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Issue Home January 21, 2009 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

HARFORD: Hallie Lewis has a telephone in his market and will be pleased to accommodate patrons as far as he can. Having painted and papered the room he has a very inviting market and is worthy of your patronage. R. H. Osborn has placed his barber chair in a room in the market and will spend part of his time there.

LYNN, Springville Twp.: On Friday evening, Jan. 15th, the friends of Mr. and Mrs. Byron Davis, who were lately married, made them a genuine surprise party. They came pouring in until about 150 guests assembled, filling the house from cellar to attic. Refreshments were served and games and other amusements were indulged in and a most enjoyable time was had. It was a night long to be remembered by all present.

SPRINGVILLE: It is worthy of note that the streets of this village are nicely kept, no coal ashes or other rubbish being thrown upon them contrary to law. The penalty for so doing is a fine of $10.

DIMOCK: A. W. Chamberlin, of South Montrose, was through here last week, taking orders for garden seeds.

JONES LAKE (Lake Montrose): The death of Peter Norris, an esteemed and aged colored gentleman, occurred at his late residence near Jones Lake, on Saturday, Jan. 16, at the age of 66 years. He had been in poor health for some time. He belonged to the G.A.R. here, having been in the Civil war a member of Company D, 3rd Regiment, U. S. Infantry. Rev. Caines, of the A.M.E. church, officiated at his funeral and the pall-bearers were: J. H. Corwin, C. F. Watrous, Geo. Dayton, James Gay, C. N. Warner, M. H. VanScoten and Benj. Nailor, members of the G.A.R.

LAWSVILLE: While Thomas Mahoney was in the depot at Montrose, his team became frightened at the train, which was just starting out and plunged forward in front of the moving train, the two fore legs of one horse were amputated near the knees, the other escaped without injury and was caught on Grow Ave. The horse which was killed was a fine young animal, lately purchased.

AUBURN CENTER: Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ace, have had a nice addition to their family, Jan. 16, 1909, a pair of twins, a boy and girl. Mr. and Mrs. Ace are getting along nicely; also grandma, from Ashley, was looking pleasant. Dr. Harrison, of Meshoppen, was the recruiting officer.

THOMPSON: The Bordens are filling their icehouse at their station, putting in from 10 to 12 carloads per day. The Erie company furnishes the ice from Hathaway’s Pond in Ararat. AND: Frank Hall Post No. 505, G.A.R., will observe Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday, Feb. 12th, assisted by the teachers and pupils of the school.

HOWARD HILL, Liberty Twp.: Will Corbett, one of the Liberty township school directors, relieved the school house of this place of its seats last Friday. There has been no school there for a number of years.

WEST LENOX: The Philatheas will hold a “Cabbage Sale” at the home of Floyd Leach, Friday evening, Jan. 22. Cabbage five cents per head, supper ten cents. Proceeds to help toward expenses of well which has just been completed at the parsonage.

FOREST CITY: Burgess Jennings is opposing the granting of new liquor licenses in this borough. Forest City now has ten licensed places and applications have been made for seven more.

BROOKLYN: The dealers of this place will close their stores hereafter on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday evening, beginning with the 21st.

MIDDLETOWN CENTRE: Charley Potts, of Sheldon, Iowa, is spending some time with relatives and friends in this area.

MONTROSE: Sheriff H. S. Conklin has started his official career in the county jail in a most commendable manner and is engaged in giving the entire building a thorough cleaning, whitewashing the walls, painting, etc. Mr. Conklin has set the prisoners at work, and following the suggestions of the recent grand jury they will be made to earn their board under the new regime. Fred Reynolds is one of the most enthusiastic workers to place the jail in proper condition. When asked by a visitor the other day why he took such an interest, Fred replied that he owned the jail. “You own the jail? Why, how did you get control?” was asked. “Well, you see,” said Fred, “I’ve been here so long that I’ve gained the right to own it by ‘peaceable possession.’” Fred is happy in jail or out.

KINGSLEY: The new store of J. W. Williams was well patronized at its opening on Monday and in the evening its brilliant gasoline lights, with those reflecting from G. C. Finn’s store, make that part of our town light and pleasant.

