Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      In a world of drones and satellites, why use a spy balloon?     What to know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon     She lost her partner in the protests. Then her twins. She’s still at it.     Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      Ukraine live briefing: More than 170 freed in prisoner swap; new U.S.-made bombs will double Ukraine’s reach     In one of South Sudan’s forlorn camps, even a papal visit feels far away     Attacking Vuhledar, Russia previews new push to seize southeast Ukraine      In a world of drones and satellites, why use a spy balloon?     What to know about the suspected Chinese spy balloon     She lost her partner in the protests. Then her twins. She’s still at it.     

News of Otsego County


News from the Noteworthy: City of the Hills: Out With the Old and in With the New
News from the Noteworthy

City of the Hills: Out With
the Old and in With the New

Welcome to Oneonta. Welcome new businesses and new members of our community.

We’ve been waiting for you, and we are so glad you’re here.

Welcome to the Apple Express, which finally fills the empty space that was Friendly’s.

The ice cream shop was an anchor for the neighborhood, and the Apple Express is a terrific candidate to fill that role for the future. Providing convenient, small grocery shopping to an area that doesn’t have it, is bound to make it popular. And as a high-traffic space it will play a role in bringing together neighbors, new and old.

Singh Family Readies New Retail Property

Singh Family Readies
New Retail Property

Former Friendly’s Being Converted to Apple Express
Harry Singh is converting the former Friendly’s restaurant to a convenience store. The Singh family also owns Apple Food and Grocery and Apple Inn and Suites in Milford and the Pit Stop in Index. (Photo by Tara Barnwell)


ONEONTA – The Singh family of Milford owns a number of properties in Otsego County, their latest acquisition being the former Friendly’s restaurant in Oneonta.

“The location of the old Friendly’s is great. The parking is great, as well,” said Harry Singh, who will be running Apple Express, a new convenience store currently under construction at 377 Main Street.

Apple of Our Eye

Apple of Our Eye

Photo by Tara Barnwell

ONEONTA—The former Friendly’s building in Oneonta will now become an Apple Express. Paul Singh, owner of Apple Food and Grocery and Apple Inn and Suites in Milford, is no longer involved in the Oneonta project. “We are on to bigger and better things and looking forward to the future,” Singh said.

Coop Vendors, Officials: 2022 a ‘Good Year’

Coop Vendors, Officials:
2022 a ‘Good Year’

By Caspar Ewig
Cooperstown Patrolman Brad Ross prepares the parking meters for winter. (Caspar Ewig/

Now that the parking meters have received their winter covers, it is time to assess the results of summer 2022 in Cooperstown.

The meters, which spring into function on Memorial Day and fall into disuse on Columbus Day, as well as the trolley ridership from the parking lots that surround Cooperstown, represent a good barometer of the town’s commercial health. Using that yardstick as a guide, this summer has proved to be a good exit from the pandemic doldrums.

Based on the parking income, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk was quite encouraged that Cooperstown had bounced back.

“In a good year, we expect gross parking income to reach $450,000. This year we collected $300,000 from the meters and $59,000 from the parking app,” Falk said.

In Memoriam John Poole Briggs, 85 August 9, 1937 – September 16, 2022
In Memoriam

John Poole Briggs, 85

August 9, 1937 – September 16, 2022

John Briggs

COOPERSTOWN – John Poole Briggs, 85, died peacefully at his home in Ormond Beach, Florida, on September 16, 2022, with his fiancé at his side. 

He was born on August 9, 1937, to Harold John Poole and Edna Martha (Fredericks) Briggs of Northport. As a young boy, he spent summers on his father’s boat, the “Silver Fox,” where he developed a love for the ocean. A businessman at heart, John would sell batteries and T.V. tubes to fishermen and boaters on the dock in Northport. At 15, he opened his first T.V. repair shop behind the Midway, a newspaper & soda shop. He then proceeded to help his lifelong friend, Elsa Posey, who was also 15, open her school of dance.

