News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.


Cherry Valley news

Phillip Zenir, 60, Cherry Valley; Local Stonemason, Musician


Phillip Zenir, 60, Cherry Valley;

Local Stonemason, Musician

Phil Zenir

COOPERSTOWN — Phillip Zenir, 60, local stonemason and musician, passed away Nov. 5, 2019, following a courageous battle with primary progressive aphasia, a rare form of dementia.

The son of John and Rosemarie (Bopp) Zenir, Phil was was born on May 30, 1959, in Mount Vernon, Westchester.   He graduated from Carmel High School and attended Dutchess Community College, receiving two associate degrees in English and business.

He served as student council president and pursued his love of acting by performing in several theater productions.

Singer With Local Roots Killed In Calif. Crash

Victim Is Jazz Great Paul Bley’s Daughter

Singer Raised Locally

Killed In Calif. Crash

2 Children Also Dead In Head-On

Known professionally as Vanessa Bley, she was the lead singer of the band Beast Patrol.

COOPERSTOWN – Vanessa Goss Bley, 34, daughter of famed late jazz pianist Paul Bley and artist Carol Goss, Cherry Valley, was killed Friday in a three vehicle accident in Santa Barbara County, Calif.

Also killed in the wreck were two children, who are yet unidentified, according to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s officials.

According to a story published in the Santa Ynez Valley Star, the head-on crash occurred around 4:45 p.m. on Friday near the Cold Spring Bridge on Highway 154, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Ghost Hunter Maps 187 Bodies In Roseboom Church Graveyard

Ghost Hunter Maps 187 Bodies

In Roseboom Church Graveyard

Local author and ghost hunter Susan Miller presents her findings at the Roseboom Church on Thursday evening. According to Miller, as many as 187 bodies are buried behind the church. (James Cummings/

By JAMES CUMMINGS • Special to

Miller and fellow ghost hunter Linda Leckenbusch pose with their dowsing rods. They use these, along with a pendulum, to determine the relative location of gravesites.

ROSEBOOM – A woman who died in childbirth. Six children, from just hours old to 19. A male cat.

These are some of the 187 bodies Susan Miller, a Cherry Valley ghost hunter, told the Roseboom Historical Association that she found while dowsing the burial site behind the Roseboom Church.

“I grew up seeing ghosts,” said Miller, who has been dowsing since 1971.

Approximately 187 bodies are buried in the plot behind the Roseboom Church according to Susan Miller, a regional author and ghost hunter from Cherry Valley. In her presentation at the church on Thursday evening, Miller discussed the process of dowsing and how she managed to map the burial site.

In C-V, Delgado Briefs Crowd On Impeachment

In C-V, Delgado Briefs

Crowd On Impeachment

Before a crowd of 100 people, U.S. Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-19, began last evening’s Town Hall meeting – he has held more than two dozen around the district since his election last November – with a briefing on why he changed his mind and is now supporting the impeachment of President Trump. He advised attendees, however, that there would be no rush to judgment – that impeachment should be a deliberative process, according to Andy Minnig, who with wife Kathy attended the session in the gym at the former school, now a Community Center. Minnig, who provided this photo, said the crowd was supportive, and attendees from as far away at Cooperstown and Oneonta.  The freshman congressman was applauded at several points.
Graham Humes, 86, Cherry Valley; ‘Dean Of Investment Banking’ In Pa. 


Graham Humes, 86, Cherry Valley;

‘Dean Of Investment Banking’ In Pa. 

Graham Humes

CHERRY VALLEY – Graham Humes, 86, once referred to as the “dean of investment banking in Philadelphia,” died on Sept. 26, in Cherry Valley.

He served as a board member of Hyde Hall mansion, the National Historic Landmark, and was a retired board member of Brunschwig & Fils, the George M. Leader Family Corp. and emeritus board member of the Committee of Seventy in Philadelphia.

Graham and his wife, Elizabeth Hershey Humes, raised six children, which he considered the most important accomplishment of his life.

LINDLEY: Agent Catapulted Christina Lindley’s Modeling Career To Heights In U.S., World

Agent Catapulted Christina

Lindley’s Modeling Career

To Heights In U.S., World

To the Editor:

My legal name is Christina Linderman, and my modeling, Screen Actors Guild Union, and professional poker player “stage” name is Christina Lindley. I have known Victoria Pressly since I was 24, and I turned 38 this week.

Lindley was featured in a clothed photo spread in Playboy magazine.

