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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Town of Oneonta

City Joins Town For OCCA Grants

City Joins Town In Steps

To Fight Climate Change

Danny Lapin, OCCA environmental planner, presents his proposal to Common Council to join with the Town of Oneonta to seek funding through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to develop a water-management plan to determine what steps could be taken at no cost in Greater Oneonta to help combat global climate change. The council agreed to move ahead on the project (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com).
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Hugh Henderson, Community Leader

IN MEMORIAM

Hugh Henderson, 

Community Leader

Hugh I. Henderson Sr., 1937-2017

ONEONTA – Hugh I. Henderson Sr., who dedicated much of his life to the public service of Oneonta and Otsego County,  died peacefully at home, following an extended illness, on Friday, April 14, 2017.

He was born March 18, 1937, at Parshall Hospital in Oneonta, the son of Robert L. Henderson Sr. and Marie Elizabeth Henderson.

As a child he lived in Davenport and East Meredith.  In 1946, his family moved to a dairy farm on Southside Drive. He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1954.

Hugh and his brother Bob operated the family dairy farm on Southside for more than 50 years, until October 2000, when the brothers sold their cows, ending more than a half-century of this family-owned business.

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Fire Chief: Christopher’s Fire Started In Dining Room

Fire Chief: Christopher’s Blaze

Started In Front Dining Room

Oneonta Assistant Fire Chief Jim Maloney, front, confers with fire investigators, while Don Tubia, left, helps sift through the rubble of the front right corner, where the early-morning fire that destroyed Christopher’s Restaurant is believed to have started. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – The overnight fire that destroyed Christopher’s Restaurant on Southside started in the front right corner of the building, a dining area, according to Oneonta Fire Chief Patrick Pigeon.

A passerby called the fire in at 2:20 a.m. and crews arrived less than five minutes later to find the fire fully involved. “We started an aggressive attack through the front doors, but after 10 minutes, we realized it wasn’t going to work,” said Pigeon. “The fire was already up in the roof system.”

According to Pigeon, they spent another 20 minutes inside trying to battle the blaze, but with so many rooms, the fire was impossible to contain. “We would douse one room, and the fire would just be pushed to the next,” he said.

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Fire Destroys Christopher’s Restaurant

FIRE DESTROYS

CHRISTOPHER’S

Oneonta Landmark Burns Overnight

The fire that broke out overnight completely destroyed Christopher’s Restaurant on Southside.  The landmark was unique locally:  It was built and decorated as an Adirondack lodge, evident in the trophies (foreground) that decorated the walls. The cause remains under investigation (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – The Oneonta Fire Department is still on the scene after an early morning blaze destroyed landmark Christopher’s Restaurant on Southside.

The call came into the city fire department at 2:20 a.m. and professional firefighters arrived on the scene to find the restaurant fully engulfed.  “It no longer exists,” said fireman Al Sayers Lutz. “It’s been completely destroyed.”

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Angry Townfolks Object To Annexation Idea

Angry Townfolks Object

To Annexation Talk

Wade Beltramo, NYCOM General Council, gave a workshop on annexation in Council chambers this evening and was met by contentious remarks from residents of the Town of Oneonta, who object to the idea of the city annexing the airport and city water supply. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – A workshop to look at the process of annexing brought out a full house of Laurens and Town of Oneonta citizens who accused Common Council of planning to annex the Oneonta Municipal Airport and the city’s water supply.

“You must have some reason for holding this workshop,” said Bill Starna, the retired SUNY Oneonta anthropology professor. “Otherwise, are you just poking around in the dark?”

“There is no proposal here,” said Council Member Melissa Nicosia, Second Ward. “This is just something to learn. No one is talking about annexing any specific property.”

