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Issue Home June 16, 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: In a letter from H. W. Beach, of Chicago and formerly of Montrose, calling our attention to a recent article in the “Scientific American” which gives Clarence A. Dawley, formerly of Montrose and a graduate of the High School, much credit for a gasoline engine of his invention. That periodical, by means of numerous diagrams and explanations, gives a good idea of the wonderful engine Mr. Dawley is perfecting. Mr. Beach, who has spent several years working on the problem of gasoline engines, is enthusiastic over the success Mr. Dawley has attained and believes it has great possibilities in the way of increasing power and decreasing cost in operation. Clarence is the son of S. A. Dawley, of Montrose, and has exhibited, since early boyhood, a knowledge of mechanics amounting almost to genius and those who know his ability along a mechanical line feel confident of his ultimate success. ALSO Some miscreant poisoned a valuable dog owned by Miss Anna Pache, Monday night. The dog, which had a gold tooth, formerly belonged to Dr. Fred Birchard.

HEART LAKE: All who desire to enter the marathon race, or any of the other races, July 4, are requested to send their name and address to Frank T. Mack, Heart Lake, Pa., at the earliest moment possible.

DIMOCK: Raymond Daley, the 8 year-old Dimock boy who was shot by his brother while hunting woodchucks on June 2, died in the Sayre hospital from lockjaw Monday night. He appeared to be improving after his admission to the hospital but lockjaw developing brought about his speedy death. The body was brought over the Lehigh Valley Tuesday morning, the sorrowing mother and brother accompanying the remains.

LAKESIDE: Ray Williams and Harry Page, students at Cornell University, after spending a few days with their parents, left Monday for Topeka, Kansas, where they have work.

BENNETT CORNERS, LENOX TWP.: Charles Conrad, one of our enterprising farmers, has one of the finest flocks of young chickens we have seen this year. They are the White Leghorn breed and there are 400 in one flock.

SUSQUEHANNA: Sunday afternoon the lunch wagon at the corner of West Main and Front streets was completely destroyed by fire. ALSO During the past few months great activity has been manifested by the master mechanics and working forces of the various shops maintained by the Erie railroad, in a friendly competition in rapid locomotive repairing. These competitions have demonstrated that repairs can be accomplished in much less time than ordinarily, without in any way slighting the work. It has also created great enthusiasm at the shops and stirred local pride in an unusual degree. The Susquehanna shops, in the record competition, turned out an engine in the remarkable time of 14 hours, 34 minutes, thereby beating all previous records.

FOREST CITY: John Williams will soon launch into the real moving picture show business. His home town, Forest City, will not even see the “first night” performance as it will be given elsewhere. Mr. Williams has purchased two teams and two large vans and will carry three tents, a piano and other accessories. The show tent will be 24 x 50 and seat 240 persons. Two night stands will be played.

OAKLAND: Darwin Carnegie disappeared about May 10 and has not been seen or heard of since. Until his disappearance he had been employed as a switchman in the Erie yards at Susquehanna. A wife and five children are dependent upon him for support. His wife fears foul play, or that he had been killed in a railroad accident. Carnegie’s age is 38 years, weight 140 lbs, height 5’5”, had broken front tooth in upper jaw. When last seen he wore a blue shirt, black derby, blue tie, blue coat and stripped trousers.

GREAT BEND: Andrew Stephens has accepted a position in the Buffalo steel plant and left for that place Monday night.

CLIFFORD: Silas Aldrich, our former Nicholson stage driver and mail carrier, has sold out to Wallace McAlla, his entire stage property and stage business, and has applied for a position on the street car line in Scranton. He moved his family into the Utley house near Nicholson. Mr. McAlla, our present stage driver and mail carrier, has moved into the house vacated by Mr. Aldrich.

UNIONDALE: Isaac Curtis and niece, Della Sherwood, Sam Lowrey and son, M. D. Daniels and wife, were down to Scranton last week to see the elephant. They say that the show was well worth the price.

