News of Otsego County


Otsego County Republicans Endorse Basile

O. County Republicans
Endorse Basile


The Otsego County Republican Committee has endorsed Jennifer Basile in the race for Otsego County clerk, following a meeting on Saturday, January 28. The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 7.

“It’s truly an honor to earn the endorsement of the Otsego County Republican Committee,” said Basile. “The hardworking members of the committee know that we need to continue the county clerk’s office tradition of providing customers with great customer service and efficient operations. I’m ready to deliver for the people.”

SUNY Oneonta Soccer Accolades Mark Prolonged Run of Success

SUNY Oneonta Soccer Accolades
Mark Prolonged Run of Success


The SUNY Oneonta Men’s Soccer program continued its winning ways this past season, and they have the awards to prove it. Their coaching staff, led by veteran Head Coach Iain Byrne, received Division III Region III Staff of the Year commendations for 2022 by the United Soccer Coaches, an American organization of coaches made up of over 30,000 members, the largest association of soccer coaches in the world.

“This is really another award for the players. We ended the year as the number one team in the region, won our conference, and made a run to the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. We had great support from our assistants—who wanted to do most of the work!” said Byrne, commending Assistant Coach Brian Wagstaff and Faculty Mentor JoAnne Murphy.

Village Improvement Society Holds Auction

Village Improvement
Society Holds Auction

Gilbertsville’s Gilbert Block on Commercial Street features a row of neo-Tudor style structures built between 1893 and 1895. (Photo by Nancy Callahan)

The Gilbertsville Village Improvement Society has begun an online auction through Lambrecht Auction of Bainbridge, the proceeds of which will go toward upkeep of the Gilbert Block. Eighty items are offered, ranging from “top shelf” treasures such as a complete set of German Rosenthal china to Instapots. Also featured are heirloom-quality furnishings, vintage décor and stained glass windows. Works by local artists—including ceramic artists Elizabeth Nields and Marcus Villagran, visual artist Alberta Hutchison, and collage artist Jane Higgins—are also available through the auction.

Those interested in viewing or bidding on auction items may visit or and scroll down to “Gilbertsville Improvement Society Fundraiser.”

Hometown History: February 2, 2023

Hometown History

February 2, 2023

135 Years Ago
The Local News – The directors of the Delaware & Hudson Company had a gorgeous car made for their own use, at a cost of $25,000. It was heated by a new system, which was intended to supersede the present method. The car stood Saturday forenoon near the Green Island shops and William Burt of Albany was in charge. He raked up the fire to get a higher temperature in the car, when an explosion occurred, entirely wrecking the car and inflicting probably fatal injuries on Burt, who was conveyed to the hospital. It is believed that the explosion was due to the freezing of a pipe connected with the heater drum.

February 1888

Armory’s Future TBD By Oneontans

Armory’s Future TBD By Oneontans

Following a recent evaluation of the Asa C. Allison, Jr. Municipal Building, located on the corner of Academy Street and Fairview Street in Oneonta and colloquially known as “The Armory” in reference to its initial purpose, the city found it to be underutilized and in need of improvement. Therefore, city officials opted to hear opinions from its residents about the building’s future in a survey released in December.

To participate in the survey, click here:

Rolen Stands Alone in Hall of Fame Vote

Rolen Stands Alone
in Hall of Fame Vote

Scott Rolen, a hot corner maestro known for his defensive wizardry at third and considerable ability in the batter’s box, has been added to the sport’s greatest roster.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s star-studded lineup increased by one when the results of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame vote were announced a little after 6 p.m. on January 24 live on MLB Network from the iconic Plaque Gallery. Surrounded by the bronze images of 340 of the National Pastime’s forever figures, the 47-year-old Rolen’s name was called by Hall of Fame President Josh Rawitch in front of a national audience.

Editorial: The Party Continues and You’re Invited

The Party Continues
and You’re Invited

Those familiar, fluffy white flakes are falling peacefully on Cooperstown and surrounds Monday night as we write this editorial. Their arrival is just in time for the return of the Cooperstown Winter Carnival later this week, following a two-year hiatus prompted by the pandemic.

Will there still be snow on the ground when the Hot Cocoa Kickoff rolls around on Thursday night? Maybe, maybe not—no matter, because the 55th Cooperstown Winter Carnival begins in the cozy quarters of The Otesaga Resort Hotel with warm beverages, a word from Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, a visit from the Hill City Ice Queen (for the kids, and for the kid in us all), live music by the Cooperstown Bandelions and…fireworks!

New BBQ Eatery Has Ties to History

New BBQ Eatery
Has Ties to History

Our area’s newest barbecue restaurant, Maplewood BBQ and Spirits, takes its name from that given by original owner John Tunnicliff to the mansion built on his estate in 1760, which included a huge tract of land covering what is today parts of Otsego and southern Herkimer counties. At that time, Maplewood was in Tryon County; Otsego would not be formed until 1791.

Restaurant owner John Yule, also a partner in the Knotting Hill Farm wedding venue in Jordanville, has done his research on the mansion that houses his new eatery.

“The fireplace was part of the original kitchen. And the crane to hold pots is also original,” he pointed out.

