News of Otsego County

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

Police & Fire

Underage Drinking Initiative Checks 13 Shops, All Compliant

Underage Drinking Initiative

Checks 13 Shops, All Compliant

SIDNEY – Troop C’s Underage Drinking Initiative is commending 13 stores, 12 in Chenango County and one in Otsego, found in compliance during a two-county check conducted Friday.

The Otsego store was Mirabito Convenience Store, 81 South Broad St., Morris.

The other 12 stores included nine in Norwich and three in Sherburne.   Five were Mirabitos and the others were with various companies.

Westville House Gutted As Wind Whips Flames


Westville House Gutted

As Wind Whips Flames

Brisk winds whipped the flames at a house at 2661 County Rte. 35 in the hamlet of Westville, and by the time it was doused, the building was gutted.  The Milford Fire Department took the call at 11:13 a.m., according to Second Asst. Fire Chief Damon West, and when the first truck arrived, fire coming out of two sides of the structure, mostly on the second floor, some on the first.  No one was home, but arrived about an hour into the fire. No injuries reported, although it is believed that some baby chicks and a cat may have perished in the fire.  The frame of the home, owned by Jon and Caleb Edgington, is still standing and intact. Although there is heavy fire damage, several rooms had the doors closed and were undamaged by the fire. The cause of the fire is under investigation. Mutual Aid provided by Cherry Valley, Middlefield, Westford, Schenevus, Cooperstown, Hartwick, Hartwick Seminary, Mount Vision and Laurens, with West Laurens and Oneonta on standby.  Milford firefighters were at the scene until almost 5 p.m.

With Temperatures In 60s, Brush Fire Season Begins

With Temperatures In 60s,

Brush Fire Season Begins

It didn’t take long. With temperatures in the 60s today for the first time since last fall, the Cooperstown Volunteer Fire Department was responded to the first brush fire of the season, near the intersection of Route 33 and Kraham Road just north of the Village of Cooperstown. No damage was reported. But be sure, more brush fires are to come. (Bill Waller/

Troopers Charge S.C. Driver Over Unregistered Gun, Pot

Troopers Charge S.C. Driver

Over Unregistered Gun, Pot

Devin Smith

WORCESTER – Troopers arrested a South Carolina man on gun and marijuana charges after pulling him over on I-88 in the Town of Worcester, Troop C reported today.

Last Friday, officers pulled over Devin I. Smith,  26, of Irmo, S.C. for speeding, and found an unregistered gun and a 15-round magazine in the glove compartment, the press release said.  In New York State, it’s illegal to have more than 10 rounds in an magazine.

Pacherille Released After Serving 8 Years For Shooting Student

Pacherille Released

After Serving 9 Years

For Shooting Student

Pacherille in 2011.

COOPERSTOWN – Anthony Pacherille, now 24, was released from the maximum-security Dannemora Correctional Facility Thursday after serving nine years of an 11-year sentence in the Good Friday 2010 shooting of a fellow student in Cooper Park.

After chasing Wes Lippitt into the Village Police Department, Pacherille winged him in the arm, then shot himself in through the chin, but survived when the bullet lodged behind his nose.




Oxford Man Charged With Stealing Guitars, TV

Police: Man Breaks Into

City Home, Takes Guitars


ONEONTA – An Oxford man was charged with breaking into a Chestnut Street home and stealing two guitars and a television after he allegedly tried to sell them at a music store in Norwich.

Kevin J. Begeal, 33, was arrested by Oneonta Police after the victim of the robbery reported that two Gibson guitars and a large screen TV were stolen from his home.

Man Charged With Drunk Driving, Leaving Scene Of Crash In Sidney

Man Charged With Drunk Driving,

Leaving Scene Of Crash In Sidney


UNADILLA – A Middletown man was arrested at the Kwik Fill gas station here at 3:11 p.m. yesterday after leaving the scene of a property-damage crash in Sidney, Troop C reports.

Robert J. Stutzer, 39, was also charged with Driving While Intoxicated and Aggravated Unlicensed Operation in the second degree, both misdemeanors, and several tickets.

Planning Board Approves Hampton Inn At Hartwick

Planning Board Approves

Hampton Inn In Hartwick

Cooperstown Will Reportedly Provide Ladder Truck
The is the prototype of the Hampton Inn & Suites that Skyline Hospitality is planning in Hartwick Seminary.

