HomeColumnists ( January 22, 2020 )

100 Years Ago

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

Lakeside – On January 16, 1919 the people of this place were very much surprised to hear of the marriage of Ella Tanner and Ernest Elbrecht, so on Friday evening, January 16, 1920 the Lakeside people thought they would return the surprise on Mr. and Mrs. Elbrecht by gathering there in sleigh loads. Although a southern storm was blowing outside, the house was filled with a jolly crowd inside. Light refreshments were served, after which the couple was called into the sitting room and in a pleasing manner presented with some linen and a purse of money. Everyone was invited to meet 49 years from that night to celebrate their 50th anniversary. [Ella and Ernest were married 44 years when Ella passed away.]

Montrose – Coincident with the passing of old "John Barleycorn" comes the announcement of the sale of the old "Montrose House" building to contractor W. A. Clark, of Montrose, who will wreck same for the lumber, doors, windows, etc. Mr. Clark is given six months to remove the building from the premises. Miss Meta Guy, of Pittsburgh, is here this week to complete the deal. The Guy estate retains the lot, which we understand will be placed on the market. The old building is one of the old land marks of Montrose. It had been in use as a licensed hotel up to two years ago, and had enjoyed a profitable business for nearly 40 years. The building was originally a residence, which was converted into a hotel by raising the house and building a new first story under same. [The residence was that of Isaac Post, step-son of Bartlett Hinds, first settler of Montrose. The Montrose Inn was built on the lot, which was eventually remodeled into the present bank building on Church Street.] ALSO W. A. Welliver is looking forward to the time when he shall throw open the doors of his handsome, new movie house, on Public Avenue, to the lovers of movies in Montrose, and to make his equipment for excellent service more complete, he was in Binghamton on Monday to purchase another film machine, that he might have two machines and have continuous pictures during the entire show, without any waits in changing films. The new picture house, the erection of which Whipple Bros., of Laceyville, have the contract, will have a seating capacity of 350, and the most modern ventilation system available. Completion should be by June 1st.

Auburn Twp. - Some of the pupils are absent on account of the snow drifts. However, one student showed his school spirit by getting out and breaking open the road on Sunday night, in order that he could get to school on Monday morning. ALSO At the annual meeting of the stockholders of the West Auburn Telephone Co., which was held on Jan. 15, the old officers and directors were elected to succeed themselves, with R. B. Swisher continuing as managing director.

Susquehanna – The ice is twenty inches thick on the Susquehanna River. ALSO Josiah Mills, a few years ago one of the best-known engineers on the Erie, died Jan. 6 at Highland Park, Illinois. Mr. Mills, who was 86 years of age at the time of his death, resided in Susquehanna for many years.

Birchardville – A variety shower was tendered Mr. and Mrs. Russell S. Dayton at their home on the evening of Jan. 13th, by a number of their friends. The young couple received many useful and pretty gifts. The evening was spent at planning rook, checkers and crokonole, after which dainty refreshments were served.

Gibson – The roads are drifted full in nearly every direction and the milk teams had a hard time getting to the creamery Monday morning.

Choconut Valley – It keeps the supervisors busy breaking roads for the Friendsville stage and the rural delivery to get through. ALSO The teacher, Miss Dunne, of the Chalker school, could not reach her school on Monday morning and James Donnelly started to Endicott with milk Sunday, but had to turn and come back on account of the roads being drifted.

Lynn, Springville Twp. – C. L. Sheldon, one of our enterprising townsmen, has invented a snow plow to clean sidewalks, and after every snow storm he can be seen making snow paths about town, especially on Church Street and Widow Avenue. A vote of thanks is certainly due him, at least.

Clifford – "Aunt" Fannie Felts passed away on Wednesday morning, after a short illness, at the age of 91 years. Her sister, Mrs. Felton, who resided with her, will go to Elmira for the winter.

Lanesboro – Lanesboro council has passed an ordinance calling for a special election on March 29, 1920, to give the people an opportunity to vote on the proposition of increasing the indebtedness of the borough by $15,000, the money to be used for street paving. West Main, Main and Viaduct Avenue are the streets it is desired to pave.