OAKLAND: Another sad tragedy comes from the vicinity of Susquehanna, which has already resulted in the death of Griffis VanFleet, former Erie brakeman, residing at Oakland, while his wife now lies in a critical condition at the Simon H. Barnes Memorial hospital in Susquehanna, a victim at his hands. The suicide and probable murder grew out of worry over a suit pending in the county courts over a line fence separating his farm from that of an adjoining property, and the ungovernable temper of VanFleet, fired by liquor. In a moment of mad frenzy last Saturday evening he seized a shotgun and after firing one barrel at his wife without doing injury, he chased her from the home and succeeded in his mad purpose with the second charge, tearing a gaping wound through her lungs. Rather than give himself up to the local police he placed the same weapon against his chest and pulled the trigger, making a fatal wound. Mrs. VanFleet is a highly respected industrious Christian woman, and much sympathy is expressed for her and her children.

NEWS BRIEFS: Dr. J. C. Biddle, for 25 years Superintendent of the Ashland, Pa. Hospital and noted as a skillful surgeon on limb amputations, has during that period made 2,500 amputations all with the same saw. AND: During the year just past 312 marriage licenses were granted in this county, which is the largest number for a decade and probably the largest in any one year in the history of the county. The increase is credited to the dislike of New York state matrimonially inclined for the new license law by that state. It requires too much publicity, so they come into Pennsylvania. Susquehanna is becoming as famous as a marrying center as Binghamton was when York state required no license to marry.

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

The media has been reporting (and perhaps creating) outrage over the fact that Bernard Madoff is not incarcerated. Madoff, a high profile investor, has been arrested for a fifty billion dollar Ponzi scheme – and those individuals unfortunate enough to have invested with Madoff have lost everything. The scope of the financial fraud is both titanic and tragic – but the current outrage involves Madoff’s release on bail pending his trial.

I have noticed that there is one thing missing from the media coverage – a general explanation of bail and how the amount of bail is determined. Rather than screaming about the injustice of Madoff being released, the media could report that the United States Constitution guarantees every criminal defendant the right to bail. In other words, Madoff is entitled to have bail set as he is only accused of a crime at this point, not convicted of anything, and under our constitutional principles, Madoff is presumed to be innocent until such time as he has been convicted by a jury of his peers. The concept of bail fits neatly into this constitutional framework – until there is a conviction, a defendant is generally entitled to bail.

Bail is designed to accomplish two things: (1) to assure that the defendant appears for trial; and (2) to protect the community from the defendant. Most people understand bail to be a monetary condition, i.e., you must post a certain amount of money in order to be released pending trial. The money then becomes the guarantee that you will appear for court proceedings. If you fail to appear, the money becomes forfeit and property of the government. But bail can also include non-monetary conditions – and the conditions are as varied as the imagination of the judge setting the bail. In a case involving someone in Madoff’s position, a judge would normally order a passport to be turned over to authorities to assure that the defendant cannot travel outside the country. Bail could include supervision by a probation department, or electronic monitoring devices, or home confinement, or any other variety of mechanisms designed to assure that the defendant appears for trial and the community is protected.

In Madoff’s case, the judge was faced with a 70-year old man with no prior criminal history. While the breadth of the alleged financial fraud is staggering, it could not be said that Madoff was a continuing threat to the community at large. Moreover, there was no real indication that Madoff would not appear for trial, and the judge imposed a number of bail conditions that would assure Madoff’s appearance, including house arrest, an electronic monitor and 10 million dollars in monetary bail. Yet, the media continues to howl like a pack of wild dogs about the injustice of Madoff’s release pending his trial. Much is made of the fact that Madoff is allowed to live under house arrest in his $7 million penthouse with an electronic bracelet secured to his ankle while he awaits his trial – but no mention is ever made to the fact that Madoff is constitutionally entitled to bail and not yet convicted of any crime.

