News of Otsego County

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


K-9 Team Joins Bassett Hospital Security Department


K-9, Handler Join

Bassett’s Security

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Hudson and handler, Officer Meiser.

COOPERSTOWN – Hudson may just be a dog, but as part of Bassett Hospital’s first K-9 team, he has a lot of responsibilities.

The hospital announced the new security team today.

“The presence of a K-9 team is shown to be extremely effective in promoting safety,” said Harold Southworth, director of Public Safety and Transportation, who along with Andrew Zuk, manager of Security Operations, led the development of the K-9 program.

“Hudson is extremely intelligent and adaptable to the moment. His presence can immediately calm a highly charged situation, and he is an approachable, comforting distraction when called upon, such as for children in the emergency department.”

Lois F. Warrell, 89; Teacher, Served On Pathfinder Board

IN MEMORIAM: Lois F. Warrell, 89;

Teacher, Served On Pathfinder Board

Lois Warrell

COOPERSTOWN – Lois F. Warrell, 89, a teacher who retired to Cooperstown with her superintendent husband in 1989 and became fully involved in community life, died Friday evening, July 12, 2019, at the Eddy Memorial Geriatric Center in Troy.

Born Sept. 24, 1929, in Queens, Lois was the daughter of Edward P. and Doris (Whiting) Robinson.

She was raised in Lynnbrook and graduated from Lynnbrook High School in the Class of 1947. She attended and graduated from Hofstra University and thereafter received her master’s degree in education from the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

Oneonta Baseball Fans Say Thank You, Sam!

HoF, Delgado Send Regards, Too

Oneonta Baseball Fans

Say Thank You, Sam!

Outgoing National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson, above, a speaker at this evening’s recognition at “Mr. Baseball” and “Mr. Oneonta” Sam Nader’s 100th birthday celebration at Damaschke Field, snaps a photo of Sam with fan PJ Harmer.  Former mayor Nader, who turned 100 on July 8, brought the Yankees minor league franchise to the City of the Hills 50 years ago, and both milestones were recognized in an on-field ceremony that also featured state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Mayor Gary Herzig.   Oneonta Outlaws owner Gary Laing and Outlaws Manager Joe Hughes, who retired in June as OHS athletic director, shared emcee responsibilities.   Nader was presented with a flag that had been flown over the U.S. Capitol for a week, a gift from U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19; Sam’s name will now be included in a permanent record in Washington, D.C., of those so honored.  Also present were many members of the 1969 team, which won the NY-Penn championship, including, inset, OHS graduate Randy Georgia.  Behind Nader is his son, John, himself a former mayor and now president of SUNY Farmingdale.  (Jim Kevlin/

Panel Explores Ritts’ Life, Legacy and Impact

Panel Explores Ritts’

Life, Legacy and Impact

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame president Greg Harris, pictured at right, was the moderator of this afternoon’s panel discussion on the “Fenimore Rocks! Herb Ritts and the Image of Rock Music” exhibit currently on display at the Fenimore Art Museum. The talk, which featured Rory Ritts, Herb Ritts’ brother, Laurie Kratochvil, photography director at Rolling Stone, and music historian John Covach, pictured above, who discussed the work of Ritts and took questions from the audience. (Ian Austin/


Learn Local Legend At

Summer Sunday Series


SUMMER SUNDAY SERIES – 1 – 3 p.m. Learn about local legend with Jack Ewan presenting “Timothy Murphy: Fact & Fiction” Revolutionary war soldier, sharpshooter, area resident, tall tale hero. Swart-Wilcox House Museum, Wilcox Ave., Oneonta. 607-287-7011 or visit

Cheeseburger The Cat Found Safe In Closet



The Cat Found

Safe In Closet

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Rescued from the Oneonta apartment damaged by fire last night, Cheeseburger seems to be asking, What’s the fuss all about? Owner Matthew Baker was thrilled to get the cat back.

ONEONTA – Cheeseburger, the cat, survived last night’s apartment fire and was reunited with her owner, Matthew Baker, 26, today.

Baker’s landlord, Darren Cooke, found Cheeseburger hiding in a bedroom closet of the second-story Mayrose apartment on Lewis Street when he went in today to look for her.  The cat was shaken but unharmed.

“I’m just elated,” said JoanAnn Omelia, Baker’s aunt, who, along with her daughter ErinMarie Omelia, went to the complex last night to help.  “Darren gave me the thumb’s up after he found her.  I was waiting outside.”

“Matt is loving and holding the cat,” she said.

Fly Creek Society Ready To Unveil Historic Signs

5 Markers To Be Celebrated Sunday

Fly Creek Society Ready

To Unveil Historic Signs

Mike Ainslie of Fly Creek starts unboxing the North Tin Shop, one of five new historical markers that will be on display tomorrow (Sunday, July 14) from mid-morning to mid-afternoon at the Fly Creek Historical Society’s annual BBQ at the old Grange Hall on Cemetery Road.  At noon, the society will also unveil a portrait of Diantha Cushman, being examine in photo at right by society stalwarts Deecee Haviland, Judy Thorne and Freida Snyder.  The portrait was painted by J.W. Jarvis, which Society President Sherilee Rathbone says may be a son of John Wesley Jarvis, who painted the James Fenimore Cooper portrait on display at The Fenimore Art Museum.  In 1846, Mrs. Cushman, daughter of mill owners in the Town of Exeter, married Charles Cushman, who operates the Oaksville Calico Mill.   In addition to the tin shop, the other four historical markers will mark sites of the one-room Sprague School house in the Fly Creek Valley; the nearby home of Hezekah Sprague, a Revolutionary soldier who donated the school house, and the pitch fork factory on Fork Shop Road.  Another marker, commemorating David Shipman, partial inspiration for Cooper’s Leatherstocking, is on order and will be placed by Shipman’s grave in a Toddsville Cemetery.  The markers were underwritten by the Pomeroy Foundation of Syracuse.  Tomorrow’s celebration include a pulled-pork luncheon (suggested donation, $10), which includes salad, dessert and a drink, as well as hotdogs and hamburgers.  (Jim Kevlin/


Pinch Yourself! In Age Of Automobile, Steam Power Returns To Cooperstown

Pinch Yourself!

