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Christmas Special December 23rd

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Issue Home November 18, 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

BRIDGEWATER TWP.: As the Lehigh Valley train on the Montrose branch was returning to Tunkhannock, Monday, the engine ran over a cow while near the “horseshoe,” on the Jessup farm, and overturned the engine, tumbling it into the ditch and derailing a mail car and a freight car, the latter being reduced to kindling wood in short order. Engineer Greisinger was injured and Fireman Cook got out without knowing how (it was later learned he was hurled from the engine and tossed down the slope with the coal in the tender). The train was coming down the grade at a rapid rate and the engineer did not notice the animal, it being on the outside of the track, until they were almost on it. The pilot struck the cow, dragging her under the wheels and as the engine lurched to one side the engineer was pitched through the cab window. The engine plowed into the bank on the upper side of the track, doubling the cowcatcher under the body of the locomotive. The force with which the train stopped was such as to throw detachable portions of the cars a long distance. The wrecking train was sent for, and worked Monday afternoon and night and part of Tuesday. And before they got away the big steam derrick got into trouble and off the track, in Charlie Post’s orchard, and that took a lot of work to get it back and right. The cow was killed.

HALLSTEAD: During a game of football between the Hallstead team and the Greene, NY team, last Saturday at Hallstead, H. A. Keigwin, a Hallstead player, had his shoulder broken. Singularly, this game was a benefit game for Glen Peck, of Susquehanna, who had been seriously injured in a contest the `preceding Saturday.

WEST LATHROP: The quilt made by the Lakeside M. E. Ladies’ Aid was a grand success financially. It brought, together with the supper, $32. George Osborne drew the lucky number.

HOP BOTTOM: The Ladies’ Aid of the Universalist church will hold a fair Thanksgiving day. A fine chicken dinner with all the fixin’s at 25 cents a plate. In the evening the young ladies of the Y.P.C.U. will give the burlesque, “The Sweet Family,” a whole evening’s fun. Come out and help the young people. Proceeds are to help pay church insurance.

LAWSVILLE: James W. Howard, a veteran of the Civil war, died at his home here on Monday, Nov. 8. His age was 77 years. The funeral was held from the Baptist Church.

GREAT BEND: Charles Reinhard, who so efficiently filled the position of janitor at the public school, resigned last week and the place is being filled by Mr. Johnson. All who had anything to do with Mr. Reinhard in the school are sorry to see him leave.

FOREST LAKE: Last Friday the large frame house on the old Griffis homestead in this township, was burned to the ground, leaving only its ashes as a memory of the many and varied events which have occurred under its roof. With the passing of the house an old familiar landmark has been removed. It was built by Elisha Griffis in 1836 and was designed and used for many years as a wayside inn or tavern for the accommodation of the traveling public. Possibly the “oldest inhabitant” may recall the four-horse stage coach that made its tri-weekly trips over the road, which was then known as the Milford and Owego turnpike. [The tavern was a relay station where drivers changed horses. The third floor was a dance hall.] After Elisha Griffis’ death, the youngest son, the late Jefferson Griffis, became its owner and under his management the place was much improved. Truman Chamberlin and family occupied the house and the fire was not discovered until it burst through the side of the building. Friendly neighbors, as soon as the alarm was sounded, removed the majority of the household goods and saved the fine barn and other nearby outbuildings from the threatening flames and flying cinders.

MONTROSE: In a stroll down Chenango street, a sudden pause before Bethel A.M.E. church, recalled the lines, “Change and decay on every hand I see.” Only 25 years ago this meeting-house, in its good, clean, white dress and well-kept surroundings, was the pride of Chenango street, and the “wilderness,” masquerade “cake walks” and festival debates, were very interesting features to the white neighbors and friends. Now-a-days the doors of old Bethel church are rarely opened, its outer walls are weather beaten and worn, and its steps are old and creaky. What was once a flourishing congregation has dwindled into a mere few, and probably now the only surviving “patriarchs of Bethel” are Mr. and Mrs. George Battles. The Bethel church was first organized about three miles from Montrose by fugitives in slavery times.

