February 28, 2011, the birthday of Matt Rabb, Rick Posey, Christy Campbell Harrison, Evy Lysk, Gary Ritter, Harry Ackerman--and the Republican Party, formed on this day in 1854 when some opponents of slavery--Northern Democrats, Whigs, and the Free Soil Party--gathered in Ripon, Wisconsin. Six years later, the party won the presidency with Abraham Lincoln. Richard Strauch and Greg Sutliff have birthdays today or tomorrow. Both are leap-year babies. The temperature should be 80° this afternoon in Port St. Lucie, while Benton's high will be about 51°. Port Saint Lucie is not expected to have a cloud in the sky. Benton will get a substantial amount of rain.
Dave Bronson came home from the hospital Saturday afternoon. Dave and Linda would like to thank everyone for their prayers. As Linda said, "The good Lord sure has answered them..."
Ryan Robert McGarrigle was born Wednesday, February 23, to David and Marnie McGarrigle. Siblings are Dillon, Kelsey and Jodin. Sandra Kelsey is the grandmother; Robert Kelsey (deceased), the grandfather. Great grandparents are Ken and Ethel Kelsey and Hobe and Jessie Whitenight. The baby weighed 8 lbs 1 ounce and was 20 inches long. All are doing well.
Didja ever think it probably isn't the red meat that is bad for you?
It is the fuzzy green meat that is bad for you.
A few days ago, I outlined uses for cast-iron skillets, but it appears that I omitted one. Ruth Cavanaugh, a long-time reader of the Benton News from Staten Island remembers that her grandpa, Peter G Farver, found a use for his iron frying pan that I didn't think of. Emma (Schlauch/Stackhouse) and Peter Farver lived in Benton when they were first married. Peter worked as a carpenter in the foundry. Ruth refers to the local area as "up home."
A few years after they were married, Grandma Farver, a strong-willed woman, but short in stature--4 ft., 11 inches compared with Grandpa Farver's 6 ft. 2 inches--had a big fight. She threw her cast-iron frying pan at Grandpa. He ducked and it hit the fireplace. The pan cracked in half across the middle.
As Ruth tells the story, "Grandpa was preparing to go to work, and as he left he picked up the two pieces of the broken pan, and took it to work with him." At work, he made a mold in the sand of the frying pan, using the two halves. He then melted down the two broken pieces, and using the molten iron, poured it into the mold and made Grandma a new frying pan from the old one. The only difference from the old one to the new one was that the new one had a mark across the middle where the old one had cracked in half!
He brought it home to Emma, and she used it from then on. Emma left it to her youngest daughter, Irene, who was told the story of why the frying pan had the flaw across the middle. It cooked just fine, of course, and eventually that old scarred frying pan from the 1910s was handed down to Ruth, Irene's daughter. Ruth had the frying pan until 1956, but left it behind in the oven in her old apartment when she moved. She went back to her old apartment the next day and told the landlord that she had left the black cast-iron frying pan in the oven in the apartment. The landlord said that it wasn't there, and took Ruth up to see that the oven was empty. Ruth figured he had taken it home, but there was nothing that she could do about losing that 50-year-old frying pan, and she never forgot about it.
The recent stories about iron frying pans reminded Ruth of her frying pan she lost. Ruth lamented, "I still feel bad about it 54 years after losing it. Just imagine if I had been able to hand it down to my daughter. 'C'est la vie.'
Ruth's eyes snapped back to the present day. "I guess it would have been a better story if I still had it," she said. Heck, I liked the story the way that it was.
Didja ever think that Congressmen should wear uniforms
like NASCAR drivers
so we could identify their corporate sponsors?
Those of us who live downstream of the Martin well--South on Fishing Creek from St. Gabriels church--will have an anxious March. Well--yes--we know the economic boom natural gas brings to the local economy and we are happy for those who found employment in the booming natural-gas business and we do know that climate change will be slowed just a tad because natural gas burns a bit cleaner than either oil or coal and deep down we all know that we would love to get off the dependency we have on radical nations that are now doing fisticuffs and worrying the bejesus out of us. But nonetheless, we'll all breath a little easier when the horizontal drilling that begins in March on the local gas well and the fracking that follows are finished. After all, methane gas was found at the Martin site just a hundred feet beneath the ground level when the vertical well was put in place. We should not discount danger to our precious water of Fishing Creek until the high-volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing--fracking--with the environmental risks that accompany it is complete. We hope that everyone within a mile of the well has had their water tested before fracking begins, but we have no way to know if everyone did.
During the fracking process, the Martin well can produce over a million gallons of wastewater from the bowels of the earth which contain highly corrosive salts, carcinogens like benzene and radioactive elements like radium. Add carcinogenic materials from the chemicals used in the fracking process to that brine and a stew "unfit for man nor beast" results. And on a less serious note, we have to be watchful for the additional truck traffic that will soon begin as water arrives on site and brine is trucked out.
I look forward to talking with those who feel that nothing adverse will happen to the upper Fishing Creek valley when they come forward at the end of the fracking process and tell me "I told you so." Meanwhile, until April, I'll keep my fingers crossed
Ora Karns deserves special mention today on her 98th birthday. Ora is spending today, like every day, at 211 East First Street in the Bloomsburg Health Care Center. Ora was born in 1913 at the family farm off Raven Creek Road, the twelfth child of William and Rhoda Conner Karns. When she was born, Atta, her older sister, carried her on a pillow because she was so small.
She met her future husband--a man known in the community as "Shorty" and whose real name was Carl E. Karns--on a blind date. They married on a trip to Philadelphia to visit Ora's sister, Belva. On the way to Philadelphia, they stopped in Allentown and got a marriage license. On their way home, they stopped in Allentown and got married. Because she was born a Karns and married a man with the same last name, she never had the problem of remembering her married name. After the couple married, they lived at Forks. They had no children. Many will remember Ora from her years working at the IGA Store owned by Horace Harrison on Main Street.
Shorty fell from the roof of Alvin Sutliff's barn, the building which today is the Benton Farmer's Market. His back was broken from the fall and he spent months in the hospital following the accident. Shorty never again walked without crutches or a cane. Shorty, as a result of his accident, was always hard for Ora to take care of but she never complained or felt sorry for herself and did a great job for him. He was unable to get around by himself for much of his life and spent a long time in a nursing home in his later years.
Ora has always had a fantastic memory and does to this date. Janet Rice remembers that Ora baked some wonderful cookies.
She and Shorty always had some type of craft on the go. Ora gathered jewelry from friends and relatives and while Ora was at work at Horace Harrison's store Shorty would remove backings from pins and earrings, clean them and then he and Ora made a beautiful jewelry tree.
They also caned and refinished chairs and Shorty made other wood items.
Ora taught children's class at Hamline United Methodist Church for many years and Shorty collected the money at all the Church's festival and penny suppers. Shorty also worked as a tax collector.
After Shorty died, Ora moved to Lightstreet and made many friends there on her long walks.
Ora's sight is poor now and she is currently suffering from a "cold," but she enjoys talking on the phone, so phone calls would mean a lot more to her than cards at this point. Her phone number is 570 387-0868 and early afternoon is the best time to call her. She may tell you that she is not having a birthday this year, that it has been canceled and that at her "age she can do that if she wants."
A story about Ora that you may never have heard took place in 1928 when Fishing Creek rushed from its banks and almost took a family of five to their graves. During the storm, Bruce Karns, the 19 year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Will Karns, Stillwater, tried to open a water pipe that carried water to their home. The current was so swift that it swept him off his feet and he wedged under the pipe. His father tried to help, but was also swept off his feet by the high water. Bruce's sisters, Claris (the mother of Max Hartman) and Ora, went to the assistance of their brother and father, and likewise were carried down the stream. Claris caught hold of a barbed wire fence and saved herself from being swept further away, but tore her hand so badly that it required stitches to close it. Ora clung to a fence post. Mrs. Karns finally freed her husband, who managed to get their son's foot loose. For a time, only the heads of five family members were out of the water and they all had a narrow escape from drowning. They recalled later watching live pigs bobbing their way past them on Fishing Creek in the raging waters.
A program that you might want to consider adding to your desktop is found at www.soople.com, which takes many of the advances that Google came up with and puts them in one place. For example, you can search by one particular site or type of file (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and pdf) or an image search by size and type. You can search the latest news, look up definitions or use Google as a phone book. The calculator permits you to do very advanced calculations. Soople has a unit-converter for the conversion of all the common units/measures (meters<--->yards). Soople is not affiliated with or endorsed by Google.
There is a lot of interest in Google with Recipe View. Come up with snacks or entrees--do any search based on recipes. This site is worth a look for anyone who cooks or bakes. Learn more by going here.
Cris Conkey, Shaleshock Media, has an interesting video on Eagles Mere--its history, how the gas industry will impact this historic town., the toboggan slide. The video is titled "Getting it Right for Eagles Mere." Watch the video here.
Boy Scouts are serving spaghetti and meatballs March 19 at the Methodist Church on Main Street from 4 to 7 PM, including salad, bread, cake, coffee and ice tea. The spaghetti supper is $7 for adults, $4 for children 6 to 12 and under 6 are free. Take outs are available.
February 25, the birthday of Greg Beishline, Lila Allen, Carol Bennett, Bob Sands and Paul Franklin. A special happy birthday to Ted Whitenight on his 80 birthday. Happy anniversary to Gahrad and Mary Lou Harvey.
February 26, the birthday of Michelle Karns, Dave Williams and Lisa Edson Daly.
It is interesting to examine the size of the tax burden borne by Americans at all levels of government. Combined state and local tax burdens fell slightly in fiscal year 2009, as taxes shrank faster than income in our slower economy. The nation as a whole paid 9.8% of its income in state and local taxes. Burdens among the states can vary widely. Taxpayers in New Jersey, for example, pay almost twice the state-local tax rate as those in Alaska. Residents of New Jersey, New York and Connecticut paid the highest state-local tax burdens in the nation. The average state and local tax burden for Pennsylvanians was the tenth highest in the nation in 2009, using figures provided by the Tax Foundation. Go here for a full report. If you want to compare other states, go here.
My days of riding motorcycles are over and perhaps yours are too, but you might enjoy a ride through the streets of Moscow on a motorcycle. Go here.The park committee for Benton Borough is attempting to collect photographs of the devastation which resulted when winds estimated at 70 mph range clobbered Benton Park and the borough and rodeo grounds on July 13, 2005. Let's refresh your memory of that day by starting at the rodeo grounds where the rodeo got reined in. The rodeo was taking place at the rodeo grounds, although banners were somewhere in the next county and electricity was in scarce supply. Few venders had much to sell. Electricity service to Mendenhall Lane and the rodeo was nonexistent. Neighbors from Orangeville and Millville pitched in with generators on their fire trucks to supply enough lights to see the arena after dark, and events began 15 minutes early in an effort to accommodate all the loyal fans. Most of Benton remained without electricity until the day following the windstorm, while a steady procession of cars and trucks prowled the Borough streets looking at the devastation. Large trees were uprooted and landed on Phillip and Susan Shutlz's house and on Scott Kline's house. Several houses outside of the Borough were reported to have roofs blown off. The Benton Park was virtually destroyed. Nearly every property owned in the immediate area suffered damage of some type.
