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Issue Home August 20, 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
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

MONTROSE: The Montrose Bible Conference opened under conditions that are far ahead of the most sanguine expectations of those who have been most optimistic. The plans of the leaders are working out even better than anticipated and the way the trains are bringing in interested clergymen, missionaries and lay workers, indicates the deep interest taken even in distant parts of the country and foreign lands. AND: Reuben R. Smith, a plumber at Ryan’s, was badly injured in a runaway Friday noon. A horse he was driving became unmanageable at sight of an auto and the wagon struck a telephone pole, hurling him 30 or 40 ft. The horse trampled upon him and although cut and bruised no bones were broken. Upon recovering consciousness he insisted upon walking to his home, a block away.

DIMOCK: The meetings on the campground this year have been of the old time campmeeting order--full of fire and enthusiasm. Rev. Henry Tuckley, D.D. superintendent of the Binghamton District M. E. Church, had charge and proved himself one of God’s chosen leaders. His earnest manner of conducting the meetings has brought them up to a high water mark of spirituality. Members of the church who attended were greatly blessed; and many have been converted. About 3,000 tickers were sold on Sunday. The best of order was observed through all the meetings. A detachment of the State Constabulatary [State Police] from Wyoming, have been sent to stay through all the meetings, and their presence has a good effect.

SUSQUEHANNA: Ten out of twelve of the last graduating class will enter college. AND: J. J. Ryan, who for the last two years has been the manager of the Davidson theater at Canandaigua, has leased the Hogan Opera House and last evening opened the season with a public hop.

FACTORYVILLE: Christy Mathewson, the man who made Factoryville famous, is at his best this season and has no peer in the baseball world. As pitcher for the New York Nationals he has won 25 out of 31 games and has pitched seven shut-outs.

SILVER LAKE: John J. Devenny, of Philadelphia, visited here--his first visit in 46 years.

AUBURN: Mrs. Albert Jennings of South Auburn started for her home at Sterling, Kansas, but expected to stop for a visit with her daughter in Michigan on the way. AND: Mrs. Jennie Mullihan, of San Antonio, Texas, who has been visiting her brother, F. P. Shelp, and other friends in this place, has returned to her home. John Shelp, of Minnesota, is visiting relatives in this place.

CLIFFORD: Toot, toot! This is now the greeting we receive from our merchant, L. H. Rivenburg. It’s an automobile. AND: In Royal, last Wednesday night, some 17 couples of Carbondale’s ladies and gentlemen had a private party at Hotel Royal. The Carbondaler’s seem to keep our landlord Charley a hustling.

GREAT BEND:Burglars entered the store of Williams & Beebe through the storeroom window, taking only the cash from the register and a cigar slot machine.

THOMPSON: Thursday of last week was “Prohibition Day” at the Free Methodist Campground and about 300 met together on the grounds to listen to a speech by the noted Eliston N. Howard, of Pennsylvania. The platform was spacious and made a pretty picture under the green trees lined with white and the national flag draping one corner completed the picture. Mr. Howard stepped to the front, small in stature, colossal in intellect, and the audience became very quiet from the moment he stated his subject, which he gave as “The Water Wagon,” his inimitable personality combined with wit, humor, eloquence and truth, held the audience quiet for two hours and sent them away, feeling they had much food for serious thoughts.

GLENWOOD: The flag in front of Mr. Kellogg’s residence in this place is raised and lowered by military precision at sunrise and at sun set, at the sound of the morning and evening guns, in regular military style.

GIBSON: Henry Morgan left Sunday for Montana, where he will work for the British government over in Canada. We regret very much to lose one of our promising young men.

ARARAT: Delos Stone is building a nice cottage at Fiddle Lake. Will Gelatt is building one also. There is lots of tenting at the Lake this summer.

FLYNN: Rev. Dr. Malone, of Scranton, was at the church in Middletown on Saturday the 15th, to settle the question of a new church and new site in this place. One building lot has already been purchased at the Flynn corners.

