken possession of his own house, he was indeed surprised. Three sisters and one brother, with their families, were present, the other four brothers being absent. Dinner was served after which Mr. Stone was presented with a substantial gift by his friends.

HOP BOTTOM: C. H. Kellum is putting in an automatic water system. The water is forced by air through the house from a tank in the cellar. The system was manufactured by the Kewanee Water Supply Co., Kewanee, Ill.

SUSQUEHANNA: When the men who were recently laid off at the Erie shops reported for work yesterday they were told there would be no work until June 1. But a few men will be kept at work in the back of the shop and both round houses will be kept working in order to make running repairs. This move on the part of the Erie is to cut down expenses as much as possible.

SOUTH GIBSON: Frank Pritchard has been at Pittsburgh, attending an embalming school.

KINGSLEY: Loomis and Sloat are preparing to build a store house for feed and grain.

OAKLEY, Harford Twp.: The dance held by the chair factory boys was a grand success. There is a rumor that the chair factory will resume work May 1st on 8 hours a day.

NEWS BRIEF: Prof. M. J. Lovern, a well-known historian and scholar of Scranton, contributed a lengthy article in Saturday evening’s Scranton Times, on the derivation and meaning of the words “Lackawanna” and “Susquehanna,” claiming that they are purely Celtic and not of Indian origin, as generally believed. Lackawanna is compounded, he says, from the words lacka – valley, and banna – milk, and therefore means valley or hollow of milk. The substitution of the letter “w” for “b” occurs in the possessive or genitive case in the Irish. The word Susquehanna itself, the professor claims, is compounded of the words “uisce” (water) and “baun” (white, or banna milk), or may be a corruption of Shannon. The writer adds, “From the Irish word ‘uisce’ (water), we have several changes of the word and ‘susqe’ is one of them.” Prof. Lovern’s article was especially prepared for a student interested in etymology.

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

One evening in Alleghany County, Steven Cropelli and his wife were driving their children home. Cropelli noticed an erratic driver and used his cellular phone to call 911. The other driver’s name was Vincent Demor. Cropelli was still in his uniform from his employment as a paramedic. At a stop light, Cropelli pulled up along side the Demor vehicle, got out, and asked Demor to pull into a nearby gas station parking lot.

Given that Cropelli was in an official-looking uniform, the driver complied. After they were both safely in the parking lot, Cropelli identified himself as a paramedic and asked Demor if he needed any medical assistance. Demor indicated that he was fine, and Cropelli told Demor that he had called the police. Cropelli asked Demor to turn off his engine and turn over his car keys. Demor complied, the police arrived, and Demor was charged with DUI and marijuana possession.

Demor sought to suppress the evidence, contending that Cropelli had illegally stopped him because he lacked the authority to do so, i.e., he was simply an off-duty paramedic with no police powers. Demor argued that he believed that Cropelli was acting as an agent of the state, not as a private citizen, when he ordered him to pull over, turn over the keys and wait for the police. In other words, Demor was alleging that Cropelli had effectuated an unlawful arrest without adequate authority. The trial court agreed and suppressed all of the evidence arising out of the encounter between Cropelli and Demor. Apparently, the trial court was concerned that Cropelli was in an official uniform relating to his employment as a paramedic and, because he was uniformed, that the driver reasonably believed Cropelli was a state actor with the authority to stop him.

The Commonwealth appealed and argued that Cropelli was acting as a private citizen, not as a state agent, when he effectively apprehended Demor. The Pennsylvania Superior Court agreed. There mere fact that Cropelli was still wearing his paramedic uniform did not transform him from a private citizen into a state actor. The Court noted that there are many occupations and groups that wear officious looking uniforms. For example, the Court stated that the Boy Scouts wear uniforms with badges – but this does not turn them into state actors. Moreover, Cropelli specifically informed Demor that he was a paramedic – not a police officer – and asked him if he needed medical attention. After Demor declined medical attention, Cropelli also stated that he had called the police. Even if the uniform were considered as creating some suggestion of authority, Cropelli did not misrepresent himself or his position to Demor in any fashion so as to support the conclusion that Demor could reasonably believe that Cropelli was acting under the authority of the state. Cropelli was simply acting as a private citizen, and Demor voluntarily complied with his requests. Because there was no “state” action, none of the constitutional prohibitions against unreasonable seizures applied.

