News of Otsego County

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



The Hill City Rollers Skate Against Hate

The Hill City Rollers

Skate Against Hate

Baby Lace, Mrs. Boutfire and Bizzy Cheap Skate lead a a group around Neahwa Park this morning at the Hill City Roller Derby team took a stand against hate. The demonstration was part of the Worldwide Roll Out Day: Roll To Erase Hate movement started by skating coach Skate Fan Tazee out of Atlanta. “We wanted to get people from the rolling community to promote positivity and safe spaces in our community.” explained Mrs. Boutfire (aka Robin Williams, Oneonta) “We want to be open to all people. Derby is about anyone being able to do it regardless of color, body type, gender, or how much you have skated. This is an all-inclusive sport!” The group met at the skatepark and rolled their way around the park with their signs. “Anything we can do to make a statement.” said Jim Ruffo, Oneonta, “We will not stand for hate.”(Ian Austin/
Drive-In Hosting Second Concert; This Time, Blake Shelton

Drive-In Hosts 2nd Concert;

This Time, It’s Blake Shelton

Former No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani will perform alongside her fellow “The Voice” judge, country star Blake Shelton, at a drive-in exclusive concert on Saturday, July 25.

UNADILLA – With the sold-out Garth Brooks drive-in concert a success, the Unadilla Drive-In will again be the hottest music venue in the county as they present Encore’s exclusive Blake Shelton concert on Saturday, July 25.

The family-friendly concert is a drive-in exclusive, and will also include special guests Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins.

SQSPCA Needs Volunteers To Play With Kittens

SQSPCA Needs Volunteers

To Help Socialize Kittens

COOPERSTOWN – It’s a tough job, but someone has to help these kittens learn to cuddle.

“We currently have 28 feral or unsocialized kittens on-site, with more arriving daily,” said Stacie Haynes, Executive Director. “Our new ‘Feral to Friendly’ program is designed to give volunteers the opportunity to meet and help socialize these kittens, and also to lighten the load for staff as the shelter enters its busiest season.”

One Report, One Recovery Keeps COVID-19 Stable At 3

One Report, One Recovery

Keeps COVID-19 Stable At 3

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – A new case of coronavirus has surfaced since the last report by the county Department of Health on July 6, and there has also been one recovery, maintaining the number of active cases in Otsego County at three.

That brings the total confirmed cases to 81, and the total recoveries to 73.  There were five deaths locally.

Other data released today included:

Village Hoists Banner Encouraging Wearing Masks, Social Distancing

Village Hoists Banner Encouraging

Wearing Masks, Social Distancing

David Lamb, assisted by Randy Bailey, hoists a new banner across Cooperstown’s Main Street this morning encouraging residents and visitors alike to follow measures recommended to stem COVID-19, including wearing masks and social distancing. Lamb started putting up the banner on returning from the service in the 1980s – an adjunct to his father’s banner-making business. And he’s been doing so ever since. The issue of wearing masks was raised again this week at a special meeting of the Village Board. (Jim Kevlin/
Leroy Charles Klein, 78; Oneonta Native Was Retired Contractor

IN MEMORIAM: Leroy Charles Klein, 78;

Oneonta Native Was Retired Contractor

Leroy Charles Klein

ONEONTA – Oneonta native Leroy Charles Klein, 78, of Keystone Heights, Fla., passed away Sunday, July 5, 2020, from injuries he sustained in a tractor accident.

He was born May 31, 1942, in Oneonta, to Edward and Doris (Earing) Klein. Mr. Klein served in the  Navy and was a retired contractor. He was Episcopalian and loved staying busy doing odds and ends.

In addition to his father his son Wayne Klein and brothers Philip Klein and Paul Klein had also preceded him death. Mr. Klein leaves behind is daughters Shawn McClure (Robert) of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Jannell Davisson of West Columbia, S.C.

Reprinted From This Week’s
Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal



From Mary

Jim Belleau shows off two views of Notre Dame de Paris, which he has used in developing his computerized schematic of what he calls “Mary’s Plan” for the iconic cathedral. (Jim Kevlin/
Inspired by a 2017 visit to the shrine at Lourdes, France, a devout Jim Belleau of Oneonta prayerfully offered to organize seminars to explore the meaning of the Virgin Mary’s 18 appearances in 1858 to a 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, “unless you have somethng better for me.” Belleau believes that “something better” is coming to pass.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – “It was an amazing moment.”

It was October 2017, and Jim Belleau was in his third or fourth night of his second visit to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in France.

A procession at Lourdes, photographed by Jim Belleau in 2017.

“We witnessed this procession,” the Principally Prints owner recalled the other day. “It was a warm night. The moon was out. And, for an hour, I had just witnessed 12,000 people singing the Rosary and holding candles.”

St. Mary with crown, the statue in the Lourdes plaza.

He had attended a mass, in Italian, at the Grotto, and was walking back to the hotel, crossing the 124-acre main square – it can accommodate up to 100,000 visitors; now it was completely empty – with the cathedral-like chapel behind him.

“I turned toward Mary,” he said, a famed statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, crowned, “and I got down on one knee. And I placed the rest of my life at her service. I said literally that.”

Oneonta Mayor: Bars Beware Or Be Closed
Reprinted From This Week’s
Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal

Question: Can Students Safely Return?

Mayor Herzig:

Bars Beware

Or Be Closed

Hayley Dower, manager, Red Jug Pub, is already a social distancing VIP, setting up the “velvet rope” to limit the number of customers in her bar. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig has a message if returning Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta students go out on the town – follow the rules, or the fun stops.

“We will enforce the state regulations,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “If you’re not at a table, you need to have your mask on. You can’t be elbow-to-elbow at the bar. We will send the police, code enforcement or the state Liquor Authority in to respond to complaints.”

As the colleges announced reopening plans for this fall, Herzig plans to meet with the two college presidents, Hartwick’s Margaret Drugovich and SUNY Oneonta’s Barbara Jean Morris, to lay out the city’s new approach.

City, Chamber: Come Get Your PPE!

City, Chamber:

Come Get Your PPE!

Masked man Mayor Gary Herzig, gives Peter Clark, foreground, a gallon of hand sanitizer as part of the “Survive, Then Thrive” giveaway of personal protective equipment, including hand sanitizer, masks and thermometers, to local businesses at Damaschke Field this morning. 85 businesses have signed up for appointments to get the PPE, contact-free, but there are still slots available tomorrow from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Call the Otsego County Chamber (607) 434-3130 for an appointment (Ian Austin/
Police: Man Falsely Accused Man Of Having Handgun
Told Officers ‘Shoot Out’ Imminent; No Weapons Found

Police: Man Falsely Accused

Man Of Brandishing Handgun

ONEONTA – An Oneonta man was arrested after he allegedly made a series of calls to the Oneonta Police Department, falsely accusing neighbors of being “involved in a drug deal” and brandishing a handgun.

According to Police Chief Doug Brenner, Thomas E. Harker, 64, Oneonta, allegedly called the Oneonta Police department yesterday afternoon, first to report an alleged drug deal, then made a second call, where he allegedly told police he witnessed one of the two men pull out a handgun.

“He told officers there was going to be ‘a shoot-out’,” said Brenner.

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.

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