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Local Publishing Company Under New Ownership

Local Publishing Company
Under New Ownership

Tara Barnwell promoted to publisher;
Greg Klein named editor;
ownership remains In local hands

Tara Barnwell today succeeds Jim Kevlin as publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and (Larissa Ryan/

COOPERSTOWN – As of Friday, April 16, Iron String Press, Inc, publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and is under new ownership.

Tara Barnwell, general manager of Iron String Press, becomes president and publisher and actor-writer Greg Klein becomes editor of the company’s print and digital news and entertainment sources, succeeding Jim Kevlin.

Kevlin after 15 years as editor, publisher and president of Iron String Press and its media family, has retired.

With the new ownership, Iron String Press remains the only locally owned and locally focused news and entertainment operation in Otsego County.

A full story will appear in this week’s print editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

HOF Roberto Alomar placed on MLB ineligible list over sexual misconduct allegation

HOF Roberto Alomar
placed on MLB ineligible list
over sexual misconduct allegation

Hall of Fame: Alomar’s status is unchanged

Roberto Alomar poses with a fan inside the Tunnicliff in 2014.

Roberto Alomar, a 2011 National Baseball Hall of Fame inductee, was put on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list based on the results of a sexual misconduct investigation stemming from a 2014 incident, the league announced Friday, April 30.

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred said in a statement Friday: “Having reviewed all of the available evidence from the now completed investigation, I have concluded that Mr. Alomar violated MLB’s policies, and that termination of his consultant contract and placement on MLB’s Ineligible List are warranted. We are grateful for the courage of the individual who came forward. MLB will continue to strive to create environments in which people feel comfortable speaking up without fear of recrimination, retaliation, or exclusion.”

Alomar put out a statement on Twitter saying he was, “disappointed, surprised and upset with today’s news. With the current social climate, I understand why Major League Baseball has taken the position they have. My hope is that this allegation can be heard in a venue that will allow me to address the accusation directly. I will continue to help kids pursue their baseball dreams.”

NORTHRUP: It’s Right To Close Schools; Dreams Park Must Be Next

It’s Right To Close Schools;

Dreams Park Must Be Next

To the Editor:

Schools are the absolute best places to transmit airborne diseases, almost as effective as cruise ships.

In the average size high school, there are over 750,000 contacts a day at less than 10 feet that can potentially transmit an airborne disease such as the flu or COVID-19. And that does not include making out behind the stadium.

The fact that children don’t get as sick as adults with COVID-19 makes them ideal transmitters of the disease. To gramps and granny.

So closing the schools is step one in fighting the spread of airborne diseases. Good on Cooperstown Central, the Hall of Fame and the Clark Sports Center for shutting down or limiting access. Cooperstown should be where epidemics, not people, go to die.

Step 2 is closing down any other large gathering place of kids, such as the Dreams Park.

If COVID 19 is not under control by May, the Dreams Park should not be allowed to open in June.ronavirus, Cooperstown news, Otsego County news

The vulnerability, the potential weak link in any pandemic are the hospitals. They have to be protected at all costs. Bassett has to be protected. And the best way to protect Bassett is to avoid over-burdening it with sick tourists from around the world.


Schenevus Central Allowed To Borrow Against Future Aid

Schenevus Central

Allowed To Borrow

Against Future Aid

Seward, Miller Sponsored Bill

To Save School, Cuomo Signs It

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo has signed legislation to stabilize Schenevus Central School’s finances by allowing it to borrow against future state aid, as much as $500,000 in the upcoming school year, and to put together a long-term financial plan for the district.

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblyman Brian Miller, the Republican who represents Schenevus, today announce the bill they sponsored has become law.  It also  establishes a long-term plan to stabilize the school district’s finances.

FALK: Village Needs Younger Voices, Like Benton’s


Village Needs Younger Voices,

Like MacGuire Benton’s

To the Editor:

I grew up reading the newspaper much as you are now. There were no cellphones, no social media, and no 24-hour news networks. My worldview was shaped by rotary dials, printer’s ink, and
the 6 o’clock news.

