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Issue Home March 3, 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

FLOODING: The rise of water in the Susquehanna river was largely checked when a lowering temperature stopped the thaw of snow and ice in the mountains along its course and that of its tributaries. At Great Bend and Hallstead high water did considerable damage and caused discomfort to the residents on the lowlands. The Black Horn Tanning Co., at Great Bend, lost heavily, water getting into the basement of the plant and making it necessary to suspend operations. The American Chair Co., at Hallstead, has been shut down and the silk mill, employing about 60, mostly girls, stopped work. Five or six feet of water stands on the floor of the June Dairy Co. At Susquehanna and Lanesboro the electric light plants were forced to shut down. The Erie officials in conjunction with the county commissioners are jointly erecting a retaining wall above the Erie bridge to protect that structure, and at times so fast was the rise of the water that it was within two feet of the top of the wall. At New Milford the creek ice was dynamited just in time to prevent the flooding of the streets, the ice gorge giving way just as the water commenced overflowing the banks. Everything on the flats is under water. Fifteen or sixteen farmers and families, between Great Bend and Riverside, have had to get out of their homes in order to escape the rising flood, often the rescue being made by men in boats. Many curious things are reported. A man named Davis, living at Riverside, has placed his ten cows on top of a hay mow, out of reach of the water, until the flood abates. Another farmer killed his three hogs and placed them safely from the water, as they were in danger of being drowned.

THE CENSUS: Taking the census will begin April 15. In towns and cities the job must be completed in two weeks, in the country in thirty days. Enumerators are allowed no less than two cents a head, and not more than four or no less than $2 a day or more than $3, at the option of the supervisor. In the country the enumerator is allowed 20 cents per farm. He must hustle to make $2 per day.

ST. JOSEPH: Rev. Edward O’Reilly, the last of four brothers who were ordained to the priesthood, died Feb. 24, 1910, at the parochial residence at South Waverly, PA. The deceased was born at St. Joseph, was educated at Holy Cross college and received his theological training at St. Mary’s of Baltimore. He was the brother of the late Rev. James, Rev. Michael, and Rev. John O’Reilly and survived by one brother, Aloysius, of St. Joseph. The funeral was held at St. John’s in South Waverly, with 75 priests present. After the funeral the remains were taken to St. Joseph, where he was interred, it being the largest funeral ever seen at the church.

FOREST CITY: The D.H. Co. and the Hillside Coal and Iron Co. appealed to the commissioners for decrease in assessment on their coal properties. The assessment on their coal properties is much lower than in Lackawanna, and has been fixed on basis of $150 to the foot acre. They ask for the Luzerne assessment rate of about $62. The companies have been assessed but little in the past and the raise is more keenly felt. The matter is being held under advisement.

LAWTON: Atty. F. A. Davies and John Rosche drove here on Wednesday, where Mr. Davies was called on legal matters. They report that roads were in very bad condition. Near the Truesdell farm in Rush, the water had overflowed the banks of the creek, and for about 300 feet they passed through water several feet deep in places, coming into the cutter so that they had to stand on the seat to keep from getting wet. While they were making the ford, a pair of bobs came along driven by a farmer, in which there was a dog. The current was so swift that it washed the dog out of the bobs and whirled it against a rail fence, where the animal clung until rescued. After such a thrilling experience, “Jack” says he will always have greater sympathy for the Eliza’s of Uncle Tom’s Cabin fame when they appear in the river of floating ice in Montrose’s play houses.

CLIFFORD: On account of an ice jam the lower part of town was flooded early Monday morning. The water did not get down so that danger of damage was not over until the afternoon, although several men worked all day to break the gorge and release the water.

BROOKLYN: The friends of Mr. and Mrs. Isaac VanAuken, to the number of about sixty, gathered at their home on Thursday last for the purpose of extending a friendly greeting and also to put that friendship into practical form by getting up a wood pile for their use. Charles Snyder brought his sawing machine and the ladies brought well filled baskets and served a bountiful dinner. No less than 20 cords of wood, all ready for use, was left at the door. The VanAuken’s wish to thank their friends for the substantial aid rendered them.

AUBURN TWP.: The funeral of Rev. J. J. Henry, which was held at Jersey Hill on Wednesday, was not largely attended owing to the bad roads. The men had to go ahead of the procession and shovel the snow banks.

