News of Otsego County

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



One New COVID-19 Case, But 2 Recoveries, Too

One New Case, But

2 Recoveries, Too

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN –  Another COVID-19 case was reported Sunday, bringing the county’s total to 106.

As people recover, however, the number of active cases locally has dropped over the weekend from 13 to 12, reflecting two recoveries, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond reported.

Hospitalizations remain at 3, and 89 people have recovered, up from 87 on Friday.

Church-N-The Hood  Hosted At Red Door Church

Church-N-The Hood

Hosted At Red Door Church

With her voice booming out over the loudspeakers, Rev. LaDana Clark, aka LADYJAM, returned with her Church -N-The Hood this afternoon on the lawn of the Red Door Church bringing her own flavor of faith to the crowd gathered on the lawn of The Red Door Church in Oneonta this afternoon. Motorists  waved and shouted “We love you!” from their widows as they passed in their vehicles, with the Reverend waving and praising them in return. Parishioners came from as far as Binghamton and Norwich, as the service was live streamed. Church-N-The Hood will be holding services throughout the county on a monthly basis, returning to Oneonta on the first Sunday of every month. Next service will be held at the First Presbyterian Church in Cooperstown on August 16th. (Ian Austin/
Lobsters Return  To Downtown Dining

Lobsters Return

To Downtown Dining

Wiley Laidlaw, the cook at the Autumn Cafe, pics out lobsters for at Friday’s Lobster and Oysters on Main Street dinner event at the weekly Survive Then Thrive event. “We had lobsters last week.” explained owner Wayne Carrington, “It was so popular we brought it back and added oysters!” Today’s event also featured live music by the Little Delaware Youth Ensemble, a pig roast, Chinese Auction and a shot of Oneonta’s Architecture at GOHS. (Ian Austin/
HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Hand Dyeing At Sunday Series 08-02-20

Hand Dyeing At Sunday Series


SUNDAY SERIES – 1 – 3 p.m. ‘Swart Dye Pot – Textiles’ presented by Jeanne Westcott. Learn how the Swarts, other Colonial Americans would have used the plants and resources at hand to color their fabrics, and textiles at The Swart-Wilcox House Musuem, Wilcox Ave., Oneonta. Visit for schedule updates.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Oneonta History Exhibit 08-01-20

Oneonta History Exhibit


ARCHITECTURE EXHIBIT – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. New exhibit ‘Building Blocks of a City: 100 Years of Architecture in Oneonta’ opens to public highlighting significant buildings, structures that represent the development, transformation of the city. Greater Oneonta Historical Society, 183 Main St., Oneonta. Visit for info.

9 Citizens Proposed To Review OPD Rules

9 Citizens Proposed

To Review OPD Rules

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – A list of nine proposed members of a Community Advisory Board to review OPD rules and procedures was contained in the agenda for the upcoming Common Council meeting, released a few minutes ago.

Council, which will act on Mayor Gary Herzig’s recommendations, meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

The mayor said the list includes “people from a lot of different perspectives.”   He expects the commission, which will choose its own chairman, to convene in late August or early September, since it includes two college students.

Among the members are two speakers from recent local “Rallies for Justice” that followed the May 25 death of George Floyd while being taken into custody in Minneapolis:

This Week, 8 Cases Surface

This Week, 8

Cases Surface

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – Eight news cases of coronavirus have been reported locally this week, county Director of Public Health Heidi Board said this afternoon.

That raised the number of active cases in county from 10 to 13.

As of today, there were 105 total cases, up from 99 Monday.  The new total includes the 13, plus 87 who have recovered, and the five deaths experienced since cases first appeared in mid-March.

BRENNER: Officers’ Dedication, Professionalism Have Earned City’s Support


Officers’ Dedication,

Professionalism Have

Earned City’s Support

Editor’s Note: In this July 19 letter, Oneonta Police Chief Douglas W. Brenner expressed his concern about the“Say Their Names” photo display at the Westcott Lot. Nonetheless, Common Council unanimously approved the display Tuesday, July 21, and it was installed this past Sunday.

The Oneonta Police Department has always placed the needs and concerns of the residents and visitors to the City of Oneonta as its first priority.

Promoted to Oneonta police chief in 2017, Douglas W. Brenner has served with the OPD since 1998, after 12 years experience in the sheriff’s department and as a corrections officer. 

While not insensitive to the issues facing the nation and the world, the efforts of the members of the department are best focused on what we can do for our neighbors to make Oneonta a better place for everyone.

On the agenda for the regular meeting of the Oneonta Common Council for July 21, Item 9 is listed as a topic for discussion and pertains to a photographic display supporting Black Lives Matter to be placed on the fence at the head of the Westcott lot on Main Street.

I would be remiss not to express my concerns with a photographic display that could show members of law enforcement locally in a negative context.

The city is blessed to have residents and visitors who can freely express themselves in a respectable and constructive manner, which has been seen on at least two occasions in the recent past.