From an area around Derrs to east of Benton, the area suffered extensive damage as what nearly everyone who rode through it described as a "tornado." The Benton Volunteer Fire Company worked well into the evening following the afternoon damage, and the local Boy Scouts were mobilized to aid in the clean-up effort.
PPL repaired lines beside Doug McCracken's house and trees were atop Scott Kline's house at Market and Park and the Phillip and Susan Shultz house on Market and Third. Tired firemen extinguished a fire at the Carol Fritz farm when a tree came down on an electric line. Due to road conditions, it took one fireman an hour and a half to come from Waller to Benton when the call for firemen went out.
A roof came off a building at Main and Center Streets and ended up on the porch roof of the Old Filling Station. Many of the beautiful plantings in the tropical gardens maintained by Richard Jost were damaged, although they weathered the storm pretty well. The Benton Town Park has many trees on the ground and the roof came off the grandstand.
A large wooden warehouse owned by Miles Little and located just behind the Senior Center was completely torn apart and deposited on the lawn of Grant and Sharon Little. The Grant Little property has as much debris on it as any property in the area, with the exception of the Benton Park.
An auction sign owned by Olin Knecht was in place at the northern end of the Benton Bridge over Fishing Creek. When the strong wind gusts came from the north, it caught the sign and tossed it like a paper airplane until it hit the overhead doors at the fire station.
Nearly everyone in Benton had substantial wind and some had minor water damage from the storm. Especially hard hit was the rodeo, in preparation at the time for the team penning that was on the lineup for Wednesday night. Although the permanent stands came through the barrage in relatively good shape, all tents and portable vendor stands were completely destroyed. One vender said he had $15,000 of merchandise destroyed in one of the portable stands. Two people were injured at the rodeo grounds and the Boy Scouts were mobilized to assist in the cleanup.
Steve Fisk, a vender at the Benton Rodeo, watched as the storm moved up the east side of Fishing Creek Valley. When it reached the area about the golf course, it veered and came south directly over the Borough. Steve said, "I turned around and knew that we were in trouble." In the process, all movable tents and stands were destroyed. Steve recalled that "it rained for what seemed an hour, but was probably only 15 minutes." He thought that he saw a funnel cloud, but it began raining so hard and so many things were happening all at once that he simply dove for cover.
So, as a reminder, if you have pictures of this storm which the park committee can borrow, please call the borough office at 925-6101.
Gahrad Harvey began delivering Williamsport's "Grit" newspaper before he went off to college in 1960. His brother, Fred, took over from Gahrad and delivered until he enrolled in Bloomsburg State College. The delivery route was from south of "Huntington Mills to Bloomingdale to Patterson Grove and all spots in between and amongst." The Williamsport weekly newspaper sold for 10 cents and the brothers received 4 cents carrier commission. The papers arrived Friday afternoon and were all delivered by Saturday evening. For some very remote customers, the brothers dropped off papers at the Harveyville Store and two stores in Huntington Mills (Gregory's and Patrichian's). Fred keeps his 50+ year old carrier bags and salesman stamp on his desk as a reminder of the "early years."
The "Grit" newspaper first appeared in 1882 in Williamsport as the "Daily Sun and Banner." The "Grit" began as a Saturday edition featuring news and features for rural America. It eventually climbed to a weekly circulation of 100,000 and by 1916, 300,000 read the newspaper each week. The newspaper was responsible for innovations in the newspaper business including delivery by newsboys like Gahrad and Fred.
People keep telling me that they feel sorry for the natural-gas drillers and the expenses to which they are subjected. Bear in mind that in the past year alone...
• Royal Dutch Shell announced it would pay $4.7 billion for most of East Resources' shale-gas assets;• ExxonMobil paid $31 billion for XTO Energy, the largest natural gas producer in the U.S.• Chinese oil giant CNOOC invested nearly $1 billion in Chesapeake's shale-gas assets.• Encana cut a deal with PetroChina to allow PetroChina to develop a large portion of Encana’s natural gas assets.• BP will invest $7 billion for a 30% stake in Reliance Industries' offshore India D6 gas block.
Robert S. "Bob" Houseweart (February 13, 1924-February 23, 2011), a native of the Benton area and a resident of the Masonic Village, Elizabethtown, died Wednesday morning at the Masonic Village. He was 87. Bob was born in Benton Township. He was a son of Arthur S. and Lillian (Evans) Houseweart. He was a 1938 graduate of Benton High School and was a former member of the Raven Creek Presbyterian Church. He proudly served his country in the U. S. Army (Infantry) as a Staff Sergeant during the occupational forces after World War II. He was a member of Oriental Lodge, No. 460, F. & A. M., Orangeville, the Caldwell Consistory, Bloomsburg, and the Wysox Volunteer Fire Company.
Mr. Houseweart was a business owner and a contract milk hauler for Dairylea Cooperative in Bradford County for more than 30 years. He did contract work with Agway, retiring in the late 1980s. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice (Krum) Houseweart, on April 9, 1996. The Hoursewearts lived in Wysox, Bradford County, for many years. He moved to York in 1994 where he lived until entering the Masonic Home in 2006.
Surviving are daughters Diane H. Whitehill (Douglas), York and Jane H. Stacey (James), Martinsville, Indiana; a granddaughter, Meghan Compton (Matthew), Avon, Indiana, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was the last member of his immediate family. He was preceded in death by siblings Harold W. Houseweart, Florence Polk, G. Wesley Houseweart, Raymond Houseweart and Doyle E. Houseweart.
Funeral services will be Saturday at noon with viewing preceding at the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc. A Masonic service will be held Saturday following the viewing hour. Private burial will be in the Esther Furnace Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to the Wysox Volunteer Fire Company; Attn: Jack Kilmer, P. O. Box 2, Wysox, PA 18854. For online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Jim Wood, 51, is a registered Republican from Madison Township, but is cross-filing on both the Republican and Democratic tickets for the position now held by Ola Stackhouse of the Columbia County Magisterial District.
Jim is currently circulating his petition for signatures. He attended the Millville schools and The Pennsylvania State University. He is Manager of Projects for general contractor G & M Crawford, Inc. and is a Registered Professional Land Surveyor. He is a single parent of daughter, Shannon, 17, and Richard, 15, both students at Millville High School. He is a 35-year member of the Millville Fire Company, and served as President, one of the Assistant Chiefs, Safety Officer and Ambulance Director. He has taught and helped teach EMT, first aid, CPR and firefighting classes. He has helped as a Boy Scout leader, planned and presented safety and educational programs in local schools, and participated in numerous plays with the Millville Players theater group to raise money for the town park and town pool. Jim coached AYSO soccer for several years and served as safety director for the local group as well as helping coach the elementary school basketball program. He is a past master of the Orangeville Oriental Masonic Lodge which annually holds a fun fair, flea market and craft fair to raise money for scholarships to graduating seniors of four schools in the county. For more information, go to www.votejameswood.com .
Today’s relaxing entertainment is in the form of both music and color. Go here and enjoy.
Unrest continues in cities across the Middle East and North Africa following uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. In Bahrain, tens of thousands of people are flooding the streets to demand political reform. Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi made a defiant speech in which he promised to "cleanse Libya house by house.” What is happening in 2011 in the Middle East and Africa somewhat parallels what happened in Europe in 1848 when each country was a monarchy. Things truly got nasty as the people who were fed up with being poor as church mice asked for a voice and vote in the governing of their countries. These uprisings were not entirely successful, but set in motion what came to pass in the following years. Then as now the worry is what form of government will follow when Muammar Gaddafi and others achieve their martyr status.Janice Dietrich reinforced my belief that cast-iron skillets are a "must" for the kitchen in the South to make “sausage gravy and hash and potatoes and fried pork chops—and red-eyed gravy. "
Cast iron pots and pans have been standard-cooking equipment for hundreds of years. For centuries, cast iron was the only practical material for making cookware. Some kettles ended up weighing more than a hundred pounds, holding 40 gallons or so.
Recipes that inventive cooks came up with in generations past--we're talking our parents or our grandparents--depended on the slow, even heat that cast-iron pans provided.
Mother "seasoned" her cast iron before she first used it. She rubbed it with vegetable shortening. I will never forget the large, black iron frying pan that Father was slaving over one morning at Painter Den. It looked as if it had not been washed in years. Actually, Father knew how to take care of the frying pan after he used it, but he didn't know very much about cooking. Budd Fritz recalled that morning recently, saying that when he came into the cabin there was a blue haze that lingered everywhere from the ceiling to about three feet off the ground. Budd quickly asked Father what he was doing, knowing that he was burning the breakfast. Father slowly replied using the voice of someone in unfamiliar ground, of someone who needed to answer the question but not give out too much information. Father thoughtfully replied to Budd's question. "Not much,” he said, “Just cooking Bobby (Kline) an egg." Scorching an egg would have been closer to the truth.
Father knew to pour the fat off the frying pan after using it. He would wipe it down and put it back on the stove for the next round. Anything more, he insisted, would ruin the seasoning of the pan--and in a cast-iron skillet, seasoning was the main thing.
Iron frying pans with layers of grease have traveled from the Atlantic to the Pacific. In many Western camps, it was the only utensil for cooking.
Don't forget to pick up your tickets for the Mardi Gras celebration at The Center. The deadline to buy tickets is February 26. Tickets can be bought at The Center, Ed Cole’s Barber Shop and Harvey Insurance. The price is $15 for the shrimp Eetoufee and chicken/sausage jambalaya, or $12 for the Cajun pork chop entree. Both entrees include a bowl of chicken and andouille gumbo and king cake for dessert. For additional information, call The Center at 925-0163.
Grits for breakfast is as popular with me as buckwheat cakes and sausage. I reserve the same esteem for grits as the first sample of baking powder biscuits, collards and hush puppies that my Southern friends gave me when I traveled through their “neck of the woods.” Others disagree. Larry Paul insists that grits taste like "something scraped from the bottom of a parrot's cage."
My every breakfast “eaten out” here in Florida includes grits with a little salt and some butter. One time when I returned north from a sojourn in the south I was hungry for grits and ordered them in a local restaurant. I expected to be yelled at for ordering something that was not on the menu, but the owner said she could whip up some grits and I suddenly thought to myself that I wouldn’t have to go south because grits were available in Benton. When the grits arrived, I could tell that the person who prepared them had never been south of Maple Grove.
