News of Otsego County

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘George Strong and the Clarkes’ 07-23-21

‘George Strong and the Clarkes’


SUMMER CONCERT SERIES – 7:30 p.m. Enjoy a glimpse of the musical landscape of early America in ‘George Templeton Strong and the Clarkes’ as recorded by George Templeton Strong, coupled with music by Antonín Dvořák. Cost, $20/adult. Hyde Hall, 267 Glimmerglass State Park Rd., Cooperstown. 607-547-5098 or visit

AllOtsego people: In Cooperstown, a female majority forms

AllOtsego people: In Cooperstown, a female majority forms

By PHOEBE SMITH • Special to

Cooperstown’s Village Board of Trustees has a majority of female members for the first time as seen in this picture from Monday, July 12. From left, are trustees Jeanne Dewey, Cindy Falk, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Hanna Bergene. (Greg Klein/

COOPERSTOWN — When Hanna Bergene decided to run for a village trustee position and Jim Dean
announced he would step down to make way for her, it inadvertently led to a local first: a female majority board of trustees.

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, who was first elected in 2018, and is the second female mayor of the village, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk and trustees Bergene and Jeanne Dewey hold four of the seven votes on the local board, although with all seven members being part of the Democratic Party, there are not many political or ideological differences being debated in the village.

Instead, the four women are a majority part of Cooperstown’s expansive investments and infrastructure projects, working to shape the village for the 21st century and helping it get past the economic damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

With induction delayed, HOF awards get Saturday spotlight

With induction delayed, HOF awards get Saturday spotlight


While the Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony has been pushed back to Sept. 8, in order to accommodate the inclusion of fans in attendance on the lawn at the Clark Sports Center, the Hall’s annual Awards Presentation honoring baseball writers and broadcasters is scheduled for Saturday, July 24, as a television only event.

This year’s Ford C. Frick Award and Baseball Writer’s Association of America Career Excellence Award ceremony will include respective 2021 recipients, broadcaster Al Michaels and writer Dick Kaegel as well as 2020 honorees, Ken Harrelson and Nick Cafardo.

‘Do you Believe in Miracles?’
Perhaps best known for his indelible call of the 1980 U.S. Olympic hockey team’s stunning defeat of Russia in the 1980 winter Olympics, Al Michaels was already a seasoned and accomplished sports broadcaster at the time breaking into baseball with the Pacific Coast (minor) League’s Hawaii Islanders in 1968. The 45th winner of the Frick Award, Michaels assumed the lead broadcaster responsibilities for the Cincinnati Reds in 1971 and the San Francisco Giants in 1974.

Lights, camera, Otsego County: Summer film shoot for ‘Bring Him Back Dead’ highlights industry’s growth in Cooperstown, Oneonta
Director Mark Savage watches over production of ‘Bring Him Back Dead’ in Middlefield on Wednesday, July 14. (Greg Klein/

Lights, camera,
Otsego County

Summer film shoot for
‘Bring Him Back Dead’
industry’s growth
in Cooperstown, Oneonta

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

MIDDLEFIELD — The push to bring the film industry to Otsego County produced big results in July, in large part thanks to efforts of Film COOP and scenery in the region that the filmmakers couldn’t get anywhere else.

Tucked away at a “hideout” location, the small-budget action film “Bring Him Back Dead” was shot at a Middlefield cabin last week, with the type of energy one would find from a Hollywood production
previously not seen in Otsego County; actors, actresses, film producers and directors all passing by with artistic determination in their heads.

Korey Rowe, the owner of Otsego Media, which is co-producing the movie along with Millman Productions, said in spite of bad weather, they were on schedule to complete the film this week. He said the authenticity from shooting in Middlefield and around Otsego County is greatly helping the crew.

Summer Music Festival to reopen with free concert Aug. 10, at Fenimore

Summer Music Festival to reopen with free concert Aug. 10, at Fenimore

By PATRICK DEWEY • Special to

After the cancellation of the 2020 season because of the coronavirus, the Cooperstown Summer Music Festival will be back for its 23rd season this summer.

The season kicks off Tuesday, Aug. 10, with a free concert.

“We wanted to make a giftto the community and say let’s come back and enjoy live music together after difficult times,” CSMF Artistic Director Linda Chesis said.