I imagine many of you could say the same. Between 1990 and 2010, the federal Census showed that in the Village of Cooperstown there was an overall decline in every age group except for 50- to 59-year-olds. The sharpest decline (47 percent) was in the 30-to-39 age group.

My husband and I moved to the village with our young family in 2004, but our experience is far from the norm. The lack of young people in Cooperstown is a problem that we need to correct if our community organizations, schools and local government are going to thrive in the future.

This is where Trustee MacGuire Benton comes in.

I may not agree with MacGuire on every issue that comes before the Board of Trustees, but I always value his perspective. His experiences are often closer to those of my children and the graduate students with whom I work, the very people we need to help shape our plans moving forward.

For example, MacGuire saw the need to provide video access to village meetings even before the pandemic. In a desire to further government transparency and be more inclusive, he suggested policies last year that made the transition to online content easier when it became necessary due to the pandemic.

He recently pointed out the benefits of an official village Facebook page so that people do not have to turn to or Celebrate Cooperstown to get information about what is going on. Mac is committed to free and open communication and helping to make Cooperstown a place where young people of all backgrounds want to live.

On Sept. 15, something unusual happened: MacGuire Benton and Mary-Margaret Robbins – both eager to serve as village trustees – tied in a race for a seat on the board. Both have widespread support, each garnering 272 votes. And both undoubtedly love our Village and want what’s best for it.

However, if you are still undecided about whether to vote or for whom to vote in the run-off election on Sept. 29, I urge you to look to the future. Ensure there is a voice in village government that represents the next generation. Vote to re-elect MacGuire Benton noon-9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 29, at the fire hall, or by absentee ballot prior to the 29th.

Deputy Mayor


Seward Off Ventilator, On Road To Recovery


Seward Off Ventilator,

On Road To Recovery

Senator Jim and Cindy Seward.

MILFORD – As with everything since the coronavirus arrived in Otsego County, things moved quickly.

When the last edition of this newspaper went to press on Tuesday, March 31, the news was state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and his wife, Cindy, had been stricken with COVID-19.

It was announced the day before that the senator was being treated at Albany Medical Center, and Cindy was recuperating at their Milford home.

Duncan Davie, Seward’s long-time chief of staff, said the senator was still in ICU this Tuesday. April 7.  He spoke with the senator, and “he struck me as someone who’s gone through a great deal. He’s got a road to recovery that will take some time.”

After the initial report on March 30, the senator, a Milford native who has represented Otsego County in the state Senate since 1985, took a turn for the worse and was placed on a ventilator in Albany Med’s intensive care unit.

That wasn’t widely known, until Cindy Seward broke the silence at 8:32 a.m. Saturday, April 4, on the Milford Community Group Facebook page.  She revealed her husband was in a medically induced coma and had been on a ventilator since 5:30 a.m. that Thursday.

“His condition had deteriorated quite rapidly and became dire,” his wife of 46 years reported. “I spoke with the doctor last evening and Jim is responding to nurse commands and his condition is slightly improved.

“The next few days are crucial,” she continued. “My children and I were able to see him and speak to him once via Webex, thanks to the kindness of the doctors and nurses there.”

That dire report set off a flurry of comments among the Milford group, mostly expressions of prayerful best wishes.

After a day of worry among his friends and supporters, who at this point were expecting the worst, stunning good news arrived with Cindy Seward’s next posting at 6:48 p.m. that evening.

“I just spoke with my husband,” she wrote, “and needed to share with all of you wonderful people who have sent prayers and love: His ventilator was just removed! Of course, he will still need monitoring, but I thank you all for your outpouring for us!”

Which set off another outpouring from around Seward’s nine-county 51st Senatorial District on the Milford page and

“Praise God for giving you the strength to fight this terrible virus and that strength to continue fighting thru your cancer battle,” wrote Maria Guerra, Richfield Springs.

“Stay strong my friend!” declared Vinnie Avanzato, Oneonta, the former Stella Luna proprietor.