Forest City – Fans witnessed the defeat at the high school gymnasium of the high school basketball team and the Forest City Scrubs, the second team of the high school, by the high school quintet and the junior team of Honesdale. The games were speedy and in the final half between the seniors, Rugby tactics were resorted to by the visitors. They had difficulty in reaching here and were compelled to walk from Simpson. ALSO Students of the high school are preparing to give a musical comedy, "Oh, Oh, Cindy" on Feb. 5 and 6. The play is of high type and is sure to please.

Thompson – Albert Mock, of South Thompson, is soon to have a pipeless furnace installed in his home. Slowly but surely the pipeless furnace will take the lead.

Fairdale – The large farmhouse on the Willis E. Barron farm, near this place, was burned to the ground early Tuesday morning. The fire was discovered about 7 o'clock, catching in the attic over the kitchen, and was so situated under the roof and had got such a start that it was impossible to extinguish the flames. Mr. and Mrs. Barron were engaged in milking and other chores when the fire originated and after a vain attempt to put out the blaze with the limited means at hand, they phoned for help to neighbors and set out to remove what furnishings were possible from the first floor. No insurance on either the building or personal property and owing to the advancing years of the owners it makes the loss doubly heavy. The Barrons are with their neighbor, John Hart.

Ararat – When Mrs. Nettie Hathaway returned home recently from a visit, she discovered window panes broken. Thinking that possibly burglars had visited her home during her absence, she concluded that an investigation would be in order. She entered the house and found a large fox in possession. She proceeded at once to the home of a neighbor, who returned with her and dispatched Mr. Reynard in short order. It is presumed that the fox had been pursued by dogs and sought refuge in the home.

Marriage Licenses: Leon H. Vincent, Binghamton and Margaret E. Hoag, Great Bend; Stanley Crissell, Lanesboro and Clara Stark, Susquehanna; Anton Marinic and Mary Beveris, Forest City; Reinhold Sayer and Irene Rogers, Hallstead; M. E. Sullivan, Sanitaria Springs, NY and Elizabeth E. Clark, Montrose.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Commencing this year, New York State has implementing sweeping bail reform. As a result, monetary bail was eliminated for all misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenses, with the exception of witness intimidation, certain sexual offenses and violations of protective orders in domestic violence cases. If the charged offense involves a violent crime, the court may still impose monetary bail but the new law requires that the court set an amount that the defendant will be able to post based upon his or her financial circumstances.

As a result, the new law substantially impairs a judge's ability to impose monetary bail for a wide variety of criminal charges – even if the judge believes that monetary bail is appropriate and necessary.  One study suggested that 43 percent of all pre-trial detainees in New York City would have been released pursuant to the new legislation, i.e., they were being held because they could not post monetary bail posted by a judge in connection with misdemeanor or nonviolent felony charges.

How does New York's new bail law compare to Pennsylvania's approach to bail? First, the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that "excessive bail shall not be required." Article 1, Section 13 of the Pennsylvania Constitution contains the exact same wording. In other words, there is a federal and state constitutional right to a reasonable bail when you are charged with a criminal offense, i.e., not an excessive bail.

Statutorily, under Section 5701 of Title 42, Pennsylvania likewise provides that an untried defendant has a right to bail except for: (1) capital offenses for which the maximum sentence is life imprisonment; or (2) circumstances where no bail conditions other than imprisonment "will reasonably assure the safety of any persons and the community." In other words, even though there is a constitutional right to bail, there are circumstances where bail may simply be denied provided serious circumstances warrant such a denial.

Under Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure 523, a judge must consider the following factors in setting a reasonable bail: (1) the nature of the offense charged; (2) any mitigating or aggravating factors that may impact upon a conviction and penalty; (3) the defendant's employment status and history; (4) the defendant's finances; (5) the defendant's family relationships; (6) the defendant's residence and length of time in the community; (7) the defendant's age, character, reputation, mental condition; (8) the defendant's addiction to drugs and/or alcohol; (9) defendant's prior history regarding past bail violations in other cases; (10) the defendant's history of past flight or escape; (11) the defendant's past criminal history; (12) the defendant's history of using false identification; and (13) any other factors that will assure the defendant's appearance for subsequent court proceedings as well as assure the protection of the victim and the community itself.

