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Worcester, Schenevus merger up for December 1 vote
Worcester Central School would serve grades 6 through 12. (Facebook)

Worcester, Schenevus merger up for December 1 vote

By Kevin Limiti • Special to

Schenevus and Worcester Central school districts vote December 1 to decide whether they merge the districts, a move which has divided residents.

If approved, the Worcester Central School district would annex Schenevus. The Schenevus school building would retain its name and dragon mascot, and function as a Kindergarten-through-fifth grade elementary school. Worcester Central would host grades 6 to 12.

Voters approved the merger in a non-binding straw poll in September 2021; the December 1 vote is a binding referendum.

Bassett bonuses thank workers
Dr. Tommy Ibrahim

Bassett bonuses thank workers

By Ted Potrikus

Bassett Healthcare Network last week awarded ‘gratitude’ bonuses to its full complement of some 5,000 full- and part-time employees, made possible in large part through a donation from the Scriven Foundation.

Speaking with The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, Bassett Healthcare Network President and CEO Dr. Tommy Ibrahim credited the entire staff for its hard work throughout another year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Of course it’s been another tumultuous year,” he said. “Bassett Healthcare and every person we serve was carried through it on the shoulders of our caregivers and practitioners.”

Gov. Hochul signs Tague’s Nourish New York bill
From left to right: Sen. Jamaal Bailey (SD-36), Sen. George Borrello (SD-57), New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Richard Ball, Sen. Michelle Hinchey (SD46), Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I-Schoharie), Gov. Kathy Hochul, Assemblywoman Catalina Cruz (D-Queens), Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda (SD-32) and others gather for the signing of the Nourish New York bill into law.

Gov. Hochul signs Tague’s Nourish New York bill


Assemblyman Chris Tague  joined Gov. Kathy Hochul, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Richard Ball, and a bipartisan group of legislators Saturday in Corona, Queens as the governor signed the Nourish New York bill into law. Nourish New York connects rural farmers with excess product to food banks in need throughout the state through a state-operated purchasing program, providing fresh foods from New York farms to families.

Bassett Healthcare Network Gives Gratitude Bonuses to Employees

Bassett Healthcare Network Gives Gratitude Bonuses to Employees


Cooperstown, N.Y. – Bassett Healthcare Network announced today that full- and part-time employees across the health system will receive substantial gratitude bonuses, made possible in large part through a generous donation from the Scriven Foundation. Bassett Medical Center board chair Jane Forbes Clark was instrumental in advocating for the funding.

The bonus comes as a thank you to Bassett Healthcare Network’s nearly 5,000 caregivers and practitioners for their dedication and hard work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kyle Rittenhouse cleared of all charges in Kenosha shootings
Kyle Rittenhouse, center, enters the courtroom with his attorney Mark Richards, left, and Corey Chirafisi for a meeting called by Judge Bruce Schroeder at the Kenosha County Courthouse in Kenosha, Wisconsin on Thursday, November 18, 2021. (Sean Krajacic/The Kenosha News via AP, Pool)

Kyle Rittenhouse cleared of all charges in Kenosha shootings


KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Kyle Rittenhouse was acquitted of all charges Friday after pleading self-defense in the deadly Kenosha shootings that became a flashpoint in the nation’s debate over guns, vigilantism and racial injustice.

Rittenhouse, 18, cried and hugged one of his attorneys upon hearing the verdict.

He had been charged with homicide, attempted homicide and reckless endangering after killing two men and wounding a third with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle during a tumultuous night of protests over police violence against Black people in the summer of 2020. The former police youth cadet is white, as were those he shot.

Vaccine Clinic

Vaccine Clinic

Children got COVID-19 vaccine shots during Otsego County’s first vaccination clinic for kids ages five to twelve, in the Oneonta High School gym on November 11, 2021. Nearly 300 children received a first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during the day, according to County Director of Public Health Heidi Bond. Overall, Otsego County COVID cases have begun to rise again. The county has had 4,206 confirmed cases of COVID in 2021 — one out of every 14 residents — and more than twice as many as in 2020.

Opinion by Ted Potrikus: Fiona and Bob had to make way for the AG

Opinion by Ted Potrikus:
Fiona and Bob had to make way for the AG

I didn’t want to think about politics last week. My wife and I were on a brief vacation, planned long before the opportunity arose to join the staff here at The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

We kept our plans — it was a drive to Cincinnati to see Fiona the Hippo at the zoo (really — look her up, because it’s a very sweet story and who knew that hippos were so entertaining?) and to see Bob Dylan in concert. Both were magnificent.

Oh, but New York’s political scene doesn’t give much rest to those of us who find some sort of interest or odd entertainment value in its inner workings. It’s when the inside baseball spills out into the public that it becomes far more serious than “entertainment value.”

