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Issue Home September 30, 2009 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Veterans’ Corner
What’s Bugging You?
Dear Dolly
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

GLENWOOD: The former residence of Galusha A. Grow was destroyed by fire. The valuable library belonging to the former Speaker of the House could not be saved and with much of the house furnishings, was burned. The blaze originated, it is believed, from the dumping of ashes on the floor of the woodshed, from which portions of the house flames first made their appearance. Residents of the county will especially feel the burning of this old landmark is an irreparable loss. The home of the “Sage of Glenwood” has for years been looked upon as a sort of shrine and a visit to Glenwood was never complete without a call at the home of him who framed the Homestead Bill, and the man whose sterling attributes of mind and character made him revered by all acquainted with his beneficent works. The noted Congressman spent a large portion of his life here and here he died less than three years ago. Its quiet surroundings made it a pleasant change from the turbid life in Congress and here Mr. Grow found rest and tranquility.

SOUTH GIBSON: About two weeks ago Willie James met with a severe accident while handling a gun. His hand was badly lacerated and while it was feared at the time that his hand would have to be taken off at the wrist, an attempt was made to save the thumb and two fingers. He was taken to the Susquehanna hospital, where an operation was performed Friday morning and he seemed to rally, but the end came Saturday morning due to blood poisoning. He leaves a wife and four small children, a father, and one sister, Mrs. Glenn Howell.

SUSQUEHANNA: John O. Jones, a foreman in the Erie round house, was killed in an automobile accident last Thursday morning. Jones was in a newly purchased machine with George Whitney, when he lost control near a steep embankment about 75 ft. long, near Beebe Park, and the machine plunged over. Both men were thrown out and Jones was pinioned under the vehicle and it was necessary to jack the machine up before he could be taken out. He received internal injuries besides having both legs broken and died in the Simon H. Barnes Hospital a half hour after being admitted. Whitney escaped with only a few bruises and was able to walk unassisted to his home.

SPRINGVILLE: Last Friday night the stores of A. L. Grestsinger and W. L. Meserole were broken into and a small amount of goods taken. Greatsinger lost a revolver, a few cigars and a gum machine and Meserole lost some pocketknives and a few pennies. The gum machine was found later in the church sheds. Lee Compton also had a robe taken from his wagon in the church sheds. There is no clue as to who did the stealing. ALSO Cess pools are getting to be fashionable. Why not dig them for shops which run into the street.

FOSTER (HOP BOTTOM): Guy Davis, who has been employed in Morris’ drug store in Montrose, relinquished his position. Mr. Davis will attend a pharmacists’ school in Philadelphia and prepare himself for the drug business.

FRIENDSVILLE: Rev. M. J. Fallihee, the pastor of St. Ann’s church at Freeland, Pa., has passed his 40th year as a priest and at his own request no special recognition was made of the fact. Fr. Fallihee was born in Friendsville. His happy recreation is found in playing old-fashioned tunes on his violin.

SILVER LAKE: Contractor P. J. Radeker has taken the contract for erecting six cottages here for Hon. H. J. Rose and starts the work some time next week. Mr. Rose, this summer, divided his boarding house into apartments, which he rented furnished, instead of keeping boarders as formerly. He was well satisfied with this plan and now intends building cottages to rent or sell. ALSO Rev. J. Townsend Russell had both bones in one ankle broken while riding horseback. The animal forced him against a fence, snapping the bones in twain.

JACKSON: Mrs. Lucille Whitney Dean, of New Milford, will be at the Roberts House, Jackson, on Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 6 and 7, with a full line of millinery.

THOMPSON: While Edwin Gardner, of Boston, Mass., and his cousin, Mrs. Shew, of Susquehanna, were returning to Susquehanna last Wednesday afternoon, the harness broke and the horse ran away when about a mile from here. Both were thrown from the wagon and Mr. Gardner so seriously injured that he died during the night. Mrs. Shew was slightly injured. They had been visiting friends here that day.

LATHROP: Jack Frost is very busy working while the rest of the world is asleep. While we dread his coming, we can but admire the beauty of the landscape, which exceeds the most skilled painting.

