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Issue Home December 3, 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

OLD SOLDIERS: George E. Woodruff, Walter E. Jackson and Hiram Sivers, of Montrose; Wm. B. Southwell, of Forest Lake; Andrew O. Tyler, of Tiffany, and Chas. M. Read, of Hallstead, left last week for the National Soldiers’ Home in Tennessee. Wednesday morning Samuel McKeeby and Wm. H. Street, of Fairdale, left for the same institution, while about the middle of the month James S. Strange, of Birchardville, also contemplates going. The government takes good care of the veterans at the home, where they are not only in a congenial atmosphere, but where the climate is very mild and conductive to good health. Most of them are unable to stand our rigorous winters, but it is noticeable that those who have been to the home returned in the spring much benefited by their winter’s sojourn. “Uncle Sam” furnishes transportation both ways, clothes and feeds them while in the home, and not one cent of cost to the veterans. His pension goes on the same. Surely we can feel proud of a government that looks after the veteran in his later years and glad that the men who underwent dangers and hardships in defense of the nation are permitted to thus enjoy themselves.

UNIONDALE: Otis Dimmock, aged nearly 91, died on the farm where he was born. His father, Marshall Dimmock, was one of the county’s pioneer settlers. Otis’s wife, who was Miss Caroline Burritt, died 11 years ago. Two sons, Theron B. and Norman B. Dimmock and one daughter, Mrs. D. L. Stevens, survive. A sister, Mrs. N. F. Reynolds, of Glendale, Cal., is the last survivor of the children of Marshall.

HERRICK CENTER: The Thanksgiving dinner by the Old Peoples Association was held at the home of Wallace Tingley. AND: The Sunday schools of Herrick Center are making extensive preparations for the celebration of Christmas. Who does not love to have a pleasant time on that day? Let us all try to make others happy by endeavoring to gratify the feelings and desires of the young and old, also by lightening the cares and toils of the poor.

MONTROSE: The Town Council ordinance committee was directed to draw an ordinance prohibiting the burial of any domestic or other animals within the borough limits. The purchasing and ordering committee was directed to order a carload of sewer pipe at once. The sewer committee was instructed to proceed to connect the sewer line on the east side of Grow avenue with the Bank hill sewer near the L.V.R.R. station. AND: Chief of Police Tingley has his headquarters nights in the post office block. He can be reached over local or Bell ‘phone in time of need. The chief never sleeps and is “always on the job.”

AUBURN TWP.: Mrs. Stephen Loomis fell into an open cistern a few days ago, breaking some of the bones near the thigh and injuring herself in other ways so that she is likely to be helpless for some time. Taking advantage of the dry season, Mrs. Loomis stepped out of the house after dark, and forgetting momentarily about the condition of the cistern, plunged into it with the above results.

FRANKLIN FORKS: James Coyle is employed in the cut-glass works conducted by W. C. Smith. Mr. Smith is rushed with holiday orders and has more than he can attend to, even while employing extra help.

FOREST CITY: Joe Kopyar, of this place, under sentence for an 18 month term in the penitentiary, broke from the county jail on Saturday, the 19th, and is still at large. Thomas Scanlon, a youth about 20, sentenced to Huntington Reformatory, escaped with Kopyar, but returned to jail a few hours later and gave himself up. This was the first intimation Sheriff Pritchard had of the escape. It is thought that John Likely, who went to jail with Kopyar, planned to leave with him but was too large to make an exit through the barred window. Kopyar and Scanlon cut away the lock on the hospital cell, which was considered unsafe and prisoners were not kept in it except when isolated from others when sick. It was through this cell that the famous jail breaker, Walter Brugler, twice made his escape, after sawing through the bars of a window on the west side, and it was through this same window that Kopyar and Scanlon made their exit. Scanlon fearing recapture, retraced his steps and rang the bell, it being quite late at night and the sheriff came to the door. Imagine his surprise when the supposed prisoner queried, “how many got away?”

SPRINGVILLE: R. L. Avery’s store is soon to be lighted by gasoline.

THOMPSON: R. F. Howard and J. D. Miller have recently built a boat house at Wrighter Lake. They will also erect an ice house and finish their cottage before winter sets in.