Judge Bender concurred in the result, as he believed that the applicable case law required the result. Rather than simply concurring, however, Judge Bender decided to write a personal editorial because he “was troubled by the status of the law that allows an EMT to conduct an unlawful stop of a citizen without apparent consequences.” In other words, despite the clear legal authority that supported the decision, Judge Bender decided to criticize the actions of this private citizen who was simply trying to do the right thing by getting a drunk driver off the road. Judge Bender contended that Cropelli’s conduct was akin to a vigilante – and that the refusal to suppress the evidence essentially encourages other citizens to act as vigilantes. While the entire encounter was quite civil and Cropelli and Demor had no problems with each other, Judge Bender also speculated that the confrontation could have turned nasty, noting that he could “easily see such circumstances escalating into a physical altercation, as the vigilante citizen tries to enforce the stop.” In the end, Judge Bender opined that “our message is that state actors sometimes improperly stop citizens, but pure vigilantes always properly stop other citizens. This result troubles me because it encourages vigilantism and discourages state actors from taking action.”

Wow! At first glance, one would believe that Cropelli was simply trying to act as a responsible citizen in asking the intoxicated driver to stop driving. Judge Bender sees a different picture – vigilante patrols seeking drunk drivers, and police officers sitting back and letting the vigilantes do their job.

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. What’s the age cut-off for a heart transplant?

Age is not as important as the overall health of the patient. There is no widely accepted age cut-off. However, most transplant surgery isn't performed on people older than 70 because the procedure doesn’t have a high success rate for patients in that age group. The majority (52 percent) of candidates are between the ages of 50 and 64.

The survival rates for heart transplants have improved steadily since the first successful human heart transplants were done in the late 1960s.

Almost 9 out of 10 patients survive the first year following a heart transplant. After five years, the survival rate drops to about 7 in 10. After 10 years, the rate drops again to about 5 in 10. After 20 years, about 1.5 in 10 are still ticking.

Approximately 2,300 heart transplants are now performed each year in more than 150 heart-transplant centers in the United States

About 90 percent of heart transplants are performed on patients with end-stage heart failure. This means the heart can’t pump the blood the body requires, and a transplant is a last resort.

There is a stringent selection process for patients seeking a heart transplant. The applicants are required to need a new heart, but they also have to be healthy enough otherwise to get one. Eligible patients are put on a waiting list.

The waiting list usually has about 3,000 names on it. The average time a heart transplant candidate spends on the waiting list is about 266 days.

This waiting list is part of a national allocation system for donor organs run by the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN). The OPTN is the unified transplant network established by the United States Congress. The OPTN is a unique public-private partnership that links all of the professionals involved in the donation and transplantation system.

OPTN guidelines suggest that the donor be younger than 65, have little or no history of heart disease or trauma to the chest, and not be exposed to hepatitis or HIV.

During heart-transplant surgery, a bypass machine is hooked up to the arteries and veins of the heart. The machine pumps blood through the patient's lungs and body while the diseased heart is removed and the donor heart is sewn into place. Heart transplant surgery usually takes about 4 hours. Patients often spend the first days after surgery in the intensive care unit of the hospital.

A heart transplant recipient often spends one to two weeks in the hospital and three months of monitoring by the transplant team at the heart-transplant center.

The new heart is a "foreign body," which your immune system may attack if you're not receiving enough medicine to suppress your immune system after the surgery. Therefore, you and the transplant team will work together to protect the new heart by watching for signs of rejection.

The most frequent cause of death in the first 30 days after transplant is failure by the donor heart. Rejection is one of the leading causes of death in the first year after transplant.

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

No what's Buggins You 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

Dear EarthTalk: How or where can I recycle clothes that are too old or worn out for Goodwill?

Tim Cheplick, Perrineville, NJ

Just because that old shirt you used to love is too threadbare to wear anymore doesn’t mean it has to end up in a landfill. “Consumers don’t understand that there’s a place for their old clothing, even if something is missing a button or torn,” says Jana Hawley, a professor of textile and apparel management at the University of Missouri-Columbia. “Ninety-nine percent of used textiles are recyclable.”

Non-profits like Goodwill and the Salvation Army play a crucial role in keeping old clothes out of the waste stream. When they get donations of clothes that are too threadbare to re-sell in one of their shops, they send them to “rag sorters” that specialize in recycling pieces of fabric large and small. Says Hawley, these textile recyclers sell about half the clothing they get back overseas in developing countries, while unusable garments, especially cotton t-shirts, are turned into wiping and polishing cloths used by a variety of industries and sold to consumers. She adds that other textiles are shredded into fibers used to make new products, such as sound-deadening materials for the automotive industry, archival-quality paper, blankets and even plastic fencing.

