Business Directory Now Online!!!

Main News
County Living
Church Announcements
Dated Events
Military News
Subscribe to the Transcript


Valentine's Day Special Is Running February 10th

Please visit our kind sponsors

Issue Home February 17, 2010 Site Home

100 Years Ago
From the Desk of the D.A.
The Healthy Geezer
Library Chitchat
Rock Doc Break The Glass, Douse The Flames
What’s Bugging You?
Dear Dolly
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

SPRINGVILLE: Monday evening Helen and Mary Potter entertained a goodly company of young people at a candy pull, and a general good time was had.

SHANNON HILL, AUBURN TWP.: Charles Stevens and wife were given a surprise last Thursday evening it being 37 years that day since they were married. About 50 were present and spent a very social evening. Lunch was served by the ladies and a purse of money presented to Mr. and Mrs. Stevens as a token of the esteem in which they are held. The presentation speech was made by P. F. Kintner.

GREAT BEND: The Black Horn Leather Co. is busy working double shifts. ALSO Dr. E. P. Hines, one of the best known physicians in the county, is seriously ill at his home in Great Bend. Dr. Rosenkrans has charge of the case and the genial doctor’s many friends hope for his speedy recovery.

HALLSTEAD: As an evidence of coming prosperity the Lackawanna Company has ordered 10 passenger engines, 24 freight and 12 switching engines from the American Locomotive Works. The first delivery of these engines will be made during the coming summer. ALSO While two freight trains were endeavoring to make a siding to get out of the way of a fast freight train, at Clarks Summit, the trains collided, smashing the caboose of the first train in charge of conductor James Allen of Hallstead. In the caboose was Patrick Falley, a brakeman, aged 25, also of Hallstead. It is reported that he was fatally injured, his head being cut, an arm crushed, a leg broken and he was otherwise internally injured. Mr. Falley was taken to the Moses Taylor Hospital at Scranton, where it was reported that an arm had been amputated. It is not expected that he will survive the shock. ALSO While crossing the tracks on his return from carrying dinner to his son, Benjamin, who is employed in the silk mills, John S. Brooks, aged 82 years, was struck by a fast east-bound milk train and instantly killed. The body was badly mangled as the entire train passed over it.

JACKSON: Much interest has been taken locally in the coming appointment of census enumerator for the township, and some of the most prominent people in the north end of the town are seeking the place. ALSO The average depth of snow at this time is the greatest since 1888. The winter of that year was much like the present one, and culminated in the great blizzard in March. Yes, there is some snow here, but we manage to get out with the aid of second story windows.

SOUTH GIBSON: A part of our choir succeeded in reaching Gibson last Sunday evening, where they were due to sing at a temperance meeting. Two rigs, after floundering in snowdrifts on the cross roads for a time, managed to turn around and start for home, one reaching there at 8:30 p.m. Those who reached Gibson speak highly of the way they were entertained at the parsonage after the services, where hot coffee and cake were served.

SOUTH MONTROSE: The severe storm of Feb. 11 caught Frank Austin, who lives on James Caton’s farm, near Prospect Hill, while he was returning from Montrose. He left town at about 8 o’clock in the evening, and was able to keep the road until he reached Silas Decker’s. There, the road being drifted full, he had to take the fields, and in going through Mr. Decker’s big meadow, with no fences to guide him, he got off the track and wandered around the field without being able to get his bearings until nearly 12 o’clock, when his horse brought up at one of Mr. Decker’s grape vines. Then Mr. Austin knew he must be near a house and succeeded in finding Mr. Decker’s residence, and aroused him. They got the horse into the barn and Mr. Austin remained all night with Mr. Decker. The snow was falling very fast so that one could see but a short distance, and had not the horse come in contact with the grape vine, it is possible that Mr. Austin would have frozen as it was bitter cold.

PARKVALE, DIMOCK TWP.: The roads are very bad. Harvey Sutton and friend, from Kingsley, broke the first track through here Saturday, after the large snow fall Friday.

JESSUP TWP.: The death of Richard Bliss Downer chronicles the passing of the oldest citizen of Jessup. He was born in Bozrah, New London Co., Conn., in the year 1820, and had attained the advanced age of 88 years and nine months and had outlived all the friends of his youth. He was a son of Ezekiel and Susan (Bliss) Downer and came with them to the county when five years of age. In March 1846 he married Miss Elizabeth Fullerton. Three sons and three daughters were the offspring of this worthy pair. William, the first born, yielded his young life in the conflict of the Rebellion. To secure his remains involved a costly and difficult undertaking, realized by none but the resolute father, and confided by him to few. Mr. Downer was of a kind, courteous disposition, a man of active habits. The closing of his life occurred on Dec. 29, 1909. The remains were borne to the Fairdale cemetery and laid to rest by the side of his companion.

