News of Otsego County

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

Stop The Pipeline Declares Victory – But Is It Final?


Stop The Pipeline

Declares Victory

– But Is It Final?

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

The Constitution Pipeline was planned to cross 125 miles from Northeastern Pennsylvania’s fracking fields, skirting southern Otsego County, to connect with the Iroquois pipeline in eastern Schoharie County to transmit natural gas to the NYC metropolitan area.

Binghamton-area Anti-fracking researcher Bill Huston declared “ding-dong, the witch is dead” after receiving the news in an e-mail sent out overnight by by attorney Anne Marie Garti of Stop The Pipeline.

It declared: “Williams, the major investor in the proposed Constitution Pipeline, has written off its investment and stated that it has halted its investment in the project.”

She added, “After almost eight years of effort, Stop The Pipeline has won this epic battle.  Our next task is to make sure the easements are removed from landowners’ deeds.”

Postal Service Reopens Davenport Center Office

Postal Service Reopens

Davenport Center Office

DAVENPORT CENTER – The U.S. Postal Service is reopening the Davenport Center post office, and is planning a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. Monday 11892 Route 23, east of Southside Oneonta.

Since the office shuttered, Davenport Center customers have been served by the Davenport Post Office.  The last day for those customers to pick up mail at Davenport is Saturday.  All mail will then move to Davenport Center.

Ella Chase, 106; One Of County’s Oldest Residents

IN MEMORIAM:  Ella Chase, 106;

One Of County’s Oldest Residents

WORCESTER – Ella M. Chase, 106, one of Otsego County’s oldest residents, passed away Feb. 20, 2020.

Ella was born Oct. 7, 1913 in Oneonta, the daughter of Burton and Margarett (Thayer) Miller.

She attended Oneonta High School for three years, then graduated from Laurens Central School. Ella was a member of Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta and she worked at Scintilla in Sidney.

Doris L. Spearbeck, 89; RN At SUNY Oneonta Clinic For 30 Years

IN MEMORIAM: Doris L. Spearbeck, 89;

RN At SUNY Oneonta Clinic For 30 Years

Doris Spearbeck

ONEONTA – Doris L. Spearbeck, 89,  a nurse at SUNY Oneonta’s clinic for 30 years, passed away in Syracuse on Feb. 17, 2020, surrounded by family, following a brief illness.

She was born on March 20, 1930, and raised on the Loudon Farm in Walton. As a child she enjoyed skating and tending to the baby piglets. She graduated from Walton High School and Wilson School of Nursing in Johnson City, where her roommate introduced her to the love of her life.

She worked as a registered nurse at SUNY Oneonta Health & Wellness Center from 1968 to 1998. She started part-time and through her dedication and true concern of the students put into her care, she rose to supervisor of the department. She made lifetime friends along the way.


Fun Programs For Kids Winter Break


WINTER PROGRAMS – 1 – 3 p.m. Bring the kids for some learning fun over February break. Choose from programs ‘Forest as a Habitat’ featuring interactive games on how action of animal & humans affect the forest, or ‘New York State Breakout Box’ families try to open the Breakout Box with their knowledge of NYS social studies. Free, open to public. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit

Beverly J. Leneker, 74; CV Native Worked At Canajoharie Bank

IN MEMORIAM: Beverly J. Leneker, 74;

CV Native Worked At Canajoharie Bank

Beverly Leneker

CHERRY VALLEY – Raised in Cherry Valley, Beverly Jean (Snyder) Leneker, 74, passed peacefully in her sleep Feb. 16, 2020, with her loving and caring husband by her side, after a long battle with dementia.

Beverly was born April 21, 1945, to Lawrence C. Snyder Sr. and Elizabeth M. (Bogardus), and spent her childhood in Cherry Valley.

Beverly married Raymond V. Leneker on July 25, 1964, and moved to Canajoharie to raise a family. Beverly was employed for a short time at Beech-Nut before becoming a long-time employee at Canajoharie National Bank in the mortgage department.

As Successor, Seward Gets Behind Oberacker

Candidate Has ‘Experience, Vision’

As Successor, Seward

Gets Behind Oberacker


ONEONTA – Retiring state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Oneonta, today endorsed Peter Oberacker, the Otsego County representative and independent business owner from Schenevus, to succeed him next year.

“I wholeheartedly endorse Peter Oberacker and look forward to calling him my New York State senator,” said the 34-year veteran.

Springbrook, Roots, Sal’s Receive Funds For Upper Floor Housing


City Hall Funding

4 Projects To Install

Upstairs Apartments

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

The upstairs of the Shops At Ford and Main, owned by Peter Clark, will be renovated for apartments. ( photo)

ONEONTA – City Hall this afternoon announced funding to renovate the upstairs apartments on four downtown buildings, a key step forward in the $10 million state-funded Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) now entering its fourth year.