I wrote last week about the kerfuffle to come in the Democratic primary for Governor and touched on the equally important race for Attorney General. The office of New York’s ‘AG’ — an abbreviation sometimes expanded as “Aspiring Governor” — assumed a far more public policy leadership role back in the days of Eliot Spitzer. Andrew Cuomo rehabilitated his flagging political career when he took the AG post in 2006; Eric Schneiderman was well on his way to greater political office until his career imploded in the wake of scandal in 2018.

Opinion by Richard Sternberg: Hey Aaron Rodgers, Man Up!

Opinion by Richard Sternberg:
Hey Aaron Rodgers, Man Up!

Last week a friend told me a story that should have surprised me, but unfortunately I was inured to. In fact, you could say I had been immunized to the situation.

Her friend who she had worked with frequently over the past few months, came up to her smiling and announced that he had finally “bit the bullet” and had gotten vaccinated against COVID. He had refused up to that point because of concerns he heard about, mostly from the internet. My friend was a bit shocked because the other person had previously told her that he was immunized when they first started working on a project together several months previously.

When questioned about that, he said that he was sure that she would insist on wearing masks and even working remotely from each other if he told her that he weren’t vaccinated against COVID-19. He really hated wearing a mask and wanted to work together. He was immunized, just not against COVID. He had, after all, been immunized as a child against measles, mumps, chicken pox, diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. He finally acknowledged that he knew he was misleading but insisted he had made a true statement.

News from the noteworthy: Giving back: A Springbrook reflection

News from the noteworthy:
Giving back
A Springbrook reflection


You may have noticed the opinion pieces I’ve shared recently (thank you AllOtsego for sharing community voices!). Springbrook is a diverse organization with many talented leaders. This month, I asked The Springbrook Foundation’s Director of Development, Stacey Grady, to share her perspective with the community. Her contribution is below.–Patricia Kennedy, CEO Springbrook.

When I arrived in Otsego County as a Hartwick College freshman, I never imagined I would find my forever home. Yet, I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere else. And it’s here that I have found a community filled with kind and generous people. In my role at Springbrook, I have the opportunity to see this generosity each day — from the parent who makes homemade cookies for the staff of their child’s on-campus residence, to the local businesses that create opportunities for the people we support. As we move into the giving season, I do what I can to set time aside to reflect, practice gratitude, be with family and friends, and support those in need. While living here, I have found so many opportunities around me to commit some of my time, knowledge, and care in giving back, some of which I’d love to share with you.

Editorial: How was it? A big success

How was it? A big success


We salute the Cooperstown Central School’s varsity boys’ soccer team for a 2021 season that was a resounding success, a joy to witness, and a giant step forward on our slow walk ‘back to normal.’

We send that same salute to the Cherry Valley/ Springfield boys’ varsity soccer team, Cooperstown’s girls varsity swimmers, Oneonta’s boys’ varsity cross country runners, the Head of the Fish and Head of the Charles rowers, and every other school team and athlete who got out there and played your game.

Take a bow, too, you coaches, assistants, volunteers, parents, teachers, bus drivers, car caravan coordinators, and anyone who guided and supported players along their ways, then made sure the sports stepped aside for homework and other school duties.

Letter by Gary A. Wehner

Letter by Gary A. Wehner


To the Editor:

The September decision by the Otsego County Board of Representatives to implement a county-run emergency medical services (EMS) system is an unfortunate and ill-informed solution to the very serious problem of inadequate volunteer rural EMS in Otsego County. To the best of my knowledge, this plan was adopted without any public hearing or other public comment.

Cooperstown’s newest restaurant is a total renovation
Ian Porto, proprietor, sits at Natty Bumppo’s bar, now back downstairs. (Tara Barnwell/

Cooperstown’s newest restaurant is a total renovation

Not too many businesses opened during the past 18 months thanks, of course, to COVID.

But welcome to Natty Bumppo’s, the newest restaurant to open in downtown Cooperstown.

Owner and Cooperstown native Ian Porto has been a longtime fixture on Main Street. You may know him as the previous owner of Tin Bin Alley, or perhaps from Northern Eagle Beverage and Cooperstown Brewing Company. Maybe even from Brewery Ommegang.

Now you’ll get to know him as the owner of Natty Bumppo’s on Hoff

Damage 1, Roof Overhang 0 as Bassett Outpatient Clinic reroutes main entrance

Damage 1, Roof Overhang 0
as Bassett Outpatient Clinic reroutes main entrance

Recent structural damage to the overhang to Bassett Medical Center’s outpatient clinic building at 1 Atwell Road in Cooperstown closes the building’s main entrance, with needed repairs and construction now underway and continuing through the winter months. The entrance is open to foot traffic and passenger vehicles under 8 feet and 6 inches. All patient transport vehicles such as buses, shuttles, and ambulettes must drop patients off on the street at the crosswalk from the hospital’s Parking Lot Number One, directly across the street from the clinic entrance circle. (Kevin Limiti/
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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103