FRANKLIN TWP.: Last Friday night, Mr. Finley, an old man that lives alone, was at his neighbor’s, Mr. Donovan’s. When he started home they gave him a lantern but the snow storm was so bad that he lost his way; he got so bewildered he just wandered around all night. The next day P. Dacey’s boy found him and took him home. His hands were frozen.

ARARAT: Some one entered the home of Elmer Tiffany Sunday night, while the family was in bed, took Mr. Tiffany’s best suit of clothes, two gold watches, two razors with honing tools, underwear and about $15 in cash. There is some disadvantage in being too sound a sleeper.

MONTROSE: J. Vail Griffis received his appointment to the Annapolis Naval Academy from Hon. C. C. Pratt. The young man has been preparing himself for the difficult examinations for some time and hopes to be successful in entering the academy.

SUSQUEHANNA: An inspection of the fire hydrants here found that 8 of 27 in the borough were frozen up. They were located in the vicinity of the most valuable property and in case of a conflagration the situation would be serious.

NEWS BRIEF: Every living soldier who enlisted in the Civil War, following Lincoln’s call for 75,000 volunteers, will receive a medal that has recently been produced at the Philadelphia mint. ALSO The soldier who fought through the Civil War as the personal substitute of Abraham Lincoln may have a statue erected in commemoration of his services. A bill appropriating $20.000 for the purpose was presented in the House by Rep. Palmer, of Pennsylvania. The name of this hitherto almost unknown here is J. Summerton Staples, of Stroudsburg. He died some ten years ago, and it is at Stroudsburg that it is now proposed to erect the statue.

Back to Top


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

On March 24, 2006, Wendy Kneller told her boyfriend, Randy Miller, to kill her dog, Bouta. To accomplish this purpose, Kneller gave Miller a .40 caliber handgun to use in the slaying. Prior to shooting Bouta, Miller tied the dog up and beat the dog with a shovel 5 or 6 times with a shovel. As the dog whimpered and whined, several witnesses were screaming at Miller to stop beating the dog. Miller stopped the beating and then shot the dog. One of the witnesses called the police. In her interview, Kneller told the trooper that she ordered her boyfriend to kill the dog because it had attacked her small child. Kneller was charged with a criminal conspiracy to commit animal cruelty based upon her direction to kill the dog.

At trial, Kneller argued that she, as the owner of the dog, had the right to kill the dog in response to dog’s aggressive behavior, i.e., the “Old Yeller” defense. There was no evidence that contradicted Kneller’s claims of dog’s aggressive behavior, and Kneller admitted that her child did not receive any injuries that required medical attention. The jury convicted Kneller of criminal conspiracy to commit animal cruelty. The judge then sentenced Kneller to a period of incarceration of 6 months to 12 months. Kneller filed an appeal.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court considered that matter and reversed Kneller’s conviction. The Superior Court determined that the law was confusing as to the circumstances under which a dog owner may kill his or her own dog without facing criminal prosecution. Because the law was “ambiguous,” the Superior Court reversed the conviction.

In a dissenting opinion, Judge Stevens argued that the law is not ambiguous and it permits a dog owner to kill a dog when the dog attacks another human being or domestic animal. Thus, if the jury had believed Kneller’s claim that Bouta had attacked her child, then the killing of the dog would have been lawful. Judge Stevens argued that the jury did not believe Kneller’s claims and that the appellate court cannot second guess the jury’s factual findings.

The Commonwealth appealed the decision to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in an attempt to get the conviction reinstated. On December 31, 2009, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court sided with Judge Stevens’ opinion and concluded that the law was not ambiguous as to when a dog owner may humanely shoot his or her dog, and that the conviction should be reinstated. Kneller is now looking at 6 to 12 months in jail as a result of her decision to tell Miller to shoot the dog.

What does this mean for dog owners? First, it is generally unlawful to kill a domestic animal, even your own dog, unless certain criteria have been met. The statutes govern the means in which such a destruction of a dog must occur, and the circumstances that permit such destruction. Generally speaking, a healthy, non-violent dog cannot simply be shot by the owner without the owner facing criminal charges. As the Kneller case demonstrates, a dog owner needs to carefully consider how to destroy his or her dog even after violent tendencies have been exhibited by the dog. If there are no witnesses to the dog’s attack or other evidence to support the alleged violence, then criminal charges could be filed in connection with the killing. The “Old Yeller” defense still exists, but the Kneller case demonstrates the hazards associated with such a decision to kill your own dog.