Adding fuel to the proverbial fire, Madoff, while on bail, mailed out various items of personal property to relatives over the holiday season, valued at approximately one million dollars. This is the interesting part of the case, as the question becomes whether this conduct should warrant a revocation of his bail. The argument goes that Madoff is dissipating assets that could be used to pay restitution to his victims – and the longer he is released on bail, the longer he will have to slowly get rid of his assets to enrich his family and defeat the ability of the victims to obtain restitution. The argument becomes that there is a threat to the community of victims that suffered financial loss as a result of Madoff’s conduct, in that they will never recover restitution if Madoff is free to get rid of his assets. The court refused to revoke his bail, and simply imposed additional restrictions that restrict Madoff’s ability to send things by the mail.

In the end, Madoff is not receiving any different treatment than any other defendant in the criminal justice system – and that is the point. Rich or poor, the Constitution treats us the same way, and both are entitled to bail pending trial. If the media were reporting things accurately, the truth is that Madoff’s bail conditions are extremely restrictive – house arrest, electronic monitor and $10 million in monetary bail. While the nature of Madoff’s crime may generate outrage, the constitutional guarantee to bail should not.

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. I heard that taking beta-blockers for high blood pressure is not a good idea. I take a beta-blocker, so should I ask my doctor to take me off it?

A recent study found that beta-blockers may increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke if you are using them to treat high blood pressure alone. If you are taking a beta-blocker, discuss it with your doctor. Warning: Don’t stop taking the drug on your own.

More than half of Americans over age 60 have high blood pressure. Many people with high blood pressure need more than one medication to treat it. So, I’ve received many questions about blood-pressure drugs.

There’s a lot of confusion about these medications because there are so many of them and they work in a variety of ways. Today’s column is devoted to clearing up some of the confusion.

Beta-blockers: Beta-blockers make your heart beat more slowly and with less force. Your heart pumps less blood and your pressure goes down.

The following are the brand names for common beta-blockers: Sectral, Tenormin, Kerlone, Zebeta, Cartrol, Tandate, Lopressor, Toprol XL, Corgard, Levatol, Visken, Inderal, Betapace, and Blocadren.

Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors: ACE inhibitors keep your body from making angiotensin II, a hormone that normally causes blood vessels to narrow. ACE inhibitors expand blood vessels so your blood pressure goes down.

The following are common ACE inhibitors: Lotensin, Capoten, Vasotec, Monopril, Prinivil, Zestril, Univasc, Aceon, Accupril, Altace, and Mavik.

Angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBS): ARBS are like ACE inhibitors because they protect against angiotensin II. ARBS don’t lower levels of the hormone; they prevent this chemical from affecting the heart and blood vessels.

The following are common ARBS: Atacand, Teveten, Avapro, Cozaar, Benicar, Micardis, and Diovan.

Calcium channel blockers: These drugs block calcium from entering the muscle cells of the heart and blood vessels. This relaxes blood vessels and lowers blood pressure.

The following are common calcium channel blockers: Norvasc, Cardizem, Dilacor XR, Tiazac, Plendil, DynaCirc CR, Cardene, Adalat CC, Procardia, Nimotop, Sular, Calan, Covera HS, Isoptin, and Verelan.

Diuretics: Diuretics, also known as “water pills,” help the kidneys flush extra water and salt from your body and decrease blood volume to lower pressure.

The following are common diuretics: Midamor, Bumex, Diuril, Hygroton, Thalitone, Lasix, Esidrix, Hydrodiuril, Saluron, Lozol, Enduron, Zaroxolyn, Aldactone, Demadex and Dyrenium.

Vasodilators: Vasodilators open blood vessels by directly relaxing the muscle in the vessel walls.

Common vasodilators are Apresoline and Loniten.

Alpha blockers: Alpha blockers, also called alpha-adrenergic antagonists, reduce nerve impulses that tighten blood vessels; this permits blood to flow more freely.

Common alpha blockers are: Cardura, Minipress, Minizide, Hytrin, Flomax and Uroxatral.

Alpha-beta blockers: These drugs work two ways; they reduce nerve impulses to blood vessels and slow the heartbeat.

Common alpha-beta blockers are Coreg and Normodyne.

Central-acting agents: Central-acting agents work by preventing your brain from sending signals to your nervous system to speed up your heart rate and narrow your blood vessels.

The following are examples: Catapres, Clorpres, Combipres, Wytensin, Tenex, Aldomet, Aldochlor, and Aldoril.