Outdoor clothing and gear maker Patagonia, which plies a strong environmental mandate in key aspects of its operations (from sourcing of raw materials to managing waste to making grants to environmental nonprofits), in 2005 launched its innovative Common Threads Garment Recycling program. The program was originally begun so customers could return their worn out Capilene long undies for recycling, but has expanded to taking back Patagonia fleece and cotton t-shirts as well as Polartec fleece from other manufacturers. Consumers wanting to unload items that meet the program’s criteria can do so at any Patagonia retail store or by mailing them into the company’s Reno, Nevada service center.

Of course, do-it-yourselfers handy with needle-and-thread or sewing machines can turn their old clothes into new creations such as quilts, handbags and smaller items. The website Expert Village, which claims to have the largest online collection of “how-to” videos, offers a free series called “How to Recycle Old Clothes into New Fashions.” Short step-by-step videos in the series cover such topics as transforming old garments into works of art; sewing patches, buttons and beads onto old clothes; deconstructing a wedding dress; ironing graphics onto old garments, and much more. Another good use for threadbare clothes (as well as sheets and towels) is pet bedding, whether in your own home or donated to a local animal shelter.

According to the non-profit Institute for Local Self-Reliance, textiles make up about four percent of the weight and eight percent of the volume of all municipal solid waste in the U.S. The commercial recycling company U’SAgain – which runs private for-profit recycling services in Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Minneapolis, Seattle, St. Louis and elsewhere – finds that some 85 percent of the 70 pounds of textiles the average American purchases each year ends up landfilled. That means the typical U.S. city with 50,000 residents has to pay (with local tax dollars) for the handling and disposal of some 3,000 tons of textiles every year. The shame of such waste is that textiles are so easy to recycle or otherwise find new uses for.

CONTACTS: Goodwill,; Salvation Army,; Patagonia,; Expert Village,; U’SAgain,

Dear EarthTalk: What are the conservation implications of all the wild colonies of escaped pet parrots that have turned up in and around some major U.S. cities?

Mike Gifford, Kirkland, WA

At least three dozen different parrot species are now considered threatened or endangered in their quickly shrinking native tropical and sub-tropical habitats (mostly in South America). As such, the health of wild flocks in the U.S. and other developed countries around the world may well be key to preserving these birds that could otherwise go extinct.

Today wild parrot flocks thrive in urban and suburban areas of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Texas, Washington State and elsewhere. San Francisco and Brooklyn each host particularly large flocks, especially considering their relative lack of green space. Wild parrot flocks are also reportedly thriving in cities across much of Western Europe. Most of these parrots, of course, are not former pets themselves, but the descendents of birds that long ago may have escaped during transport from their jungle homes to pet stores generations ago.

Parrots are among the most intelligent and adaptable birds, so it is no surprise that they’ve done so well in North America and other regions, despite colder temperatures. Indeed it is not uncommon in the Northeast to see large groups of parrots perched in winter on deck railings piled with several inches of snow. The regions they inhabit, despite the cold weather, provide enough food and shelter to meet their relatively modest needs. And once the parrots were able to establish themselves in their new habitats, they got on with the business of breeding. Therefore, their offspring, though born in the city, are wild birds nonetheless, carrying on lifestyles not unlike those of their ancestors back in the jungles of South America (though their predators are different).

Conservationists are optimistic that the parrots’ successful adaptation to more northerly urban environments bodes well for their future, despite the loss of much of their ancestral rainforest habitat. According to Roelant Jonker of the non-profit City Parrots, encouraging the formation of wild flocks of urban parrots promises to be a much more effective conservation tactic than trying to raise more birds in captivity where they would not so readily pass on their genes or learn the survival, adaptation and social skills necessary to survive. To Jonker, the proof is in the pudding: Some 2,500 wild red-crowned Amazon parrots (a quarter of the world’s total) are thriving in and around California’s biggest urban areas at the same time their population numbers are plummeting back in their native rainforest habitat.

The 2006 Judy Irving documentary, The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, shadows wild parrot crusader Mark Bittner and his efforts to care for a wild flock of Red-headed Conyers living in San Francisco. Bittner feeds birdseed to the Conyers and gets to know each individual bird and its idiosyncrasies. The film’s shots of parrots interacting with one another and with Bittner really drive the point home how much we have in common with the wild kingdom of animals all around us, whether we live in the city or the country.

CONTACTS: City Parrots,; The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill,

GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTION? Send it to: EarthTalk, c/o E/The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; submit it at:, or e-mail: Read past columns at:

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