News of Otsego County

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


Bargains Galore At Grand & Glorious

Bargains Galore

At Grand & Glorious

Bargain shoppers flocked to the annual Grand & Glorious Garage Sale today on Oneonta’s Main Street searching for that special item, great deal or a walking taco. Above, Steve Londner unloads boxes of items at the League of Women Voters tent as Jill Eichler, Franklin, a volunteer with the Super Heroes in Ripped Jeans, converses wit Alice Collins, Oneonta. All items they had left will be donated to the Super Heroes With Ripped Jeans Thrift Store. At right, Linda Pipitone and Pam Hanley, Town of  Maryland, admire an iron found amidst one of the sellers offerings. (Ian Austin/

Victim’s Sister’s Memories, 5-10K Honor That Fatal Day


Victim’s Sister’s Memories,

5-10K Honor That Fatal Day

George Morell‘s sister, Cathy Raddatz of Cooperstown, recalls her brother’s heroism in 1993, at the first World Trade Center bombing, when he carried a frail sandwich vendor from the 70th floor to safety. Eight years later, on 9/11, he called his wife and said, “Robbie, I love you. It’s the big one.” He was one of 638 Cantor Fitzgerald employees who died that day. Cathy was speaking this morning before the start of the 9/11 Memorial 5-10K race, an annual commemoration organized by the Fly Creek Fire Company. At left is Fire Capt. Rick Kelly, who emceed; at right, Assemblyman John Salka, R-West Edmeston; behind Salka is Cathy’s daughter Gretchen.  Inset, Cooperstown native Charles Hollister, who now lives in Oneonta, won the 5K event. (Jim Kevlin/

Supreme Court Candidates Confer With Local Leaders


Supreme Court Candidates

Confer With Local Leaders

Three Republican candidates on the Nov. 5 ballot for state Supreme Court judge, Sixth Judicial District, met with members of the local bar, and community and political leaders this morning at The Otesaga, hosted by former assemblyman Tony Casale of Cooperstown. The three candidates, at center, from left, are Mark Masler, Cortland County; Chris Baker, Chemung County (hand on chair), and Oliver Blaise, Broome County.  From left are attorney Will Green; Vincent Russo, Bob O’Neill and Carrie Thompson, all of Cooperstown; state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford; Assemblyman John Salka, R-West Edmeston; attorneys Jill Poulson, Bob Poulson and David Clinton; Casale, attorney Martin Tillapaugh, Assemblyman Brian Miller, R-New Hartford, and John Shideler, incoming Otesaga general manager.    Masler, Cortland County is a former dairy farmer, Cornell Law School graduate (magna cum laude, 1993)  and principal law clerk since 2008 to state Supreme Court Judge Phillip Rumsey.  Baker, Chemung County judge, has also served as acting Supreme Court judge.  Blaise, Broome County elections commissioner, is a Syracuse University Law School graduate with more than two decades experience in state and federal courts.  (Jim Kevlin/
Hall Of Famer Lee Smith Returns For Golf Tourney


Hall Of Famer Lee Smith

Returns For Golf Tourney

Hall of Famer Lee Smith and wife Dyana, in back row, toured Pathfinder Village yesterday, along with Hall President Tim Mead, back left. Smith is celebrity host at the Pathfinder Village-Hall of Fame Celebrity Tournament underway today at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.

COOPERSTOWN – Class of 2019 Hall of Famer Lee Smith has returned this week to the scene of his Induction as celebrity host for the Pathfinder Village-Baseball Hall of Fame Golf Invitational, which begins today at the Leatherstocking Golf Course.

The former Chicago Cub will join 23 amateur foursomes on the 18th to support a golf event that raises scholarship funds for Pathfinder Village, the residential community in Edmeston for people with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities.