Combination drugs: There are a variety of preparations that combine medications. For example, Cozaar, which is an ARB, is combined with a diuretic, to form Hyzaar.

The following are other popular combination drugs: Lexxel, Lotrel, Tarka, Tenoretic, Ziac, Corzide, Inderide, Timolide, Lotensin, Vaseretic, Prinzide, Zestoretic, Uniretic, Accuretic, Avalide, and Diovan HCT.

Renin inhibitors: Renin inhibitors are a relatively new type of blood pressure drug. As the name indicates, they inhibit renin, which is an enzyme secreted by the kidneys that is involved in the release of angiotensin.

Tekturna is a renin inhibitor.

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

What’s Bugging You?

By Stuart W. Slocum

Louse flies: nourishing mothers

A reader brought to my attention these strange insects, which are the topic of this week’s column. Although I am familiar with the sheep keds, I have not had a personal experience with the pigeon louse fly. My reader states, “I've hunted in Susquehanna County for 50 years and we have had a cabin and property in Oakland Township for 15 years. When working there in the fall, a flying critter which somewhat resembles a large wood tick with wings has landed on me. Most often, I have felt (and caught) them going up the back of my neck. I'll admit these "bugs" give me the creeps. My limited research seems to point to the louse fly. I'm sure other Northeast PA residents would be interested (as I am) to learn more about these pests. My number one question is whether, if one of them makes it to my hair, will it take up residence on me?”

Hippoboscidae is a family of unusual flies that are external parasites (ectoparasites) on certain birds and mammals. They are commonly referred to as louse flies. Some members are winged, while others are not. The winged members have forewings that are quite long and broad. As with other flies, the hind wings are replaced by the stalk-like halteres. The adults are about the size of houseflies. Their bodies are flattened, giving them the louse-like appearance. The shortened head has forward projecting mouthparts, which form a “beak-like” structure. The legs are stout, with various modifications adapted for life on a particular host. The louse flies that infest birds have lighter claws and adaptations for scurrying swiftly among feathers. Those that are mammalian parasites have shorter legs with stout claws designed for clinging to skin and hair. Louse flies that possess functional wings also have well developed compound eyes. Conversely, flightless members have only small, less functional eyes. Antennae on louse flies are small and barely noticeable. Both males and females are blood feeders.

A pigeon louse fly.

Not only are louse flies unusual in appearance, but they also have a strange reproductive cycle. Members of this family have a very unique mode of reproduction called adenotrophic viviparity. In this mode, a single egg develops and hatches in the uterus of the female. Upon hatching, the larva remains in the female’s uterus, where it is nourished by “milk glands.” Upon reaching full development, the larva emerges from the female and immediately begins pupation. The pupa is usually dropped in the nest or roost of the bird host, or attached to the mammalian host. The adult fly will emerge from the pupa in several weeks to several months, depending on the temperature and species. Some species are host specific, while others can feed on a range of hosts. However, no one species occurs on both birds and mammals. Once established, adult louse flies rarely leave their host.

A sheep ked.

The sheep ked is a wingless, reddish-brown louse fly that spends its entire life cycle on sheep. Often called a “sheep tick,” it is found on sheep throughout North America. The larva develops in the female ked for about a week, after which its reddish, barrel-shaped puparium is glued onto a strand of wool. The locations of these pupas tend to be on the underside of the sheep, particularly under the neck in the breech area. In unshorn sheep, they are most often found near the ribs. Transfer of the insects is most often by direct animal-to-animal contact, although newborn lambs become infested from their mothers shortly after birth.

A similar species known as the deer ked is found in western and southeastern North America. The wings of deer ked are functional until they locate and settle on a host, after which they are shed.

Pigeon flies are brown, winged louse flies that were first introduced into North America about 100 years ago. Common ectoparasites of pigeons and doves, they are similar in size to houseflies. Pigeon flies are very slow fliers. Their exoskeleton is very tough, thus protecting them from being crushed by the grooming of their hosts. In North America, pigeon flies are found on domestic pigeons and occasionally on mourning doves. Birds with heavy infestations become emaciated and often succumb to secondary infections.

