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Issue Home July 21, 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

BRIDGEWATER TOWNSHIP: Miss Virginia Harrison, a former saleslady at Marvin’s store, has returned from Hallstead to her home at Williams’ Pond, where she will remain a few weeks. Miss Harrison will enter the training school for nurses in a Scranton hospital about September 1.

SUSQUEHANNA: The Erie running team won the silver trumpet given as the trophy at the annual tournament of the fire companies from all points along the system, which was held at Meadville on Saturday. The companies contesting were obliged to run 300 feet with a heavy hose cart lay 200 feet of hose and turn on a stream of water. A short rest was then given, when the hose was uncoupled, re-wound on the reel and the run made back to the starting point. The time was 32 seconds for the run and the recovery was made in 57 1/4 seconds. The other competing teams were: Jersey City, Port Jervis, Hornell, Buffalo, Salamanca, Meadville, Galion and Huntingdon.

MONTROSE: A lecture entitled, “The Dude and the Tramp,” will be given in ion African Methodist Episcopal church this Friday evening at 7:30 o’clock, by the pastor, Rev. C. Campbell. A chorus will render jubilee Negro songs such as “Swing Low Sweet Chariot,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Getting’ A Ready To Die,” etc. Admission 25 cents, including cream. The refreshment committee is as follows: Chester Case, George Cruser and Sampson Reid.

BROOKLYN: The Presbyterians of Brooklyn will celebrate their centennial on August 7 and 8. Sunday morning Rev. Ebenezer Flack, of Scranton, will preach. In the evening an historical sermon will be delivered by Rev. R. L. Roberts. Monday morning an historical service will be held and several addresses will be made. At 12:30 dinner will be served, followed by an informal reception.

NEW MILFORD: G. W. Hill, of the Robinson Tanning Co., killed a pilot snake about two and a half feet in length in the tannery last Friday. The water for the tannery is conducted from the creek through an eighteen-inch tile pipe, and about midway between the tannery and the creek the pipe had been broken by heavy teams driving over it. During the dry weather the snakes had come down from the hill to the water and this one had taken refuge in the pipe while the water was turned off. When the water was turned on to fill the vats his snakeship was washed through into the large supply tank to the tannery. A quantity of strips about 7 feet in length had been placed in the tank to soak, and the snake crawled up and coiled itself on top of them. Mr. Hill went to put in some more sticks and came near putting his hand on the reptile before he discovered its presence. A boy standing by saw the snake and gave a warning. The snake was killed with a piece of iron pipe, and was found to be a pilot, one of the most venomous snakes found in this section.

SOUTH GIBSON: Mr. and Mrs. Frank Pritchard entertained the Aid Society last Thursday evening. Ice cream and cake were served in the house and on the lawn. The band furnished fine music and our young cornetist, Harry Pickering, played a selection, accompanied by Mrs. G. B. Resseguie on the piano. The attendance was good.

LANESBORO: Elmer States, who resides near here, on Sunday afternoon, killed a rattlesnake on his farm measuring 5 feet and having 12 rattles.

ALFORD: J. P. Roach has recently severed his connection with the Hubbard House, which he has ably conducted the past spring and summer. Mr. Hubbard has again assumed charge.

STEVENS POINT: Richard Bailey had his jaw broken, received a bad scalp wound and sustained a number of body bruises, Monday morning, while alighting from a freight train at Thompson. He jumped while the train was going at a rapid rate and was picked up unconscious. He was taken to the Barnes Memorial Hospital at Susquehanna, where he is recovering.

HERRICK CENTER: The town has been alarmed the past week over a case of small pox that has broken out. Frank Wayman is the victim and is under the care of Dr. Craft. He is under a strict quarantine and getting along nicely. What worries the neighborhood, however, is the fact that prior to the discovery of the nature of the disease quite a number of people visited the Wayman household. Three have been vaccinated but it is too early to tell if there will be any bad effects from the exposure. A State inspector has visited the case and confirmed Dr. Craft in his opinion as to the nature of the disease. It is said that Wayman has visited down the valley and was there exposed to the disease.