Sidewalk Work Wraps Up In Railroad Avenue Area

Sidewalk Work Wraps Up

In Railroad Avenue Area

Lloyd Stilson of Cooperstown’s DPW smooths out cement a few minutes ago in front of Spurbeck’s Grocery on Railroad Avenue. For the past two weeks, the crew has been replacing sidewalks on Railroad, Upper Main and Glen Avenue. Assisting Stilson are, from left, Jason Brengel, Nate Whitehead, Zach Crippen and Streets Superintendent Chris Satriano. This fall, the crew is planning to repave Mill Street, near Bassett Hospital, and adding sidewalks there, Satriano said. (Jim Kevlin/
New Officer Sworn In To Cooperstown Force

New Officer Sworn In

To Cooperstown Force

Terrell Silvera, sworn in this evening as the newest officer in the Cooperstown Police Department, is congratulated by his former Cooperstown High School principal, Gary Kuch.  Kuch recalled Silvera, while a student at CCS, telling the principal his life’s ambition – realized today – was to become a police officer.  Friends Lisa Brown and Nicholas Weir, left, attended to cheer him on, as did his fellow officers, right, Frank Cavalieri and Jim Kelman.  Inset, Officer Silvera is congratulated by his sister, Giovanna Malvasi.  Silvera joined the force over a year ago as a parking enforcement officer.  The new officer will be seeing quite a bit of his former principal, who is Otsego town justice (as well as director of the Clark Foundation Scholarship Program.)  (Jim Kevlin/

Kirn’s Closes Doors On 60-Year Tradition

Kirn’s Closes Doors

On 60-Year Tradition

  Owner Don Hoag Joining Wife Rosie

In Retirement, Puts Body Shop On Market

Don and Rosie Hoag this afternoon in front of Kirn’s Body Shop on Route 28 south of the Cooperstown village line. They hold a photo of the original Kirn’s, which opened in 1966 where the batting cages are today next to the Doubleday Field parking lot. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Kirn’s original wrecker from the 1960s. It was immediately called into service.

COOPERSTOWN – Forty-one years after Edward Kirn began teaching Don Hoag the auto-body repair business, the venerable Kirn’s Body Shop closed its doors for good on Friday, the owner-operator announced this afternoon.

Interviewed with his wife Rosemary, the founder’s daughter, by his side, Hoag gave three reasons:

  • “The changing industry, and what it takes to fix a car.”
  • “As you know, in this community, the help picture is really tight.”
  • Those two reasons led to a third: He realized he needed to reinvent the business, and at 60½ he and Rosie concluded it’s time to let go.

That decision made sense, they said, particularly since he and Rosie lost their son, Justin, age 32, of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on Sept. 27, 2016.  There’s no one to carry on the business.

Colleges Welcome 2,000 Students, One Chipmunk

Colleges Welcome 2,000

Students, One Chipmunk

It was an evening of new beginnings at the Oneonta colleges, as incoming freshmen from each took part in their respective ceremonies. At left, as SUNY Oneonta Provost Leamor Kahanov and Red laugh in amusement at a chipmunk that ran onto the promenade and went through the pillars at 7 p.m., ahead of them, much to the amusement of the 1,450 incoming SUNY freshmen participating in the annual Walk Through The Pillars tradition. At right, Hartwick President Margaret Drugovich at 7:30 p.m. walked with members of the Hartwick Hawks football team  Jon Jennings, David Gannon, Noah Socash and Jeremy Gerdvil, leading 425 incoming freshmen in the second annual Founders Walk’ up Oyaron Hill where they were welcomed to the college by the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonium men’s a cappella group. (Ian Austin/
Hanzolo Wins Battle Of Bands, Spot At Albany’s PearlPalooza

Hanzolo Wins Battle Of Bands,

Spot At Albany’s PearlPalooza

Hanzolo, the popular Cooperstown band, won WEQX’s Battle of the Bands last night at the Skyloft in Albany. The win gets them a spot at PearlPalooza, downtown Albany’s free music festival Sept. 14; they’ll perform at 1 p.m. The local band consists of Carl Loewenguth, vocals, guitar; Nick Summers, trumpet, keys; Jack Loewenguth, bass; Sebastian Green, drums; Nate Olmstead, aux percussion, drums; Joey Katz, sax, keys, and James Matson, trombone.
Seward’s Dairy Showmanship Skills On Display At Delaware County Fair