SPRINGVILLE: Wednesday night of last week R. E. McMicken was disturbed by hearing a commotion around his hen roost, and he quickly investigated with a shotgun, firing as well as he could in the darkness. It is not known whether the shot took effect, but the poultry was dropped. Petty thieving in this town is getting to be a nuisance and some fine time in the darkness of night someone will need a doctor to extract bird shot from his vile carcass.

GELATT: Work is progressing nicely on the new Grange hall and when completed it will be one of the best Grange halls in the country.

FLYNN, MIDDLETOWN TWP.: Mass will be at St. John’s church, Flynn Corners, Sunday, Nov. 28, at which time Bishop Hoban, of Scranton, with a number of priests to assist, will lay the corner stone and dedicate the church at 2 p.m., the same day the new burying ground will be consecrated, also the bell will be blessed.

SUSQUEHANNA: Sgt. Davenport of the State constabulatory and troopers, who have been located at Montrose since the opening of the hunting season, have been transferred to Susquehanna where they will look after the illegal hunters.

HERRICK CENTRE: P. H. Flynn is having steam heat put in his hotel and is also adding a laundry to his kitchen.

NEWS BRIEF: Susquehanna County has a good representation at the Bloomsburg State Normal School this year. Those enrolled for the year are: Pauline Coleman, Frances Corse, Ruth Reynolds, Uniondale; Lawrence Savige, Brooklyn; Ruth Kinney, Springville; Edith Corse, New Milford; Emma Davis, Loretta Sullivan, Forest City; Joy Harding, Great Bend; David Moses, Tresco; Affa Rosengrant, Susquehanna.

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

Last month, for a period of a few hours, balloon boy captivated the Nation. It all started with a 911 call from Mayumi Henne who contended that her 6-year old son, Falcon, had climbed into a balloon tethered to the ground in their backward, and the balloon had gotten loose of its moorings and took to the air with the boy inside. Television crews attempted to track the flight of a home-made hot air balloon in which alleged rode the young child. On the ground, law enforcement and emergency personnel scrambled to keep up with the balloon and take whatever actions they could to protect and save the child.

At one point, it was reported, and appeared to be confirmed on video footage, that something had fallen out of the balloon. The initial concern was that the child had fallen out - so additional personnel began searching that area for the child, while others continued to follow the balloon. When it eventually came to the ground, there was dramatic video of emergency personnel rushing out to secure it and locate the child. But there was no child - and it was disclosed that the child had never been in the balloon, but the family contended that he had been hiding in the attic of a garage. Eventually, it was discovered that the entire episode had been a publicity stunt staged by the family in the hopes of securing a reality television show - and the Henne parents were both arrested.

Based upon recent news reports, the Hennes plan on pleading guilty in Larimer County Colorado, with the husband pleading to a felony offense relating to attempting to influence a public servant (which is punishable by up to 6 years in jail and a fine of up to $500,000), and the wife will be pleading to a misdemeanor offense of false reporting to authorities (which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $750). Apparently, the prosecutors have agreed to a sentence of probation, with the potential for some incarceration if the court determines it to be appropriate, namely up to 90 days for the husband and up to 60 days for the wife. Someone asked me what would have happened had this happened in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania Crimes Code has a specific provision that deals with such scenarios: False Alarms to Agencies of Public Safety. This provision makes it a crime for any person to cause a false alarm of fire or other emergency to be transmitted to any organization, official or volunteer that deals with emergency services. Under the Henne circumstances, this offense would be graded as a first degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. (If the false report had come during a state of emergency, then it would be a felony of the third degree).

In terms of actual punishment, assuming that Mr. and Mrs. Henne had no prior record, the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines for this offense would have provided for a sentence of somewhere between probation (up to 5 years) and a minimum of 30 days in jail (up to a maximum of 5 years). In the end, it appears that the result in Pennsylvania would have been very similar if they had pulled their hoax in Pennsylvania.