UNIONDALE: Parties from Scranton were in town recently, looking for a lake property upon which to erect a club house for summer use. Our beautiful Lewis Lake they passed by as being too small. ALSO Geo. Bayless and family attended the dedication services of the new M.E. church at Winwood. They went over in their new auto. George is getting to be quite a devotee of motoring.

LINDAVILLE, BROOKLYN TWP.: Mrs. Fanny Yeomans celebrated her 86th birthday, Sept. 26, 1909, being the oldest lady in this vicinity.

FAIR HILL, JESSUP TWP.: The many friends of A. D. Jagger will be sorry to hear that he is going to Iowa to work and all will wish him success in his new position.

BURNWOOD, ARARAT TWP.: The medicine show last week was largely attended. Miss Pearl Wademan received a prize as the most popular lady and little Florence Dickey the prize for being the most popular baby.

FOREST CITY: Prof. Smoot has decided to open an evening commercial school here and has engaged rooms in the Lyons building on South Main Street. ALSO Mrs. Della E. LeRoy has opened a Baby’s Bazaar and Ladies Furnishing store in the Bloxham building opposite the Methodist church. This is a line for which there would seem to be an opening in town and it is probable that Mrs. LeRoy’s venture will meet with success.

CLIFFORD: Mr. and Mrs. Jef. Hobbs were the unfortunate principals in an accident on Thursday evening. They had returned from the Oneonta fair and Mr. Rounds drove over the bank near the depot, upsetting the carriage. Mrs. Hobbs was quite badly shaken up. The same evening Mr. and Mrs. Walton Burdick and the latter’s father in law, H. J. Tuttle, were overturned near Lewis Lake but fortunately escaped injury.

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

Last week, I discussed the jury selection process known as voir dire in the context of my first jury trial. After a month as a prosecutor in October 1999, I had two trials under my belt - a judge trial and a jury trial - and 2 convictions to show for it. At that time, I can remember feeling a little bulletproof or invincible. Youth and pride inflated my ego and stoked my confidence. The lessons you learn in defeat, however, last longer than those learned in victory - as I was soon to learn the hard way.

In January 2000, I had two cases that went to a jury trial - and they were scheduled on consecutive days, a Monday and Tuesday as I recall. Jury selection in both cases went without a hitch, and the cases were ready for trial. I came down with a cold over the weekend, and then learned that you cannot call in sick for a jury trial. So, I showed up to court like a Nyquil commercial - coughing, stuffy head, sore throat and all.

The first case involved an alleged criminal mischief - the defendant was alleged to have used a baseball bat upon the victim’s car with the results being similar to a popular Carrie Underwood song. My star witness was a young kid who was a real overachiever - at least from the perspective of being a criminal. This is fairly common in prosecutions. Usually, law abiding citizens do not know much about criminal activity - if they did, they probably aren’t really law abiding citizens. While everyone understands this in the abstract, it is a whole different story when jurors are called upon to rely upon the sole word of a criminal to convict another criminal. As can be expected, these cooperating criminal witnesses generally provide defense attorneys with hours of fun on cross-examination - a lot like shooting fish in a barrel. As you might expect, the jury found the defendant not guilty. It was my first experience in using a bad witness as the sole proof in the case - and a valuable lesson was learned that a jury will want something more to corroborate the word of a rat.

So much for my perfect trial record - but there is always tomorrow. And in this case, it was literally true as there was a trial the next day. So my cold and I went home to recoup and prepare for round two.

The next morning my cold was no better - but the case seemed a little more promising. I had a victim who received a pretty good beating at the hand of the defendant at the end of an evening at a local tavern. There were verified injuries and witnesses to the fight. What could go wrong?