Apartments will be built above Joseph Grigoli’s Sal’s Pizzeria, 285 Main St.; Peter Clark’s Shops at Ford and Main, 250 Main St., Russ Scimeca’s Roots Brewing Company, 177 Main St., and Key Bank, a project proposed by Springbrook earlier this year, at 186-212 Main Street.

“I congratulate the recipients of the Round II Downtown Improvement Fund awards,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “These four local businesses have demonstrated a willingness to invest their time, energy, and resources into the revitalization of our downtown.”

Two Honored By City For Emergency Response

Two Honored By City

For Emergency Response

Jason Bouton, stands with Mayor Gary Herzig after receiving recognition from the City of Oneonta as an Employee of the Quarter. Also honored was Scott Burger, who was unable to be present, with his boss Chris Pelligra accepting the award for him. Both men, who work at the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Oneonta, were recognized for their quick thinking, fast response and professional handling of two separate medical emergencies that happened on their job site. (Ian Austin/
Van De Water Says He’s Running In 19th

Van De Water Says

He’s Running In 19th

Millbrook Lawyer Takes On Delgado

Kyle Van De Water, Millbrook, a former JAG lawyer and attorney in Poughkeepsie, is running for Congress.

MILLBROOK – Last week he won the support of the Otsego and Schoharie county Republican committees in a straw poll at the Worcester White House Inn.

Today, lawyer and Army veteran Kyle Van De Water made it official: He plans to run against first-term Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado in New York’s 19th District.

Van De Water has been doing what he did in Worcester last week:  asking for and receiving support of most of the county committees in the nine-county district.

“With the complete support of my wife and children, our family and friends, and now the majority of the Republican county committees that make up the 19th District, I am excited to announce that I am running for Congress,” he said in a press release.


Learn To Ice Fish

On Canadarago Lake


FISHING CLINIC – 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. All ages are welcome to come learn basics of ice fishing with DEC. Bait & tackle provided. Experienced anglers encouraged to bring your own. Dress warmly. Free. Relocated to Canadarago Boat Launch, 135 Dennison Rd., Richfield Springs. 607-547-8662 or visit

Cooperstown Rotary Applauds Delgado

Cooperstown Rotary

Applauds Delgado

Detail In Congressman’s Remarks Lauded

Introduced by Cooperstown’s Richard Sternberg, a state Democratic Committee member, Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, acknowledges applause at today’s noontime Cooperstown Rotary Club meeting at The Otesaga. At left are Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and her predecessor, Jeff Katz; at right, Melinda Hardin, a Democratic activist. Delgado’s description of his legislative efforts ranged from aid to small farms, to combining all federal regulatory requirements on one website, to creating a Medicaid- or Medicare-based “public option” to encourage health-insurance competition, to a $50 billion Rebuild Rural America Act, which would bypass state government and provide block grants directly to localities. Attorney Bob Birch told Delgado that no congressman who has addressed the club in his 30 years as a Rotarian had spoken with such specificity. Delgado planned a stop in Oneonta later in the afternoon. At right, Jim Miles, a consultant with The Leatherstocking Corp., which owns The Otesaga, and Otsego General Manager/Vice President John Shideler, brief the congressman on tourism-related issues. (Jim Kevlin /

At Fiery Meeting, Town Board At Loggerheads In Richfield

At Fiery Meeting, Town Board

At Loggerheads In Richfield

The new town attorney, Peter Hobaica, Fly Creek, left, introduces himself to the Richfield Town Board at its twice-monthly meeting Monday night, but excused himself before the fireworks began. Incumbent town board members Larry Frigault and Rex Seamon, at left, challenged the new majority – Supervisor Nick Palevsky, center, and Ed Bello Jr., right – on virtually every measure that came up for discussion.  The third member of the new majority, Fred Eckler, Skyped in from Florida, but was unable to provide the third signature required to pay a $750 bill from attorney David Merzig, Oneonta; Merzig had reviewed a petition drive Palevsky mounted during the campaign that ended in the Nov. 5 election.  The petitions, which would have forced a 4-1 supermajority to approve the disputed new town zoning ordinance, were ruled invalid by the then-town attorney; the then-majority, Frigault, Seamon and Kane Seamon (defeated by Bello Nov. 5), then approved the zoning law.  Palevsky’s majority are seeking to revise of overturn the document. In his review, Merzig concluded that issues surrounding the zoning law were sufficient that any court challenge to the new ordinance would probably be successful.  The town hall on East James Street was packed, with Frigault-Seamon supporters applauding when their two champions made a point.  (Jim Kevlin/
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