News of Otsego County

Burlington Flats

Methodists’ Sewing Club Making Scarce Face Masks


Methodists’ Sewing Club

Making Scarce Face Masks

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Michealle Cole, left, has made more than 75 washable fabric masks for Bassett Hospital; her daughter Julie delivers them.

BURLINGTON FLATS – The sewing that Michealle Cole, a Cooperstown Central second-grade teacher, uses as her “therapy” will help protect healthcare workers from COVID-19.

“All I want to do is put a smile on people’s face,” she said. “Sewing is my therapy.”

Cole, part of the Fly Creek United Methodist quilting group, has made more than 75 face masks to be donated to Bassett Hospital as shortages of protective gear loom.

“We became aware there was a need at Bassett Hospital for masks,” said Rev. Sharon Rankins-Burd. “Someone found a pattern online, and apparently a lot of people are making these.”

While the masks are not full protection against COVID-19, she said, they will help health-care workers at Bassett reduce the risk.

“While fabric masks are not a substitute for health-care-grade respirator-type masks, this is a coordinated effort to use the fabric masks to extend the life and supply of the respirator masks,” said Bassett pharmacy director Kelly Rudd. “These respirator masks are in critical short supply nationally, and provide the best protection for our health care workers, patients and community.”

Rudd says the handmade fabric masks will be disinfected can be used repeatedly throughout the coronavirus threat, according to guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the use of fabric masks during a crisis response.

“They’re reusable, you can wash and dry them,” said Cole.

For those who can’t sew, there are still ways to assist, including donating supplies or money to buy supplies. In all, Bassett believes they will need 20,000 masks.

The pattern calls for two rectangles, 9 by 10 inches, of “tightly woven” pre-shrunk cotton fabric – no red, as it might run when laundered – and one of batting – either flannel or thin quilt batting – and two elastic loops to go over the ears. One yard of fabric can make approximately five masks.

“You can even use hair ties for the elastic,” said Rankins-Burd. “And since it’s not like we can just run to the fabric store, you can use up what you have.”

“All my fabric was leftover from quilts,” said Cole. “I could take all those little pieces and put them together. It only takes about 10 minutes.”

Rankins-Burd shared the pattern with the weekly quilt group, as well as with other churches. “People are excited,” she said. “It’s a way to keep busy when you’re stuck indoors.”

For those who want to join the effort to make fabric masks, the Fly Creek Methodist Church will serve as a drop-off point for anyone interested in making the masks, which will be taken to Bassett Hospital for distribution. Masks may also be dropped off at Bassett’s warehouse, 26 Grove St. in Cooperstown.

Given the shortage of disposal face masks, Cooperstown inventor Gerry Welch believes his “Aegis 12” UV-powered invention may be part of the solution. (Jim Kevlin/

Similarly, local inventor Gerry Welch believes he may have an answer to the face-mask shortage the nation is facing.

For several years now, Welch has been promoting the “Aegis 12,” which the publicity describes as a “Healthcare Face Mask with Fail-Safe Power Pack.”

The device is two face masks with a silver foil layer in between, attached to a power pack that may be placed in a breast pocket or hung around the user’s neck.

The power pack, connected to the mask with a fiber-optic cable, provides “a high-intensity shortwave UV” that disinfects the air drawn into the center chamber through a louver in the front mask.

Welch, whose inventions include the Skeeter-Eater, a non-toxic means of reducing the mosquito population, said the Army has a 2010 patent on a similar device, but the energy source is in the mask itself, which soon heats up uncomfortably.

Regardless, the Army’s patent suggests the concept has merit.

He is seeking a patent on the mask with the assistance of Jay Yablon, the Schenectady lawyer who obtained the Skeeter-Eater patent, and meanwhile has contacted Corning, which manufacture fiber-optic cable, to gauge its interest.

And Ivan Potocnik, an Oneonta native now living in Utica, has joined with a network of 3D printer enthusiasts in making shields for medical visors. “My friend Toni DiPalma in Albany reached out to a network of friends with 3D printers,” he said. “It’s modeled on a Ukrainian design, then finished and put all together with sheet plastic.”

The shields take three hours each to print, but Potocnik believes that, working together, the network can produce as many as 20 a day.

“We’re all trying to contribute any way we can,” he said. “And we hope we can inspire other DIY-ers to do the same.”

“If you can make two or 20 masks, it will help,” said Rankins-Burd. “It’s a good, positive thing to do when you feel helpless.”

Nellie M. Knorr, 92; Ran Excursion Railroad Downstate

IN MEMORIAM: Nellie M. Knorr, 92;

Ran Excursion Railroad Downstate

BURLINGTON FLATS – Nellie M. Knorr, 92, of Burlington Flats, who operated the Casey Jones Railroad in Rockland County with her husband, passed away Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019, at her home, surrounded by her family.

Nellie was born on Oct. 26, 1927, in New City,  the daughter of the late John and Carrie Garrison Mackey. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her husband William H. Knorr in 1992, a son Dr. William Knorr, and a brother Richard Mackey.

Rescued Dog’s Leg Appears Blown Off


Dog Rescued

With Missing Leg

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Zoe, a German shepherd, was rescued from Burlington Flats.

BURLINGTON FLATS – The Susquehanna SPCA rescued a senior German shepherd Zoe who was found injured and in an inadequate shelter at a home in Burlington Flats.

“A passerby noticed this dog tied outside and that her leg looked like it had been blown off,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director.

With the help of Otsego County 911, State Police, and Anita Vitullo of Staffworks, the shelter saved Zoe. She is currently being treated at the Oneonta Veterinary Hospital.

