News of Otsego County

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



Knowledge Worker, Not Industry, Is Our Future, Speaker Says


Knowledge Worker,

Not Industry, Is Our

Future, Speaker Says

Cleinman Wins Seward’s Support

To Launch ‘Come Home’ Campaign

If Boise, Idaho, and Bozeman, Mont., could create vibrant economies based on knowledge workers, so can Oneonta, business consultant Al Cleinman told today’s Workforce Summit at The Otesaga. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Senator Seward said he would support Cleinman’s “Come Home” initiative, and expand it to include “Stay Home.”

COOPERSTOWN – After a rousing salute to “knowledge-based industry,” a local businessman with a national clientele, Al Cleinman, today announced he intends to lead a “Come Home to Oneonta” campaign.

Cleinman was addressing the Workforce Summit at The Otesaga, where attendees learned we have more jobs than people.  The day was organized by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce and the office of state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who immediately warmed up to Cleinman’s idea.

The idea is to lure back some of the 75,000 living Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta graduates – executives, consultants, business owners and tech employees who can work anywhere – to reposition the local economy.

Custom Electronics Wins Grant To Build Batteries, Add Jobs

Custom Electronics

Wins Grant To Build

Batteries, Add Jobs

ONEONTA – The State of New York has approved a $750,000 grant to help Custom Electronics manufacture a new product line of smart batteries for use in disaster recovery, hospitals and the entertainment field, Otsego Now announced today.

The total project cost is $2.2 million, and is expected to create 50 jobs at the plant at 87 Browne St., Town of Oneonta.

Oneonta VW Dealer Closes

Oneonta VW Dealer Closes

Oneonta’s only Volkwagen dealership, which operated for years on Route 23, has closed. The dealership stopped offering Audis more than a year ago. ( photo)
Chamber To Honor 2 Small Businesses At Otesaga Banquet

Chamber To Honor

2 Small Businesses

At Gala At Otesaga

Directive, Reuse Center, 2 Interns Lauded

ONEONTA – The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce today announced the award winners who will be honored at its annual Small Business Banquet Thursday, Oct. 11, at The Otesaga Resort Hotel.

Directive, a website and online marketing firm, will be the 19th annual Small Business of the Year.  The Otsego Reuse Center will be the Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Breakthrough Business of the  Year.

Two interns – one from Hartwick College; one from SUNY Oneonta – will also be honored.

Tops Prepares Plan To Avoid Bankruptcy

Tops Prepares Plan

To Avoid Bankruptcy

Tops store #568 is in Cooperstown Commons, Town of Hartwick.

COOPERSTOWN – Williamsville-based Tops Markets, which operates a supermarket in Cooperstown Commons, announced that it has filed a Plan of Reorganization with U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

The plan incorporates the company’s court-approved agreements with its unions and is supported by certain of the company’s senior secured lenders that hold more than 87 percent of its Senior Secured Notes due 2022, the company said.

Business Closes Cooperstown Office

Business Closes

Cooperstown Office

Building Superintendent Vaughn Clark scrapes “The Cooperstown Crier” off the signboard in front of 21 Railroad Ave., Cooperstown, as the newspaper ended its presence in the village at the end of August. The Crier laid off its editor, Greg Klein, two weeks ago and allowed the lease for its village office to expire at the end of last month.  To subscribe to the remaining in-village newspaper, The Freeman’s Journal, locally owned and operated in Cooperstown since 1808, click here, or call Larissa at 607-547-6103. ( photo)
Faso Makes Three Stops On Oneonta Business Tour

Faso Visits Noah’s World,

Toonie Moonie In Oneonta

Congressman John Faso, R-19, above, meets with the owner’s of Noah’s World in Oneonta, Sheila Andreic and husband Aleksandar, during a visit to Oneonta today.  “The congressman … wanted to learn about initiatives in our county that focus on early learning and development.” said Barbara Ann Heegan, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce president. “I immediately thought of Noah’s World. They provide an excellent service for … parents who work struggle to find affordable, quality childcare.”   He then went next door to tour the production floor of Toonie Moonie Organics with owner Kim Condon, inset, seen overlooking their kitchen. (Ian Austin/

Chamber To Honor Job Corps, OCCA

Chamber To Honor

Job Corps, OCCA

Awards Planned At ‘Summer Soiree’

ONEONTA – Oneonta Job Corps and the OCCA (Otsego County Conservation Association) are recipients of the Otsego Chamber of Commerce’s 2018 “Sustainable Success” Awards, it was announced today.

The award winners will be honored at the chamber’s Summer Soiree Thursday, July 19, at Oneonta Municipal Airport, beginning at 5:45 p.m.

As Burr Truck Opens, 50ft Flag Soars Again

As Burr Truck Opens,

50ft Flag Soars Again

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce celebrated the grand opening of Burr Truck at 6180 Rt. 23 on Southside in Oneonta this afternoon at the former sight of Flagpole Nissan. Above, Bob Wood, Supervisor of the Town of Oneonta, Karen Lang, Otsego County Chamber, Jody Zakrevsky, Otsego Now, Mayor Gary Herzig, Barbara Ann Heegan, Otsego County Chamber, Mike Burr, Chuck Burr, owners of Burr Truck, Sandy Eighmey, Sidney Federal Credit Union, and Lillian McPhillips, Constituent Services representative, pause for a photo of the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Behind them are members of Boy Scout Troop 23, who were tasked with hoisting the 50’x 20′ American flag up the landmark flagpole. At right, scout leaders David Morell, Paul Van Der Kruk, and Pete Miller salute at the flag rises into the afternoon wind.