LAWTON: C. E. Gregory has purchased the Snyder school house property of R. O. Bunnell and is remodeling it into a dwelling and expects to move in about Dec. 1st.

FLYNN: Edward Kelly, who is working at Fulton, N.Y. on the barge canal, is spending a few days with his sister, Mrs. John Maloney.

GLENWOOD: Earl Tourjee is working in South Gibson on the N. E. Telephone this week.

NIVEN: Wm. Johnson lost a valuable cow this week. The dog chased her and scared her so she jumped a fence and broke her leg.

SUSQUEHANNA: Stuart Kelly, a well-known ball player, was convicted of assaulting Chas. Barnes. The sentence was that he pay a fine of $50 and the costs, which brings the amount up to almost $200. Kelly paid the fine and the matter is at an end. All trouble came about through a misunderstanding between the wives and Kelly took the matter up and a fight resulted, and when it was at an end Barnes had a badly shattered jaw and was compelled to keep his head bandaged for several weeks.

GREAT BEND: John and Frank Chapot are arranging to go to Gloversville, N.Y. to operate a chamois factory. The factory which this firm has established here will be operated as heretofore. They are scientific tanners.

NEWS BRIEF: A new goosebone weather prophet announces that the breast bone of the goose is marked very peculiarly this year. There is a dark spot here and there, making an accurate prediction difficult, indicating that there will be an open one with a very cold spell now and then. AND: Winter is getting out of style nowadays, but we would like to have a good old-fashioned sleighride once in a while.

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

A national debate has erupted as a result of the 8-year old Arizona boy who allegedly shot and killed his father and another adult. The issue is a simple one that tragically repeats itself at an alarming rate: when should a child be treated as an adult by the criminal justice system? The Arizona case provides an extreme example of the collision of the adult criminal justice system and the juvenile justice system – and there are passionate voices on both sides of the debate. You may be wondering what would have happened if this crime had been committed in Pennsylvania.

Generally speaking, the juvenile justice system defines a “child” as a person under 18 years of age. There are exceptions that allow the juvenile justice system to supervise a person until they reach the age of 21 years. In order for a child to be under the supervision of the juvenile system, the child must be considered a “delinquent child,” which is defined as “a child ten years of age or older whom the court has found to have committed a delinquent act and is in need of treatment, supervision or rehabilitation.”

There is the interesting portion of the Juvenile Act. While a child is defined as being a person under 21 years of age, the Juvenile Act limits a “delinquent child” as those children “ten years of age or older.” The Juvenile Act is not designed and intended for children under 10 years of age, i.e., an 8-year old child appears to be excluded from the Juvenile Act by its definitional language as being a “delinquent child.”

Furthermore, the Juvenile Act only deals with children who have committed “delinquent acts.” What is a delinquent act? It constitutes any act that would be a criminal offense if committed by an adult, i.e., a person 18 years of age or older. But there are a few exceptions, i.e., some crimes that are so serious that they are not considered delinquent acts. Murder is specifically excluded from the definition of a delinquent act. In other words, when a child commits a homicide, any criminal charges must be filed in the adult criminal court because murder is not a delinquent act, but a criminal act.

Thus, when a person under 18 years of age commits a murder, the person must be charged with homicide in the adult criminal justice system. The child may then petition the court to have the matter “decertified” back to the juvenile system. The court would consider a multiple number of factors, including the nature of the offense, the age of the child, and the potential for rehabilitation in the juvenile system, to determine whether the case should be returned to the juvenile system.

Where does that leave an 8-year old child who commits murder? First, the child would likely be charged with homicide in the adult criminal system, and then would have to seek to have the matter “decertified” back to the juvenile system. The problem here arises that the Juvenile Act defines a “delinquent child” as a child ten years of age or older, which obviously excludes an 8-year old. Thus, the juvenile justice system does not appear to have a place for this child in that he has not reached the age of 10 years.

The Juvenile Act attempts to address children under 10 years of age – the child could be considered a “dependent child,” which is defined, in part, as any child “under the age of 10 years [that] has committed a delinquent act.” Initially, this appears to answer the question, the child could be deemed a dependent child and placed under the care of Children & Youth Services. But remember that the Juvenile Act has specifically excluded murder from the definition of a “delinquent act.” As a result, the definitional section dealing with dependent children again results in the same problem as delinquent children, namely the exclusion of homicide from the definition of a delinquent act.

