News of Otsego County

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


On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor Reports On Police Chief In Dire Straits

On WAMC’s ‘Morning Headlines’, Editor

Reports On Police Chief In Dire Straits

Police Chief Mike Covert holds up medical devices and prescription drugs he needs daily to stay alive.

On this week’s “Morning Headlines” on WAMC/Northeast Public Radio, Jim Kevlin, editor/ publisher of (and Hometown Oneonta & the Freeman’s Journal), reports on how Cooperstown Village Police Chief Mike Covert was down to $17 after the County of Otsego cancelled his medical insurance and the Village Board declined to put him on the village plan.  Only a GoFundMe drive organized by a former colleague of Mike’s in the sheriff’s department, Mike Ten Eyck, help keep the chief from destitution.

County Treasurer DepartingFor Year’s Mission In Africa

Army Reserves Deploys Allen Ruffles

County Treasurer Departing

For Year’s Mission In Africa

County Treasurer Allen Ruffles and wife Amy were downtown this afternoon doing last-minute errands before he departs this evening for a year-long deployment in Africa. An E5 sergeant in the 403rd D Civil Affairs Company, Army Reserves, Syracuse, he will be based in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti, in the Horn of Africa.  He has received his first month-long assignment: on a four-man team training game wardens in Tanzania to help stem poaching on game reserves there. While Ruffles is away, his deputy, Andrew Crisman, will handle the office, although the treasurer is taking a fully loaded laptop with him.  That will allow him to communicate with Crisman, particularly during the development of next year’s county budget, a process that  begins this summer. An Edmeston native, Ruffles taught at Laurens Central, then spent several years in banking before his election to succeed Dan Crowell in November 2017. (Jim Kevlin/
Prepared, Brimmer Immediately Gets On With The Job At Hand

Prepared, Brimmer

Immediately Gets On

With The Job At Hand

26-Year Veteran New County Roads Chief
His first day on the job, county Highway Superintendent Rich Brimmer, left, touches bases with Shop Supervisor Jason Hornbeck, Decatur, at right, and mechanic Shawn Neuschel, Richfield Springs, in the county Highway Garage on Linden Avenue, Cooperstown. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Brimmer pauses in front of a Peterburg plow truck, one of 16 acquired during the just-completed tenure of his predecessor, Bill Mason.

COOPERSTOWN – Rich Brimmer believes he’s part of a success story, and as the newly appointed Otsego County highway superintendent, he intends to extend it.

Selected yesterday by the county Board of Representatives, he was at the superintendent’s desk this morning, as he’s been as deputy superintendent since Bill Mason – “a great mentor” – retired last November after three years on the job.

Chamber Honors Longtime Members

Chamber Honors

Longtime Members

The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce held a recognition ceremony for 10- and 20-year members at a Business After Hours event in the Foothills Atrium. Above, the honorees pose for a group photo. Front row: Pat Knuth, ARC Otsego; Lizbeth Parent, Corning; Alicia Fish, Catskill Area Hospice; Mary Ann Bollinger, Community Bank, and Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA. Back row: Chris Hobert, Springbrook; Paul Landers, Pathfinder Village; Jim Kevlin, The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and; Alan Sessions, CDO Workforce; Nick Savin, ONC BOCES; Pete Armao, Country Club Auto; Dave Ohman, Delaware Engineering; Chris Kuhn, Oneonta Job Corps Academy, and Johnna Peachin, Peachin &  Associates. At right, Otsego County Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan, presents Chris Kuhn, director of OJCA, with his certificate marking 10 years with the chamber. (Ian Austin/

Rich Brimmer PromotedTo County Highway Chief

Rich Brimmer Promoted

To County Highway Chief

COOPERSTOWN – Rich Brimmer, deputy superintendent of the Otsego County Highway Department, was promoted today to succeed retiring Highway Superintendent Bill Mason.

