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Issue Home March 10, 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

MONTROSE: One of those big never-to-be-forgotten programs at Steine’s Nickelet tonight. Western pictures - “Red Wing’s Gratitude,” “From Cabin Boy to King,” Seven pictures; two songs. ALSO - Beach Mfg. Co. has had a rapid increase in the business. More help is constantly being added, they having this week telephoned to Wilkes-Barre to Mr. L. T. Harrower, who still has a warm spot in his heart for the prosperity and welfare of this plant, as well as Montrose, to send three machinists as soon as possible. Between 25 and 30 men are now employed there, all making good wages, ranging from 25 cents to 37 1/2 cents an hour, working 10 hours a day and some over time. They have been considering 12 hours a day.

AUBURN FOUR CORNERS: Why doesn’t some good doctor locate here? Four doctors from nearby towns were professionally engaged here last week. At Shannon Hill - S. L. Overfield went to Wilkes-Barre one day last week and purchased a horse, three wagons and some harness, and started to drive home. When near Falls the horse was taken sick and died, so he came the rest of the way by train. Mark Overfield took a horse and went after the wagons, returning home Friday night.

NEW MILFORD: B. Z. Cobb has bought the timber which is mostly composed of hemlock, on the Hon. A. C. Barrett farm in the township. This is one of the largest tracts of timber in this part of the county, and Mr. Cobb expects to cut from it about a million feet of logs.

LINDAVILLE, BROOKLYN TWP.: Isn’t it glorious to see the sunshine and blue sky once more? Indications point to be an early spring. ALSO In Brooklyn - owing to the condition of the roads the drama which the Y.P.C.U. is preparing will not be given until the middle of April, but on the evening of March 18, they will hold a social at the home of Mrs. W. L. Kent, when an evening of enjoyment is promised to all. The popular game of “Peanut Whist” will be played, and there will be guessing contests, with prizes for the successful contestants. Refreshments will consist of sherbet, cake and wafers.

ALFORD: The first maple syrup of the season was brought into town by Edward Goodrich, selling at $1.25 per gallon.

FOREST LAKE: Arlie Warner has been very busy this winter, drawing logs to Fessenden’s Mills, at Birchardville.

HOPBOTTOM: On Friday evening, March 4, in an exciting game of basket ball, Hopbottom defeated the fast L. A. C. basket ball team of Susquehanna, by a score of 29 to 16. Next Saturday evening, March 12, Hopbottom will play the Y.M.C.A. team from Binghamton, better known as the Yellow Jackets. Great game promised.

BROOKDALE: Much credit is due to our R. D. mail carrier, Mr. Smith, who braved danger to himself and horse last week to deliver our mail.

CHOCONUT: The Chalker school has had a very small attendance for the last two or three weeks on account of the grip; hardly any one escaped having it.

HALLSTEAD: The ladies’ aid of the Baptist Church planned a sleigh ride to the home of Deacon Sherwood and all started out expecting a joyous time. There would have been a good time with nothing to mar the enjoyment of the occasion, had it not been for a mishap to one of the loads when a sleigh over turned in Steam Hollow, near the old school house bridge. B. F. Perry was one of those sitting on the lower side of the sleigh as it went over and he sustained serious injuries, the worst of which was a dislocated shoulder, which will keep him from work for some time.

LAWSVILLE: In the recent contest given by Mrs. Earle Northrop for the three best loaves of bread made from the Gold Medal flour, Mrs. Helen Luce received first prize of three sacks of flour; Mrs. Alva Rockwell, second prize of two sacks of flour; Mrs. Thomas Mahoney, third prize, of one sack of flour. The judges were: Mrs. Henry Ives, Mrs. Ella Russell and Mrs. Laura Southworth.

RUSH: James Marbaker has carried all the school children on his road to school this winter, free of charge, and deserves the thanks and best wishes of all.

LENOX: “Uncle” Jack Thatcher, an old time railroad man, was found unconscious at his home Friday p.m. the victim of a stroke of paralysis. He was immediately removed to the house of his niece, Mrs. F. T. Doran, and medical assistance summoned, but at this writing he appears to be gradually failing.

THOMPSON: S. D. Barnes has purchased the coal and feed business of A. W. Larrabee, of Starrucca and Floyd Salisbury has accepted a position as clerk in the store of Myron B. Miller.