In 1954, he drove his 1934 wood-side Ford across the country to Alaska. After his funds were exhausted, he returned home. The young businessman continued his T.V. repair business as he rented a shop on Main Street in Northport. One lesson he would reflect on often was when his father borrowed $1,000.00 from him and used it as a down payment to purchase a building for the business. His father’s opinion was, in business, if you have to make payments, “it is better to own than rent.” 

Saving Main Street USA

Column by James Dean

Saving Main Street USA

As a non-retail small business owner and an astute observer of Main Street USA, I have great sympathy for the economic struggles of Main Street USA storefront retailers.

Main Street USA, and its storefront retail businesses, can define their communities desirability and quality of life, by whether they look bright, attractive, welcoming, thriving, and growing, or dusty, dark, stuck in time, just holding on, or dying.

The centuries-old, only game in town, limited aging product inventory, “passive retailing” model of “open the door, turn on a few lights, and wait” has been laid to rest by the new, dynamic, low-expense, multiple-choice, latest model: the shop-in-your-underwear, anything you want delivered tomorrow, free shipping, free easy returns, online retailing model.

The choice for many Main Street USA storefront retailers — to have any hope of improving their customer traffic and financial situation — is to change the way they see and act upon the retailer/customer relationship and understand their additional responsibilities for the success of their own business, or slowly pass away from self-imposed, unwilling to change, benign neglect.

If a business district and the retail stores look bright, alive, attractive, colorful, vibrant, successful, active, cheerful, and welcoming, then people will be happy to be there. When people are happy to be there, enjoying the moment, they will patronize more businesses and spend more money.

This Week – 03-10-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

March 10, 2022


Spot the local luminaries! Nearly the full cast and crew of “A Roadhouse Coup” pose after shooting the cocktail party scene at Oneonta’s Masonic Lodge. Filmmaker Lori Bailey told a Cooperstown gathering on March 8 she hopes to have the feature-length film complete in time for a September premier. See story on page 6.


Cooperstown Central enlists MMA champ, Iraq war vet in anti-bullying strategy

Inside The Paper

Rep. Delgado brings SBA head to Cooperstown for tour, talks

Richfield Springs ready to build youth sports complex

Otego geologist shares his views on an Interstate sign’s misnomer

‘Eva Coo’ feature on track for fall release

Sonny Landreth, Cindy Cashdollar set Otesaga Concert Date

Green Cow still open, but moooooves to Hartwick



Taking on Bullies


Wabbit season

Youth mental health needs in Otsego County

History Column

Bound Volumes


Editors Policy


David W. Brenner

Thomas M. Hughson


Happenin’ Otsego

Be afraid but do it anyway: Changing Countries

Be afraid but do it anyway:
Changing Countries

Changing countries? Are you always afraid to do that? Or do you learn to take big moves in stride? Do you become starry-eyed over the next adventure?

Maybe. Stars sure danced in front of my eyes when a former partner lured me to move from New Zealand to London. One of the most exciting cities in the world and one where English was the native language. On top of that, all of my on-the-job training in New Zealand was in the British school of journalism. I was armed to take London by storm with tear sheets of my front-page leads at Wellington’s morning paper, The Dominion, and tapes of my best radio and TV news reports.

My plane ticket included 13,000 miles of getting on and off planes, changing airlines, picking stop-over destinations.

Mohican Flowers hosts Grand Opening!

Mohican Flowers hosts Grand Opening!

Hanna Bergene and Henry Bauer stand in front of the newly reopened Mohican Flowers. They both run the shop, which their families helped to revamp in a ‘fantastic family affair.’

The grand opening of Mohican Flowers is underway!

After months in which Hanna, boyfriend Henry Bauer, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins helped to revamp this local landmark, local residents can once again purchase their flowers from this local business. And it’s not only flowers anymore. Bergene has invited local artisans to put their wares for sale in the shop and there is everything from pottery from Cooperstown Pottery and Beiko Ceramics to jewelry by Karen Katz.

The weekend has seen a steady stream of people and the opening will run through 2 p.m.

