News of Otsego County

Police & Fire

Blaze Destroys Fly Creek Barn

Blaze Destroys Fly Creek Barn

Firefighters from Fly Creek arrived on the scene of a fully-involved barn fire at 12:40 p.m. this afternoon at 399 Hoke Road, Fly Creek, according to Rob O’Brien, Otsego Count 911 coordinator. No injuries were reported, and the fire was out just before 2:30 p.m., with no cause yet determined. Mutual aid was provided by Cooperstown, Hartwick, Hartwick Seminary, Schuyler Lake and Richfield fire departments. (Bill Michaels for



Firefighters Called To Christian Hill,

Where Wood Bull Loses Stored Antiques

Cooperstown firefighter Henry Stewart, top left, and Fire Captain Chris Satriano watch for flare-ups after a fast-moving fire leveled Kip Coburn’s barn this evening at 324 Williams Road on Christian Hill, Town of Otsego.   Coburn operates Wood Bull Antiques on Route 28, Milford, and said today the barn was used to store overflow antiques from that operation; all were lost.  Coburn’s son said the only animals in the barn were chickens, and they escaped to safety.  Inset, Cooperstown’s second assistant chief, Kevin Preston, moves debris to allow the flames to burn out.  Firefighters responded from Fly Creek, Hartwick, Hartwick Seminary, Schuyler Lake and Richfield Springs, as well as Cooperstown.  “They toned us all,” said Cooperstown firefighter Frank Capozza.  (Jim Kevlin/

Meridy Gets 22 Years In Worcester Slaying

First Defendant

Receives 22 Years

In Worcester Death

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Nicolas Meridy

COOPERSTOWN – Nicholas Meridy, who plead guilty to second-degree murder in the October 2019 death of Kenneth Robinson at his home in Worcester, was sentenced to 22 years to life in prison during a hearing in Otsego County Court this morning.

“I’m satisfied with it,” said District Attorney John Muehl. “After speaking with the family, that was the offer I made so we didn’t have to put them through a trial.”

State Police: Drunk Drive Drove Car Into Bar

State Police: Drunk Driver

Drove Car Into Mt. Vision Bar

MOUNT VISION – State police arrested a Mount Vision man after he allegedly crashed his car into Mandy’s Bar on Route 205 in Mount Vision.

Robert E. Ahlqvist, 67, was arrested after state police and Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the bar following reports that a vehicle had crashed into the building. According to a state police press release, troopers observed characteristics commonly associated with impairment, and Ahlqvist’s reportable B.A.C. was .13 percent.

Harvest Fest Organizer Arrested For Trespassing, Nuisance




As 1,500 Gathered On Hill, Knarich

Ignored Warnings, Sheriff Alleges

An attendee wanders through the 23 annual NY Harvest Fest & Freedom Fair/Political Rally Sunday afternoon atop Allen Road, Town of New Lisbon, about three miles northwest of Mount Vision. (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

George Knarich is being held at the county jail, pending his arraignment. He is expected to be released this evening.

NEW LISBON – The organizer of what’s been described as a pro-marijuana-legalization festival that drew as many as 1,500 people to a rural hilltop over the weekend was arrested this morning.

George A. Knarich, 55, is charged with violating Governor Cuomo’s executive orders against COVID-Era mass gatherings on land, it is further alleged, that had been seized by Otsego County as a tax foreclosure – he didn’t even own it.

According to Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr., his department received a tip that NY Harvest Fest & Freedom Fair/Political Rally, featuring music and vendors, was still scheduled, despite the executive order banning “non-essential gatherings” of 50 or more people.

Victim ID’d In Fatal Fly Creek Fire

Victim Identified In

Fatal Fly Creek Fire

FLY CREEK – The 77-year-old man who perished in the Sunday morning fire in Fly Creek was Robert L. Huestis, according to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer.

Emergency crews were called to the scene at 5:28 a.m. after a call was received by Otsego County 911 of a house fire with an entrapment at 168 Jones Road, near Oaksville. Fly Creek Volunteer Fire Department responded to the scene, where they found the fire confined to the rear bedroom, according to Chris Vuolo, Fly Creek Fire Chief.

Arrest Made In Mask Sign Vandalism

Arrest Made In

Mask-Sign Vandalism

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Cooperstown Police Chief Frank Cavalieri dusts one of the vandalized signs for fingerprints. (Jim Kevlin/

COOPERSTOWN – A Cooperstown man has been arrested and charged with criminal mischief after 10 of the Village’s “Mask on Main” signs were found yesterday with black X’s spray-painted on them.

According to Police Chief Frank Cavalieri, the alleged vandal, a white male, was arrested following an investigation after the three large signs were found dumped and vandalized in front of the District Attorney’s office. Seven of the smaller signs were found in Pioneer Alley.

