News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Police & Fire

SUNY Student Arrested For Attempted Murder

SUNY Student Arrested

For Attempted Murder

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www. AllOTSEGO.com

Julian Vancourt-Wels

ONEONTA – A SUNY Oneonta student is under arrest for first-degree attempted murder after police allege that he had stabbed his girlfriend in the off-campus apartment they shared.

Julian D. VanCourt-Wels, 20, Schenectady, was arrested after police responded to a 911 call of a stabbing at 30 Maple St., Apartment 2, in Oneonta. According to Police Chief Doug Brenner, police found a female victim sitting on the couch, bleeding profusely from several apparent stab wounds.

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Autopsy: Man Died Of Cocaine Overdose In Police Holding Cell

 AUTOPSY CONFIRMS WHY SUSPECT DIED

Chief: After Overdose Death,

OPD Upgrading Holding Cell

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Chief Brenner

ONEONTA – OPD Chief Douglas Brenner today said a state Commission on Corrections investigator visited the Public Safety Building and said, despite the Nov. 3 death of a suspect who barricaded himself in the holding cell, officers had acted “within policy and reason.”

Nonetheless, Brenner said a storage area is being renovated to create a new holding area for strip searches, without doors or obstructions, to make such searches safer for the officers and the suspects. “There’s always room for improvement,” he said.

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Police: Investigation Ongoing In SUNY Student Death

Police: Drug Mixture May

Have Led To Student’s Death

ONEONTA – Preliminary results have revealed that “multiple drugs,” including amphetamines and benzodiazepines, were found in Daniel William Michaels’ system as Oneonta Police continue to investigate the death of the 18 year old SUNY Oneonta student.

On Saturday, Dec. 2 at 12:05 a.m., police received a call for assistance at an apartment at 34 Academy Street. “Some students were looking for a friend at that house and when they went in, they saw Michaels unconscious on the sofa,” said Police Chief Doug Brenner. “They couldn’t wake him up, so alerted someone living in the house and called the police.”

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SUNY Oneonta Mourns Death of Student

SUNY Oneonta Mourning

18-Year-Old Student’s Death

Daniel William Michaels (photo courtesy WKTV)

ONEONTA – An 18-year-old SUNY Oneonta student died early Saturday morning, according to an announcement made by President Nancy Kleniewski.

“I am profoundly saddened to inform you of the loss of a member of our campus community. Daniel William Michaels, a freshman from Dix Hills who was studying business economics, died early this morning. He was 18,” she wrote in a statement emailed to students Saturday morning.

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Underwood Faces 20 Years In Slaying

Now 26, He’ll Emerge At 46

Underwood Facing

20 Years In Slaying

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

OPD Officers Lindsay Rumenapp and Edmund Donley had a grim New Year’s Day, investigating a slaying. (www.AllOTSEGO.com photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Joshua Underwood, 26, will reenter society at age 46 after pleading guilty to first-degree manslaughter yesterday in a death in the wee hours of New Year’s Day in Oneonta.

Joshua Underwood

The plea in the death of Mark Morrison, 52, was entered before county Judge Brian Burns as the deadline – yesterday – for two plea options was running out, District Attorney John Muehl said today.

Muehl said he offered Underwood and his lawyer, Public Defender Bruce Maxson, two options:  second-degree murder, 15 years to life, or first-degree manslaughter at a firm 20 years.   Underwood chose the “determinant” sentence, the D.A. said.

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Sister, Stranger Worked Together After Crash

Younger Sister Came

To Her Elder’s Rescue

Julie Ford’s car hit a patch of black ice and sent her and her sister, Abby, into a tree on Saturday morning.

By LIBBY CUDMORE • www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – Even though she herself was suffering from a concussion, Abby Ford was able to call 911 following the Saturday crash that left her sister, Julie, the driver, injured and in and out of consciousness.

“Abby managed to dial 911,” said their mother, Amy. “It’s a miracle they were able to get the call through. Wiley Town Road never has cell service.”

A stranger, later identified as Dennis Brassaw, Cooperstown, was also driving down the road and stopped to wait with the girls until state troopers and EMS arrived. “We’re so grateful to him,” said Amy. “I went to the site of the accident today, and he was there and introduced himself.”

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CCS Forward Airlifted From Crash, Recovering

CCS Forward Airlifted

From Crash, Recovering

Julie Ford

COOPERSTOWN – CCS basketball star Julie Ford is recovering at home after she was airlifted to Albany from an accident scene last Friday.

According to Nate Reigel, State Police public information officer, Ford was driving the car southbound on Wiley Town Road around noon when she hit a patch of black ice and slid 100 feet before striking a tree on the northbound shoulder.

Ford was “in and out of consciousness” at the scene, and her sister, Abby, a passenger, called 911, according to a Facebook post made by their mother, Amy Hurtubise Ford.

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Runaway Rail Cars Cross Route 7

Runaway Rail Cars Cross Route 7

The antique rail cars that line Route 7 near Colliersville broke loose and crossed onto the highway, bring state police to the scene. No further details were immediately available. Oneonta’s Bob Pondolfino was driving by and snapped this image.
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