News of Otsego County

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



Best Of The Best Honored By Chamber

Best Of The Best Honored

By Cooperstown Chamber

Matt Hazzard, executive director, Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, center rear, poses for a photo of the Chamber’s Hall of Fame inductees for 2018. From left, Phil Leinhart and Rick DeBar, Brewery Ommegang; Joe Sirracusa , Danielle Henrici and Todd Kenyon, The Farmer’s Museum; Gretchen Sorin and Cathy Raddatz, Cooperstown Graduate Program; Randy Smith, Spurbeck’s Grocery; Sarah Lucas and Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna Animal Shelter, and Hanna Bergene, executive associate, Cooperstown Chamber. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO)
Val Paige, director, Clark Sports Center, accepts the Business of the Year award from Matt Hazzard during the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame induction awards ceremony this evening at The Farmer’s Museum.

COOPERSTOWN – The Farmers’ Museum, Brewery Ommegang, The Cooperstown Graduate Program, the Susquehanna Animal Shelter and Spurbeck’s Grocery were honored as the 2018 class of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce’s Hall of Fame during a ceremony at The Farmers’ Museum earlier this evening.

“In the four years that I’ve been with the Chamber, this is my favorite day of the year,” said Matt Hazard, executive director. “We live in a very special place, and it’s fun to recognize these organizations that contribute so much for our community.”

Also honored were five winners in the Business of the Year category.

Ommegang Starts To Can At Cooperstown Brewery

First Beer, Neon Rainbows, Available 5/26

Ommegang Starts To Can

At Cooperstown Brewery

Neon Rainbow, Ommegang’s first locally canned beer,will be available at 11 a.m. Friday,May 25, at the brewery.

COOPERSTOWN –  Brewery Ommegang today announced the installation of a new canning line and the launch of the brewery’s first on-site-only can release, the New England-style IPA Neon Rainbows, which to-date has been available only in very limited quantities on draft.

The first canned run of Neon Rainbows will deliver 16-ounce four-packs for sale only at the brewery beginning at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 26, one case per customer.

The maiden canning run for the new system was on Tuesday, April 24, when Ommegang’s Nirvana IPA was packaged in 16-ounce cans for the very first time.

“For hop-forward beers and others that tend to travel with our drinkers to mountain tops, beaches, concerts and beyond, cans are an ideal format,” said Rick DeBar, Ommegang’s technical manager.  “Not only do they provide additional protection against light strike, but they’re more environmentally friendly on multiple levels as well, something we always strive to take into account.”

New Bat Company Rising On Hartwick Seminary Site

New Bat Company Rising

On Hartwick Seminary Site

The timber frame building rising in the past few days on Route 28, Hartwick Seminary, will house a bat company being launched by Matt Kent’s Leatherstocking Timber & Stone in Oneonta. Jim Bridger Construction (he is in the backhoe) and his crew – at left, Lonnie Schneider, Brett Sisson and Jake Jorgensen – have been preparing the site for the past couple of weeks, and began construction in earnest this week. The new building is located between Redneck Barbecue and The Shack. ( photo)
Chamber Honors Eugene Bettiol Sr.

Chamber Honors

Eugene Bettiol Sr.

Posthumously, Developer Receives

Award Named In Honor Of His Son

Gene Bettiol Sr.

ONEONTA – A few minutes ago, The Otsego County Chamber announced the late Eugene A. Bettiol Sr., who passed away Dec. 2, will be honored posthumously with an award named for his son, who passed away a decade earlier.

Bettiol, credited as the prime developer of the Southside Oneonta business district, will receive the Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen Award at the chamber’s annual dinner at 5:45 p.m. Thursday, May 3, at the Wright/Wilber Bank Atrium at Foothills.

Too Many Baseball Stores, Jane Forbes Clark Suggests

Too Many Baseball Stores,

Jane Forbes Clark Suggests

Let’s Work Together To Revive Downtown,
Cooperstown’s Benefactress Tells Chamber

Jane Forbes Clark told Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce members this morning that the village’s downtown, which lost the CVS and Cooperstown General Store in recent months, is at a crossroads, and she adopted the chamber’s 2018 of “togetherness” as a way toward a solution.  The Hall of Fame chairman said store rents – as high as $7,000 a month – are “too high” to achieve mixed retail offerings, and that there are too many baseball stores.  While suggesting no specific solutions, she detailed the hundreds of thousands of visitors Clark entities – The Hall, The Fenimore and The Otesaga among them – attract to Cooperstown annually, potential customers for downtown establishments that can figure out how to bring them in the doors.  (Parker Fish/

Ommegang Begins $2M Enhancement


Ommegang Begins

$2M Enhancement

Artist’s rendering shows the outline of Brewery Ommegang’s expanded cafe and gift shop.

COOPERSTOWN – Brewery Ommegang has broken ground on a $2 million expansion of the visitors’ center to better accommodate its nearly 80,000 visitors annually, 40 percent from June to August.