LYNN, SPRINGVILLE TWP.: The scribe from this place called on his old friend, Wm. M. Teel, of East Lynn, one day last week and was very much surprised to see how nice and cozy Will has fixed up his residence. Furnace in cellar, which gives steam all through his house, nicely finished wood work to the interior and the best of all one of the nicest and most entertaining companions, his better half, who no doubt Will picked out of a thousand, and then he has two autos with which he offered to take me out around the farm, but not being one that wanted to hinder anyone about their work this catchy weather, I declined. Oh yes, I almost forgot to say that Will is a pretty good sort of a fellow all around as everybody knows.

GELATT: Ice cream and cake were served after grange Saturday night. Those who do not attend regular do not know what they are missing.

FRIENDSVILLE: Carmalt Morris, a former well-known Friendsville boy, has been in town visiting his sisters at ‘Restmore’ on South Main Street in Montrose. He has been living in New Brunswick for several years but is now removing his family to Virginia on account of his health and where his business now takes him. He had a herd of ponies at Friendsville at one time.

HOP BOTTOM: Mr. Johnson of this place lost a valuable cow recently. It was thought that the animal had tuberculosis but on examination a wire was found imbedded in the animal’s heart.

NEWS BRIEF: The “North Pole Hat” is the new thing this fall in women’s headgear. We haven’t seen it yet, but we presume it will look like an inverted ice cream cone with a few cookies on top.

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

For those interested in statistics, it is that time of year when I can share with you some numbers from 2009 and how they compare with previous years. Unfortunately, last year was a busy one. In 2009, there were 592 adult criminal cases (misdemeanor and felony cases) that were actually filed in the Court of Common Pleas. There were actually more but some cases are resolved at the magistrate level at the preliminary hearings. In 2008, there were 556 adult criminal filings. In 2007, there had been approximately 479. There was approximately a 6 percent increase in criminal filings in 2009 from the previous year. Over the past several years, we have seen a consistent increase in criminal case filings. In 2006, we had a total of 439 adult criminal cases, while 2005 had only 388 adult criminal cases. From 2005 to 2009, there has been a 53 percent increase in the adult caseload.

There is some good news. As we are approximately halfway through 2010, I am happy to report that the criminal filings are down at this point by approximately 25 percent from 2009. If this trend continues, our numbers will fall back to the 2007 level.

The Susquehanna County Drug Task Force had a very busy year in 2009 and filed 60 different criminal complaints, approximately double the number filed in the previous year. To give you an idea of the amount of work that this part-time drug task for is doing, it is instructive to simply list the amount of drugs that were seized by the task force in 2009: (1) 125 grams of marijuana; (2) 216 marijuana plants; (3) 660 bags of heroin; (4) 15 bags of cocaine; (5) 12 oxycontin tablets; (6) 64 ecstacy pills; and (7) 21 xanax tablets.

There was another substantial jump in DUI filings in 2009. This office prosecuted 205 DUI cases in 2009. In 2008, there were 153 DUI cases. As such, there was a 54 percent increase in DUI filings from 2008 to 2009. As you may recall, there was a 34 percent increase in DUI filings the previous year. Several years ago, we only had 81 DUI arrests for the entire year in the county - so the total number of DUI arrests has more than doubled in the span of a few years.

In terms of the DUI arrests in 2009, the State Police accounted for 51 percent, local police departments accounted for 37 percent, and the Susquehanna County DUI Task Force accounted for 12 percent. In pure numbers, the Susquehanna County DUI Task Force had 25 DUI arrests for 2009, which is roughly the same number as the previous years.

Of course, I continue to indirectly hear the rumblings about the DUI Task Force and the complaints from different people about its continued existence. These complaints are strange on a number of fronts. First, the DUI Task Force really represents a very small percentage of the total DUI arrests in the county - as the statistics have shown year after year. Second, the complainers never approach me directly; rather, they seem more inclined to complaint about the DUI Task Force to other people and spread false rumors, lies and fabrications.

