HomeColumnists ( January 13, 2021 )

100 Years Ago

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

New Milford – The band held a meeting Wednesday evening in Odd Fellows hall and formed an organization by electing the following officers: President, R. B. Browning; Secretary, Robert Oliver; Treasurer, John J. Hand. The band will meet for rehearsal on Tuesday evening of each week. It is good news to the people to know that we are again to have a musical organization. In the past New Milford has been noted for its bands and we have the musical talent to make the present band the equal of any of its predecessors.

Montrose – Montrose badly needs a place where teams may be hitched while people are on shopping trips. Who will start the ball rolling? ALSO A Colonial supper and jubilee concert will be given by Mrs. Beatrice Cuff and Mrs. Ella Thompson at the AME Zion Church on Thursday evening, Jan. 20th. Admission, including supper, 50 cents.

Forest City – Forest City is well-known as an up-to-date hustling city, keeping abreast of the times in modern improvements. Her businessmen are wide-awake and intelligent, always with an eye out for anything looking toward the town's betterment. It is noteworthy that among such men are Thomas and John McCormick, former residents of Silver Lake. The former is Forest City's postmaster, and one is not in Forest City before he learns that Mr. McCormick is held in the highest esteem by both Democrats and Republicans. John is an active member of McCormick Bros. Store, which has an enviable record for square dealing. Frank M. Gardner, John C. Murray and Editor Gelder, who has just taken office as Representative from Susquehanna county, are also among our energetic and useful citizens. ALSO Al Murphy, who worked for the Hillside Coal and Iron Company here last summer and fall, was knocked out in the 5th round at Philadelphia, Monday night, by knockout Chaney, of Baltimore. The men are light weights.

Harford – Robert Frink, rural carrier on Route No. 1, desires to express his thanks and appreciation for the money and gifts which his patrons gave him for Christmas. Mr. Frink has a journey of 29 miles to make each day and he very seldom misses a trip. Snow banks have to be pretty high to keep him away and his patrons very much appreciate his good service. ALSO Elwell Allen is our champion hunter. During the recent season he has captured seven foxes, two coons, one mink, 28 skunks, nine muskrats and three weasels. ALSO J. M. Felton is Harford's champion pig raiser. His pig, Peter, dressed 560 pounds. Who can beat that? [Poor Peter].

Choconut – Sleigh riding will be a very disappointed thing for many that have nothing much to do.

Brooklyn – Mrs. Louise Lee passed away at her home here on Saturday, Jan. 8, 1921. The funeral services were held Tuesday morning. Mrs. Lee had passed her 90th birthday, but had full possession of all her faculties and had been quite active in the home until a short time before her death. She is survived by two sons, E. G., of Brooklyn, and Willis, of Washington, DC; two daughters, Miss Evalyn, at home and Miss Alice Louise Lee, of New York City.

Howard Hill – Charles Roe has returned home from the hospital and is doing nicely, the only danger feared now being blood poisoning.

Clifford – Dr. Reed Burns is a native of this place, and was educated in medicine and surgery at the University of Michigan. He established a hospital on Adams Avenue, Scranton, in 1906 and in 1908 bought property at Jefferson Avenue and built a larger hospital, opened in 1909. This was later sold to the Order of the Sisters of Mercy, in 1917. Among the men who attained proficiency under Dr. Burns was Dr. Birchard, of Montrose.

Rush – Dewey Garrison has enlisted in the US Marines. Also Earl Canfield, a former resident of Rush. ALSO S. B. McCain is having a big sale on shoes and overshoes. He tells us that he has supplied us in shoes for 47 years, coming here from Montrose with his father, Uncle Joe McCain, and his brother, Will, in 1873.

Thompson – A three year old boy was found on Wednesday of last week wandering along the O. & W. railroad tracks by Foreman O. M. Spoor. The little tot was unable to tell from whence he came. Thinking that the boy was from Browndale, Mr. Spoor placed him on the car and took him to that place where anxious parents were looking for him. Had he not been discovered by Mr. Spoor, the child would undoubtedly have suffered from exposure.

Herrick and Clifford – The cases of the Commonwealth vs. the Supervisors of Herrick and Clifford have been continued until the April term of court. In the case of the supervisors of Herrick, we are informed, the constable withdrew the charge that they had been negligent in the performance of their duties and the supervisors offered to pay the costs in the case but the court refused to discharge them.

Uniondale – Valentine Knapp has been appointed truant officer of the Uniondale school district. Henceforth the kiddies will have to be in school unless prevented by illness.

East Rush – Our pastor, Rev. Hilliard, gave us a very interesting discourse Sunday. There ought to have been more there to hear it. ALSO Chas. Squires went to Binghamton, Saturday, to attend to his father, who is in bad shape after his operation.

Franklin Hill – On account of the poor health of the pastor, the church has been closed for the winter.

The following marriage licenses were issued: Frank Ceglar and Rosie Planisek, Forest City; Leon Carman and Gertrude Moat, Choconut; F. Arthur Buckley and Sarah E. Donovan, Lanesboro.

