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Issue Home October 14, 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

BRUSHVILLE: The large and stately residence of ex-Sheriff and Mrs. Richard Brush, considered one of the handsomest country homes in that part of the county, was totally destroyed by fire last Sunday morning. All efforts were directed toward saving the household goods, because it was impossible for a bucket brigade to even attempt to quench the furies of the fire which was fast consuming the rear portion of the house. An alarm was sent by telephone to all nearby neighbors who hurriedly assisted in removing household goods but nearly all the furniture upstairs was destroyed yet the parlor and sitting room furniture was removed in good order. A bucket brigade saved the fine barn which did not stand far from the burning building. Mrs. Brush collapsed afterward because of nervous strain but is now in a more comfortable condition.

SUSQUEHANNA: Arthur H. Westbrook was killed at Ararat before daybreak Tuesday morning. He was a brakeman on the freight train which left Susquehanna Monday afternoon and was due back there at 5 o’clock Tuesday morning. When the train reached Susquehanna, Westbrook was missed and an engine started back in search of him. At Ararat Summit the body was found cut in two. It is thought that he lost his footing while walking the length of the train. He was about 25 years of age and leaves a wife and two children. AND Martin Griffin Jr., of Susquehanna, was killed at Kirkwood sometime during Friday night, the body being found on the railroad shortly after daylight. Griffin was about twenty-six years of age and was a hostler in the round house.

SPRINGVILLE: Stuart Riley is making preparations to bring water from a spring owned by A. C. Grow and will put in a bathroom, while C. E. Burdick is preparing to install a hot water plant in his residence to defend himself and family against the rigors of winter. AND The suit between Maud B. Barnhart and the Trexler & Turrell Lumber Co., of Ricketts, Sullivan Co., Pa., for damages on the death of her husband, Andrew J. Barnhart, who was killed on April 19, 1909, at Ricketts, by a boiler explosion, has been settled, the widow receiving a nice sum of money. Mrs. Barnhart feels very grateful to her attorney, Paul J. Sherwood, and to the Trexler & Turrell Lumber Co., for their kind and courteous treatment.

RUSH: Uncle Tom’s Cabin show will appear in Rush on Saturday, October 16.

BROOKLYN: A meeting was held in the office of G. H. Terry Saturday evening to take steps toward building a sewer through the town. F. B. Jewett was elected president and G. H. Terry secretary. The feeling expressed was that it ought to be built, but not being an incorporated borough it remains with the people to decide. A committee was appointed to ascertain the cost and make a report.

TUNKHANNOCK: D. W. Schooley has built a 35-horse power automobile capable of doing sixty miles an hour. The machine, weighing nearly a ton, has three speeds and a reverse. He has demonstrated it to a number of capitalists and businessmen and hopes to get backing for a factory to manufacture the machine, desiring to locate either in his home town, Scranton or Pittston.

LAWTON: Robert Giffin was born in Choconut, March 22, 1841 and died at his home here, Sept. 24, 1909. His death removes another from the list of Civil War Veterans. He enlisted in Co. C, 52nd Regt, Pa. Volunteers, in 1864, and was discharged from service July 12, 1865. He was united in marriage Oct. 15, 1865, to Miss Elizabeth Chase. To them were born eight children, six of whom are living and two died in infancy. He is also survived by one brother, Bela Giffin, of Rushville and two sisters, Mrs. C. J. Haight, of Rush and Mrs. John Howard of Tama Co., Iowa.

EAST BRIDGEWATER TWP.: Horton Reynolds is installing a 30 horse power steam engine and boiler at his saw mill, which, in connection with the water power which has heretofore been used, will enable him to meet orders promptly under any conditions. He has already some large contracts upon which he is at work, and the new equipment will be a great benefit. The new machinery was purchased of William Bright, of Scranton, a well-known and reliable dealer of that city.

ARARAT: The South Ararat School is progressing fine with Clark Avery as teacher.

SOUTH NEW MILFORD: B. F. Burdick had the misfortune to lose a good horse last Saturday.

HALLSTEAD: There is much complaint from nearby farming communities about several dogs which appear to travel together and as they are seen for days at a time, in a single locality, it is thought that they live in the woods, hunting game for their living. Farmers say they are frequently seen chasing sheep and sometimes attack calves and larger animals. Rural mail carrier, Val Loan, says that several farmers who have seen the dogs at a short distance say that they are hounds, and it is thought they have either run away from their homes or else have been lost by hunters, and several have threatened to shoot them at the first opportunity, providing they are again caught chasing cattle or sheep.

HEART LAKE: Will start cider and jelly mill, October 11th. Cider apples wanted. L. E. Griffing.

SOUTH GIBSON: Mrs. Addie Gillett is teaching a very successful term of school in the Columbian district, and our graded school is progressing finely under the able management of Prof. Knox Tingley and Miss Dora Follett.

