News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
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Cooperstown F.D. Hosts Kids At Christmas Party

Cooperstown F.D. Hosts

Kids At Christmas Party

Santa (Paul Bedworth) and Bob Cratchit (Bob Satriano) await the arrival of a couple of hundred youngsters Saturday afternoon at the Cooperstown fire hall on Chestnut. The firefighters annual Christmas party for local children also including county Correctional Officers Rich Mann and Lynda May, who were fingerprinting youngsters as part of the sheriff’s department Safe Children ID Program. (Patrick Wager/

On Today, Cooperstown Native Recalls Work With George Bush

On Today, Cooperstown Native

Recalls Work With George Bush

Cooperstown native and NBC’s TODAY senior producer Karen Trosset, second from left in this photo from Kennebunkport, Maine, where President George H.W. Bush maintained a summer home, has worked on numerous projects with Jenna Bush Hager and the Bush family. In her own words, she remembers President George H.W. Bush.


Nutcracker Dazzles On Opening Night

Nutcracker Dazzles

On Opening Night

The Fokine Ballet opened it’s 30th year this evening with it’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s holiday classic “The Nutcracker”. Above, dancers Sabrina Blacklock, Zherlin Ndudi, Sarah Vesterfelt, Chase Vining,Bel Pickering, Micheal Wozniak, Hilary Reiter, Joseph Oster, Natalia Chersia and Patrick Lennon fill the stage during one of the final numbers. Below, guests of the Silberhouse party marvel at the mechanical soldier dolls (Sariah Vesterfelt and Juliana Fauth). Performances continue tomorrow at 1pm & 7pm. (Ian Austin/

Ethics Board Chair Kim Muller Resigns


Ethics Board Chair

Kim Muller Resigns

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Kim Muller

ONEONTA – A year and a month since it was revived and with no cases heard yet, the Otsego County Board of Ethics has suffered another setback.

Its chairman, Kim Muller, the former Oneonta mayor who recently stepped down at Otsego County Democratic chair, has advised county board Chair David Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, that she will depart when her term expired at the end of this month.

“My professional obligations are likely to become an impediment for scheduling Committee meetings moving forward,” she said in an e-mail to Bliss.

Merry And Bright

Merry & Bright

Tree Lighting Brings Out

Animals, Dancers, Food

Main Street was a flurry of activity as holiday revelers hit the streets to attend the annual Christmas Tree lighting this evening in Muller Plaza. Applause and cheers filed the air after a countdown by Mayor Gary Herzig, Town Supervisor Bob Wood and Santa Claus. Afterward,  Santa, seen above giving a high-five to Oneonta’s Avalon Hermann and her parents Brian and Loren, met with children in his holiday house to discuss their wish lists. Dancers Chase Vining and Sariha Vestefeld, right, and other members of the Fokine Ballet, could be seen twirling in windows throughout downtown promoting this weekend’s presentation of “The Nutcracker.” While children from local schools searched for their ornaments on the tree, local organizations served refreshments, sang carols, gave horse-drawn carriage rides, and gave out hand warmers.(Ian Austin/

County Treasurer Deployed In 2019

County Treasurer

Deployed In 2019

Ruffles Called To Horn of Africa

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Allen Ruffles during recent county budget discussions.

COOPERSTOWN – Allen Ruffles, in his first year as county treasurer, has received word he will be deployed to the Horn of Africa early in 2019, perhaps for nine months.

As his predecessor Dan Crowell, he is in the Army Reserves, serving as an E5 sergeant in the 403rd Civil Affairs Delta Company.  Crowell was also deployed for nine months during his term as treasurer.

Ruffles deputy, Andrew Crisman, formerly a longtime banker with NBT Bank, would handle county treasurer duties in his boss’s absence.

Common Council Votes To Name Airport In Sam Nader’s Honor

Council Names City Airport

After Ex-Mayor Sam Nader

“This was the single greatest point of pride in my dad’s life,” said former mayor John Nader, as he accepted a plaque this evening after Common Council unanimously voted to rename the Oneonta Municipal Airport as The Albert S. Nader Regional Airport. Nader, president of SUNY Farmington, who drove up for the event,  read a statement from his father, who remarked, “I regret that I am unable to be with you tonight, but I want to thank each and every one of you for bestowing this honor on me.” The vote was broadcast on the city’s Facebook page, allowing Sam to watch from home. With Nader is Mayor Gary Herzig, who presented the idea to Council just before Thanksgiving. (Ian Austin/

Ugly Sweaters, Good Humor Abound At Cooperstown 4K

Ugly Sweaters, Good Humor

Abound At Cooperstown 4K

It was ugly. Participating in today’s Ugly Sweater 4K & Walk today in Cooperstown included, in top photo, Benjamin Kelly of Otego, right, his sister, Anoel Kelly of Cooperstown (in a not-so-ugly number) and their friend David Chase. Lower left, Cooperstown’s Frank Wilsey, right, who came in second, high-fives winner Mark Stephenson (24:57), left, and third-place Bill Slentz, Sherburne, center. Lower right, Oneonta’s Lydia Dillon races across the finish line, coming in second in the women’s division after Sarah Renaud of Oxford.  The event is sponsored by the Clark Sports Center and the Coopertown Chamber of Commerce.  (28:03) (Jim Kevlin/
Cookies, Crafts At Unitarian Universalist Society

Delicious Treats, Cool Wares

At Annual Cookies, Crafts Show

Dr. Ben Friedell, Oneonta, chats with Gregory Maydig, Gilbertsville, over a table of jams and mustards, which Maydig has brought to the annual Cookies & Crafts sale at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Oneonta for the past 17 years. The sale, ongoing until 3 p.m. brings together bakers, crafters and artists for the annual gift marketplace. (Ian Austin/
Here Comes Santa Claus!

Here Comes Santa Claus!

Emcee “Big Chuck” D’Imperio, right, stands high above a packed crowd that gathered on Main Street this morning to welcome Santa back to Oneonta with big cheers and happy smiles during the annual Santa Parade. Santa will spend the afternoon in his cottage in Muller Plaza, hearing good boys and girls’ Christmas wishes. And once you’ve seen Santa, you can go down to Foothills to see the Gingerbread Jubilee and join in the cookie fun. At right, Brittany Boyke, Davenport, helps her little penguin – daughter Alexis Merwin – decorate a delicious holiday treat. The fun at Foothills continues until 3 p.m.

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