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

Back to Top


The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. What are the most common symptoms that you’re having a stroke?

The most common stroke symptoms include: sudden numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the face, arm or leg - usually on one side of the body; trouble talking or understanding; sudden blurred, double or decreased vision; dizziness, loss of balance or coordination; a sudden headache with a stiff neck, facial pain, pain between the eyes, vomiting or altered consciousness; confusion, or problems with memory, spatial orientation or perception.

During a stroke, brain cells are deprived of oxygen and nutrients. They begin to die. The earlier a stroke is treated, the better the results.

In the USA, stroke is the third-leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer. It is the leading cause of adult disability.

Your doctor has many diagnostic tools for stroke. Among these are: physical exam, blood tests, carotid ultrasonography to check the carotid arteries in your neck, arteriography to view arteries in your brain, a computerized tomography (CT) scan of the neck and brain, a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, among others.

Q. How bad does it have to be before you can say you’re constipated?

The clinical definition of constipation is any two of the following symptoms for at least 12 weeks (not necessarily consecutive) in the previous year: straining during bowel movements, lumpy or hard stool, sensation of obstruction or incomplete evacuation, fewer than three bowel movements per week.

Those reporting constipation most often are women and adults age 65 and over. Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the United States

Common causes of constipation include: insufficient intake of fiber and liquids, lack of exercise, medications, older age and abuse of laxatives.

Many seniors eat a low-fiber diet that causes constipation. Some lose interest in eating and choose convenience foods low in fiber. Others have difficulties chewing or swallowing; this leads them to eat soft processed foods low in fiber. Aging may affect bowel regularity because a slower metabolism results in less intestinal activity and muscle tone.

Some medications can cause constipation. They include: pain medications (especially narcotics), antacids that contain aluminum and calcium, blood pressure medications (calcium channel blockers), antiparkinson drugs, antispasmodics, antidepressants, iron supplements, diuretics and anticonvulsants.

Q. Are there telltale signs that an older person is being abused?

If you're concerned an older adult might need help, these are symptoms to look for:

* Physical injury such as a bruise, cut, burn, rope mark, sprain or broken bone.

* Refusal of the caregiver to allow you to visit the older person alone.

* Indications of dehydration, malnourishment, weight loss and poor hygiene.

* Negative behavior such as agitation, withdrawal, expressions of fear or apathy.

* Unexplained changes in finances.

Recently, the U.S. Administration on Aging found that more than a half-million people over the age of 60 are abused or neglected each year. About 90 percent of the abusers are related to the victims.

What is elder abuse? It can take a variety of forms: physical, sexual, emotional and financial. Neglect of an older person also is within the umbrella of elder abuse.

All 50 states have elder-abuse prevention laws and have set up reporting systems. Adult Protective Services (APS) agencies investigate reports of suspected elder abuse. To report elder abuse, contact your APS office. You can find the telephone numbers at the website operated by The National Adult Protective Services Association. Go to:

If you have a question, please write to

Back to Top


Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

I have often wondered who was in charge of making the designation of certain weeks and months, such as “No-Name Calling Week” or “National Frog Month.” While I have not been able to find the answer, I did find that in some parts of the country February is “Library Lovers’ Month.”

Here are a few suggestions of things that you can do this month to be a Library Lover.

Make regular visits to your local library. This benefits both you and the library. You benefit from the resources available on your journey of lifetime learning. The library benefits from increased traffic, which is important in obtaining vital grant money. Bring a friend along, especially someone who has not visited the library before, and show them what is available there. Talk to the friendly staff to learn if there are other tangible ways that you can assist the library.

Be a Friend of the library. We have an active Library Friends group in Montrose that meets the third Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m. The next meeting is February 17. Join us to learn more about how you can volunteer to help.

Contribute money. Remember, the 2010 Fund Drive is still underway. Perhaps you could nominate the Susquehanna County Library as your community, school or corporate organization’s project for the year. Remember that, while libraries may receive some governmental funding, they rely on support of individuals, corporations, and foundations to keep their doors open to the public. Be a Library Lover today!

Back to Top


Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Fear And Four Lab Explosions

On a couple of occasions in graduate school I stupidly miscalculated the effects of mixing strong acid and water - and then adding heat. There’s nothing like the resulting exploding acid droplets quite near your face to give you pause.

The second time I managed to make the same, simple error I walked home, a journey of about 8 miles. As I strolled, I gave serious consideration to going into the law. But, after that long walk, I realized I didn’t want to make a decision about the direction of my education based solely on fear. So I stuck with the sciences.

