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Issue Home June 18, 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

SUSQUEHANNA: It is evident the Susquehanna Board of Health is doing its duty in trying to stamp out the diphtheria epidemic in that place. Dressy young men the first of the week received the following notice: “Owing to the present epidemic you are requested not to wear loud socks until further notice.” The young men so notified thought it was a slap by jealous acquaintances. It later developed that the board thought it wise, in view of the poisonous coloring often used in gay hose, to issue this warning. But then Susquehanna young men always did admire hosiery that rivaled the plumage of a bird of paradise. It is said a pale brown is the most gaudy color in socks now worn by the male population of the side hill burg, but the loss of the prismatic colored footgear is a source of deep regret to them.

RUSH: S. P. Light, the Rush stage driver, came into Montrose the other morning with his stage so crowded it was necessary for him to drive seated on the dashboard. If there were a trolley line between Rush and Montrose the cars would be crowded the same way.

MONTROSE: The many friends of Mr. W. O Finn are greatly pleased to note his improvement in health, in fact they hardly knew him, as since his recent operation in the Moses Taylor hospital he has gained 52 pounds in eight weeks. At the hospital, last week, he was examined by the medical staff and pronounced a perfectly sound man. He expects to resume his position as baggage master on the L & M railroad the middle of July. AND: Atty. Selden Munger evidently belongs to the onward and upward procession. Lately he has installed an elegant new Underwood typewriter in his office. It’s always in motion.

BROOKDALE: John Igo died Thursday morning, of last week, in a Scranton hospital. Igo had a foot cut off by a coal train one day last week, and an unsuccessful operation to save his life was performed. An aged father, two brothers and a sister survive.

FOREST LAKE: The death of Mrs. Margaret Kane occurred at her late home at Forest Lake, on Thursday evening, June 11th, ’08, after a long illness. Her age was 90 years, and her death is mourned by a large circle of friends. She is survived by four sons--Patrick, of Silver Lake, and James, John and Daniel Kane of Forest Lake, and by two daughters, Mrs. Johanna Keenan of Binghamton, and Mrs. Mary Matthews of Forest Lake. The funeral was held from St. Augustine’s church at Silver Lake, on the following Saturday, her pastor, Father Lally, intoning the Mass for her soul’s repose. Interment was made in St. Augustine’s cemetery.

MIDDLETOWN CENTRE: Miss Nina Beaumont sewed for Mrs. John Murphy, last week and Ethel James is sewing for Miss Anna Baldwin.

LENOX: Two men and a bear made sport for the small boys Monday.

DIMOCK: We now have five mails daily at the Dimock post office. AND: Most of the milk now delivered at the milk station is made into cheese by our cheese makers, Wheeler and Billings.

GREAT BEND: The Pennsylvania Tannery commenced on full time Monday morning, which was good news to the old employees.

HOPBOTTOM: HopBottom has a fine Amateur Base Ball Club and extends a challenge to the several clubs of the county and would be pleased to arrange games with strictly amateur teams. The personnel of the club is as follows: Tracy Brown, catcher, Dean Bertholf, pitcher; Glenn Roberts, first base; Duane Fish, second base and pitcher; Fred Hardy, third base and pitcher; Eugene McGraw, center field; Cecil Wright, left field and pitcher; Leroy Coyle, right field; Sherman Coyle, short stop; F. L. VanHorn is sect’y and F. R. Zimmerman is manager. The club has determined to play with their own team and not go outside for help, which when a game is won by them will be a credit to the team and not show which team can afford to hire the most fancy players.

JACKSON: A troop of Gypsies passed through here Sunday bound north. AND: The Baptist ladies are going to paper and paint the parsonage for the coming of the new pastor.

HARFORD: We had the pleasure of having a sociable chat the other day with P. H. Harding, living two miles south of Harford. Mr. Harding will be 86 years old the 19th of September next. Some might call him an old man at that age, but to see him you would change your mind the same as others have. Some say that Mr. Harding is younger than his son, Earnest. Of course we can’t explain how they figured that out, anyway the jolly 86 year old boy thinks he can cut the pigeon wing yet as in days gone by. AND: Another boy, Collins Peck, lives south of Harford, on a farm where he was born 80 years ago the 23rd of next September 1908, and he is spry and active and able to pound stones in repairing his private road to his house and that shows that Mr. Peck wants everything fixed up in nice shape.

