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Issue Home April 28, 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

SOUTH GIBSON: Greeley Belcher, of Crystal Lake, and Miss Osea Wright, of Glenwood, were married at the Elm Park M. E. parsonage, Scranton, last Wednesday. Mr. Belcher is a Gibson boy and spent several years in the Klondike. Both he and his wife are graduates of the South Gibson graded school and have the best wishes of their many friends for continued happiness.

GIBSON: Prof. John Sophia, of Harford, is conducting a singing class in this place. It meets every Tuesday evening.

BIRCHARDVILLE: Wm. A. Owen is employed by E. D. Bronson and will represent his studio in making photographic work in different parts of the county this summer. All work made by him is fully guaranteed by Mr. Bronson.

RUSH: The following members of the graduating class of 1910, Rush High School, visited Bronson’s studio last Tuesday to have their pictures taken - Grace Lowe, Nora McManus, Hettie Granger, Byron Guy, John Howford, Roland Dayton and Clark James.

MONTROSE: Tunkhannock people are circulating a paper to raise sufficient funds to pave a street. It is a good idea. Wonder if such a movement was started in Montrose, say among the merchants fronting on Public Avenue, if that wide thoroughfare could not be paved with asphalt or vitrified brick? It would add fifty per cent to the appearance of the avenue, do away largely with the dust nuisance and make it much better for travel. ALSO The Presbyterian church is planning to celebrate its 100th anniversary. The celebration will probably take place July 1, 2, and 3.

ARARAT: Mrs. Wm. Cobb was hooked in the face by a cow while standing in front of her last week. ALSO At Ararat Summit, Clark Avery is calling on everybody in this vicinity. Get ready to entertain him. He is the census enumerator for Ararat and Thompson townships and Thompson Borough.

LAWSVILLE: Several new phones have been placed in town. The happy possessors are Wm. Ladd, P. S. Caswell, R. A. Fish, I. C. Ireland and F. L. Bailey.

FOREST CITY: Will Lavin caught a 17” trout weighing a pound and 12 ounces on Friday, just below the Stillwater dam. It is surprising that the big fish escaped Walt Brain, Dan Allen, Phil Lee, Proky and the other anglers who cast lines in that water regularly, a dozen times a season. How’d he ever get the chance to grow?

HARFORD: Paul Thomas, son of Rev. H. W. Thomas, has a vacuum cleaner and is prepared to do housecleaning for all who wish.

THOMPSON: A. W. Gates and wife, who spent the winter with their daughter, Mrs. J. W. Browning, in Scranton, are home again for the summer. They are in comfortable health, though they are not the sprightly pair they were before they passed their four score years. He will be 90 years old at his next birthday and she is but two years younger. Mrs. Julia Cayill is caring for them in their home on Main Street.

UNIONDALE: The largest locomotive in the world is pushing cars through Uniondale every day. It is 3,700 horse power. It takes two men as engineers and two men as firemen. It is owned by the D & H Co.

HERRICK CENTER: Some time Wednesday night a low down thief entered the barn of Constable Curtis and stole a fine Holstein calf, two months old, worth about $25. They left the chain and strap with which it was tied, thinking perhaps Mr. Curtis would raise another one for them. Thursday night Mr. Davis lost all of his hens except one (that was setting in the hay mow.) Messrs Fuller and Churchill lost some the same night. People should prime up their shot guns. ALSO Jerome Tonkin is in New York State. Rumor says he will not come back alone. [Jerome came home in June with his wife, Mrs. Bessie Gavitt, of Schenectady, NY. However she died in September of 1910. Jerome married twice more, in 1912 and 1922.]

LYNN, SPRINGVILLE TWP.: Miss Miles, the census enumerator, was calling on the citizens here last week. ALSO Burton Taylor has taken unto himself a wife, also George Bennett, we are told. We wish them much happiness in their new venture.