But a dependent child is also defined as a child “without proper parental care or control . . . or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health or morals.” A court could determine that an 8-year old child that committed a homicide lacked proper parental control, and find the defendant a dependent child and that the adult criminal matter should be “decertified” with the care and control of the child being turned over the Children & Youth Services until such time as the child was rehabilitated. On the other hand, the court could determine that the child should be treated as an adult and potentially spend the rest of his or her life incarcerated.

Now, much of this analysis is theoretical – although there is one reported decision that led to a similar result, Commonwealth v. Kocher, which involved a 9-year old child who shot another person; the court eventually decertified the adult criminal case and found the defendant to be a dependent child. Let us all pray that we never have to put this theory to the test.

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

Q. My father is 78 and his driving is getting scary. I’ve been asking him to give up the keys, but he won’t do it. Any suggestions about how to handle this?

Here are some questions driving experts recommend asking older motorists to determine if they are still road-worthy: Do other drivers often honk at me? Have I had some accidents? Do I get lost, even on roads I know? Do cars or pedestrians seem to appear out of nowhere? Have passengers in my car told me they are worried about my driving? Am I driving less because I am unsure about my driving skills?

Give these questions to your father. It’s extremely difficult to give up driving, but he might be persuaded. I’ll share a personal anecdote that could help.

When I was a boy, my grandfather refused to listen to my father, who was telling him it was time to quit driving. One afternoon, I was riding with my grandfather. He drifted across the white dividing line in the road several times. He hadn’t noticed he was driving erratically. I told him I wouldn’t ride with him anymore because I was afraid. He gave the car keys to my father the next day.

Giving up your car has major psychological barriers. It represents a loss of youth, vigor, independence. But it also raises fears about the obvious: how will I get around?

If your father asks this question, tell him that the American Automobile Association estimates that the average cost of owning and running a car is about $6,420 a year or $123 a week. You can get around pretty well by taxi, bus and train for $123 a week.

Older adults are the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population. There were 18.9 million older licensed drivers in 2000 – a 36 percent increase from a decade earlier. By 2020, it is estimated that more than 40 million older Americans will be licensed drivers.

Here are some interesting statistics. Older drivers: Tend to drive when conditions are safest. They limit their driving during bad weather and at night, and they drive fewer miles than younger drivers. Are the least likely to kill other drivers. Are more likely than younger drivers to die from injuries in car accidents. Wear safety belts more often than any other age groups except preschool children. Are less likely to drink and drive than other drivers.

Many seniors continue to be capable drivers. However, there are changes that affect our skills.

Joints stiffen. Muscle weaken. Eyesight and hearing diminish. Reflexes slow down. Your attention span may shrink. And these are just the normal changes that don’t include the affects of disease and the medications we take.

To deal with the effects of aging on our driving, here are some tips: Plan to drive on streets you know. Take routes that avoid tricky ramps and left turns. Add extra time for travel so you don’t feel pressed. Don't drive when you are tired. Avoid listening to the radio or talking with passengers. Leave more space than you think you need between you and the car in front of you. Use your rear window defogger to keep the window clear at all times. Always turn your headlights on when driving. If you don’t have them, get large mirrors for your car. Replace your windshield wiper blades often. Take a driving refresher class. Some car insurance companies lower your bill when you pass this type of class.

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

Mosquitoes: biting menaces

As the snowflakes flew and the Northwest wind pushed the thermometer down to record “low highs,” the local insect population virtually disappeared. However, those “bugs” that had the foresight to take refuge in my woodpile got the chance to fly again when their log of choice was deposited behind the woodstove. Inadvertently, one unwelcome guest transported into the warmth of my kitchen was an annoying mosquito. Its presence was quickly detected by a persistent high-pitched buzz.

Pictured are (left) a mosquito in the pupa stage, and (right) in the larva stage.

An adult mosquito.

With over 3,300 species worldwide, mosquitoes are widely distributed. Only the Antarctica and a few isolated islands lack of this biting felon. There are 62 identified species found in Pennsylvania. While only a few mosquito species are vectors of serious disease, they (the females) are all capable of being major biting pests.