We enjoy good neighbors, friendships and any display that disrupts the community feeling and positive energy of the community serves no purpose but to divide, especially when the content of the display is in relation to incidents that did not occur locally and show all law enforcement, including members of Oneonta Police Department, negatively.

Any display that could have ramifications that are potentially divisive to the City of Oneonta, its residents and its businesses, is not an image that should be promoted.

In addition, as the chief of police, one of my top concerns is for the wellbeing of the members of the Oneonta Police Department.

Police officers throughout the nation are under attack for the disturbing and unlawful actions of a few other law enforcement officials from other agencies who they have no contact with, no allegiance to, any sympathy for, and no tolerance for such actions.

This has caused a national shortage of those who wish to serve their community. Oneonta is no exception to this shortage. The department currently has two unfilled patrol officer positions and two members who are eligible for retirement. The current civil service list is almost exhausted and there is no entrance exam scheduled for this year by the state.

Many other departments throughout the state are accepting lateral transfers, as are we, but are able to offer more advantageous working conditions.

If my officers sense that the City of Oneonta is not supporting their hard work, their dedication to community, their professionalism, their unwavering dedication to fairness by allowing a divisive display, the probability of losing more officers increases.

We at the Oneonta Police Department enjoy a positive relationship with our friends and neighbors in the city, and work very hard to promote good relationships with all members of the community in which we protect and serve. A display that intentionally shows all members of law enforcement in a negative light based on the actions of a few from well outside our area would be devastating to the morale of the finest officers I have ever had the pleasure to work with and lead.

As the chief of police and a lifelong community member, I would hope that all factors are taken into consideration before any display is permitted in the City of Oneonta. Our strength comes from ourselves, and the residents in the City of Oneonta are compassionate, respectful,
have concern and empathy for our neighbors, and love of community.

Any display that does not emphasize the positivity only serves as a catalyst to create division and polarization of this community.

Yours in service,

Douglas W. Brenner

Chief of Police

‘Say Their Name’ Photos Position Chief Brennan Mayor Herzig At Odds
Reprinted From This Week’s
Hometown Oneonta & Freeman’s Journal

‘Say Their Name’ Photos

Position Chief Brennan,

Mayor Herzig At Odds

Oneonta native Elizabeth Patterson, a Columbia County florist, introduces “Say Your Name,” photos of young black people killed before their time. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Chief Brenner
Mayor Herzig

ONEONTA – Activist Diandra Sangetti-Daniels was shocked when she received the letter from Police Chief Doug Brenner criticizing the planned “Black Lives Matter” memorial in downtown Oneonta.

“I read that letter,” she said during her remarks at the dedication of the “Say Their Names” photo display Sunday, July 26. “If they’re truly protecting every resident, you would support this. To have someone in a position of power write this letter upset me.”

Brenner drafted the letter on July 19, but Common Council went ahead regardless, voting unanimously Tuesday, July 21, to allow florist Elizabeth Patterson, Oneonta native and the daughter of Paul and Sarah Patterson, to install the display on the fence above the downtown Westcott Lot.



William E. Grimes, Sr., 98; Fought At Bulge, Remagen


William E. Grimes, Sr., 98;

Fought At Bulge, Remagen

Bill Grimes during his World War II service.

ONEONTA – A graveside service was planned today for William E. Grimes, Sr., one of Oneonta’s last remaining World War II veterans, and a decorated one.  He passed away Wednesday, July 29, 2020, at the age of 98, plus one day.

William fought in the Battle of the Bulge, which blunted Germany’s last major offensive on the Western Front, and he was wounded during the seizure of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen, the last remaining bridge over the Rhine; the unexpected capture expedited the U.S. invasion of Germany.  Among the most famous episodes of World War II, a major motion picture, “The Bridge at Remagen,” (1969) with Robert Vaughn and George Segal, retold the story.

Demolition Marks Start Of Social Eats Project

Demolition Clearing Way

For Social Eats Restaurant

Al and Michelle Rubin, along with sons Matthew, Luca and AlanMichael, watch as Donnie Burton uses an excavator to demolish a former U-Haul store to prepare the site for the Social Eats Project 607 at 548 Main St. in Oneonta. “The demolitions was supposed to be in the spring.” explained Michelle Rubin, “But with the pandemic, everything got pushed back.” Michelle plans on having the Social Eats being a benefit corporation that will put money back into the community and help decrease the poverty rate. “It will be a nice corner cafe. We plan to begin the build-out in September.” (Ian Austin/
Oberacker Volunteers Place Signs, Pick Up Trash

Placing Signs, Volunteers

Also Pick Up Roadside Trash

Gary DuBois, left, a longtime friend and campaign volunteer for Republican state Senate hopeful Peter Oberacker, picks up trash along Route 7 in Schenevus as Ed Huber hammers in one of Oberacker’s campaign signs. Since they started three weeks ago, they’ve taken to cleaning up the area where they place signs; first weed-whacking, and then collecting debris. In all, they’ve collected seven bags of garbage from the highways around the county. ‘We’re adopting all the highways,” said DuBois. “We’re doing the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.” (Libby Cudmore/
Posts navigation

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