THOMPSON: Dr. W. W. McNamara is nicely domiciled in his new house on Main Street. He has the grounds around nicely laid out and the walks completed.

UNIONDALE: Eddie Rimron is laying a nice stone walk from his house to the street. Well why not, he is a stonemason and knows just how it should be done, if he does not, let him ask Norton about it.

LIBERTY: M. D. Reynolds has his barn torn down and the underpinning up for the basement. He expects to have a raising this week on Wednesday. Elmer Bailey is doing the carpenter work, with B. J. Luce as assistant.

GIBSON: Thursday night June 11, occurred the marriage of Earl A. Sweet, formerly of this place to Hazel Winterstien of Dunmore. Earl has many friends in this place, where he spent his boyhood days. He with his bride will start for Montana, Ark., where they expect to make their future home.

NEWS BRIEF: An exchange tells a horrible tale about a young lady who thoughtlessly jerked back her head so suddenly to keep from being kissed that it broke her neck. This should be a warning to all girls not to jerk back. In fact, it would be better to lean forward a little.

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

In the past, I have explained the problems that prosecutors are facing as a result of popular television crime programs such as C.S.I. For jurors exposed to such television crime dramas, the reality of real-world crime investigation is often disappointing. Some jurors develop unreasonable expectations as to the quantity and quality of forensic evidence that the police should be able to obtain in an investigation. This provides fertile ground for defense attorneys to ask questions about the lack of fingerprints, DNA evidence, fiber evidence, hair samples, ballistic testing, or other forensic evidence. As I have stated repeatedly, the vast majority of all criminal cases never has any forensic evidence – and a prosecutor must not only overcome the disappointed expectations of jurors that expected such evidence, but also the attempts of the defense attorney to exploit those expectations into an erroneous conclusion that the police conducted a poor investigation.

In addition to this trend, there is another problem surfacing in criminal courts across the country – the investigating juror. If you have ever sat on a jury, you know that the judge specifically instructs jurors that they cannot discuss the case with anyone prior to jury deliberations, including friends and family, nor can jurors conduct their own independent research of the case. It is a gag order meant to protect the integrity of the system from outside influence and manipulation. The judge also makes clear that jurors may only follow the law and instructions given to them by the judge – not some other version that they may believe exists. Everyone has opinions and preconceived notions that they bring with them to their jury service. Every juror must be willing to abandon those personal beliefs at the courthouse door and dedicate themselves to following the court’s instructions on the law.

Unfortunately, the investigating juror ignores these instructions, and thereby compromises the integrity of the system. In the classic movie 12 Angry Men, there is a terrific scene that exemplifies the investigating juror. During the jury deliberations, there was a question as to the uniqueness of a knife that was used in a homicide – and one of the jurors (played by Henry Fonda) produced an identical knife from his pocket, which he had purchased the night before at a store near the homicide scene. Some jurors react that he should not have done this – but the juror’s revelation assists in convincing the other jurors that the prosecution’s evidence is not as strong as they initially believed (i.e., the knife is not really unique) and the jury eventually finds the defendant not guilty. If the court had learned what the juror had done, it is likely that a mistrial would have been declared – and a new trial scheduled.

Today, investigating jurors are improperly using the internet to assist them in the deliberation process. Recently, in Washington County, Oregon, a judge had to decide what to do in a DUI case where two jurors had gone home and looked up legal definitions of “implied consent” and “beyond a reasonable doubt” on the internet, as well as researching the accuracy of field sobriety checks. This drama actually played out on a cable reality television show known as Little People, Big World, where one of the main characters of the show allowed his DUI trial to be broadcast on the show.

The investigating jurors conducted their outside research and returned and shared the information with their fellow jurors during jury deliberations. Fortunately, in that case, the jury foreman did the responsible thing – he reported the conduct to the judge. The jury was now tainted – and the judge had to come up with a solution. The judge could have declared a mistrial which would have meant a second trial with added expense and cost to all of the parties. In a unique compromise, the defendant agreed to waive his right to a jury trial in order to avoid the necessity of conducting a second trial. The tainted jury was dismissed and the judge announced the verdict.

