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Issue Home November 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
Earth Talk
Barnes-Kasson Corner

100 Years Ago

NEW MILFORD: It is an unusual thing for a wedded couple to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary; a more unusual thing to hear of the celebration of a sixtieth, but when a couple celebrate their sixty-fifth it is most unusual. Such was the celebration held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gillespie on October 14, 1910, when about fifty relatives and friends of the esteemed couple assembled to celebrate the happy occasion. Mr. Gillespie was born in Scotch Town, Onondaga county, N.Y., June 26, 1822. Mrs. Gillespie was born in Spafford, in the same county, on Jan. 1, 1822. She was the daughter of the late Elder J. B. Worden, and they were married by the reverend elder in Jackson, Susquehanna county, October 14, 1845. Three children were born to them, two still living - Mrs. Ira Moss, New Milford and Mr. T. P. Gillespie of Binghamton.

ARARAT: Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Avery celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary, Nov. 2. There were 80 present to enjoy the happiness of the day. The wedding cake was brought from Jersey City by their daughter, Mrs. Noah Smith. It was very pretty. A present of about $40 was given them by their friends and relatives, also some other handsome presents.

HERRICK CENTER: Elmer Master died from a gunshot wound accidentally inflicted while hunting in the woods near his home Monday. Master’s left arm was shattered by the charge and death resulted from the loss of blood.

HOWARD HILL, LIBERTY TWP.: In the Montrose Democrat of Nov. 3 we read an account of the first snow storms of the past 15 years, and we wondered if anyone could remember seeing so much snow on the 4th of November. Snow fell here Friday to the depth of 2 feet in some places and some have been using sleighs here to good advantage.

MONTROSE: A meeting to organize a local camp of “Boy Scouts” will be held in the library building next Monday evening at 7:15. The parents of the boys, as well as the boys themselves who anticipate joining the movement, are invited to attend. This is an opportunity parents should not neglect, as it offers great advantages to boys.

WEST BROOKLYN: James Bunnell and Lee Reynolds were at Meshoppen last week moving buildings. The snowstorm came and they beat it while their shoes were good for West Brooklyn.

GREAT BEND: Frank Haynes has engaged in the wholesale and retail cigar business in the Rought block on Main Street this borough and will manufacture here also. Mr. Haynes is a gentleman who comes well recommended and we have no doubt he will do well in his business venture here. (From the Nicholson Record)

THOMPSON: If the Hallowe’eners of other towns were more destructive than they were in Thompson, alas! alas! for young America. ALSO Eighteen inches of snow made it hard wallowing for our veterans as they came to execute their pension papers, November 4. Some of them could not make it that way.

BROOKLYN: Mr. Tenant, of Alford, who had the charge of picking the apples in S. B. Eldridge’s orchard, has finished and reports that he packed 983 barrels of choice apples, which were shipped to Philadelphia and sold nearly $500 worth to the evaporator at Hop Bottom, at forty cents per hundred pounds. ALSO The hotel barn which is being built by F. B. Jewett for use in connection with the hotel lately purchased by him is well under way and if weather conditions are favorable will be ready for use Dec. 1. It will be three stories high in the rear and will accommodate fifty horses at one time.

EAST RUSH: G. A. Crisman, the East Rush merchant, sold about $50 worth of foot wear in one day last week.

SPRINGVILLE: Dr. H. B. Lathrop’s house is nearly finished and the family will probably eat their Thanksgiving dinner there. It will be a fine home.

LITTLE MEADOWS: Lewis Palmer, because of ill health, has been obliged to give up his studies at the Philadelphia Dental College and expects to return home soon. ALSO Miss Deuel, our milliner, has taken her winter stock to Friendsville for a short time.

FOREST CITY: That moving pictures can be shown in a lighted house was demonstrated last night at the Bijou Theatre, where life motion films were thrown upon a screen, the invention of S. L.[Roxy] Rothapfel , of Forest City, PA, with every light turned on. Although the theatre was brilliantly illuminated, every moving picture was clearly produced, as though the house had been plunged in darkness. Mr. Rothapfel is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and was until five years ago an officer in the United States Marine Corps. Always interested in chemistry, he evolved a process whereby a screen might have a moving picture thrown upon it without its being enshrouded in darkness. For years he has been showing pictures in a lighted house at Forest City until he was discovered by John C. Dougherty, manager of the Bijou Theatre. His process, which moving picture men regard as a marvel, was unfolded before large audiences last night at the Bijou [New York City].