James F. ‘Jim’ Tongue, 80 Owned & operated The Cupboard

In Memoriam

James F. ‘Jim’ Tongue, 80

Owned & operated The Cupboard

Jim Tongue

COOPERSTOWN – James F. “Jim” Tongue, a true man about town and well-respected Cooperstown businessman who for many years owned and operated The Cupboard on Main Street, passed away following a struggle with Alzheimer’s disease Tuesday night, June 15, 2021, at his home on Walnut Street with his beloved wife and best friend, Barb, his daughters, step daughter and sister-in-law at his side. He was 80.

Governor Cuomo announces most COVID restrictions will be ending

Governor Cuomo announces
most COVID restrictions will be ending

STAFF REPORT • Special to

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday, June 15, that he will ending most COVID restrictions affecting businesses, after hitting the threshhold 70% of New Yorkers vaccinated with at least one dose.

As a result, concerts, sports, nights clubs and other businesses can return to normal operations without the need for social distancing, masks or limits on capacity.

“It means we can return to life as we know it,” Cuomo said at a press conference in front of One World Trade Center in Manhattan. “We have the highest vaccination rate in the country.”

Businesses can now set their own rules on vaccine passes and social distancing.

Separately, the city of Oneonta announced that all public buildings will be open to the public again as of Monday, June 14.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, said he welcomed the news but was critical of Cuomo in a statement.

“Is he lifting the state’s emergency declaration and ending his extraordinary powers?” Oberacker said. “Once again, the governor makes grand claims and leaves everyone scrambling to sort out the details.”



LEVINE: Foundation stresses needs of community


Foundation stresses
needs of community


The Community Foundation of Otsego County is up and running and wants you to join us as one of our Founders.

We are OF the community, FOR the community, and want to do everything in our power to improve the quality of life for all residents of Otsego County. We also want to live by our values which include taking direction from the community we serve.

The concept of forming a philanthropic organization to serve one’s community is not new. There are over 750 community foundations across the nation. Successful foundations exist in New York counties to our north, east, south and west. The essential difference between a community foundation and a more common private foundation is that we are a public enterprise. Our funding is from our public and our responsibility is to our public – our friends and neighbors.

Many of the successful community foundations in our region of New York have taken decades to grow to the level where they are able to make a difference. Small but sure steps. One dollar at a time, invested so that spending was limited to earnings at the rate of 4 or 5% per year. The early emphasis was on asset building.

This is an important strategy and one that we are working on too. But we want to make a difference NOW. How can we do that?

Our approach is to raise seed capital that we are willing to invest in our community instead of in the stock market. Thus, our Founders Campaign is to secure $2 million. These funds will be used over the next five years, while our other strategy (accumulating investment assets) is pursued to secure our future sustainability.

Ours is a modern model. It borrows from the world of venture capital and private equity. It is founded on the bedrock confidence that our community will support our work. It is responsive to today’s needs.

The formation of Community Foundation of Otsego County is a vitally important step in the health of our county. It is an opportunity for neighbors and friends to join together to work smartly to address issues that need addressing.

We hope that many of you decide to join us as Founders. The amount of your support is up to you. We want broad participation. We have made it easy to join us. Send us a check. Make a five-year pledge (to match our five-year business plan). Donate appreciated stock or real estate. Use your credit card or Pay Pal.

Set up a monthly or annual payment program. Go to our website to get more information ( Or simply mail us a check to P.O. Box 55, Springfield Center, NY 13468.

How are we doing so far, you ask? Well, our goal is $2 million. Today, we are 90% of the way to that target. Our entire board has joined as Founders as well as more than 100 others.

And are we making a difference now? Absolutely yes!

Our COVID Emergency Fund disbursed $200,000 in 27 awards. We have helped families put food on their tables, provided shelter to homeless individuals, supported over 100 small businesses and much more.

In 2021, we have allocated another $200,000 to meet challenges facing our community.

Please visit our website for details on our award programs.

