News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
Past And Present Collide In Debate On Administrator


Past And Present

Collide In Debate

On Administrator

Planning v. ‘Dealing With It’

Explored; Also, Redistricting

County Rep. Keith McCarty, front left, chides board Chairman David Bliss for questioning past boards’ decisions on MOSA.  “I’m not blaming them,” replied Bliss.  “They did the best thing they could at the time.  And that’s what we’re doing today:  acting on the best knowledge we have now.” (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Three decades of striving ended today as the Otsego County Board of Representatives, 11-2-1, created the position of county executive.

In a half-hour of give and take, it was clear that, despite and lopsided vote, starkly contrasting outlooks remain.

“You talk about planning,” said county Rep. Keith McCarty, R-East Springfield, and longest-serving board member.  “You can’t plan when you’re going to get a flood.  You can’t plan when a bridge is going to go out.  You can’t plan when a road washes out – we’ve had two of them on the east side of Otsego Lake. You deal with it.”

Danny Lapin, D-Oneonta, who is finishing his first term, took on the rebuttal: “Our talents are hamstrung by a lack of coordination, a lack of planning, a lack of overall coordination.


Holiday Market At Bassett


ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Family sponsors should drop gifts at The Freeman’s Journal Office in Cooperstown or at The Salvation Army in Oneonta. Visit to learn how.

HOLIDAY MARKET – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Find unique gifts at pop-up holiday market. Lobby, Bassett Healthcare Clinic. 1 Atwell Dr., Cooperstown.





11 Vote Aye; 2 Nays; One Absence

COOPERSTOWN – At 12:58 p.m. today, the Otsego County Board of Representatives created the position of county administrator.

Eleven voted aye. Nays were two Republicans, former county board chairman Kathy Clark of Otsego and veteran board member Keith McCarty, East Springfield.   The absence was Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who has been outspoken against the position.

But the 11 ayes included a coalition of Republicans, Democrats and the board’s one Conservative, Meg Kennedy, who chaired the committee that created the position.


IN MEMORIAM: Bertha I. Smith, 97; Opened Home to Children

IN MEMORIAM: Bertha I. Smith, 97;

Opened Home to Many Children

MORRIS – Bertha Irene Smith, 97, who opened a home daycare and served as a foster mother, passed away at her home in Morris on November 26, 2019. During her last days she had the comfort and support of her loving family at her side.

Bertha was the daughter of Herman and Genieve Comino, of Town of Maryland. She married Leroy Smith, also of Maryland, on March 29, 1942. Together they had eight children.

IN MEMORIAM: Linda L. Briggs, 62; Ran Home Daycare 30 Years

IN MEMORIAM: Linda L. Briggs, 62;

Ran Home Daycare For 30 Years

Linda Briggs

MARYLAND – Linda L. (Sutton) Briggs, 62, passed away on November 22, 2019 at Albany Veteran’s Medical Center.

She was born September 5, 1957 in Oneonta, the daughter of Robert and Carol (Munson) Sutton.

Linda graduated from Andrew S. Draper Central School in Schenevus.  She served in the United States Army, where she met the father of her 3 children, Luis Lopez.

Linda dedicated her life in helping others.  She sacrificed much, always putting the needs of her children and others above her own.  She owned and operated a daycare in her home for 30 years, touching the lives of numerous children including her three adopted sons.

IN MEMORIAM: Jo Ann Deller, 75; Postal Clerk For 3 Decades

IN MEMORIAM: Jo Ann Deller, 75;

Worked As Postal Clerk For 30 Years

Jo Ann Deller

WEST WINFIELD – Jo Anne (nee Dauchy) Deller, 75, quietly entered Paradise on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019 from her home.

Jo Anne was born in Sidney on June 23, 1944, the daughter of Walton T. and Evelyn M. (nee Mattison) Dauchy. She grew up in Burlington Flats, NY where she enjoyed exploring the woods and creek, riding horses at her grandparents, and playing with the neighborhood kids. Jo Anne loved traveling and camping around the country with her parents and brothers. After high school, and amongst other endeavors, Jo Anne lived in Oneonta and worked at the State University College as a secretary before transitioning into helping to start the Data Processing Department on main frame computers.

Rosalie H. Weir, 92; CCS Teacher Aide Has Many Survivors

IN MEMORIAM: Rosalie H. Weir, 92;

CCS Teacher Aide Has Many Survivors

TODDSVILLE – Rosalie H. Weir, a mother, daughter, wife, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-great-grandmother, was unexpectedly called home Saturday morning, Nov. 30, 2019, from her home in Toddsville to join her Lord and family. She was 92.