NEWS BRIEF: “Echoes From the Big Snow Storm:” The snow storm of last week was one of the heaviest falls of snow and occasioned more hardship in the way of travel than any storm we have had in a long time, even in the middle of the winter, when we naturally expect such things. The Lackawanna train on the Montrose branch was the entire day reaching Alford, being stalled near Tiffany most all day waiting for the big steam snow shovel, and did not return from its first trip to Alford until six o’clock at night. There has not been a similar delay on the Lackawanna branch train in several years. The Lehigh Valley branch trains, however, beat all their records and came in and departed on schedule time during the storm period. The snow banks around Montrose were as high as at any time in the winter, the average fall being about eighteen inches. One man driving the ten miles from Rush, said he never had seen the going heavier nor slower, the snow just reaching the depth of the axles. The rural route drivers started out, but only got a few miles when they had to return. Alva Foster, driver of the Silver Lake stage; the Rush stage, and Mr. Birchard, who drives the Corbettsville star route, all made their trips but were considerably belated. We had no mail from Friendsville Friday. “The Storm of 1836.” It began to snow October 5 and continued all that and the next day, when over a foot of snow was left on the ground, which lasted in shady places for nearly a week, and just one week from that date, October 12; 1836, it began to snow and fully as much snow fell, doing much damage to late crops of oats, buckwheat and potatoes, as well as apples and other fruit trees. So it will be seen that that was one month earlier than the great storm this year.

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

How does a prosecutor determine what to offer in a plea agreement to resolve a case prior to trial? This is a question that a lot of people have asked me over the years - and it is a good one without a simple answer. The reason that there is no simple answer is that there is no exact formula for the plea negotiation process and every single case is different. It is also an individualized process that depends upon the personality of the prosecutor. There will be some cases where no offers are made, but there is no dispute that the vast majority of criminal cases are resolved though plea negotiations.

Recently, I participated in a national online research survey that required me to consider a hypothetical robbery case together with countless files containing different types of information. Basically, the survey wanted to know which files a prosecutor would read before making a decision on a plea offer. I suspect that the survey will result in widely divergent responses as to what information is deemed pertinent. On the other hand, I am certain that there are several categories of information that prosecutors will uniformly consider. While I cannot address all of the things that are considered in detail, it might be helpful to outline some of the significant considerations.

First, the strength of the evidence available to support the charges is a crucial factor in all plea negotiations. Some cases nearly universally have strong evidence. For instance, most DUI offenses have a blood alcohol content level and proof that the person was driving a motor vehicle on a roadway. The facts are rarely in dispute in DUI cases.

Other cases rely solely upon circumstantial evidence, i.e., there is no direct evidence that a person committed the crime, but logical inferences can be drawn from the evidence that the person is guilty. A good example of this type of case would be a person charged with burglary as a result of being caught with the stolen goods shortly after the crime. No one saw the person in the burgled residence, but the jury can reasonably infer that the offender did it based upon possession of the stolen items.

Other cases are based solely upon one person’s claim against another person’s denial. This is most common in sexual assault cases - the classic he said/she said scenarios. After talking with jurors in these types of sexual assault cases, it is plain that these cases always present strong struggles for jurors to determine not only credibility, but also the level of credibility assigned to each witness. As one juror told me after reaching a guilty verdict in a child sexual abuse case, the question was not whether she believed the child, but it was whether she believed the child enough to support a conviction, i.e., beyond a reasonable doubt.

Second, crime victims must have the opportunity to be heard regarding any proposed plea agreements. While a prosecutor does not represent a crime victim, the crime victim is entitled to have a voice in the process. A prosecutor cannot be a rubber stamp for the wishes of a crime victim, but a prosecutor needs to listen. Of course, a crime victim is also a central witness to the prosecution - and it is not uncommon for victims to want to “drop the charges” in some cases, i.e., domestic violence being the most common. In those cases, a prosecutor is often left with the prospect of going to trial with an unwilling and difficult crime victim as a witness. In other cases, victims have been so traumatized by the criminal act that the mere prospect of having to testify causes psychological and emotional issues. These types of reactions are common in sexual assault cases - the very cases where you need the witnesses to be strong are often the ones where the victims have the hardest time testifying in the first place.

Third, a prosecutor will review the prior criminal history of the offender. Is this a first time offender who may be eligible for a diversion program? Is this a repeat offender who needs a lengthy period of incarceration to protect the community? Are there substance abuse problems identifiable in past criminal arrests? Are there violent tendencies that have resulted in repeated assault convictions? Was the person on any period of probation or parole supervision when the new crime occurred? Just as each case is different, each offender is different as well.

There are many more things out there to consider - but these three factors provide a baseline for determining how the case should be resolved. Starting from the point of recognizing the gravity of the offense itself, a prosecutor weighs the pertinent information prior to making any plea offer.

