News of Otsego County

Dreams Park Requires Vaccinating 12-Year-Olds, Upsetting Some Parents


Dreams Park Requires

Vaccinating 12-Year-Olds,

Upsetting Some Parents

COOPERSTOWN – Cooperstown Dreams Park’s announcement that it will require players 12 and over at the youth baseball park this summer to have COVID-19 vaccinations is already causing consternation among parents.

So far, some states will not provide vaccines to students under 16 until further testing is done, according to Jodi Plimpton-Werstein of Lee County, Fla., which puts parents in a bind.

“Should a vaccine become available (for 12-15 year olds) in the near future,” said Plimpton-Werstein in a letter to the editor, “they are now putting parents in a position to decide between breaking their child’s heart by denying them a lifelong dream of playing at Cooperstown, or give them a vaccine that is still in its infancy, with no real data regarding long term effects or efficacy.”

Here is the text of Dreams Park’s statement, released today:

Laurie Zimniewicz Among 3 New Bassett Directors

Laurie Zimniewicz Among

3 New Bassett Directors


COOPERSTOWN – Laurie Zimniewicz of Oneonta, current Fox Hospital board chairman, was one of three new members of the Bassett Health Network Board of Directors announced today.

Also appointed are:

• Anil Rustgi, MD, director of the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Irving Medical Center and dean health sciences and medicine at Columvia.

• Carl Mummenthey, superintendent of schools for the Cobleskill-Richmondville Central School District since 2014.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Cook-A-Long With Cornell Extension 04-08-21

Cook-A-Long With Cornell Extension


COOK-A-LONG – 4:30 p.m. Join nutrition educator Kimberly for fun lesson on the ‘why’ & ‘how’ of eating healthy. Includes time for a cook-a-long dish. Free, registration required. Presented by Cornell Cooperative Extension. 518-234-4303 ext. 120 or visit

Officer In Shooting 18-Year OPD Veteran

Officer In Shooting

18-Year OPD Veteran

Troopers Release Sgt. Pajerski’s Name

ONEONTA – A few minutes ago, state police at Sidney identified the Oneonta police office the officer who “fired his duty weapon, striking the subject” as Sgt. Ralph Pajerski, an 18-year veteran of the department.

The state police press release also said the man who was shot twice in the chest was Tyler R. Green, 23; he has been identified in press reports as Tyler Johnson.  He later died en route to Albany Medical Center by Medevac.

‘Red Door’ Church Tower Under Repair After 5 Years

‘Red Door’ Church Tower

Under Repair After 5 Years

Andy Turner, foreground, and Mike Ansbro from of Lupini Construction, Utica, began Tuesday to remove the protective covering on the bell tower of the Red Door Church, at Walling Avenue and Main Street, Oneonta.  Due to deterioration, and cover been in place since October 2016.  “First United Presbyterian Church is grateful to everyone who contributed to their Tower Restoration Capital Campaign this past fall to enable them to move forward with the project,” Rev. Cynthia Walton Leavitt wrote on the church’s Facebook page.  (Ian Austin/
Mayor Will Brief Public On Shooting In 7 p.m. Statement


Mayor Will Brief

Public On Shooting

In 7 p.m. Statement

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Oneonta Mayor Herzig

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig plans to brief the public on today’s shooting when Common Council convenes at 7 p.m. today.

Then he’ll issue a press release describing what happened at 1:30 p.m. on River Street, when it appears a police officer shot a knife-wielding man in the chest, perhaps twice.

“I’m still gathering information,” he said a few minutes ago, adding that he believed the man who was shot was still alive.

While declining to release too many details, Herzig did say the wounded man is white, and was medevacked from the city by helicopter, but he didn’t know to where.

UPDATE: Man shot twice, eyewitness says




Man Wielded Knife, Shot Twice

In Chest, Eyewitnesses Report

OPD Chief Chris Witzenburg, at center in dark uniform with phone in hand, is on the scene of a possible shooting on River Street. Traffic is being diverted from Mitchell St to Riverside Avenue. (Ian Austin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

ONEONTA – At least one shot rang out at about 1:30 p.m. near the former Foti’s Bakery on River Street, neighbors are reporting.

