News of Otsego County

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


Oneonta Friendly’s Shut, Workers Find

Oneonta Friendly’s

Shut, Patrons Find

Several CNY Ice-Cream Outlets Close

Friendly’s at the corner of Main and Walling in Oneonta has closed.

ONEONTA – Patrons arrived at Friendly’s at Main Street and Walling Avenue this morning to find the store has closed.

“We apologize to disappointing you on this visit, but this location is now closed for business,” a sign posted on the door reads.

Friendly’s end locally appears to be part of Sunday’s closing of a number of outlets in the ice-cream-based chain across the region, including some around Syracuse and as far away at Buffalo.

In an email received a few moments ago, Friendly’s spokesman Hannah Arnold said, “Please note that employees were informed personally.  (They did not learn from a sign.) The company is working to support them with opportunities at other locations or severance payments and other assistance.”

Final Sale Packs McLaughlin’s

Final Sale Packs McLaughlin’s

Local Store’s End Reduces Chain To Single Norwich Site

Stephanie Parez, East Meredith, makes her purchase from Barb Mednansky and Dean Matthews during McLaughlin’s clearance sale.


ONEONTA – As the news that McLaughlin’s on Main Street was closing, shoppers poured in to peruse sales and say hail and farewell to Scott and Anna, who have run the downtown staple since 2016.
“We’re not going that much further (away), so please, stop on by,” Scott McLaughlin, president of the Norwich-based department store, told a customer as the closing sale reached a high pitch Friday, March 8.
Even veteran salesman Gordon Breslin, who fitted generations of Oneontans with new shoes since the days of Zimm’s, helped out.

Plan ‘Transformative,’ But Details Still Fuzzy

Plan ‘Transformative,’

But Details Still Fuzzy

Nothing On File, And Officials Unclear On How $225K Will Be Used

Ian Austin/HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Cherie Welch, Oneonta, strolls down Main Street toward the Westcott Lot, passing 218-224 Main St., whose owner WHH Realty received $225,000 for a “Transformative” project. No further details are available.


ONEONTA – The DRI Project Selection Committee called the project “transformative” and awarded it $225,000.
But it turns out few details are available on what WHH Realty Corp., owned by city Planning Commission chair Anna Tomaino and her husband, Jimmy T’s proprietor Jim Tomaino, plan for 218-224 Main St.
Asked for details, Project Selection Committee chair Kim Muller, the former mayor, texted, “Some of the information you are looking for may be confidential … I’m trying to figure what level of detail I can share.”
She referred questions to the Tomainos and Mayor Gary Herzig.
Anna Tomaino said, “We want to develop that space for more businesses to move into. We want to see Main Street grow.”

HOMETOWN ONEONTA – Mayors Herzig and Muller announce the first DRI grants Tuesday, March 5, at Foothills.

Reducing Fires, Department Makes Village Better Place To Do Business

Reducing Fires,

Department Makes

Village Better Place

To Do Business

Ian Austin/ – Fire Chief Jim Tallman pauses by his department’s vintage 1952 Mack firetruck, Engine 4, which protected the village until 1995. today, it leads the department in parades.



According to Jim Tallman, Cooperstown Fire Chief, if you really want to know what’s good in a new town, go ask at the fire hall on Chestnut Street.
“Whenever I go someplace, I always stop in at their fire department,” he said. “I like to see what they’re doing, but I also ask for recommendations of where to eat and what to see. And people do the same here when they come in.”
As an unofficial branch of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce – and for its work in protecting and serving the community –

Zakrevsky’s First ‘Town Halls’ Planned Tomorrow, Thursday

Zakrevsky’s First ‘Town Halls’

Planned Tomorrow, Thursday

ONEONTA – Jody Zakrevsky, Otsego Now CEO, has scheduled the first two “Town Hall” meetings he is planning around the county to discuss economic-development initiatives and get feedback.

• 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday (tomorrow) at Hartwick College’s Shineman Chapel.

• 5-7:30 p.m. Thursday at Oneonta Town Hall, Route 23, West Oneonta.

Otsego Now’s Zakrevsky Plans Several ‘Town Halls’ To Discuss Local Economy

Otsego Now’s Zakrevsky

Plans Several ‘Town Halls’

To Discuss Local Economy


ONEONTA – Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky is planning a series of “town hall” meetings around the county, beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at Oneonta Town Hall in West Oneonta, he announced today.