As an example, the other day I had someone approach me to ask me about a DUI stop conducted by the DUI Task Force - and I had to tell them that such a stop could not have occurred because the DUI Task Force had not been on the road in 3 months. There are two reasons for the inability to send the DUI Task Force out on the road: (1) the fund that we used to pay the officers was nearly exhausted and we needed to take a break to allow the monies to build back up; and (2) the patrol car had some mechanical issues and would not pass inspection.

When the DUI Task Force was created, I indicated that county tax dollars would not be directly used to pay for its existence. I believe that I have lived up to that pledge and continue to seek funding sources that will not have any impact on the county taxpayers. I am looking into different options for a used and affordable patrol car and reviewing different alternatives for funding its purchase that do not involve tax dollars. We are hopeful that the DUI Task Force will be back on the road soon.

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. Isn’t living in the country healthier than living in the city?

I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that question. My first reaction to this inquiry was that life in the country is much healthier. It seemed obvious because of the crime, pollution, crowding and stress of the city.

However, the National Rural Health Association (NRHA), a national nonprofit organization, gave me some surprising information that made me rethink my answer.

Here are some of the facts from the NRHA:

* Only about 10 percent of physicians practice in rural America, which contains nearly 25 percent of the population. There are 2,157 Health Professional Shortage Areas in rural and frontier areas of all states and US territories compared to 910 in urban areas.

* Rural residents are less likely to have employer-provided health care coverage or prescription drug coverage, and the rural poor are less likely to be covered by Medicaid benefits than their urban counterparts.

* Two thirds of the deaths attributed to car accidents occur on rural roads. One reason for the high mortality rate is delays between a reported accident and the arrival of an emergency medical team located far from the scene. The national average response time for a car accident in rural areas is 18 minutes, or eight minutes longer than in urban areas.

* As many as 90 percent of first-responders in rural areas are volunteers, not paid professionals.

* People living in the country are nearly twice as likely to die from unintentional injuries than are urban residents.

* Rural folk are at a significantly higher risk of death by gunshot than urban residents.

* Abuse of alcohol and use of tobacco are significant problems among rural youth. The rate of drinking-and-driving arrests is significantly greater in non-urban counties. Rural eighth graders are twice as likely to smoke cigarettes than their peers in the cities.

* Cerebrovascular disease and high blood pressure are higher in rural areas.

* About 20 percent of nonmetropolitan counties lack mental health services compared to five percent of metropolitan counties.

* The suicide rate among rural men is significantly higher than in urban areas. The suicide rate among rural women is escalating rapidly and is approaching that of men.

* More than 470 rural hospitals have closed in the past 25 years.

* Rural residents often have to travel long distances to reach a doctor or hospital.

After learning about rural health, I don’t think I’ll ever feel the same when I drive on blue highways.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Goals are important. The Susquehanna County Library’s board and staff have set their sights on accomplishing a major goal - the building of a new main library building in Montrose. For several years now, there has been an ongoing effort to raise money for this project. The Montrose School District has generously deeded to the Library a building lot, adjacent to the high school. Many have given and continue to give, but, much more is needed.

If you don’t live in Montrose or environs, you may be asking yourself, “why should I be concerned about this project?” The main library in Montrose is the “mother ship” of the entire library system. In addition to the main library, all administrative functions, the county-wide Outreach Department, and the Historical Society are located in that more than 103 year old, red brick building on the Green. More space is greatly needed.

Last year, the Library sponsored its first Library Lotto drawing - an opportunity for community members to help us reach our goal, while offering each participant the opportunity to win up to $50,000. Again this year, only 2,000 tickets are being sold. If all the tickets are sold, $148,000 in prizes will be distributed. Tickets are still available.

