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Issue Home August 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
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

MONTROSE: Bible Conference exceeds expectations. Large and devoted audiences at every meeting and interest is constantly growing. Dr. Torrey is the head of what is now assured will be one of the greatest conferences in the country. No religious movement of similar nature was ever started in this country with rosier prospects of a glorious and successful future than the great Bible Conference, which is now in session here. AND: The Misses Pierson have purchased a buckboard automobile, which is a neat running machine and is something of an innovation in autos in Montrose.

CARD POND, Lathrop Twp.: The much talked of Welsh fish case has been ended at last by an opinion filed by Judge Fuller, of Wilkes-Barre, in which he reverses the decision of the Justice of the Peace, and finds Welsh “not guilty.” W. E. Shoemaker, the fish warden, arrested William Welsh charging him with fishing with dynamite in Card’s Pond. The case was tried before a Justice of the Peace, who convicted Welsh and sentenced him to pay a fine of $100, the cost of prosecution, and to undergo an imprisonment in the county jail for 6 months. Judge Searle allowed an appeal from the decision of the Justice of the Peace, which permitted the trial before Judge Fuller. The case was vigorously fought by both sides from the beginning to the end, it being the first case of this kind to be tried in Susquehanna County under the Act of 1901.

BROOKLYN: The first paper made from wood pulp was about the year 1837 by Joshua Miles, who built a paper mill on the Hopbottom creek, just below the village of Brooklyn, where he had built and was operating a grist mill, oil mill and sawmill. Paper rags were high and scarce. Mr. Miles experimented with several kinds of material, among which was wood. He used basswood, and when properly treated, made a pulp for a fair kind of wrapping paper. Then, by using bleaching salts, a good article of printing paper was produced and it was used by the publishers of the county papers. The mill burned in the winter of 1840-41, there being no insurance. The proprietor was unable to rebuild and soon after removed to Illinois. This article was submitted to the Independent Republican by G. B. Rogers, who worked for Mr. Miles for 9 years in the paper mill. He says that this is a matter of history that may be lost, as he is the only one living who has knowledge of the facts, and he is 87 years old. The first newspaper to use the wood pulp printing paper for actual printing was the Register, a predecessor of the Republican.

SPRINGVILLE: Clark Strickland and family, of Little Rock, Arkansas, arrived here Friday. This town is the home of his youth, being born on the farm now occupied by his brother Jessie. AND: Last Thursday morning there was frost enough to kill cucumber vines.

HALLSTEAD: In order to accommodate the large number who go to Montrose, Scranton and other points east on the Lackawanna, the company has again made this place a regular stop for No. 2, which arrives at 8:49. New Milford has been made a flag stop for Montrose passengers and Alford will again be a regular stop. The people of this place and all of the eastern part of the county greatly appreciate the action of the company in restoring the service of this train for here and Alford, as it is the most important train of the day for the accommodation of the public.

SHANNON HILL, Auburn Twp.: John Vangorden, of Pine City, Minn. is visiting his old home here after an absence of 25 years. His wife and three children are with him, and his old friends and schoolmates are all glad to meet and shake hands with him.

FRANKLIN FORKS: Charles Palmer, one of the most enterprising farmers of that section, has been using a horseless mower to harvest his hay crop this season. He says it works to perfection. In 2 ½ hours, during the height of the haying season, he cut six big loads.

HOPBOTTOM: The Lackawanna RR was built in 1851. The only house near the station at that time was the Orson Case house, now occupied by our shoemaker. Next in order was a grocery store fitted by Amos B. Merrill to accommodate the laborers working on the road, there being a row of shanties extending from Stone’s hotel down to where the creamery now stands. Next in order, Lyman W. Kellum came and built a temporary house on the plot of ground where Stone’s hotel now stands and boarded railroad officials. Later on he moved it back and built a house, living there until he died. Soon after that David Wilmarth came and erected a hotel for the accommodation of the traveling public and remained until his health failed. The hotel burned to the ground, it being then owned by Asa Day, and was rebuilt. A temporary platform was built by the railroad, with a small office at one end occupied by the ticket agent. Warren Tingley came and erected a small house where Wm. Pratt and daughter Amanda now live and built the grist mill. Our town was then in its infancy.