I called Victoria from Tennessee out of the blue where I lived at the time at 24, after my research online showed that a model I looked up to had worked with her. I told her I wanted to leave Tennessee and pursue a career in Hollywood. I asked her if she would represent me as my publicist. She said to call her again when I got to Hollywood.

I did, she represented me, and over the course of roughly six years of working together she personally booked me on several of what I deem to be my greatest stepping stones in my career as a model, actress, and professional poker player including, but not limited to, the following:

  • A Maxim magazine feature that led to two years of paid promotional appearances, which helped me make a living in Hollywood while I was pursuing acting and poker full time
  • A Playboy non-nude celebrity pictorial called “Babe of the Month”
  • “Fear Factor,” the TV show’s “models edition”
  • Cover of Fitness RX magazine and pictorial which helped me book paid fitness spokesperson multi-year contracts with national brands such as Muscletech,, and BSN by boosting my profile within the fitness industry
  • A guest appearance on “Home James,” a VH1 reality show
  • The cover of Poker Pro magazine
  • A contract with Foxwoods Casino, representing their World Poker Tour televised $10,000 event, along with all of the press surrounding the event, as well as Foxwoods paying the $10,000 buy-in for me to play in the tournament
  • Photoshoots with some of the best photographers I have ever worked with for my modeling portfolio that wound up published in magazines around the world
  • The cover of Australian Poker Weekly

I have been out of the entertainment industry for several years and am now working in the business sector. Regardless of this, Victoria has continued to stay in touch for years wishing me well.

We have become friends over the years, and in my personal experience of my time working with Victoria, the value she brought to the table, and what she achieved for me in bookings and press across all three of my professional entertainment endeavors of acting, modeling and professional poker playing, far outweighed what I believe to be very reasonable costs she charged as a professional publicist.

She was an enormous asset to me in my professional pursuits, and I am confident I would not have gotten to where I did without her help.


Las Vegas, Nev.

Beleaguered CV Talent Scout Dedicated To Clients, Family

Beleaguered CV Talent Scout

Dedicated To Clients, Family

To the Editor:

I am writing on behalf of Victoria Pressly, who has been a friend of mine for the past 10 years.

Victoria Pressly

If I had to think of one word to describe Victoria, it would be “passionate.” She is passionate about life. She is passionate about her family. She is passionate about her clients and career.

Victoria’s career has required a significant amount of travel, and yet when I think of her, I think of the mom who is at every soccer game, school play and concert. She not only cares deeply about her children, she is incredibly supportive and involved in their lives.

Victoria is also dedicated to her clients. Living in Upstate New York, there are many challenges that must be overcome to build a thriving career, and yet Victoria managed to do just that while raising a family. I have often heard her speak about her clients with both the fierce determination to help them succeed and the protectiveness of a mother hen. It has always been obvious that she cares deeply.

My children and Victoria’s children are similar in age so I understand fully the time and emotional commitment involved in being a mother. I also work full time and know the challenges of managing family and career. Victoria has always impressed me with her ability to not only manage, but thrive and remain passionate about both.



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.

XEN SAMS: I Love Talent Agent To Pieces, Actress Says

I Love Talent Agent

To Pieces, Actress Says

To the Editor:

Xen Sams

I have worked with Victoria for close to 10 years. She’s a hustler in piranha-filled waters.

She works hard to promote her clients, follows protocol, respects the art and bows to the game.

She rolls up her sleeves if called upon and works hard to create a marketable brand for her clients.

She creates synergies, combines personalities and aids in any way she can to create something wonderful.

Models, actors, filmmakers, producers and directors dance at her parties, but she’s up “farm girl” style at 6 a.m.

She is very family-oriented and stable. Victoria is unique, because she is a business person and a mother – passionate and gentle.

Victoria is a firecracker wrapped up in a Chanel lipstick!  Love her to pieces.

I am currently working with Victoria to promote my next round of films, but I am very excited in particular about “The Banker and Waldo.”



WOODBERRY: Victoria’s Network Impressive; Connections Beyond Expectation

Victoria’s Network Impressive;

Connections Beyond Expectation

To the Editor:

Warren Woodberry Jr.

From the moment I met Victoria Talbot Pressly she proved she was a serious connector whose impressive Rolodex has played an integral part in the growth and sustainability of Millennium Magazine.

I met Vicky while standing in line for drinks at a doctor’s summer penthouse party on Manhattan’s Eastside in 2011. She was standing in front of me when I stepped up and she turned around to say, “Hi,” and introduced herself. She told me she was a publicist and I told her that I was a magazine publisher and that we should talk.

