HomeColumnists ( May 24, 2023 )

100 Years Ago

By Betty Smith, Susquehanna County Historical Society, Montrose, PA

The one thousand or more people that witnessed the first Susquehanna County Interscholastic Field and Track Meet were very much pleased with the manner in which the young athletes performed. At last we realize the real value of athletic competition in our schools. If our boys and girls are taught good, clean competition, in athletics, it will prepare them for straightforwardness in life and make them better citizens in the future. Susquehanna won with a total of 107 points in Class A with Harford second, with 91 points. Ralph Rinker, of Harford was the individual star point getter and Leonard Titus, of Susquehanna, ran a close second. In Class B, Hop Bottom came in the highest, with Louis Powers being the greatest point-getter of the day. Dr. Walter Tewksbury, former University of Pennsylvania star and member of the 1904 Olympic track team, rendered valuable service as starter.

Montrose – Tracy Jenner gave the Salutatory speech at graduation and Helen Corfield, the Valedictory. ALSO Atty. Edward P. Little (later Judge Little) is the champion fisherman of this locality. Ed went out on two occasions last week and on one returned with a catch weighing 75 lbs, and the other weighed 75½ lbs. The fish were suckers, which have lately been running in the Susquehanna, and Ed says the way he got 'em was to don a pair of hip boots and a pair of woolen mittens (and a checkered shirt) and go right into the water after them. Even a sucker cannot slip out from between a pair of woolen mittens and when they get in a strong lawyer's hands they are done for. Ed said he wore the blue plaid shirt, as he was afraid the red plaid might make him a little to conspicuous even for night fishing.

Auburn Twp. – Commencement exercises of the high school will be held on the evening of May 23. Miss Madge McMickens, one of South Auburn's finest young ladies, is one of the graduates.

Jackson – Jackson township needs a centralized school. A better school building, than either the one at Jackson or Lakeview, should be built and equipped with every modern convenience. The logical place for it is in the village of Jackson. But whether Jackson has the school or not, the township should use the method of bringing the schools into one. Jackson has two grocery stores, a drug store, a hall, hotel, two churches, besides being the place where the voting is done and much of the township's business transacted. It is the only village in the township. It is on the main road. To have a new centralized school at Jackson Lakeview or North Jackson, is much more desirable than the present school system. ALSO An invitation is extended to all soldiers of the Civil, Spanish-American and World Wars, to participate in Memorial Day activities.

Harford – There will be a public meeting in the Odd Fellows Hall, at 1:00pm, on Memorial Day. From that meeting all will march to the cemetery and decorate the graves of our departed soldiers. The people and children are urged to bring flowers to the hall, before noon. There are 77 graves to be decorated and many flowers are required.

Gelatt – LeRoy Gelatt underwent an operation on his eyes at his home here. Dr. A.L. Craft, of Herrick Center, performed the operation.

Kingsley – Another automobile accident occurred near the Oakley crossing on Monday afternoon, when a car skidded and landed in the ditch, demolishing the car and the four occupants were inured. Dr. Taylor was called to fix up their injuries.

Herrick Center – The auditorium of the new high school was filled with a capacity audience, Wednesday evening, when the dedicatory services were held. Dr. Shaw, of the Dept. of Education, Harrisburg, delivered the main address, which was excellent. "Brief addresses were given by County Supt. F.H. Taylor and Asst. Supt. Sampson. Dr. A.L. Craft and C.J. Baker, who gave the land over 23 years ago, were given seats of honor. President of the school board, A.E. Flynn, presided in a very pleasing and creditable manner.

Lenox Twp. – Walter C. Adams graduated from the Andrew C. Still College of Osteopathy and Surgery, Kirksville, MO, on Monday evening. He has made a record as a successful student and his friends are confident he will be eminently successful as a practitioner.

Birchardville – This is a great poultry-raising center, which may account for the fact that it is also noted for its numerous foxes and fox-hunters. A short time ago Marshall and Clayton Ball secured a fox and a litter of young ones by digging them out of their den and placed them in captivity. The mother escaped. What to do with the young cubs was a problem. A mother cat, with some kittens, was among the livestock on the place, and the old cat became a "wet nurse" to the fox cubs. The cubs are thriving on the old cat's kindly ministrations and the outlook is that they will grow and possibly yet prosper – on some of Birchardville's poultry, should they chance to escape from durance vile.

Liberty Twp. – Ralph Luce had the misfortune to lose a good cow. E.M. Bailey also has lost one.

Clifford – Harry Price, one of our best-known and most highly regarded residents, died at the home of Mrs. Robert Jones, of Forest City, May 19th.

Thompson – Mrs. Emogene Mulvey, of Carbondale, was engaged at dressmaking last week, at Mrs. A.E. Foster's, Main Street.

Forest City – Pat O'Malley, a Forest City boy who has gained fame in moving pictures, will be seen this evening, at the Family Theatre, in "My Wild Irish Rose." ALSO The senior class returned from their trip to Washington, DC. They visited the Capitol building and White House. They also visited Mount Vernon, Fort Meyer, the Navy Yard and Philadelphia. The trip was an educational one and will long be remembered by the seniors and chaperones.