GREAT BEND: The Chapot Bros. have rented the Kistler store for their furnishing room. There are now seven girls employed trimming chamois skins for the trade.

JACKSON: Mrs. Harding has lost eight canary birds. No apparent cause. Found dead.

HERRICK: Dennis Bosket, of E. Windsor, N.Y. was in town Sunday in response to a matrimonial advertisement.

HARFORD: Our stone crusher is doing great work, we are having some fine roads made.

NORTH BRIDGEWATER: Edward J. Pickett, a veteran of the Spanish American war, and an unsuccessful searcher for gold in the far away icy wilds of Alaska, has returned to the scenes of some of his early boyhood days, and is now the guest of Joseph Kane.

CHOCONUT: Mrs. Barnum Wilcox has the middle finger on her right hand crushed while at work in the Binghamton whip factory.

APOLACON: A horse was stolen from the barn of Patrick Phelan a short time ago, a white horse with buggy and harness, on a dark rainy night. Mr. P. heard the thieves about the time they were leaving the barn, and hitched up another horse and followed them in the direction of St. Joseph, some distance, but owing to the darkness gave up the chase. It is thought they came towards Montrose. He offers $25 reward.

NEWS BRIEF: Two concerns manufacturing automobiles have announced a break in prices. One will put a 4-cylinder machine on the market for $1200 and another a 6-cylinder machine for $1400. This is less than half the price now prevailing. Merely the bicycle story over again. After the craze for wheels had abated the prices began to fall and today a man can buy a better wheel for $21.79 than he could get for $125 some years ago.

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

I received an email from a reader regarding the Amethyst Initiative, which is a group of college presidents that have signed a petition declaring that the current drinking age of 21 is not working and that it should be lowered. In its mission statement, the Amethyst Initiative declares that persons under 21 are “deemed capable of voting, signing contracts, serving on juries and enlisting in the military, but are told they are not mature enough to have a beer.” The Amethyst Initiative contends that the current drinking age has created a culture of secretive and dangerous binge drinking. In the end, the Amethyst Initiative declares that prohibition does not work and there needs to be a new debate on the appropriate means to encourage responsible alcohol consumption by young people. Over 100 college presidents have signed onto the Amethyst Initiative.

On numerous occasions, I have outlined the various prohibitions against the consumption of alcohol by minors and the penalties associated with those prohibitions. Generally, I have avoided getting into my personal philosophies on the prohibitions against alcohol consumption by minors. This was intentional as I am well aware that many reasonable people have strong views on this topic. The reader not only directed me to the Amethyst Initiative, but requested that I comment upon the wisdom of its position. In order to do so, my personal philosophies must be revealed to some degree.

Generally speaking, I believe that the current drinking age is a wise and reasonable policy choice that resulted from sound statistical evidence and scientific research. A recent statistical study published demonstrated that the higher drinking age resulted in an eleven percent (11%) decrease in alcohol-related fatalities among teenagers. Nationwide, this is a significant figure – it means that thousands of lives have been saved.

From a scientific standpoint, there is statistical evidence that the younger a person is when they start drinking alcohol, the more likely they are to become dependent upon it. In fact, a person who starts drinking at 17 (or younger) is three times more likely to develop alcohol dependence than a person who waits until they are 21 to start drinking. Researchers suggest that one of the reasons for this phenomenon is that the human brain is still developing until a person reaches their early 20s, and the consumption of alcohol at a younger age interferes with the development and leads to dependence.

There is also substantial evidence that links the consumption of alcohol by young people with high-risk sexual behavior, i.e., increased number of sexual partners and unprotected sexual relations. This could lead to sexually transmitted diseases or an unplanned pregnancy. Moreover, alcohol is often involved in sexual assaults with either one or both parties being intoxicated.

