HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for THURSDAY, APRIL 25
MUSICAL PROGRAM – 6:30 p.m. Mezzo Soprano Joelle Lachance performs musical works about love, accompanied by CHS pianist Tim Iversen. Free, open to public. Woodside Hall, 1 Main St., Cooperstown. Advanced reservations recommended. Info, 607-547-0600, ext. 101
Green: It Shows Suspect Carrying Accelerant
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Video evidence shows accused arsonist Gabriel Truitt, 33, with the accelerant found in front of Heather Engler’s apartment door in the Walling Avenue fire that killed former Oneonta firefighter John Heller, Assistant District Attorney Will Green said during this morning’s arraignment in Otsego County Court.
“Video evidence shows the defendant with isopropyl alcohol going to and from the crime scene,” the prosecutor said.
ONEONTA – Geraldine LaGrua Kennedy, 96, a business executive active in Democratic politics, passed away Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Basset Hospital.
Survivors include two daughters in Oneonta.
Geraldine was born Aug. 13, 1922, in Brooklyn, the daughter of the late Fred and Elvira (Santangelo) LaGrua.
Gerry met the love of her life Howard Carvil Kennedy in Brooklyn while still in high school. They were married on Nov. 1, 1942. Together they traveled through life with a shared love of family, friends and new adventures. Howard predeceased her on Oct. 25, 1998.
Veteran Teacher, Administrator Succeeds Lucy
COOPERSTOWN – Kristin Butler, veteran Cooperstown Central School teacher and administrator, has been appointed junior-senior high school principal, effective July 1.
She will succeed Donna Lucy, who resigned last summer. In the interim, Jim Brophy, retired Edmeston Central School principal, has filled the role.
A 1999 CCS graduate, Butler has served the district for the past 13 years in both instructional and administrative roles, most recently as the director of curriculum development & assessment.
Suspect Spirited To Otsego County Jail
By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Less than a week since a grand jury indicted Gabriel Truitt, 33, on first-degree murder, one count of first-degree arson, and two counts of second-degree murder in the Dec. 29 death of John Heller, 38, Oneonta Police have arrested him at 95 Main St.
The two-story apartment house is right next door to the Public Safety Building, police headquarters.
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO for WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24
DINNER – 6-8:30 p.m. Annual dinner meeting of Greater Oneonta Historical Society with keynote speaker Mayor Gary Herzig. $45, reservations due April 18. Toscana Northern Italian Grill, 76 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Info, reservations, info@OneontaHistory.org, (607) 432-0960.
Residential Community Training,
Placing Residents In Local Jobs
By LIBBY CUDMORE • The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta
EDMESTON – When she was 16, Joanna Draper had a brain tumor removed and was in a coma for a month. Though she recovered, her short-term memory was all but gone, dashing her hopes of continuing to perform in musical theater.
But now, you can find her serenading customers at the Pathfinder Village bakery and café, where she has worked for two years. “I’m doing so well that they let me work here,” she said. “I sing to the customers. I give them a hug if they’re having a bad day. It’s about treating people how I want to be treated, with kindness and a smile.”
“Her parents recognized that she would fit in here as a hire, not as a service recipient,” said CEO Paul Landers. “And since she started working here, her neurologist has seen her memory improving.”
Funeral Director To Be Honored
At Annual Chamber Gala May 2
By JIM KEVLIN • Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal
ONEONTA – Everybody knows Les Grummons.
“I always liked to be involved,” said the Oneonta funeral director who is the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen of the Year. “I was always that way.”
He will be honored Thursday, May 2, at the chamber’s annual Gala & Celebration of Business in Foothills Atrium.
Interviewed the other day at the Lester R. Grummons Funeral Home, 14 Grand Ave., he had just arrived back from the weekly Rotary Club meeting at the Elks Club.
MILFORD – Joseph R. Konchar, 91, a retired farmer who owned the Elm Inn in its heyday, died Saturday, April 20, 2019, at Cooperstown Center.
Born March 19, 1928, Joe was the youngest and last surviving of the 13 children of August and Antoinette (Ocaker) Konchar.
At an early age, his family moved from the family’s Christian Hill farm in the Town of Otsego where he was born, to Milford where his parents had purchased another farm where they would continue the family tradition of dairy farming.
Joe attended Milford Central School.
COOPERSTOWN – Beloved, gentle Len Sauer, senior research physician emeritus at Bassett Research Institute since retiring in 1996, died April 15, 2019, at his home on the Bitterroot River in Montana.
For 89 years, he was his own definite self, a quiet person of integrity and acceptance.
He went to high school in Schenectady, but was a less-than-serious student: he skipped school to play pool. However, in 1948, he enlisted in the Army and spent nearly four years in the Signal Corps. This experience changed his life, for thanks to the GI Bill, he was able to go to college and there he found his passion: science.