As members of the fly family, Diptera, mosquitoes have only one pair of functional wings. The second pair of wings are small, knob-like structures called halteres. These serve as gyroscopes that facilitate the aeronautical movements of the mosquito. Mosquitoes are easily recognized by their small size, forward protruding beak (called a proboscis), fuzzy wings and body, and long legs. The compound eyes of mosquitoes are comparatively large and kidney-shaped. The males can be distinguished from the females by their antennae. While the female antennae are relative straight and simple, the male antennae are very bushy and feather-like. The back of the thorax and the wings of mosquitoes are covered with many tiny, colored scales. The arrangement of these scales creates a distinctive identifying pattern on many mosquito species. The long proboscis is a collection of tightly grouped mouthparts that can easily penetrate the skin. Once the skin is penetrated, salivary glands release enzymes that cause blood pooling. The saliva also contains anticoagulants that prevent the blood from clotting and plugging the mouthparts as it is being sucked up. The saliva also contains anesthetic chemicals that reduce the bite’s pain, thereby reducing the victim’s awareness and consequent defensive reaction. Due to modifications in their proboscis and different feeding patterns, male mosquitoes do not bite. Instead, the males feed on flower nectar and other naturally occurring sugar secretions. Consequently, only female mosquitoes are transmitters of disease.

Most mosquitoes mate soon after emerging from the pupal stage. One mating provides the female with enough sperm to fertilize all the eggs that she will lay over her lifetime. The females must bite a host and obtain a blood-meal to obtain the nutrients necessary for the development of her eggs. In most species, this blood-feeding occurs only from late evening until dawn. After first feeding, the female’s abdomen will be bright red, but will darken as digestion occurs. Eventually, 7 to 14 days in temperate climates, as the blood digests and eggs mature, the abdomen will become white. The females deposit anywhere from 30 to 300 eggs at one oviposition. Depending on the species, eggs are either laid singly, or attached together in floating “raft-like” structures. While most species’ eggs cannot survive drying out, others can remain dry for weeks or even years and still be viable upon contact with water. In our climate, the eggs require between one and two weeks to hatch.

The larvae are unique among aquatic insects, in that they possess a thorax that is wider than either the head or abdomen. They possess no legs and move about by a jerking motion, hence the common name of wigglers. Most species must come to the water surface to breath. The air is taken in through breathing tubes located at the tip of their abdomen. Most larvae feed on yeasts, bacteria and other microorganisms. There are a few carnivorous or cannibalistic species that feed on other mosquito larvae. With 4 instar stages, temperate species require several weeks to mature. Some species overwinter in the larval stage. Mosquito larvae are very adaptable and not only are found in swamps, ponds and puddles, but are also adept at living in tree hollows, abandoned tires, open cans and flowerpots. They are especially successful in stagnant, low oxygenated waters.

The aquatic pupae are comma-shaped with large fused heads and thoraxes. The pupae do not feed and float about at the water surface. If disturbed, they will “bob” up and down in the water. In cooler temperate areas, pupal development lasts several weeks, after which an adult mosquito will emerge. Most mosquito adults only live several weeks, but a few can survive as long as a year.

Female mosquitoes are the vectors of many human and animal diseases. Next time I will write about mosquito-vectored diseases and controls of mosquito populations.

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

Dear EarthTalk: Is using nitrogen to inflate my car’s tires really better for the environment than using air? And if so, how?

Roger Mawdsley, Abbotsville, BC

Whether or not it makes environmental sense to inflate car tires with nitrogen instead of air is a matter of much debate. Proponents of nitrogen say the element is a smart choice for the environment primarily because it leaks from tires at a slower rate than air, so tires stay inflated longer at full capacity, which helps a vehicle attain maximum fuel efficiency, i.e. better gas mileage. According to the Get Nitrogen Institute, a Denver-based non-profit which advocates for replacing the air in our tires with nitrogen, under-inflated tires inadvertently are a big contributor to global warming as they cause drivers to waste fuel.