Topics will include energy, but also how to obtain funding through state CFAs (consolidated funding applications), and economic- and community-development topics of interest.  Questions and comments from the public will be encouraged.

McLaughlin’s Is Closing Downtown Oneonta Store

McLaughlin’s Is Closing

Downtown Oneonta Store

McLaughlin’s, the Norwich-based department store, announced today it is closing its store in downtown Oneonta. Company President Scott McLaughlin said the decision was announced internally yesterday after a deliberative process. Within the past year, McLaughlin’s had moved its separate shoe store into its main local store a few doors down.
Bombers On The Horizon!

Bombers On The Horizon!

Sam McKissik, an employee with AJ Sign Co., Burnt Hills, finishes attaching the sign for the forthcoming Bombers Burrito Bar on the outside of 219 Main St. in Oneonta earlier this afternoon. Two large cranes were needed for the installation but did not cause any traffic delays. Construction on the interior is still ongoing. (Ian Austin/
Cooperstown Distillery Adds 2 New Stills, More

Cooperstown Distillery

Adds 2 New Stills, More

Cooperstown Distillery Distiller Daran Bottger, center, directs installation of a new 500-gallon still this morning at the Railroad Avenue plant. The still was one of two – the second is 150 gallons – installed to help meet demand, according to proprietor Gene Marra, at left.  The distillery also installed three new fermentation tanks.  Two lines in particular – Legacy Bourbon and Legacy Rye – sell out every year, Marra said. “It’s going to be a big turning point in who we are, what we are,” he said. The distillery celebrated its fifth anniversary in October. (Larissa Ryan/
Andela Planning $5M Development Outside Richfield

Andela Planning

$5M Development

Outside Richfield

Speaking To Chamber, Company Owner

Says IDA Site Leading Contender Of 3

Cynthia Andela addresses 30 members of the Richfield Springs this evening on her expansion plans. (Patrick Wager/

By PATRICK WAGER • Special to

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Andela Products, the glass recycling company, is planning to a $5 million business park on 55-acres south of the village and to increase its workforce by almost 50 percent, company President  Cynthia Andela told the Richfield Springs Chamber of Commerce tonight.

“We are a diamond in the rough.  We have the energy. We are next to the pipeline,” Andela told 30  people gathered in the Richfield Lanes bowling alley.  At another point, she added, “Richfield Springs could be a really nice place for progressive businesses.”

Tops To Home-Deliver Groceries From Cooperstown Commons Store

Tops To Home-Deliver Groceries

From Cooperstown Commons Store

Tops’ Cooperstown Commons store will begin home-delivery Feb. 28

HARTWICK SEMINARY – Top Friendly Markets announced today it will be expanding its same-day-delivery Instacart service to its Cooperstown Commons’ store, beginning Feb. 28.

This expansion to 10 new supermarkets brings the overall number of Tops stores with the Instacart program to 129, making it available fo 90 percent of Tops customers.

Tops initiated same-day home-delivery service in Buffalo, Rochester and Syracuse in November 2017.



Voting Now Open For Cooperstown Chamber Hall of Fame

Voting Now Open For

Coop Chamber Hall of Fame

COOPERSTOWN — Voting is now open to decide which of the 25 finalists will be named to the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce’s 2019 Chamber Business Hall of Fame.

Last year, the Chamber honored Brewery Ommegang, the Cooperstown Graduate Program, The Farmers’ Museum, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter (now the SPCA), and Spurbeck’s Grocery.  Voting is open to the public, and the winners will be announced in the spring.



Thrift Store Opens To Benefit Furry Friends 

Thrift Store Opens To

Benefit Furry Friends

It’s only the first day at the Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans Thrift Shop and business is already bustling. “We had people here the moment we opened!” said volunteer staff member Emily Phillips, Oneonta, seen above tagging clothing. At right, Irene Bourgeois, Oneonta, takes care of customer Barbara Moore, New Lisbon, who was going home to bring them donations. Located at 4 South Main Street in Oneonta, next to Casey’s Barber Shop, the new store offers customers gently used and new clothing, household items, antiques, collectable items, jewelry, locally made crafts, gently used pet supplies and more! They are currently open Thursday – Saturday 12-6pm. All proceeds go to support Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans, a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit pet rescue registered with the New York State Department of Agriculture who just last year helped find homes for nearly 300 animals. “If we can get some well behaved puppies, we’ll bring them into the store!” said Phillips. “We will even have a wall of pet photos behind the counter of animals that people can adopt.”(Ian Austin/

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