You can pick up an application at any of the four libraries in the County or download it from our website at Dreams are important. We invite you to help us reach our goal and, perhaps, to follow your dream, too.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

A Threat To The World’s Wheat

If you like eating hotcakes or bread (or my own personal favorite, huckleberry muffins), you might want to pay attention to a problem that’s looming over wheat worldwide. It’s a new type of “stem rust” caused by a fungus that cripples wheat plants.

Throughout history, stem rusts have created major famines. Even in the United States, wheat harvests in parts of the country were hit hard by stem rust in 1903, 1905 and 1950-1954. Localized outbreaks affected American wheat as recently as 1985-1986.

Throughout the 20th century, agronomists bred better wheat to be more resistant to a variety of fungal threats. They were successful - score a big one for science.

But out there in the wheat fields, there’s always an arms race afoot. As the agronomists did their job, fungus was shaped by random mutations and natural selection. When those two natural forces combined to create a fungus that could successfully live on the new wheat varieties, then the fungus came roaring back in the fields. Score one for natural evolutionary forces and stem rust.

In Ethiopia and Uganda in 1998 and 1999, a new type of stem rust was identified, one we can informally call Ug99 although its technical name is a tad longer. The new rust can live on most varieties of wheat grown in the world, and it can bring up to 100 percent crop loss. (That’s not a typo.)

The rust has spread on the winds to Yemen, north to Sudan, and now quite possibly to Iran. There’s some evidence it’s becoming more virulent as it spreads. Next it’s likely to move to Pakistan and Afghanistan, and from there onwards to China. In time it will cross the Pacific, perhaps on the clothes and shoes of people, perhaps via air currents.

“The good news is that in the developed world farmers can afford to spray fungicide to combat rusts like Ug99,” Dr. Tim Murray of Washington State University said to me recently. “But that’s not true in other parts of the world where farmers rely solely on resistance in the variety of wheat they plant.”

To put it another way, in the developing world, there’s a real risk of famine. Major breadbaskets and population centers of the world, including Pakistan, India and China, could be hit hard.

Breeding in resistance to Ug99 in wheat is, in the long run, the cheapest way to give wheat the upper hand in the current arms race. Scientific crop breeders do exactly that sort of work all the time, working to understand plant disease and improve crop plants. Depending on a variety of factors, crops can be improved via simple selection, hybridization, or through genetic engineering. The total effect of scientific breeding on crop plants is one of the reasons that global agricultural productivity skyrocketed in the 20th century and is still doing so today.

But Ug99 has some advantages over science. Part of its life cycle occurs each year in a bush called barberry - an “alternate host” for the rust. That gives the Ug99 a place to survive and flourish, quite apart from wheat.

And on barberry leaves, the rust spores reproduce sexually, which means they become more varied than in their non-sexual reproduction on wheat. Being more varied is an advantage if you are a population of rust in a life-and-death arms race and a single spore that’s virulent to a strain of wheat will allow your next generation to survive and flourish.

Also to the advantage of the fungus is that, in warm weather, it grows quickly and creates a new generation every ten days or so. That gives the fungus a chance for a new set of mutations, on which natural selection can work.

But scientific wheat breeders have one enormous advantage - their smarts. And they are working diligently to try to resist the rising tide of Ug99 in the fields half way around the world from where I write.

We must hope they will be successful, not for the sake of my own personal huckleberry muffins - but for the very lives of the poor of the world.

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 Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource 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,

This year we have two grandchildren who are graduating from high school, in two different states. I purchased each a copy of a small book that really made a difference in my life and I hope will give them a boost at the beginning of theirs. Have any suggestions that I can use to make sure they actually read the book? -Grampa Phil

Dear Grampa Phil,

I admire your motivation but unless you are willing to read them the book as a bedtime story, you can't force them to take your advice and read.

You can however send a note and tell them this book made a difference in your life. Ask them to call or email with their thoughts and that you would love to talk about what they just read.

Be sure to tape the "graduation check" you were going to include to the last page of the book. You'll know if the check doesn't clear the bank, the book is still laying around unread and an encouraging phone call from Grandpa, is in order.

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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