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News Briefs: August 10, 2023

Head Start Enrollment Now Underway

OTSEGO COUNTY—Opportunities for Otsego’s Head Start program has opened enrollment for pregnant people and children up to the age of 5 for the 2023-2024 program year. Head Start is a no-cost preschool program that prepares 3- and 4-year-old children for kindergarten. Open play and guided activities promote learning skills, language, and physical and socio-emotional development.

The program also helps connect parents and caregivers with local resources to pursue family health and wellbeing. Head Start centers operate in Cherry Valley, Cooperstown, Morris, Oneonta, Richfield Springs, Schenevus and Unadilla. Early Head Start promotes learning, development, health, and wellbeing for children and families from the prenatal period to age 3. Support staff visit and assist families during pregnancy and after birth by sharing information on early childhood development, activity ideas for parents and children, and coordinating social events to support peer relationships. Home visits are available throughout Otsego County. For more information on either program or to begin the enrollment process, visit or call Heather at (607) 433-8055.

Family Planning Awarded PREP Funding

ONEONTA—Family Planning of South Central New York was awarded a $1.2 million, five-year grant for the Personal Responsibility Education Program. PREP, funded by the New York State Department of Health, works with young people to delay sexual activity, increase condom and contraceptive use, reduce teen pregnancy, and ensure adolescents have access to comprehensive reproductive medical care. “It’s a great opportunity for us to receive this grant once again,” said Family Planning Director of Education Andrea Guccia. “Through this funding, our highly experienced educators will continue providing medically accurate, age-appropriate, evidence-based programs in Delaware and Otsego counties, serving adolescents ages 10 to 19 in school districts and community-based organizations.” Family Planning provides high-quality, affordable reproductive health care and education in Binghamton, Oneonta, Cortland, Norwich, Sidney and Walton. All medical services are overseen by a board-certified gynecologist.

Fenimore To Present Stephen Wilkes Lecture

COOPERSTOWN—Fenimore Art Museum will present “Visualizing Time,” a special live Zoom lecture with renowned photographer Stephen Wilkes, at 7 p.m. on August 17. Wilkes is nationally known for his fine-art and commercial photography. His work has appeared in “The New York Times,” “Vanity Fair,” and “Time,” among others. His “Day to Night” project, part of which is currently on display at FAM, has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning and dozens of other prominent media outlets. At the lecture, Wilkes will share his personal insight and experiences from his five decades in photography, offering a unique perspective on the art of visual storytelling. The live Zoom lecture is only available online. It is free, with a suggested donation of $20.00 to support the museum. Registration is required at or via Eventbrite. “Day to Night” is on view at the museum through Sunday, September 10.

Plant-based Community Potluck Planned

MILFORD—Plant-Powered Immunity will host a whole food plant-based community potluck at Crumhorn Coffee, 2515 State Highway 28, from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, September 10. Community members should bring a dish to pass and it must be free of meat, eggs, dairy, refined sugar, and artificial sweeteners and oils. They should bring an ingredient list or recipe to ensure safety for all people with dietary restrictions. Crumhorn beverages will be available for purchase. Space is limited; RSVP by September 3. Contact Sarah Lutz at or (607) 437-7054 with questions or to register.

Bassett Emergency Department Earns Award

COOPERSTOWN—Bassett Healthcare Network announced on Tuesday, August 1 that Bassett Medical Center’s Emergency Department received the Emergency Nurses Association’s 2023 Lantern Award. It is one of only 52 emergency departments in the U.S. and U.A.E. to receive the honor. Established in 2011, the ENA Lantern Award recognizes exceptional and innovative leadership, practice, education, advocacy and research performance in emergency departments across the country. It was recently expanded to include the United Arab Emirates.

“This is a magnificent achievement,” said Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, president and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network. “We are proud beyond words of the dedicated, deeply committed caregivers in Bassett Medical Center’s Emergency Department, who ensure that our community has the best emergency care. To each and every one of you, I offer my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude.”

“As a level III trauma center serving eight rural counties covering an area the size of Connecticut, Bassett Medical Center’s Emergency Department is essential to the health and wellbeing of our communities. We are honored to receive this recognition. Thank you, ENA,” said Tammy Aiken, MSN, RN, Bassett director of Emergency/Trauma and Critical Care Nursing.

Smithy To Offer Demonstration, Workshop

COOPERSTOWN—Art teacher Kyle Pumilio will demonstrate the colored slip pottery technique during open studio hours at The Smithy Clay Studio, 1 Otsego Court, on Thursday, August 10. Mason stains are a type of ceramic colorant found in many glazes. Pumilio will demonstrate slip trailing, a technique in which a thin, colored liquid clay is applied to the surface of pottery using a brush or syringe. He will also show off more intricate and detailed designs. Participants will then be able to try the methods themselves. The demonstration and workshop are free and part of open studio hours, 6-9 p.m.