Brimmer, who lives in Burlington Flats, has served as Mason’s deputy since 2017, and is a longtime member of the 50-person department.  He served as construction supervisor before being promoted to deputy.

The county Board of Representatives approved his selection today after an executive session.

Locals: Mar. 07 – 08 2019




Ian Austin/The Freeman’s Journal –  Tom Hickey, Fly Creek, enjoys a hearty bowl of sausage and bean soup among friends at the annual Empty Bowls Supper, which hosted a near-record crowd Saturday, March 2. Around 200 people attended the the annual luncheon, which raises funds for the Cooperstown Food Pantry by selling handmade bowls filled with soup from 10 local restaurants.


Orzetti At ‘Chesapeake Lobby Day’ In D.C.

COOPERSTOWN – Leslie Orzetti, Executive Director for Otsego County Conservation Association (OCCA) will be part of a delegation to meet with New York Members of Congress in Washington, DC on March 6. The delegation is meeting to discuss the importance of maintaining programs to help protect water quality in the NY portion of the Chesapeake Bay watershed as part of Chesapeake Bay Lobby Day, organized by the Choose Clean Water Coalition.
“This is my first time attending ‘Chesapeake Bay Lobby Day’ with the Choose Clean Water Coalition, and I am proud to represent NY and our headwaters portion of the watershed,” said Orzetti.
Orzetti, the designated New York Outreach Lead for the Choose Clean Water Coalition (CCWC), will be joined by other New York members of the coalition including Emily Dekar (Upper Susquehanna Coalition), Mike Sellitti (Sidney Center Improvement Group), Jim Pfiffer (Friends of the Chemung Watershed), and Ramsay Adams (Catskill Mountain Keeper).
The group is scheduled to meet with Representatives Antonio Delgado (NY-19), Anthony Brindisi (NY-22) and Tom Reed (NY-23), and Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand. Topics to be covered include funding appropriations for the EPA Chesapeake Bay Program, conservation programs included in the Farm Bill, the Clean Water State Revolving Fund, and new rules proposed that decrease protection for waterways under the Clean Water Act.


Cooperstown Farmers’ Market Profiled In ‘Country Folks’ Magazine

COOPERSTOWN – The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market was profiled in the most recent issue of Country Folks Magazine, a weekly regional agricultural industry magazine for the East Coast.
A story by Troy Bishopp highlighted the market’s history, the winter market and profiles market manager Josie Maroney, calling her “a youthful, exuberant, passionate leader.”
“For baseball fans, opera singers, tourists and local residents, the Cooperstown Farmers’ Market hits a home run in the local food field of dreams – even in winter” wrote Bishopp.
The Cooperstown Farmers’ Market was also named to the 2019 Class of the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce Hall of Fame.


GROFF TALK: National Book Award finalist Lauren Groff will discuss her next novel, which focuses on early American captivity narratives, at Harvard University, on Wed., Mar. 13. Groff, the author of “Florida” and “Fates & Furies,” is the 2018–2019 Suzanne Young Murray Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute.



Famous Americans Populate CCS Halls

Famous Americans

Populate CCS Halls

If it’s Albert Einstein in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown Central School, it must be the “Night of the Notables,” the culmination of eighth graders studying famous historical figures. Parent Bill Weldon, in top photo, (daughter Bradley was at another booth), confers with the famous physicist (Ben Grampp), as well as Stan Lee (Andrew Mulligan) and Steven Speilberg (Felix Palmer).  In the background is Abraham Lincoln (Savannah Ackley). Also on hand were, inset left, Christopher Columbus (Fred Hodgson) and, at right, Ben Carson (Aliyah Romulus) and many other of the rich and FOY-muss. (Jim Kevlin/