Grits in the South are not just reserved for breakfast. I have seen grits with red-eye gravy and “grits ‘N greens bake,” and other concoctions that stubbornly rebellious Yankee palates would not tolerate. For those not familiar with “red-eye gravy,” it is somewhat akin to our sausage gravy, but is extremely salty.
There is a line in the movie My Cousin Vinnie were Joe Peshi sashays into a Southern restaurant and asks the proprietor, What is a grit?”
Its name is one of the problems with grits. Most Northerners don’t know if the word is singular or plural (it is plural). The word itself sounds as appetizing as—well, as appetizing as the Brits use of the term for the dish “toad-in-the-hole.” One does not eat “a grit.” The correct English construction is “grits are good.” If you say “grits is good,” it probably means that you failed remedial reading and Mary Hartman will come back and haunt you the rest of your life.
Grits are a form of coarsely ground corn that somehow didn’t make it into the ethanol pot. Hominy comes from hard-kernel corn dried on the cob then removed and soaked in a solution of baking soda, lime or wood ash. The hulls soften and swell. The kernels are hulled, then dried.
Instant grits don’t exist. (I know, I know, stores in the north sell grits that way, but what comes out as the final product doesn’t taste any more like grits than Sanka tastes like coffee.)
The rumor isn’t true that grits are grown on bushes, then harvested by midgets who shake the plants to spread the grits on the ground. Grits are not made from ground-up bits of white corn. There is no truth to the rumor that in Southern Georgia, grits are mined. There is no truth that grits are a first cousin to Cream of Wheat, just as there is no truth that Cream of Wheat is made from Elmer's Glue and shredded Styrofoam and leave young mothers unable to have children.
Hominy grits, or just plain grits, are an institution in the South, and hard to find in northern states outside of Waffle Houses and Cracker Barrel restaurants. Grits are often referred to as hominy grits, but grits are not hominy. Hominy is white and tasteless and bought in a can. Grits come dry in bags or boxes. For one serving of grits, boil a cup and a half of water with salt and a little butter. Add 5 tablespoons of grits. Cook about half an hour with about a 4-to-1 water ratio; stir about four times during the 30-minute period.
Ratchet the heat back to a simmer and allow the grits to soak up all the water. When a pencil stuck into the grits stands alone, it is done. That's all there is to cooking grits. Make red-eye gravy by frying salt-cured country ham (Smithfield sells a good country ham for this purpose) in a cast-iron pot. Remove the ham when done. Add coffee to the gravy and simmer for a couple of minutes. Be prepared for salt-shock! After removing the grits from the stove, add red-eye gravy or butter. The butter will make the grits turn yellow. Hold a banana next to your grits and when the colors match you have your grits. Grits are eaten with a fork, never with a spoon, and always on a plate, never a bowl. It is important that people don’t think you are eating a bowl of Cream of Wheat.
May the Lord bless these grits,May no Yankee ever get the recipe,May I eat grits every day while living,And may I die while eating grits.AMEN--A redneck blessing
Evelyn (McGinn) Christilaw (May 10, 1933- February 21, 2011), died Monday at her Ridge Road home in Jonestown (rural Shickshinny). She had been in declining health for several years. She was 77.
Evelyn was born in Nanticoke. She was a daughter of Edward and Josephine (Merck) McGinn. She was a 1950 graduate of Benton High School. During her working years, she had been involved in restaurant management. She and her late husband owned and operated the Sweet Valley Country Store in the 1970s. She retired in 1995.
She was a member of the Benton United Presbyterian Church and the Order of Eastern Star. She was a past grand officer of the Order of Eastern Star when she lived in Florida.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Jerry G. Christilaw, in 2000; a brother, James McGinn, and a sister, Mary Lou Schuckers. Surviving are her children Edward Christilaw, and his companion, Jeanine, Exeter; Robin H. Wenner (Clyde), with whom she made her home; Jerry G. Christilaw and his fiancée, Sarah, Benton; a daughter-in-law, Sharon Derhammer, Plains; 6 grandchildren: Shea, Shianne, Steven, Cassie, C.J. and Devin; great grandchildren Morgan, Miles, Sophia and Skylar and a sister-in-law, Geraldine McGinn, Millville.
At the request of the deceased, there will be no formal viewing or funeral, but there will be a memorial dinner at the Benton Fire Hall, Colley Street, Thursday at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the American Diabetes Association, 65 E. Elizabeth Ave., Bethlehem, PA 18018. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home. To sign the online register book or for online condolences, visit www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com .
Mark your calendars for a Chicken and Biscuit Dinner, Saturday, March 19, from 4 to 7 PM at the Raven Creek Community Hall, Raven Creek Church, one mile off Rt. 239, south on Upper Raven Creek Road, Benton. Details are on the Upcoming Events page, www.bentonnews.net/events1.htm .
Robert McKelvey, once stationed on top of Red Rock mountain when the Air Force guarded our airways from that location, wrote from Cape May, New Jersey, to say that he had about a hundred robins in his yard, “a sure sign of spring.”
Microsoft’s free Security Essentials 2.0 anti-malware tool provides real-time protection for home PCs from viruses, spyware and other malicious software. MSE makes sure that a firewall is active and offers to turn on and configure the Windows firewall if no other firewall is found. The program is easy to use; there's nearly nothing new to learn. MSE is available either from the MSE home site or Microsoft's Download Center . It's the same software in either case. MSE 2.0 will run on 32- and 64-bit versions of Vista or Win7 and on 32-bit XP. If you do not use MSE or some other anti-virus program, you should not use the internet.
If you install MSE, you need to uninstall any antivirus program other than MSE 1.0 before installing MSE 2.0. (Never use two security tools to do the same job at the same time.) Download the MSE 2.0 setup file, then disconnect your PC from your network by turning off or disabling the connection in software or by physically unplugging the network cable. Close all nonessential software so that only your operating system and your current antivirus tool is active. Uninstall your old antivirus tool. Reboot when you're done, then start the MSE 2.0 setup program and let it run. After it is up and running, reconnect to the network and resume using your PC normally. MSE 2.0 will update itself with the latest definitions and do an initial scan of your PC. MSE is not an obtrusive security tool, but is an essential tool for your computer.
Recent editions of the Benton News have been dedicated to the Southernmost part of the United States and specifically the engineering feat of building a railroad so people with big bucks could escape the hardships of Northern winters and stay at the resort hotels of Henry Flagler. If you were expecting a refreshing change from that today, you will be disappointed. We’ll move to new topics tomorrow.
The earliest Pennsylvania settlers were faced with the prospect of traveling the Commonwealth following animal trails; there were no roads. The streams in our part of the state were not deep enough to navigate by canoe and were overgrown with fallen trees and underbrush. The valleys were filled with hemlock and laurel and no sooner than the going looked like it would improve, along came a gorge, swamp or high mountain. Early Pennsylvania settlers solved these problems on their own. In the Southernmost part of Florida, the money and dreams of Henry Flagler solved these problems.
One of the most interesting spots on Flagler’s move south from Homestead to Key West through the mosquitoes, yellow fever and pirates was on a 5-acre chunk of coral known as "Cayo Paloma" (Dove Key, probably named for the flocks of white pigeons which roosted there.) Flagler made the island into a work camp for railroad workers housing 400 men at a time in an area no larger than 2 city blocks in size! Today, this island is known as Pigeon Key. It was from this lonely outpost that the laying of train tracks over 18 miles of open ocean and the creation of a bridge spanning a single continuous stretch of water 7 miles long took place.
Workers were recruited from wherever men willing to work were found, including as far away as Italy and Spain. Construction materials and food came south from the mainland, along with all the cement, iron girders, shiploads of crushed rock, and 4,500,000 gallons of fresh water a month. Gravel came from the Chesapeake, sand from the Hudson Bay, lumber from Georgia, steel from Pittsburgh and cement from Germany. Construction took 20 miles of fill, 17 miles of concrete viaducts, 35 miles of temporary wood trestles and 42 bridges. The Seven Mile Bridge had 546 concrete foundation piers sunk into bedrock below sea level.
Flagler arrived in Key West on his private railcar in January 1912. His vision had been fulfilled and he died a few months later. The railroad operated for 23 more years until a hurricane on Labor Day 1935—in the midst of the Great Depression--destroyed 42 miles of track. The state of Florida acquired the right-of-way for $600,000 and made the section from Florida City to Key West into a highway to accommodate the automobiles that were becoming popular. Problems were not over! Can you imagine taking a railroad right-of-way and transforming it into a highway? The 20-foot wide highway opened in 1938—with no place to park to repair flat tires, no left-turn lanes, no safe way to pass a slow poke. Imagine the traffic jam if an order were given to vacate Key West in case of a hurricane.
The heat would push the mercury through the top of the thermometer, the work was never-ending and never easy, mosquitoes were everywhere, and the five hurricanes which hit during construction wiped out scores of workers. Flagler enticed workers with promises of comfortable housing, good food, a free rail ticket to Florida and steady pay. The reward was much less than the enticement.
--Thanks to Janet Whiston, Brooksville, Florida for her input to the Florida stories.
Expect some sleet and freezing rain tonight and some snow Monday. Nope—Winter is not over yet! In fact, Frank Gough, the Raven Creek Weatherman, says that the local area received 1.2 inches of snow in December, 20.2 inches in January and 7.5 inches in February so far.We had low temperatures of -8° January 22, -3° January 23 and -13 on January 24. In February, the low temperatures were -4° on February 23 and -3° on February 24 and 25.It was very cold in December but very dry—that is why our snowfall total is so low--but winter is not over just yet. The February Bluebirds are showing up in the Raven Creek area—a good sign of the approach of Spring.The Marcellus shale in Bradford, Tioga and Susquehanna counties yielded more than 100 billion cubic feet of gas—about a third of all the Marcellus gas produced in the state--during the second half of 2010, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection. The Marcellus wells in the state produced enough gas to heat more than 2.5 million homes for a year.Some readers have expressed concern about not being completely “signed up” for gas leases. Drillers seem to be using the economic side of their brain if articles such as one recently in Bloomberg is to be believed. The article points out that shale drilling has boosted production to its highest point in four decades, while natural gas prices are lower than any winter since 2002. Bank of American-Merrill Lynch in a report February 16, says gas prices could slide another 12% before they improve. The article quotes a talking head from a Houston “energy, investment and merchant bank” who wrote that the “U.S. natural-gas market is oversupplied by between 1 billion and 1.5 billion cubic feet per day.”
