HomeColumnists ( May 15, 2019 )

100 Years Ago

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

Auburn – Lieut. Stanley D. Loomis, who has been in the Walter Reed hospital in Washington, DC, is now spending a 30 day furlough with his parents Mr. And Mrs. S. W. Loomis. On his return to Auburn several hundred were at the station to greet the unlucky officer, who returns minus a leg, which he lost in France while charging a German trench with his platoon at the time when the Allies smashed through the Hindenburg line. Lieut. Loomis has been fitted with a cork leg, and although inconvenienced is able to get around very handily. Lieut. Loomis is a model type of the true, young American. His bearing is soldierly; his eye bright, though kindly, unusually intelligent and very courteous. He complains not of the price he paid for our victory at arms. He will complete his college studies now. ALSO Stanley Loomis and Harold Davis, of Meshoppen, attended the banquet at Auburn Center, Friday evening, and while returning home were unfortunate enough to get stuck in the mud on the Bunnell and Loomis hills.

St. Joseph – The funeral of Miss Anastasia Sweeney a former resident was held at St. Joseph's church, Monday. She was an educated and refined woman who spent many years as a valued teacher in the county. Late years she spent with her sister, Margaret, who has a government position in Washington, DC.

New Milford – Business change: F. K. Sutton sold his grocery business to George Lathrop, of this place, and Glenn Parker, of Johnson City. Mr. Lathrop has been in the jewelry business for two years and he will continue the jewelry business in connection with the store. Mr. Parker has wide experience in the mercantile business. Mr. Sutton will devote his time to the undertaking business.

East Rush – We hear plenty of complaints these days in regard to our roads being in such bad shape. It seems preposterous for a supervisor to go and haul a lot of sods and stones into the road and then leave them for weeks at a time before throwing out a stone or leveling down a sod, and yet we people sit calmly by and say nothing. There ought to be a law compelling the supervisor to finish the roads, a mile at a time, so that the traveling public could get over them without endangering their life. ALSO In Rushville, Barney Avis and wife have moved into the Shadduck store building, where Mr. Avis will conduct a grocery store. The people of this community are much pleased, as they had to go three and four miles to a store.

Gibson – The Grange has a new player-piano, which added much to the interest of the meeting last Saturday. Several members of the Harford Grange were present. Come again.

Susquehanna – Not in years this early in the season [has] the Lenox and Harmony state and stage road leading into Susquehanna been in such fine condition as at present. Those witnessing the great auto and team traffic daily over the surface state, without a dissenting voice, that it should be among the very first in the system of highways in Susquehanna County to be made a permanent stone road by the State Highway Department.

Stevens Point – Harry Buchanan is in the Barnes hospital, Susquehanna, receiving treatment for injuries sustained when he was struck by a D & H train on the Jefferson division of the Erie last week. That he was not killed is a miracle. Mr. Buchanan was homeward bound, driving a horse and carriage. In passing over the crossing he was struck, his carriage overturning, and hurling the horse for some distance. He was brought to the hospital where it was found that one shoulder had been dislocated and he was painfully bruised about the head and body.

Montrose – Floyd S. Andre, an ingenious man and former machinist, has patented an invention which has possibilities of great magnitude. It is a new form of automobile or wagon spring. At the ends of each leaf of the spring is inserted a small steel roller, which when in use acts much on the principle of the familiar ball-bearing, easing the shock which comes from a jolt and greatly increases the resisting qualities of the spring and at the same time adds to the comfort of the passenger. Mr. Andre has taken up the matter of producing specimen springs and testing out the invention with the Sheldon Axle and Spring Works, at Wilkes-Barre, and experts give him considerable encouragement as to its practicability and worth. ALSO The party who has the book containing a record of all graves in the Montrose cemetery between 1800 and 1900 is requested to return it to the library, or hand to an officer of the Montrose Cemetery association. This record was compiled by the late Mrs. Mary Sayre and is valuable to the association.

Hallstead – The students of the Hallstead High school have set four memorial trees in memory of Mark O'Neill, Archie Tanner, Boyd Cottrell and John Moran, who gave their lives to their country in the late war.

South Montrose – Mrs. Fred Sigmond, Arlie Nichols and Hubert Yeomans have the measles.