News Brief: A little baby with no milk, a starving child with no clothes, reach out their hands to you in utter want and helplessness. If you care, send ten dollars or more to W. H. Warner, First National Bank, Montrose, treasurer, European Relief Council. ALSO Men and women not beyond middle age can remember the time when it was the rule for a person to get a fresh egg for breakfast. Now very few have that pleasure, among town folks especially. The eggs served are of an old time vintage, ancient in months of canned isolation and cannot be served with the "sunny side" up.

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Letter of the Law

By Jason J. Legg

Donald Moore and Sheena Turner had been involved in a romantic relationship and had a daughter together. The relationship did not last and they separated. On May 5, 2018, Moore returned their two-year old daughter to Turner after a period of visitation with her. When he arrived at Turner's home, Turner was not home but her niece, Sabrya Brown, was there. Brown told Moore that he was no longer welcome at the home and that he needed to leave. Moore became upset, forced his way into the residence, and used a metal baseball bat to strike and damage a wall, a door and a television set.

While Moore was swinging the bat inside the residence, his two-year old daughter was following in close proximity to him. As a result, shards of glass from the damaged television showered down upon the child – and she ended up with glass in her hair. As a result of Moore's conduct, the child was visibly upset and emotional.

Moore was charged with a number of criminal offenses including one count of Endangering the Welfare of Child (EWOC). When the Commonwealth prepared the criminal information (the formal written charges), a typographical error occurred and Sheena Turner was listed as the victim of the EWOC charge – as opposed to Moore's two-year old daughter. The Commonwealth never noticed the typographical error prior to the trial. Moore was convicted of the EWOC count after a judge trial and was sentenced to 3 years of probation.

Moore then filed a post-trial motion contending that his conviction for the EWOC count had to be overturned because the victim had been listed as Turner – not his child. Thus, Moore argued that "he was convicted of a crime for which he had not been charged." The trial court refused to overturn his conviction and Moore appealed to the Superior Court.

In considering the typographical error, the Superior Court noted that "minor mistakes and errors do not automatically invalidate a criminal information." Instead, criminal charges must be read in a "common sense manner" with the sole purpose being to provide a defendant with sufficient notice to prepare a defense, understand the nature of the criminal charge, and to assure that the defendant is not being tried twice for the same conduct (double jeopardy). For a typographical error in a criminal information to be sufficient to support a conviction being overturned, a defendant must demonstrate that the error "could mislead the defendant at trial, involves an element of surprise prejudicial to the defendant's efforts to prepare his defense, precludes the defendant from anticipating the prosecution's proof or impairs a substantial right."

The Superior Court denied Moore's appeal noting that Moore was never misled by the Commonwealth during the course of the case – and that Moore was aware that the criminal information merely had a typographical error. The Commonwealth presented evidence at the initial preliminary hearing demonstrating that the child was the victim – and, indeed, had to be the victim because Turner was not Moore's "child." Further, the Commonwealth provided discovery that identified the child as the victim and discussion between counsel during plea negotiations further made clear that the child was the victim. Because Moore could not articulate how his defense was prejudiced by the typographical error, Moore's conviction was affirmed.

Some people have the misconception that typographical errors are fatal defects in criminal proceedings.  In reality, typographical errors occur all too frequently – and the law recognizes that such typographical errors have to result in some kind of prejudice to a defendant to be actionable. As this case demonstrates, it would be a rare criminal case where a typographical error itself would become a magical "Get Out of Jail Free" card.

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How To Take Pills©

By Dr. Ron Gasbarro

To be a lab rat for cash or for cancer

Howie came into the pharmacy. "Hey, Doc," he said to the pharmacist. "I wanted to pay off my bill." "I guess those clinical studies you volunteered for are generating some cash," the pharmacist replied. "Yes, you can officially call me a lab rat!" Howie said.

What is a clinical study? What kind of money can it bring in? A clinical study is an experiment that tests whether a drug or a medical device works or not. Let's say that researchers want to test Drug A to see if it works for in lowering blood pressure. Thirty human subjects (or colloquially, "lab rats") are chosen for the study based on their age, gender, and ethnicity. These 30 subjects are divided into two groups: 15 subjects get Drug A and 15 subjects get a placebo (aka: sugar pill). If the group that got Drug A saw a decrease in their blood pressure and those in the placebo group saw no drop in their blood pressure, then Drug A can work to lower blood pressure in the general population. If the Drug A group did not experience lower blood pressure, then Drug A did not work.

And there is money in this, you ask. Just ask Howie. "The amount you get paid depends on the complexity of the study in which you are enrolled," Howie explained. Clinical trials pay $50 to $300 per day per visit, with compensation dependent upon the length of time required as well as the procedures performed. Typically, overnight stays pay more than those involving repeat day visits. Similarly, the more invasive the procedures - such as blood draws - the larger the compensation the studies provide.

Besides the dinero, there are advantages and disadvantages to being in a clinical study. For example, one will get a free head-to-toe physical examination prior to the start of the study. If you have not been to a doctor for a while, knowing this information will be important for your files. The drawbacks may be a drug side effect. That side effect will be very important to the researchers in determining whether the drug is safe. While the side effect may be uncomfortable, rest assured you will be treated accordingly.