“You are one strong individual,” wrote Norman Buckland, Oneonta. “That’s why we elected you to show us the way. But I never wanted it to be like this. Thank you for hanging in there.”

BOUND VOLUMES April 16, 2020


April 16, 2020


Information Wanted: Amos M. Draper, an orphan grandson of the Subscriber, left the service of Captain Henry Stockwell, book-binder, Troy, N.Y. sometime in August or September last, since which time his friends have not heard from him. He is aged about sixteen years, round favored, pretty large blue eyes, and rather small in stature. Any person who will give information of said Boy, by mail, addressed to Ezra Williams, Post- Master, Westford, Otsego County, New York, will do a most benevolent deed and be eminently entitled to the thanks of the subscriber. Joshua Draper, Westford, April 10, 1820. N.B. Printers in the State of New York generally, will sub-serve the cause of humanity, by giving the above an insertion.

April 17, 1820


The indictment against Dennison Rogers, for the murder of his wife in Plainfield, July 19, 1842, was traversed on April 17 inst. in the Court of Oyer and Terminer in this village (Cooperstown), Judge Gridley presiding, resulting in the acquittal of Rogers, the counsel for the people having failed to identify him with the infliction of the blows which produced his wife’s death. The case, however, exhibited enormities of conduct which, under an indictment for manslaughter, would probably have immured him in the State prison during life. Intemperance was the besetting sin, and narrowly indeed has Rogers escaped the penalty of crime.

April 21, 1845


Summary of Local News – The thoughtless boy who shoots a robin this time of year should be made to feel the punishment which the law provides for the offense. Farmers and fruit-growers are especially interested in the protection of the birds.
Mrs. Bowers, of Lakelands, was enabled to receive and entertain many of her friends in this village on Friday last, the anniversary of her ninety-second birthday. Should General Grant do himself the honor to call upon her at any time, he would find her able to tell many personal incidents of the first President and first military general of the United States. She is one of the few ladies now living in the Great Republic who were personally acquainted with George Washington and its other leading founders
– and her recollection of past events is unimpaired.

April 21, 1870


Personal – Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lettis are in New York this week, while Mr. Lettis is on a purchasing trip for the Bundy and Cruttenden Store.
F.P. Whiting of New York, architect for the new Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital was in Cooperstown for a few days on business last week.
Mr. and Mrs. George Hyde Clark and children, who have spent the winter at Aiken, South Carolina, returned to their home at Hyde Hall, Springfield this week.
Mrs. Arthur Ryerson of Springfield Center and Chicago, accompanied by her son, John B. Ryerson, was in Cooperstown last week en route to their summer home. Mrs. Ryerson and son, accompanied by Miss Boree, sailed Saturday for Europe where they will spend several months.

April 27, 1920


Like the rest of the world, Cooperstown was stunned by the news which came shortly before 6 o’clock that President Franklin D. Roosevelt had passed away at 4:35 o’clock at Warm Springs, Georgia. Flags were placed at half-mast and on Saturday afternoon all business here ceased from 3 until 6 o’clock. At 4 o’clock memorial services were held in five local churches. Speaking before the Cooperstown Rotary Club on Tuesday at the Tunnicliff Inn,  Clermonte G. Tennant paid the following tribute (excerpted) to President Roosevelt: “The President’s greatest tragedy was not that he died on the eve of victory, but that he did not live to make the peace which was uppermost in his mind and which was so dear
to him. The role he dreamed of was not as a leader of the armed forces of his country but rather that of peacemaker. He was the leader of a coalition in a great world organization. He was the champion of the oppressed and despairing people in every country. This is why Americans in this hour are called upon to prove the purposes he embodied are the will and purpose of our beloved country.”