First, I did not realize that bar fights generally are a different breed of assaults. Jurors seem to view bar fights with a jaundiced eye - alcohol, honkytonks and fighting make for more than a good country song. Second, no one had ever mentioned to me that my victim had a history of beating his wife (and any other women in his life) - which several defense witnesses outlined in painstaking detail. My case went from a victim receiving a beating at the hands of a belligerent defendant - to the defendant, fearing for the safety of the victim’s wife, intervened to stop the drunk victim from beating her. Further, the defendant used a cane to get to the witness stand - and there was nothing in the police report to suggest that he suffered from a disability. So, now it was the disabled defendant seeking to stop my wife-beating severely intoxicated victim. Ouch! By the time the defense victims were done testifying, the jurors had a look in their eyes like they wanted to give my victim one more beating just for good measure. The jury acquitted the defendant.

After two quick days and two acquittals, I went from bulletproof and invincible back to a stunned young prosecutor who realized he only had a few months under his belt and a lot more to learn.

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’m in the process of selling my home and my realtor told me to get the house tested for radon. I had no idea this stuff was in my house until I tested it. You should write about this health hazard.

About 1 in 15 homes in the United States contains high levels of radon, an invisible, odorless, radioactive gas. High radon levels have been found in every state.

Radon levels vary greatly throughout the United States, even within small geographic regions. A stretch from New York through Pennsylvania to Maryland and Virginia, as well as a broad area of the upper Midwest, have geological formations that yield higher radon levels. In contrast, radon levels are low in the Southeast as far west as Texas and along much of the West coast.

Radon is the nation’s second leading cause - after smoking - of lung cancer. Smoking combined with radon is an especially serious health risk.

A link between cancer and working in underground mines was suspected even before radon was identified as an element. In 1556, German scholar Georgius Agricola reported high death rates of miners in the Carpathian Mountains of Eastern Europe. More than 300 years later, autopsy studies of miners in that region revealed a common cause of death to be chest tumors, which were later shown to be primary lung cancer.

Radon comes from the natural decay of uranium in soil, rock and water. It rises into your home through fissures in the foundation, floors and walls. Radon can also be in your water, especially well water.

Radon test kits are available at most hardware stores. If you discover that the radon level is unacceptable in your home, there are systems to remove the gas. There is no safe level of radon, but the risk can be reduced by lowering the level.

The amount of radon in the air is measured in pico curies per liter of air or pCi/L. The average indoor radon level is about 1.3 pCi/L. The outside air contains about 0.4 pCi/L of radon. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommends corrective action if the radon level is 4 pCi/L.

The U.S. Congress has set a long-term goal that indoor and outdoor levels be equal. While this goal is not yet reachable in all cases, the radon in most homes today can be reduced to 2 pCi/L or below.

If you've tested the air in your home and found a radon problem, and your water comes from a well, have your water tested, too. Radon in your home's water is not usually a problem when its source is surface water.

The primary system for reducing radon is made up of a vent pipe and fan, which pulls radon from beneath the house and blows it outside. This is called a soil-suction, radon- reduction system. It does not require major changes to your home.

The cost of fixing a home generally ranges from $800 to $2,500 (with an average cost of $1,200). Costs depend on the size and design of your home and which radon reduction methods are needed.

If you would like to ask a question, please write

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

What can you do with a penny? This much maligned coin has been flattened as a souvenir at carnivals and discarded from pockets and purses into piggybanks. However, we at the Susquehanna County Library are reaping the benefit of pennies, not from heaven, but from our county residents via their local Shurfine Markets, such as ABC Markets in Montrose and Rob’s Country Market in Great Bend.

Shurfine Markets established this generous program which donates to organizations, such as your library, three cents from every purchase made of Shurfine or Western Family products. A Gold Card is necessary to participate in this program, but there is no other cost to the customer. If you register your Gold Card with the library and then use it regularly to buy Shurfine and Western Family products, the Library receives a check that adds up all those pennies.

This year we have received in excess of $5,700 from this program. For this, we sincerely thank the participating markets. However, the markets would not be in a position to provide these funds, if shoppers in our county had not elected to make the required purchases. Therefore, pat yourselves on the back. You all did a good job of making a great program work.

If you have a Gold Card and have not yet signed up to participate in the program, ask at your local library for a registration form. Every penny will help Susquehanna County Library continue to be your resource for lifetime learning.