SPRINGVILLE: Rev. A. E. Potter is walking to some of his appointments, his horse being disabled.

NEWS BRIEF: The Pennsylvania law requires that every automobile shall carry during the period from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise two lights showing a white light visible at least one hundred feet in the direction toward which the vehicle is proceeding, and also exhibit one red light visible in the reverse direction. ALSO The State memorial to Pennsylvanians who fought in the battle of Gettysburg, now being erected near the “High Water Mark,” at a cost of $140,000, is to be dedicated Sept. 27 next. The monument will be 104 ft. high and will be one of the handsomest on the field. It will be a double arch surmounted by a dome on which will be a large figure of Victory. It will be surrounded by a low, solid wall on which will be placed 96 bronze tablets bearing the names of 22,000 Union veterans, taken from the muster rolls of Pennsylvania regiments of June 30, 1863, the day before the opening of the battle. ALSO The old time kissing parties are again coming in vogue at social functions. It is hoped thus to refute the impression that osculation is a means of spreading contagion. Thoughtless young people will take such risks. ALSO The spring-like weather of the past week caused the sap to run and new maple sugar is being sold in the market. Robins and bluebirds made their first appearance the latter part of the week. Our warn weather has since “caught cold.”

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

There is a new defense out there for pedophiles charged with sexually molesting a child: Sexsomnia. It is something akin to sleepwalking - just on the sexual level. The experts contend that a person suffering from sexsomnia have an “impairment of consciousness and awareness, and, consequently, a relative lack of (legal) responsibility for the resulting behavior.” This may sound absurd, but the defense has been used successfully.

According to a report from the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, a forty-one year old New Jersey man was acquitted of attempted aggravated sexual assault and sexual assault of a seven-year old girl. There was no dispute that the little girl woke up with the man on top of her, he was naked, the little girl’s pajama bottoms and underwear had been taken off, and the man was in the process of initiating sexual intercourse with the child. The man admitted to the police that he woke up naked next to the little girl, and the little girl’s mother also testified that shortly after the incident, she observed the man naked and covered in baby oil. Despite this evidence, the man was determined to be not guilty as a result of his sexsomnia condition.

The National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse notes that this defense is growing in a particular category of cases: (1) there the child victim has made a prompt complaint of the abuse; (2) there is no dispute over the identity of the abuser; and (3) there is no dispute that the abuse occurred. In other words, the defendant has no other option but to concede that he sexually abused the child, but claims innocence as he was asleep when the abuse occurred and he lacked control of his faculties.

In a society that has veered so sharply away from personal responsibility, I suppose we should not be surprised by the creation of a sexsomnia defense for child sexual abuse. Even before I saw the recent update on sexsomnia from the National Center for Prosecution of Child Abuse, I had already prosecuted a case that involved the sexsomnia defense.

In that case, a New Hampshire stepfather brought his 13-year old stepdaughter on a hunting trip to Susquehanna County. During one night at the hunting camp, he sexually assaulted his young stepdaughter, which she later reported to authorities after returning to New Hampshire. Prior to the preliminary hearing, the mother (with her daughter) in tow approached me in order to obtain a dismissal of the charges. The mother contended that the father frequently engaged in sexual acts and sexual intercourse while he was asleep. The mother contended that she would wake up in the middle of the night and he would be performing sexual acts upon her. As such, the mother contended that the defendant did not intend to assault her daughter; rather, he was suffering from sexsomnia (though the mother did not use these words). The mother suggested that the daughter did not understand at that time that her stepfather was asleep and not intending to do these acts. After the mother had explained this to her daughter, she now understood that her stepfather had not “intended” to sexually molest her.

What does a prosecutor do in that situation? First, we called the authorities in New Hampshire who conducted the initial interviews with the daughter. They provided us with valuable information that would have defeated any claims of sexsomnia, including the details provided by the daughter in the initial report, as well as a financial motivation for the mother to be fabricating the entire “sexsomnia” contention. Second, we made certain that the mother provide details as to the defendant’s sexsomnia condition, i.e., how long it had been going on, the types of acts that occurred, and the frequency that it occurred.