Fox Debuts Fantasy-Romance Novel At Green Toad

Fox Debuts Fantasy-Romance

 Novel At Green Toad

Amanda Fox, right, reads a passage from her new fantasy-romance novel “Rogue Fate” to friend Jess Brown, mother Donna Conrad, dad Gary and brother Scott, seen above, at the Green Toad on Saturday afternoon where she was signing copies. The book, the first book in The Rogue series, was released in January and is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kabo as an ebook, and an audiobook. Fox is currently working on the sequel “Dragon’s Scars”. More info on Fox and her books can be found at (Ian Austin/

Table Rock Bouldering Cuts Ribbon On Indoor Adventure

Table Rock Bouldering

Cuts Ribbon On Adventure

Mayor Gary Herzig heralds Table Rock Bouldering as “a business that is exactly right for Oneonta,” at the rock climbing venue’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday evening. Standing next to the mayor are, from left, proprietor Jay Shultis, Barbara Ann Heegan,  Otsego County Chamber of Commerce president, and manager Luke Malone. In back, Eamon Connors demonstrates his gravity-defying climbing abilities. (Jennifer Hill/
Susquehanna SPCA Travels To Beirut On Goodwill Mission

Susquehanna SPCA Travels

To Beirut On Goodwill Mission

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – As many as 13 dogs will get a second chance as part of a sponsored goodwill mission to Beirut, Lebanon.

Stacie Haynes, Susquehanna SPCA executive director, and Sara Haddad, licensed veterinary technician, are embarking Thursday on the mission of mercy.

“We are honored to have been selected for this goodwill mission and are proud to share best practices we have learned and implemented here at the Susquehanna SPCA with an organization working toward the same goal on the other side of the world,” said Haynes.

40 Year In Position, Oneonta Town Clerk Announces Retirement

40 Years In Position,

Oneonta Town Clerk

Announces Retirement

Cheryl Shackelton

WEST ONEONTA – Cheryl Shackelton, Oneonta town clerk for the last 40 years, has announced her retirement effective May 29, 2019.

“This will be an enormous loss for the town,” said Town Supervisor Bob Wood this afternoon.  “Cheryl’s experience and organization skills will be very difficult to replace.  “Her personality perfectly fit the role of town clerk,” he said.

Wood said there are no health issues; that she simply wants to spend more time with her grandchildren.

Spirit Fest Offers Positive Vibes

Positive Vibes At Spirit Fest

Loretta Holdredge, manager of her store, Mystic Nook, and John Wargo tally up customer Rhannon Ham’s selections at the Cabin Fever Spirit Fest on Saturday23. People flocked to the annual festival for psychic readings, spiritual advice and to purchase items to assist in spiritual healing and development, such as crystals, Tarot cards, and Selenite lights, which claim to “clean negative energy.” The Mystic Nook opened in August 2018 at the Institute for Spiritual Development, 45 Dietz St., Oneonta. (Jennifer Hill/
Winter Frolics At SUNY College Camp

Winter Fun, Frolics At

SUNY College Snow Days

Vassil Dubbe, right, watches after throwing his snow snake while Roger Longtoe, an Abenaki tribe member from Vermont, beats a drum and shouts “Let’s go, snake!” in the Abenaki language. The Winter Fun event, held this afternoon at SUNY Oneonta’s College Camp featured, among other activities, this “snow snake throw,” a game invented by the Abenaki Native American tribe where participants throw a smooth, pointed wooden pole through a narrow slide made in the snow and compete to see whose will go the farthest. The poles are called snow snakes” because they undulate like snakes as they slide. (Jennifer Hill/AllOTSEGO.c0m)


Cooperstown Chamber Names New Director From Elmira Chamber

Cooperstown Chamber

Chooses New Director

From Elmira Chamber

Tara Burke To Succeed Matt Hazzard April 8,
Will Attend Annual Member Meeting March 28
Tara Burke

COOPERSTOWN – Tara Burke, director of communications and program development for the Chemung County Chamber of Commerce in Elmira, has been selected at Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce executive director, effective April 8, it was announced today.

She plans to attend the annual meeting on March 28 at Brewery Ommegang, so members will get a first chance to meet her then.

Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103