SPRINGVILLE: Homer E. Kerr has secured a patent on a fruit gathering pail, which promises to have a future. By the use of this pail, one can enter a tree and pick apples or other fruit, and safely empty it into a crate, box or any other receptacle without injury and without getting out of the tree or changing his position. Mr. Kerr and his father, W. H. Kerr, were recently in Washington on business in regard to the patent.

LAUREL LAKE: Hon. George C. Hill, a man of varied talents, and one who does his own thinking, was in town Thursday shaking hands with his many acquaintances here. Mr. Hill has the reputation of being one of the best violinists of the old school who ever drew a bow across a piece of “cat gut.” His friends are always glad to meet him and a chat with him is as refreshing as a gentle zephyr on a sultry afternoon.

SUSQUEHANNA: An application has been filed for a charter for a company to furnish gas for heat, light and power purposes. A gas plant would be welcomed here, it is said.

MEHOOPANY: R. S. Hardic’s hotel the Mehoopany House, at North Mehoopany, was entered by burglars. The thieves went to Mr. Hardic’s bedroom and taking his trousers to the bar room, relieved the pockets of nearly $100.

NEWS BRIEF: The body of the late Samuel G. Clemens (Mark Twain) was taken through this county over the Lackawanna railroad Sunday morning. A good many people were at the stations along the line to see the train pass by bearing his body. The remains were taken to Elmira for burial, President E. B. Thomas’ private car being used for that purpose. Mrs. Thomas is a niece of the late humorist.

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

Back in 2008, I wrote about Michael Shatzer, an inmate incarcerated in a Maryland Correctional Facility as a result of the sexual abuse of a child. While he was incarcerated, the police received information from a social worker that suggested that Shatzer may have also abused a separate child, and the police attempted to interview Shatzer relative to the new abuse allegations. Shatzer refused to talk and he requested an attorney. Because Shatzer had asserted his right to counsel, the interview was stopped, and the investigation was closed. At that time, the child was too young to provide the police with specific details of the abuse.

Three years later, the investigation was re-opened as the child was now old enough to testify, and the police again returned to the correctional facility to interview Shatzer. The police read Shatzer his Miranda rights and Shatzer signed a written waiver and agreed to discuss the matter with the police. Initially, Shatzer admitted to masturbating in front of the small child, but denied ever touching or sexually abusing the child. Shatzer agreed to take a polygraph, and, upon learning that he failed, he began to cry and claimed that he “didn’t force him.” Based upon the new evidence, Shatzer was arrested for the abuse.

Shatzer filed a suppression motion, contending that his assertion of his right to counsel three years earlier in the first investigation remained in effect, and that the police had no right to re-interview him. The following facts were not in dispute: Shatzer was read his Miranda rights before the second interview; Shatzer understood his rights; Shatzer signed a written waiver of those rights and agreed to talk to the police; and Shatzer agreed to take a polygraph test. The problem did not relate to the manner in which the second interview was conduct; rather, the question is whether the second interview should have even occurred without Shatzer having legal counsel.

The trial court refused to suppress the statements finding that the passage of three years attenuated the initial request for counsel, that Shatzer understood his rights, and Shatzer voluntarily agreed to discuss the matter with the police. On appeal, the Maryland Court of Appeals (the state’s highest court) concluded that Shatzer could not be interviewed without counsel. In other words, the police should not have approached Shatzer for the second interview until such time as Shatzer had legal counsel (or, in the alternative, until such time as Shatzer initiated the contact and waived his rights).

The United States Supreme Court agreed to hear the case. By a 9-0 vote, the Court determined that the police could approach Shatzer a second time without counsel and that Shatzer’s waiver of his Miranda rights was constitutionally permissible. The Court went further, however, by creating a 14-day procedural rule - basically an expiration date on the initial assertion or request for counsel. The Court opined that the initial request for counsel remains in effect for 14 days after the termination of the interview and the release of the suspect. In this case, Shatzer had been released into the general population of the prison for about three years prior to the second interview, which plainly exceeded the newly and judicially created 14-day rule. As such, the police were free to approach Shatzer for the second interview despite his previous request that he be provided legal counsel.

