News of Otsego County

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



Piper Seamon Scores 1,000th point

1,000 THANKS!

Piper Seamon 5th CCS Girl To Hit High Mark

The Cooperstown Central student section erupts as Piper Seamon scores her 1,000th career point in the Hawkeyes’ 57-39 win over Waterville at home last evening. Seamon becomes the fifth girl and only the 14th player in school history overall to score 1,000 points.  Inset at right, Pipershares a hug with teammate Meagan Schuermann after the game was stopped to acknowledge her achievement. Seamon will play basketball next year at Hamilton College. (Cheryl Clough/


27 Professionals Attend Otsego Leadership Summit

27 Professionals Attend

Otsego Leadership Summit

Otsego County Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan recruited a bumper crop for the 2020 Otsego Leader class, whose program got underway this morning at Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta.  Over the next few weeks, the class – rising managers at local enterprises and institutions – will be visiting colleges, hospitals and other key county institutions, to “put them in the picture” as they move forward.  The Class of 2020 includes, above, clockwise from front left, Mike Tranvvag, Deborah Cornell, Jackie Burke, Leslie Woodward, Anneth Nelson, Brittany Goodrich, Cynthia Saggese, Tania Cape, Danielle Rowe, Tara Bronson, Tammy Christman, Lisa Cronan, Amanda Stamas, Monica Calzolari, Jennifer Insetta, Sandra Gardner, Kyle Liner, William Rohde,Heegan, Loretta Garcia, Adam Remillard and Lonny Chin.  Inset is Number 27 is Melissa Marietta, Oneonta, who introduces herself and tells how she fell in love with out area. (Ian Austin/

German Leaves Congress Race

German Leaves

Congress Race

‘Couldn’t Raise The Money,’ He Says

Tony German

ONEONTA – Tony German, the retired general of the state’s National Guard, announced today he has dropped out of the race for the Republican nomination to run against Democratic Congressman Antonio Delgado in the 19th District.

“I couldn’t raise the required money,” he confirmed a few minutes ago.  An Oneonta resident, he was the only candidate to emerge so far from Otsego County.

In a statement, he threw his support behind Ola Hawatmeh, , 42, a fashion designer and two-time breast cancer survivor who moved back to her hometown of Poughkeepsie from St. Louis in July to run against Delgado.  She’s a 1999 graduate of Marist College.






George Korthauer Will Depart Feb. 7

George Korthauer

ONEONTA – Oneonta City Manager George Korthauer has submitted his resignation, effective Feb. 7, City Hall announced a few minutes ago.

Korthauer was hired in August 2017  as Oneonta’s third city manager. He previously served as the city manager of the lake resort city of Petoskey, Mich., for 25 years.

He is the first city manager to leave of his own accord since the city-manager form of government was adopted in 2011.  Mike Long, a former Poughkeepsie city manager, and Marty Murphy, Cortland County manager, were forced out.  Korthauer’s tenure has been largely uncontroversial.

Seward, Salka Say Nay To Legal Pot


Seward, Salka Say

Nay To Legal Pot

2020 Session To Start Wednesday

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to


If marijuana is legalized in the state legislative session that begins today, it won’t be with the help of Otsego County’s delegation.

“It’s not my issue,” said state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who said he is “responding well” to cancer treatments, and expected to be in his Albany office on opening day.

“I would hate to move forward on that, particularly with those advocating for the increased revenues — $300 million,” said Seward, now in his 32st two-year term.   “It’s not worth it, because it would cost us a lot more in different ways.”

For his part, Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, who represents Oneonta and Cooperstown, said there’s a “50-50 split” on legalization of marijuana.  “I would vote against it,” he said.

New Common Council Delaying $70,000 For Destination Oneonta

New Common Council

Delaying $70,000 For

Destination Oneonta

Have Promoters Lost Focus?