Judges are now creating instructions to specifically prohibit internet research by jurors during their jury service. With so many different sources of information, jurors are faced with the difficult task of separating their expectations from reality and allowing their deliberations to be guided solely by the judge’s instructions and the evidence presented at trial – not information obtained by outside sources. In the end, the integrity of the criminal justice system depends upon the willingness of jurors to follow the law – and leave the information they received from television, radio, print media and the internet outside the jury deliberation room.

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. Can you get Lyme disease in Hawaii?

It’s possible, but the odds are against it. The federal government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hasn’t reported a case of Lyme disease in Hawaii since 1996.

The CDC has identified the Northeast, the upper Midwest and the West Coast as the places you’re most likely to get Lyme disease. However, Lyme disease is found in many parts of the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia. You should check with the health departments in your area.

Lyme disease is caused by bacteria spread by bites primarily from deer ticks, which are brown and often no bigger than a pin head. The disease was named for a Connecticut town where it was first recognized in 1975.

Lyme disease can cause fever, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, sore muscles, stiff neck and a skin rash that usually begins where the tick dug in. The rash may start out as a small red spot that can get bigger. A ring within the spot can fade and create a “bull’s eye.” Some people with Lyme disease get many red spots.

If you don’t treat Lyme disease, it can spread to the heart, joints and the nervous system. Patients with late Lyme disease can suffer permanent damage. If Lyme disease spreads to the heart, the person may feel an irregular or slow heartbeat. The disease is rarely fatal.

Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics. In most cases of early Lyme disease, two to four weeks of oral antibiotics kill the bacteria. If the disease has progressed, your doctor may recommend an intravenous antibiotic for two to four weeks. This IV treatment is usually effective, although it may take some time to recover.

Lyme disease is often misdiagnosed. The disease’s symptoms are shared with other conditions such as viral infections, joint disorders, muscle pain (fibromyalgia), chronic fatigue syndrome and depression.

There is no human vaccine for Lyme disease available. There was a vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 1998. It was pulled from the market in 2002.

The CDC reports that there are more than 20,000 cases of Lyme disease each year. Most cases are reported in the summer when people are outdoors and ticks are most active.

Only a minority of deer tick bites lead to Lyme disease. The longer the tick remains attached to your skin, the greater your risk of contracting the disease. You aren't likely to get Lyme disease if the tick has been attached to your skin for less than 48 hours.

To remove a tick, use fine-tipped tweezers. Grab the tick as close to your skin as possible. Pull in a steady upward motion until the tick comes out. Then apply an antiseptic to the bite area and wash your hands with soap and water. Save the tick for possible identification by a doctor

The best method of fighting Lyme disease is to prevent tick bites. The following are some recommendations:

When you go into the woods, wear light-colored pants and long-sleeve shirts, shoes (no sandals) and a hat. Tuck pant legs into socks or shoes, and tuck shirts into pants. Light-colored garments are better for locating ticks.

Stay on trails and avoid walking through low bushes and long grass.

Use an insect repellent containing DEET or permethrin.

After you spend time outdoors, check for ticks. Then wash and dry clothing at high temperatures.

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: Recent NASA photos showed the opening of the Northwest Passage and that a third of the Arctic’s sea ice has melted in recent decades. Are sea levels already starting to rise accordingly, and if so what effect is this having?

Dudley Robinson, Ireland

Researchers were astounded when, in the fall of 2007, they discovered that the year-round ice pack in the Arctic Ocean had lost some 20 percent of its mass in just two years, setting a new record low since satellite imagery began documenting the terrain in 1978. Without action to stave off climate change, some scientists believe that, at that rate, all of the year-round ice in the Arctic could be gone by as early as 2030.

This massive reduction has allowed an ice-free shipping lane to open through the fabled Northwest Passage along northern Canada, Alaska and Greenland. While the shipping industry – which now has easy northern access between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – may be cheering this “natural” development, scientists worry about the impact of the resulting rise in sea levels around the world.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, made up of leading climate scientists, sea levels have risen some 3.1 millimeters per year since 1993. And the United Nations Environment Program predicts that, by 2010, some 80 percent of people will live within 62 miles of the coast, with about 40 percent living within 37 miles of a coastline.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reports that low-lying island nations, especially in equatorial regions, have been hardest hit by this phenomenon, and some are threatened with total disappearance. Rising seas have already swallowed up two uninhabited islands in the Central Pacific. On Samoa, thousands of residents have moved to higher ground as shorelines have retreated by as much as 160 feet. And islanders on Tuvalu are scrambling to find new homes as salt water intrusion has made their groundwater undrinkable while increasingly strong hurricanes and ocean swells have devastated shoreline structures.