Of Polish descent, she was born Sept. 1, 1927, at home in Ashley, Pa., one of seven children of Anthony Zukowski, a coalminer, and Helen (Gouse) Zukowski.

After moving to the Cooperstown area, Rose was employed for many years as a teacher’s aide for the Cooperstown Central School District.

Polar Bear Jump Cancelled For 2020; Will Return in 2021
Waters Sponsor T-Shirt Contest To Continue Fundraising

Polar Bear Jump Cancelled

For 2020; Will Return in ’21

Brenda Waters, Milford, and Jay Murphy, Oneonta, call the Polar Bear jumpers out onto the ice to line up before taking the 2017 plunge.

MILFORD – The 25th annual Polar Bear jump, scheduled for February 2020, has been cancelled, founder Brenda Waters announced today.

“We regret to inform all of our loyal supporters that the 25th annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump has been canceled do to a recent motor-vehicle accident involving Brenda and Jamie Waters,” she wrote on the group’s Facebook page this evening.

“Goody, The Waters Family and all of our dedicated volunteers will miss the brave and loyal jumpers this year,” the post said. “We look forward to seeing you again on Feb. 20, 2021.”

IN MEMORIAM: Maureen S. Greeley, 89; Key Bank Teller Loved To Cook

IN MEMORIAM: Maureen S. Greeley, 89;

Helped Run Family Electrical Business

Maureen S. Greeley

ONEONTA – Maureen S. Greeley, 89, who helped run her family’s Holbrook & Howey Electric Co., passed peacefully Monday, Dec. 2, 2019, at home with much of her family present.

She was born June 29, 1930 in Oneonta to Morris E. and Eva K. (Burrell) Howey. After attending grade school in Sidney and Oneonta, she graduated from Oneonta High School in the Class of 1947. Maureen married James E. Greeley on Aug. 7, 1949 in Oneonta, a union that lasted more than 70 years.

Maureen was employed in the Holbrook & Howey offices for more than 25 years. She also worked at Key Bank in Oneonta for more than 15 years as a teller and teller trainer.


Holiday Decorations At The Fenimore


ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Thank you to all the Christmas Angels who have sponsored a family this holiday season.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT – 12:30 p.m. Join members of Lake & Valley Garden club for lunch followed by tour of this years holiday decorations, discuss how they are chose, what plants are used, how they work with the museum to introduce the holiday spirit. Cost, $32/non-member. Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1400 or visit

16 Year Old Boy Reported Missing From Bloomville

May Be In Norwich Area

16-Year-Old Boy Reported

Missing From Bloomville

Aidan Demorier

ONEONTA – Oneonta Police and State Police are asking for tips in finding Aidan Demorier, 16, who was reported missing from Bloomville on Nov. 19.

Demorier is 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, with brown eyes and blonde hair. He was last seen wearing black sweatpants with a white stripe down the sides and a dark-colored hooded sweatshirt. He was last seen in the Norwich area.

Zoe Is Cancer Free

Zoe Cancer-Free,

Cornell Tests Find

Zoe has been declared cancer-free by the Cornell University Hospital for Animals.

COOPERSTOWN –  Zoe, the dog rescued from Exeter Center after she chewed off her own leg, has been declared cancer-free by veterinarians at the Cornell University Hospital for Animals, executive director Stacie Haynes reported just moments ago.

“According to the pathology report, the complete surgical excision is expected to be curative,” said Haynes. “They believed it was just a fatty mass, which is common in dogs her age. Zoe is cancer-free.”

Snow Tapering Off, Sun Due Tomorrow


Snow Tapering Off;

Sun Due Tomorrow

With Oneonta City Schools (and pretty much everything else) closed today, Jacob Foster Rothbart, 13, took the opportunity to sled in Wilber Park with dad Mike and sister Natalie, 8.  After accumulations of up to 11 inches in the past 24 hours, snowfall is expected to taper off in Oneonta this evening, ending at 10, although flurries are expected to continue until midnight in Cooperstown.  Tomorrow, a sunny day is being predicted with a high of 29.  Inset, Rachel MacLean, a Bassett Healthcare Network medical student, joins a snowball fight in Wilber Park.  (James Cummings/


SUNY Oneonta Presentation:

‘Fish, Fishing, Dams, Climate’


ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit to learn how.

LECTURE – 7 – 9 p.m. Dr. Daniel Stitch delivers this years Richard Siegfried Lecture. He will present “Fish, Fishing, Dams, and Climate: What have we lost, and what do we stand to gain?” Craven Lounge, Morris Conference Center, SUNY Oneonta.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103