KINGSLEY: Two of the houses owned by the Chemical Co. here were burned Friday evening. The fire caught from a defective chimney in the residence of Benjamin Dailey, spreading so rapidly that the two buildings were soon in flames. In the small village there is no way of coping with the flames other than the bucket brigade and little could be done to prevent the disaster. Practically none of the household goods were saved. The loss to the company will be considerable as there was no insurance. Kingsley people are temporarily caring for those rendered homeless.

HEART LAKE: Every cottage is filled and the season is unusually lively. One of the crying needs of the Lake, however, is a well managed boarding house, where accommodations may be had at all times, and especially on Sundays, when more visitors than common flock in. Every Thursday night the light fantastic toe is tripped in the pavilion with music discoursed by Mahon’s orchestra.

THOMPSON: Willard Spencer has purchased a motorcycle. It is a four-cylinder Pierce.

HARFORD: Mr. And Mrs. Harry Shannon are very pleasantly situated in the Shannon house on Main Street.

RUSH: Great excitement prevailed in our town about noon on Friday of last week, when the news that the creamery was on fire stirred every man to seize his bucket and hurry to the scene. The fire was extinguished, but not until about half the roof of the tub room was burned. Creamery man Hardin and wife were testing milk when the fire was discovered. A spark from the engine is supposed to have been the cause.

SILVER LAKE: Those visiting Silver Lake will miss a landmark. The summer house between Sheldencroft and Col. West’s was burned last winter. AND A young man living in Brooklyn, N.Y., and well known at the lake by some, added another to the list of Fourth of July accidents. His eye was injured by fireworks and the doctor took three stitches in the outer covering of the eye and hopes to save the sight.

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

Can you raise a defense to a justification DUI offense? Can you argue that you had no other choice but driving while intoxicated? Michael Clouser recently tried it - and here is his story.

On June 28, 2009, Michael and his girlfriend went to a local tavern. Michael was enjoying himself and consumed several beers and a few shots of whiskey. As they were getting to leave, Michael had to use the restroom. His girlfriend went out into the parking lot and she was going to drive home. As things turned out, Michael should have waited until he got home to use the restroom.

When the girlfriend got out into the parking lot, she ended up in a physical altercation with another woman. During the course of the fight, several other individuals entered the fray and a full scale brawl ensued. After using the restroom, Michael ended up coming out into the parking lot to find his girlfriend slugging it out amid the crowded of brawlers. Of course, Michael entered the fray and was struck in the head by a hard object.

Apparently, the crowd was growing and the tavern owner was outside attempting put an end to the nonsense. Michael contended that the tavern owner told him to get out of there - and Michael complied. Michael and his girlfriend jumped into his car, but Michael was driving. Michael made it about 5 miles before he put his car in a ditch - and emergency personnel and police arrived at the scene of the accident. It turns out the Michael had a blood alcohol content of .19%.

At the trial, Michael requested that the jury be instructed on the defense of justification. A justification defense is available under the following circumstances: “The actor must reasonably believe that the conduct chosen was necessary to avoid the greater threatened harm or evil. Because the harm must be real, not an imagined, speculative or non-imminent harm, the actions taken to avoid the harm must support a reasonable belief or inference that the actions would be effective in avoiding or alleviating the impending harm.” Moreover, for a justification defense to be allowed, the actor must demonstrate that there was no legal alternative to avoid the harm.

The trial court refused to give a justification defense. The trial court concluded that Michael’s conduct was not necessary and provided several reasonable and lawful alternatives. The trial court suggested these alternatives were available to him: running back into the safety of the bar, fleeing on foot, or locking himself in his car. Without the justification defense, Michael was convicted of DUI. He appealed that conviction.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court disagreed with the trial court’s proposed alternatives and found that each of them still placed Michael in danger. First, the Superior Court found that going back into the tavern was not an option because the owner was telling Michael to leave and was not giving him that option. Second, the Superior Court found that Michael and his girlfriend could not flee on foot as they were being chased by a mob of angry drunks. Third, the Court also indicated that locking themselves in the car would have provided no guarantee to their safety depending upon what the angry mob decided to do.