When you read through this long list of factors, it becomes evident that a judge must consider a wide variety of factors when assessing the appropriate bail for a particular defendant. Many of these factors require some knowledge of the defendant's personal circumstances and past dealings with the criminal justice system. While the prosecutor and defense attorney can supply this information, the judge may have knowledge of some of these factors simply from prior interactions with a particular defendant. Especially in smaller communities, judges often know quite a bit of information simply from past encounters with a defendant prior to setting bail.

The New York approach is designed to assure that defendants charged with non-violent criminal offenses do not sit in pre-trial detention for extended periods of time simply because they lack the financial means to post monetary bail. If the judge setting bail has done his or her job in evaluating the relevant bail factors, however, any monetary bail that has been set should reflect the nature of the crime itself, the financial circumstances of the particular defendant as well as the numerous other bail factors.  By creating a bright-line rule that simply prohibits monetary bail for a wide category of criminal offenses, New York has effectively usurped the traditional judicial role in setting bail based upon thoughtful consideration of a multitude of relevant factors designed to assure the safety of the community while still protecting the defendant's constitutional right to a reasonable bail.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

When is it OK to go to work sick?

The pharmacist heard his technician sneeze once, twice, three times. "If you're sick," the pharmacist told Jake, "Why didn't you stay home?" "Who is going to do all this work?" Jake replied, "Jenny is out sick, and the mail-order stuff needs to be packed. Anyway, I can't afford to lose a day's pay. I used up all my sick days on jury duty, remember?"

During the colder months, deciding whether to drag your fevered, queasy body to work is the ultimate conundrum. Go to work and infect everyone else? Or stay at home and get behind at work? Yes, you could use one of your sick days. But remember that beautiful August day when you and your buddy played hooky and went to the beach? You even told your boss that your sunburn was a side effect of the cough syrup you took.

Tomfoolery aside, should you stay home when you are ill? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offer some guidance in this regard. For example, do you have a fever? A fever is one of the cardinal signs of a contagious illness. So, if your temperature is 100.5 degrees or higher, then stay in bed. Arriving at work with an elevated temperature is a sure way to bring the entire office down to their knees. The employer should advise all employees to stay home if they are sick until at least 24 hours after their fever has skedaddled without the use of fever-reducing medicines, notably acetaminophen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and aspirin.

Harry, in the cubicle next to yours, has been hacking up phlegm all day. "Gotta get this report done for the boss," he said as he hands you the stapler he borrowed last week. Immediately cover your hands and the stapler with one quart of Lysol®. If one's cough brings up mucus or other secretions, then stay home. Dry coughs are probably okay, albeit annoying. For those people, take up a collection to buy your wheezing co-worker a big bag of cough drops.

Vomiting or diarrhea? No one wants to know about this, let alone experience the sights and sounds of it. Stay home. Lucy is on TV all day, and the Weather Channel is conducive to napping. Plus, there is nothing like your own toilet when you are at your most revolting. Stay hydrated. If these symptoms continue for more than 24 hours, get medical assistance. Earaches are okay at work only if not accompanied by a fever. Sneezing is acceptable if you practice strict germ control, that is, nose blowing with plenty of Kleenex®, and constant hand washing. If you get the flu, then everyone is going to say, "But didn't you get a flu shot?" If you did catch influenza and had a million reasons why you did not get a shot, keep your germs and humiliation at home.

Sick workers may show up because there is an important meeting. Even though they fear being reprimanded, replaced, or fired, or because they are people who need the paycheck, they do real harm by spreading their illnesses to everyone else in the office. Most employers are sympathetic to the truly infirm worker bee. If you are otherwise punctual, hard working, and contribute to the team, few will find fault with your absence and will be glad when you return. Conversely, if you have a habit of calling in sick on the Friday before a long weekend, or when the weather is so intoxicating that you do not want to be in a stuffy, windowless office, you may raise a few eyebrows. Do the right thing. Take a vacation day instead.

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

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