The bigger question will be the extent to which the Colorado court orders them to make restitution for the costs incurred by law enforcement and emergency personnel in responding to the false reports. Based upon news reports, this amounts to approximately $62,000. Regardless of the punishment, any appropriate sentence should require the Hennes to reimburse every penny of public funds expended in responding to this fiasco. And, if they don’t pay, then they can go to jail until they do.

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. Have you ever heard of sarcopenia?

This one made me go to the dictionary. Sarcopenia, a Greek word that means loss of flesh, is the decrease in muscle tissue that comes with age.

Sarcopenia (pronounced sar-ko-PEEN-ya) begins early in life. Studies show that after age 40, most people lose about 1 percent of their muscle mass each year.

However, strength exercises - also called resistance training, weight training and weightlifting - can rebuild your muscles and provide many health benefits. Research funded by the National Institutes of Aging (NIA) shows that even people in their nineties get a lot out of weightlifting.

In one study at Tufts University in Massachusetts, nine women and men, ages 87 to 101, strengthened their arms and legs by exercising with weights. In eight weeks, they increased the strength in their front thigh muscles by an average of almost 175 percent.

Some studies have shown that, of all age groups, seniors benefit most from weightlifting.

The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults age 50 and older work out with weights two to three times a week. The National Institute on Aging also recommends weight lifting for older adults.

Weightlifting can do the following for seniors:

* Prevent bone fractures. The exercises boost your strength, balance, and agility, making falls less likely. And, weightlifting can also build bone mass in the spine and the hip, so it's especially important for people with bone-thinning osteoporosis.

* Help you lose weight.

* Control blood sugar. In one study of adults with diabetes, 16 weeks of strength training provided dramatic improvements, comparable to improvements from taking medication.

* Relieve depression and improve sleep.

* Increase stamina. A University of Vermont study of healthy seniors ages 65 to 79 found that subjects could walk almost 40 percent farther without a rest after 12 weeks of weight training.

* Relieve arthritis joint pain. Weightlifting can cut down on pain by strengthening the muscles around the arthritic joint. Stronger muscles reduce stress on the joint.

You should always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Weightlifting can be done at home with household items, but many health organizations recommend working out in a professional setting for maximum benefits. The number of facilities that cater to older adults is increasing.

Here’s a brief guide to exercise for seniors:

Start out slowly with a pound weight, or no weight at all. You should feel challenged, but not close to your limits. You may feel some normal muscle soreness at first. You should not experience exhaustion or pain.

Do strength exercises for your shoulders, arms, back, stomach, hips, legs at least twice a week.

Avoid jerking or thrusting movements. Don’t lock the joints of your arms and legs into a strained position.

Do 8-15 repetitions in a row of each exercise. Use smooth and steady movements. Once you can easily lift the weight 15 times, increase the amount of weight .

Take 3 seconds to lift or push a weight. Hold the position for 1 second, and then take another 3-5 seconds to lower the weight.

Exhale as you lift or push the weight, and inhale as you relax or lower the weight. Don't hold your breath during the exercises.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

November is that time of year again for the Susquehanna Historical Society and Free Library Association to reach out to county residents and ask for their continuing support of its operations and programs. Our annual support drive is currently underway and we need your generous donations even more this year. The recently passed state budget has resulted in a cut of slightly more than 20% in direct state aid and the current economic downturn has reduced available income from other sources.

At the same time, the Susquehanna County Library facilities (main library, historical society and outreach services in Montrose and branch libraries in Hallstead/Great Bend, Susquehanna and Forest City) have seen increased usage. We are happy to be here to serve. However, money is very tight. Now is your opportunity to show how much you appreciate the library’s services by contributing to our annual support drive.

We realize that we are not the only organization asking you for funds at this time. However, every dollar you donate is an investment in the heart of your community. If you have been a regular contributor in the past, please consider increasing your donation this year. If you are not a recipient of our annual fund drive mailing, you may send your check payable to the Susquehanna County Library to 2 Monument Square, Montrose 18801. Remember your gift will not only directly benefit you and your family but others in your community who depend upon our services in these tough economic times.

