News of Otsego County

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



Race Day Goes Virtual, But Skies Remain Clear

27th Annual Pit Run On Through Oct. 31

Race Day Goes Virtual,

As Skies Remain Clear

Since the first race in 1994, it has never once rained on the day of the annual Pit Run, and that track record continued today as Mike Rubino, Bob Scanlon, Eric Michelitsch, and Nancy Scanlon joined Deb and Sid Parisian this morning in Neahwa Park to honor fallen Trooper Ricky J. Parisian at the traditional finish line for the annual PIT Run, which is being held virtually throughout October. A few racers did come down to the park to run the 5 and 10K courses, including family friend Don Guinta, who was “first” to cross the finish line with a time of 36:29. New this year is the 100K challenge, where runners and walkers can add up their daily totals to try and reach a 62 mile goal. Registrations are open through Oct. 15.  (Ian Austin/

27th PIT Run, Underway – Virtually!

27th Annual PIT Run,

Underway – Virtually!

Deb and Sid Parisian stand next to the banner for the 27th annual PIT Run, which has gone virtual for the entire month of October. The race officially kicked off yesterday, but racers can still sign up individually or with a team to pool their totals and hit the 100K challenge. While Race Day – locally known as “The Best Day in Oneonta” – will not be taking place this year, the Parisians have already heard that there will people in Neahwa Park on Sunday, walking and running the course. “Runners can see their cumulative results daily online.” said Sid. “While there are no prizes, awards will still be given and mailed out at the end of the month to the participants.” (Ian Austin/
Recovery Run Virtual This Year, But Family Still Gathers To Reflect

Recovery Run Virtual This Year,

But Family Gathers To Reflect

Cathy Rothenberger, left, runs with granddaughters Addison, front, and Piper, left, in Neahwa Park marking the start of the 2020 Rothenberger Road to Recovery Run, in memory of her son Lucas. The race, organized by Friends of Recovery of Delaware-Otsego has gone virtual this year, allowing people from across the country to compete for the highest cumulative distance now through September 30. Friends and family gathered for a small ceremony this morning in solidarity to share memories and show support for community members struggling with addiction. “If people have the opportunity to open up, it helps relieve some of the pain.” said Cathy Rothenberger, as she stood with husband Dale. “There are resources and committed members of this community who can help you. We are a society of helping people and I hop that people can take advantage of that.”(Ian Austin/

Teams Enjoy The Green At Chamber Golf Classic

Chamber Golfers Hit Links

Tom Thetford, Wayne Carrington and Joe Harmer, look on as Patti Canner takes lines up the shot on the green during this afternoon’s 34th Annual Golf Classic at the Oneonta Country Club, sponsored by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce. Teams kept socially distant as their made their way though the golf course and tried their luck at trying to win a car by making a hole-in-one. (Ian Austin/

Dr. Fauci’s ‘First Pitch’ Mask Donated To Hall of Fame

Fauci’s ‘First Pitch’ Mask

Donated To Baseball Hall

Dr. Anthony Fauci’s Washington Nationals mask was donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame. (Milo Stewart Jr./National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum)

COOPERSTOWN –  Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is now part of baseball history

The Washington Nationals-themed mask that Fauci wore to throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 2020 Major League Baseball season, ahead of the game the Nationals and the Yankees on Thursday, July 23, has been donated to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Hill City Rollers Skate Against Hate

The Hill City Rollers

Skate Against Hate

Baby Lace, Mrs. Boutfire and Bizzy Cheap Skate lead a a group around Neahwa Park this morning at the Hill City Roller Derby team took a stand against hate. The demonstration was part of the Worldwide Roll Out Day: Roll To Erase Hate movement started by skating coach Skate Fan Tazee out of Atlanta. “We wanted to get people from the rolling community to promote positivity and safe spaces in our community.” explained Mrs. Boutfire (aka Robin Williams, Oneonta) “We want to be open to all people. Derby is about anyone being able to do it regardless of color, body type, gender, or how much you have skated. This is an all-inclusive sport!” The group met at the skatepark and rolled their way around the park with their signs. “Anything we can do to make a statement.” said Jim Ruffo, Oneonta, “We will not stand for hate.”(Ian Austin/




COOPERSTOWN – As many as 90,000 fans were anticipated in Cooperstown for this year’s July 26 Induction of Yankees’ superstar Derek Jeter.

But instead of a potential record-breaking crowd, USA Today revealed this week, the Clark Sports Center field may be empty.