A group known as “Protect Eagles Mere” quotes John Quigley, former Secretary of the PA Dept of Conservation & Natural Resources, as saying that 61 or more state parks are situated on land above Marcellus shale where the state does not own the mineral rights to the land. It appears as though the same applies in game lands controlled by the Pennsylvania Game Commission and forest lands controlled by other agencies. In these cases, the state will have little control over the drilling.
Sealed quotations for the following items will be received by the Board of School Directors of the Benton Area School District at the business office located in the District Office Building, Benton, Pennsylvania, up until 12 noon, on Friday, March 18, 2011 for the 2011 – 2012 school year.
Garbage Disposal / RecyclingPrivate School and Extra-Curricular TransportationCustodial Supplies
Details, plans or specifications may be secured by applying to the Secretary at said office, or may be reviewed at said office. No quotations may be withdrawn for forty-five (45) days after closing time for receipt of quotations. The Board of School Directors reserves the right to accept or reject any or all quotations.
BOARD OF SCHOOL DIRECTORSBENTON AREA SCHOOL DISTRICTKathleen DeYong, Board Secretary
Marcia Kay and I are having so much fun running around Florida, it would be unfair not to share with you. Today, we head as far as we can go into South Florida--to the point of the tail for the American continent. Kay West is attached to the mainland of Florida by loose vertebrae we known as “keys,” many of which are separated from each other by miles of water.
The residents of Key West were spongers, wreckers and Spanish-speaking cigar makers who no more wanted a link to the mainland than the man in the moon. They heard about the Flagler railroad slowly making its way down the wilderness of the Eastern coast of Florida, but little did they think that Miami, 157 miles from Key West via boats, would suddenly be so close to them. Little did they think that anyone would be able to make the worthless chunks of coral reef, limestone and mangrove swamps, often under water during high tide, into a useful transportation lane. But little did they understand the man who had the creative dream and the bucks to go with it, the man who built a railroad to Key West. Why would anyone build a railroad through the Atlantic to a reef in a remote part of the United States at an unheard of expense of $15,000,000?
Key West remained in isolation until 1912, when it was connected to the Florida mainland via the Overseas Railway extension of Henry Morrison Flagler’s (1830–1913) Florida East Coast Railway, sometimes called Florida Overseas Railroad. Henry Flagler felt that the island of Cuba held great promise. He wanted the railroad to Key West, then wanted ferries to carry the trains to Cuba so there would be a train route from New York to Cuba. What a dream! Flagler’s dreams didn’t end there. He envisioned Key West as a jumping off point to carry mail and passengers to the Panama Canal. He wanted the military presence on Key West strengthened. It was the race of Flagler’s life. He was 78 and although his planners said it would take five years to build the railroad to Key West, Flagler didn’t feel he had that much time and directed that it be done in three.
Flagler positioned thousands of men on boats used for living quarters and for a time it appeared as though the railroad might finish in three years. Within the three-year period, the railroad was finished for 110 miles—within 47 miles of Key West—and 80% of the remaining work was done.
Flagler came to Florida in the 1870s to be in warm weather for his ailing first wife. He built and developed resort hotels and railroads along the east coast of Florida from St. Augustine through Ormond Beach, Daytona Beach, Palm Beach and into Miami. Flagler's rail network--the Florida East Coast Railway—extended to Homestead, Florida by 1904. During the seven-year construction, three hurricanes almost ended the project.
Who was Flagler’s right-hand man, you ask? Joseph Parrott, a Yale graduate who rowed on five rowing teams during his college days, worked his way to the top with Flagler. Parrott created the East Coast railroad system, he handled the greatest hotel system in the world “during the day,” and on top of that was completely responsible for building what became a $50 million railroad to Key West.
If you travel to Key West by car, look to the west and to the right (I know, I know, forget about the trinket shops) and imagine the hardship of construction in the harsh and inaccessible wilderness. Surveying crews had to do their work afloat. Some distances between islands were so great that the curvature of the earth hid the rodman from the man with the transit. Hurricane winds affected the operation. Miles of navigable canals were dug through the vegetation so that the mud could be used to make a railroad embankment. Crushed rock was needed to build the two-mile long viaduct at Long Key. Florida’s economy was doing well, so it was difficult to find good men to fight mosquitoes in the desolation of South Florida. The “dregs of humanity” from the North were imported in huge quantities: an average of 4,000 men were employed at any one time with 20,000 hired in the keys over the first three years.
The final link of the Florida East Coast Railway was completed in 1912 and Henry Flagler rode the first train into Key West aboard railcar #91 . Much of the overseas railroad in the Middle Keys was damaged or destroyed in the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 in which 400 people died and the area around Long Key was devastated. The Florida East Coast Railway was financially unable to rebuild the destroyed sections. The roadbed and remaining bridges were sold to the State of Florida, which built the Overseas Highway to Key West, using much of the remaining railway infrastructure.
To read more about harnessing transportation to Key West, read Ralph Paine’s “Over the Florida Key by Rail.” Virtually every important artifact and document associated with the Over-Sea Railroad in now a part of the Henry Morrison Flagler Museum's extensive collection in Palm Beach.
Saturday, February 19, 2011, the birthday of Ashley Sorber, Jamie Rabb and Frank Conrad. It is the wedding anniversary of Jean (Getz) and Ray Foust and David and Linda McGarigle. Today marks the anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945. The Japanese had an elaborate network of caves and tunnels on Iwo Jima, and it took a month of some of the worst fighting in the war for the Marines to secure the island. Didja know, for example, that more US Marines earned the Medal of Honor on Iwo Jima than in any other battle in US history? In 36 days of fighting there were 25,851 US casualties (1 in 3 were killed or wounded). Of these, 6,825 American boys were killed. Virtually all 22,000 Japanese perished. Head to the Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum, Sonestown, today for its recollection of the memories of Iwo Jima. Expect a windy day with a high of 40°.
The Class of ’57 of the Benton Area Schools will meet next week in reunion in Port Saint Lucie, Florida.
Shares of Williams Companies (WMB) opened higher to set a new 52-week high on reports of a breakup of the company into two separate parts: the Exploration and Production (E&P) and the Pipeline division.
Donna L. (Ertwine) Stiger died Saturday, February 12, 2011, at the Robert Packer Hospital, Sayre, PA.She is predeceased by her parents, Warren, Sr. and Izora Hossler Ertwine, Benton, and her brother, Warren Ertwine, Jr. (Mary Ellen), Berwick. Donna is survived by her husband, Marvin L. Stiger, Waverly, NY; her daughter, Jennifer (Derek) Stiger Kinch, and grandchildren Phoebe and Xavier, Ypsilanti, Michigan; and her sons, Matthew (Kelly) Stiger, Henrietta, NY, and Marc (Vickie) Stiger and grandchildren: Rebecca, McKenzie and Hunter Ledoux, Hillsboro, New Hampshire. She is also survived by her sisters Cindy Howey (Peter), Stroudsburg, PA; Darlene Moss (David) and her brothers David Ertwine, Woody Ertwine (Alice), Benton, as well as numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A visit to Southern Florida before Columbus made his first visit to these shores would have been a daunting experience. There were no roads, no place to pick up trinkets to take home to the grandchildren and the natives were simply not very friendly. If you headed for a sandy beach, you would run into Calusa (kah LOOS ah) Indians who controlled most of south Florida. The Calusa loved to fight--the name means "fierce people.” The first Spanish explorers soon came under Calusa attacks according to journals written by the Spanish as early as 1513. They lived along the coast or inner waterways, built their homes on stilts and used Palmetto leaves to keep the rain off. They didn’t bother with walls. They didn’t farm as did Indians along rivers in Pennsylvania. They were fishermen and used nets made from palm-tree webbing, spears and bone arrowheads. They dove for conch, crabs, lobsters and oysters. They collected shells and piled them in a heap like college boys do with their used socks until the shells were needed to make tools, spears, jewelry and ornaments. One of these heaps remains at Mount Key at Estero Bay in Lee County.
This was the environment in which Juan Ponce de León found himself in 1521 when he became the first European to visit Cayo Hueso, the original Spanish name for the island of Key West. Spanish-speaking people still call the island Cayo Hueso, which literally means “bone key.”. When you go to Key West, you’ll find businesses using the name—including Casa Cayo Hueso, Cayo Hueso Consultants and Cayo Hueso y Habana Historeum.
Great Britain became the Grand Poobah in Florida in 1763 and offloaded Spaniards and Native American to Havana faster than China ships television sets to Walmart. The Spanish got control of Florida back 20 years later and the island became a haven for fishermen from Cuba and the British Bahamas and later by others from the United States.
The Spanish governor of Cuba in Havana in 1815 deeded the island of Key West to Juan Pablo Salas, an officer of the Royal Spanish Navy Artillery posted in Saint Augustine. After Florida was transferred to the United States, Salas sold the island twice--first for a sloop valued at $575, and then in 1821 to U.S. businessman John W. Simonton during a meeting in a Havana café, for the equivalent of $2,000 in pesos. The sloop trader offloaded the island to a former governor of South Carolina, General John Geddes, who couldn’t get clear title to the island before Simonton, with help from influential friends in Washington, got clear title to the island.
Key West is on the 90-mile wide shipping lane known as the Straits of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, in a location sometimes called the "Gibraltar of the West."
Matthew C. Perry claimed the Keys as United States property on March 25, 1822 and renamed Cayo Hueso "Thompson's Island" in honor of the Secretary of the Navy, Smith Thompson. He called the harbor "Port Rodgers" for War of 1812 hero John Rodgers.
Many early residents of Key West immigrated from the Bahamas where they were often called” Conchs” (pronounced 'conks'). Residents of Key West eventually referred to themselves as "Conchs," often calling themselves "Saltwater Conch" if they were born in Key West and "Freshwater Conch" if they were not born in Key West but lived on the island for seven or more years.
Fishing, salt production and salvage were Key West’s major industries in the early 19th century. Piracy was a problem in the Caribbean. Ship wrecks made Key West the largest and richest city in Florida by 1860 and the wealthiest town per capita in the U.S. An important occupation was picking up the pieces from salvaged shipwrecks in the Florida reefs.
Florida aligned with the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. The island of Key West remained in U.S. Union hands because of the naval base. Fort Zachary Taylor, constructed over a 21-year period from 1845 to 1866, was important to the Union forces during the Civil War. Construction began in 1861 on forts known as East and West Martello Towers, which served as side armories and batteries for the larger fort. These two forts were connected to Fort Taylor by railroad tracks in order to move munitions. Fort Jefferson, located about 68 miles from Key West on Garden Key in the Dry Tortugas, served after the Civil War as the prison for Dr. Samuel A. Mudd, convicted of conspiracy for setting the broken leg of Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
When we next get together over the morning coffee, we’ll tell you about the Overseas Railway extension of Henry Morrison Flagler’s (1830–1913) Florida East Coast Railway.