FOREST CITY: The Borough building and its legal entanglements again became the principal matter of local interest, Tuesday, when Contractor Box resumed work with a force of a half dozen men. The activity seemed to surprise the committee who had been fighting the proposal changes. The telephone wires were invoked and yesterday morning work was again suspended. The hose wagon has now been placed in the opening on the side of the building.

JACKSON: Celebrating the 28th year of its organization, the survivors of Company B, 17th Pennsylvania Cavalry, will gather at the home of Henry Stoddard in Jackson Twp., on Sept. 2. Company B was enrolled in the fall of 1862 in Susquehanna county and took part in more than sixty engagements during the War of the Rebellion.

NEW MILFORD: The New Milford Graded School is centrally located to receive students from all directions, and is considered one of the best preparatory schools in the county. Here, at a nominal expense, students are prepared for higher work in normal schools and academies. Special instruction in literature and professional reading. Tuition for the high school department, per month is $1.25; grammar intermediate and primary is $1.00 per month.

NEWS BRIEF: A large number of barns have been destroyed by lightning this summer. It is said to be caused in a measure by the moisture arising from the newly-cut hay, which attracts the electric fluid. Certain it is that barns are more frequently struck and destroyed by lightning than any other buildings.

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

There is a lot of talk in the upcoming presidential election regarding national health care and the costs associated with such coverage. Of course, there is a mini-version of government-run health care in place in every prison in America. Under the federal Constitution, a state must provide a prisoner with necessary health care while the prisoner remains in custody. In using the legal jargon, the state cannot be “deliberately indifferent” to the medical needs of a prisoner.

In Susquehanna County, the Jail Board has contracted with a private business, Cost Management Plus, Inc., that specializes in providing medical services to correctional facilities to assure that our constitutional obligation to provide health care to inmates is met. On behalf of Susquehanna County, Cost Management has entered into a variety of contracts with health care providers for professional services at our correctional facility, including physicians, dentists, optometrists, and other specialists. Cost Management also provides pharmaceutical services to assist in reducing the costs of medication for county inmates. Despite all of the cost reduction efforts, the price tag for the health care is still substantial.

For instance, in April 2008, there was an average prison population of 79 inmates in our county facility. The average cost for just medication in April was over $80 per inmate, or a total pharmacy bill that exceeded $6,000 for the month. If you were to look at the numbers a little closer, there were actually only 47 inmates receiving medication, but this still amounts to nearly 60% of the prison population on medications. If this rate continued over the entire year, the cost for just medications for inmates at the correctional facility would be over $75,000 for one year. This would not include the costs for the professional services provided by physicians, dentists, optometrists, and other professionals.

The Susquehanna County Correctional Facility is a small facility. As the size of a correctional facility grows, the costs grow as well. California is now seeing the staggering medical costs associated with a medical care system that is not working well. A federal lawsuit was filed against California seeking $8 billion to upgrade and pay for the medical needs of the inmates in California’s 33 state prisons. The problem is simple but complex – the legislature has not authorized funding necessary to upgrade the health care facilities within the state prison system, the governor cannot provide the funds unless they are budgeted and approved, and the state prison system has an obligation to provide the health care services, but no money to do so.

In fact, in 2005, a federal judge already determined that California’s state prison health care system was so bad that it generally violated constitutional requirements. A receiver was appointed to oversee the upgrades to the prison health system so that the state would meet its constitutional obligations. Now, several years after being appointed, the receiver cannot move forward without the money – and it is back to court for everyone involved. California already has a budget deficit – so it is not apparent where the money will come from this year. Ultimately, you can bet it will come from the taxpayers.

The expense of providing health care coverage to inmates demonstrates the difficulties and staggering costs of government-provided health care. To put it simply, it cannot be accomplished easily even with a captive audience like inmates. The prison systems provide excellent laboratories for those interested in the viability of government-run health care systems. For those looking for solutions, a good hard look at the California situation might be a good starting point to determine where it all went wrong and why $8 billion is needed to fix health care system with only 33 state facilities.

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

This is the second part of a three-part series on the PSA test for prostate cancer.

Cancer of the prostate is one of the most common types of cancer among American men. More than 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer cases occur in men 65 and older. Treatment for prostate cancer works best when the disease is found early.

Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of this protein in the blood. It can be detected at a low level in the blood of all adult men.

A fundamental problem with the PSA test is that, while elevated levels can indicate the presence of cancer, they can also be caused by other problems such as benign enlargement of the prostate that comes with age, infection, inflammation and seemingly trivial events such as ejaculation and a bowel movement.

Another major problem with the PSA test is defining what is “abnormal.” Older men usually have higher PSA measurements than younger men. African-Americans normally have slightly higher values than whites.

PSA test results are usually reported as nanograms of PSA per milliliter (ng/mL) of blood. In the past, most doctors considered PSA values below 4.0 ng/mL as normal. However, recent research found prostate cancer in men with PSA levels below 4.0 ng/mL.

Some researchers have suggested lowering the PSA cutoff levels. For example, a number of studies have used cutoff levels of 2.5 or 3.0 ng/mL instead of 4.0 ng/mL.

Many doctors are now using the following ranges with some variation: 0 to 2.5 ng/mL is low, 2.6 to 10 ng/mL is slightly to moderately elevated, 10 to 19.9 ng/mL is moderately elevated, and 20 ng/mL or more is significantly elevated.

Because age is an important factor in increasing PSA levels, some doctors use age-adjusted PSA levels to determine when diagnostic tests are needed. When age-adjusted PSA levels are used, a different PSA level is defined as normal for each 10-year age group.

Doctors who use age-adjusted levels usually suggest that men younger than age 50 should have a PSA level below 2.4 ng/mL, while a PSA level up to 6.5 ng/mL would be considered normal for men in their 70s. Doctors do not agree about the accuracy and usefulness of age-adjusted PSA levels.

But there’s even more to make you nuts when you’re evaluating your PSA.

PSA is either free or attached to a protein molecule. If you have a benign prostate condition, there is more free PSA. Cancer produces more of the attached form. A free PSA test that indicates prostate cancer can lead to more testing, such as a biopsy.

PSA velocity is the change in PSA levels over time. A sharp rise in the PSA level may indicate a fast-growing cancer.

The relationship of the PSA level to prostate size is PSA density. An elevated PSA in a man with a very large prostate is not as alarming as a high PSA reading in someone with a small prostate.

Another problem with PSA are false test results.

If you have an elevated PSA but no cancer, you get what is called a false positive. This type of result can lead to medical procedures, anxiety, health risks and expense. Most men with an elevated PSA don’t have cancer.

When you have prostate cancer and your PSA test comes back in the normal range, you get a false negative. It’s important to understand that most prostate cancers are slow-growing; they can be around for many years before they cause symptoms.

To be continued in our next column.

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

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

Ichneumon wasp & pigeon tremex horntail: two boring insects

People often talk about the balance of nature. This is a general concept that can conjure up many scenarios, some of them cute, while others can be violent and upsetting. Among such interesting insect scenarios is the saga of the pigeon tremex horntail and the giant ichneumon wasp. These are two large and bizarre-looking insects common to our area. An encounter with either one is sufficient to send you running and give you nightmares, although both are non-aggressive. Nether of these insects are supposed to sting but, based on personal experience, my wife would disagree.

An adult pigeon tremex horntail.

The pigeon tremex (tremex columba) is a type of non-stinging wasp, also known as a horntail. Up to 2 inches in length, they resemble a large brownish/black wasp with a long horn-like projection from the tip of their abdomen. They have yellow crossbands along the body. Unlike other wasps, they are thick-bodied and cylindrical, without the typical thin “waist” between the abdomen and thorax. The spine projecting from the rear of the female abdomen is about one quarter of the body length. That spine is actually the ovipositor, which is used as a drill to deposit eggs into the wood of dead or dying trees. The preferred tree species include maple, beech, oak, ash, and elm. As trees age or become diseased, the local population of these horntails will notably increase. They are not usually considered a serious pest since their activity is usually limited to trees or limbs that are recently dead, or nearly so. The larvae are sometimes unknowingly transported in firewood and lumber. Occasionally, adults have even been known to emerge indoors from structural timbers.