“The flag was right in the building!” said Chuck Burr. “I guess the former owners bought it before they left and they left it in there. We figured we would have it fly again to let people know we are here and open for business!”

Chuck Burr, who co-owns the Southside location with his cousin Mike Burr, are third generation owners of Burr Truck, which started in 1967 in Vestal. “We have a lot of customers here and we wanted to be able to service them better.” explained Burr, “We drove by, saw this building and thought ‘we can do something with that.’ One year later, here we are!” They currently offer truck parts for sale, but plan to expand in the next 3-6 months to include truck sales and leasing. (Ian Austin/

$230,000 Grant Possible To Reopen Nick’s Diner

$230,000 Grant Possible

To Reopen Nick’s Diner

Public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday in Oneonta City Hall on possibly seeking a $230,000 grant for Nick’s Diner, which has been undergoing renovations for the past three years.  The money would come from the federal Community Development Block Grant program. It is estimated that, reopened, Nick’s would create the equivalent of 15.5 fulltime jobs.  The former diner closed after its owner, Nick Formaikis, passed away in 2013.  The local investor, Ed May, acquired it in 2015 and extensive renovations followed, although the local institution – it has been at Chestnut Street and Fonda Avenue since the 1920s – never reopened.  (Jim Kevlin/
Beer Ice-Cream Bill Passes State Senate

Beer Ice-Cream Bill

Passes State Senate

Seward, Magee Collaborate On

Sherburne Entrepreneurs’ Idea

Senator Seward discusses his bill with Gilligan’s Island reps Gil Hodges, left, and Andy Lagoe.

ALBANY – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Oneonta, today announced Senate approval of a law he sponsored to allow the sale of ice cream made with beer and hard cider.

He was acting on the suggestion of a Chenango County business, the Gilligan’s Island ice cream parlor in Sherburne that already makes 30 flavors of ice cream, and has created beer and hard-cider flavors.

“Farmers and brewers already enjoy a great relationship and this legislation will clear the way for a new product that will capitalize on homegrown New York ingredients,” said Seward, who noted dairy and craft beer representatives have visited the Senate in recent weeks to share ideas for the future.

Oneonta AAA Finds New Home On Southside

Oneonta AAA Finds

New Southside Home

AAA celebrated the grand opening of its new location on Oneonta’s Southside with a ceremonial ribbon cutting this morning.  Participating were, from left, Nicole Roe,  Jane Murphy,  Vikki Bellinger, Laima Kauger, Stacie Medowcraft,all of Oneonta; Adrianna Lewis, Utica, Jamie Reynolds, Oneonta, Carol Morris, Utica, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, Kevin Morgan, Oneonta, Patti Artessa, Utica, incoming branch manager Stacie Harvey and Daniel Butterman, both of Oneonta; Otsego Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, current branch manager Deb Leach, state Sen. Jim Seward’s representative Catherine Mosher, Oneonta Town Supervisor Bob Wood, Karen Lang, Otsego County Chamber, Gary Lang, Oneonta Outlaws and AAA Regional Manager Ed Welsh. “Our company is committed to Oneonta,” said Welsh. “AAA has been in Oneonta for over 100 years and we’re not going anywhere. We plan to be here for a long time. We may be a national organization, but we hire strong, local, hometown folks.” (Ian Austin/
Ommegang To Unveil $2M In Improvements

Ommegang To Unveil

$2M In Improvements

Ribbon-Cutting June 15 On New Café, Store

The cafe and gift store behind Brewery Ommegang has doubled in size, a $2 million project.
New features include a 4,000-square-foot covered patio.

COOPERSTOWN – Brewery Ommegang’s $2 million in renovations that more than doubled the cafe and store will be reopened to the public with a 5:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting Friday, June 15.

A “Firepit Friday” event, featuring live music, will follow from 6 to 9 p.m.

Local restaurateur and veteran hospitality expert Dave Neil, who joined Ommegang in January of this year, helped oversee renovations of the building.

Going, Going… Office Razed To Created More Parking For Bank

Going, Going…

Office Razed To Created More Parking For Bank

If you hurry over right now to the corner of Chestnut and Glen in Cooperstown, you will catch the final moments of the demolition of a former dentist office at 71 Chestnut St. to create more parking for the neighboring Bank of Cooperstown.  Bank President Scott White, watching at left, said the plan is to double the number of bank parking spaces from the current 10.  (Jim Kevlin/

‘Summer Dreams’ To Serve Tourists – And Rest Of Us

‘Summer Dreams’

To Serve Tourists

– And Rest Of Us

A new “Summer Dreams” publication, aimed at serving Otsego County’s summer visitors and the rest of us who partake of the county’s summer offerings, will appear in this week’s Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.  New editions will appear weekly through Labor Day.

A new weekly publication, “Summer Dreams,” aimed at highlighting Greater Cooperstown and Oneonta’s summer offerings, will appear in this week’s editions of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.

In addition to reaching 13,000 households in our regular weekly distribution, an additional 2,000 copies are being printed and made available to tourists and youth-baseball-park participants.  The 13,000 distribution is already the largest print footprint in the county, and this will be enhanced to 15,000, according to Editor/Publisher Jim Kevlin.

Beginning today, the new publication will also be posted on, where it will be accessible to 40,000 weekly visitors, and promoted on the allotsego Facebook page, where more than 20,000 visitors participate weekly.

“Information about happenings in Otsego County will be useful, of course, to all of us looking to have some fun.  But ‘Summer Dreams’ is also a powerful vehicle for advertisers looking to connect with customers and potential new customers,” Kevlin said.

If you are interested in advertising in “Summer Dreams”, call 607-547-6103 and ask for Tara Barnwell or Thom Rhodes, or e-mail them at or


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