At that point, I told the mother and her daughter that we would not drop the charges. The mother was adamant that her husband had not “intended” to sexually assault her daughter. At that point, we had an honest discussion about our perception of her motivations and the potential influence she was exerting over her daughter. Then, I explained that the statute itself included not only “intentional” behavior, but also “reckless” behavior. Reckless behavior would be engaging in conduct that the defendant knew or should have known would result in the commission of the offense. Given the wife’s detailed history of this serious case of sexsomnia, I argued that it was clear that her husband had engaged in reckless conduct, i.e., taking his 13-year old stepdaughter alone on an overnight camping trip knowing his deviant unconscious tendencies.

After considering all of his options, the defendant decided not to present his sexsomnia defense to a jury. He pled guilty and, after his period of incarceration, he spent a period of supervision during which he could not have contact with the stepdaughter. The court imposed this condition despite the mother’s request that he be allowed to return home. After all, how could any child be safe in the home of a sexsomniac?

Please submit any questions, concerns, or comments to Susquehanna County District Attorney’s Office, P.O. Box 218, Montrose, Pennsylvania 18801 or at our website or discuss this and all articles at

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The Healthy Geezer
By Fred Cicetti

Q. I’m 74 years old. Are my organs too old to donate?

There are no cutoff ages for donating organs. Organs have been successfully transplanted from newborns and people older than 80. It is possible to donate a kidney, heart, liver, lung, pancreas, cornea, skin, bone, bone marrow and intestines.

While organs must be used between 6 and 72 hours after removal from a donor's body, tissues such as corneas, skin, heart valves, bone, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage can be preserved and stored for use later.

The evaluation of organs is based upon medical standards. The conditions that will absolutely exclude donation are HIV, active cancer and systemic infection.

If you are at least 18 years old and want to be an organ donor, follow the instructions at, a federal website where you can download and print an organ-donor card.

Most organ and tissue is given after the donor has died. However, some donations are made by living donors. The first successful transplant by a living donor in the United States was of a kidney transferred between identical twin brothers in 1954.

More than 100,000 people in the U.S. are on the waiting list for organ transplants. The number of people needing a transplant is rising faster than the number of donors. Each day, 18 people die in this country waiting for transplants.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) maintains the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), a national computer registry that matches donors to waiting recipients.

Every transplant hospital in the United States is a UNOS member You have to go to a transplant hospital to get on a waiting list. To find a transplant hospital, use the UNOS directory at

The following are corrections of some common misconceptions about transplants:

* The doctor treating you in a hospital has no tie-in to transplantation, so you don’t have to worry about the doctor giving you inferior care to get your organs for someone else.

* Organ donation is not against the beliefs of most religions, including Christianity, Islam and all four branches of Judaism - Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist. You can find more information about religious views on organ donation at

* An open-casket funeral is not precluded by organ donation. Donation does not change the appearance of the body. Organs are removed surgically in a routine operation.

* Costs for organ removal are paid by the recipient, not the donor.

* Organ transplant recipients are selected on the basis of medical urgency and compatibility, not sex or race.

Medical schools need complete bodies with all their organs and tissue to teach anatomy. Research facilities need bodies to study disease. Donating organs can preclude the use of a body for study. However, some schools and research facilities will allow donors to give an organ for transplantation and then accept the altered body for study.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

On February 21, there were no fireworks displays in Susquehanna County, but it was a very special occasion. It was the 200th anniversary of the formation of this county. Although the first settlers came here in 1787, we were part of Luzerne County until February 21, 1810.

The Susquehanna County Historical Society and The Butternut Galley & Second Story Books have joined forces to present a joint exhibition called “Susquehanna County at 200.” The Historical Society has a limited amount of space in its building to display its collection of significant historical artifacts celebrating the history, invention, industry and art. Hence, the collaboration with the Butternut Gallery, located on the second floor at 42 Church Street in Montrose. The exhibit will be on display through Saturday, April 3, during gallery hours (Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

The Susquehanna County Library has also compiled a display of books written and illustrated by county residents past and present. Also on exhibit will be works created by artists and craftsman who worked in the county from 1950 to the present. You can find the more about this event at our website

History frequently defines us and it is important to preserve. Make some time in your schedule to view this exhibit that will help to explain 200 year of life in our county.