“Her fight to survive has just begun because her missing leg is only one of many concerning medical ailments she is facing,” Haynes wrote on the shelter’s Facebook page. “The team is going to do everything we can to ease Zoe’s pain and show her compassion and a more peaceful life that she deserves.”

Wayne R. Bennett, 53; Troy Native Lived In Burlington Flats

IN MEMORIAM: Wayne R. Bennett, 53;

Troy Native Lived In Burlington Flats

BURLINGTON FLATS – Wayne R. Bennett, 53, who owned a snack-food distribution business for more than 25 years, passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2019, in Cooperstown .

Wayne was born on April 11, 1965, in Troy, the son of the late Richard R. and Patricia E. Collins Bennett.

Anne L. Weiss, 81; 40-Year Employee Of Otsego Mutual

IN MEMORIAM: Anne L. Weiss, 81;

40-Year Employee Of Otsego Mutual

A lifelong Burlington resident, Anne L. Weiss also raised miniature horses.

BURLINGTON FLATS – Anne L. Weiss, 81,  a 40-year employee of Otsego Mutual Fire Insurance Co. in Burlington Flats, passed away unexpectedly at her home on Friday Dec. 14, 2018.

Anne was born on Feb. 4, 1937 in Burlington Flats, the daughter of the late Lowell F. and Helen E Nichols Mayne.

Anne was a lifetime resident of the area, graduating from Edmeston Central School before graduating from the Utica School of Commerce. She spent the next 40 years working for the Otsego Mutual, until her retirement in 1997.

Elizabeth Berberick, 94, Burlington Flats; Survivors Include 5 Sons

IN MEMORIAM: Elizabeth Berberick, 94,

Burlington Flats; Survivors Include 5 Sons

Elizabeth Berberick

BURLINGTON FLATS – Elizabeth “Betty” Rose (Sullivan) Berberick, 94, who raised five sons here, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, at the Presbyterian Home in New Hartford.

She was born on Nov. 5, 1924, in West Winfield, a daughter of the late John L. and Ada Lena (Laraby) Sullivan.

On May 8, 1945, in West Winfield, she was united in marriage to William Donald Berberick, a blessed union of 63 years filled with much love and mutual devotion. Mr. Berberick died on Jan. 20, 2008.


Celebrate The Harvest Season


HARVEST FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. 2 days of music, performances, activities, workshops, meet the animals, learn about old-time trades, participate in the harvest. Entry, $12/adult. The Farmers’ Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1450 or visit

BENEFIT JAM SESSION – 3 – 10 p.m. “Play it Forward” all day jam session with musicians from Florida, Long Island, Brooklyn mix with local musicians. All instruments, genres, vocalists invited. Enjoy raffles, BBQ, music. All proceeds go to American Legion Legacy Run, helping children of fallen heroes since 9/11. Oneonta Vets Club, 279 Chestnut St., Oneonta. 607-432-0494 or visit

Gabriel D. Lawrence, 16; ECS Junior Loved Outdoors, Excelled At Golf

IN MEMORIAM:  Gabriel D. Lawrence, 16;

Junior Loved Outdoors, Excelled At Golf

Gabe Lawrence

BURLINGTON FLATS – Gabriel Donald Lawrence, 16, was called home unexpectedly Friday Aug. 31, 2018, in Edmeston.

Gabriel was born on Dec. 12, 2001, at Bassett Birthing Center in Cooperstown, the son of Gary and Paula (Clark) Lawrence.

Gabe, also known as “Nator”, spent his 16 years in the Edmeston-Burlington community growing with his family and friends. He was entering his junior year at Edmeston Central and was planning to attend the BOCES Building Trades Program.

He loved the outdoors, and could be found sitting in a tree stand, hunting deer or turkeys and running rabbits with his beagle. He loved casting a fishing pole in whatever stream or lake he could find and riding dirt-bike and four-wheeler on or off the beaten path (sometimes without a helmet).

Raymond D. Greising, 77, Farmed, Worked For Thering Equipment

IN MEMORIAM: Raymond D. Greising, 77;

Farmed, Worked For Thering Equipment

Raymond D. Greising

BURLINGTON FLATS – Raymond D. Greising, 77, who spent his career in farming and the farm-equipment sector,  died unexpectedly on Thursday, Jan. 18, 2018, at his home.

Ray was born on Dec. 7, 1940, in Ulsterville, Ulster County, on the family farm. He was the son of the late Joseph and Emily LeMaire Greising.

Esther Jimenez, 95; Daughter Survives In Burlington Flats

IN MEMORIAM: Esther Jimenez, 95;

Daughter Survives In Burlington Flats

Esther Jimenez

BURLINGTON FLATS – Esther Jimenez, 95, died December 24, 2017 at the Sitrin Nursing Home in New Hartford, with members of her family near her side.

She was born on Feb. 23, 1922, in Jayuya, Puerto Rico to Felix and Emilia Aviles Fernandez.

Esther is survived by her children Manuel of Bangor, Pa.,  (wife, Marlene); Fernando of Melville, Long Island, (wife Mayra); and Rosa Posh of Burlington Flats, (husband, John).  Also surviving are 17 grandchildren, 28 great-grandchildren, and 14 great-great grandchildren.


Exhibit Of Local Art


OPENING RECEPTION – 5:30-7 p.m. “Our Town” exhibit featuring works by the students of the Cooperstown High School. The Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info,

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS – 6-8 p.m. Come meet young professionals from the Otsego area. Allen Ruffles will host with representatives from local businesses like Bassett, NYSHA, NYCM, NY Life, and Otsego County. They will be giving resume and application tips, interviewing advice, and presenting about their businesses. Rustic Ridge Winery, 2805 St. Hwy. 80, Burlington Flats, Info,

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