Sports Boosters Hold Back to School Event

RICHFIELD SPRINGS—The Richfield Springs/Owen D. Young Sports Booster Club will hold a “Back to School Carnival” fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 16. The inaugural event will be held at Richfield Springs Central School and will support local youth athletics. It will feature a dunk tank, prizes, food, and games and activities.

Run/Walk Draws Record Attendance

RICHFIELD SPRINGS—A record 118 participants took part in the Richfield Springs Community Center’s annual Sundae Run/Walk Fundraiser on Sunday, July 16. The event featured five-kilometer (3.1 miles) and 10-kilometer (6.2 miles) races and a two-mile untimed walk. All races started and finished near the intersection of Bronner and Lake streets in the Village of Richfield Springs. Jordan Hoffman of Rome won the men’s 5K with a time of 15:31. Erin Ludwig of Frankfort won the women’s 5K at 21:29. Amanda Conklin of Edmeston finished first in the women’s 10K with a time of 52:02. Charles Hollister of Oneonta won the won the men’s 10K at 40:05. The Richfield Springs Volunteer Fire Department provided assistance on the race course. American Legion Post 616 donated the use of its facility to host registration and the awards ceremony. Stewart’s Shops was the exclusive corporate sponsor and the Richfield Springs location donated ice cream sundae kits for participants to enjoy after the event.

Falk Highlights Barn History at Hyde Hall Talk

SPRINGFIELD—Dr. Cindy Falk will present an Otsego 2000 Historic Preservation Series lecture on historic barns at Hyde Hall at 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 20. “Raising Barns: Past, Present and Future” will explore connections be-tween agriculture, buildings, and the historic landscape of central New York. Falk will discuss the continuing economic and cultural importance of these legacy buildings and will lead a visit of the agricultural landscape around Hyde Hall. The lecture is free and donations are welcome. Visit to register. Falk is a professor of material culture at the Cooperstown Graduate Program and the author of “Barns of New York: Rural Architecture of the Empire State.”

Foothills Plans ‘Shock-toberfest

ONEONTA—The “Shock-toberfest” Halloween and fall festival will take place at Foothills Performing Arts and Civic Center from 3 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, October 14. The Bettiol Theater will have screenings of “The Monkey” at 5 p.m., “Ouija Witch” at 6 p.m. and an interactive/shadow cast screening of “Rocky Horror Picture Show” at 10:30 p.m. Bigger Dreams Productions will present “Death Trap” in the production center at 8 p.m. There will be a cash bar, pumpkin carving, axe throwing, multi-player video games on the big screen, horror makeup demonstrations, dancing and much more. Visit the Foothills Facebook page or for more information.

Unatego Tops Norwich in PONY Championship

ONEONTA—The Unatego team of Otsenango PONY League summer youth baseball defeated Norwich in the championship game at Damaschke Field on Tuesday, July 25. Norwich overcame an early deficit to take the lead with four runs in the top of the fifth in an exciting final contest, which suffered two lightning delays in midgame. Unatego scored three times in the bottom of the fifth to take a 9-7 lead, which it held for the rest of the night. Carter Ross and Logan Kingsbury made spectacular plays in the final inning to save the game for Unatego. Both teams advanced to the championship on double-digit blowouts in the semifinals on Saturday, July 22; Norwich beat Oneonta 25-4 and Unatego sailed past Schenevus 15-3.

Outlaws Season Ends on Low Note

ONEONTA—The Oneonta Outlaws struggled to the end of the season with a 5-2 loss to the Boonville Lumberjacks on Friday, July 28. A game against Watertown scheduled for July 29 was canceled due to weather. Oneonta took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the second as Erik Smith scored on a bases-loaded hit batter and Christopher Ubner made it home on a sacrifice fly by Kyle Caccamise. The Lumberjacks came roaring back with three runs in the third and held the lead for the rest of the night. Joseph Trombley took the loss for the Outlaws, striking out seven and allowing four runs in five innings on the mound. Oneonta finished their season in a slump, winning only one of their last 13 games. Their final record, 12-32, was the worst in either division of the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League.


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Special Subscription Offer

Now through September 30, new annual subscribers to “The Freeman’s Journal” and have an opportunity to help their choice of one of four Otsego County Charitable organizations.

$5.00 of your subscription will be donated to the nonprofit of your choice:

Community Arts Network of Oneonta, Cooperstown Art Association, Helios Care or Susquehanna Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.