News of Otsego County

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



Hartwick College Students Paint Positivity On Wall

Hartwick College Students

Paint Positivity On Wall

Philip Ojedor, left, and Chesachi Chisomaga paint “We (Heart)wick Students” on the wall at West and Center streets as part of a virtual Admitted Students Day next weekend. Beth Steele, who was overseeing the project and making sure people kept the mandated six-foot separation, said  “We painted this message to show our students that we miss them.” said Beth Steele, marketing and communications, who was on hand to make sure everyone stayed six feet apart.  “It’s hard to be separated in a community this size.” With events for Admitted Students Day, scheduled for next Saturday, placed on hold, the college is planning on a virtual edition of the event, of which the wall and a time lapse video of it’s creation will be featured. “We will put it on our website and put it out on social media.” said Steele, “This gives the students a sense of who we are as a community.” (Ian Austin/
At All-Star Village, No Closing Planned – At Least For Now


At All-Star Village,

No Closing Planned

– At Least For Now

Marty Patton

COOPERSTOWN – County Emergency Task Force chairman Allen Ruffles today said he has been assured by Marty Patton, owner of Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, that there are no plans to cancel the summer season, at least for now.

All-Star Village – as well at Coopertown Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary, which Friday announced it is cancelling it 2020 season – together fuel the county’s youth-baseball camp sector, which together inject millions of dollars annually into the local economy.

Local Inventor Sees UV-Based Face Mask As Part Of Solution


Local Inventor Sees

UV-Based Face Mask

As Part Of Solution

Given the shortage of disposal face masks, Cooperstown inventor Gerry Welch believes his “Aegis 12” UV-powered invention may be part of the solution. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Click on the image to see full-size description of the “Aegis 12.)

COOPERSTOWN –  Local inventor Gerry Welch believes he may have an answer to the face-mask shortage the nation is facing as it battles the Coronavirus threat.

For several years now, Welch has been promoting the “Aegis 12,” which the publicity describes as a “Healthcare Face Mask with Fail-Safe Power Pack.”

The device is two face masks with a silver foil layer in between, attached to a power pack that may be placed in a breast pocket or hung around the user’s neck.

Attorney Miosek Provides Dinner To All Bassett Staff

Attorney Miosek Provides

Dinner To All Bassett Staff

Ryan Miosek

COOPERSTOWN – Atty. Ryan Miosek had dinner delivered last night to the entire Bassett Hospital staff on all floors, in thanks to the service they’ve been providing since the Coronavirus State of Emergency was declared (just a week ago!)

“It was supposed to be something he did quietly,” said his dad, retired CCS math teacher and coach Frank Miosek, “but it got out on social media.”

Miosek, 41, who has law offices at 29 Pioneeer St., couldn’t immediately be reached.  He provided the takeout from New York Pizzeria and Bocca Osteria, both in Cooperstown.

Governor Delays Village Elections


Governor Delays

Village Elections

New Vote April 28, Same Day

As Demo Presidential Primary

Governor Cuomo

Governor Cuomo early this evening delayed all village elections in New York State until April 28, the same day as the statewide Democratic Presidential Primary.

“Delaying village elections will help ensure poll workers and voters are not potentially exposed to the virus and at the same time maintain integrity in our election system,” Cuomo said.

Many such races are uncontested, but in the Village of Cooperstown, three candidates – MacGuire Benson, Joe Membrino and Mary Margaret Robbins Sohns – were vying to fill two seats this Wednesday, March 18.

Ruffles To Lead County Response To Corona Threat


Ruffles To Lead

County Response

To Corona Threat

Allen Ruffles

COOPERSTOWN – County Treasurer Allen Ruffles has been appointed to chair the task force that county board Chairman Dave Bliss convened this morning to implement the response to the coronavirus threat.

The task force identified the following components that need to be addressed:

  • Employee safety in the field – meeting state mandates and best practices. Limiting exposure at work
  • Potential changes to work schedules and related labor issues
  • Procurement of material necessary to allow for work to go on
  • Information – establish a process to disburse information to the public in a clear and meaningful fashion
  • Financial issues and planning
  • Public Health – How to establish best practices and carry out the work necessary to keep the public safe and well informed
  • Public Safety

Corned Beef, Cabbage Served Until 7 P.M.


Corned Beef, Cabbage

Served Until 7 P.M.

Once you’ve ordered the corned beef and cabbage for an annual St. Patty’s Day feast, what do you do? At St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Church Hall in Cooperstown, it’s being served until 7 p.m., with due precautions. As usual, the Hogan family is hard at work, dad Jim, mom Pat and twins Chris and Tom. At left, Ellen Pernat helps serve. At right Jim Renckens had driven down from Canadarago Lake with wife Polly for the takeout option. In addition to takeout, tables, spread apart, are available for sit down.  St. Patrick’s Day, of course, is Tuesday the 17th. (Jim Kevlin/
Author Discusses Detective Fiction, Movies At Cooperstown Film Society

Author Discusses Detective Fiction,

Movies At Cooperstown Film Society

Libby Cudmore, author of “The Big Rewind” and managing editor of The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta, discusses film noir, its impact and what defines it during an interview with the Hall of Fame’s Bill Francis at a meeting of the Cooperstown Film Society this evening at the  Village Library of Cooperstown.  She focused on Oneonta mystery writer S.S. Van Dyne’s novels about detective Philo Vance, which were made into a series of Hollywood movies in the 1930s, starring William Powell, Basil Rathbone and other major stars.    A Noir Double Feature followed, with the screening of “The Big Clock” and “An Active of Violence.”  (Ian Austin/
Meccariello’s ‘Loyalty’ May Ensure Stability At High School Helm

Meccariello’s ‘Loyalty’

May Ensure Stability

At High School Helm

Anne Meccariello

COOPERSTOWN – CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw said he’s recommending Elementary Principal Anne Meccariello for a promotion to return stability to the high school.

