News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
Anja K. Kiraly, 78; Ran Chief Schenevus With Husband

IN MEMORIAM: Anja K. Kiraly, 78;

Ran Chief Schenevus With Husband

Anja Kiraly

SCHENEVUS – Anja Kosonen Kiraly, who ran the Chief Schenevus Restaurant with husband John for 30 years, passed away at 78 years young on Sept. 1, 2019, in Washington, D.C.

Anja, born in Helsinki, Finland, immigrated to the United States to be an au pair in 1957.

She was married to the late (Janos) John Kiraly of Hungary, the human embodiment of the Finnish concept of Sisu. She met John in an English class. He spoke five words to her and stole her heart.

Bennie L. Pratt, 95; WWII Vet, Construction Electrician

IN MEMORIAM: Bennie L. Pratt, 95;

WWII Vet, Construction Electrician

Bennie L. Pratt

ONEONTA – Oneonta native Bennie Lee Pratt, 95, a World War II veteran and electrician on construction projects, passed away at Harpursville home on Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019.

Bennie was born May 23, 1924, in Oneonta, to Benjamin and Mildred (Warner) Pratt.

He graduated from Oneonta High School and enlisted in the Navy at the outbreak of World War II, serving from 1943 to 1946 as an electrician’s mate, second class, in the South Pacific Theater aboard the USS LCI 847.

New Centers Executive Welcomed At County Site


New Centers Executive

Welcomed At County Site

Levi Lazar, new administrator at Centers Health Care’s Cooperstown Center, poses with his administrative team and Regional Administrator Laurie Mante, right, after a welcoming reception at noon today at the facility in Index. Center right is Assistant Administrator Victoria Williams; center left, Chief Nursing Officer Heidi Hendrix. Most recently, Lazar was administrator at the Buffalo Center. A New York City native, he has also been assigned to Overland, Kans. (Jim Kevlin/
Clark Foundation Announces 2019 Beautification Winners


Clark Foundation Announces

2019 Beautification Winners

Brian Barlow and Chris Law (Chris is posing here with Great Dane Macy) were first-time winners in this year’s Clark Foundation Annual Cooperstown Beautification Contest; the results were announced today. Barlow and Law took first place in Category III, Most Appropriate Residential or Business Window Box or Boxes and/or Hanging Basket. Other first place winners (who have won top honors before) are Ursula and Chuck Hage, 73 Pioneer St., Category II, Most Effective Overall Planting Which Enhances a Residential Propery, As Seen From The Street; and Marc and Sherrie Kingsley, Inn at Cooperstown, 16 Chestnut St., for Most Attractive Floral Display in a Business Setting. (Jim Kevlin/
Peggy Jean Banta, 63; Dies After 8-Year Fight With Cancer

IN MEMORIAM: Peggy Jean Banta, 63;

Dies After 8-Year Fight With Cancer

Peggy Jean Banta

UNADILLA – Peggy Jean Banta, beloved sister and niece, passed away on Sept. 11, 2019, at home on her 63rd birthday after an eight-year battle with cancer.

Peggy was born on Sept. 11, 1956, at The Hospital, Sidney, to Jean Anderson Banta and George D. Banta III.  Peggy grew up on the family farm in Unadilla Center, the third of four children.

She attended Unadilla and Unatego schools, graduating in 1974. After graduation, Peggy remained at home to help her mother with the bookkeeping for the farm.

Trump Gives Rivera Presidential Medal


Trump Gives Rivera

Presidential Medal

Mariano Rivera signs autographs at the end of the Legends of Baseball parade on July 20. the Saturday of Induction Weekend. Behind him are Hall staffers Roger Lansing, left, and Bruno Russo. ( photo)

COOPERSTOWN – Mariano Rivera, Class of 2019, honored as the only Hall of Fame inductee elected unanimously on the first ballot, is getting another honor today – at the White House.

At a reception today, President Trump plans to honor Rivera, the Yankees vaunted relief pitcher, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Here’s the complete citation.