Aiding in the renovation and marketing of the brewery once the renovation is complete is a $525,000 CFA state economic development grant that Ommegang received in December –  $375,000 for construction and $150,000 for marketing.

Community Bank Affiliate, Gordon B. Roberts Merge

Community Bank Affiliate,

Gordon B. Roberts Merge

ONEONTA – The Gordon B. Roberts Agency is merging into ONEGROUP NY Inc., an affiliate of Community Bank System, GBR President Vince Foti announced today.

GBR was founded in Oneonta in 1947 by the late Gordon “Gordie” Roberts and is well known locally for business and personal insurance. ONEGROUP is one of the largest and fastest-growing independent risk management, insurance, benefits and human resource consulting organizations in the Northeast.

Otsego Electric Spending $3.9 M To Expand High Speed Internet

Otsego Electric Spending $3.9M

To Expand High Speed Internet

Otsego Electric Cooperative CEO Tim Johnson briefs Otsego Now directors this morning on the Hartwick-based cooperative’s $3.9 million plan for a fiber-optic internet network to serve its members across the county with promised speeds of 1gbps with no data caps.  The expanded service, which he anticipates being completed by the end of 2018, will cost members $59.95 per month for fast and reliable Internet service, a commodity that county residents have been requesting for many years.  (Parker Fish/

In 30th Year, Wolf Wilde Doubles Jewelry Store Size

In 30th Year, Wolf Wilde

Doubles Jewelry-Store Size

Members of the Wolf Wilde jewelry store clan pause for a photo Saturday as they prepare to host an open house in their new store in downtown Oneonta’s Clinton Plaza. Parents Wolf and Janet Wilde are surrounded by their children, from left, Reuben Wilde, Leslie Coughlin, Karen Wilde, and Liz Pereira. The store was moved next door into the former Music Square, doubling its size. (Ian Austin/




Picking up a Syracuse Post-Standard, Charles Hill, the former village Planning Board chair, top photo, was one of the first 10 customers in the new CVS that opened at 8 a.m. today on Cooperstown’s southern gateway. Lower left, Store Manager Jamie Wadowiec welcomes customer Alan Stearn, visiting the Hall of Fame from Rockville, Md., as Jessica Lorette, Town of Springfield, processes his purchase. Lower right is Hill exiting through the drive-thru pharmacy, one of the main reasons the Rhode-Island-based national retailer gave for seeking to move from 100 Main St. to the corner of Chestnut and Beaver. Also new is a gilt-lettered sign proclaming the entrance to Badger Park, the village’s ice rink, and a fence separating the park from the parking lot. (Jim Kevlin/
An End, And A Beginning For Cooperstown’s CVS

An End, And A Beginning

For Cooperstown’s CVS

Store clerk Kristin Bridge of Waterville presides during the final minutes of business at CVS’ pharmacy at 100 Main St., downtown Cooperstown. At noon, the downtown CVS closed, the staff can be seen cleaning out the storage room throughout the afternoon and moving final supplies to the new CVS drive-thru pharmacy at Beaver and Chestnut on the south end of the village The new store open at 8 a.m. Sunday. (Jim Kevlin/
Seward Tours Golden Artist Plant

Seward Tours Golden Artist Plant

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, discusses manufacturing processes with Golden Artist Colors Operation Manager John Heath yesterday during a tour of the New Berlin plant. He also visited the Sam & Adele Golden Residence space. Accompanying the Senator on the visit was Mary Jo Ferrare of the Workforce Development Institute, who helped Golden secure funding for a recent Kaizen training programs for its staff as part of the company’s Lean Manufacturing and Continuous Improvement initiatives.
With Grand Opening Nov. 4, CVS Crews Stacking Shelves

With Grand Opening Nov. 4,

CVS Crews Stacking Shelves

With the grand opening of the new CVS pharmacy on Cooperstown’s south end scheduled for Nov. 4, Manager Jamie Wadowiec advises staffer Edith Platt of Davenport as stocking of shelves is underway in earnest. At right, Bill Powers of Oneonta piles empty cardboard boxes in front of the new store, which will feature a drive-through pharmacy. CVS is closing its Main Street store as it shifts its operation to the new facility. (Jim Kevlin/

Brewery Ommegang 20th Birthday Today

Brewery Ommegang

20th Birthday Today

Twenty years ago today, Don Feinberg and Wendy Littlefield began production at Brewery Ommegang, the Belgian-style brewery that has become a Cooperstown and Otsego County tourism, entertainment and community centerpiece over the past two decades.   Top photo, from Ommegang files, shows construction underway on the unique plant (right photo), modeled after a Belgian farmhouse.  To celebrate the anniversary, the brewery has created a 20th Anniversary Ale, which is selling well, according to company President Doug Campbell, in its outlets in 48 states and the District of Columbia.  (

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