There is no perfect calculus. Every plea offer involves an individualized judgment call and people will inevitably debate whether the right call was made by the prosecutor. There will even be cases where a prosecutor walks away dissatisfied with the result of plea negotiations wishing that more could have been done, but knowing that the best result was obtained given the facts of the case. The key is to figure out a way to resolve the cases appropriately consistent with a prosecutor’s overarching responsibility to be a minister of justice coupled with the need to assure that the community is protected.

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 eat a little chocolate every day. How bad is that for me?

You didn't say how much. If you eat a bunny a day, there is an obvious risk of becoming a major chubbo. However, a little chocolate has health benefits.

A recent Harvard study suggested that a bit of high-quality dark chocolate one to three times a month may protect women from heart failure.

The authors studied the chocolate-eating habits of 31,823 Swedish women, aged 48 to 83. Women who ate about an ounce a month reduced their risk of heart failure by 32 percent. More than an ounce eliminated the benefit. The risk increased with added chocolate.

Other studies have found that moderate amounts of chocolate seem to lower blood pressure. The pressure reduction was considered one cause of the reduced heart-failure risk. The heart benefit of dark chocolate also could be caused by flavonoids, or antioxidants, that can smooth heart function. You can also get flavonoids from citrus fruits, onions, green tea and red wine.

Eating chocolate may decrease your risk of stroke. One study with more than 44,000 participants found that those who ate a weekly serving of chocolate were 22 percent less likely to suffer a stroke than those who ate no chocolate.

Here are more health benefits discovered by recent research into chocolate:

A 2008 study found that people who ate a quarter of an ounce of dark chocolate a day had lower levels of a protein that is associated with inflammation in their blood.

Other studies have found that blood platelets clump together more slowly in chocolate eaters. Clumping platelets can lead to the formation of blood clots, which can cause a heart attack.

Chocolate consumption may help prevent formation of artery plaques and improve blood flow.

Chocolate may also have anti-cancer benefits because the flavonoids in chocolate may help reduce cell damage that can spur tumor growth.

These beneficial flavonoids are bitter, so they are removed from most commercial chocolate. Darker chocolates tend to have higher levels of flavonoids. Milk chocolate has lower levels of flavonoids. White chocolate does not provide flavonoid-related benefits.

By definition, white chocolate is not chocolate. White chocolate contains cacao butter, a product of the cacao bean that produces chocolate. The butter is blended with milk, sugar and often other flavoring ingredients such as vanilla.

A bit of chocolate history:

Many modern historians estimate that chocolate has been around for about 2000 years. For most of that time, chocolate was a beverage.

Etymologists trace the origin of the word "chocolate" to the Aztec word "xocoatl," which referred to a bitter drink brewed from cacao beans. The Latin name for the cacao tree, “Theobroma cacao,” means "food of the gods."

Sweetened chocolate didn't appear until Europeans discovered the Americas. Chocolate didn't suit the foreigners' taste buds, but once it was mixed with honey or cane sugar, it quickly became popular. By the 17th century, chocolate was a fashionable drink throughout Europe.

In 1847, the chocolate bar was invented by Joseph Fry. By 1868, the Cadbury company was marketing boxes of chocolate candies in England. Nestle introduced milk chocolate a few years later.

If you have a question, please write to

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Library Chitchat
By Flo Whittaker

I would like to give you some updated information concerning library usage throughout the Susquehanna County Library system from the 2009 annual report that is filed with the State. We had 17,653 registered borrowers in 2009 and that number included 1,388 new registrants. In addition, we had 29,500 computer users in 2009.

Circulation figures for 2009 totaled 247,616 items, which included 120,431 books and magazines for adults, and 54,345 juvenile books and magazines. Both numbers are higher than in 2008. The total number of items in our library system is 100,309. Being a “system” is important to Susquehanna County residents because it allows patrons to borrow without charge from any of the four locations throughout the county.

When the state aid program to fund libraries was initiated in 1962, counties were requested to name an agent for library services in their county. In our case, the Susquehanna County Historical Society and Free Library Association was designated. Once an agent was named, no other library could receive additional state revenue for library service. Therefore, state funding, such as it now exists, is paid to SCHS & FLA and funneled to the four other branches. Please note that in 1962, SCHS & FLA was a single entity located in Montrose. Since then, it has opened branches in Forest City and Susquehanna and the independent library in Hallstead has joined our system.

The Susquehanna County Library system exists to serve all the residents of this county and your continued support is vital.

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Rock Doc
By Dr. E. Kirsten Peters

No Rock Doc News This Week

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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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