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

Missing Oneonta Man Found Safe


Missing Oneonta

Man Found Safe

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Chester S. Kucharski

ONEONTA – Chester S. Kucharski Jr., reported missing after leaving Bassett Hospital in January, has been found safe and in good health, according to Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner.

“He checked into the Super 8 Motel on Southside and used his own name,” said Brenner. “The clerk recognized him and called us.”

Kucharski, 67, was last seen on camera leaving Bassett around 3:50 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 25. He was considered a “vulnerable adult” at the time he was reported missing.

Man Charged With Stealing $18,000 From Food Pantry


Man Charged With

Stealing $18K From

Cooperstown Pantry

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Antoine Bourbon-Parm

COOPERSTOWN – The former co-director of the Cooperstown Food Pantry was arraigned at 12:30 p.m. today in Otsego Town Court, charged with stealing more than $18,000 from the organization.

Antoine Bourbon-Parme, also known as Anthony Cazzari, was sent to Otsego County Jail on $10,000 cash bail or $20,000 bond by Town Justice Gary Kuch.

According to the court documents, Bourbon-Parme forged the names of  Audrey Murray, retired director, Stacey Smith, director, and Sharon Oberriter, president, on eight checks, beginning in October 2017. The last check, dated Jan. 22, was for $1,852.38.

Shot In Foot, Subject Transported To Bassett

Shot In Foot, Subject

Transported To Bassett

COOPERSTOWN – Around 20 after 4 p.m., Otsego County 911 received a report from Edmeston of an accidental gunshot wound to the foot.

The injured party was transported by private vehicle to the New Berlin Fire Department, and was then transported by CMT and the New Berlin Emergency Squad to Bassett Hospital, where a considerable police presence was in evidence in the Emergency Room at late afternoon.

Police are required to investigate all gun-shot cases.

Suspect Steals Beer, Then Flees, Kicks Police, Troopers Report

Suspect Steals Beer, Flees,

Kicks Police, Troopers Report

Derek Zigon

SPRINGFIELD CENTER – A 26-year-old Cherry Valley man was arrested Sunday afternoon, accused of stealing beer from nearby Tom & Kelly’s Convenience Store and kicking two troopers when they tried to apprehend him, troopers report.

Troopers from Richfield Springs got involved when they learned an off-duty Otsego County deputy was pursuing Zigon up Route 80, according to a press release.  When they caught up with the suspect, he reportedly shattered a window to enter a house along Route 80.

Two Charged With Stealing, Selling Car Parts

Police: 2 Stole,

Sold Car Parts

Jesse Stefanelli
Shawn Campbell

MIDDLEFIELD – An employee of Wahl to Wahl Auto was arrested and charged with stealing car parts from his employer and selling them with another man, also arrested.

Shawn M. Campbell, 26, Delhi, was arrested by State Police at Richfield Springs after an investigation revealed that, while employed at Wahl to Wahl Auto in Middlefield, he had allegedly stolen several catalytic converters over several months and sold them.

Baking Mishap Causes Cherry Street Fire

Baking Mishap Causes

Fire On Cherry Street

Debris on the lawn of 9 Cherry Street, where an oven in an apartment caught fire last night. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – Plans for a pan of brownies went awry after an unknown debris in the oven of an apartment at 9 Cherry St. caught fire.

According to Jim Maloney, assistant fire chief, the call came in at 8:10 p.m. “They turned on the oven to pre-heat before making brownies and something in the oven caught fire,” he said. “The fire escaped and got into the structure.”

Accidents Overnight; Snow Brings Down Trees, Wires

12 Accidents Overnight;

Snow Fells Trees, Wires

Backyards in Cooperstown, and around Otsego County, were winter wonderlands this morning – the second day of spring! (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

The overnight snowstorm that continues today has caused a dozen accidents and brought down trees and wires across the county, reports Rob O’Brien, Otsego County 911 director.

“The roads are in very poor condition,” he said. “And we’re dealing with trees and wires down everywhere due to the weight of the snow.”

In Oneonta, city police have begun ticketing cars parked on streets, and reminds drivers if cars must be towed, owners must pay the cost.

In Cooperstown, Village DPW Superintendent Mitch Hotaling declared a snow emergency that began at 10 a.m. and continue until noon Saturday.  Parking is prohibited on village streets, and is available in the Doubleday Field Parking Lot.

Milford Mayor Brian Pokorny has also declared a snow emergency in that village through noon tomorrow.



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.

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