Pigeon flies rarely bite humans. Usually it is only when a person is handling live pigeons that the fly might abandon the bird and land on a human. Sometimes when the birds have been excluded from their normal habitation, desperate, newly hatched louse flies will land on a person and bite. Hunters field dressing harvested deer may encounter and be bitten by deer ked in those parts of the country where they are found. People shearing sheep may occasionally be exposed to the sheep keds, but usually remove them before they have a chance to bite. There is limited evidence that louse flies can transmit some pathogens to birds and other mammals.

The sheep ked is the only louse fly species of economic concern. Their primary effect is the decrease of weight gain by lambs. Severe infestations can also devaluate the wool. Application by dipping, dusting or spraying of approved pyrethroid insecticides can be effective in their control.

In response to my reader’s specific question, NO! Although one of these louse flies might land on you or even bite you, they will not take up permanent residence on your body. They can only survive on the specific host species from which they came.

I very much appreciate the correspondence that I have received from this individual, as well as from other readers. As demonstrated by this article, I really welcome questions and suggestions for future columns. Insects are now getting very scarce, especially with these subzero temperatures. 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 it true that some baby bottles contain chemicals that can cause health problems for babies? If so, how can I find alternatives that are safer?

Amy Gorman, Berkeley, CA

No links connecting specific human illnesses to chemicals oozing out of baby bottles have been proven definitively. Nonetheless, many parents are heeding the call of scientists to switch to products with less risk. A 2008 report by American and Canadian environmental researchers entitled “Baby’s Toxic Bottle” found that plastic polycarbonate baby bottles leach dangerous levels of Bisphenol-A (BPA), a synthetic chemical that mimics natural hormones and can send bodily processes into disarray, when heated.

All six of the leading brands of baby bottles tested – Avent, Disney/The First Years, Dr. Brown’s, Evenflo, Gerber and Playtex – leaked what researchers considered dangerous amounts of BPA. The report calls on major retailers selling these bottles – including Toys “R” Us, Babies “R” Us, CVS, Target, Walgreen’s and Wal-Mart – to switch to safer products.

According to the report, BPA is a “developmental, neural and reproductive toxicant that mimics estrogen and can interfere with healthy growth and body function.” Researchers cite numerous animal studies demonstrating that the chemical can damage reproductive, neurological and immune systems during critical stages of development. It has also been linked to breast cancer and to the early onset of puberty.

So what’s a concerned parent to do? Glass bottles are a tried-and-true chemical-free solution, and they are widely available, though very breakable. To the rescue are several companies making BPA-free plastic bottles (out of either PES/polyamide or polypropylene instead of polycarbonate). Some of the leaders are BornFree, thinkbaby, Green to Grow, Nuby, Momo Baby, Mother’s Milkmate and Medela’s. These brands are available at natural food stores, directly from manufacturers, or from online vendors.

Most of the major brands selling BPA-containing bottles are now also offering or planning to offer BPA-free versions of their products. Consumers should read labels and packaging carefully to make sure that any product they are considering buying says unequivocally that it does not contain the chemical.

Unfortunately, switching to a BPA-free bottle is no guarantee the chemical won’t make its way into your baby’s bloodstream anyway. BPA is one of the 50 most-produced chemicals in the world. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is used in everything from plastic water jugs labeled #7 to plastic take-out containers, baby bottles and canned food liners. It is so omnipresent that the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has found that 95 percent of Americans have the chemical in their urine.

Also, nursing mothers – especially those who haven’t discarded their old BPA-containing Nalgene water bottles – may be passing the chemical along through their breast milk. And if that weren’t enough, BPA is also used in the lining of many metal liquid baby formula cans. The nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) has posted email links to the consumer affairs offices of the major formula manufacturers so concerned parents can ask them to remove BPA from their product offerings and packaging.

CONTACTS: Baby’s Toxic Bottle Report,; NRDC,; CDC,; EWG,

Dear EarthTalk: How much “old growth” forest is left in the United States and is it all protected from logging at this point?         