Alcohol can also serve as a gateway drug that leads to the use of other illegal substances, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and other controlled substances. Given the level of education that we give our children, I am always stunned when I see young people using controlled substances. I often ask the juveniles what they were thinking the first time they stuck the needle in their arm to inject heroin, snorted coke, or smoked marijuana. The answer invariably is the same – they were drunk.

In short, the drinking age is designed to protect young people – and there is substantial evidence to support the wisdom of this policy decision. While college presidents may believe that teenagers will drink more responsibly if the drinking age is lowered, I fear that the result will be much different. With younger people having access to alcohol, we will again see an increase in alcohol-related vehicle fatalities, an increase in alcohol dependence, an increase in sexual assaults and other risky sexual behavior, and an increase in other drug dependence problems. We should all encourage our children to be responsible – and let us start by telling them to obey the law.

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 final 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.

PSA test results are horribly confusing and often terrifying. In the first parts of this series, we discussed the sources of much of the confusion. In this column, we’ll address the primary question about PSA: Does it save lives?

The answer is: We don’t know. What’s worse is that we don’t know if PSA screening outweighs the risks of follow-up diagnostic tests and cancer treatments.

For example, prostate surgery can cause incontinence and erectile dysfunction. Even a prostate biopsy has risks because it can cause bleeding and infection.

The PSA test can detect small tumors. However, finding a small tumor does not necessarily reduce a man’s chance of dying from prostate cancer. PSA testing may identify very slow-growing tumors that are unlikely to threaten a man’s life. Also, PSA testing may not help a man with a fast-growing or aggressive cancer that has already spread to other parts of his body before being detected.

So, what should a man do to protect himself from prostate cancer?

Some doctors encourage annual screenings for men older than age 50; others recommend against routine screening. However, most doctors and medical organizations agree that men should learn all they can about prostate cancer, so they can reach informed decisions.

My personal history with PSA tests is illustrative of many of the problems men face with this type of screening. I hope that sharing it will help.

I’m 67 years old. I’ve been having physical exams almost every year since I hit my 50s. These physicals included a PSA blood test and a digital rectal exam (DRE). Until recently, all tests produced normal results.

My PSA was always around 1.5. Most doctors want your PSA to be under 4. (The numbers stand for nanograms of PSA per milliliter of blood.) And, my DREs found no irregularities, just some benign enlargement.

About three years ago, my family physician gave me a DRE and found nothing, but my PSA test came in at 2.97. My doctor told me to see a urologist for a follow-up exam because my PSA, while under 4, had increased.

The urologist did another DRE and ordered another PSA test. The test came in at 2.96. The urologist said that he thought 2.96 was my new PSA and that I should not worry about it.

Two years later, my PSA was still 2.96. Then, this year, it came in at 4.1. My family physician sent me to a urologist.

Before I went to the urologist, I did some research and learned that something as seemingly insignificant as a bowel movement could affect a PSA test. I told the urologist that I recalled going to the bathroom just before having blood drawn. He thought that this BM could have affected the test.

Another DRE. Okay. Another blood test. The PSA was 3.3. The urologist said no biopsy was required. The increase from 2.96 to 3.3 was not a cause for concern.

What now? I’m tempted to forget about PSA tests, but I’ll probably have another in a year.

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

Hickory Tussock Moth: the insect nettle

From earliest childhood memories I have always had a great deal of respect for fuzzy white caterpillars with black whiskers. I suppose this stems from my mother’s stern warnings and the tale of how my brother’s foot turned red and swelled up when he put it into a shoe containing such a creature.

The Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar.

