News of Otsego County

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


Breaking News

Delaware Engineering Announces ‘No Wipes In The Pipes’ Campaign

Delaware Engineering Announces

‘No Wipes In The Pipes’ Campaign

ONEONTA –  Delaware Engineering, which operates an office in Oneonta, has announced its “No Wipes In The Pipes” campaign, encouraging people to discard disinfecting wipes in trash baskets rather than flushing them down the toilet.

Because of a rush on paper goods, the Albany-based consultants said, “disinfecting wipes are in widespread use to stop the spread of the virus and those without toilet paper may be creative with substitutions including baby wipes, tissues and paper towels.” Flushing them, however,  “may exacerbate an already significant challenge for public sewer systems.

Bliss Encourages Visitors To Alert DOH, ‘Self-Isolate’


Bliss Encourages

Visitors To Alert

DOH, ‘Self-Isolate’

He Says: No Reason To Believe

It’s Safer Here Than Elsewhere

County board Chair David Blliss.

COOPERSTOWN – Otsego County’s Coronavirus Task Force is encouraging people travelling here from greater New York City and other areas hard-hit by COVID-10 to notify the county Department of Health and to self-isolate for 14 days.

“You and your families have a critical role to fulfill in halting the rapid spread of the coronavirus, which can be dangerous, even fatal, especially to the elderly as well as people with underlying health conditions,” county board Chairman David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Middlefield/Cherry Valley said in a statement released Friday evening.

Burlington Flats Man Killed In Motorcycle Crash

Burlington Flats Man

Dies In Motorcycle Crash

Kyle Seamon, Burlington Flats, was killed when his motorcycle collided with an SUV on Route 28 in Richfield.

RICHFIELD – A 20-year-old Burlington Flats man was killed when he was hit by a car making a turn on State Route 28 near the Canadarago Lake boat launch in the Town of Richfield.

According to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer, Kyle J. Seamon was driving his motorcycle south on Route 28 when a woman driving an SUV north made a left turn onto Hyder Road, directly into Seamon’s path.  The SUV and motorcycle collided.

IN MEMORIAM Rev. Dr. Federico Serra-Lima, 90; Hartwick Professor, Franklin Priest


Rev. Dr. Federico Serra-Lima, 90;

Hartwick Professor, Franklin Priest

ONEONTA – The Rev. Dr. Federico Serra-Lima, 90, an Episcopal priest and former chairman of Hartwick College’s Department of Modern & Classical Languages, passed away March 22, 2020,

Federico came full circle, spending his latter years back in Oneonta, first as a resident of Hampshire House, the last several months living at home on East Street enjoying his windows on the world of squirrels and deer.

Federico was born on July 17, 1929, in Argentina to Federico and Elena (Dixon) Serra-Lima.

Governor Orders Schools Shut 2 More Weeks, To 4/15

Governor Orders Schools

Shut 2 More Weeks, To 4/15


In today’s coronavirus briefing, Governor Cuomo announced that all schools in New York State must remain closed for an additional two weeks, until April 15, to ensure consistency and uniformity across the state in instructional time for this extraordinary school year. Schools will be required to continue child care, meal and distance learning programs, and the state will extend the 180-day waiver to April 15.

Charles H. Lewis, 84; Caretaker At Hartwick, Heyman Estate

IN MEMORIAM: Charles H. Lewis, 84;

Caretaker At Hartwick, Heyman Estate 

MARYLAND – Charles Harry Lewis, 84, a caretaker at Hartwick College and later, assistant caretaker at the Heyman Estate in Armonk, Westchester County, died peacefully at home surrounded by his family on March 25, 2020, according to his wishes.

Charlie was the son of Russell and Ethel Lewis of East Northport.  Born on June 10, 1935, he was one of four children, along with Robert, Barbara and Donald.


Kids Doodle With Children’s Author


LUNCH DOODLES – 1 p.m. Children’s book author/illustrator Mo Williams, of Elephant & Piggy fame, hosts virtual art session for the kids featuring drawing, look around his studio, more. Hosted by The Kennedy Center channel on Youtube. Visit






6 Locals Stricken, Up From 4 Yesterday

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Department of Health has been notified of the first death in a county resident related to COVID 19, Heidi Bond, Public Health director, reported a few minutes ago.

The current number of confirmed cases in Otsego County is six, up from four yesterday.

Every case reported is promptly investigated and close contacts are notified, she said.

No further details were immediately available.

Village Offices Remain Closed; DPW Work Force At 50 Percent

Village Offices Remain Closed;

DPW Work Force At 50 Percent

COOPERSTOWN – The Village of Cooperstown will be alternating its Water, Sewer and Streets department staff –  with one half off one week, the second half the next week, through April 15 – due to the Governor Cuomo’s extension of his March 16 emergency order, Village Administrator Teri Barown announced today.