Remember we are the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association and it is our goal to be your resource for lifetime learning.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Better Than The Can

If you are ever cut off from supermarkets and electricity due to a natural disaster (or because like some of us idiots you choose to go camping), you will be especially interested in this news. And even if your only interest in daily life is eating well, read on for the glad tidings that’s coming about how we will soon better process and store food in this country.

For about 200 years we’ve canned food in much the same way, putting it in cans (hence the name) and heating it under pressure for long periods. The heat both cooks the food and kills the bad little critters in the food. But heating the food for a long time is the reason why canned green beans are not like freshly cooked green beans and why canned salmon and chicken just are not like their freshly cooked equivalents. Canned food is better than nothing - because it keeps, because it’s safe and because some of us actually like mushy baked beans from cans. But compared to fresh food, most canned food runs a distant second best.

Many food companies, food scientists and a variety of engineers have tried their hand in recent decades at the project of finding a way to heat food and its container much more quickly and effectively. The goal has been to dramatically lower high temperature cooking times so that taste, texture and nutrition of the fresh food can more closely be preserved. But most of the past efforts have failed.

But the good news is that, on the campus of Washington State University, Dr. Juming Tang is making great strides in bringing to your grocery store exactly what the doctor ordered. The food’s safety has been demonstrated (even the worst case “bugs” are killed). It gives us better taste, texture and appearance (so people prefer the food). All this means it’s what is known as a “shelf stable” meal that will taste and look much more like freshly cooked food, not like a traditional dollop of canned spinach oozing on your plate.

Tang and his team recently got Food and Drug Administration approval for one process, a crucial first step in cooperating with a consortium of companies and entities to bring the basic technology to market and then consumer products to a store shelf near you.

“This is the 21st century approach,” Tang said in his lab. “In ten years, I believe that most companies that currently produce shelf-stable or refrigerated meals will use this technology.”

The new processing technique depends on hot water and long-wave microwaves. (Dr. Tang’s microwave isn’t like the one you’ve got at home; his fills a very large room.) The microwaves focus energy onto the food. Careful and clever engineering, and the flowing hot water bath, keep the heat distributed, even at the corners, and fully up to temperature.

While a traditional canning plant has large boilers and is filled with humidity and wasted energy, this new approach can be much more efficient, cost effective and environmentally friendly. It also provides a better work environment.

“The electricity for the microwave can come from wind or solar, and the heat for the hot water can come from the waste heat of the long-wave microwave,” Tang said.

The Army likes what it sees in the product of the WSU technology. Improving the shelf-stable foods that soldiers in the field live on is always one of its priorities since, as Napoleon once commented, armies march on their stomachs.

Major food companies are also paying a lot of attention to this project, and that’s where you and I come in. If Tang and colleagues are successful - and I believe they will be - you can look for pouches or trays of food made from their process on the grocery shelves just a few years down the road.

Tang is the first to say he doesn’t know how all the dollars and cents may work out. But the food companies that have seen his technology - and seen and tasted his products - are excited to explore this wholly new way of preserving food. They know which way the wind is blowing for cans.

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 toddler came home from daycare with a stomach virus. He was sick for two days and then I started throwing up. The next day the rest of the family joined in. I have an invitation for a baby shower today - 4 days after I became ill. I would like to go but I don't want to spread this misery any further. Is it safe for me to join in on the fun, or am I still a hazard? -Anastasia

Dear Anastasia,

By recent experience you know that a stomach virus is highly contagious. Transmission is through contact. This can be accomplished by touching something that has been contaminated, by a person who is not yet showing symptoms in some cases. "The virus can be found in the stool for up to two weeks after recovery," so in theory, yes, you can spread the virus after your symptoms are over.

To prevent spreading wash your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds with hot, soapy water frequently but especially after bathroom visits or changing diapers. Run your son's toys through the dishwasher and/or washing machine after this episode and once every couple of weeks. He will be bringing "gifts" home from daycare and pre-school on a regular basis for a while.

You can be extra diligent about washing your hands. Don't hug or shake hands with anyone and stay away from the guest of honor. It's your call about the baby shower, but I bet you're still feeling a little tired out and you certainly have a legitimate reason for staying home and resting.

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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