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Veterans’ Corner

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What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

No What's Bugging You This Week

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Dear Dolly,

Dear Dolly,

How do you start a friendly conversation with someone, when you are extremely shy? -John

Dear John,

Quiet people can be great at observation. Pick out one thing about her that you think is unique or interesting. Now figure out a couple of questions you can ask her that will giver her an opening to talk about herself. Most of the time people can't resist someone who is interested in listening.

Walk over to her and smile. Make eye contact and say hello. Now introduce yourself and ask her your question.

We label ourselves as shy when many times we are simply inexperienced at small talk. Small talk is a learned behavior. You can practice by "interviewing" family members. Keep asking questions and you will see that the first question leads to the next. Soon you will hit on a topic or idea that makes you both laugh. Laughter is a good way to make a new friend.

Dear Dolly,

I need a suggestion for a good first date that is a little unusual, will offer alone time so we can talk, but where other people are around. -Dan

Dear Dan,

Why don't you take her bowling? It's fun and unusual enough to be memorable. You will have time to visit and get to know each other in a non threatening environment. And, it's a good place to check out her sense of humor.

All Transcript readers are welcome to submit their questions to Dear Dolly at

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From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine

Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that military sonar exercises actually kill marine wildlife?

Unfortunately for many whales, dolphins and other marine life, the use of underwater sonar (short for sound navigation and ranging) can lead to injury and even death. Sonar systems - first developed by the U.S. Navy to detect enemy submarines - generate slow-rolling sound waves topping out at around 235 decibels; the world’s loudest rock bands top out at only 130. These sound waves can travel for hundreds of miles under water, and can retain an intensity of 140 decibels as far as 300 miles from their source.

These rolling walls of noise are no doubt too much for some marine wildlife. While little is known about any direct physiological effects of sonar waves on marine species, evidence shows that whales will swim hundreds of miles, rapidly change their depth (sometime leading to bleeding from the eyes and ears), and even beach themselves to get away from the sounds of sonar.

In January 2005, 34 whales of three different species became stranded and died along North Carolina’s Outer Banks during nearby offshore Navy sonar training. Other sad examples around the coast of the U.S. and elsewhere abound, notably in recent years with more sonar testing going on than ever before. According to the nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has campaigned vigorously to ban use of the technology in waters rich in marine wildlife, recent cases of whale strandings likely represent a small fraction of sonar’s toll, given that severely injured animals rarely make it to shore.

In 2003, NRDC spearheaded a successful lawsuit against the Navy to restrict the use of low-frequency sonar off the coast of California. Two years later a coalition of green groups led by NRDC and including the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the League for Coastal Protection, Cetacean Society International, and Ocean Futures Society upped the ante, asking the federal courts to also restrict testing of more intense, harmful and far ranging mid-frequency types of sonar off Southern California’s coastline.

In filing their brief, the groups cited Navy documents which estimated that such testing would kill some 170,000 marine mammals and cause permanent injury to more than 500 whales, not to mention temporary deafness for at least 8,000 others. Coalition lawyers argued that the Navy’s testing was in violation of the National Environmental Policy Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Two lower courts upheld NRDC’s claims, but the Supreme Court ruled that the Navy should be allowed to continue the use of some mid-frequency sonar testing for the sake of national security. “The decision places marine mammals at greater risk of serious and needless harm,” says NRDC’s Joel Reynolds.

Environmental groups are still fighting the battle against the sonar, lobbying the government to curtail testing, at least during peacetime, or to at least ramp up testing gradually to give marine wildlife a better chance to flee affected areas. “The U.S. Navy could use a number of proven methods to avoid harming whales when testing mid-frequency sonar,” reports IFAW’s Fred O'Regan. “Protecting whales and preserving national security are not mutually exclusive.”


Dear EarthTalk: How does the microwave compare in energy use, say, to using a gas or electric stove burner to heat water for a cup of tea?

The short answer is that it depends upon several variables, including the price of electricity versus gas, and the relative efficiency of the appliances involved. Typically, though, a microwave would be slightly more efficient at heating water than the flame on a gas stove, and should use up a little less energy. The reason: The microwave’s heat waves are focused on the liquid (or food) inside, not on heating the air or container around it, meaning that most if not all of the energy generated is used to make your water ready.