Leonard became Milford’s pioneer wrestler, Coop legend

Leonard became Milford’s pioneer wrestler, Coop legend
Despite losing senior season to pandemic, grappling career will continue with college recruitment

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Avery Leonard, a Milford/Cooperstown wrestler, goes for a pin during the 2020-2021 state tournament in Albany in February 2020.

MARYLAND — As he could see his senior season of wrestling being washed away by the coronavirus pandemic, 2021 Milford Central School graduate Avery Leonard said he relied on his philosophy of life, “worry about what you can control, let go of everything you can’t control.”

“I have always run with that saying,” he said, Monday, July 19.

Leonard and his father/wrestling coach, Nate Leonard, spoke with at their “summer home” on Goodyear Lake, about his career and losing his senior season after spending three years working toward a state title.

Pit Run to return for 2021
Sid Parisian, brother of Ricky Parisian, the trooper killed trying to foil a 1994 armed robbery at the Southside Oneonta Great American, prepares to start runners in the 26th annual Pit Run in 2019. (Ian Austin/

Pit Run to return for 2021

STAFF REPORT • Special to

The 28th Pit Run, in honor of late State Trooper Ricky J. Parisian, will take place Sunday, Oct. 3, in Oneonta.

“We are so excited to announce our 28th annual event,” Race Director Dave Weaver said in a media release. “Not only does the Pit Run celebrate Ricky J. Parisian’s heroism, but it celebrates the best attributes of the greater Oneonta community. It is a wonderful family event, not just a running race!”

The Pit Run was started in 1994 to celebrate and remember Parisian’s life and service. Parisian died that year while trying to stop an armed robbery at the Great American food store in Oneonta.

All money raised from the run goes directly to the Ricky J. Parisian Foundation, which has awarded over $609,745 in scholarships and community grants since its inception.

The AllOtsego Report, Episode 8: The Butternut Valley floods

The AllOtsego Report, Episode 8:
The Butternut Valley floods

Episode 8 of The AllOtsego Report looks at the Thursday, July 22, editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta, as well as this week’s news on

Click here to listen!

In this week’s episode Editor Greg Klein and Reporter Kevin Limiti discuss:

The massive flooding Saturday evening, July 16, in the Butternut Valley towns of Pittsfield, Morris and Butternut Valley and the villages of Morris and Gilbertsville.

Michael Janitz, 67 December 17, 1953 – July 19, 2021

In Memoriam

Michael Janitz, 67

December 17, 1953 – July 19, 2021

Michael Janitz

Oneonta – Michael Janitz, 67, passed away at home unexpectedly on July 19, 2021.

He was born December 17, 1953 in Paterson, NJ, the son of Paul and Mary (Hart) Janitz Sr.

Michael was a 32-year Local Union Carpenter.  He also was the owner and operator of Sharp Cut Construction for 15 years.  He enjoyed riding his motorcycle, traveling, fishing, hunting, and football, he was a Giants fan; most especially he loved being with his family.

He was a member of the 6th Ward Athletic Club and the Delhi Stage Land Owners Association.

Fly Creek firefighters rescue highway crewman from collapsed culvert
Assistant fire chiefs Jess Lanza, left, and Henry Hight hold water vests and a rescue sling at the Fly Creek Firehouse. (Kevin Limiti/

Fly Creek firefighters
rescue highway crewman
from collapsed culvert

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

FLY CREEK Assistant fire chiefs Jess Lanza and Henry Hight responded to a call that saved a town highway crewman’s life on Tuesday, July 13.

A crewman had gotten his boots stuck in a culvert in the area of Christian Hill after a beaver dam collapse caused rushing water to drag him into the collapsed and damaged pipe.

“It was actually just a mile from my house, so I was first on the scene,” Lanza said.

There he found two people holding the man from the water.

“We needed to essentially sling him and prevent him from going any further,” Lanza said.

The firefighters used a rescue sling which was able to hoist him up. Less than a minute afterwards, an ambulance arrived, which took him to the hospital. The crewman was “visibly exhausted,” but they say he only suffered minor injuries.