Seward’s Dairy Showmanship Skills

On Display At Delaware County Fair

For the third year in a row, state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, participated Friday in the VIP Dairy Showmanship event at the Delaware County Fair, teamed up with Madison Miller of Hobart, a Delaware Academy FFA member, and her Brown Swiss, Lavender. “It was inspiring to meet with several of our Delaware County FFA students at the Delaware County Fair and learn from them during the VIP Dairy Showmanship event,” said the senator, who is a consistent winner of the state Farm Bureau’s “Circle of Friends” award.
Drago Honored At Veteran’s Concert


Dean Of Oneonta

WWII Vets, Drago

Honored At Concert

Gene Schmidt, organizer of this afternoon’s 10th Mountain Division Jazz Band concert, shakes hand with World War II veteran Tony Drago, Oneonta, after Drago was honored with a surprise mayoral proclamation preceding this afternoon’s performance in the SUNY Alumni Field House. At 97, Drago is among the city’s oldest surviving veterans.  At right, soloist Sgt. Michelle Dykes, stationed Fort Drum near Watertown,  sings while accompanied by Specialist Derrick on tuba. (Ian Austin/

Artists Galore At Art On The Lake


Edmeston Carver Shines

At Annual Art On The Lake

It was colors, colors everywhere as art lovers flocked to the annual Art On The Lake, featuring plein air art (painted out of doors) this afternoon on the lawn behind The Fenimore Art Museum.  Above, David “R.C.” Oster, a pen-and-ink artist from Utica, shows a piece he is working on to Tariq and Rafat Hussain, Norwich, and Becky Gretton, Richfield Springs. At right, artist Chris Wakefield, who operates Wildwood Woodworking Edmeston, showed for the time and won the Audience Choice Award for his wood carvings. (Ian Austin/

Goal: Finish $9 Million Sewage-Treatment Plant By Jeter’s 2020 Induction

Goal: Finish $9 Million

Sewage-Treatment Plant

By Jeter’s 2020 Induction

Plaque At Site Will Commemorate

Ted Peters, Veteran Committee Chair

The contributions of Ted Peters, longtime chair of what’s now Cooperstown’s Board of Water & Sewer Commissioners, were recognized a few minutes ago at a groundbreaking on the village’s $9.1 million project to repair and upgade the water-treatment plant at the far end of CCS’ sports fields on the edge of the Susquehanna River. Because of Peters, a Harvard Ph.D. in biology and eminent Bassett Hospital researcher, the existing plant, dedicated on Sept. 6, 1969, and expected to last 25 years, has lasted 50, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch told a gathering of village officials and others. State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, reminded the audience the project is on track to be completed in time for Yankee legend Derek Jeter’s Induction next July into the Baseball Hall of Fame. With perhaps a record number of people in town, residents can thus be assured no environmental mishap will occur when the eyes of the world are focused on the village, the senator said. In her remarks, Mayor Tillapaugh said Seward obtained $2 million for the project and with other state grants added up to $6 million of the total cost. The state Environmental Fund provided $3 million in a 30-year zero-interest loan to cover the rest, she said. Gathered around Peters are, from left, former mayor Jeff Katz, Village Trustees Richard Sternberg, Cindy Falk and MacGuire Benton; Senator Seward, Trustee Jim Dean, Plant Operator John Cankar, current Water & Sewer board chair Anders Bergfjord, Mayor Tillapaugh and Trustee Joe Membrino. (Jim Kevlin/
Lakeside Audience Savor Thornton Wilder Classic


Lakeside Audience Savors

Thornton Wilder Classic

On ladders (signifying the upstairs of their next-door homes), future sweethearts George Gibbs (Marcus Hudson) and Emily Webb (Maria Noto) kindle their relationship, chatting window to window. The scene last evening is from Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town,” being performed this month by the GlimmerGlobe Theatre at the Lucy B. Hamilton Amphitheatre on Otsego Lake behind The Fenimore Art Museum. The seated girl is George’s sister Rebecca (Natalie Davis). In the foreground is Constable Warren (Tom Heitz) on his rounds. Performances are at 7 p.m. tomorrow, and subsequent Wednesdays and Fridays, Aug. 21, 23 and 29. In the play, the four are looking at the moon. And, as if on cue, the moon rose over Cooperstown. (Tara Barnwell/
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