Given this logic, it is hard to believe that a burner element on an electric stovetop would be any better, but an analysis by Home Energy Magazine found otherwise. The magazine’s researchers discovered that an electric burner uses about 25 percent less electricity than a microwave in boiling a cup of water.

That said, the difference in energy saved by using one method over another is negligible: Choosing the most efficient process might save a heavy tea drinker a dollar or so a year. “You’d save more energy over the year by replacing one light bulb with a CFL [compact fluorescent lightbulb] or turning off the air conditioner for an hour - not an hour a day, one hour at some point over the whole year,” says consumer advocate Michael Bluejay.

Although a microwave may not save much energy or money over a stove burner when heating water, it can be much more energy-efficient than a traditional full-size oven when it comes to cooking food. For starters, because their heat waves are concentrated on the food, microwaves cook and heat much faster than traditional ovens. According to the federal government’s Energy Star program, which rates appliances based on their energy-efficiency, cooking or re-heating small portions of food in the microwave can save as much as 80 percent of the energy used to cook or warm them up in the oven.

The website reports that there are other things you can do to optimize your energy efficiency around the kitchen when cooking. For starters, make sure to keep the inside surfaces of your microwave oven clean so as to maximize the amount of energy reflected toward your food. On a gas stovetop, make sure the flame is fully below the cookware; likewise, on an electric stovetop, make sure the pan or kettle completely covers the heating element to minimize wasted heat. Also, use the appropriate size pan for the job at hand, as smaller pans are cheaper and more energy-efficient to heat up.

Despite these tips for cooking greener, Bluejay reiterates that most of us will hardly put a dent in our overall energy use just by choosing one appliance over another. According to his analysis, for someone who bakes three hours a week the cheapest cooking method saves only an estimated $2.06/month compared to the most expensive method.

“Focusing on cooking methods is not the way to save electricity [at home],” says Bluejay. “You should look at heating, cooling, lighting and laundry instead.”

CONTACTS: Home Energy Magazine,; Treehugger,; Michael Bluejay,

Send Your Environmental Questions To: EarthTalk, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881; Read past columns at:

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

National Alzheimer’s Week September 20 - 26

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is celebrating National Alzheimer’s Week September 20 - 26.Alzheimer's disease is a condition in which the nerve cells in the brain die. This makes it difficult for brain signals to be transmitted properly. Alzheimer’s is common form of dementia among older people. Dementia is the loss of mental functions, such as memory and reasoning, that is severe enough to interfere with a person's daily functioning. Dementia is not a disease itself, but it is rather a group of symptoms that are caused by various conditions.

Most symptoms of Alzheimer's progress so slowly over a number of years, that it may be hard to even notice them early on. The most common symptom is short-term memory loss, which over time usually develops into long term-memory loss. With long-term the person can't remember personal information, such as his or her place of birth or occupation, or names of close family members. In short-term, people usually forget new information they just heard, or forget that they already told the same story more than once. As symptoms worsen, people with Alzheimer's may get lost when they are out on their own. They could forget where they are and how they got there. They may not recognize a familiar face or place, and can forget what year it is.

Medications that are used for Alzheimer’s are only capable of controlling symptoms; they cannot cure or slow down its progression. Most medications are used to improve mental function; others are used to treat the depression and anxiety that comes along with the disease.

While medications might be able to control the symptoms of Alzheimer’s for a while, eventually the cells in an effected person’s brain will deteriorate to a point where they cannot live independently.

Because the early symptoms of Alzheimer’s mostly only include memory loss, people often mistake them for normal signs of ageing. However, with new techniques doctors can now diagnose Alzheimer’s at a 90% accuracy rate. Early diagnosis is essential to create the most comfortable life with Alzheimer’s as possible. If diagnosed at an early stage, there is sufficient enough time for the patient and their families to plan for the future needs and care of the patient. Another added bonus of early diagnosis is that the patient can use some medicines that are only useful in the earlier stages of Alzheimer's.

If you think that you or someone you know may be effected by Alzheimer’s or Dementia, please contact your doctor.

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