April 18, 1945


Following are the 22 seniors now attending Cooperstown Central School who will receive initial scholarship grants for the 1970-1971 academic year under the Clark Foundation and the Scriven Foundation: Andrew Thomas Armstrong, David Dean Austin, Timothy Randolph Bliss, Mary Eloise Chamberlin, Carol Rae Collier, Patricia M. Crippen, Linda M. Feltz, Richard Scott Irving, Hedwig Elizabeth Klenner, Barbara Joan Lehman, Henry Christian Loeffler, Patricia Anne Mickle, Maureen Ellen Mulligan, Mary Susan O’Leary, William Harold Parsons, Michael Edward Phillips, Linda Marie Polley, David William Potter, Christine Marie Roberts, Marsha Bernice Smith, Cynthia Anne Stewart, and Rita Jane Trinkaus.

April 15, 1970


The Otsego County Child Sexual Abuse Task Force will hold its second mock trial addressing the complicated issue of child sexual abuse. The event will be held at the Otsego County Courthouse in Cooperstown. Cheri Albrecht, task force coordinator, said “April Is Child Abuse Prevention Month. Therefore it seems fitting that the task force bring this educational forum to our community. Service providers in Otsego County have served approximately 100 children this year who were victims of child sexual abuse and assaults.” Judge Michael V. Coccoma will preside over the mock trial.

April 19, 1995


A hundred friends and well-wishers gathered at Templeton Hall Saturday evening, April 10, to honor Cooperstown Mayor, Carol B. Waller on her retirement. State Senator Jim Seward, R-Milford, read proclamations from the State Senate and General Assembly.

Speakers included Village Clerk Teri Barown who thanked the four-term Mayor for her support. “This, for me, has been a dream job,” Barown said. Police Chief Diana Nicols also spoke. Waller thus ends 16 years of village service, eight as a Trustee and the remainder as Mayor. Waller was Mayor during the tumultuous 2007 when the village celebrated its bicentennial and also hosted an estimated 84,000 baseball fans at the inductions of Cal Ripken and Tony Gwynn into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Waller is succeeded as Mayor by Joe Booan.

April 15, 2010

Rockefeller Center Returns To Oneonta For Christmas Tree


Rockefeller Center

Returns To Oneonta

For Christmas Tree

Lawn crews from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping, Newburgh, have been wrapping the enormous tree on “Daddy Al” Dick’s property since Monday.  Next stop, Rockefeller Center? (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO,.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Crew members from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance have been clambering over “Daddy Al’s” tree since Monday.

ONEONTA – It could be the biggest secret in Greater Oneonta – perhaps 100 feet tall.

Crews from Lynn Warren Lawn Maintenance & Landscaping in Newburgh have been at the 3851 State Highway 23 property since Monday, prepping the tree owned by “Daddy Al” Dick.

In much the same way, crews prepped Angie and Graig Eichler’s 94-foot tall spruce before sending it to be the 2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.

In an interview, Graig Eichler said there’s a good reason it’s so hush-hush:  “It’s to protect the tree, and to protect the family so there’ s no trespassing or vandalism to the tree.”  Rockefeller Center provided 24-hour security was the tree’s been chosen and certainly after it’s announced.

BENNETT: There’s No Doubt, Vote Out Trump

We’re All In This Together

There’s No Doubt,

Vote Out Trump

Larry Bennett, retired Brewery Ommegang creative director who is active in local causes, lives in East Merideth.

I am deeply uncertain about our world. Our larger one, as in the entire planet – and our smaller one, the United States of America. Every day I read the papers and online news, and the news is unbearable.
There is no longer any reasonable doubt that human beings are responsible for climate change. Ice caps and glaciers melt, fires ravage the parched West, and record numbers of hurricanes appear. Snow caps melt, rivers flood and farmland washes away.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that many Black Americans lead lives that are economically deprived, that Black Americans are often subject to police brutality, that Black Americans go to jail and prison much more frequently than white Americans charged with the same offences, and that Black Americans are often charged with offences for which white Americans are given a pass.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that COVID-19 swirls actively around and among us, that it can be deadly to every age group, and that it will be months before a vaccine is widely available.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that many of the 200,000 Americans who have died need not have died, and that they died in great part because of the ineptitude of this administration, which has politicized the simple and effective interim defenses against the virus.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that our economy is going to experience even more pain over the next months. Now that government support is winding down, major companies are laying off tens of thousands of workers, medium size companies are cutting workers and hours, and small companies are closing up for good.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President is incapable of understanding or acknowledging, let alone managing, any of these huge crises.