Asks Drnek At First Meeting

The new Common Council at its first meeting this evening included, clockwise from left, Mark Drnek, John Rafter, Scott Harrington, Len Carson, City Clerk Nancy Powell, Mayor Gary Herzig, City Manager George Korthauer, Kaytee Lipari Shue, Deputy Mayor David Rissberger, Mark Davies and Luke Murphy.  (James Cummings/

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

ONEONTA – Common Council voted this evening, 5-3, not to renew a $70,000 contract with Destination Oneonta for 2020, but to table it for further discussion.

Council member Drnek asked if Destination Oneonta is looking beyond its Center City franchise.

“I’m not really certain what the geographic parameters of Destination Oneonta are,” said Council member Mike Drnek, Ward Eight.

Given that membership is expected to rise in the new year, Drnek expressed concern for an increase in members who live outside of city limits and the city having to bear the cost.

“Looking at the projection of 200 members in 2020, clearly the geography is moving outward from the city,” he said. “I think they do a terrific job, but if this becomes more of a Chamber of Commerce, are we still responsible for the $70,000,” he asked.

Friends of Bassett Gala Will Honor Dr. Dalton

Friends of Bassett Gala

Will Honor Dr. Dalton

Dr. Dalton

COOPERSTOWN – The Friends of Bassett’s annual Valentine Soirée this year will honor Dr. James Dalton, recently retired from clinical practice after 30 years but continuing as director of Medical Education.  The annual celebration will be Saturday, Feb. 8, at The Otesaga.

Reservations are $150 per person, and proceeds from the 2020 Valentine’s Soirée will be designated to the Medical Education program at Bassett Hospital in recognition of Dalton’s leadership in shaping the current program.

In addition dinner and dancing, the evening will feature a live auction, and entertainment by Glimmerglass Festival young artists, Council Rock Band and Cooperstown Escape Games.

Milford Wrestler Leonard Downs 100th Opponent

Milford Wrestler Leonard

Chalks Up His 100th Win

Milford-Cooperstown varsity wrestler Avery Leonard, left, reached a milestone Friday evening, as he wins his 100th varsity wrestling match – against Dylan Thomas, Carthage – at the Oneonta Rotary Tournament at OHS.  Leonard, a junior who attends Milford Central School, defeated Kai Kogurt of Saugerties in his first match of the tournament, then took down Thomas.  Leonard, who went to the State Tournament last season, took only 2.5 seasons to reach win 100.  Today, he was wrestling in the semi-finals in Day 2 of the annual Rotary tourney.  (Cheryl Clough/
County Board Elects Kennedy Vice Chair






County Judge Brian Burns this morning administers the oath of office to the 2020-21 Otsego County Board of Representatives. From left are Andrew Marietta, Fly Creek; Dan Wilber, Burlington; Michele Farwell, Gilbertsville; Rick Brockway, Laurens; Dave Bliss, Middlefield; Meg Kennedy, Hartwick; Danny Lapin, Clark Oliver, Jill Basile and Adrienne Martini, all of Oneonta; Ed Frazier, Unadilla; Andrew Stammel, Town of Oneonta, and Keith McCarty, East Springfield. Click image to view full size.  (Ian Austin/


Meg Kennedy presides as temporary chairman at this morning’s organizational meeting.

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Board of Representatives, 9-4, with one absence, today elected Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick/Milford/New Lisbon, as vice chairman.

David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/ Middlefield/Cherry Valley, was elected chairman for a second two-year term.

Dan Wilber, R-Burlington, nominated “our Citizen of the Year” for the post, a reference to Kennedy receiving that designation last week from Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal  and

Voting nay were Democrats Andrew Marietta, Cooperstown/Fly Creek, and three Oneonta reps, Danny Lapin and two freshmen, Jill Basile and Clark Oliver.

New Year’s Baby Born To Sidney’s FitzGeralds

New Year’s Baby Born

To Sidney’s FitzGeralds

Jace FitzGerald

COOPERSTOWN – Jessica and Jordin FitzGerald of Sidney had a special New Year’s Day – and New Decade – treat:  Their baby boy, Jace FitzGerald, decided to make an entrance into this world a month ahead of his due date.

He was born at the Bassett Birthing Center in Cooperstown 3:55 p.m Jan. 1, 2020. Jace joins a 4- year-old brother Julian at home.