Although auto experts recommend checking your car’s tire pressure weekly, studies show that the majority of drivers rarely, if ever, check to see if their tires are properly inflated and usually only add air when a tire is visibly low or beginning to go flat. A recent study by the European division of tire maker Bridgestone found that 93.5 percent of cars in Europe have under-inflated tires, wasting some 2.14 billion gallons of high-priced, polluting fuel every year. Analysts believe that a similar percentage of North Americans are driving around on under-inflated tires as well.

While properly inflated tires certainly promote better fuel efficiency and are thus good for the environment, not everyone is convinced that filling tires with nitrogen instead of plain ol’ air makes a difference. Terry Jackson, who writes the influential “Driving for Dollars” column for the website, points out that air is composed primarily of, you guessed it, nitrogen; some 78 percent of the regular air you put in your tires is nitrogen, with oxygen making up most of the remainder. “So going to pure nitrogen only squeezes out a small amount of the oxygen molecules that nitrogen proponents argue are so detrimental,” relates Jackson.

Nitrogen proponents may quibble that it’s the oxygen in the mix that causes problems, though oxidization can start to degrade the rubber inside tires while corroding the interior of the wheels as well. But Jackson counters that tires and wheels will have been long worn out on the outside before any oxygen-induced interior damage causes them to come apart. Also, he adds that a lot of the leakage from tires happens because the wheel and the tire do not line up perfectly, and air (or nitrogen) escapes accordingly.

Another factor, of course, is cost. Nitrogen-equipped service centers will fill up your tires with nitrogen for something like $10 per tire, which is a far cry from the couple of quarters (if even that) it takes to trigger the air machine at your local gas station. “When it comes down to a dollar decision, it’s hard to argue that spending as much as $40 for nitrogen in a set of tires is a good fiscal move,” writes Jackson.

“Save your money and just keep an eye on your tire pressures,” he concludes.

CONTACTS: Get Nitrogen Institute,;,

Dear EarthTalk: Backyard fire pits have become the latest must-have gardening feature. How bad are they on the environment?

Michael O’Laughlin, Tigard, OR

With Fall setting in and the mercury starting to drop, many of us want to extend our time outdoors, and sitting around a backyard fire pit has become one of the most popular means to do so. But even though it may be fun – s’mores anyone? – it is not good for the environment, especially during times when air quality is already poor.

It’s hard to assess the larger impact of backyard fire pits on local or regional air quality, but no one questions the fact that breathing in wood smoke can be irritating if not downright harmful. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), so-called fine particles (also called particulate matter) are the most dangerous components of wood smoke from a health perspective, as they “can get into your eyes and respiratory system, where they can cause health problems such as burning eyes, runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis.”

Fine particles also aggravate chronic heart and lung diseases, and have been linked to premature deaths in those already suffering from such afflictions. As such, the EPA advises that anyone with congestive heart failure, angina, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema or asthma should steer clear of wood smoke in general. Children’s exposure to wood smoke should also be limited, as their respiratory systems are still developing and they breathe more air (and air pollution) per pound of body weight than adults.

Geography and topography play a role in how harmful wood smoke can be on a community-wide level. People living in deep, steep-walled valleys where air tends to stagnate should be careful not to light backyard fires during smog alerts or other times when air quality is already poor. Lingering smoke can be an issue even in wide-open areas, especially in winter when temperature inversions limit the flow of air.

The Washington State Department of Ecology reports that about 10 percent of the wintertime air pollution statewide can be attributed to fine particles from wood smoke coming out of wood burning stoves. While a wood stove may be a necessary evil as a source of interior heat, there is no excuse for lighting up a backyard fire pit during times when you could be creating health issues for your neighbors.

Another potential risk to using a backyard fire pit is sparking a forest fire. Some communities that are surrounded by forestland voluntarily institute seasonal burn bans so that residents won’t inadvertently start a forest fire while they are out enjoying their backyard fire pits. If you live in one of these areas, you probably already know it and would be well advised to follow the rules.

If you must light that backyard fire pit, take some precautions to limit your friends’ and family’s exposure to wood smoke. The Maine Bureau of Air Quality recommends using only seasoned firewood and burning it in a way that promotes complete combustion – small, hot fires are better than large smoldering ones – to minimize the amount of harmful smoke. The moral of the story: If you need to burn, burn responsibly.

CONTACTS: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA),; Washington State Department of Ecology,; Maine Bureau of Air Quality,

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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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoski

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