Uniondale – Douglas & Yale are rushing the automobile business. They received a car load of cars this week and still are not able to meet the demand. John Kagler, John Paye, Everett Lloyd and Burton Avery are the latest purchasers.

News Briefs: There was a lively discussion on why does Memorial Day have to take a back seat in these times and let base ball games and public dancing crowd out so honorable a cause. Something's wrong. ALSO The "Automobilist" magazine reports that information received from a number of court magistrates indicates that women are more careful as automobile drivers than men. Out of thousands of cases coming before the courts, daily, only about one percent are women.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

On May 3, 2020, John stopped at a convenience store and purchased an alcoholic beverage. As John was consuming the beverage, he became lightheaded and suspected that the beverage had been tainted in some manner. John approached a police officer and requested a ride to the local hospital for drug testing. The police officer kindly agreed to John's request and took him to the hospital.

By the time that John reached the hospital, he was acting erratically and the hospital assigned two hospital police officers to monitor him. While sitting in the emergency room, John requested to use the restroom. John was not allowed to use the restroom but he was provided a urinal bottle to relieve himself. As John was attempting to urinate in the presence of the two hospital police officers, John contended that one of them began to laugh at him. John became irate and threw his urinal bottle at the laughing officer and, in the process, struck the second officer. As a result of this outburst, John was sedated and sent to the psychiatric hospital.

John was evaluated by two separate physicians who determined that he was delusional and paranoid, including making allegations that someone had poisoned his beer, killed his dog and raped his girlfriend. Based upon his paranoia and violent outburst in the emergency room, it was determined that John was suffering from an acute medical crisis and he was involuntarily committed against his will pursuant to the Mental Health Act. After spending several days to calm down, John was seen by another doctor to verify that his state of mind had improved and he was then released at the conclusion of a three-day commitment.

As a result of being involuntarily committed, however, John was prohibited under state law from possessing a firearm under the Pennsylvania Uniform Firearms Act of 1995. In order to have firearm rights restored after an involuntary commitment, the Act permits a person to seek an expungement of the involuntary commitment by filing a petition to the Court of Common Pleas. At the expungement hearing, the question becomes whether there is sufficient evidence in the record to support the involuntary commitment. In March 2022, John filed a petition seeking expungement of his involuntary commitment and a restoration of his right to possess a firearm.

In order to prevail on his petition for expungement of an involuntary commitment, John had to demonstrate that the record failed to show that he constituted a threat to himself or third persons. At the hearing, John explained his version of what transpired and the trial judge determined that John's account was credible. The trial court concluded that John did not present a threat to himself or third parties at the time the decision to involuntarily commit him was made. While there was a minor physical altercation, the trial court credited John's testimony that the incident occurred as a result of the police officer laughing at him while he was trying to urinate, not as a result of an attempt to truly assault the police officer, and that what transpired thereafter was more of an overreaction than a necessarily mental health crisis. The trial court expunged John's involuntary commitment and restored his right to possess a firearm.

The Pennsylvania State Police appealed the trial court's decision and argued that the trial court had improperly allowed John to testify to explain away the circumstances surrounding his involuntary commitment. The State Police contended that a reviewing court is limited to the information in the record of the involuntary commitment, i.e., what the physicians provided for their justification to hold John against his will. When looking at merely the written record, and without considering John's subsequent explanatory testimony, the State Police contended that the record was sufficient to support the involuntary commitment.

The Superior Court agreed with the State Police and concluded that the trial court had improperly allowed John to testify so as to justify or explain away the circumstances that led to this involuntary commitment. The trial court was limited in its review to looking at the medical records on the day that the decision to involuntarily commit John was made. Those records demonstrated that John was both delusional and paranoid, that John had become violent by throwing a canister partially filled with urine at a police officer and striking a second police officer in the process, that John had to be sedated in order to calm him, and that two different physicians reviewing his case determined that an involuntary commitment was necessary. Based upon that record, the Superior Court determined that there was ample evidence to support John's involuntary commitment, the trial court was reversed, and the prohibition preventing John from possessing firearms remained in place.

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Backpack Picnicking

By Shannon Madden

Combining two great activities, hiking and picnics, is a beautiful way to spend the day outdoors. You might be thinking that you picnic any time you go hiking, but I'd beg to differ. When I think of picnics, I think of the blanket spread on a grassy patch of ground, favorite summer foods, and a cold glass of lemonade. When I think about meal time during a hike, I see a quickly consumed energy bar or maybe a sandwich while resting for a few minutes. Let's think about how to get the best of both worlds on a backpacking picnic.


We're talking about a day hike in this situation. When it comes to the ideal distance for a day hike, it depends on your family's fitness level and experience. Generally, a good distance for a day hike is 8 to 10 miles total. So you'll hike four or five miles, take an extended break for your picnic, and hike back to the trailhead or complete a loop trail. Either way, you should be back to your vehicle after 8 to 10 miles.