With their boldly contrasting black-white pattern, the hickory tussock moth caterpillars (Lophcampa caryae) are a familiar sight that foretells the arrival of late summer and subsequent prelude to fall. Commonly encountered in a sweet corn patch or often seen crawling along a stone wall, these fuzzy black and white caterpillars come in a variety of sizes and shades. As their name indicates, they are partial to hickory varieties, but will also feed on almost any type of tree including hornbeam, elm, willow and oak. The tan-checkered adult moth lays eggs in large batches on potential host plant leaves. Upon hatching, the early instars remain in clusters of up to 100 tiny caterpillars. Although they rarely cause any serious degree of defoliation, there are occasional local outbreaks that can contribute to noticeable vegetative damage. As they mature, the caterpillars spread out, continuing to feed until they reach a total length of about one and one half inches. With the approach of cold weather, they spin a loose cocoon among the leaf debris on the ground. Like other members of the tiger moth family (Arctiidae), their long hair-like setae are weaved into the cocoon. Upon the arrival of warm late spring days the adult moths emerge to continue the life cycle. There is usually only one generation per year. The adult moths generally do not feed.

An adult Hickory Tussock Moth.

These hickory tussock moth caterpillars are of particular interest because they are one of only about 8 common species that can inflict some pain or discomfort upon contact. While they may seem fuzzy and harmless, their hairs are capable of entering our skin and causing some type of reaction. Depending on the individual’s sensitivity, this reaction can range from a mild itching to localized reddening, swelling, burning and even severe pain. The most hypersensitive people can experience severe swelling, nausea and fever. While caterpillars do not sting in an aggressive manner, many of the fuzzy varieties possess urticating (stinging) hairs that are hollow and connect to poison gland cells. Upon contact, these hairs enter the skin and break off, thus releasing the toxins. This is a primary mechanism for the caterpillar’s defense against its natural predators.

Most incidents of contact occur in late summer and early fall. It is a relatively common cause of elementary students’ visits to the school nurse. Many times the cause of the red rash and burning sensation is unrecognized and can be mistaken for contact with such unfriendly vegetation as stinging nettles or poison ivy. The caterpillars will unknowingly drop out of a tree and crawl into clothing or footwear. When removing the invading caterpillars, avoid direct contact, since their tiny stinging hairs can easily break off and become imbedded into the skin. It is best to use gloves, sticks, or any other handy object to brush them away. Even contact with a dead caterpillar can inflict one with those tiny irritating hairs. In case of contact resulting in imbedded hairs, quickly and repeatedly apply strips of sticky tape over the affected area. The spines will stick to the tape and be pulled out upon removal of the tape. Follow up with a thorough washing of the affected area with soap and water to remove lingering, irritating toxins. Application of ice and baking soda paste can also help reduce any pain. While aspirin and other pain medications seem to be ineffective, over-the-counter antihistamines may help relieve the itching and burning.

Easily recognized, these white fuzzy caterpillars with the black whiskers should be seen and not touched. As long as children are properly warned, and adults know to proceed with caution when dealing with them, the hickory tussock moth caterpillars can continue to be another one of nature’s familiar signs of seasonal change.

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

Children’s Eye Health & Safety Week August 24 – 30

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is celebrating National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Week.

This week is dedicated to the protection of our youths’ vision. Each summer, approximately 6,400 Americans go to the hospital for injuries to the eye from fireworks. Of that 6,400 it is estimated that 2,300 injuries were to children under the age of fifteen.

During the summer months, eye injuries escalate in children. Each year, thousands of children under age 5 experience eye accidents. Doctors encourage parents to keep a close watch over their children to prevent eye injury. The most common causes of eye injuries in children are misuse of toys, fireworks and everyday objects. Contact with harmful products, such as paints, glues or detergents can infect the eye and lead to blindness. Falls from beds, couches or stairs that create blows to the eye can damage the cornea.

Besides the cornea, other parts of the human eye can easily be broken. If anything causes the delicate sections of the eye to break, a child might not be able to see well or at all. Vision problems affect one in 20 preschoolers and one in four children by age 6. If an eye problem remains untreated, the issue can worsen and eventually lead to other very serious problems. These problems range from distortion of your child’s personality, learning ability and blindness.

The most common problems in children are Amblyopia (lazy eye), Strabismus (crossed eyes), Color Deficiency (color blindness), Premature Retinopathy, Myopia (nearsightedness), Hyperopia (farsightedness) and Astigmatism. Some children are born with these deficiencies, others develop them over time. The important thing though, is to keep your child up to date on his or her yearly vision appointments.

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