FOREST CITY: Andrew Propokovitz, son of John Propokovitz, was admitted to the Lackawanna county Bar on Monday. He is a graduate of Dickinson and has been studying law since with Attorney W. A. Wilcox, of Scranton. Miss Ruth E. Jacobs, also a Dickinson graduate, was admitted to the bar the same day, she being the second lady in the county to be thus honored.

MONTROSE: Mrs. Alice Dolan, one of the oldest residents of Montrose, died October 9, after an illness of short duration. She was born in County Kildare, Ireland, 83 years ago and with her husband came to America when quite young. They first lived in New York city and then located in Orange County, N.Y. and then came here 53 years ago, first locating in Bridgewater and then took up a farm tract in Dimock. After the death of her husband, “Grandma Dolan” (the name by which she was more familiarly known), came to Montrose to live with her son. She was the mother of ten children, eight of whom survive her. “Grandma Dolan” was a gray-haired and gentle-faced old lady whose smile will never pass from the memory of those who knew her.

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

Periodically, I receive calls from law enforcement officers on old arrest warrants, and the question is generally whether I want to continue to keep the warrant active, or simply withdraw the charges. There is a decent amount of paperwork involved in the old warrant business - and it is far easier for the law enforcement officer to simply give up and close the case out.

Under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, the Commonwealth has 365 days to try a defendant after his or her arrest. Any delay that is attributable to the defendant does not count against the Commonwealth. So, if a defendant flees the jurisdiction and a warrant is issued, the time generally does not run. The Commonwealth, however, must demonstrate due diligence in serving and apprehending the defendant. Thus, even when the defendant is “on the lamb,” the police still must document the efforts they periodically take to locate him. If the police fail to exercise due diligence in their search, there is the potential that the criminal charges would be dismissed.

When a defendant flees and a warrant is issued, the defendant is entered into a national criminal information database that allows police officers in other jurisdictions to arrest the defendant and return him to the appropriate authorities. There is also an international system that works in a similar fashion - though the effectiveness of that system depends upon the willingness of other foreign countries to extradite a fugitive. Merely entering a defendant into a national or international system may not be enough to demonstrate due diligence, however, and the police must continue their own individual efforts to locate a wanted defendant.

When I receive the calls regarding old warrants, I understand that the police are frustrated and it would be far easier for them to simply close the case out. Of course, if this occurs, the defendant actually avoids responsibility for his or her conduct by absconding from the jurisdiction and hiding for a sufficient amount of time that the charges are finally withdrawn. On the other hand, these old cases require periodic work that diverts police manpower into something of a wild goose chase.

Generally speaking, the first question I ask is the nature of the charges - for the serious felony offenses, there is no way that a warrant would be lifted and the case closed. The second question involves the evidence - if it is a victim, do we know where the victim is and is the victim still available for the prosecution. If it is a less serious crime and there is no actual victim (aside from society in general), then the focus becomes more upon the efforts the police have taken to locate the defendant, the prospects that future efforts will bear fruit, and the opinion of the police officer as to what should be done with the charges.

With that being said, I was not surprised that prosecutors in California had maintained an arrest warrant for Roman Polanski since 1978. A 43-year old Polanski gave a 13-year old girl drugs and alcohol and then raped her in every conceivable manner - orally, vaginally, and anally. Polanski pled guilty to the offense, but fled the jurisdiction prior to his sentencing, and an arrest warrant was issued. The nature of this offense is heinous, and there was no question as to strength of the case - the defendant had already pled guilty. In other words, there was already a conviction, and the only thing left to do was for Polanski to face his punishment. Moreover, the police knew that Polanski fled to France because France would not extradite him to the United States.

If I had been the prosecutor making the decision on whether to keep the warrant on Polanski active, I would have made clear that there was only one thing that would lift that warrant: Polanski’s death. Polanski not only raped a child, but he intentionally and deliberately avoided justice for 30 years by manipulating the system as surely as he manipulated and abused that 13-year old child. While some are incredibly suggesting that his “contributions” over the past 30 years should be considered as a mitigating factor, I would argue that the opposite is true: his refusal to turn himself over to law enforcement and his calculated efforts to avoid apprehension warrant an even harsher sentence.

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’ve been reading about athletes using steroids to build themselves up. Do these drugs work for older men?

First some background on steroids. There are two types of steroids: corticosteroids and anabolic steroids. Corticosteroids, such as cortisone and prednisone, are drugs that help control inflammation. Anabolic steroids, such as androstenedione or andro, are substances that can help the body make muscle.

Corticosteroids, which are like hormones that your adrenal glands produce to fight stress, are used to treat arthritis, asthma, lupus, multiple sclerosis, eczema and some kinds of cancer.

Anabolic steroids are drugs that are like the body's natural sex hormone testosterone. Testosterone directs the body to produce or enhance male characteristics. Medical uses of anabolic steroids include some hormone problems in men, late puberty and muscle loss from some diseases.