Youngsters Hold Sway At Oneonta Swearing-Ins


Youth On Center Stage

At Oneonta Swearing-Ins

Young Politicians, Young Families

Youth will have its way, and that was certainly the case in Oneonta Common Council Chambers at 1 p.m. today, where the a youthful crop of candidates – with their children at their sides – took the oath of office, most on the Constitution instead of the Bible, from City Judge Lucy Bernier.  Above, young Henry Shue, 9 months, in dad Jared’s arms, surveyed the packed room as mom Kaytee Lipari Shue was sworn in as Ward 4 Council member.  Inset middle, a shy Addison Harrington, 5, stood for a portrait with mom Kerri, sister Meghan, 13, and dad Scott, newly elected Council member from the Sixth Ward.  When newly elected County Rep. Jill Basile, D-District 14, was sworn in, inset lower, son Matteo, 7, put his hand on the Constitution beside his mom’s. Five new Council members were sworn in: Shue, Harrington, Luke Murphy (Ward 1), Mark Davies (Ward 2) and Mark Drnek (Ward 8).  Len Carson (Ward 5) was absent.  In addition to Basile, Clark Oliver, District 11, was sworn in as a county representative.  Incumbent Council members David Rissberger (Ward 3) and John Rafter (Ward 7) were sworn in for new terms.   In his introduction, Mayor Gary Herzig praised the youthfulness of the new officials – Oliver is the youngest county board member in history, and Murphy is still in his 20s.  Due to younger citizens, Herzig said, “small cities are being reborn” as “vibrant, progressive and creative.”  (Jim Kevlin/

Bassett President Is National Guard’s New State Surgeon

Bassett President

Now Also Adviser

To National Guard

Effective Jan. 1, Dr. LeCates

Will Also Be State Surgeon

Dr. LeCates

COOPERSTOWN – In addition to his duties as Bassett Hospital president, William LeCates has been selected to serve as the New York Army National Guard’s top medical adviser, effective Jan. 1.

A lieutenant colonel in the National Guard, Dr. LeCates will serve as state surgeon of the state Army National Guard.

In his new role, LeCates will be the senior medical adviser to Maj. Gen. Ray Shields, the adjutant general of the state National Guard, ensuring medical readiness and adherence to state, Pentagon and national medical standards.

Everett Bassett Retires As UM District Superintendent

Everett Bassett Retires As

UM District Superintendent

Over 150 friends and family, some coming from as far away as Denver, gathered this afternoon at Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta to honor Everett Bassett, seen here with wife Sharon, on his retirement. Everett has served the United Methodist community for 43 years, for the past three and a half years as superintendent of the Oneonta District, overseeing 57 United Methodist churches. The Bassetts will be moving to Virginia Beach, Va. The church assembled numerous cleaning kits in their honor, which will be donated to the North East Mission Central Hub. From there, the kits will be sent out to UMCORPS operating in disaster zones. (Ian Austin/
Janet L. Gano, 82; Lived In France, Worked At Bresee’s

IN MEMORIAM: Janet L. Gano, 82;

Lived In France, Worked At Bresee’s

Janet Gano

DAVENPORT – Janet L. Gano, 82, who except for several years in France lived most of her life in the Davenport and Oneonta area, passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday morning, Dec. 21, 2019 following a long illness.

Born on July 13, 1937, in Oneonta, she was the daughter of the late Arthur F. and Velma (Eggler) Shaw.

Janet worked for the former Bresee’s Dept. Store in Oneonta and later worked as a home health aide for various clients in the greater Oneonta area.

Delgado, Seward Due At State Of The State

Delgado, Seward Due

At State Of The State

Event Moved To Jan. 24 At SUNY Oneonta


ONEONTA — The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State breakfast will be Jan. 24, not the usual day after New Year’s, will be a luncheon instead, and will feature two novelties:

• Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19.  The date was changed to accommodate his scheduled.

• State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who is recovering from a cancer recurrence.  This will be his first public reappearance.

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