In Age Of Automobile, Steam

Power Returns To Cooperstown

If you hurry, you may get a chance to see a rarity in Cooperstown: A steam engine, now paused across Route 28 from the Price Chopper parking lot. Part of the 150th celebration of the Milford-based Coopertown & Charlotte Valley Railroad, the train is proceeding to the former Glen Avenue crossing in the next few minutes, before returning to the anniversary celebrations in Milford.  Inset, conductor Bruce Hodges, president, the Leatherstocking Railroad Historical Society, chats with Roy Davis, the engine’s owner, who trucked it over from Dunkirk to participate in this weekend’s festivities.  At left is Scott Symans, who accompanied Davis, who said he bought the engine in Virginia and renovated it.  (Jim Kevlin/

Three Dozen Line Streets In ‘Lights For Liberty’ Vigil
Placards Spell: End Concentration Camps

3 Dozen Line Oneonta Street

In ‘Lights For Liberty’ Vigil

Joining the nationwide “Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Detention Camps,” nearly three dozen people – Mark Drnek, left, among them – lining Oneonta’s Dietz Street Friday evening near the corner with Main, singing “This Land Is Your Land,” with cars honking in approval as they drove by. They held candles, signs and letters spelling out “End Concentration Camps.”  Inset, Katie Boardman of Cooperstown, right, helped organize the vigil because “children cannot be in cages.”  John Maier, center in the plaid shirt, came to the vigil from Treadwell.  “I can’t believe there are concentration camps in the U.S. in my lifetime,” he said.  (Jennifer Hill/

Firefighters Resuscitate Cat After Oneonta Apartment Fire

Firefighters Resuscitate Cat

At Oneonta Apartment Fire

Oneonta fire fighters responded to a fire at the Mayrose Apartments on Lewis Avenue this evening. One resident, Matt Baker, was treated for smoke inhalation, and his cat, Oreo, was rescued from the fire and resuscitated with oxygen at the scene.


Oreo is resting comfortably after Oneonta Fire Captain Rob Latourette resuscitated her with oxygen.

ONEONTA – Oneonta firefighters were able to resuscitate a cat rescued from the fire in the Mayrose Apartment complex on Lewis Avenue this evening.

“She was pretty much dead when we found her,” said Capt. Rob Latourette. “I gave her oxygen and she revived quickly.”

The cat, named Oreo, is owned by Matt Baker, a resident of the apartment, was also treated at the scene for smoke inhalation. Baker, 26, managed to rescue his three guinea pigs, which are in the care of a neighbor.

A second cat, a cream-colored female named Cheeseburger, was not located in the apartment, and is believed to have run out the door when the fire broke out and is still missing.

H. Karl Chandler, 82, Oneonta; Investigator In Ricky Parisian Case


H. Karl Chandler, 82, Oneonta;

Investigator In Ricky Parisian Case

H. Karl Chandler

ONEONTA – H. Karl Chandler, 82 of Oneonta, who rose to lead the Troop C Major Crimes Division in 38 years with the state police, died peacefully at home on July 10, 2019, after a nine-year battle of cancer.

Senior investigator in the case of Ricky Parisian, the state trooper shot during a 1993 holdup in a Southside supermarket, Karl was born on Jan. 17, 1937, in Sayre, Pa., to Wilber Chandler and Alberta VanGorder Chandler.

He graduated from Athens (Pa.) Central School, where he was a three-sport athlete, participating in baseball, basketball and football. At 10 years old, Karl hit a home run at the Williamsport Little League World Series.

Harold P. Sorensen, 82; NJ Native Raised Sheep On Morris Farm

IN MEMORIAM: Harold P. Sorensen, 82;

NJ Native Raised Sheep On Morris Farm

Harold Sorensen

MORRIS – Harold Peter Sorensen, 82, a New Jersey native who raised sheep on moving to a farm here, passed away on Thursday, July 11, 2019, at Bassett Hospital.

He was born on Feb. 6, 1937, in Plainfield, N.J., the son of Harold and Eleonora (Christensen) Sorensen. He married the love of his life, Theresa Caravella on May 5, 1956 in Edison, N.J.

They had a blessed union of 63 years, raising seven sons on the family farm in Morris.

ALL ABOARD! Highlights From The 150th Anniversary of Milford Trains


Highlights From The 150th

Anniversary of Milford Trains

Bruce Hodges, president, Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society and founder Jim Loudon, invite you to join two days of fun celebrating Otsego County’s railroad history. (Ian Austin/

MILFORD – The Cooperstown-Charlotte Valley Railroad celebrates 150 years with two days of train rides, talks, ice cream, music and more Saturday – Sunday, July 13-14.

  • 9 -11 a.m. Special Postal Cancellation by Milford Postmaster Judy Kessler @ Milford Depot
  • 10 – 11:30 a.m.: Steam powered Train Ride W. Big Hook Demo to Milepost 6 ($30/adult, $28/seniors, $25/kids, under 3 free)
  • 10 a.m. – Noon: Dixieland Band performs (tent in front of Milford Depot)
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