He denies climate change, even as fires rage. He denies Black lives are at greater risk every day than are white lives, even as police take more Black lives across the country.

Even as he was hospitalized with the virus, he denied that COVID-19 is still dangerous, he denies that medical professionals know better than him about the pandemic, and he denies that it is important to do the basics to keep from contracting or spreading the virus.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President is out of touch with reality, with humanity, and with simple decency.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President lacks even the smallest common respect for others who have different opinions, that he views every opponent as a blood enemy, and that he will say and do anything to try to tarnish others.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President dishonors the very idea of democracy, and that his baseless and unending attacks on voting express his disdain for the fundamental principles of
our Republic.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President can’t tell the truth instead of a lie, or even tell the difference between the two.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President has spent the past four years coarsening every aspect of our political discourse and our cultural life.

There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President threatens the very essence of America. That this President, elected to represent us all, represents only his own interests, doubts, and fears.
There is no longer any reasonable doubt that this President must be voted out.

McLAREN: Not Every Client Can Be Top Model

Not Every Client

Can Be Top Model

Andrew McLaren was featured in NBC’s “Stars In Stripes,” among acting gigs.

To the Editor:

I have known Victoria Pressly since July 2012. She was professionally known as Victoria Talbot back then.  She was recommended to me by my former acting agent Noel Palm. He told me if I hire her she would get me a lot of good press which would help advance my career in showbiz.  I was on a prime time NBC show called “Stars Earn Stripes” and wanted to capitalize on the notoriety the TV series was garnering.

I subsequently hired Victoria and she did in fact get me a lot of great press, including the cover of Millennium magazine, “Fox and Friends” twice, Sirius XM national radio tour, Channel 12 News interview, and several high-profile photo shoots with expensive photographers such as Jim Malucci who were for free for me since I paid Victoria $1,500 and she was friends with him.  Jim is Miami-based and usually charges $7,500 a shoot and does various covers.

In 3 Days, Foundation Achieves $30K Target, Has $80K In COVID Aid

In 3 Days, Foundation

Achieves $30K Target,

Has $80K In COVID Aid

Ohio Foundation Offers $20K

In A Dollar-For-Dollar Match

COOPERSTOWN – By yesterday afternoon, less than 72 hours after the Community Foundation of Otsego County formally announced the COVID-19 Relief & Recovery Fund, community members sent in checks and used credit card payments that succeeded in meeting the $30,000 challenge match.

“Good news,” said Harry Levine, foundation board chairman, in announcing the response, adding, “We now have $80,000 to distribute in awards.”

Why May C-V Ban Farm Animals? It’s Not Romeo, Mayor Says: Who Wants To Live NextTo Barnyard?

Why May C-V Ban

Farm Animals?

It’s Not Romeo, Mayor Says: Who

Wants To Live Next To Barnyard?

Sue Warner of Cherry Valley calls to Romeo as her husband Lew looks on. (Jim Kevlin/


CHERRY VALLEY – The good news is: Romeo will not be banished.

Beyond that, it appears likely the Village Board at its next meeting, Monday, Aug. 19, will likely ban farm animals within village limits.

The way Mayor Lou Guido sees it, chickens will stay, but roosters will go.  Romeo is “grandfathered” so can stay but, when he eventually passes to that pasture in the sky, owners Lew and Sue Warner won’t be able to replace him.

Horse owners won’t be asked to pick up their mounts’ droppings, but will be encouraged to be neighborly and do so. “We have laws on dogs and cats,” Guido explained.  “If your dog poops, you clean it up.”

STERNBERG: The President & All His Men

Life In The Time Of COVID-19

The President & All His Men

Richard Sternberg, a retired Bassett Hospital orthopedic surgeon, has agreed to provide his professional perspective while the coronavirus threat continues. Dr. Sternberg, who is also a village trustee, resides in Cooperstown. Dr. Sternberg will continue to report on medical aspects of the situation throughout week.

