News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
With 4 Slogans, ‘We’re Onta Something’ Campaign Nears Launch

With 4 Distinct Slogans,

‘We’re Onta Something’

Campaign Nears Launch

During the Mayor’s Report, Gary Herzig gave an update on the downtown revitalization grant progress including applications and the upcoming ‘We’re ONTA Something” ad campaign. “We want to make people curious about coming to Oneonta, and not just visiting, maybe to stay.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO,com)

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

ONEONTA – Oneonta is “onta” adventure. And art. And something delicious and something unique.

“The campaign will let people know that Oneonta exists and what it has to offer,” said Mayor Gary Herzig.

During Common Council this evening, Herzig announced a statewide online marketing campaign Trampoline Ad & Design, the who created the city’s new campaign, “We’re Onta Something,” will launch statewide “soon.”

Herzig explained Trampoline’s marketing campaign will be on social media, with some of it “just on websites,” and show four categories in which Oneonta is “onta something” – artistic, unique, adventurous and delicious.

Janet C. Miller, 89; First Female County Fire Dispatcher

IN MEMORIAM: Janet C. Miller, 89;

First Female County Fire Dispatcher

Janet C. Miller

MORRIS – Janet C. Miller, the first female dispatcher at Otsego County Fire Control, passed away suddenly on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2019, She was surrounded by loved ones.

Janet was born on May 12, 1938, to Fredrick Haug and Margaret (McElroy) McMullen. She was Predeceased by her brother Roy McMullen and beloved step-children Deanna Wallace (Miller) and Ronald Miller Jr.

Janet’s life spanned an array of places, time, and people. She started as a wife, mother, and farmer. Later in life she was a school bus driver for Morris Central School. She was the first female dispatcher for Otsego County Fire Control.

Gaspare Stabile; Immigrated, Farmed In Worcester

IN MEMORIAM:  Gaspare Stabile;

Immigrated, Farmed In Worcester

WORCESTER – Born in the old country, Castellammare del Golfo, Sicily, Italy, Gaspare Stabile led a life full of adventure.

His parents Giuseppe and Maria Cristina taught him a lot about the ways of the land, along with several uncles and cousins.
At the age of 19, he emigrated to the United States without any knowledge of what he would do. He seized the opportunity to forge a life with many difficulties as he didn’t speak any English. His strength and determination led him to the opportunity of becoming a mason. Competition was fierce, but Gaspare was able to rise above that as his attention to detail along with his friendliness led to many successes.

Louie Johnson, 79; Farmer Loved Draft Horses Jack, Jim

IN MEMORIAM: Louie Johnson, 79;

Farmer Loved Draft Horses Jack, Jim

Louie Johnson and his beloved draft horses, Jack and Jim.

OTEGO – Louis “Louie” E. Johnson, 79, whose draft horses, Jack and Jim, were well known at plow days, wedding and log skids, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, at Bassett Hospital, with his family by his side.

He was born on May 1, 1940, in Franklin, the son of Elmer and Helen (Palmer) Johnson. Louie attended Franklin and Delhi Schools. At a young age, he worked on local farms and in 1963 purchased his own farm in East Meredith on the West Kortright Church Road.

He sold his farm in 1987 and continued to haul cattle until he became ill in 2015.

Joseph G. Waters, 89; Principal At Oneonta School For 21 Years


Joseph G. Waters, 89; Principal

At Oneonta School For 21 Years

Joe Waters

ONEONTA – Joseph George Waters, 89, Oneonta Junior High School principal for 21 years, passed away Aug. 17, 2019, in Richmond, Va., where he moved in 2016 to be near his daughter and son-in-law.

He was born on May 3, 1930, in Oneonta, to parents, George H. and Marguerite (Dumond) Waters.

Joe married the former Barbara Roach of Plattsburgh, on Aug. 16, 1952. They recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.

Joe was a graduate of St. Mary’s School in Oneonta, Oneonta High School and Hartwick College, in addition to SUNY Albany.

Local Agency Applauds NY State’s Stand Against Federal Abortion Curbs

Local Agency Applauds

NY State’s Stand Against

Federal Abortion Curbs

ONEONTA — Oneonta’s Family Planning of South Central New York is applauding the Cuomo Administration’s withdrawal from the federal Title X family planning program because, for the time being, it prohibits federal funding from being used for abortion referrals or abortions themselves.

“We applaud Governor Cuomo and state public health officials for their decision to reject Title X funding as long as the coercive, unethical gag rule is in effect,” said Debra Marcus, the local agency’s CEO. “And we also urge the governor to release the $16 million designated by the state Legislature to help offset this loss of millions of federal grant dollars.”

Cherry Valley Trustees Ban Farm Animals

Cherry Valley

Trustees Ban

Farm Animals

Cherry Valley Mayor Lou Guido (red shirt) listens to concerns of resident Andy Minnig, seated, far left, about a farm animal ban in the village.  Sitting clockwise from the mayor are Village Clerk Ann S. Herr, Village Attorney E. Hyde Clarke, Interim DPW Superintendent Dave Hajczewski, Trustees Conway Bishop and Ian Feulner, and DPW Maintenance staffer Taylor Miles.  Sitting behind Mayor Guido is his wife, JoAnn.  (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILLS • Special to

CHERRY VALLEY – In a unanimous vote, the Village Board Monday evening approved a ban on farm animals, excepting “fowl and chickens,” within village limits “to protect the health and welfare of residents.”