“Anne’s been with the district 23 years,” said Crankshaw.  “And she’s been in education for 28.  Anne has a real sense of loyalty to the district.  We are in need of consistency at the high school.”

The superintendent made the recommendation to the school board’s Personnel Committee after receiving High School Principal Kristin Butler’s resignation in February, effective July 1, after less than a year on the job.

Drugovich Named Vice Chair Of Independent Colleges Board

Drugovich Named Vice Chair

Of Independent Colleges Board

Dr. Drugovich

ONEONTA – Hartwick College President Margaret L. Drugovich was elected vice chair of the Commission on Independent Colleges and Universities at the latest CICU board meeting, where a new board chair and seven trustees were also selected.

Drugovich takes over after serving as CICU treasurer and chair of its Finance and Administrative Committee. She succeeds Adelphi University President Dr. Chris Riordan, who was named chair.

As vice chair, Drugovich is a member of the executive committee, and works with the chair to provide oversight, guidance and policy direction to organization, which serves as the collective voice for private, not-for-profit higher education in New York State.



‘Prayer For Peace” Premiered At Temple Beth El Concert

‘Prayer For Peace’ Begins

At Temple Beth El Concert

Above, members of Eight is Eneuf sing “Prayer for Peace”, written by Robin Eletsky, Milford, in it’s first public performance at Temple Beth El in Oneonta this afternoon during the Music From Around The World concert to celebrate our shared humanity. Musical guests included Rabbi George Hirschfeld, Ana Laura Gonzalez, Stan Fox and Andy Puritz. Among the audience was Maciej Żółtowski, newly chosen conductor of the Catskill Symphony Orchestra, seen at right, applauding alongside Laurie Zimniewicz, Oneonta. (Ian Austin/

Young Republicans Greet State’s Top GOP Leaders


Young Republicans Greet

State’s Top GOP Leaders

Two of the state’s top Republicans, last year’s GOP gubernatorial candidate Marc Molinaro and state GOP Chairman Nick Langworthy are at the Baseball Hall of Fame at this hour for the annual awards banquet of the state’s Young Republicans. Local attendees include, from right, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, Assemblyman Chris Tague, Schoharie, state Sen. Jim Seward, Milford, Langworthy, Molinaro, county Rep. Peter Oberacker, Schenevus, the endorsed candidate to succeed Seward, Bobby Walker of Cooperstown, chairman of the state Federation of College Republicans, and Seward aide Josh Bailey, Oneonta. Langworthy, from Erie County, succeeded Ed Cox as the party’s state chair last July 1. Molinaro was reelected in November to another term as Dutchess County executive. (Jim Kevlin/
Blackhawks Draw Enthusiastic Fans


Blackhawks Draw

Enthusiastic Fans

From Franklin to Roseboom, crowds were drawn to the Bassett Helipad, across from Cooperstown’s Clark Sports Center, at 5:30 this evening as three UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters chop-chop-chopped from the south and landed in the nearby field.  Some 200 cars lined Susquehanna and Brooklyn avenues, and fans of all ages hurried down to surround the choppers and greet members of the U.S. Army Reserves, 353rd Civil Affairs Command, who are on a training mission this weekend in conjunction with the Cooperstown Graduate Program.  In top photo, Gabriel Hanus and Elias Morris, pals from Schenevus, pose in front of one of the choppers.  Inset left, Alex Kubis, 8, of Roseboom, settles into the passenger compartment, but not for long: a line of youngsters and oldsters were lined up for a similar experience.  The last time this exercise was conducted, it happened in 3 feet of snow, so today’s clear fields were ideal for the curious.  (Jim Kevlin/

Empty Bowls Filled, Emptied At Fundraiser


Empty Bowls Filled,

Emptied At Fundraiser

Cooperstown’s Lauren Martin, top photo, fills Linda Kosmer’s bowl with hot soup at the Empty Bowls luncheon, the annual benefit for the Cooperstown Food Bank underway until 2 p.m. in the Christ Episcopal Church Hall on Fair Street.  Inset left, Jeannie Graham chooses among the dozen of bowls created by local potters in advance of the event. $15 gets you soup – and you keep the bowl.  At right, pals Dierdre Donley Crouse and George Hren-Saphier clean up. (Jim Kevlin/

Chamber To Honor Seward As ‘Citizen,’ Custom Electronics

Chamber To Honor

Seward As ‘Citizen,’

Custom Electronics

Spring Gala May 7 In Foothills Atrium


ONEONTA – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, will be the Otsego  County Chamber’s Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen of 2020, and Custom Electronics the NBT Bank Distinguished Business Of The Year, the chamber announced this afternoon.

Seward and the high-tech battery company will be toasted Thursday, May 7, in the Foothills Atrium, beginning with a cocktail hour at 5:45 p.m.

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