The good news is that the president seems to be doing OK medically.

The bad news is that people around him are being put at risk because of his refusal not only not to restrict himself in any manner but, in fact, his flaunting his ability to do anything he wants, whenever he wants.

So many of his senior staff, their staff, Secret Service, White House workers and people who were at his recent campaign events are turning up positive or exposed and they have to restrict themselves.

Also, the FDA and CDC which are both supposed to function based on science, are making decisions based on politics.

If you have friends and family members who have died, or have been very sick, you look at this very differently than if you are young and healthy. Though how anyone could consider greater than 210,000 excess deaths in the United States from COVID-19 reasonable is beyond me.

Tell me that the mortality rate is acceptable when it’s your close relative. My cousin’s father and aunt have died from it. Remember my column from last week about the 28-year old doctor who died of it.

I read the criticisms of my column posted on Monday, Oct. 5, and found myself agreeing on some points. But if the person writing remembers that over two months ago I said that, if everyone wore a mask all the time outside of the home, almost all restrictions could have been dropped by now.

I would be comfortable in that situation. Instead we are averaging over 35,000 new cases daily in the U.S. over the past two weeks.

The president is probably getting care available to no one else on Earth but himself. He is on at least two and possibly three experimental medicines. They haven’t been released for general care and no one has any idea if they have unforeseen complications when taken together.

He is still highly contagious. He has multiple risk factors. If I was his doctor, I would have put myself on the line in order to keep him in the hospital. I would have refused to do something I knew defied standards of care. Nevertheless, he is the president.

The White House medical unit can create an environment equivalent to an ICU if need be if it doesn’t already have an ICU bed standing by at all times. The care he will get there is world class.

Basically, it is equivalent to Walter Reed but without the immediate access to special testing capabilities or surgery.

If he needed something it would probably take 30 minutes. But with a medical versus a surgical diagnosis this is not much of a risk.

The biggest problem with turning the White House into a Walter Reed annex is the cost. The hospital is already set up for this but hey, it’s only money.

Try as might I can’t bring this down to just medical issues. We know some, but only a little about the president’s physical exam, disease course, and labs. He certainly looks better than someone who is very sick and I’m hopeful that there is no relapse.

It’s hard to tell if he is manifesting side effects from the steroids which is very common. Dexamethasone is associated with psychological changes including mood changes such as increased aggressiveness.

There is also dizziness and headache among other side-effects.

Bottom line; I still have no idea which direction the president’s illness is going. He is getting great care, better than you or I ever could. If there are no negative changes by Monday, he should be out of the woods. If things change, I will update.

Much-Debated Corner Site Of Another Crash

Glen-Grove Again In The News

Much-Debated Corner

Site Of Another Crash

Cooperstown Fire Chief Jim Tallman arrives a few minutes ago at the scene of a two-car collision at the corner of Glen Avenue (Route 28) and Grove Street, an intersection that’s been in the news lately as the village’s second most crash-prone. Both cars were convertibles, one a black Mercedes. The damage to the vehicles seemed light, but a young woman was being attended to by EMTs.  Noting three personal-injury accidents have occurred there in the past year, Village Trustee Richard Sternberg has proposed a four-way stop-sign designation, but the trustees delayed action Monday while they seek an expert asssessment from the state DOT.   Mayor EllenTillapaugh Kuch has observed the most crash-prone intersection is Susquehanna and Beaver, next to Bassett Hall, and there’s already a four-way stop-sign designation there.(Jim Kevlin/

Challenging 10K Race


PIT RUN – 10:25 a.m. Participate in the most challenging 10K course in our area with runners from across NYS. Try the 5K, or the 2-Mile stroll if you prefer shorter distances. Enjoy a BBQ picnic, games, activities, live music after the races. Fee, $30. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Call (607) 432-8068 or visit

FILM CLASS – 5 p.m. View “Heat of the Night.” Followed by discussion with the group. All welcome, just show up. Cooperstown Graduate Program, 5838 St. Rt 80, Cooperstown. Call (607) 547-2586.

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