HOPBOTTOM: The Hopbottom National Bank will open for business Monday, March 7. Light refreshments will be served by the lady friends of the bank, and every one is cordially invited to call and have lunch and inspect the new institution.

KINGSLEY: Notice has been given to the employees of the Kingsley Chemical Co. that owing to the exhausted supply of wood the factory will close April 1. Whether it will be closed permanently remains to be seen.

SOUTH GIBSON: Mrs. Addie Gillett has been engaged to teach school at the Columbian district again this year. Parents and children all seem well pleased. School will commence the first of May.

SPRINGVILLE: Stuart Riley says in his advertisement today, that you can get almost anything at his store, from chewing gum to an automobile. Mr. Riley has a large store, and the people here and in the vicinity may take Mr. Riley at his word, we believe. He buys eggs and butter, and has a very fine line of goods for his trade.

HERRICK CENTER: Oscar Hugaboom has a bass horn with which he entertains the neighbors evenings.

WATROUS’ CORNERS, BRIDGEWATER TWP.: For the first time our carrier, Homer Smith, failed to get through Monday, but he started to make the trip Tuesday, “backwards.”

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

A few days ago, I was eating lunch and I was surprised when someone mentioned a case I had just prosecuted. The gentleman was upset about the outcome of the case and indicated that I had been “hard” on the defendant. The comments during the exchange suggested that this was good fodder for a column.

The case itself involved teenagers - a girl and two boys - who crashed one night at the girl’s house. After discussing the matter with her mother, they were allowed to sleep (wearing pajamas) together in the girl’s king-size bed. The mother did not tell the father that the boys were staying over night and sleeping in the daughter’s bed. In the morning, the father discovered the kids asleep and asked his wife about it. She told him that the kids had permission and that the father should simply go back to bed. Instead of listening to his wife, the husband got his loaded pistol and went into his daughter’s room, pointed the pistol at the boys, threatened to kill them, told them to get out of the house, followed them out of the house with the gun, and, as the boys were running away, fired several shots into the air. As a result of this threatening conduct and the use of the firearm, the State Police arrested the husband for terroristic threats and simple assault.

There were some limited media reports of this incident, and I know that some people were discussing the case. The folks that I spoke to about it did not have all the facts - and, after explaining it to them, they generally understood the case better. Initially, there was a sense that the father was simply defending his daughter and his home. When they learned that the boys were there with permission from the mother and that the mother had told the father to leave them alone, the perception of the events changed.

Still, there are those who believe that the father was justified in his conduct. The Crimes Code defines specific situations in which the use of force is justified. Generally, a person may use force when “immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force” by another person. Obviously, the father was not justified in his use of force as the sleeping boys were not using any force against the father (or anyone else). The Crimes Code also permits the use of force if “immediately necessary” to terminate a trespass. This provision likewise did not provide the father with justification as (1) there was no suggestion that the force was immediately necessary, i.e., he had not even tried to simply ask the boys to leave; and (2) the boys had permission from the mother to be there, so it was not even a trespass. Finally, the Crimes Code permits a parent to use force to safeguard or promote the general welfare of a child provided that force does not create a substantial risk of “death, serious bodily injury, disfigurement, extreme pain or mental distress or gross degradation.” This provision provided no support for the father’s conduct as (1) the force was not designed to promote the daughter’s general welfare; rather it was intended to terrorize the boys; and (2) the force created a substantial risk of mental distress (at a minimum) to the boys (and the daughter). In other words, there was no legal justification defense to the father’s conduct.

Getting back to the lunch conversation, neither the facts nor the law seemed to matter to gentleman who perceived my prosecution of the father as too “hard.” I pointed out that the Commonwealth, after consultation with the victim’s family, waived the deadly weapon enhancement as part of the plea agreement. If the enhancement was applied at sentencing, the father was looking at a minimum period of incarceration of 6 to 7 months. Without the enhancement, the applicable sentencing guidelines recommended either a probationary sentence or up to a minimum of 1 month of incarceration.