The adults are active in late summer through early October. The females will bore into a trunk with their ovipositors. If there is a sufficiently low moisture level (as in a dead or dying tree) the female will proceed to deposit 2 to 7 eggs in the wood. At the same time, she introduces a white rot fungus into the wood. This fungus begins to grow, preceding the hatching of the eggs. The development of this fungus is critical to the newly hatched larvae, since it accelerates the wood decay and provides an easier path for the larvae to burrow further into the wood as they feed. The larvae take from 1 to 2 years to fully develop. The pupating larvae form cocoons of silk and wood chips just below the tree bark. When emerging, the adult bores a perfectly round hole through the bark. Capable of flight, the adults feed only on nectar and water.

An adult female ichneumon wasp.

At 3 inches in length, the Giant Ichneumon Wasp is an equally bizarre and intimidating insect. This is a parasitic insect that specifically targets the pigeon tremex horntail. The ichneumon is brown with yellow markings. Having a more typical wasp body profile, its most distinguishing feature is the three long tails that protrude behind it for several inches. These tails include an ovipositor in the middle, with 2 side filaments that sheath and protect it. The thin ovipositor is capable of drilling and depositing eggs deep into the wood that contains the horntail larvae. Using its long antennae, the female detects vibrations of a feeding horntail larva. Upon locating the horntail larva, the female positions its long ovipositor at right angles to the wood and proceeds to drill into the larval tunnel. Remarkably, their ovipositors can penetrate up to 5 inches into the tree, partly accomplished by secreting enzymes that break down the wood fibers. Upon locating a horntail larva, the female administers a paralyzing sting. This is followed by deposition of an egg on the immobilized larva. The eggs are greatly distorted to descend the extremely narrow ovipositor duct. Upon hatching, the ichneumon larva proceeds to feed on the paralyzed horntail larva. The horntail larva is totally consumed within several weeks. The ichneumon larva then pupates and remains dormant for about a year after which the adult emerges. The adults are not known to feed. Often the females become stuck at the oviposition site, where they are easy targets for predators. Looking like thin black needles, it is not uncommon to see the detached tails protruding from the wood of a dead tree.

While neither of these strange-looking insects have much direct impact on our lives, they do present an interesting example of the checks and balances of nature.

Questions, comments and suggestions regarding this article, identifications or any other insect-related matters 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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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoski

Psoriasis Awareness Week August 17 – 23

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is celebrating National Psoriasis Awareness Week during August 17– 23. Psoriasis is a skin disease that creates large lesions over parts of the body. It is estimated that approximately 7.5 million Americans are affected by Psoriasis. The majority of the 7.5 million have Plaque, the most common form of Psoriasis. When someone is diagnosed with Plaque, they experience red, raised, dry patches that are covered in a silvery, white buildup of dead skin cells. This buildup is called scale.

Besides Plaque, Psoriasis also comes in four other forms, each very different. These forms include Guttate, Inverse, Pustular, and Erythrodermic. Guttate causes patients to experience small, raised red spots all over the skin. Inverse Psoriasis creates smooth and shiny red lesions under the skin folds of the body. Pustular Psoriasis causes white, flakey blisters surrounded by red skin. Erythrodermic Psoriasis is characterized by a fiery red tint to the skin, accompanied by dry, flakey skin and itching and pain to the inflicted areas.

Psoriasis is a very diverse condition, and can affect more than just the skin. Approximately 10-30 percent of people with Psoriasis have Psoriatic Arthritis, a potentially crippling disorder if not treated. Like the five different types of skin disorders, Psoriatic Arthritis also comes in five different forms. These forms include symmetric, asymmetric, distal interphalangeal predominant, spondylitis and arthritis mutilans.

Psoriasis has been classified as a common disease, as over 125 million people around the world have been diagnosed with it. The National Psoriasis Foundation has created a program to help find a cure called “Three Steps to a Cure.” This program consists of three simple things anyone can do to help find a cure. These steps are to: first, participate in the National Psoriasis Victor Henschel BioBank by donating a DNA sample. Second, to support the Psoriasis and Psoriatic Arthritis Research, Cure, and Care Act which was introduced into Congress last year and still remains a bill. And, by Supporting the National Psoriasis Foundation.

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