“With the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the country – with 292,000 cases in New York – there is little choice but to push it back a year and combine the two Hall of Fame classes,” baseball columnist Bob Nightengale posted Tuesday, April 28, on

“If that is the case, postponing is probably the best-case scenario,” said Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch. “I had a hard time envisioning that there would be any mass gathering prior to antibody testing or a vaccine.”

Though Jon Shestakofsky, Hall vice president/communications & education, said Nightengale’s piece is “not entirely accurate,” he did say the Hall of Fame board of directors will be meeting this week, and “at some point this week we should have a decision to share.”

County board Chairman, Dave Bliss, R-Cooperstown/Town of Middlefield, said despite challenges to the column’s accuracy, “we’re curious to see what they actually come out with. Obviously, it would be a disappointment for everyone if it doesn’t happen, but it’s not surprising given the current circumstances.”

“I’m not surprised,” said Vinnie Russo, owner of Mickey’s Place and dean of the Main Street merchants. “At a minimum I thought it would be delayed until the fall.”

With 600 hotel rooms in Greater Cooperstown and another 1,000 rooms in Oneonta getting a four-day premium of perhaps $1,000 each, he estimated that lost revenue alone as heading toward $2 million.

Mickey’s Place, which sells premium baseball caps, is open year ’round, but “if your business opens your door on Memorial Day and closes Labor Day, it’s substantially greater than that.”

County Rep. Andrew Marietta, Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, the senior Democrat on the county board, said he wasn’t surprised either and, with the COVID-19 budget crunch, the county board was otherwise occupied.

“From the county’s perspective,” he added, “I didn’t hear any talk about there not being an Induction. I don’t even think it’s been on the table. The county is focused on preparing for (reductions) in funding.”
According to Nightengale, the Hall dismissed the idea of a “virtual” ceremony early on.

“Half of the feeling of Induction is just being there,” said Tillapaugh. Still, perhaps merchants could use the summer without baseball to “re-imagine” their businesses.

“Many businesses have an online component that may tide them over,” she said. “We can use this as a regrouping year, and have a safe induction
next year.”

Baseball Hall Of Fame President: 2021 Induction Still ‘The One’

The One’s Still The One – Later

Jeter’s Celebration

Lives, Only In 2021,

Hall President Says

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Tim Mead

COOPERSTOWN – Just because Derek Jeter’s induction has been postponed for a year doesn’t mean that we’ve missed out on the big one.

“His induction will still be the one,” said Tim Mead, president, Baseball Hall of Fame. “Instead of focusing on it for five years, we’ll have to focus for six. But it will still be a celebratory event, and we’ll all be glad to have it back.”


Facility Offered To Bassett




By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Citing the “best interest” of community, employees and traveling players and families, Cooperstown Dreams Park has announced it will be closed for the 2020 season.

“Cooperstown Dreams Park was hoping to avoid this outcome,” says a letter on its website. “But it is the only responsible course of action.”

All teams will receive a 100 percent refund or the option of future participation, and employees will remain at work “to the extent permitted by the mandates of Governor Cuomo.”

Cooperstown Boys Fall To Weedsport

Cooperstown Boys Fall

To Weedsport In Sectionals

Despite a strong early showing by Hawkeyes newcomer Kaishaun Jefferson, center, the Hawkeyes were cut down 61-52 by the Weedsport Warriors this afternoon at OCC in the Section III championships. Weedsport got an early lead on the 2019 state champs, who quickly caught up, and by halftime, dominated the court 29-19.  The third quarter saw Weedsport pull up and match the Hawkeyes basket for basket, tightening their lead through the start of the fourth quarter, where a series of fouls gave Weedsport an opportunity to collect free-throws. At right, Dillon Burns and Ryan Lansing lament on the bench at the end of the game. But there was something to celebrate; Lansing and Jefferson were both named Section III MVPs. (Ian Austin/


CCS Tops Weedsport, 58-37



Class C Title Comes To Coop

The CCS Lady Hawkeyes hoist the Section III banner after winning the Class C title a few minutes ago at Onondaga Community College, Syracuse, defeating the Weedsport Warriors 58-37. The Lady Hawkeyes scored early and never let up; though the Warriors tightened the score in the third quarter, they were hindered by a series of fouls, allowing Hawkeyes like Piper Seamon, left, to add points from the free throw line, and by the fourth quarter the Hawkeyes had a comfortable lead. Seamon, along with teammate Kate Donnelly, were named as Section III MVPs. The girls, who also took the Class C championship in 2016, go on to the state tournament next weekend in Binghamton and could pick up their second state title. (Ian Austin/