“It was a big relief when we got him about,” Hight said.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: ‘Going Out’ Concert in Neahwa Park 07-22-21

‘Going Out’ Concert in Neahwa Park


COMMUNITY CONCERT – 7 p.m. Oneonta Community Band presents ‘Going Out’ concert exploring some of the activities we’ve missed and will soon be possible. Selections include ‘American Patrol’ by F.W. Meacham’s, ‘Liberty Bell’ by John Philip Sousa, and more. Birng the lawn chairs and get comfortable in the Park. Bandstand, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. 607-432-7085 or visit

Otsego EMS updates road closure list
Floodwaters overtook the Meadow Brook Bridge on county Route 4 in the town of Gilbertsville on Saturday, July 17, causing extensive damage in the southwest part of Otsego County. (Contributed).

Otsego EMS updates road closure list

The Otsego County Office of Emergency Services announced the following updates Wednesday, July 21, to road closures because of heavy rainfall and substantial flooding that took place on Saturday, July 17, 2021, in the towns of Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield and now Unadilla.

As of Wednesday morning, the following road updates are available:

NYS roadways:  From the village of Morris, south, between Dimock Hollow Road & Nichols Road, near the Butternuts/Morris town line remains closed.

Butternuts: Dunhams Cross Road remains closed.

Morris: Dimock Hollow Road between Creighton and state Route 23 is closed.  Gulf Road between Pegg/Potato Farm Road is closed. Pittsley Road between Dimock Hollow and West Hill roads is closed. Spring Street is closed.

Pittsfield: Cobb Road and Hawks Road remain closed.

Unadilla: All roadways are open.

  • Reminder: The Office of Emergency Services ask that motorists adhere to road-closed signage and traffic barriers until necessary repairs are made to assure safe passage. In addition, while some roadways have been made passable, please continue to exercise extreme caution while traveling in these areas.



Hartwick College renames golf tournament in honor of longtime coach Nick Lambros
Nick Lambros

Hartwick College renames
golf tournament in honor of
longtime coach, Nick Lambros

STAFF REPORT • Special to

In order to honor a legendary coach and alumnus of Hartwick College, the college is renaming its traditional golf tournament “The Classic Nick Lambros Tournament,” which will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 25.

The annual tournament that attracts many participants, including former athletes, alumni and members of the community.

“As an avid golfer and supporter of all things Hartwick, we see this as a fitting way to honor a person who has impacted Hartwick College and the Athletic Department in such meaningful ways,” Hartwick College Athletic Director John Czarnecki said in a media release. “This is an excellent opportunity to create a long-standing tribute to honor Nick’s accomplishments and spirit he brings with everything he does.”

Lambros has been involved with college athletics for over 60 years, coaching NCAA basketball as well as baseball and even being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was an assistant men’s basketball coach during the 2020-2021 season

Registration for the tournament is $150 for individuals and $500 for teams.

Go to or call Susanne Jones at 607-431-4431 for more information.

Oneonta Common Council has contentious vote on housing commission appointment, confirms new fire chief
New Fire Chief Brian Knapp shakes hands with Len Carson, right, with outgoing Fire Chief J. Michael Mancini, seated, attends the Common Council. (Kevin Limiti/

Oneonta Common Council
has contentious vote
on housing commission appointment,
confirms new fire chief

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

ONEONTA In a two and a half hour meeting, the issue of housing was forefront as the Common Council struggled to come to agree on the choice of an out-of-city resident as part of the housing commission on Tuesday, July 20.

This appointment was narrowly approved, 4-3, with Kaytee Lipari Shue, Len Carson and Scott Harrington being the dissenting votes.

The motion to appoint Audrey Benkenstein, with the addition of Oneonta resident Peter Friedman, was brought up for a second time after being voted down during the last common council meeting, something that Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig told last week was “mystifying,” since Lipari Shue had pushed for a non-city resident to be on the Arts Commission.

The main point of contention was that Benkenstein was not a Oneonta resident. However Herzig pointed out her appointment was voted down “only minutes after approving a Cherry Valley artist” for the Arts Commission.

Herzig said the Arts Commission held real power whereas the Housing Commission was an advisory position, and therefore those appointed to the Housing Commission were not considered officials with any kind capacity to approve anything.

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