February 17, 2011, the birthday of Crystal Stackhouse, Celisa Counterman, Maranda Laubach, Erin Elizabeth Mood and Pastor Howard Leh.
Didja ever notice that failure goes hand in hand with the person
whose wishbone is where his backbone should be?
The Benton Area School District is accepting applications for a Varsity Field Hockey Head Coach and a Varsity Field Hockey Assistant Coach. Send letter of interest to Joe Goode, Middle Senior High School Principal, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814. The school district is also seeking a day-to-day substitute Spanish teacher from April 11 to May 26, 2011. Send a letter of interest for this position, along with a Pennsylvania standard application, resume, transcripts, recommendations, copy of PA teaching certificate, Acts 34, 114 and 151 clearances to Mrs. Penny Lenig-Zerby, Superintendent, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814. Application deadline is March 3, 2011. EOE.
Benton Borough Council did not fill the vacant council seat at its Monday, January 3, 2011, meeting. Appointment of one of three interested people will be made at the March meeting. The Borough Council appointed Derl Remphrey as a member of the Zoning/Hearing Board for 2011. The highlights of the meeting are based on minutes recorded by Kay Yankovich, Borough Secretary…
• Wilson Lynn spoke about the property next to his house on Mill Street, saying that the property continues to require major clean-up.
• Kay Yankovich was named Borough Secretary at a salary of $35,500. Lachelle Fulmer was named as the part-time Borough Secretary at the rate of $13 per hour. Bryan Getz as appointed as the maintenance supervisor at the rate of $16 per hour. Part-time maintenance employees will be paid $13 an hour. Ron Roberts was appointed crossing guard at the rate of $24 per day. Police officers will be retained at the rate of $11.69 per hour, including Michael Kreischer, Gene Barrett, Harold Morris, Fred Westover, Chris Brock. Randy Karschner will be Chief of Police at the rate of $15.66 per hour.
• Playground equipment for the Benton Town Park has arrived and is being stored at the sewer plant and at the Iddings property. Grant funds in the amount of $990 have been received from the Central Susquehanna Community Foundation to purchase a new antenna which will be installed at the Benton Township Building, the backup Operations Center.
Didja ever realize that if you loosen your grip, you'll have more control?
Relationships need breathing room.
Kay and I recently had visitors who wanted a “Cuban” sandwich. The man and I had once gone to Tampa together and ate in a Cuban restaurant in Ybor City. He ordered a “Cuban” sandwich, loved it and wanted another. The “Cubano” is standard fare in our house and I soon made him a sandwich, carefully selecting the loaf of bread I used. You have to have real Cuban bread. Too many bakeries bring hot bread from their ovens and slam the bread into bags that say “French,” “Cuban” or “Italian.” If it is genuine Cuban bread, it is made of a certain kind of flour (which I don’t know the name of) and has a crusty strip running down its top side. The best bread, I think, is in the form of a bun, called a cocas, less than a foot long. Want to make one yourself? Go here and learn how.
There isn’t any doubt that the sandwich was not as good as the first one I bought here in South Florida. I vividly remember stopping at a bodega, got confused about the menu and simply ordered the sandwich others were ordering. The ham, I believe, was seasoned with garlic and some cloves and as the meat cooled it was sprinkled with a little brown sugar which soon became a glaze when the cook ran an ordinary iron over the sandwich. Along with un buchito (a little swallow) of coffee, it was a delightful lunch.
In all my mother’s children,
I loves myself the best,
And till I gets my stomach full,
God help the rest!
--Author unknown, even by his brothers and sisters
Sixty-six years ago Saturday, Joe Kratcoski, Mildred, landed in the first wave on the Pacific island of Iwo Jima. Joe turned 19 that February 19, 1945. There was no birthday cake for him that day as he participated in one of the bloodiest battles of World War II. As a result of his actions, Joe earned both a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for shrapnel wounds. Although wounded, he advanced under heavy fire, knocking out an enemy pillbox with rifle grenades.
A display of Joe’s medals and of others relating to that famous battle of World War II will be on display Saturday, February 19, from 10 AM to 5 PM at the Endless Mountains War Memorial Museum, Sonestown. Video clips and film history of the battle will also be shown on the big screen in the museum. Veterans who fought in the battle are encouraged to bring memorabilia for show and tell and share their stories.
A tribute will also commemorate the 65th anniversary of the battle, which began on Feb. 19, 1945. The invasion involved the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Corps Divisions as well as Navy and Seabee personnel. American forces had 5,372 casualties in the first 58 hours. The final toll was 4,300 killed in action and 15,308 wounded.
This is just one of many tributes to veterans held throughout the year at the museum. There is no admission fee but donations will be accepted. The address is 109 Main Street, Sonestown. Additional information is available at 482-2610. Take a short ride to Sonestown and join in tribute to all who gave some and to some who gave all for the freedom we enjoy today.
Neil E. Smith (January 11, 1972-February 14, 2011), Berwick and formerly of the Benton area, died Monday at Geisinger Medical Center, Danville, following a lengthy illness. He was 39. Neil was born in Miami, Florida. He was a son of Lou J. Smith, Hunlock Creek, and Nancy C. (Malencore) Chappel, Berwick. Neil attended Benton Area High School and graduated from Columbia Montour Vocational Technical School in 1990. He later earned his L.P. N. degree from Luzerne County Community College and was employed by the Millville Health Care Center.
Surviving, in addition to his father and mother are his step mother, Margaret Krupinski, Hunlock Creek; his children Alisha, Maurice, Devon, Logan and Jackson Smith; his brothers and sisters, Suzanne Hess (Shane), Benton; Brett Smith (Victoria), Benton; Kristen Chappel, Orangeville; Megan, Samantha and Chenice Chappel, Berwick; his nieces and nephews: Eric, Brynn, and Sydney Hess and Addison Smith.
Funeral services will be held Friday morning at 11 at the McMichael Funeral Home. There will be a private burial in St. Gabriel's Cemetery, Sugarloaf Township. A viewing will be held Thursday evening from 6 to 8 at the funeral home.
February 15, the birthday of Laura (Sones) Kocher, Jacob Vincent, Marge Shoemaker and Barbara Henne. Joan and Keith Gilbert celebrate their wedding anniversary.
February 16, the birthday of Richard Jost, Mabel Lawson, Gianna Dressler, Nina Sweeney, Elaine Krewson Creveling, Rachel Strauser, Sheila Kay Albertson, and Lori Andrysick. This is the third anniversary of the passing of Elsie Parkhurst Buyers.
The Center needs auction items for the upcoming fund-raiser. Items can be accepted through March 25. What do you have that you could donate to help The Center?
Many readers will remember the coin-operated wooden phone booths that were around for about a hundred years. The idea came along when inventor William Gray realized that making a phone call from the outside of buildings without some protection from the weather was difficult. The idea spread to heavy-traffic areas in railroad stations, fancy hotels and banks. As the years rolled on, the wooden phone booth with carpet on the floor was replaced with booths made of reinforced steel or metal, and finally they just disappeared.
As life goes on, the standard desk phone in homes is disappearing. Sales of Smartphones reached record levels in 2010 according to International Data Corporation. More phone users are using VoIP services. Vendors worldwide shipped a total of 302.6 million Smartphones, an increase of 74.4% in 2009. The report also shows that during the fourth quarter of 2010, 100.9 million units were shipped, a jump of 87.2% compared with the last three months of 2009. Nokia and Microsoft have now teamed up to create a new mobile ecosystem presumably aimed at taking on Apple, Android, RIM and HP.
Smartphones have built-in address books, diaries, calculators and spreadsheets so the demise of the Rolodex and the calculator can’t be far behind. As people replace their aging computers, they discover that they do not need to buy any application programs. Everything one needs is available free or for a nominal charge by using “cloud” computing. And so we wonder what will be the next product which follows the iPad and the Smartphone.
The article, "Uranium on Fritz Hill," which originally appeared at this location has been consolidated into an article which now appears in the FEATURES section of the Benton News. The article can be found here.
February 14, 2011 , the birthday of Len Hayman, Laura Hess, Laura Hess and Noah Weaver and the wedding anniversary of David and Carolyn Diehl and Bill and Elaine Rogers. Christopher Latham Sholes (February 14, 1819-February 17, 1890) , a U.S. inventor who developed the typewriter, was born on this day near Mooresburg, Montour County, 32 miles from Back Home in Benton, PA. Today is Valentine's Day. Heavy winds will dominate the weather Monday. Tuesday will drop ten or so degrees to a high of 35°. Wednesday’s temperatures should start to rise and on Thursday expect temperatures above 50°. Benton Borough Council meets tonight.
Jeopardy is a popular program featuring unusual contestants with unusual abilities. Tonight will be no exception, as an IBM supercomputer sounding much like Hal from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and answering to the name Watson will be a contestant. Watson understands whole language and can draw on dispersed fields of knowledge. Watson is more than a computer. To arrive at a single, precise answer to a question it must seamlessly integrate data and analytics from several systems. Take a look to see how the machine mimics the complicated reasoning processes involved in playing Jeopardy!. Let's hope that the direction computers like Watson will take us in the future is the right direction!
Valentine’s Day in 1929 on the North stide of Chicago style had some excitement associated with it. Seven top guns, so to speak, in “Moran Enterprises” gathered in a non-descript garage in Chicago. A bunch of men dressed in the uniforms of the Chicago police appeared and told the men to stand against the wall and to raise their hands. The men were dressed in police clothing but were actually thugs from the gang of Al “Scarface” Capone. They began firing Thompson sub-machine guns at the backs of the men lined up against the wall, men who were actually members of the gang of bootlegger George “Bugs” Moran. From drive-up to drive-off the whole event took less than eight minutes—a real “St. Valentine’s Day Massacre.” And where was Al Capone when all this took place? He was in Florida. It was February, you’ll remember. Capone was never arrested for this crime and the gunmen were never identified. Capone later got nailed for tax evasion, spent seven years in prison, retired in Florida and died from syphilis in 1947. Go here to see a clip of the movie.
Facebook’s new photo viewer is now available for all Facebook users, which means that you can see more photos faster without losing your place in Facebook. All Benton News Facebook users can access all photos posted by other Benton News Facebook users. Within the Facebook community, more than 100 million photos are uploaded per day to the social network.
If you have a need to convert video formats, including avi, wmv, mpg, mp4, mkv, to an MP3 audio file on your Windoze XP, Vista or OS 7 computer, you might consider the free Moo0 VoiceRecorder. It is a simple sound recorder which permits you to record your "Only Voice" / "Voice and PC Sound" / "Only PC Sound" with a single click. The program currently supports Wave and Mp3 encoding formats. This program can capture any sound on your PC, so you’ll be able to use it to record internet radio, streaming music, Skype and even some sounds from your video files. Read about the program here and download it here
Bluegrass at The Center is a popular event. Take a look at a video of a recent jam session. The video was provided by Dean Marshall.