Justice Thomas agreed that there was nothing constitutionally prohibiting the police from approaching Shatzer for the second interview after the intervening period of time. Justice Thomas dissented in the arbitrary creation of a 14-day period. Of course, the Miranda warning requirement itself is a judicially-created mechanism intended to assure that citizens understand their constitutionally guaranteed rights. The majority opinion was written by Justice Scalia, who has been a sharp critic of Miranda itself, and some were surprised that Scalia would even endorse the arbitrary creation of a 14-day rule. On the other hand, this was a means to limit the extent and application of Miranda - and, it being a judicially-created rule itself, there really was nothing to stop the justices from tinkering with it.

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. My grandmother told me she has BPPV and that it makes her head spin. What exactly is this BPPV?

BPPV stands for benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. It usually strikes when you change the position of your head.

We have to define terms first. Vertigo is the feeling that either you or your surroundings are spinning. It is more than being just lightheaded or dizzy, because you are subjected to the illusion of movement. If you feel your body is moving, you have subjective vertigo. When you sense that your surroundings are moving, you have objective vertigo.

BPPV occurs most often in people 60 and older. It is rarely a serious condition unless it makes you fall. The odds of falling each year after age 65 in the United States are about one in three. And falls are the leading cause of injury and injury-related death among older adults.

Other symptoms besides spinning include: dizziness, loss of balance, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. The symptoms of BPPV can be irregular. They usually last less than a minute. Episodes can disappear and then come back later.

BPPV is caused by a problem in the inner ear, which contains crystals that make you sensitive to movement. If these crystals are dislodged, you can feel dizzy and experience vertigo.

Besides aging, a head injury or any other disorder of the balance organs of your ear may make you more susceptible to BPPV.

Among the diagnostic tools for BPPV are electronystagmography (ENG), videonystagmography (VNG) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

The ENG, which uses electrodes, or the VNG, which is done with small cameras, can help determine if dizziness is caused by inner-ear problems by measuring involuntary eye movements while your head is placed in different positions.

The MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to create cross-sectional images of your head. MRI may be performed to rule out lesions that may cause vertigo.

A common treatment for BPPV is known as the canalith repositioning procedure. This is done in a doctor’s office. The procedure consists of maneuvers for positioning your head. The aim of the treatment is to move troublesome crystals that have been dislodged.

The canalith repositioning procedure is usually effective after one or two treatments. However, in rare situations when the procedure doesn’t work, doctors may recommend corrective surgery.

Medicine can help with severe vertigo that makes you sick to your stomach. But using this kind of medicine can lengthen the time it takes to stop the BPPV.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

April is here with its promise of warmer weather and cheery daffodils. Soon we will all be thinking about being outdoors. No more sitting around reading books in front of a cozy fireplace.

However, before you eliminate reading from your schedule, remember that one of your projects this spring is working in the garden. Planning a water garden for that perpetually wet spot in your lawn? Thinking about putting in some plants that are “deer resistant,” if there is any such thing?

Perhaps one of your first stops should be your local library. Why buy when you can borrow? There are so many gardening books out there. I have discovered to my detriment that what looks good on the shelf in the bookstore doesn’t necessarily have the answers I want.

Take a few hours and stop in your local library and review the gardening books available. You may find just the answers that you want without spending a cent. If you do find a book that you need in your permanent library, you will get a chance to review it before making a purchase. Then, when you have moved on to more advanced gardening and no longer need its advice, you can donate it back to the library for either circulation or sale at our annual Blueberry Festival.

This is just one example of how visiting your library can help you enjoy the great outdoors in the months to come. Next, you can learn about fishing, camping, hiking, etc. Stop in today!