John Foye, via e-mail

As crazy as it sounds, no one really knows how much old growth is left in America’s forested regions, mainly because various agencies and scientists have different ideas about how to define the term. Generally speaking, “old growth” refers to forests containing trees often hundreds, sometimes thousands, of years old. But even when there is agreement on a specific definition, differences in the methods used to inventory remaining stands of old growth forest can produce major discrepancies. Or so complains the National Commission on Science for Sustainable Forestry (NCSSF) in its recent report, “Beyond Old Growth: Older Forests in a Changing World.”

In 1991, for example, the U.S. Forest Service and the nonprofit Wilderness Society each released its own inventory of old-growth forests in the Pacific Northwest and northern California. They both used the Forest Service’s definition based on the number, age and density of large trees per acre, the characteristics of the forest canopy, the number of dead standing trees and fallen logs and other criteria. However, because each agency used different remote sensing techniques to glean data, the Forest Service came up with 4.3 million acres of old-growth and the Wilderness Society found only two million acres.

The NCSSF also studied the data, and they concluded that 3.5 million acres (or six percent) of the region’s 56.8 million acres of forest qualified as old growth – that is, largely trees over 30 inches in diameter with complex forest canopies. By broadening the definition to include older forest with medium-diameter trees and both simple and complex canopies, NCSSF said their figure would go up substantially.

In other parts of the country, less than one percent of Northeast forest is old growth, though mature forests that will become old growth in a few decades are more abundant. The Southeast has even less acreage – a 1993 inventory found about 425 old growth sites across the region, equaling only a half a percent of total forest area. The Southwest has only a few scattered pockets of old-growth (mostly Ponderosa Pine), but for the most part is not known for its age-old trees. Old-growth is even scarcer in the Great Lakes.

It is hard to say whether the remaining pockets of scattered old-growth in areas besides the Pacific Northwest will remain protected, but environmentalists are working hard to save what they can in northern California, Oregon and Washington. The outgoing Bush administration recently announced plans to increase logging across Oregon’s remaining old-growth reserves by some 700 percent, in effect overturning the landmark Northwest Forest Plan of 1994 that set aside most of the region’s remaining old growth as habitat for the endangered spotted owl.

Protecting remaining old-growth is important for many reasons. “These areas provide some of the cleanest drinking water in the world, critical salmon and wildlife habitat, world-class recreational opportunities and critical carbon storage in our fight against global warming,” says Jonathan Jelen of the nonprofit Oregon Wild, adding that as much as 20 percent of the emissions related to global warming can be attributed to deforestation and poor forest management. “A growing body of evidence is showing the critical role that forests – and old-growth forests in particular – can play in mitigating climate change.”

CONTACTS: NCSSF,; Oregon Wild,

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

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Snow Shoveling Awareness Week, January 18 through 24.

Here in North-Eastern Pennsylvania, shoveling snow in the winter is just a fact of life. Each year we dig out our old snow shovels and start to haul the snow away. And once everything is done, we’re left with lower back pain and sore muscles all around.

According to the researchers at North Dakota State University, shoveling snow is considered to be a “vigorous activity, even for healthy, college-aged students.” This is because the cold weather adds strain to the heart, making it harder to shovel. This extra strain can lead to lower back pain, sore muscles, and even heart attacks. Researchers have reported an increase in the number of fatal heart attacks caused by strain from shoveling. This increase may be due to the sudden demand that shoveling places on the heart. Shoveling snow in cold weather may cause a quick increase in blood pressure and heart rate.

The National Safety Council advises to treat snow shoveling as if you were going to be lifting weights. Take it slow, and lift with your legs bent, not your back. Try keep your back straight. By doing this, you'll keep your spine upright and less stressed. If you can, push the snow rather than lift it, this way there is much less strain on your back.

Other precautionary measures are to warm up before shoveling, and to try to shovel when the snow is light and fluffy, rather than hard and icy.

Although it seems that snow shoveling is only a sore muscle in the making, it can be helpful to the body as well. According to the Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health, we all should aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity of some kind on most days of the week. Snow shoveling for 15 minutes counts as moderate physical activity. Shoveling can be a great form of exercise for the body, as long as it is done safely.

Barnes-Kasson Hospital would like to remind you to be safe and warm this winter when shoveling snow, and to try to avoid injury as much as possible.

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