Didja ever consider that both failure and success are hard to handle?
The article, "Uranium on Fritz Hill," which originally appeared at this location has been consolidated into an article which now appears in the FEATURES section of the Benton News. The article can be found here.The Jamison City Hotel will reopen Tuesday, February 15, under the management of Jody Boyle and her Brother Albert Shumocker. The couple owned the restaurant for almost 15 years. The former owner of a local hotel attempted to purchase the Jamison City hotel but was constrained by clauses which made that difficult. Christine Karns will return February 26 bringing with her an exciting evening of karaoke.
Didja know that in Florida from the "mean high tide line"to the water every inch of beach is owned by the state of Florida?
The Colonel Ricketts Hard Cider Winery has a new website, www.colonelrickettshardciderwinery.com/ . The winery is open this winter on Saturday upon request. The staff and management are looking forward to their second summer season starting on Memorial Day vending out of the barn at 4365 Red Rock Road, www.bentonfarmersmarket.com/ . Call 570 925-2690 for more information.
Didja know that with 1.4 million acres or 2,187 square miles,Okeechobee is bigger than the state of Delaware?
Native Americans called the peninsula of Florida home as long as 14,000 years ago, long before the first commercial citrus grove, T-shirt shop or ocean-front condominium came along. The Spanish, led by Juan Ponce de Leon, arrived in 1513, followed by the French and settlers from Great Britain. In Pennsylvania, our forefathers sailed to the port of Philadelphia from Ireland, Germany and Great Britain, Italy, and later from the Austro-Hungarian and Russian empires.
river was coal and stretched from Susquehanna County, passed through Lackawanna County, under all of the Wyoming Valley in Luzerne County until its Southern boundary slightly south of Shickshinny. Like modern "fracking" of natural-gas drill sites, early coal mining required the removal of tons of water for every ton of coal removed--often as much as 20 tons for every ton of coal removed--and it all ended up in the Susquehanna.
When we get together Monday morning, the Benton News will begin an article on another river which was thought to have been under much of the upper Fishingcreek Valley. Little was known about what was found and no one understood its deadly implications. Today's fracking of natural gas drilling sites is child's play compared with the adverse potential of what was found beneath the ground.
Friday, February 11, and Saturday, February 12, 2011.Tonight will feel balmy after the low temperatures of last night. Watch for a warming trend through Sunday with a little snow Saturday morning. Flooding in much of the country is possible next week. Have you ordered flowers for your Valentine yet?
February 11, the birthday of Sally Fritz, Lisa Baker Curtain and Judy Search. It is the wedding anniversary of Jim and Gloria Kremer. Thomas Alva Edison, the man with 1,093 patents to his credit, was born on this date. "The Glass Menagerie" continues tonight with the Walnut Street Theatre Celebrity Artist Series, Bloomsburg University. There is a bluegrass-jam session at The Center tonight from 6:30 to 9. Whether you play or just want to listen--come on out! There will be a clothing give away today from 4 to 7 PM at the Benton United Methodist Church. It will also be possible to order your "Angel Food" at this time. There are many different boxes to choose from on the menu. Take advantage of this opportunity to lower your monthly food bill. Pick-up will be Saturday, February 19, from 7:30 to 9 AM.
February 12, the birthday of Kate Kocher, Leland Bogert and former U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. The wedding date of Jennifer and John Watson. Abraham Lincoln was born on this date 202 years ago.
A bill, H.B. 42, has passed the state House Health Committee to remove Pennsylvania from the individual mandate portion of the national health-care reform law. The bill would prohibit the government from enacting or adopting any law to penalize any individual, employer or health care provider for participating in a health-care system of their choosing. The bill "protects Pennsylvania citizens from potential federal penalties if they choose to ignore the individual mandate in the federal health-care law passed last year."
The Beaver Balls Banquet, known in Sullivan County as the Wild Game Dinner at the Muncy Valley Fire Hall, has added antelope to the menu. This February 19 dinner helps support the Sullivan County Recreation Association. Along with Winterland Winery from Lopez doing taste testing, homemade desserts will be available at the end of the dinner. For those who do not eat game, salads will be served. This year's speaker will present a slide show and talk about timbering off Ricketts Glen State Park by helicopter. Call Sue Mullen at 928-9537 to reserve tickets or donate your wild game.
The 2011 Benton/Millville/Orangeville/Jerseytown United Methodist Cluster Ash Wednesday Service will be March 9 at 7 at the Mill-Green (former Millville) UMC. Pastor Calvin Miller will be preaching this year.
For those readers who have converted to Windows 7, there are not a lot of free email programs you can use. You can use Thunderbird, which you can download here.
There are continued examples of problems with Smartphones reported each day in the news media. We browse, shop and bank on our phones--which opens us up to compromise of account, financial and banking information. Didja know that some people even make calls on these phones? Evil doers might not catch you or me, but will nail many people with the promise of a free "app" that gives ringtones or music or wallpaper--especially for those who use the Android operating system. If you have a Smartphone, take the time to read the McAfee Threat Report .
Didja know that Jacksonville, Florida, was originally called "Cowford?"
It was named for a narrow spot on the St. Johns River where cattle could cross.
The St. Johns River is always a mystery to me. It flows north 310 miles through 13 counties from the Atlantic Ocean on the east, as far south as Indian River County, as far north as the Georgia-Florida border and to the western edges of Alachua County. During that long flow, the river drops only a total of 30 feet.
I have relaxed along with banks of the St. Johns River with Bob and Nina Baker shielding equal parts of coconut milk and crushed pineapple along with three ounces of light rum from the hot sun, sailed with Wayne and Mary Baker on its calm waters and sat by the hour along its shoreline at Jacksonville staring at nothing in particular. I have investigated the “dead rivers” that flow into the St. Johns and the eroded ground beside the river somehow thinking that tools or pottery from ancient tribal cultures would show up.
Our hills in the Commonwealth are full of streams where water flows until it can join with other drops of water to form small streams. The water flow keeps increasing in size until the streams become rivers that flow to the Chesapeake. But here in Florida, the St. Johns comes out of the rain-fed saw-grass marshes and trickles, slowly picking up momentum from more rainfall, springs and tributaries. The flow north results from a ridge only 27 feet high that runs north and south across the saw-grass prairie north of Okeechobee. The ridge is so subtle that you must consult a topographic map to even know it is there. The St. Johns River flows through the middle of lakes, as it does with Lakes Jesup and Beresford. Salt water leaches up through the aquifer, and becomes the breeding ground for the southern stingray. Other saltwater fish live in the river: Atlantic needlefish, pipefish and blue crabs. The river begins its flow in the subtropics and ends in the warm temperatures of the northern part of the state.
Didja know that Juan Ponce de Leon is credited with naming "La Florida,"
the "island" he spotted during Easter week,
the Feast of Flowers (Pasqua Florida)?
The popular Mountain View Barn will celebrate 20 years in business in June. Lots of locals drove by for years and wondered what was inside the two-story barn. The antique shop now has a website so that you can "take a peek" inside the barn. Head to www.mountainviewbarn.net or better yet, stop the next time you are on Route 118.
Didja know that you can get a free box of Gertrude Hawk chocolates and a mylar balloon with a purchase of $75 or more at Stoney Acres Nursery, Benton? Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code requires all new single- and double-family homes to have sprinkler systems installed. One side claims lives could be saved. The other side says it adds up to $7,000 per new home and is keeping new home construction to a minimum. H.B. 377, sponsored by state Rep. Garth Everett (R-Lycoming), would rescind the mandate. On the Senate side, similar legislation to repeal the mandate is under consideration. The Senate passed a bill last year suspending the implementation of the sprinkler mandate, but the bill did not pass in the state House.
Preheat your engines, everyone. The Benton airport is holding its first ski plane fly in on Saturday, February 19. Volunteers will serve soup, hot chocolate and homemade pies starting at 10 AM until the food is gone. This fly in is weather dependent. There is a heated hangar and a bonfire is planned. Donations will support the Benton Airport. Call Joe Farwell with questions. He can be reached at 570 458-5509. For runway conditions contact airport manager, Monty Hittle 570 317-7073.
Today's musical interlude is a new version of "Memories," sung by Pam Peterson. You can watch and listen here.
Central Columbia defeated the Benton boys wrestling team Tuesday night 48-33 at Benton High School. Benton is now 9-9 on the season. Thursday night at Lewisburg is Benton's last dual meet of the season. The Benton Youth Wrestling Team (Slaughterhouse Boyz) will host a 4-team individual tournament Friday night at Benton High School starting at 6 PM. Come out and see our youth program in action!
Benton lost to Lewisburg 48-27 Wednesday night. The match started at 189.
103 - Matt Welliver (B) won by fall 0:16 over Jeff Steele (L)112 - Brandon Lontz (B) won by tech fall 18-3 (4:00) over Joseph Roman (L)119 - Colt Cotten (B) won by fall 4:14 over Steven Gingher (L)125 - Sean Klingman (L) won by fall 2:11 over Brad Miccio (B)130 - Coltin Fought (B) won by fall 0:45 over Cryus Tidwell (L)135 - Jeric Kasunic (B) won by major dec. 8-0 over Andrew Fox (L)140 - Jordan Danowsky (L) won by fall 1:42 over Ed Bogert (B)145 - Torey VanSickle (L) won by FF152 - Curtis Schneider (L) won by FF160 - Grant Rogers (L) won by dec. 9-6 over Jared Kline (B)171 - Nate Brown (L) won by dec. 11-4 over Jake Mankey (B)189 - Patrick Ostrowsky (L) won by FF215 - Brandon Smith (L) won by FF285 - Sean Charest (L) won by fall 0:24 over Anthony Davis (B)
Benton's finishes its dual-meet season 9-10. Benton's Junior High finishes its dual meet season 11-9. Benton Jr. High wrestles this weekend at the Heartland Conference Tournament at Shamokin on Friday and Saturday. Benton Varsity wrestles next at East Central Sectionals on February 19 at Hughesville.
Kenneth W. Karns Sr. (December 17, 1955-February 5, 2011), passed away Saturday at his home in the Hudson Section of Plains Township. He was 55. Kenneth was born in Benton and was a graduate of Benton High School. He was a son of Stanley and Molly Karns. Kenneth was a U.S. Army veteran of Vietnam, serving as a sergeant with the Army Combat Engineers. He was a resident of Plains Township for the past 10 years and previously lived in Benton. Before his retirement seven years ago, he was employed by Allied Transportation Co., Newark, NJ.