So, did the Superior Court reverse Michael’s conviction? No. There was a more fundamental problem with Michael’s claimed defense - he drove too far. There was no evidence suggesting that he could not have stopped the car after he had reached a point of safety - say a mile from the scene - and then allowed his girlfriend to drive home. In rejecting the appeal, the Superior Court simply said: “[Michael] failed to offer any evidence that driving at least 4.8 miles away from the tavern was the minimum action necessary to avoid the danger.” For those reasons, Michael’s DUI conviction was upheld.

You might be wondering how this case made its way to the Pennsylvania Superior Court. Well, this was not Michael’s first time driving drunk - it was his third offense - and he was sentenced to 1 year to 5 years in state prison for the offense.

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

[This is the second of two columns on negative thinking. Today’s column is about ways to be more positive.]

A common cold, exhaustion, stress, hunger, sleep deprivation, even allergies can make you depressed, which leads to negative thoughts.

However, in many cases, depression can be caused by negative thinking, itself. Our feelings follow what we are thinking, and dwelling upon negative thoughts can send us spiraling down into depression.

I found many techniques for fending off negative thoughts and becoming a happier person. The following are ones that worked for me.

*Negative thoughts can sneak into your mind and, before you know it, you’re focused upon them. The first step is to identify a negative thought so you can cast it away. The best way I know to label a thought is to ask yourself if thinking it makes you feel lousy. Examples:

Life has no meaning. Most people are rotten. I’m weak. I hate myself/everyone. The future is awful. What’s wrong with me? I’ll never make it. What’s the point of going on? Was I ever happy? I’m letting everyone down.

* Pray or meditate every chance you get. These reduce stress and lead to joy and peace. I use this technique whenever I’m forced to wait anywhere but in traffic. Good use of what would be wasted time.

* Take naps. Even a 15-minute power nap will improve your state of mind.

* Walk in a pleasant, natural setting - the woods or park. The beauty, exercise and fresh air are all tonics.

* Recall all the happiest, most serene moments in your life. Weddings, births, vacations, successes. Dwell on these moments instead of the garbage dumped into your mind.

* Remind yourself that negativity hurts you. It’s worth the effort to be positive, because it makes you feel better.

* Read positive quotes. These will uplift you because of their message and the realization that so many wise people are life-affirming. A good place to find upbeat messages is in "The Book of Positive Quotations" by John Cook. Or, search the internet for “positive quotations.” There are many websites that offer inspiration.

* If you think negatively about someone, recall one of their good traits.

* "Smile though your heart is breaking…" There’s wisdom in those lyrics. It’s harder to be sad if you smile. The principle of this technique works with body language, too. Walk with your head up and shoulders back.

* Avoid negative people if you can. They will bring you down.

* Help others. The psychic income is invaluable. And you will stop thinking about your own troubles.

* Gratitude. Count your blessings got to be a cliche because it works. If you’re not grateful for what you have, you can never be happy.

* Have fun. This is difficult when you’re down. You’re not in the mood for fun. You have to force yourself. After you’ve had some fun, you’ll feel better.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

Soon it will be time for one of the premier summer activities in Susquehanna County. The 31st Annual Blueberry Festival will be held on the Village Green in Montrose on Friday, August 6, and Saturday, August 7, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Come early and feast at the Festival’s pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each day. Shop frequently at our huge book sale tent. There are children’s games, baked goods, basket raffles, many items featuring blueberries, and the annual quilt raffle. On Saturday there will be the massed band concert and a white elephant sale. A special treat this year will be horse-drawn wagon rides, on Friday only, on the side streets of Montrose, originating from the Frontier Communications parking lot on Maple Street.

For those who enjoy dancing, there will be a Blueberry Barn Dance on Friday, August 6 starting at 6 p.m. at the Montrose VFW, featuring The Hickory Rose Country Band and a barbeque buffet. Reservations can be made by calling Martin Comey at (570) 278-7050.

The Blueberry Festival is the signature summer activity of the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association. Monies raised from the Festival and the Barn Dance go to support the Historical Society and County Museum, Main Library and its three branches in Forest City, Hallstead/Great Bend and Susquehanna, and the Outreach Department.