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Holiday Inn Express Unveiled, But Neighbors Voice Concerns

Holiday Inn Express Unveiled,

But Neighbors Voice Concerns

Ed Keplinger, the Landscape Architect with Keplinger Freeman Associates discusses the details of the newly proposed Holiday Inn Express on Southside with neighborsAnn Wallace, Peg Pendrak and Roger Wilms at a Town Hall meeting this evening. Main concerns come focused on effects of a hotel on their well water, light pollution, noise and visibility of the hotel from their property. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Ed Keplinger, the Landscape Architect with Keplinger Freeman Associates discusses the details of the newly proposed Holiday Inn Express on Southside with neighbors Ann Wallace, Peg Pendrak and Roger Wilms, whose properties boarder the project, at a Town Hall meeting this evening. While originally not on the agenda, developer Bill Ahmed asked for public comment from the neighbors, which focused on effects the  hotel would have on their well water, light pollution, noise and visibility of the hotel from their properties. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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Richard A. Murphy, Civic Leader
IN MEMORIAM

Richard A. Murphy, Civic Leader

Word has been received that Richard A. Murphy, retired banker and former Democratic county representative for the Town of Oneonta, passed away at 5:15 a.m. today at his home, where he was under Hospice care. Arrangements are being made with the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta; a full obituary will be forthcoming Friday. Murphy had been struggling with a cancer diagnosis since retiring at the end of 2013 from the county board, where he was a key player and, for a period, vice chair. He had remained active in politics, mentoring such rising stars at county Rep. Andrew Stammel, who won Murphy’s seat in 2016, and Dan Buttermann, now serving on the Oneonta City Board of Education. In April 2014, the Oneonta Little League named its minor league field in his honor. And he was the guest of honor at the September 2015 annual dinner of the Otsego County Democratic Party where, above, he posed with, from left, former Oneonta mayors John Nader and Kim Muller, Murphy's wife Patricia, and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the keynote speaker. (AllOTSEGO.com)
Word has been received that Richard A. Murphy, former Democratic county representative for the Town of Oneonta, passed away at 5:15 a.m. today at his home, where he was under Hospice care.  Arrangements are being made with the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, Oneonta; a full obituary will be forthcoming Friday. Murphy, a former ONC BOCES speech pathologist, had been struggling with a cancer diagnosis since retiring at the end of 2013 from the county board, where he was a key player and, for a period, vice chair. He had remained active in politics, mentoring such rising stars at county Rep. Andrew Stammel, who won Murphy’s seat in 2015, and Dan Buttermann, now serving on the Oneonta City Board of Education. In April 2014, the Oneonta Little League named its minor league field in his honor. And he was the guest of honor at the September 2015 annual dinner of the Otsego County Democratic Party where, above, he posed with, from left, former Oneonta mayors John Nader and Kim Muller, Murphy’s wife Patricia, and state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the keynote speaker. (AllOTSEGO.com)
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Town Of Oneonta OKs Southside Water System

Town Of Oneonta OKs

Southside Water System

Project Completion Expected During 2018

County Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, spoke in favor of approval of the two water districts. "If we don't have quality water, homes have no value, so I strongly urge you adopt it." (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
County Rep. Andrew Stammel, D-Town of Oneonta, spoke in favor of approval of the two water districts. “If we don’t have quality water, homes have no value, so I strongly urge you adopt it.”   He favored the project while a town board member.  In the background are Town Supervisor Bob Wood and Town Clerk Cheryl Shackelton.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Jon Ackley, Southside Drive, voices voiced his opinion against the vote, stating that the it is only to benefit commercial business and that residents don't need water.
Jon Ackley, Southside Drive, speaks against approval, saying water in most homes is fine and the districts are only being created to benefit businesses.

WEST ONEONTA – It’s a go.

Following a public hearing last evening, the Oneonta Town Board approved both water districts expected to bring municipal water to the Southside business district and nearby homes by 2018.

In all, 195 properties will be served, according to Town Supervisor Bob Wood.

One district, the strip along Route 23, is primarily businesses, plus three homes.  The second, along Southside Drive, is mostly homes, but contains 13 businesses.

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OWL Migrates To Fortin Park

OWL Migrates To Fortin Park

By LIBBY CUDMORE •  for AllOTSEGO.com

OWL is moving its "nest" from downtown Oneonta to the house at Fortin Park.
OWL is moving its “nest” from downtown Oneonta to the house at Fortin Park.

ONEONTA – OWL, the Oneonta World of Learning, will take up a permanent nest in the house at Fortin Park.

The Town of Oneonta has given OWL use of the house, starting in late August, for their play space, as well as use of the playgrounds, fields and pavilions.  With this arrangement, OWL will also be able to add outdoor activities to its offerings, which include PaintFest, Dig Dirt Day and the Ice Cream Social.

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