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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,

My husband and I have been married for 6 years and we have a healthy one year old son. We live a 4 hour drive from my parents and need to fly to visit my in-laws. Every year we spend Christmas with one and New Years with the other and switch the following year. With the new baby, last year my in-laws flew to us and spent Christmas here. This year they said they would be flying in for New Years.

My father-in-law visited us last week. He said they were excited about seeing us for Christmas and hoped the baby and his father could come a couple of days early. (I have to work Christmas Eve day, so can't leave till late.) Out of respect, I didn't correct him or speak up. I thought, oh well, we can spend New Years with my folks. Then he said they had an early flight on New Years Eve day and would need to be picked up at the airport.

What should I do? I want to spend at least one of the holidays with my family. My sister lives in Switzerland and will be visiting my parents for Christmas and of course she wants to see our son. I need to get this straightened out soon. -Carmen

Dear Carmen,

Family holidays are always a negotiation. You and your husband have weathered the storm and have a system worked out that is fair to you both. You and he need to agree on this year’s rotation and then it will be up to your husband to call his parents with the details. Both sets of grandparents want to see the holidays through their new grandson's eyes. Your in-laws will understand.

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 Psoriasis Awareness Week November 15 - 21

Barnes-Kasson Hospital is observing National Psoriasis Awareness Week November 15 through 21.

Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition that causes skin cells to grow too rapidly, resulting in thick, abnormally colored patches of skin.

In normal skin growth, the skin cells grow gradually and flake off over time. New skin cells will grow to replace the dead cells that flaked off. However, with psoriasis new skin cells grow too fast and move to the surface of the skin in days rather than weeks. This forms a buildup of skin cells that creates an abnormal appearance in patches on the skin.

Psoriasis is a very diverse condition, and can affect more than just the skin. Approximately 10-30 percent of people with psoriasis have psoriatic arthritis, a potentially crippling disorder. Psoriatic arthritis comes in five different forms. These forms include symmetric, asymmetric, distal interphalangeal predominant, spondylitis and arthritis mutilans.

The cause of psoriasis is located inside the immune system. Psoriasis occurs when a type of white blood cell called a T lymphocyte or T cell malfunctions. Normally, T cells travel throughout the body to detect and fight off foreign substances, such as viruses or bacteria. If you have psoriasis, however, the T cells will attack healthy skin cells. The actions of the T cells trigger other immune responses, such as an increase in white blood cells that can enter the layers of the skin. Changes like this result in an increased production of both healthy skin cells and more T cells and other white blood cells. The result is an ongoing cycle in which new skin cells move to the outermost layer of skin too quickly. The extra dead skin and white blood cells can't fall off quickly enough and build up in thick, scaly patches on the skin's surface. This usually doesn't stop unless some form of treatment interrupts the cycle.

There is no documented cause as for what makes the T cells do this, but research has uncovered a few possible culprits. The most common factor is genetics. One third of all psoriasis cases had a family member who shared the same condition.

At this point in time, there is no cure for psoriasis either. But there are multiple treatment options, including products applied to the skin, phototherapy, and oral medicines. Topical treatments are usually used for mild cases, and can sometimes be obtained without a prescription. Phototherapy is used for more moderate cases. It is made up of brief exposures to ultraviolet light such as ultraviolet B light, also known as UVB. Phototherapy often improves psoriasis, and treatment is usually done 3 times a week. If topical medicines and phototherapy are not controlling a patient’s psoriasis well enough, oral medications are usually recommended.

Coping with psoriasis can be a challenge, especially if the disease covers large areas of the body or is in places readily seen by other people, such as the face or hands. If you or someone you know has psoriasis, one of the best things you can do is to educate yourself. Educate those around you, including family and friends - so they can recognize, acknowledge and support your efforts in dealing with the disease.

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