Clinical trials can be a last-ditch effort to get a novel treatment regimen for advanced disease. For instance, Jenny has advanced thyroid cancer. She has been on several treatments but has not responded favorably. She located a clinical study within 4 hours from her home. The travel may be tedious, but she will get the chance to assess whether the test drug will work for her. Before she can enter the study, she must meet the inclusion and exclusion criteria set up by the study investigators. Example: The investigators may want only women ages 18 to 65. They may exclude a subject who is pregnant. Yes, a possibility exists that the test drug may cause severe side effects. However, the benefits may outweigh the risks of the test drug as decided by Jenny as well as the researchers. BTW, the test drug will be free.

How do you find a clinical study that is right for you? is a databank of federally funded, privately supported, and unfunded clinical trials involving human subjects. The website is managed by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). With a few keystrokes, you can locate a clinical study and scan through the details of the study, and whether the study investigators are still recruiting subjects. Even though Howie and Jenny had different needs, they both found studies that would suit their situation.

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

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Susquehanna Happenings

By Valerie Senese

What was once a dead end with no foot traffic is now home to parked cars and eager pedestrians, all of whom are vying for the taste of a nostalgic treat. "Susquehanna Scoops," which is owned by Barbara Larsen, was opened during the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. While everyone who visits her shop leaves with a smile, some could quite possibly ponder the reasoning for opening this delightful food experience to the community in such a desperate time; a time marked by insurmountable risk.

It should be no surprise to find out that Ms. Larsen doesn't just feel passionate about ice cream. She has a deep appreciation for the historical and cultural value that ice cream has played in America since it proved its ability to not only survive the Great Depression, but to bring people happiness while they worked through it. There was a gleam in her eye as she referenced how President Franklin D. Roosevelt saved the ice cream industry while alleviating the gloominess that accompanied the turn of the century sadness. This was accomplished by developing cold storage trucking so that ice cream could be shipped across America. Once shipped, it was to be served in the often-depressing banks as people anxiously awaited their turn in line for a teller. Nowadays, children still enjoy these efforts, as banks give out free lollipops instead of ice cream to children.

Her enticing energy didn't stop there. She continued to excitedly express her happiness of when she gets to serve an eager child their much-anticipated ice cream cone. She said "Ice cream is a comfort food and when things are slow moving like they are now, everyone finds joy in eating an ice cream! I love to watch the kids come in and pick a flavor and enjoy it! We even get creative at times and let the kids create their own work of art with the ice cream."

Her zeal for the timeless dairy desserts of yesteryear continued to bubble to the surface. Ms. Larsen explained how she and her husband have always wanted to open an ice cream shop, and when they realized the Main Street didn't have one, they decided to pursue their dream. They picked the furthest-possible available Downtown store front from all of the other businesses because they knew in their hearts that the community, which they love so much, would support them. With that, they chose the spot with the closest parking available and opened up shop.  Just like a dream come true, the space buzzed with life as people parked, lounged in bistro sets, and walked up and down Main Street while working away at a delicious Hershey's ice cream.

It's not a surprise that the community has supported Ms. Larsen in her endeavor to open up shop in the midst of 2020. Her clear support of the community can be seen in her service as a councilperson for the Borough of Susquehanna Depot, and her donations to the Susquehanna Fire Department as well as the Susquehanna Community School District. Additionally, she made it a clear point to create the logo for her shop to represent the culture and history she appreciates so much: A chocolate brown steam train with sweet lollies for the wheels and ice cream filled cones for the smoke stack and lettering depict her "Susquehanna Scoops" branding. Certainly, this is a name that draws residents and passersby alike back to the only town in Pennsylvania named after the mighty Susquehanna River and its train history; the town of Susquehanna Depot.

Moreover, was her passion to use her business venture for the economic development of the community. As she spoke of all the different perks of pursuing her dream business, I couldn't help but notice that each sentiment was laced with a desire to see other businesses thrive, and for that liveliness to have a domino effect throughout the Greater Susquehanna area. According to Ms. Larsen, one of the things she is most excited about is foot traffic. "We cannot wait until the summer when the street is bustling with people eating ice cream and visiting the parks as well as walking and shopping the Main Street!" These are qualities that are the polar opposite of big box stores. Instead of seeing how many competitors and businesses she can force to close, she marks her success on how well others succeed, even if that means they sell a similar product in their establishment. This is the very trait that creates a strong, enjoyable community which can grow with the support of its residents, and then in time, attracts tourists.

Last but not least, Ms. Larsen had a side smirk as she hinted at the possibility of offering ice cream cakes, additional hard flavor choices, more soft serve flavors, and possibly the old familiar jingle of an ice cream truck as part of the future of her establishment.

If you are excited about the hustle and bustle on Main Street and want to keep it going then get on the Focus on Local bandwagon. Go get an ice cream, a gift card, leave a review on their Facebook page, share their content and refer a friend. Because nobody supports you like local!

To find more information about Susquehanna Scoops, visit their Facebook page at Susquehanna Scoops LLC.

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