News from the Noteworthy: Remove Temptation By Disposing of Unused Medications
News from the Noteworthy

Remove Temptation By
Disposing of Unused Medications

It is not news to anyone that we, as a nation, are in the midst of the worse overdose and drug-related death crisis in the entire history of our country. Based on numbers from the Centers for Disease Control, we have lost 107,000 people to drug overdose in the last 12 months. That number would equal losing about the same number of people who live in Chenango and Otsego counties combined…in one year.

It is a slow-rolling tragedy that causes moms, dads, brothers, sisters, spouses and children to bury a human that is precious to them. There have been over a million (yes, 1,000,000.00) overdose funerals since 1999, the identified beginning of this crisis. It is a real human tragedy that receives far too little attention.

KEITH: ‘Nirvana’ Use Should Not Be an Issue
Letter from Lang Keith

‘Nirvana’ Use Should Not Be an Issue

When I saw the front page of this week’s Freeman’s Journal I immediately checked my calendar, thinking I had somehow missed a couple of months and this was the April Fool’s issue. But no, it’s the January 26th issue, and the article about Ommegang was not a spoof of the omnipresent swath of American citizens who seem to spend their days seeking new ways to be offended.

Thank goodness for my neighbor, Peter Woods, at the Buddhist Retreat Center. He put this silly brouhaha in exactly the right context.

As for Messrs. Fisher and Zed, if they intend to nurture their outrage, they are going to be very busy boys. A look on the Internet reveals that almost every state has a Nirvana restaurant. Lots of opportunity for hurt feelings there. And do they know about the late Kurt Cobain’s band?

Me? I’m going to have a Heavenly Ham sandwich washed down with, dare I say it? An Ommegang IPA.

Lang Keith

The Partial Observer: What Is the Cost of ‘Saving’ a School?
The Partial Observer

What Is the Cost of ‘Saving’ a School?

Further Thoughts on the Schenevus-Worcester Merger

Schenevus/Maryland/Westford friends:
As a community, we have gone back and forth about whether or how students would benefit from an annexation merger with Worcester. We have sincere disagreements, despite all wanting what we believe to be best for our community’s children. Many want an answer to whether the district can or can’t be “saved.” This is an honest question, but not the one I believe we should be asking. Sure, with enough money, the district may remain independent. We can agree to disagree about the quality of the educational program. Many are quite satisfied with the status quo, but how much will it cost to retain that? How much can our community afford and can we know what the impact of voting a particular way would be?

Life In The Time Of COVID: It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over
Life In The Time Of COVID

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

On Monday evening, January 30, the White House announced that the COVID-19 emergency will end on May 11. The emergency, which was initially declared by President Donald Trump in 2020, has been renewed every 90 days since. If the Biden administration simply fails to renew the current 90-day declaration, the emergency would lapse in April rather than May. The White House stated that an “abrupt end to the emergency declarations would create wide-ranging chaos and uncertainty through the healthcare system for states, for hospitals and doctors’ offices and, most importantly, for tens of millions of Americans.”

This announcement came soon before a scheduled vote in the House of Representatives on a bill called the Pandemic is Over Act. This bill would have declared an immediate end for pandemic related emergency measures, including financial support for vaccinations, testing, and treatment, and would place COVID in the same category as any other illness. This bill would pass the House but die in the Senate (pure party lines and political theater).

In Memoriam Kernan Cross, 75 1948-2023
In Memoriam

Kernan Cross, 75


BRUNSWICK, ME—Kernan Cross, a central New York native and Cooperstown Central School graduate, passed away January 13 in Brunswick, Maine. He resided in Boothbay Harbor, Maine from 1973 until a recent move to Wiscasset, Maine. He was 75.

Kernan’s open manner earned many friends. Customers of Main Street Photo in Damariscotta, Maine, which he owned for many years, often stopped by just to visit. He also built strong relationships through his volunteer and artistic activities.He was known for his humor and playfulness, highlighted by his wit and by the rubber ducks that appeared magically in his wake. His easy-going traits worked with his thoughtfulness and expertise in several fields to make him an influential presence in many lives.

Tillapaugh: ‘Village is Well Positioned’

Tillapaugh: ‘Village is Well Positioned’

Editor’s Note: Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh was a panelist at the recent Otsego County Chamber of Commerce “State of the State” Breakfast. The following is her address.

Good morning and thank you to the Otsego County Chamber for hosting this forum. I am honored to be included on this panel of city, county, and state elected officials and a representative of Congress.

For most of you, the calendar year is your fiscal year. That is not the case for our village—the Village of Cooperstown’s fiscal year is June 1st to May 31st, so we are two-thirds of the way through our current 2022-23 budget. Next month we will begin budget workshops to have a tentative 23-24 budget in place by the mandated deadline of March 20th.

Our General Fund budget is usually about $4.1 million and we also have separate Water and Sewer budgets which total approximately 2.2 million, resulting in about a $6.3 million dollar village budget.

Stopping the Spread

Stopping the Spread

LAURENS—An early-morning blaze originating in a Brook Street garage spread to property owned by the Laurens Central School District last Sunday, January 29. According to reports, the fire broke out around 7:40 a.m., quickly moving to a nearby shed and to a building on school property located behind the burning garage. Fire officials said the cause of the fire is under investigation. Damage to school property appears to be minimal. (Photo courtesy News Channel 2)
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