Forest City – William Feddock, of the 17th Balloon company, arrived in this country from France, where he served for some time in the St. Mihiel sector, on May 3, and was sent to Camp Lee where he was discharged from service. ALSO The home of Andrew Strinsky of North Main street was entered one night last week by an intruder who gained entrance through the cellar window. About 4 o'clock Mr. Strinsky arose and going to the kitchen beheld the intruder leaving. He rapidly disappeared with no booty except some underwear. ALSO G. A. Thorpe has recently placed bath tubs in the homes of W. F. Sherwood and S. E. Lowery.

Uniondale – A number of our public spirited citizens propose an improvement that will surely remove the mud holes from Main Street. It is the intention to place crushed stone as an experiment on Main Street from Lake Avenue south to the borough line. If the plan is successful other portions of the borough streets will be treated in the like manner. The business portion of Main Street is the place to start with. One man has agreed to furnish stone and back the movement with a $25 subscription. We now have side walks, let's pull together for better roads.

News Brief: If every farm home would keep a supply of pop corn and a popper convenient, fewer nickels would be spent for less wholesome knickknacks and more enjoyable evenings would be spent around the family hearth.

200 Years Ago from the Montrose Gazette, May 15, 1819

*A hint to Farmers who plant late. Steep your seed corn in brine of salt petre twelve hours; four oz of salt petre to a gallon of water. This practice it is said will give your crop two weeks' advantage; the salt petre will cost but a shilling. [Now known as potassium nitrate.]

*Notice. All persons are hereby warned against taking an assignment of a certain Judgment of between 50 and 60 Dollars which Moses B. Wheaton holds against me on the docket of Esq. Tiffany, as I shall not pay the same without trouble. RUSSELL WHITNEY. Jackson, May 14, 1819.

*WANTED, Immediately, a Journeyman to the Hatting business – apply to John Brulte at his Manufactory at Mont-Rose. Mont-Rose, May 14th 1819.

Back to Top

Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

In 2012, Patrick Tighe, a 58-year old male, was charged in Lackawanna County with sexually assaulting J.E., who was a 15-year old female. J.E. called Tighe in order to get a ride to a store. After taking J.E. to the store, Tighe then drove her to a friend's vacant house where he raped her. J.E. promptly reported the sexual assault which allowed investigators to perform a rape kit that revealed genetic material matching Tighe. After a jury trial, Tighe was convicted and sentenced to serve 20 to 40 years in a state correctional facility.

Prior to the trial, Tighe had asserted his constitutional right to represent himself in the criminal proceeding. The trial court had granted Tighe's request but appointed an attorney as standby counsel, i.e., an attorney who would be present to assist Tighe if he requested help or needed a question answered. At the time of trial, however, Tighe sought to cross-examine J.E. personally and the trial court refused to allow him to do so because the victim had testified that Tighe scared her. Instead, the trial court directed Tighe to provide a list of questions to his standby counsel who would then conduct the cross-examination of J.E. After his conviction and sentence, Tighe appealed this ruling contending that the trial court denied his constitutional right to represent himself at the trial.

The Superior Court observed that Tighe's appeal presented an issue of first impression in Pennsylvania, i.e., whether a pro se litigant can be prohibited from personally cross-examining a witness and compelled to submit all questions through standby counsel. Along a similar line, the Sixth Amendment provides a defendant with the right to confront witnesses and generally requires that witnesses personally testify at the proceeding. The Superior Court observed, however, that the Confrontation Clause permits a child victim to be physically present in another location while the testimony is broadcast simultaneously into the courtroom provided that the record establishes a risk of physical or psychological harm to the child victim if required to testify in the courtroom.

Tighe, however, was not arguing that his Sixth Amendment rights were denied – J.E. appeared in the courtroom and was cross-examined by stand-by counsel. Rather, Tighe argued that his right to represent and defend himself had been violated. Tighe contended that his self-representation provided him with the absolute right to personally question J.E. whether she was present in the courtroom or not.

In response, the Superior Court relied upon that prior case law interpreting the Sixth Amendment's confrontation clause that permitted a child victim to testify outside of the presence of a defendant provided that there was evidence that the testimony would adversely impact upon the child victim. If a child victim was not required to be in the courtroom for testimony in order to protect the child victim from harm, then it followed that reasonable limitations could be placed upon the manner in which a child victim was questioned within the courtroom itself in order to minimize the risk of additional emotional trauma.