But my tale of lab explosions doesn’t seem like much compared to two others I know, and they inspire greater fears in many members of the general public.

I work everyday with a chemist here at Washington State University who likes to say she is so radioactive she glows in the dark. That’s not true, of course, but she did get a goodly dose of the highly radioactive chemical element called americium, which is a byproduct of plutonium. The tale goes back to when she worked 25 years ago at the Hanford nuclear site in Washington State.

Hanford is the place where America made plutonium during World War II for nuclear weapons. After that, it became a major installation for our production of nuclear weapons in the Cold War. I know some people who are afraid even of the universal radiation symbol, but at Hanford it’s almost as common on old signs as the tumbleweeds around the fences.

That day at work 25 years back, my colleague knew she was in trouble when the reaction container she and her boss were working with at high temperatures and pressure started to leak - spewing hot water with radioactive materials on her arms, her lab coat, and her shirt.

“But my boss and the folks in environmental health and safety were calm,” she says, “and so was I. There were emergency showers, and of course I gave up my clothes, and then they scrubbed a layer of skin off my arms.”

Twenty-five years later this cheerful chemist I work with goes in for medical checkups once every five years, but otherwise she lives fully in the clear. And she’s had two healthy kids in the interval since her Hanford employment.

Harold McCluskey was another Hanford worker who received a much greater exposure to radiological materials. A chemical reaction with the material he was working with showered him with americium - about 500 times the occupational standard for exposure levels.

McCluskey likely would have died but a doctor gave him an experimental drug that removed about 80 percent of the contamination. McCluskey had to remain in isolation - and I do mean isolation - behind concrete and steel until the treatment ran its course, but he then returned home. He was known as the Atomic Man here in the Northwest. He died in his mid-70s, about 11 years after the accident that made him famous. He had never regained his full strength after the exposure, but he died of heart problems, not cancer.

Everything about plutonium and americium stirs up strong emotions. That’s understandable. But not everyone is aware that technical people have been exposed to radiation in moderate to very high doses - and lived to tell the tale. Every day I’m reminded by the presence and hard work of my colleague that americium is not, in fact, necessarily the end of everything - or anything.

At some point in this century we Americans will have to decide if we want to seriously embrace nuclear energy or not. Nuclear power offers the hope of energy independence, and it can meaningfully address many greenhouse concerns. But, for some citizens, safety and waste disposal issues outweigh those advantages.

What I hope is that the discussion about the nuclear issue can be made on the grounds of facts and rational discussion - and not just fears of chemical exposures. Like that day when I walked 8 miles to calm down, we need to be thoughtful as we make our decisions.

We owe ourselves and people like my colleague, the chemist, at least that much.

Dr. E. Kirsten Peters, a native of the rural Northwest, was trained as a geologist at Princeton and Harvard. Follow her on the web at and on Twitter @RockDocWSU. This column is a service of the College of Sciences at Washington State University.

Back to Top


What’s Bugging You?
By Stuart W. Slocum

No What's Bugging You This Week

Back to Top


Dear Dolly,

Dear Dolly,

My mother is a senior citizen living on her own, at home. I live about an hour away and my work takes me out of state frequently. Mom is involved in the church and has friends who look out for her. It has occurred to me that I really depend on the kindness of these folks. Can you suggest a way for me to say thank you? -Richard

Dear Richard,

A smile, handshake and a sincerely delivered and enthusiastic "Thank You," every time you cross paths with these angels is the first step. People who are good neighbors do things out of the goodness of their hearts, but everyone likes to know they are appreciated. A couple of times a year, a card with a short note and a gift certificate for a relaxing meal for two at a nice restaurant is a good concrete way to show appreciation.

You could have an "Angel Appreciation" party and invite your mother's friends over to her house for a luncheon that you have planned and prepared. Please note the "you" in the preceding sentence. This should be fun for your mom too. Keep it simple so it will not be overwhelming for her. If you're not handy in the kitchen plan on take out and set the table with pretty, matching and disposable table ware.

Make a donation to the church in honor of your mother's friends and neighbors. This isn't as personal but it will honor their efforts and support the church at the same time.

When you are visiting and plan to take Mom out to lunch, ask her to invite a friend along. You will have the opportunity to get to know your mother’s friend, say thank you and make your mother proud at the same time.

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

Back to Top


From the Editors of E/The Environmental Magazine


Back to Top


Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

Back to Top

News  |  Living  |  Sports  |  Schools  |  Churches  |  Ads  |  Events
Military  |  Columns  |  Ed/Op  |  Obits  | Archive  |  Subscribe