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

Living Between Fire And Ice

The good citizens of Iceland have two mega-problems this spring. One is their economic and banking situation, which is still in something close to meltdown mode. I cannot fathom finances and economics, so I’m in no position to really follow that part of the current and dreary Icelandic saga.

But the other is geological, and that’s a piece of the story a rock-head like me can better understand.

Since the days the Norse settled Iceland more than a thousand years ago, they have had to live with the fact that the Atlantic Ocean basin is slowly but steadily growing. And that matters because the growth is taking place due to volcanoes - including the ones creating their island nation. In short, Iceland is a high point of what geologists call the Mid-Atlantic ridge that is leading to the basin’s growth over time, both east and west via spreading at the ridge. Most of the ridge is underwater, but in Iceland it rises above the sea so people can live on it (if they are hardy enough, at least).

The whole Mid-Atlantic ridge is a series of volcanoes. Out of those outlets, molten rock pours on a regular basis. The molten material makes a solid, volcanic rock when it cools, both under the ocean waves and on the isle of Iceland. But, obviously, living with lava just down the block has some real challenges and drawbacks, even for the tough descendents of the Norse.

On the whole, folks in Iceland have coped well with their harsh environment. Naturally, from time immemorial, they have tried to keep their settlements away from obviously recent lava flows and the most active volcanic vents. And in modern times they have captured heat from hot water under the ground that they can to use as geothermal energy systems. That’s a good example, in my book, of making lemonade from lemons.

Currently, as you have seen in the news, they have another challenge besides lava to deal with. Because glaciers are not few and far between in Iceland, from time to time volcanic eruptions occur beside and even under them. And now has been such a time. That creates a special problem.

Lava, naturally enough, rapidly melts glacial ice. Liquefying a lot of ice quickly means that torrents of water flow downhill, so flooding results. Hundreds of Icelandic citizens in rural areas have been evacuated in front of flash flood threats over the past few weeks. Back in geologic time, it’s clear that massive outburst floods have occurred because of this effect.

Another threat from the volcanoes is that the floodwaters mix with soil and “ash” from the volcanic eruption. The ash is tiny bits of volcanic material. The problem is that this mixture flows downhill like a dense debris flow, taking out everything in its path. Geologists use the term “lahar” for the flows - a word you can look for in the news.

Yet another problem is one that makes more than Icelanders suffer. Volcanic ash is launched high into the atmosphere when volcanoes go through major eruptive cycles. In recent weeks Iceland’s ash output into the skies has been enough to affect both the good people of Iceland and their neighbors as far away as Poland. In particular, airplane routes have been diverted away from Iceland and many flights across the northern Atlantic and northern Europe have been cancelled due to volcanic ash in the air.

And the saga isn’t over. The eruptions have been coming from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in southern Iceland. It is adjacent to the Katla volcano, a much bigger volcanic conduit - and one that could supply more lava all over again. In short, the story could get fiercely worse before it gets better. As I write these words, the situation is quieting down (thankfully) - but as you read them, the saga may have been launched into a new chapter. Geologists can make educated guesses about what will happen tomorrow, but not firm predictions about what will happen next month.

Between the collapse of the banks and assaults of Mother Nature, we can only wish Iceland’s residents the best.

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,

I am worried that a long-time, close friend of mine is being abused by her husband. She has been married for about a year and her personality has changed so much. I almost never hear from her anymore. I've not seen any signs of physical abuse, but I'm really concerned and wonder if there is something I should do. -Jane Doe

Dear Jane,

"One of the most insidious things abusers do is cut their partners off from friends and family." Your friend may be in a difficult situation and is too afraid or embarrassed to share that information with you.

It's easy to get grumpy when a friend doesn't return your calls, and gives your attempts to reconnect the brush off. You need to be a friend and let her know you are a safe person for her to talk to. Be careful not to tell her what you would do in a similar situation, but be sure to tell her you are there to listen and lend a hand, when and if she need one.

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

No Earth Talk This Week

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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