Despite learning that the father had received a substantial sentence reduction as part of the plea agreement, the gentleman responded by stating that no Susquehanna County jury would have convicted the father for this offense. I disagreed and indicated my faith in our jurors to follow the law - and there was no legal defense. Moreover, the defendant knew he did not have a legal defense - and he made the voluntary choice to plead guilty. Finally, as a last ditch argument, I was told that if the gentleman had discovered two boys in his daughter’s bed, there would have been two dead boys. Really? Kill two boys for sleeping over in the daughter’s bed with the mother’s permission? There was no rational way to respond except to indicate that the gentleman would have then spent the rest of his life in jail.

In the end, the court sentenced the father to a period of incarceration of 1 month to 15 months in the Susquehanna County Correctional Facility. You can decide whether this was too “hard” (or too “easy) on the father. In the end, these are the types of decisions prosecutors make every single day - and rarely do people uniformly agree with the final results.

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 have Meniere’s disease and I was wondering if you have any suggestions for what I should do during an attack.

Meniere's disease is an inner-ear disorder that produces a group of symptoms including vertigo, a spinning sensation that can lead to nausea and vomiting. Meniere's usually occurs in only one ear.

If you have an attack, lie still on a firm surface and stare at a stationary object. Wait for the vertigo to subside and get up slowly. Then go take a nap. Don’t drink during an attack because you will probably vomit. If you can’t drink without vomiting for more than a day, call a doctor.

The disease was named after French physician Prosper Ménière who first described it in 1861. Meniere’s main symptoms are:

* Attacks of vertigo without warning that last 20 minutes to more than two hours.

* Permanent hearing loss that is suffered by most people with Meniere’s.

* Tinnitus, which is a ringing, buzzing, roaring, whistling or hissing sound in your ear.

* A feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear.

Attacks can come as often as daily or as little as once a year. An attack can be a combination of multiple symptoms.

The cause of Meniere's disease isn't known. It seems to be the result of the abnormal volume or composition of fluid in the inner ear. However, researchers are uncertain about what causes the changes in the fluid. There is speculation that it may be caused by viral infections of the inner ear, head injury, a hereditary predisposition, and allergy. Meniere’s is not contagious.

There is no cure for Meniere’s, but you can find relief by reducing body fluid with diuretic medicines and a change in diet. Drugs that treat vertigo and nausea are helpful, too. If Meniere's disease is severe, it may have to be treated with surgery.

The following are some changes you can make in your lifestyle to help with Meniere’s:

* Eat approximately the same amount of food at each meal to regulate body fluids. You may also eat five or six smaller meals instead of three meals a day.

* Salt can increase fluid retention. Try to consume no more than 1,000 to 1,500 milligrams of sodium daily.

* Avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG). Prepackaged food products and some Asian foods include MSG, a type of sodium.

* Stay away from the caffeine in coffee, tea and some soft drinks. Caffeine can make symptoms worse.

* Nicotine can make Meniere's symptoms worse, too. Quit smoking.

Part of the inner ear is a labyrinth lined with hair-like sensors that react to moving fluid. These sensors send information about body movement to the brain. The fluid and sensors tell us the direction and speed of our movements and they help us maintain balance.

If you experience symptoms of Meniere’s, see a physician for a diagnosis. Meniere’s symptoms can be caused by other diseases such as stroke, brain tumor, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis or cardiovascular disease.

Unpredictable attacks of vertigo from Meniere’s can be crippling. They can increase your risk of falling, having a car accident and getting depressed and anxious.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Young Americans have become more and more tethered to the various forms of digital media that are available today - computers, cell phones, iPods, MP3 players. In fact, most grandparents today know if they have a problem with their computers, they should first ask their teenagers to explain how to operate them or to fix them.

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation that received considerable press in the last month reported that young Americans often spend up to 53 hours a week using some form of electronics. Articles have been written encouraging parents to make more effort to restrict this consumption.

Let’s face it. Electronics and technology are here to stay. Even the library recognizes this fact and has included digital media in its collections. However, the library offers other alternatives, such as the reading of a good book.

Just turning off the computer, the TV or the iPod is not the answer. I would suggest you visit your local library (Montrose, Hallstead-Great Bend, Susquehanna or Forest City) with your children and explore our collection. Pick a subject that interests them and then take out some books that explore that subject in depth. My youngest son was a history buff. History does not lend itself to sound bites on the computer or the TV. The full story can only be found in the books.