Additionally, the Village Office remains closed to the public, except by appointment 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday through Friday.  For an appointment, call 547-2411 during office hours, or email

County Appoints Advisory Boards, On Health, Jobs


County Appoints

Advisory Boards,

On Health, Jobs

Bassett’s Parker, DMOC’s Harrington

Convening Groups Before 4/1 Meeting

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – The county’s Emergency Task Force has formed two subsidiary task forces – one focused on health, the other on economy – to advise the Otsego County government how it can help efforts to combat the coronarivus and its fallout, Task Force chairman Allen Ruffles, the county treasurer, said a few minutes ago.

The COVID-19 Health Impact Task Force/Otsego County, which meets Monday, is being organized by Diane Parker, Bassett Hospital’s director of education.  The Economic Development Task Force, which met Wednesday, is being organized by Cassandra Harrington, executive director, Destination Marketing of Otsego County.

“The two groups need to come together and share their ideas,” said Ruffles. “We’re keeping health in the forefront, but we’re also considering the economic fallout of all this.”

Glimmerglass’ Zambello Advises Fans: Decision On Season Due In Two Weeks

Glimmerglass’ Zambello

Advises Fans: Decision On

Season Due In Two Weeks

‘Sound Of Music’ Opening Due On July 11

Glimmerglass Festival, as Glimmerglass Opera, has held a summer season annually since 1975. (Glimmerglass Festival photo)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Francesca Zambello

COOPERSTOWN – In a letter to the “Glimmerglass family” dated today, Artistic & Creative Director Francesca Zambello said “possible scenarios on the 2020 schedule are being examined” and it will be for “the next two weeks” before a decision is made on the future of the upcoming season.

During that time, “we will be heavily weighing what is happening in the world and our local community, and will keep you updated,” said Zambello.

Infestation Charted By Zuma Press, Oneonta

Infestation Charted By

Zuma Press, Oneonta

No One’s Doing It, Says Forster Rothbart

Michael Forster Rothbart, Zuma Press, Oneonta, has developed this map on Datawrapper, reflecting the status of the coronavirus threat in New York State as of 5 p.m. last evening: 6,447 cases; total confirmed, 37,258; deaths, 387, according to figures from the state Department of Health. With four cases, Otsego County is in the 2-5 category.
Destination Oneonta Hosts Coloring, Balloonfest Photo Contest

Destination Oneonta Hosts

Coloring, Photo Contests

Destination Oneonta’s Katrina Van Zandt holds up two of the “#ColorMeCoop” coloring contest pages that Destination Oneonta is sponsoring with Destination Marketing of Otsego County to boost spirits and support of the downtown merchants. The pages can be downloaded from their Facebook page and are due April 12; winners will receive Downtown Dollars to spend at Oneonta merchants and restaurants. In addition, the winners of the Balloonfest Photo Contest will be announced this week; the finalists are all posted on their Facebook page. (Jim Kevlin/
County Assemblyman Tests Positive For C-19

County Assemblyman

Tests Positive For C-19

Brian Miller, R-101st, Hospitalized In Utica

Assemblyman Brian Miller at a bail-reform rally Feb. 4 at the Otsego County Jail. ( photo)

NEW HARTFORD – Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-101st, whose district includes Springfield, Middlefield,  Westford and Maryland in Otsego County, has tested positive for coronavirus, and is hospitalized in St. Luke’s Hospital, Utica.

He participated in the legislative session on March 18, and remained in Albany on March 19.  He was tested for COVID-19 on March 20, and self-quarantined in his home immediately afterward, said Minority Leader Will Barclay, who announced the news today.

“I encourage anyone who may have had contact with or been in close proximity to Brian to take necessary steps to self-isolate and limit any contact with others who may be more vulnerable to COVID-19,” said Barclay.

Clarence R. ‘Bob’ Strom, 87; Navy Veteran Taught American History Locally

IN MEMORIAM: Clarence R. ‘Bob’ Strom, 87;

Navy Veteran Taught American History Locally

Bob Strom

UNADILLA – Clarence Robert (Bob) Strom, 87, an American History teacher at Otego and the Unadilla Central School District for almost three decades, passed away Sunday, March 22, 2020, at Bayfront Health Hospital, Punta Gorda, Fla.

He was born in Erskine, Minn., on July 28, 1932, the son of the late Adolf and Fedilise Strom. Bob graduated from Swanville High School in 1950. After graduation Bob enlisted in the Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Antietam and USS Shangri-La during the Korean War.

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