News of Otsego County

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

Truck Driver Falls Asleep, Spills Milk All Over I-88

Truck Driver Falls Asleep,

Spills Milk All Over I-88

I-88 was closed this morning after a milk truck rolled over in Otego.

OTEGO – A truck driver fell asleep at the wheel on I-88 and crashed a truck filled with milk and other dairy products all over the roadway in Otego earlier this morning, according to a press release from state troopers, Troop C.

Andrew A. Lloyd, 26, Porter Cors, allegedly told told troopers that he fell asleep and drifted on the roadway, rolling his vehicle. No injuries were reported, but I-88 was closed until just after non., with traffic  diverted off at Exit 12 into Unadilla.

History Center Reopens Friday

History Center

Reopens Friday

The Oneonta History Center at Dietz and Main is opening Friday.

ONEONTA – The Oneonta History Center reopens at noon Friday, Executive Director Bob Brzozowski announced a few minutes ago.  COVID-19 closed the center at 183 Main St. almost four months ago.

The GOHS has developed a Safety Plan to help ensure everyone’s health upon reopening. Attendance will be limited to 15 persons at a time. Masks and social distancing will be required. There will be regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-contact surfaces.

Schumer Promises Help For Local Governments


Schumer Promises Help

For Local Governments

Against a backdrop of pure Americana – the Stars & Stripes, Doubleday Field and the Sandlot Kid – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, the state’s senior senator, this afternoon pledged federal support that would go directly to local governments in the support package now being negotiated in Congress.  He appeared with county board Chairman David Bliss, left, and Treasurer Allen Ruffles, who have been pleading for that kind of direct aid to municipalities (if the money goes through Albany, it can never make it here), as well as, inset left,  Mayors Gary Herzig of Oneonta and Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch of Cooperstown, who detailed how their municipalities’ financials have been stricken by the coronavirus threat. He called Cooperstown “one of the hardest hit” communities due to its dependence on tourism. The senator, who makes a swing to Otsego County at least once a year, had begun the day in Buffalo and, his airplane grounded at Oneonta Airport by the weather, drove on to New York City. (Jim Kevlin/

Free Parking On Fridays OK’d For Doubleday Lot 

Free Parking On Fridays

OK’d For Doubleday Lot 

Merchants Urged: Stay Open Until 8:30

COOPERSTOWN – The Village Board this morning approved free parking in the Doubleday Field lot on Fridays from July 18 to Sept. 5, as part of its “Cooperstown Outdoors” promotion of the downtown.

In collaboration with the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, stores will be encouraged to stay open until 8:30, and “Music on Main” performances will be scheduled on Fridays to help draw people downtown.

The idea came out of a meeting last week between Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, new Chamber President Jess Lanza and Chamber Executive Tara Burke.

Require Masks On Main Street, Trustee Declares


Require Masks

On Main Street,

Trustee Declares

Sternberg Says ‘Punitive Steps’ Required;

Trustees OK ‘Masks On Main’ Promotion

At today’s special meeting of the Village Board today are Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, top left. Trustee Richard Sternberg is at center.  Clockwise from upper right are Trustees Cindy Falk, Joe Membrino, Jim Dean and Jeanne Dewey.  Trustee MacGuire Benton was absent.  (From Youtube video)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – This morning’s special Village Board meeting, called to approve a “Cooperstown Outdoors” promotion and “Masks on Main” signage, spun off into a larger discussion of the need for masks, with Trustee Richard Sternberg calling for “punitive measures” against people not wearing masks.

“I certainly think we need to go – just like Texas happens to be going – to mandatory masks outdoors,” he said. “Sorry, I don’t like all these tourists coming here, thinking they’re on vacation from the constraints of COVID, and just walking around without masks just like they own the place.”

While Sternberg didn’t carry the day, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch said she will fast-track the placement of a banner across Main Street (between Key Bank and Sal’s) that encourages mask-wearing. (It has already arrived, but was waiting for the “Congratulations CCS Class of 2020” to be taken down.)

Council Approves Main Street Closure, Dining

Common Council Approves

Main Street Closure, Dining

ONEONTA – Starting 9 a.m. next Saturday, July 18, and continuing through Sept. 5, Main Street from Elm to Chestnut will be closed to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor dining opportunities.

“It’s highly marketable,” said Council Member Mark Drnek, Eighth Ward, who chairs the Survive, Then Thrive committee. “Downtown Oneonta could become the Best Restaurant in New York.”

Restaurants will be able to place tables in front of their restaurants only, as well as determine whether to offer service or ask diners to order take-out. Patrons will still be required to wear masks where social distancing is not possible.

Sheriff: Man Stole ATV, Led Deputies On Chase

Sheriff: Man Stole ATV,

Led Deputies On Chase

Cody Amidon

TOWN OF BUTTERNUTS – A Sidney man was arrested after he allegedly stole an ATV from a yard in Butternuts and led Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies on a chase through a field and riverbed.

Cody Amidon, 19, Sidney, was charged after he allegedly stole an ATV from the yard of a residence in the Town of Butternuts.  While patrols were in the area, they were alerted to a second complaint of an attempted break-in at another residence, where the suspect allegedly fled on an ATV.


COVID-19 BRIEFING/July 6, 2020



Governor Looks Ahead

To Fall School Opening

Here are highlights of today’s COVID-19 briefing by Governor Cuomo:

• The New York State Fair is canceled this year out of an abundance of caution. While disappointing for many reasons, the risk is too high to hold the Fair this summer.

• The State is planning for the fall school year. The New York State Department of Health, in consultation with the Reimagine Education Advisory Council and others, is finalizing guidance on the possible reopening of schools in September. Every school district throughout the State has been directed to develop reopening plans. At the moment, no decisions have been made on whether schools are reopening in the fall. We will follow the data, and make a decision on the data.

3 COVID Cases Surface, 2 Others Have Recovered

3 COVID Cases Surface,

2 Others Have Recovered

Local Count: 2 Friday; 3 Total Today

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – Three more COVID-19 cases were reported in Otsego County over the Fourth of July, for a total of three active cases locally right now, according to the county Department of Health.

Friday, there were two active cases, but there were two recoveries over the weekend, according to the count released this afternoon by Heidi Bond, county public health director.

Here are the latest number as of today:

Joseph K. Brennan, 85; Navy Veteran Joined Worcester Legion

IN MEMORIAM: Joseph K. Brennan, 85;

Navy Veteran Joined Worcester Legion

WORCESTER – Joseph K. Brennan, 85, passed June 30, 2020 at Albany Medical Center after a short illness.

Joseph was born March 26, 1935, in The Bronx, the son of Mae McLoughlin and Joseph Brennan.

He served in the Navy from 1952 to 1960, his most significant assignment being on the USS Lowry DD-770. He was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Korean Medal, UN Medal and China Service Medal.

Alpine Building Gets A DRI Face Lift

Alpine Building

Gets A DRI Facelift

Frank Gaisford, Better Home Improvement, begins tearing off the old facade of the former Alpine Ski Hut, now Serenity Hobbies. According to owner Ingrid Hofbauer, it’s the third such “facelift” in 53 years; the first, when they bought the building in 1967, then in 1973 when they expanded the sporting goods section, and today. The work was funded by a Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant, but will pay homage to the history of their family business as The Alpine Building. (Ian Austin/
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