In affirming the trial court's decision, the Superior Court concluded: "If the primary focus of the right to self-representation is whether the defendant had a fair chance to present his defense, that goal was undoubtedly met herein despite [Tighe's] inability to personally ask his questions. [Tighe] supplied a list of questions to be asked, and there is nothing to indicate that [Tighe] was prevented from consulting with standby counsel in the event that he wanted to ask additional questions in response to J.E.'s answers... Therefore, his right to cross-examine J.E. was met in a broad sense, and was limited only in the narrow sense that he was not allowed to personally ask the questions... The right to confront J.E. was fully honored, albeit through standby counsel serving as [Tighe's] mouthpiece. While we do not downplay the significance of this intrusion, we reject [Tighe's] position that it is categorically impermissible."

Back to Top

How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

How far will you go to save on your meds?

The pharmacy phones were ringing off the hook – as usual. "White Cross Pharmacy," the pharmacist answered. "How can I help you?" The woman on the other end said, "I need to know the cost of this prescription my doctor just gave me." He told her it was $275. "Oh, Lord!" she exclaimed. "You mean my insurance will not cover it?" The pharmacist asked for her name so he could look up her insurance information in the computer. "I've never been there before. I am just looking for the lowest price."

The woman continued on to say, "I have 2 insurance plans. One is Medicare and the other is AARP. Can I give you the numbers? The first is 6-3-2-1…" "Wait," the pharmacist said, "I need to create a profile for you. What's your name and date of birth?" "All I want is a price," she said. Meanwhile, another phone was ringing and one line was on hold. "It's a doctor's office," the technician whispered to the pharmacist. "To give you a price, I need to put in all this information," the increasingly exasperated pharmacist told the woman. "Oh, Lord. Will this take much time?" Long story, short: At the end of this ordeal, the pharmacist told her that the drug would be $21 with her insurance. "Really?" the woman said. "It's only $16 at Pink Cross Pharmacy!" And with that, she hung up. Time wasted. New patient lost.

Are the days of going to just one pharmacy now gone? Drugs can be very – and unfairly – expensive. And the consumer is acutely aware. One hears stories about people having to choose between food and their medication, or taking on a second job to pay for their drugs, or even rationing their pills or insulin to carry them through the month. There are ways to buck the system. GoodRx, for example, is an online service that will give you the price of a medication at pharmacies within your vicinity. Typically, you enter the name of the drug and its strength. Then, a list of nearby pharmacies pops up along with the prices of the drug. You print out the coupon of the location you select and bring it to the pharmacy. You have insurance you say? GoodRx might still be cheaper – in some cases, up to 95% cheaper.

There are other ways to save on drugs. Ask the prescriber if a generic version of the medication exists. If not, ask if there are any comparable medications in that drug class. Some pharmaceutical companies offer programs to help patients who cannot afford their medications. If you qualify for one of these programs, you might get your medicine at little or no cost to you. Many of these pharmaceutical companies list these programs online so you can check the manufacturer's website. Or ask a pharmacist.

You could ask your prescriber if s/he would give you a 90-day supply of a drug (not a drug you have never had before, in case it does not work for you). But first, ask your pharmacist how much you would save by buying in bulk. Another tactic is to split a higher dose of the pill. Often, a drug will cost about the same no matter which strength it is. So, if you need 30 tablets of Drug X at 500 mg per dose, you could purchase only 15 tablets of Drug X at 1000 mg and then cut the tablet in half. Do your research first to see what strengths the drug comes in. This would not apply to capsules, gelcaps, or time-release pills.

More and more people are "pharmacy hopping" to save money. What is wrong with going to different pharmacies? Drug interactions may be missed. If you get one drug at White Cross and another at Pink Cross, who is going to notice that one drug interacts with the other? However, you could ask any pharmacist to look that up for you. In fact, there is nothing wrong with calling a pharmacy to see how much a drug costs. Just expect your hold time to be a bit longer if the pharmacist is juggling calls.

Ron Gasbarro, PharmD, is a registered pharmacist, medical writer, and principal at Read more at

Back to Top