Make It A Picnic

This vision of mine has me putting out a truly delightful spread of picnic favorites even though we are far from the kitchen or backyard grill. We'll have to make some adjustments to bring along items that make the outing closer to a picnic in the park than a trail snack time.

An important aspect to consider is how to pack extra items such as a picnic blanket without adding too much weight to your backpack. An easy way to do this is to use a lightweight blanket you can roll up and secure with a strap. This will help you keep your pack weight down while still giving you the comfort of a picnic blanket. You could also bring some plastic cups so everyone isn't sharing one lemonade bottle.

Hot And Cold Storage

When packing your picnic lunch for a backpacking day trip you also have to consider how to keep food hot or cold for several hours so it's safe to eat. A cooler can keep food safe to eat for 2-3 days if packed properly with enough ice or frozen gel packs. I doubt you'll be lugging a cooler along on your hike though. So thermal bags inside your day pack are your best bet. The best kind is a fold over or zipper closure with no gaps for cool air to escape.

The biggest concern with packing food for a day hike is temperature safety. Cold food that has been sitting above 40* F for two or more hours could harbor food-borne illnesses. Hot food that had dropped below 140* F is in the danger zone as well. In addition to packing your food vessels in thermal bags, you could put foods in thermal storage containers. Most thermal containers are designed to keep hot foods hot for up to six hours and cold foods cold for up to eight hours. Hot food wrapped in foil inside a thermal bag can stay hot for the first leg of your hike. If you have a heat pack, that's even better.

I hope these tips help and inspire you to elevate your day hiking menu. Next week I'll give some suggestions for main courses, sides, and desserts for a perfect backpacking picnic.

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Pastor's Corner

By Pastor Vince Chiaramonte

Good day dear hearts, I love you. Last week we spent some time talking about the Bible. We spoke of its origins and we broke down the contents of the Old Testament and the New Testament.

Now that we have an idea of how the Bible came about and how things are set the way they are, let's turn to the Bible's inspiration. Who is the identity of the Divine Author? The Bible claims God is the author. Skeptics and non-believers take the position the Bible was written by human beings, some being tax collectors, doctors, fishermen and so forth, and that their writings are not Spirit filled but human filled. Both the Jewish and Gentile writers of the Old and New Testament accepted the Word is inspired by God. Jesus himself believed that the Scripture, in its entirety, is God breathed. Jesus believed in the full authority of Scripture. Humans are to live by every Word that comes from the mouth of God. All parts, and every word, were considered important to Jesus. This is what Jesus himself says in Matthew 5:17-18, "Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth shall pass away not the smallest letter or stroke of a letter will pass from the law until everything takes place." I think even the lightest reader of the Bible can see people working hard to change God's Word and justify it. When you see and hear of these things, go the other way. The New Testament writers, for their part, were aware that they were not teaching human wisdom. The son of Billy Graham, Franklin Graham makes the comment, "I don't understand everything in the Bible, but I believe it." Not bad advice. Our understanding of the Bible comes with time and reading regularly.

This unique library of books was founded over two thousand years ago. And as I said earlier, the biblical writers came from different cultures and times, and they represented a very wide range of intellect and ability. There was also a diversity of circumstances each got caught up in. No different than the circumstances we get caught up in today. These writers were prisoners in exiles, rulers of kingdoms, bakers, shepherds, tent makers and fishermen. There was a diversity of character from the despairing to the joyful! While this unique library of books is ancient, it's modern in its relevance to human needs. It is diverse, yet one-held together by its common theme of God's people and their desire and need of a coming savior. In a sense, we are in the same place. We are waiting for the second coming of Jesus. The Old Testament finds its fulfillment in the New Testament. The New Testament has its roots in the Old Testament. This library is one. The Bible is not afraid to portray evil honestly, even when some of its finest characters are involved. Take David for example. The Bible calls David a man after God's own heart because he sinned by committing adultery and murder, he confessed his sin, and God forgave him. David committed the rest of his life to God. Although God forgave David, He never released David from the consequences of his sin and David suffered immeasurably from those consequences. There are some valuable lessons we can learn from the story of David and Bathsheba. The Bible shows us the highest moral standing in history in the life of Jesus Christ. This book consistently challenges evil, transforms lives and exalts Jesus Christ. Next week more discussion on the Bible, its application and the continual conflict between good and evil which we are all caught up in today in one form or another.

We cannot end this column without taking a moment to recognize those who gave their lives in the service of our country. We give thanks for their service and we offer our gratitude and love to the families of those sacrificed. May God bless you and may God bless America.

Hang in there with me and before you know it you will be hanging in there with the Holy Spirit! Let us pray. O God, I ask your Spirit fills the hearts who have prayed the prayer of salvation and I lift up those who are thinking of this decision and overall I ask blessings and mercy upon the people of our little town. God Bless.

If you have any questions or want to speak about your life choices and your relationship with God, email; or call 570-853-3988.

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