Will you join us as a Founder? This is a once only opportunity to be part of a group of like-minded friends and neighbors dedicated to creating a force for good in our community.

We deeply believe that caring together makes us stronger together.

Please join us.

Help wanted: Businesses struggle to find workers

Help wanted

Businesses struggle to find workers


Help wanted signs can be seen throughout Otsego County, including this one at Kwik Fill in Oneonta. (Michael Forster Rothbart/

ONEONTA — A blue and white sign stands in the grass at the entrance to Southside Mall in the town of Oneonta: “JOBS! Cooperstown All-Star Village APPLY NOW.” In either direction, along the mile-long commercial strip from Wal-Mart to Home Depot, at least eight stores advertise available positions.
Outside Home Depot, in the afternoon Monday, May 17, two employees in masks help an older customer with curbside pickup, loading 2×4 boards over the passenger seat into his Buick sedan. The store has more than 70 employees and is now hiring people for eight positions, mostly part-time.

“We’re short six people, now that the college students just left,” said the older employee, who declined to be identified.

Otsego Looks Outdoors
With Another Tourism Season In Doubt

Otsego Looks Outdoors

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Lori Paparteys and her dog, Bailey, pose during their Otsego Octet Ultra Challenge. Paparteys and Bailey completed the trail challenge in one day.

With tourism dealt another pandemic-related blow last week, Otsego County’s leaders are increasingly turning to outdoor adventures to lure visitors.

“We’re actually in the process right now of trying to launch a massive campaign to tout our outdoor adventure,” said Cassandra Harrington, executive director of Destination Marketing Corporation, which promotes tourism in Otsego and Schoharie counties.

Harrington said the tourism news has been mostly dismal in the week since Cooperstown Dreams Park announced it would require all teams playing at the park’s summer tournaments to be vaccinated for the coronavirus pandemic. The uncertainty of getting vaccinations for children and a hard refund deadline has left dozens of teams in a catch-22, leading to hundreds of reported cancellations.

23 fifth grade students from Milford Central School also completed the Otsego Octet Challenge from Otsego Outdoors.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s winter announcement that it was moving its postponed 2020 Induction Weekend to a virtual event, had already crushed pre-pandemic hopes for a record sized crowd for Derek Jeter’s induction.

However, the reopening of the baseball parks, Dreams Park in Hartwick Seminary and Cooperstown All-Star Village in West Oneonta, was a big pillar of the county’s hopes for a renewed summer of tourism. All-Star Village has not announced similar vaccination requirements for its teams, but the Dreams Park changes make its June opening unlikely, Harrington said.

“Now that the bottom fell out with Dreams Park, our accommodations are dealing with a flood of cancellations,” she said. “So, we really need those outdoor visitors more than ever.”

Tops, Price Chopper Set For Merger

Tops, Price Chopper Set For Merger

Can Both Cooperstown Supermarkets Survive?

By Jim Kevlin • Special to

Price Chopper patron
Pete Gambino exits the Cooperstown store.

It looks like the Cooperstown area, which hosts both a Price Chopper and a Tops Friendly Market, will be an oddity with the merger of the two supermarket companies that was announced Monday, Feb. 9.

The two companies have “a footprint that’s almost perfectly contiguous,” with minimal overlap, Price Chopper/Market 32 President/CEO Scott Grimmett told the Albany Times Union.

With Price Chopper at Chestnut and Walnut in the village, and Tops 3.8 miles away in Cooperstown Commons, that wouldn’t be the case in Baseball Town, particularly since the corporate merger appears to end all competition in Otsego County north of Greater Oneonta, where the Price Chopper in Emmons competes with Hannaford, Aldi’s, BJ’s and Walmart.

“Right now, there are no plans to close any stores,” said Jonathan Pierce of Pierce Communications, Albany, which is handling press queries.

The only other supermarket in Northern Otsego is in Richfield Springs, also a Price Chopper.

Pierce said the merger is being examined by the Federal Trade Commission to assess its impact on the competitive picture.

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