“During his 19 seasons in Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera established himself as the greatest relief pitcher of all time.  Signed by the New York Yankees in 1990, Mr. Rivera went on to become a 13-time All-Star and 5-time World Series champion.  He is the first player in the history of the sport to be elected unanimously into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

7 Inductees, Plus Deputies Join Stock Car Hall Of Fame


7 Inductees, Plus Deputies

Join Stock Car Hall Of Fame

At the 24th annual Central New York Stock Car Hall of Fame Induction today at the Otsego County Fairgrounds in Morris, Don Eckler of Milford, top photo, looks at Kenny Moore’s #60X modified “The Flying Milkman,” one of several vintage modifieds on display. Moore won the 1975 track championship at Five Mile Point Speedway, as well as several championships at Skyline Speedway.   Today’s inductees at the 1 p.m. ceremony included Floyd “Pop” Wilcox, Don Lent and Pete Hulbert, as well as Edmeston’s Paul Jensen and Bret Belden, and Joe Donahue Jr. and Paul Holic, along with the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department.  Inset, the crowd gathers around 2019 Inductee Bret Belden’s late model which was on display. (Cheryl Clough/

Habitat For Humanity Celebrates 30 Years


Habitat Slide Show Applauds

36 Homes, 2 Renovations

Habitat For Humanity celebrated 30 years of building homes in Otsego County at the Elm Park Methodist Church this evening. A slideshow of the 36 homes and two major renovations was played for the guests as they enjoyed refreshments and cake. Above, Brad Conforti, wife Colleen and their children Abrielle and Micah, Town of Maryland, show off the most recent Habitat newsletter that features the home they will move into. The home is one of the newest residences Habitat is building on McFarlane Road off of Route 205 between West Oneonta and Laurens.  At right, Habitat president Mary Ann Dowdell, Oneonta,  who gave the evening’s keynoter, recognizes those who have donated time and talents over the past three decades by having their names included on an honorary plaque. (Ian Austin/

Who’s Who In County GOP At Salka’s Summer Festival

Who’s Who In County GOP

At Salka’s Summer Festival

Otsego County’s Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield, top left, shares lessons from the campaign trail with attorney Mark Masler, Cortland, candidate for state Supreme Court judge for the Sixth Judicial District, which includes Otsego County, this afternoon at the freshman assemblyman’s first annual Fall Festival at Rustic Ridge Winery, Town of Burlington. In the background, Rob Norris of Leonardsville, right, and Tripp Swart, West Edmeston, provide the foot-tapping music; the musicians usually play with Loose Canon, a four-man band.  Inset, Army meets Navy, as Maj. Gen. (ret.) Tony German  of Oneonta, left, shares war stories with David Rees of Oneonta and Five Mile Point, a retired Navy man.  German, who stepped down as commander of the New York State National Guard in February, is running for 19th District congressman; in the 1990s, Rees ran for the Assembly seat Salka now holds.  Attendees ranged from state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and wife Cindy, to Bobby Walker, Fly Creek, the SUNY Albany senior who is president of the New York State College Republicans.   (Jim Kevlin/

…young and in love, couple finds… HEAVEN In Hippie Hollow

…young and in love, couple finds…


In Hippie Hollow

David and Carlie Kinderned by Hinman Hollow Creek, which runs through their campsite outside the Village of Milford. (Ian Austin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Carlie prepares herbal tinctures by lamplight.

HIPPIE HOLLOW – Paradise, as Carlie and David Kindernedl see it, can be found just off Oxbow Road in the Town of Milford.

“Our vision has a lot to do with finding a haven,” she said. “We don’t want a posh existence, we just want to build something beautiful.”

Three years ago, the couple acquired almost four acres at the corner of Oxbow and Chlorinator roads – Carlie’s dad dubbed it “Hippie Hollow.”

“He wanted to turn it into a baseball camp,” she said. “We want to make this land into and edible forest garden, with plants for food and medicine.”



Posts navigation

21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103