Surviving are daughter Tammi McCormick, Dallas; sons, Kenneth and Arthur, both of Kingston, and Dustin, Sayerville, NJ; step-son, Kenneth Hayes, Sayerville; 10 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; step-sisters, Alberta, Kingston, and Martha, Benton; step-brother, Michael, Benton; as well as nieces and nephews.
Funeral services were held at 11 Wednesday from the Karl E. Blight Funeral Home, Kingston. Interment was in St. James Cemetery, Stillwater.Didja ever think that we only live in the land of the free because of the brave?
There is trouble in River City! Midge and Ed Rendell have decided to split, according to emails from the formerly happy couple sent Monday and reported Tuesday by the Philadelphia Daily News.
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”
--William Congreve, The Mourning Bride, 1697, act III, scene 8and an ex-governor's wife who's husband is a louse.And now, after 40 years Ed has total use of the fridgeand no use for Midge.How cruel that Ed's making Midge go awayjust before Valentines Day.For the # 1 citizen of "The City of Love"this city will no longer host together Midge and the Ex. Gov!Too bad, too sad ,but I'll bet Midge's glad!
--Poetry (?) by Richard Rhoads, Arlington, VA
Following the lead of the Health Committee of the state House of Representatives, it appears likely that legislation will follow prohibiting Pennsylvanians who do not purchase health insurance from being penalized. The “individual mandate" requires everyone to purchase health insurance by 2014 or face a financial penalty. The Supreme Court will likely pass judgment on Obamacare this year, since three rulings by Federal courts resulted in three different decisions of the constitutionality of the issue. There are more problems for the health-care program following House Republican Leader Eric Cantor's prediction that the U.S. House of Representatives will vote to block funding for President Obama's healthcare overhaul when it takes up a budget plan next week.
Pennsylvania Senate Bill 9 would require "identification of lawful presence in the United States as a prerequisite to the receipt of public benefits." The Senate State Government Committee is considering legislation that would require a person to provide proof of citizenship to receive public benefits with a few specific exclusions which probably don't apply to any readers of the Benton News.
Are you planning to participate in the 2011 Polar Bear Plunge at Winterfest on the Saturday of President's Day weekend? Winterfest takes place from 7 AM to 5 PM February 19. In order to adequately freeze your tukus, you can participate in an ice-fishing tournament or a sled-dog race. There will be family games, art and craft vendors and lots of hot food. It takes place at Camp Brule, off Route 154, Forksville.
The Pennsylvania Energy Forum includes a lot on natural gas and is worth reading.
Aaron Kelly, 17, will perform at the Troy Fair on Wednesday, July 27, with his own band. He will be on the stage prior to "Little Big Town." This will be the fifth year Aaron has performed at the Troy Fair. Aaron will appear later in the year during the CMA Fest in Nashville. Tickets go on sale May 24 at www.troyfair.com.
The Benton Area Schools is looking for a secretary to the Special Education Director. Full-time position with benefits. Knowledge of special education, Microsoft Office proficiency, school-office experience preferred. Send letter of interest, resume, current Acts 34, 114 and 151 clearances to Mrs. Penny S. Lenig-Zerby, Superintendent, 600 Green Acres Road, Benton, PA 17814. The Benton Area School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, handicap, sex or age. The deadline for submissions is February 18, 2011. EOE.
This will be the second time that Republicans control the state legislature and governor's mansion and will be able to draw the congressional district lines based on census data. In 2001, they tried to create a map on which they thought they could control as many as 13 or 14 of the state's 19 congressional districts, but by the time the election of 2008 rolled around, Republicans controlled only seven of the 19 districts. Republicans are back on top and hold 12 districts in the Keystone State. The Commonwealth will lose one district this year.
Militia in the North American English colonies could trace their history to Anglo-Saxon Britain where freeman who were able bodied could be called up to serve on temporary duty to defend the king. In Virginia, the colony had to defend itself from attacks by the Spanish and natives who didn't much like the white man. The militia might not be able to hold its own against trained, regular forces, but it served a valuable role. In the Massachusetts Bay colony, able-bodied men between 16 and 60 had to be part of the local militia. From this militia came the Minutemen.
So why didn't William Penn's colony have a militia. Every other colony in the new world had one. Penn dished out justice to the Indians on the same basis as to the colonists. Penn helped arm the Indians while other colonies were trying to better the Indians. This did not go unnoticed in Europe. The population of Pennsylvania grew from 18,000 in 1700 to 120,000 by the end of 1750.
Penn wrote, http://www.bartleby.com/163/208.html, "I desire to Winn and gain your Love & freindship by a kind, just and peaceable life; and the People I send are of the same mind, & shall in all things behave themselv[e]s accordingly; and if in any thing any shall offend you or your People, you shall have full and Speedy Satisfaction for the same by an equall number of honest men on both sides that by no means you may have just Occasion of being offended against them."
For more on Penn's treatment of Indians, read Fred Anderson and Andrew Clayton "The Dominion of War," published by Penguin.
Genevieve E. (Dickson) Yacko (March 17, 1938-February 6, 2011), Spring Garden Avenue, Berwick, a former resident of Benton and Catawissa, died Sunday at the Geisinger Medical Center, Danville. She was 72. Genevieve was born in Tunkhannock. She was a daughter of Byron and Theta Meade Dickson, Park Street, Benton. She was a member of the 1956 graduating class of Benton High School. She was a former owner and manager of the Slabtown Market.
She was preceded in death by her parents, and by her husband, Joseph Yacko, on December 24, 2006; sister, Darlene Bartlebaugh, and great-grandson Jayden Karaffa. Survivors include daughters Louise Grove (Joseph) and Heather Yacko, both of Catawissa; two sons: Alan Sutton (Kathy) and Jeffrey Sutton (Bonnie), both of Catawissa; eight grandchildren: Tracy Bellum, Tanya Karaffa, Kayla Grove,Trichelle Grove, Nicole Cotterman, Malisa Sutton, Cameron Macklem and Seth Macklem; nine great-grandchildren; a sister: Carol Koss (Ron), Pittsburgh; and brothers Sterling Dickson (Claudia), Mississippi; and Donald Dickson (Kate), Dallas.
Friends will be received on Tuesday, February 8 from 6 to 8 PM from the Allen Funeral Home, 745 Market (at Eighth Street), Bloomsburg. Funeral services will be held Wednesday, February 9, at 10 AM from the Allen Funeral Home. Graveside services will be held in Elan Memorial Park, Lime Ridge.
Memorial contributions are suggested to the Dialysis Foundation, 840 Hollins St., Baltimore, MD 21201, or Columbia Montour Aging Office, 702 Sawmill Road, Bloomsburg, PA 17815.
February 8, the birthday of Beverly Kingsbury and Flo Deeter.
Rachel and Craig Peterman wrote about the recent "snowfall of Pennsylvania proportions" at their home near Joplin, MO. It started last Tuesday and by the time Wednesday came around, they had 19" on the ground. Wednesday temperatures dipped to -10 to make it even more fun. Friday didn't want to be left out and dropped three more inches. The interstates are now clear, but the secondary roads like our Routes 118 and 239 are snow/ice packed and very rough. Craig's Pennsylvania upbringing taught him the importance of chains. On Tuesday, he put them on the back of their 4x4 to insure he got around. Chains are almost a foreign object in Missouri. When he stopped at a red light, "the back wheels seems to get a lot of attention. Also folks stay farther than usual away from the back of your vehicle going down the road with chains on. " This is the most snow Craig had seen at one time since the '92-'93 winter back in Pennsylvania.
The Green Bay Packers beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, 31-25, to win Super Bowl XLV in a game that went down to the final minute.
Like to read? Love computers or your smartphone. Try http://books.google.com/ebooks and read via the internet.
There is a lot of interest in Verizon's entry into the iPhone business and I keep getting questions about whether one should be purchased.First of all, I don't have a clue whether you should buy one or not. If you have the money, the time that you will burn up learning how to effectively use it and the need, then you can consider it. Otherwise, forget it. Actually, forget it anyway.
What Verizon is selling is an old iPhone and locking you in with a two-year contract. You may be as happy as a pig in slop when you get your phone, but later this year--perhaps as early as Summer--Verizon will be out with the iPhone 5 and you'll really, really want one of those. The present Verizon iPhone cannot surf and talk at the same time.
Into the political arena...• Deanna Pealer, a distinguished 1970 graduate of Benton Area Junior-Senior High School, was a member of the National Honor Society and received numerous awards while a student in the local school: D.A.R. Good Citizen, L. Ray Appleman Scholarship Recipient, and Who's Who Among American High Schools. Deanna is a candidate for the office of Common Pleas Judge for the 26th Judicial District--Columbia and Montour Counties. She is the first woman to run for this office and, if elected, she will be the first woman Common Pleas Judge of the 26th Judicial District.
Jeremy R. Reese, Millville, second assistant chief of the Millville Community Fire Company is running for Magisterial District Judge for the Northern Columbia County District 26-3-01 currently held by Judge Ola Stackhouse. Jeremy works for Geisinger Health System as a Communication Technician for Life Flight and is employed part time for Greater Columbia Medical Transport in Bloomsburg as an EMT and a continuing education instructor.
The monthly column by Kathleen Arcuri, usually published on the first Sunday of the month, is a day late this month. Today's column is entitled "Birds Get "Berry' Hungry in Winter."Lists of berry plants suggest an abundance of options. However, as you may have noted, most of the tastier choices--like serviceberries, blueberries, partridgeberries, and teaberries--are long gone or buried under snow by early December. So as deepest winter unfolds, some of the more astringent fruits take center stage. And lucky for us that the birds leave these bitter morsels for desperate times, allowing us the pleasure of colorful accents in an otherwise bleak winter landscape.
One of my favorite bird magnets in late winter is actually a pome-type fruit, not a berry at all. Miniature ruby-red jewels hang in garlands from my ‘Prairiefire’ crabapple tree, attracting starlings, juncos, blue jays, and cardinals to sample the decorative bounty. Developed at the University of Illinois in the 1980’s, this hybrid crabapple has been described as “an all-season extravaganza” because “every part of the tree is a feast for the eyes.”
Starting in May, pinkish-red buds burst into prolific magenta blooms. Next comes burgundy foliage maturing to dark green shade cover. In autumn, the leaves turn orange and then drop to reveal glossy red fruit that persist through winter until desperately hungry birds devour it. Still, the show continues, with dark red bark, polished like fine cherry wood, awaiting the revival of spring bloom.
Malus ‘Prairiefire’ grows well in zones four to nine, to a height of 15 to 20 feet, with a similar spread. It does best in full sun and well-drained loamy soil. Diseases which decimate many other varieties of crabapple seem not to be a problem. Best of all, our own Stoney Acres Nursery carries this adaptable species, just waiting to be planted in your bird-friendly landscape.