Community support is more important than ever in these tough economic times. Mark your calendar and join us in this community celebration.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters


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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,

Have you ever heard of an Ignition Interlock Device? How do they work? -Jake

Dear Jake,

An Ignition Interlock Device, or IID, is about the size of a cell phone and is installed in a car to prevent the car from starting when the driver has a breath alcohol content over a preset limit.

The driver must blow into the unit which then analyzes the sample. If the breath alcohol is over the limit, the car will not start, thereby preventing an impaired person from driving. Rolling retests are randomly administered to deter drinking after starting the car.

The International Council on Alcohol, Drug and Traffic Safety reports a 40-95% reduction in repeat drunk driving offenses with the use of the IID. The cost of the unit varies but the rental is between $50-$100 per month plus the initial installation fee.

Mothers against Drunk Drivers supports the use of this "sophisticated deterrent." Currently MADD is campaigning to have a law passed in all 50 states that will make the Ignition Interlock Device, a mandatory requirement for all first time offenders.

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

Dear EarthTalk: I always thought eating fish was healthy, but now I’m concerned about mercury in tuna and other fish. Are there any fish that are still safe to eat? -Brit Brundage, Fairfield, CT

You should be concerned about contaminants in certain fish, including some kinds of tuna. The non-profit Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) recommends minimizing consumption of albacore (white) tuna, a large fish that accumulates moderate amounts of mercury in its fatty tissue. But other kinds of (smaller) tuna, such as skipjack (usually canned as “light”), which accumulates a third the amount of mercury as albacore, are OK to eat in moderation, though consumption by those under age seven should be limited.

To further complicate the issue, some canned light tuna may contain yellowfin tuna, which has mercury levels similar to those of albacore; these products are sometimes but not always labeled as “gourmet” or “tonno” - and their consumption should be limited, even by adults.

Mercury, a known “neurotoxin” (a poison that affects the nervous system), is particularly insidious because it is widespread in our oceans, primarily due to emissions from coal-burning power plants. These smokestacks deposit mercury into waterways, which carry it to the ocean where bacteria convert it into methylmercury. Fish then ingest it with their food and from water passing over their gills.

Generally speaking, bigger, older and large predatory fish (such as sharks, swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel and some tuna) near the top of marine food chains are more likely to have high levels of mercury than fish lower in the marine food chain. People exposed to high levels or frequent doses of mercury can suffer nervous system disorders, impaired mental development and other health problems.

An April 2003 study, published in Environmental Health Perspectives, found that 89 percent of study subjects, chosen because they ate a significant amount of fish, had blood mercury levels above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) safety threshold of five micrograms per liter. Even though there are health benefits to eating fish (including the intake of healthy omega-3 fatty acids), the EPA advises that young children, pregnant women, nursing mothers and women of childbearing age limit their intake of high-mercury fish to one serving per week at most, while limiting their overall intake of any fish or shellfish to no more than two to three servings, or 12 ounces total, per week.

Mercury isn’t the only harsh pollutant lurking in the ocean. Industrial chemicals like PCBs and pesticides like DDT are awash in marine food chains around the world. According to EDF, it can take five years or more for women of childbearing age to rid their bodies of PCBs, and 12-18 months to appreciably reduce their mercury levels. EDF adds that moms who eat toxic fish before becoming pregnant may have children who are slower to develop and learn because fetuses are exposed to stored toxins through the placenta.

To learn more, visit the EPA’s Fish Advisories website. It includes links to individual state advisories, which have details on what fish should or shouldn’t be eaten from nearby lakes or coastal areas. Catfish, Pollock, salmon, shrimp and canned light tuna are currently on the EPA’s safe list, as they feed toward the bottom of the food chain and thus have less opportunity to accumulate mercury and other contaminants.

SEND YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL QUESTIONS TO: EarthTalk®, c/o E - The Environmental Magazine, P.O. Box 5098, Westport, CT 06881;

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Barnes-Kasson Corner
By Cara Sepcoskiw

No Barnes-Kasson Corner This Week

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