News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.
Ella Jean Baumgardner, 96; First Husband Killed During World War II

IN MEMORIAM: Ella Jean Baumgardner, 96;

First Husband Killed During World War II

Ella Jane Baumgardner

ONEONTA – Ella Jane Baumgardner, 96, formerly of Oneonta, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019, at her home in Liverpool.

She was born in Russia, Herkimer County, in 1922, the daughter of the late William and Helen Jones, and was raised on a farm in Milford.

Jane was married to John “Sonny” Brienza, who was killed in World War II.  In 1947, Jane married Edward P. Baumgardner and together they raised their family in Oneonta.

She was retired from SUNY Oneonta.

We NYers ♥ Each Other

We NYers ♥ Each Other

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig hands out bumper stickers he picked up at Governor Cuomo’s State of the State speech today in Albany to his Common Council colleagues this evening. They read, “I ♥ New York; New York ♥ You.” Next to the mayor is City Manager George Korthauer. (Ian Austin/
Debbi M. Barnes, 65; Retired Payroll Director, Fox Hospital

IN MEMORIAM: Debbi M. Barnes, 65;

Retired Payroll Director, Fox Hospital

Debbi Barnes

ONEONTA – Debbi M. Barnes, 65, retired payroll director at Fox Hospital, passed away peacefully surrounded by her treasured family and friends on Jan. 13, 2019, following a brief battle with cancer.

She was born on Jan. 15, 1953, in Sidney, the daughter of Zane and Marguerite Raudibaugh.

Debbi graduated from Oneonta High School in 1971. It was there in 1969 that Debbi, a member of the color guard, began dating her high school sweetheart, and football player, Louie Barnes. The two married shortly after graduation on Aug. 7, 1971, at St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church. They remained devoted to one another and their children for the next 47 years.

‘Aunt Bet’ Davenport, 79; Worked At Oneonta Dress Factory, Sanyo

IN MEMORIAM: ‘Aunt Bet’ Davenport, 79;

Worked At Oneonta Dress Factory, Sanyo

ONEONTA – Beverly V. “Aunt Bet” Davenport, 79, a seamstress at Oneonta Dress Factory and Sanyo for more than 40 years, passed away Sunday, Jan. 13, 2019, at Wilson Memorial Hospital, Johnson City.

She was born Nov. 13, 1939, in Roxbury, daughter of the late Howard and Grace (Burgher) Oliver.


Film Society Opening Night


OPENING NIGHT – 7 p.m. Returning for a second season, Film Society of Cooperstown presents “All The President’s Men” (1976) with after film discussion led by Will Walker, associate producer of history at CGP. Free, refreshments included. Village Ball Room, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-437-6903 or visit

Senate Resolution Gives Fallen Hero Liberty Medal

Senate Resolution Gives

Fallen Hero Liberty Medal

Senator Seward Introduces Resolution In Albany
John D. Heller

ALBANY  –  The state Senate today passed a resolution bestowing its Liberty Medal, the upper house’s highest honor, on John D. Heller, the former Oneonta firefighter who saved five lives before dying in a Dec. 29 arson at 5 Walling Ave.

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who introduced the resolution, noted it is given for “meritorious action against hostile odds.  John Heller was that type of individual.  John displayed great courage in saving the lives of his fiancé and four young nephews, and he made the ultimate sacrifice.

20 Inches of Snow Could Befall County This Weekend

20 Inches Of Snow

Predicted For County

Over This Weekend

ONEONTA – As much as 20 inches of snow could fall on Otsego County this weekend, according to Accuweather.

The strong snowstorm is predicted to start in the Midwest and sweep up central Pennsylvania and into central New York by Thursday or Friday. Though snow will start on Friday and continue on Saturday, the majority of the snow will fall on Sunday. Snow is also predicted through the rest of next week.

Weather services such as are cautioning that predictions could change, with the snowstorm not being as severe as currently predicted.

Brides Flout Stain Risks To Enjoy Tempting BBQ



Brides Flout Stain Risks

To Enjoy Tempting BBQ


Nikki Bower knows sometimes good food can be messy. She and husband Sean were early local adopters of a growing barbeque wedding trend when they married in 2016.

Editor’s Note:  This article appeared in the Thursday-Friday, Jan. 10-11 print editions in anticipation of yesterday’s 2019 Wedding Expo at Foothills.  For photos of the event, see this week’s print editions, on newsstands Wednesday afternoon.

ONEONTA – Nikki Bower reminds you to always eat barbeque with care.“I’m not a girly-girl, so wearing a wedding dress all day was hard for me,” she joked. “I was trying to eat responsibly, but I got barbeque sauce all down the front of my dress!”

Nikki and her husband Sean, married June 25, 2016, were on the cutting edge of the latest in wedding trends –  forgoing filet mignon and lobster tails for some good old-fashioned barbeque.


Roger B. Sullivan, Otego; SUNY Oneonta Asst. VP In Upgrading Enrollment

Roger B. Sullivan, Otego;

SUNY Oneonta Asst. VP

In Upgrading Enrollment

Roger B. Sullivan

OTEGO – Roger B. Sullivan, 68, SUNY Oneonta associate vice president/enrollment management, passed away on Jan. 4, 2019, at his home in Otego.  He also had a home in Sunset Beach, N.C.

Roger was born on Dec. 28, 1950, in Ogdensburg, the son of Roger P. and Velma I. (O’Shaughnessy) Sullivan.
He graduated from Lisbon Central High School and later earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from SUNY Potsdam and Bowling Green (Ohio) State University, respectively, before beginning a 40-year career in the SUNY system.

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