When anabolic steroids increase the levels of testosterone in the blood, they stimulate muscle tissue in the body to grow larger and stronger. The effects of too much testosterone can be harmful. Some of the negative effects are rage, liver disease, high cholesterol, severe acne, baldness and infertility.

So-called natural steroids such as DHEA that are sold as over-the-counter supplements at many health food stores can have the same harmful effects as synthetic steroids. The only difference between natural and synthetic steroids is that synthetic steroids are made in a lab and are chemically altered.

Prior to January 2005, anabolic steroid supplements containing androstenedione also were available at health food stores. Because of safety issues, however, these supplements now cannot be sold without a prescription.

Because some hormone levels drop with age, there’s a theory that this decline causes us to age. Declining levels of testosterone, the male sex hormone, have been linked with decreased energy and sex drive, muscle weakness and osteoporosis. But, can you reverse aging by restoring your hormones?

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) is a hormone secreted by the adrenal gland. DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease after age 30. Your body converts DHEA into the sex hormones estrogen and testosterone. Proponents say it slows aging, increases muscle and bone strength, burns fat, improves cognition, bolsters immunity and protects against chronic diseases.

There is no convincing medical evidence to support these claims about DHEA. Even short-term use of DHEA may cause liver damage

There is sufficient evidence supporting the use of DHEA in the treatment of adrenal insufficiency, depression, induction of labor, and lupus.

There is a lack of available studies on the long-term effects of DHEA. However, DHEA may cause higher than normal levels of androgens and estrogens in the body, and theoretically may increase the risk of prostate, breast, ovarian, and other hormone-sensitive cancers. Therefore, it is not recommended for regular use without supervision by a licensed healthcare professional.

Don’t believe advertisements that tell you supplements are natural remedies, implying that they can’t hurt you. Some people try supplements such as coral calcium, ginseng and echinacea to stop aging. There isn't any evidence to support the claims for these supplements either.

Talk to your doctor before taking any supplement. Ingredients in supplements can cause harmful interactions with your medications and serious side effects.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

There is always something new and interesting at the library. Although we have items that have been on the shelves for many years, our collection is not static. New materials are added regularly.

I recently had the opportunity of seeing the library through the eyes of my neighbor, who had not had a chance to visit the Montrose library in several years. She found many things that were familiar, but also many new additions. Come in and check us out. You might be surprised to find out just how extensive our collections are.

At each of the three branches and at the main library in Montrose, we have designated sections for new books, both fiction and non-fiction, and new media items. If you are looking for a current book or DVD, why not stop in at your local library or visit our website first. Remember, why buy when you can borrow.

Funds to keep our collection updated are included in our annual budget, because we realize that a great library, such as ours, cannot adequately serve it patrons if it does not regularly upgrade its holdings. However, we are always grateful for donations of current relevant books to supplement those we purchase.

Right now you might want to look at some of our craft books for ideas for Halloween costumes or Christmas projects for that special someone. Take some time to just browse. Remember the Susquehanna County Library’s goal is to become 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,

We have neighbors in our small community who burn garbage in a burn barrel a few nights a week. It is a pungent chemical odor and it is so severe that we had to install an air conditioner in our bedroom. We prefer to sleep with our windows open but we are awakened in the middle of the night with the smell. I know this is not healthy and in fact is very dangerous. New York State has recently passed legislation that prohibits burning garbage in back yard burn barrels because of the hazards associated with the low temperature burning of plastics and other junk.

What should we do to stop this? We feel like we're being poisoned and the list of friends and neighbors battling cancer is endless. -Anonymous

Dear Anonymous

This is an issue that needs to be taken up first with your township supervisors. I know that burning trash to avoid paying garbage fees seems like a way to save time and money. We live in the country for Heaven’s sake, what's the big deal?

Well it is a big deal when you look at the alarming rate of cancer diagnosis in rural Pennsylvania. We know that "backyard burn barrels are the biggest source of cancer causing Dioxin in our air."

"Dioxin, Furans and other chemicals are known to cause cancer and birth defects." Burning plastic - even a little bit of plastic - causes the emission of Dioxin. What your smelling at night is only a part of the problem. The smoke eventually cools and allows the Dioxin to return back to the ground. A simple walk out to the mail box will contaminate the bottom of your shoes. You walk back into your home and bring the dioxin particles in with you. They are on the floor where your kids and grand kids sit and play. Have you petted Fluffy or Fido recently? You can be sure they have been exposed. How about your garden. Yup, the particles land on your vegetables and Heaven forbid should you take a bite of something before giving it a thorough washing.

I would love to be able to advise you to go to your neighbors and see if they would be willing to stop burning. I'm convinced from personal experience that changing the law is the only way to get this to stop.

For more information go to Burn barrels are "unhealthy, unnecessary and unneighborly."

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

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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