News of Otsego County

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


Kettle Drive Begins For Salvation Army


Kettle Drive Begins

For Salvation Army

Bell-ringer Brian Oliver of Oneonta mans the kettle at Cooperstown’s Price Chopper at this hour as the Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Drive gets underway today for the 2019 Christmas Season. Kettles crews are also stationed at Oneonta’s Price Chopper, Southside Mall and the Kmart in Sidney. (Jim Kevlin/
60-80 Soup Lovers Served At Mount Vision Luncheon

60-80 Soup Lovers Served

At Mount Vision Luncheon

Valery Worden, who chaired the organizing committee for today’s annual soup luncheon at the Mount Vision Methodist Church, replaces a place setting for the 60-80 soup lovers attending.  With her are committee members Kay Brick, right, and Lucie Edwards.  Inset, young Weston Lindberg, 2, of Fly Creek, attended with his great-grandmother Constance Tilley, right, and great-aunt Paula Robinson, both of Mount Vision.  Fifteen tureens of soup ranged from chili and pasta fagiole to cheese and cauliflower, and potato and lamb.  And brownies, cookies and other desserts.  (Jim Kevlin/

Hartwick Student Joins 2 In Challenging Salka


Hartwick Student Joins

2 In Challenging Salka

ONEONTA – The field is filling up with Democrats aiming to challenge freshman Assemblyman John Salka, R-121, whose district includes Oneonta and Cooperstown, as well as Madison and past of Oneida counties.

Nick Chase, a Hartwick College students and Oneonta native, this week joined Oneonta City school board member Dan Buttermann and Corey Mosher, a Hamilton farmer and board chair of Madison County Cooperative Extension.

Chase entry makes a Democratic primary next June more certain.

3rd CSO Candidate Slips On Ice, Dislocates Elbow

Żółtowski To Conduct With Left Hand

3rd CSO Candidate Slips

On Ice, Dislocates Elbow

Maciej Żółtowski leads the Catskill Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal earlier this week. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – The show must go on.

Walking back from his interview with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra board, Maciej Żółtowski, the final of the three contenders for the music director of the CSO, slipped on the ice on the SUNY Oneonta campus and dislocated his right elbow, according to Laurie Zimniewicz, chair of the search committee.

An EMT assisted Żółtowski back to the Red Dragon Building, and an ambulance was called.

Trying to assist Żółtowski, CSO Executive Director  Thomas Wolfe fell on the stairs and dislocated his right shoulder, Zimniewicz said. A second ambulance was called and both were treated at the Fox Hospital emergency room.

Regional VFW Commander: “Veterans Come In All Genders”


Legion Leader Beth Akulin:

‘Vets Come In All Genders’

Veterans’ organizations still have a way to go in accepting women in their ranks, Beth Akulin, commander of VFW Post 1206 in Oneonta, inset at right, said during her address at Veterans Day ceremonies at the top of Neahwa Park’s Memorial Parkway at 11-11-11 this morning.  While there are 1.3 million female veterans today, she said, “I have been yelled at for parking in a veterans parking place, or because I ask for a military discount, because they assumed my husband served and not me. It is important: People need to know and recognize that women have served and done the same job as men.” she said, “Veterans come in all sizes, shapes and genders. We need to thank all of them.”   Top photo, the Oneonta Vets Club honor guard – from left, American Legion Post 259  Commander Terry Harkenreader, and veterans Len Carson, Wayne Gregory, Gary Walters, Bruce Von Holtz, Bernie White and Jim Williams – carry the colors to this morning’s commemoration. (Ian Austin/

Mayor Tillapaugh Honors Vets At Centers


Mayor Tillapaugh Honors

Vets At Cooperstown Center

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh greets veteran George McCrea at a Veterans Day commemoration at The Cooperstown Center this afternoon. McCrea, formerly from Laurens, served in the Navy for four years and recalls when his ship, the USS Leyte, hit a whale. “It stopped the ship dead in the water – I couldn’t believe that,” he said. During his service in the late 1950s, his aircraft carrier was responsible for patrolling the northeast coast of the United States. (James Cummings/
On 11-11-11, We Remember


On 11-11-11,

We Remember

Framed in a flag held by Juliet Cunnington, CCS Marching Band Director Kerri Hogle, in top photo, directs the National Anthem at annual ceremonies next to Cooperstown’s Doughboy Statue today at 11-11-11, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, signifying the day and time of the Armistice that ended World War I.    In front of the statue, which commemorates local men who died in the Great War, are officers of the Cooperstown Vets’ Club, from left, Chaplain David Jackson, Commander John Famulare and Auxiliary President Mary Balcom.  Inset, Joan Clark, the Vets’ Club’s grand dame, sings “Oh say can you see…”  Next to her are Deb Green and her daughter, Meg Lindberg, and grandchildren Weston, 2, and Izzy, 8.  (Jim Kevlin/

GOHS’ Annual Auction, Main Fundraiser, Tonight


GOHS’ Annual Auction,

Main Fundraiser, Tonight

GOHS members Liz Morley and Gary Wickham pause from setting up this evening’s auction to admire a particularly striking portrait among the items up for sale. Doors for the silent auction open at 5:15 at the Quality Inn, Route 23, Southside Oneonta, and the live auction begins at 6:30, with auctioneer Kevin Herrick wielding the gavel. Public welcome, and bidders in particular. Food, beverages for sale. (Jim Kevlin/