WWF says that rising seas throughout tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world have inundated coastal ecosystems, decimating local plant and wildlife populations. In Bangladesh and Thailand, coastal mangrove forests – important buffers against storms and tidal waves – are giving way to ocean water.

Unfortunately, even if we curb global warming emissions today, these problems are likely to get worse before they get better. According to marine geophysicist Robin Bell of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, sea levels rise by about 1/16” for every 150 cubic miles of ice that melts off one of the poles.

“That may not sound like a lot, but consider the volume of ice now locked up in the planet’s three greatest ice sheets,” she writes in a recent issue of Scientific American. “If the West Antarctic ice sheet were to disappear, sea level would rise almost 19 feet; the ice in the Greenland ice sheet could add 24 feet to that; and the East Antarctic ice sheet could add yet another 170 feet to the level of the world’s oceans: more than 213 feet in all.” Bell underscores the severity of the situation by pointing out that the 150-foot tall Statue of Liberty could be completely submerged within a matter of decades.

CONTACTS: Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC),; WWF,; Earth Institute at Columbia University,

Dear EarthTalk: What’s available now in lawnmowers that are easier on the environment? My yard is too big for one of those “reel” mowers, and I’m no longer a spring chicken, so I have to buy something that runs on more than human power. What’s out there?

Joel Klein, Albany, NY

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), traditional gas-powered lawnmowers are a public nuisance to say the least. Using one of them for an hour generates as many volatile organic compounds – dangerous airborne pollutants known to exacerbate human respiratory and cardiovascular problems – as driving a typical car for 350 miles. The EPA estimates that, with some 54 million Americans mowing their lawns on a weekly basis, gas lawnmower emissions account for as much as five percent of the nation’s total air pollution. Beyond that, homeowners spill some 17 million gallons of gasoline every year just refueling their lawnmowers.

So what’s a green-minded property owner to do about keeping the grass down? Go electric, of course!

Electric mowers, which either plug into a wall outlet via a long cord or run on batteries charged up from the grid, create no exhaust emissions and run much cleaner than their gas-powered counterparts. They also need less maintenance, with no spark plugs or belts to worry about, and are easier to use, as they tend to be smaller and come with push-button starters. The icing on the cake might be the fact that electric mowers are cheaper to run, using about as much electricity as an ordinary toaster. Most electric mower owners spend about $5 a year on electricity to keep their grass trimmed just right. The non-profit Electric Power Research Institute reports that replacing half of the 1.3 million or so gas mowers in the U.S. with electric models would save the equivalent amount of emissions of taking two million cars off the road.

But going electric has some minor trade-offs. Electric mowers tend to cost up to $150 more than their gas-powered counterparts, and the plug-in varieties can only go 100 feet from the closest outlet without an extension cord. And the cordless models last only 30-60 minutes on a charge, depending on battery size and type, though that’s plenty sufficient for the average lawn (just remember to re-charge it in time for the next mow).

And, of course, just because electric mowers don’t consume fossil fuels or spew emissions directly doesn’t mean they are totally green-friendly. Most people derive their household electricity from coal-fired power plants, the dirtiest of all energy sources. Of course, running an electric mower on electricity generated from clean and renewable sources (solar, wind or hydro power) would be the greenest of all possibilities, and those days may be upon us soon.

For those ready to take the electric mower plunge, the Greener Choices website, a project of Consumer Reports, gives high marks to Black & Decker’s corded ($230) and cordless ($400) models for their efficiency, reliability and ease-of-use. Corded models from Worx and Homelite (both around $200) also fared well, along with cordless offerings from Craftsman, Homelite, Remington and Neuton ($300-450).

CONTACTS: Black & Decker,; Remington,; Homelite,; Worx,; Neuton,; Greener Choices,

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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