Cooperstown ‘Masks On Main’ Signs Vandalized


‘Masks On Main’

Signs Vandalized 

Village Police Seek Suspects

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Overnight, someone marked big “Xes” on Cooperstown’s “Masks on Main” placards. (

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Police are investigating the vandalism of the Village’s three “Masks on Main” signs after they were found with a black X spray-painted over them.

“We believe it happened last night,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch.  “We noticed it first thing this morning.”

The vandalized signs were at the perimeters of the downtown where the mask ordinance is in place, including Church and Pioneer streets, Main and Chestnut streets, and in front of the Otsego County Building.

Police: Drunk Driver Hit Motorcyclist

Troopers: Drunk Driver

Hit Oneonta Motorcyclist

ONEONTA – A Mount Vision woman was arrested and charged with DWI after she allegedly struck a 78-year-old motorcyclist on Oneida Street.

According to Aga Dembinska, Troop C public relations officer, Cristina J. Tilton, 54, was traveling east on Oneida when she began turning left onto Country Club Road and into the path of a motorcycle being driven by Donald O. Fredenburg, 78, Oneonta, who was traveling west n Oneida Street.

Police: Teen Threatened Law Enforcement

Police: Teen Threatened

Law Enforcement Officers

ONEONTA – An Oneonta teenager was arrested after allegedly calling Otsego County 911 and threatening law enforcement with violence.

According to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C Public Relations officer, a teenager made approximately 40 illegitimate phone calls to Otsego County 911 between 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22. Some of the calls threatened violence against the 911 center and members of law enforcement, but did not specify an agency.

Oneonta Police: Two Arrested For Stealing From Cars


Homeless Man Arrested

For 4th Time Since July 31

Chief: Drug Abuse At Root; No Help Available

ONEONTA – Oneonta Police report arresting a second homeless man for stealing items from unlocked cars over the past week, and it’s the fourth time the suspect was arrested  two months.

Keegan Allen, 22, homeless, was arrested following a report that someone had been rifling through cars on Hudson Street. Allen was located near the scene and admitted to going into cars and taking items, police said.

According to Oneonta Police Chief Doug Brenner, Allen also was arrested on July 31 for criminal possession of a controlled substance, on Aug. 12 for taking items from a vehicle, and on Aug. 20 for shoplifting, and was issued an appearance ticket for each.

“It’s sad,” said Brenner. “The base problem is substance abuse, and we can’t get him the help he needs.”

Two Years After Bones Found, Wife Arrested In Laurens Man’s Murder

2 Years After Bones Found,

Wife Arrested, Charged

In Laurens Man’s Murder

LAURENS – The wife of a Laurens man reported missing two years ago was arrested on murder charges this morning, following two years of investigations after his remains were discovered in the backyard of their home in Clermont, Fla.

Laurie Leigh Shaver was charged with second-degree Homicide (domestic violence) and Accessory After the Fact to second-degree Homicide in connection with the death of her husband, Michael Shaver, who hadn’t been heard from by friends or family since late 2015.

Homeless Man Arrested For Stealing From Cars

Homeless Man Arrested

For Stealing From Cars

ONEONTA – A homeless man was arrested by state troopers and charged with stealing items from cars on Southside Drive and Glen Drive in Oneonta, according to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C Public Information Officer.

Eric M. Meade, 26 (Homeless) of Oneonta, was arrested after troopers were dispatched to a complaint of a theft in progress on Southside Drive in the town of Oneonta just after 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13.

Off-Duty Otsego Sheriff’s Deputy Wounds Child In Accidental Shooting

Off-Duty Otsego Deputy

Wounds Child, Woman

In Accidental Shooting

CAMDEN – An off-duty Otsego County Sheriff’s Deputy injured a child and a woman after accidentally discharging the loaded handgun he had in his pocket while dining at a Camden restaurant last night, according to Trooper Jack Keller, Troop D Public Information Officer.

The preliminary investigation reveals that the Deputy was seated at a table at the Grape and Grog Restaurant on Taberg Street in Camden when he accidentally discharged one round from a handgun stored in his pocket.  According to Keller, the round exited through the bottom of his pocket, through his pants, and ricocheted off the concrete floor.

Police Reported ‘Multiple’ Thefts From Unlocked Cars

Police Reported ‘Multiple’

Thefts From Unlocked Cars

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown police today reported “multiple” thefts from unlocked vehicles in the village between midnight Wednesday and 3-4 a.m.  Thursday, and advised residents to lock their cars.

The investigation determined loose change and any cash increments were the only items taken, if at all, as some vehicles were just left in disarray.

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