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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Shane Smith’s Legacy Honored At Job Corps

Shane Smith’s Legacy

Honored At Job Corps

Wife Debbie Smith and son Sean lift the cover on a memorial marker today in honor of the late Shane Smith, who started the overhead line program at the Oneonta Job Corps.  At right is Job Corps Director Chris Kuhn. In honor of his contribution to the school and his students, the all-weather training dome, located in the Sweeney Smart Grid Training Complex, was christened the Shane Smith Memorial Dome. A memorial area around was created in-house by the Underground Residential Distribution Advanced Training Class, while the plaque and stone were made by the tile setters.  Smith died at age 69 April 10 in Norwich.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Cooperstown Elementary Honors Veterans

Cooperstown Elementary 

Pupils Honor Veterans

Cooperstown Veterans’ Club Presidennt David Sanford leads the Color Guard through the Cooperstown Elementary Gymnasium this afternoon during a Veterans Day ceremony.    The pupils presented a program of songs and reading honors the local veterans. (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Arrangements Abound At Annual Garden Club Meeting

Arrangements Abound At

Garden Club Annual Meeting

Bob Opalecky, Oneonta, left, helps Gary Buman, Otego, former owner of Gary’s Flowers, display a freshly made flower arrangement this evening at St. James Episcopal Church, Oneonta, during a demonstration at the Oneonta Federated Garden Club’s annual meeting. All the creations were auctioned off at the end of the event. After Thanksgiving, the club will be hosting the Greens Workshop at St. James Nov. 27-30 in preparation of its annual Greens Sale & Holiday Bazaar on Dec. 1. The public is welcome. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Students Join Neighbors In Cleaning 3rd Ward

Students Join Neighbors

In Cleaning 3rd Ward

Taane Pegg, President of Phi Si fraternity, left, and SUNY Alumni Wayne Baker, were out with their fellow students and Councilman Dave Rissberger, center, cleaning the streets of the 3rd ward from garbage during the annual 3rd Ward Clean-Up. Volunteers met at the Alpha Omega Pi sorority house where they had coffee, hot chocolate, donuts and baked goods from Laure Zimniewitz before hitting the streets this morning. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

 

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Candidates For Town Council Debate At Town Hall

Oneonta Town Candidates Debate 

Oneonta Town Board candidates, from left, Republican Dan Baker, Democrats Patricia Jacob and  James McCue and Republican Randy Mowers answer questions about the town-city fire contract, economic development and environment, how the town will operate under the tax cap, and what they thing about XNG trucks going through the town. The four were proceeded by, at right, county Rep.  Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, and his Republican challenger, Breck Tarbell, right, who read position statements to a crowd at the town hall in West Oneonta. The event was hosted by the league of Women Voters. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Kleniewski Delivers Final Presidential Breakfast Address

VIPs Applaud Kleniewski

At Last Community Breakfast

Vigorous applause interrupted SUNY Oneonta President Nancy Kleniewski’s remarks at the final Community Breakfast she will be hosting for leaders in business and government this morning at Morris Hall.   In her comments, Kleniewski, who is retiring at the end of this academic years thanked supporters and highlighted accomplishments SUNY has enjoyed during her time as president:  The college’s endowment has risen to $55 million, a record for SUNY’s comprehensive colleges, allowing one in six students to receive financial aid through the Access To School Excellence Program.  She instituted The Common Read, saw two new buildings rise and 11 others rehabbed, worked with OPT to provide more efficient transport for students, created a student thrift store, as well as contributing to the Oneonta community economically, partnered with volunteer organization and hosted Head Start Program. City officials, Senator Jim Seward, teachers, friends, supporters and community members turned out this morning.  Hall. At right, Paul Patterson and wife Sarah applaud Kleniewski’s accomplishments at the conclusion of the breakfast. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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Denny’s Celebrates Remodel With Ribbon Cutting, Specials

Denny’s Celebrates Remodel

With Ribbon Cutting, Specials

From left: Benjamin Cruz, michelle Arnecke, Kimberly Simmons, Frank Aviles, Mae Van Alstyne-Davis, Kitty Cruz, Rita Strobeck, Abu Morshed, Jane Brown, Erica VanWarner, Aria Morsted, Sharon Teator, David Johnson, Mike Hall, Dustin Hummell and Paul Ferguson cut the ribbon at the Oneonta Denny’s during their Grand Slam celebration for the newly remodeled restaurant on Monday morning. Stop on in for specials that including the newly launched 3-course meals, or buy a mug and get free coffee for a month! (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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6th Annual Harvest Dinner Hosts Friends, Food

6th Annual Harvest Dinner

Hosts Friends, Food

With evening temperatures in the 80’s, it felt more like summer than fall, lending itself to the large crowds attending the 6th Annual Harvest Dinner this evening in Cooperstown. Food, family and friends came out to dine with their neighbors in a celebration of harvest bounty and community. Above, Daphne Money, Cooperstown, Todd Snelson, Oneonta, and others partake of the bounty that stretched between Fair Street and River Street.(Ian Austin/ AllOTSEGO.com)

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Foxes, Skunks Concern Center City Neighbors

Foxes, Skunks Concern

Center City Neighbors

Patricia Crow asked Common Council to consider hiring a wildlife expert after she saw a fox running loose in her Center City neighborhood (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Police Chief Doug Brenner warned that if citizens see a sick animal not to approach it, but to instead call police or the DEC.

ONEONTA – Patricia Crow, 14 Myrtle Ave, told Oneonta Common Council that she spotted a fox near her home in Center City on Thursday, Sept. 14.

“I clearly sighted a fox traveling across my neighbor’s back yard.” she said. “Never in my nearly 70 years have I seen a fox in Center City.”

Though she warned that foxes were “not safe for the citizens of Oneonta,” The Humane Society says that foxes are not considered dangerous and are generally scared of humans, especially if they make a loud noise. Dogs and adult cats are generally safe from foxes, but kittens, rabbits and other small animals could be considered prey and should be kept inside.

However, Police Chief Doug Brenner says there has been an “uptick” in sick animals, namely skunks, including four in one week. “These animals were not well,” he said. “They were rolling in the street.”

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Jury Deliberations Begin in Murder Trial
CASEY CALLAHAN TRIAL: Day FOUR

Jury Deliberations

Begin in Murder Trial

District Attorney John Muehl gives his closing statement in the trial against Casey Callahan, accused of killing his wife Elizabeth in January 2000. (Parker Fish/AllOTESEGO.com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – With a total 22 witnesses called, including suspect Casey Callahan, the prosecution and defense gave their closing arguments in the murder trial against Callahan, who was charged with killing his wife, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan, at a truck stop on January 19, 2000.

“Four tires ran directly down the center of her body,” said District Attorney John Muehl in his closing statement. “I submit you can’t do that by accident. This plan was tailor-made for Elizabeth.”

But Callahan’s defense argued that the jury is tasked with deciding if jurisdiction allowed Elizabeth’s death in Pennsylvania, which Callahan maintained was an accident, could be prosecuted in New York. “There is no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that this case belongs in New York State,” said William Schebaum, Callahan’s attorney. “I urge you not to allow speculation, emotion, or even a dislike of the defendant to be a substitute to fact.”

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