County Rep. Michele Farwell, D-Butternuts/Morris/Pittsfield, walked across the county board room before today’s meeting began to congratulate Republican Rick Brockway and welcome him to the Otsego County Board of Representatives. Just 12 hours before, both were anxiously awaiting elections results.  He won the District 3 (Laurens-Otego) seat over Democrat Caitlin Ogden; an incumbent, she won a challenge from Marcia Hoag, an independent.  Today, they were colleagues.  (Jim Kevlin/
Consumer Hall Of Fame To Induct Owen D. Young


Consumer Hall Of Fame

To Induct Owen D. Young

Owen D. Young

Almost 60 years after his death, Owen D. Young is still receiving kudos.

The Van Hornesville native, who rose to found RCA and preside as president and chairman of the nation’s first radio company, will be inducted into the Consumer Technology Hall of Fame Wednesday at an awards banquet in New York City.

Young, who was Time magazine’s “Man of the Year” in 1929 and was a considered as a presidential contender in 1932, eventually retired to his natal place, where he endowed the local school, which was named in his honor.  He died in 1962.

Clinton’s Dam, Expedition Against Iroquois Explored


Clinton’s Dam, Expedition

Against Iroquois Explored

William A. Starna, above, SUNY Oneonta professor emeritus of anthropology, describes a schematic of what Clinton’s Dam might have looked like.  It was built across the Susquehanna River in Cooperstown, probably in the vicinity of today’s Main Street bridge,  during the summer of 1779 and breached on that Aug. 8; the resulting torrent floated 200 bateaux down the Susquehanna in Gen. James Clinton’s expedition against the Iroquois during the American Revolution. Starna, who was Hartwick College Distinguished Visiting Professor in 2014, described data that showed what probably happened to the river that year, and what didn’t. Inset at right, Peter Jemison, a Seneca and manager of the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Canandaigua, suggested George Washington was guilty of genocide in ordering the expedition against four of the Six Nation tribes, a conclusion that was much disputed at today’s Sulllivan-Clinton Symposium at Fulton-Montgomery Community College in Johnston, organized by the Fort Plain Museum and attended by 80 scholars and Revolutionary War history enthusiasts. (Jim Kevlin/



For An Evening, Church Becomes Haunted House


For An Evening, Church

Becomes Haunted House

From the back, he looked like the Headline Organist.  From the front, it was Tim Iversen, CCS band director and virtuoso organist, churning out spooky sounds that wafted throughout Cooperstown’s First Baptist Church, which Thursday evening doubled as a Haunted House.  Inset photo, Cooperstown’s Juan Alamo family partakes of the scarey offerings in the church’s lobby.  For much of the evening, trick or treaters were lined up down the front steps of the Elm Street – yes, Elm Street – church, waiting to get in.  (Jim Kevlin/

Princesses To Dragons, Coop Parade Has It All

Princesses To Dragons,

Coop Parade Has It All

Expecting rain, the CCS Marching Band dropped out, but a Gecco (John Hodgson) and a travelling witch (Pat Thorpe) were undeterred, leading and cheering on Cooperstown’s annual Halloween Parade from Cooper Park, down Main Street, to the Chamber of Commerce on Chestnut. Heavier rains are expected later this evening, causing Oneonta to cancel its annual event. (Jim Kevlin/


On Halloween, 3-Generation Tradition Lives On At Jackie’s

On Halloween, 3-Generation

Tradition Lives On At Jackie’s

A three-generation tradition is alive and well at Jackie’s Restaurant in Milford where Jackie Folts, left,  her sisters and the next generation were in full Halloween regalia today. Right of Jackie is sister Brenda Alton, Jordyn Scott, Brooke Sisson and sister Sue Sisson. The ladies pose with Bones and his dog, No-Barc. After the photo, the mother of the family, Sandy Chase of Cooperstown, showed up and posed with Jordyn. When her daughters were kids, Sandy said, they would say “oh, mom,” whenever she would encourage them to celebrate Halloween.  Now, she said, the sisters are enthusiastic about it on their own. (Jim Kevlin /

Philo Vance Film Series Concludes With Lecture From Mystery Novelist


Mystery-Writing Editor

Places ‘Oneonta-Born’

Philo Vance In Context

Oneonta mystery writer Libby Cudmore assesses Philo Vance’s place in the golden age of detective fiction at this evening’s third installment of the Philo Vance Film Series at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society.  The talk preceded a screening of “The Dragon Murder Case,” based on one of the lesser beloved of S.S. Van Dine’s 12 novels featuring the detective that Van Dine (aka Willard Huntington Wright) created while living in his aunts’ home on River Street. At  left are GOHS Executive Director Bob Brzozowski and Father Ken Hunter, St. James Episcopal pastor and a mystery buff, who organized the film series.  Cudmore is also managing editor of Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and  Her “The Big Rewind” was published by William Morrow in 2016. (Ian Austin/
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