One man who said he was in the house at the time of the shooting said it occurred at 41 River St. The injured man’s name is Tyler, he was 23, he had a  knife, he was shot twice in the chest, and taken away in an ambulance.

The fight may not have been with another man, but between the injured man and his girlfriend, and that’s what brought police to the scene. The shot or shots were fired after the officer tried to break up the dispute and a knife was pulled.

A helicopter was seen circling the city a few minutes ago, then headed off toward Albany.  It isn’t known whether the injured man was being airlifted.

No confirmation from OPD could immediately be obtained.

The street, which is closed from Mitchell Street through Riverside Avenue, is filled with police cruisers with flashing lights at this hour.


Barbara A. Schilling Nov. 24, 1940-April 01, 2021


Barbara A. Schilling

Nov. 24, 1940-April 01, 2021

Barbara A. Schilling

COOPERSTOWN – Barbara Ann Schilling (Joseph) passed away on April 1, 2021, at the age of 80, in what was perhaps her greatest April Fool’s Day prank ever.

A graduate of Hartwick College School of Nursing (’62) and a dedicated R.N. at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown and the former Child’s Hospital in Albany, Barbara chose to spend her retirement reading every book worth reading (along with ones that weren’t), traveling to Europe and around the U.S., and cursing out politicians from both parties. She swore to live long enough to vote “the biggest idiot I’ve ever seen” out of office, and so she did. She didn’t break her promises, especially when it came to politics and fools.

16-Year-Olds Now Can Get C-19 Shots

16-Year-Olds Now

Can Get C-19 Shots

ALBANY – At 8 a.m. tomorrow, April 6, all New Yorkers age 16 and up will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccines, Governor Cuomo announced today in his daily update.

Since the vaccine isn’t recommended for children, this means all New Yorkers who are prospective candidates for anti-COVID shots will now be eligible to receive them.

Hanna Bergene Sworn In On Top Cooperstown Board


Hanna Bergene Sworn In

On Top Cooperstown Board

The Bergene family gathers around daughter Hanna, 29, after she was sworn in as the Cooperstown Village Board’s newest trustee this evening by Village Clerk Jenna Utter.  With Hanna are her parents Gregory and Susan, right, and Henry Bauer, left.  Hanna was elected March 16, as was veteran Trustee Cindy Falk, inset right, whose husband Glenn holds the Bible for the fifth time as his wife takes the oath.  Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch reappointed Falk as deputy mayor, a position she’s filled for the past several years.  With the addition of Hanna, the seven-member Board of Trustees achieved a majority of women – Bergene and Falk, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, and Trustee Jeanne Dewey. (Jim Kevlin/

Theaters Can Open, Governor Announces

Theaters Can Open,

Governor Announces

ALBANY – Performing arts and entertainment venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity today, Govenor Cuomo announced.

Venues can host up to 100 people indoors or up to 200 people outdoors. If all attendees present proof of completed vaccination or recent negative test result prior to entry, capacity can increase up to 150 people indoors or up to 500 people outdoors.

Social distancing, face coverings, health screening and other health protocols will be required by all attendees, as well as strict adherence to all applicable Department of Health guidance—available here.

Bruno Talevi, 95, Cooperstown; Oneonta Accountant, WWII Vet


Bruno Talevi, 95, Cooperstown;

Oneonta Accountant, WWII Vet

Word has been received that Bruno Talevi, 95, who operated an Oneonta accounting firm for decades before retiring to a lakeside home in Cooperstown, passed away Saturday, April 2, 2021. Arrangements are with the Tillapaugh Funeral Home, Cooperstown, and a funeral and calling hours are expected in the latter part of the week of April 12. In photo, Talevi poses in 2016 with wife Vera at Cooperstown’s annual Memorial Day commemoration the Soldiers & Sailors Monument in front the county courthouse.  It was particularly notable that Bruno’s World War II midshipman’s uniform still fit after all those years.
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