Remember it is the goal of the Susquehanna County Library to be your resource for lifetime learning. Bring your children and help them to expand their minds.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

A Gem Of A Compliment

A scientific friend I work with paid me a compliment last summer that still rings in my little head. She said the garnet earrings I had on that day looked good. It was true (I modestly admit), but that’s not what impressed me. She next asked if I had found the garnets myself.

Now that’s the way to make geologists really appreciate you as a human being. Give ‘em credit for a good find!

Garnets are my favorite gems. I guess that’s because it’s not really that tough to bring back good garnets at the end of the day in many localities across the U.S. There are many spots in the country you can take children garnet hunting with guaranteed success, something that obviously cannot be said of diamond quests.

And once kids get hooked (or you do), there are lots of ways to move up the ladder of difficulty - because there are no less than six basic types of the gems and because some beautiful garnets are exceedingly rare. Even some of the common garnet types have spectacular features - something that can put some zing into the hunt.

In the rough, most unreformed garnets have 12 sides. (The crossword puzzle term for that form is “dodecahedral.”) A photographer friend I work with just gave me a nice dodecahedral garnet he found. The example I’ve got on my desk is dark purple, but garnets vary from purple or red to essentially any color of the rainbow. (When they are attacked by rain and the elements, they turn a bit brown on the outside, but the 12-sided shape remains quite clear.)

Near my home in the Northwest, we have the sole locality in North America for what’s known as star garnets, and they are the state gem of Idaho. They are dark purple, and you might not pay much attention to them stepping over them in the field, thinking them to be much like other garnets.

But if you polish a star garnet into a dome shape (called a “cabochon,” another term that can turn up in crosswords), you’ll see a star of light as you turn the gem around in your hand. The fetching effect comes from a different mineral, one that grows in a needle shape, that’s inside the garnet. The fortunate flaw, if you will, creates a special effect with light that improves the dark garnet immensely. While no star-garnet is as valued as a good diamond, they are seriously sought after and occasionally sell for tidy sums.

But garnets are much more than pretty baubles to geologists. When we’re lucky, they tell us information about the time and pressure history of a rock. Their chemical composition can function like a thermometer, one that gets “stuck” at the high temperature so we can still read it even when we’re holding the cool rock in our hands. All of that is really useful to geologists, because we are basically historians - we want to know the history of the planet, including the temperature history of metamorphic mountain-building episodes, meteorite impacts, and more.

It might surprise you to learn that chemists can make garnets in the lab these days - just as they can make rubies and sapphires. Personally, I think the gems that we humans make are “real” gems. Plus, they are generally a lot purer than Mother Nature’s, quite magnificent to behold. So before you fork over any significant amount of money for the Earth’s garnets - or any natural gemstone - you might care to spend some days meditating on the deep philosophical differences between value and cost.

With all the money you save by not buying natural gems, you’ll have plenty to finance good camping trips next summer to look for mica, garnets and other common minerals - just for the sheer joy of the hunt.

And in the meanwhile, if you live in the parts of the country that have been hit hard by this tough winter, you’ll have some great summer day-dreaming to see you through the last of our dark evenings.

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.

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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 friend’s father died a few days ago. He became ill and died within a few months. Her step mother decided not to have a funeral, memorial service or any event to mark his passing. My friend is heartbroken. What can I do to help her thru this? -Jeff

Dear Jeff,

The death of a parent is a life event that we all will experience. Even when death is a blessed release from suffering, we still feel sad for the loss of that relationship in our lives. Bringing together friends and family has traditionally been the way to mark the passing and let the family know there are people in the community who share in that loss.

You didn't say if it was her father's request not to have a funeral rather than the stepmother’s decision. (That would remove the "wicked step mother" card from the table) The family needs to consider if perhaps Dad felt it would be easier on his loved ones to skip the funeral or memorial service because of cost.

As a friend you can be a shoulder to lean on and a good listener. I might suggest that you can help plan a "Celebration of Life" gathering to be held in a few months. Invite family and friends to bring photos and stories to share. This will give some closure to your friend and give her an outlet for the loss and grief she is feeling right now.

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


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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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