HARTWICK – Concluding firefighters’ concerns had been sufficiently met, the Hartwick Town Planning last night approved a four-story Hampton Inn & Suites in Hartwick Seminary.

Co-chairs Greg Korth and Alex Thomas, and board member Meg Kennedy, unanimously approved the project.

According to the meeting minutes, Cooperstown Fire Chief Jim Tallman said his department would respond to any fires at the site under its mutual aid agreement with Hartwick fire departments.

Sheriff’s Deputies Seized Mushrooms, Marijuana, From Car


Sheriff’s Deputies Seize

Mushrooms, Marijuana

Marijuana and psychedelic mushrooms were allegedly found in a car being driven by Skyler Blass and Treyton Hathaway.
Skyler Blass
Treyton Hathaway

ONEONTA – Otsego County Sheriff’s deputies arrested two teenagers and seized three pounds of psilocybin mushrooms and five pounds of marijuana after locating a vehicle that had allegedly fled the scene of an accident over the weekend.

Skyler D. Blass, 19, Otego, and Treyton J. Hathaway 18, Oneonta, were arrested after Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputies were alerted by Otsego County 911 to be on the lookout for a vehicle that had fled the scene of a crash in the Town of Davenport.

Cooperstown FD Douse Fire On County Route 28

Cooperstown FD Douses

Blaze On County Route 28

With the quick response of the Cooperstown Fire Department, a home in the Town of Otsego was saved from complete destruction. The fire, which is still under investigation, broke out at a home at the corner of Wedderspoon Hollow Road and County Route 28 just after noon on Saturday, but was put out in under an hour, according to Fire Chief Jim Tallman. Mutual aid was provided by Fly Creek, Springfield, Milford and Hartwick Seminary. Though the structure was damaged, it was not considered a total loss, and though the home is considered occupied, the owner was not at home during the fire. (Bill Waller Photo)
After Jury Trial, Schenectady ManGuilty Of Intending To Sell Cocaine

After Jury Trial, Schenectady Man

Guilty Of Intending To Sell Cocaine

Duane Oates

COOPERSTOWN – A Schenectady man, 25, faces up to 15 years in prison after he was convicted Friday of possession of cocaine last March 18 with intent to sell after a jury trial in the Otsego County Court.

The jury, consisting of eight men and four women, deliberated for three hours and 15 minutes before returning a verdict of guilty against Duane D. Oates, on a charge of Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance, Third Degree.

5 Homes EvacuatedAfter Gas-Bearing RigFlips On Interstate 88


5 Homes Evacuated

After Gas-Bearing Rig

Flips On Interstate 88

Tractor-Trailer Not XNG’s, Company Says

This compressed natural gas rig toppled off I-88 yesterday morning north of Cobleskill.   The owner of the shipment was not identified. (State Police photo)

CENTRAL BRIDGE – A tractor-trailer carrying compressed natural gas overturned Sunday morning on Interstate 88, shutting the highway and resulting in the precautionary evacuation of five homes, the Schenectady Gazette is reporting this morning.

The rig was not owned by XNG, that company that had been routing trucks through Otsego County, according to company Vice President Matt Smith.  Since last fall, most of those trucks have been rerouted into Chenango County.


Police: Man Ordered Dog To Attack Troopers

Police: Man Ordered Dog

To Attack State Troopers

Girlfriend Disputes Allegations About Pet
George Odbert

LAURENS – State police reported Thursday that they had arrested a Laurens man, George B. Odbert III, 32,  who troopers said ordered his dog to attack officers while they were investigating a “physical dispute.”

When they arrived at the County Route 12 home to investigate last Sunday evening, the alleged victim declined to press charges.  During the investigation, however, Odbert “became disorderly and refused to comply with any verbal commands,” according to the press release.

Friends Rally With GoFundMe For Cooperstown Police Chief

Friends Rally With GoFundMe

For Cooperstown Police Chief

Cooperstown Police Chief Mike Covert explains the “Angel” program he started in 2016 to help drug addicts get help.

COOPERSTOWN – Friends of Cooperstown Police Chief Mike Covert have put together a GoFundMe Campaign to raise money for his kidney transplant and other medical needs.

“Anyone who has met Michael K. Covert over the years knows that he would do anything for anyone and not expect a thing in return,” wrote Mike Ten Eyck, retired Sheriff’s deputy. “Mike has dedicated his life to helping others and now he needs our assistance.”

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