Avery Leonard, Team Cheered On Returning From NY Championship


Avery Leonard, Team

Cheered On Returning

From NY Championship

Standout grappler Avery Leonard of Milford, along with members of the Cooperstown-Milford Team that wrestled in the NYSHSAA State Wrestling Championships over the weekend at the Times Union Center in Albany, wave to a crowd along Main Street, Cooperstown, from atop the village’s ladder truck on their return at noon today.  From right are Tyler Wilfeard, Lowell Wilsey, Logan Doucas, Logan Kantor, Leonard and TJ O’Connor. Wrestling in the 120-pound category, Leonard pinned his first three opponents, bowing in the finals to Honeoye Falls-Lima’s Anthony Noto, who also won that category last year.  Inset, cheering fans included, from left, CCS Swim Teach Coach Cheryl Rock, CCS school board member Marcy Birch and her husband Bob, the local lawyer, and CCS Athletic Director Dave Bertram. (Jim Kevlin/

THE BOYS ARE BACK! Parade of Firetrucks Escort 2 Injured Firefighters Home


Parade of Firetrucks Escorts

2 Injured Firefighters Home

Injured Cooperstown firefighters (in top photo) Jon Roach, left, and Scott Monington are welcomed back to the village at 2:15 this afternoon by fellow volunteers Chuck Hascup of Hartwick, John Phillips of Fly Creek and Mike Donnelly of Cooperstown. Cooperstown EMS leaders Eric Pierce and Joel Bostwick, who had shaved their heads in solidarity with their injured colleagues, picked up Roach and Monington this morning in a Cooperstown ambulance from the burn unit at Upstate Medical Center, Syracuse.  Meanwhile, county Assistant Emergency Service Deputy Director Victor Jones and Cooperstown Fire Department Vice President Glen Falk planned a parade, inviting the other departments that fought the fire to gather at the Clark Sports Center at 1:30.  Middlefield, Fly Creek, Hartwick, Springfield, Cherry Valley and other departments supplied engines, which proceeded over Murphy Hill, up Route 166 and past the site of the fire in the hamlet of Middlefield, where they were greeted by cheers from wellwishers there.  In bottom left photo, Cooperstown Fire Chief Jim Tallman, who was himself injured and treated at Bassett Hospital, discusses last Wednesday’s events with Middlefield firefighters.  Lower right, Otego Firefighter Rebecca Chambers, who knew Roach from her work with the AMR ambulance service, drove up with kids Monica and Jasper to cheer him on.  Helping Monica hold the sign is Lizzy Mott of Middlefield.  (Jim Kevlin /
Boys, Girls Head For Class C Finals


Boys, Girls Head

For Class C Finals

Kennedy, Piper Seamon Shine In Hard-Fought Games

The CCS Hawkeyes boys and girls varsity basketball teams head back to Onondaga Community College next Saturday for the Class C championship games after beating, respectively, West Canada Valley, 78-70, and Onondaga Central, 51-48, in action-packed sectional semi-finals at OCC this afternoon.  In top photo, CCS center John Kennedy shows his offensive prowess (16 points), but also locked up the key on defense. #11 Keishaun Jefferson chalked up 15 points, hammering home foul shot after foul shot. Spencer Lewis (18) and Ryan Lansing (12) also made double-digit contributions.  Most impressive was how the team pulled together in the second half to turn a 32-29 half-time deficit into the 78-70 victory.  Inset right, Lady Hawkeye Piper Seamon goes head-to-head with Onondaga’s Avi Baker, as both guards drove their teams through a game that seesawed back and forth to Coop’s 3-point victory.  Despite Kate Donnelly’s 13 points, Dani Seamon’s 10 and Gabby Woeppel’s 9, the Nedrow Tigers pulled within two points with seconds left.  (Jim Kevlin/

Impromptu Pep Rally Cheers Teams To Semis


Impromptu Pep Rally

Cheers Teams To Semis

Wendy Kiuber, right, (mom of Lady Hawkeye Ashley) and Colleen Donnelly, center, (mom of Kate) cheer their daughters’ team bus (inset) as it passes by the Trosset Law Offices shortly after 10 a.m. today en route to the Section III, Class C semifinals at Onondaga Community College.  Attorney Mike Trosset, left, whose CCS team made it to the state semifinals in the 1990s, organized the impromptu pep rally (along with coffee and Schneider’s doughnuts) in front of his Oaksville office.  The girls’ game starts at 1:45 in OCC’s Allyn Gym.  The boys’ game starts at 2:45 in the SRC Arena at OCC.  Winners go on next Saturday to the Class C finals, which are also the quarter finals of the state tournament.  (Jim Kevlin/

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