Minutes later she introduced me to her friend Lauren, who covered the Hamptons for another magazine out East. I welcomed her to join my venture, and Vicky’s friend proved to be such an outstanding contributor to Millennium I later made her editor at large.

Prosecutor Says: Fashion Models Bilked

Prosecutor Says:

Fashion Models Bilked

Victoria Pressly

CHERRY VALLEY – Victoria Pressly’s agency promised models and actors all over the country she could get them into magazines and onto the red carpet, said Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl.

But it wasn’t always so, he said.

“She talks a good game, holds herself out as someone who has connections and can get models and actors onto the red carpet, exclusive events, photo shoots and interviews,” said Muehl. “But the complaint is she gets the retainer up front and doesn’t do anything.”

Pressly, 53, owner of Victoria Pressly PR Celebrity Agency and HYPEPRnow in Cherry Valley, was arrested and charged with Grand Larceny, third degree, and Scheme to Defraud, first degree, following an investigation by the District Attorney’s office.

According to the complaint, between Nov. 5, 2018, and Jan. 15, 2019, Pressly “did steal property valued in excess of $3,000.”

According to Muehl, aspiring models paid her a retainer with the understanding that she would be able to book them for photo shoots, red carpet appearances and interviews in national publications.

“She advertised herself as a PR person,” he said.

However, the clients alleged that she never delivered on any of the promised services, and when they complained, she blocked them on social media and stopped returning calls.

Emmy Adams, the 2016 Miss Nevada, claimed she was one of Pressly’s scammed clients in a post on her Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.

“Being new to Hollywood, this woman told me she could elevate my career but instead she SCAMMED me and has been scamming other models and actresses for thousands and thousands of dollars!!!” she wrote. “She scammed me out of $4,300!!!”

She also encouraged victims to share the post and report their experiences with Pressly. “She has been getting away with this for 20+ years and it’s time for her to stop.”

Pressly was also charged with scheming to defraud clients, with the indictment alleging that she “did engage in a scheme constituting a systematic ongoing course of conduct…by false or fraudulent pretenses, representations or promises.”

At present, Muehl said, she is being charged with taking $4,500 from clients without booking them any of the promised promotional appearances.

Muehl said “several” of the clients have already come forward.

Cherry Valley Woman Charged With Defrauding Models


C-V Woman Charged

With Defrauding Models

Victoria Pressly

COOPERSTOWN – A Cherry Valley woman was charged with fraud after several out-of-state models claimed they paid her to help them book photo shoots and interviews, but never received any of the services promised.

Victoria Pressly, 53, owner of  Victoria Pressly PR Celebrity Agency, was indicted and charged with Grand Larceny, third degree and Scheme to Defraud, first degree, following an investigation by the Otsego County District Attorney’s office.

Cherry Valley Trustees Ban Farm Animals

Cherry Valley

Trustees Ban

Farm Animals

Cherry Valley Mayor Lou Guido (red shirt) listens to concerns of resident Andy Minnig, seated, far left, about a farm animal ban in the village.  Sitting clockwise from the mayor are Village Clerk Ann S. Herr, Village Attorney E. Hyde Clarke, Interim DPW Superintendent Dave Hajczewski, Trustees Conway Bishop and Ian Feulner, and DPW Maintenance staffer Taylor Miles.  Sitting behind Mayor Guido is his wife, JoAnn.  (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILLS • Special to

CHERRY VALLEY – In a unanimous vote, the Village Board Monday evening approved a ban on farm animals, excepting “fowl and chickens,” within village limits “to protect the health and welfare of residents.”

The law, Local Law 1 of 2019, notably allows property owners to apply for a waiver by the Village Board “if required for religious purposes,” which was added to the law after some village residents accused trustees of using the law to discriminate against the Amish.

Mildred Wolny, 92; Owned Cherry Valley’s Friendly Store

IN MEMORIAM: Mildred Wolny, 92;

Owned Cherry Valley’s Friendly Store

CHERRY VALLEY – Mildred Wolny, 92, who operated the Friendly Corner Store here for 12 years, passed away on Friday, Aug. 2, 2019, at Palatine Nursing Home.

Born in Brooklyn, in 1927, Mildred spent her early life with her family in Queens. She graduated from Newtown High School studying business and interned at Tiffany’s in Manhattan. She attended Barbizon School of Modeling and also modeled jewelry while at Tiffany’s.

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