Last year on this day, Benton High School won the District IV Duals and qualified for the PIAA State Duals. Benton was the #14 seed, making them the lowest seed to make the finals and first double-digit seed to make the finals. This is Benton's first ever District IV Duals Team Championship. Ranked #14, Benton defeated #1 Muncy 43-33 in the finals.
Today is Super Bowl Sunday, as if anyone in Pennsylvania could forget. Today's game will be all football. Both the Packers and the Steelers don't bother with cheerleaders and there is no chance that the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders will make an appearance. If cheering in sports bars in South Florida is any indication, the Steelers will win by a mile.
From the "Small World Department," comes this... I ran into a high school classmate of Roy Evarts Friday morning when the Lucerne resident stopped for breakfast as he headed for the Florida keys. Running into someone from 1,164 miles away during a half hour stop in South Florida is a very unlikely thing to do.
Kyla, daughter of Karen and Scott Edwards, Orangeville, has an interesting blog , gets on YouTube and elsewhere.
Krysten Ritter is taking a leading role in a new ABC series, currently called--ahem--"Don't Trust The Bitch." Krysten has had multiple offers this season, but decided on this comedy. Krysten and Dreama Walker will be co-leads. The show centers on June (Walker), an "earnest, honest, optimistic girl from the heartland who, due to circumstances beyond her control, is forced to move in with Chloe (Ritter), a sexy, unstable New York City party girl who has the morals of a pirate."
Now that Verizon is out with the iPhone, who has the better version--ATT or Verizon? Read a side-by-side review here.
The Environmental Protection Agency hints that it will, begin a study on hydraulic fracturing. EPA will examine the safety of the technique that is being used to unlock natural gas from shale nationwide. Environmentalists warn that natural gas can escape out of poorly designed and secured wells, with a resultant risk of explosion and water contamination. The process is regulated by state and local governments, but there is a move afoot to empower the EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing under the Clean Water Act.
cameras that automatically photograph the vehicles of red-light runners. The bill was introduced in the last legislative session, but it never received House consideration.
New Mexico lost its natural gas service Thursday. Schools closed and government offices were shut. Demand during the cold weather lead the state's governor to declare a state of emergency for the entire state, urging residents to turn down their thermostats, bundle up and shut off appliances they don't need for the next 24 hours. All state operations not providing critical services were closed Friday.
I think it happened over around Waller, but I didn't pay a lot of attention so it might have happened somewhere else. A milk inspector happened to walk by the barn door on a farm where he was testing milk and inside the door he saw Farmer Frank removing his clothes in front of his John Deere tractor. He seemed to be doing some sort of striptease. The event unfolding in front of the inspector suddenly seemed more important than testing milk and he watched in amazement as Frank slunk out of his plaid shirt, tossed his baseball cap into the hay, and began to remove his coveralls. Now in a state of panic, the inspector yelled out to Frank to see what he was doing. With both hands in his pockets, his eyes fixed on the floor in front of him, the half dressed and embarrassed Frank allowed as how he was having some trouble in the bedroom with his wife lately and that a therapist had suggested that he "do something sexy to a tractor."
(If you had trouble with the last story, ask your wife and she will explain it to you.)
I beg your pardon! New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told Fox News’ Neil Cavuto that his state was a “much better” place than Pennsylvania as relates to tax differences between the two states. "We don’t need to be 3% because New Jersey is a much-better state that Pennsylvania,” Christie said. New Jersey has a marginal tax rate of 9%.
Benton moves to 9-8 on the season. Benton's next match is home on Tuesday, February 8, Parent's Night, against Central Columbia at 7 PM. The match will stream life on www.bentontigerswrestling.com.
--Compiled by Bryan Hart
February 3, 2011, the birthday of Rayellen Kisbach Gilles, Amanda V. Hartman , Betty Rabb Helwig, Brian and Brad Albertson and Iris Wilkins, Orlando, Florida.
Found: A tri-color, Beagle, Walker, mix with long hair. The owner should describe the dog's color in order to get it back. Email bentonnews at gmail.com and I'll pass it along to the person who found the dog. Speaking of dogs...
Buster, our pet Bichon, is getting along in years. He is now 12 and facing life mostly from a prone position. He naps a lot, and when he isn't on the couch sleeping he is either asking to be taken for a walk or asking for food. Today he broke with his daily routine and asked that I share a Jimmy Stewart story about a dog named Beau. Go here and share a wonderful poem from Jimmy Stewart. If you never owned a dog you would miss if he were gone, don't bother watching this. You would simply not understand .
The Commonwealth could get a revenue boost if it joins a national compact of states in an effort to grab at least a portion of $700 million in annual uncollected sales tax revenues from online vendors. The House Appropriations Committee has been briefed about the multi-state compact.
A newspaper was announced to the world yesterday when Rupert Murdock brought out a daily available as a paid app, mostly to benefit advertisers, but also to line his pockets. The advertisements have great graphics. What else there is seems to be available for free from other sources. The Daily is the first digital news publication with original content for the iPad. The Daily is similar to News Corp.’s New York Post, its sports coverage much like USA Today with a leaning toward People Magazine.
Our musical selection for today comes from the one-man band known as the Ren and Stimpy One Man Band. It is hard to believe how many hours of mixing it took to make all the parts come together on this video. And it is hard to believe that one man played all the parts.
Christ United Methodist Church in Central is having a bake sale in the lobby of First Columbia Bank on Friday February 4, to raise money for Pastor Howard Leh to take to Haiti on March 1. All money raised will be used to buy supplies for the Haitian people. The bake sale will start when the bank opens at 8:30 and will run until everything is sold or the bank closes.
Have you heard the joke from the Middle East that goes like this: One of Hosni Mubarak's advisers gets his nerve up and asks, "Mr. President, maybe it's time to think about your farewell address to the Egyptian people." Mubarak looks at the adviser and asks, "Why? Where are they going? "
As Mother would say, we are in a "mell of a Hess." By "we," I mean "the world." Protests between pro- and anti-government demonstrators turned violent in Cairo yesterday. There were deaths and more than 800 people were injured in fights as the military stood by neutrally. The military appears to be moving in to protect lives this morning. Jordan's King Abdullah II dismissed his prime minister and his cabinet after widespread protests by crowds inspired by demonstrations in Egypt, Tunisia and elsewhere. Closer to home, the U.S. government owes nearly $187,000 for every family of four in the nation. These are the same Washington bureaucrats who will spend almost $1.5 trillion more than it brings in. The Federal government and state governments are forced to let go firefighters and police officers and teachers, take a second, more casual look at inmates they can't afford to house and feed and release them to the streets. Major cities in Pennsylvania--Harrisburg is one example--and other states are broke and many municipal bonds are in jeopardy. For a number of reasons, food prices are climbing out of sight. And don't forget oil. Crude oil at $100-per-barrel oil is predicted by many. Against this background, nearly everything that rises as the dollar falls continues to move higher. As someone once said to me, "Explain to me vunst."
Didja know that the Natural Organic Warehouse is a national distributor of natural and organic products and programs?
Today's music and message comes from a simple stethoscope. Go here and enjoy.
The winner of a bet was paid in full Tuesday as Ed Cole paid John Haines $50--a reward for John losing 68 pounds compared to Ed's loss of 25 pounds. Edward Cole, Jr. joined in the wager months after the two Silver Streakers. He lost 83 pounds to gain bragging rights. Edward now weighs ten pounds less than his father, eats more vegetables, plays more volleyball and will probably keep his weight off better. A new wager is now in effect involving percentage losses, the year 2012, starting weights and other complicating factors.
The fuel fund established by the Council of Churches has helped 15 families so far this winter. At the December food bank, 52 second graders from Benton School made and distributed cookies and were all smiles doing their part to help the less fortunate. A luncheon was held for the volunteers at the Benton Christian Church following the food bank with students from the Life Skills class attending. Jello is being collected by the Benton Methodist and Benton Presbyterian Churches for the March give away.
A fund raiser to benefit the Fuel Fund is planned for Benton Community Yard Sale Days, May 28, in the parking lot of the Benton Christian Church. Anyone with items they wish to donate can be brought to the Benton Christian Church on Saturday, May 21, Wednesday, May 25 and Friday, May 27 from 9 AM to 12 noon each of those days. Someone will be at the Church to direct where the items should go. The council will also have hot dogs and buns with ketchup and mustard; cold drinks and baked goods for sale that day.
Other fund raisers to benefit the fuel fund will be held at the Benton Christian Church...
• a Roast Beef dinner on February 18 from 4 to 6 PM with pre-paid tickets. This is take out only and curb side service will be available. For the roast beef dinner, call Cathy Mansfield at 683-5771.• A hoagie ($3.50 each) and soup ($5 a quart) sale on February 23, with pickup from 4 to 5 PM at the Benton Christian Church. Soups are vegetable beef and chicken noodle. Order from any member of the council or call Faith Schlichter for hoagies at 925-2274. Call Nancy Musselman for soup at 925-2200.
--thanks to Peg Follmer for providing information on the Council of Churches
In the Pigtail Round of the District IV Duals, Benton boys wrestlers came up short Monday night against Montoursville 46-26. The match started at 112.
.Benton is eliminated from District Duals. Montoursville will move on to #1 Towanda on Wednesday. Benton's record is 8-8, and will wrestling Thursday, February 3, against South Williamsport at home.--Thanks to Brian Hart for wrestling news
The German Heritage Society of the Susquehanna Valley will hold its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, February 3, at 7 PM. at the Degenstein Library, Sunbury. Members and guests will hear a presentation by Society Treasurer Erika Hort recounting her childhood in Germany in the aftermath of World War II, emigrating to America with her family, and returning to Germany later in life to visit her childhood home. Members and guests are invited to join in this free program. Refreshments will be served. Contact GHSSV President Jeff Sheaffer at 374-7730 for more information.George J. "Bud" Henry (May 24, 1932-January 30, 2011), a school teacher at Southern Columbia for 31 years, a lifelong farmer, an auctioneer and owner of George J. Henry Butcher Shop in Catawissa, died Sunday at the Geisinger Medical Center after being stricken ill at his home on Lake Glory Road, Catawissa. He was 78. Bud was born in Bloomsburg, He was a son of George Collins Henry and Agnes Miriam (Johnson) Henry. He was preceded in death by his wife, Marilyn C. (Morgan) Henry, a former Benton resident and sister of Mrs. Wayne McMichael, Stillwater. Marilyn died April 5, 2001, after 40 years of marriage. A full obituary is available in the Press Enterprise in its edition of February 1, 2011. Arrangements are under the direction of the McMichael Funeral Home, Inc., Benton. For online condolences, please visit: www.mcmichaelfuneralhome.com