The law, Local Law 1 of 2019, notably allows property owners to apply for a waiver by the Village Board “if required for religious purposes,” which was added to the law after some village residents accused trustees of using the law to discriminate against the Amish.

Revised Zoning Law Would Allow Dorms


Revised Zoning Law

Would Allow Dorms

Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk answers questions after this evening’s briefing on the Village of Cooperstown’s proposed zoning law revisions. About two dozen people attended a hearing in the fire hall. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Are dormitories permitted in the Village of Cooperstown under the proposed zoning revisions? asks attorney Linden Summers, a Bassett neighbor. Yes, was the reply.

COOPERSTOWN – “I haven’t heard anything about a dorm?” said attorney Linden Summers, who lives at 1 Elk St., a half-block from Bassett Hospital, as this evening’s hour-long presentation and discussion on the village’s proposed revised zoning code neared an end.

He recalled that five years ago, the Village Board’s effort to adopt a “hospital zone” to give Bassett flexibility collapsed over whether the hospital was planning dorms in the one-family neighborhood surrounding it.

Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, who led this evening’s presentation, acknowledged there is a provision in the revised code for dormitories


OCCA Presentation

‘Invaders From… Earth?’


COMMUNITY PROGRAM – 2 p.m. Program Director for Otsego County Conservation Association Jeff O’Handley presents “Invaders from… Earth?” On efforts by OCCA to combat/control spread of invasive species in Otsego County. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-0600 Ext. 102 or visit

Seward’s Dairy Showmanship Skills On Display At Delaware County Fair

Seward’s Dairy Showmanship Skills

On Display At Delaware County Fair

For the third year in a row, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, participated Friday in the VIP Dairy Showmanship event at the Delaware County Fair, teamed up with Madison Miller of Hobart, a Delaware Academy FFA member, and her Brown Swiss, Lavender. “It was inspiring to meet with several of our Delaware County FFA students at the Delaware County Fair and learn from them during the VIP Dairy Showmanship event,” said the senator, who is a consistent winner of the state Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” award.
Village Of Cooperstown Hosts Zoning Revision Info Session

Village Of Cooperstown Hosts

Zoning Revision Info Session

COOPERSTOWN – An informational session on possible revisions in the zoning code to create more housing is planned at 6 p.m. this evening in the fire hall, 22 Chestnut St., Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk announced.

An official public hearing will be held later, but this will give residents a chance to be briefed and ask questions.

Potential changes are designed to meet a call for more housing contained in the village’s updated 2016 Comprehensive Plan and to bring the code up to date with current terminology and legal requirements.

50 Runners Mark 20th Of Route 20 Challenge

50 Runners Mark 20th

Of Route 20 Challenge

Lafayette-To-Duanesburg Relay Unites

Participants In Smaller Runs On Stretch

Participants line up at Clancy’s Banquet Hall in West Winfield Saturday morning for the the Route 20 Road Challenge 20th anniversary run, a relay from Lafayette to the west and Duanesburg from the east.
“The Rockin’ Chicks,” who ran 20 relay laps, are cheered on reaching their destination.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – The Route 20 Road Challenge marked its 20th anniversary Saturday, and 50 runners in small communities along the route took part in a relay covering the entire distance of the Route 20 Scenic Byway between Duanesburg to Lafayette..

“We first heard of this at a planning meeting for the (Road Challenge) banquet, said Kevin Hoehn from Rome, the Road Challenge’s unofficial ambassador.  Bill Kosina of Richfield Springs, co-chairman, “comes up with some great ideas and really carries them through. It’s amazing.”

Oneonta ’49ers Became Wealthy, Shared It Here

Oneonta ’49ers Became

Wealthy, Shared It Here

GOHS Exhibit Also Highlights

Huntington’s Anti-Slavery Views

That Collis Huntington, who left Oneonta and made a fortune – not mining in the California Gold Rush, but selling gold miners the equipment they needed – may have feuded with his hometown from time to time, said Ed Rowley, top photo, left, an organizer of “Oneonta’s Forty-Niners,” which opened this afternoon at the Oneonta History Center.  “It’s a good story,” said Rowley, but any feuding couldn’t have been that bad:  When Huntington died, he left each of his local survivors at least $50,000 each, “more than a million dollars today.”  Huntington, who took four Oneontans with him – among them Carleton Watkins, whose scenic photos are second only to Ansel Adams – became one of California’s “Big Four,” credited with building the Central Pacific Railroad, the western end of the railroad that connected the continent in 1869 at Promontory Point, Utah.  Others in top photo included, from left, organizer Sarah Livington, GOHS members Ed Leone and Jane Bachman, and Bob Brzozowski (Bachman’s husband), GOHS executive director and another of the organizers, as was historian Tom Sullivan.  Inset is a photo the bronze depiction of Collis Huntington that hangs in the city’s Public Safety Building at Main and South Market.  Brzozowski reported Huntington was “deeply offended” by slavery during sales trip to the South as a young man, and his will included large bequests for Hampton Institute, now Hampton University, and to build the library at Tuskegee Institute; both are historic black institutions.  (Jim Kevlin/


Learn Photography While

Visiting Farmers’ Museum


PHOTO EXCURSION – 6-8 p.m.  Walk through The Farmers’ Museum with photographer Kevin Gray and learn tips on composition, lighting and camera techniques, and return home with your own beautiful pictures of Otsego Lake and the museum’s historic village at sunset. Bring lenses, camera battery, tripod (if you have one). Cost, $17/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum & Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit

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