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News of Otsego County

Connie Herzig

Festival of Lights Opens In Neahwa Park

Festival of Lights

Opens In Neahwa Park

Connie Herzig, left, and event organizer Carol Mandigo, right, wave to visitors alongside Santa Claus during the opening night of The Festival of Lights in Neahwa Park earlier this evening. Visitors can make their way through the park via car and enjoy plenty of colorful displays created by local businesses and organizations. The event, sponsored by First Night Oneonta, is open each day at sundown for the next three weeks.(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Final Preparations Done; Festival Of Light Begins

DRIVE TO NEAHWA, TAKE A LOOK

Final Preparations Done;

Festival Of Light Begins

By the time you see this, Oneonta’s 2020 Festival of Lights should be underway at Neahwa Park. Drive down and take a look. Late this afternoon, First Lady Connie Herzig and Festival of Lights Committee Chair Stan Fox were spotted among the last-minute shovelers looking to prepare the displays after yesterday’s near-record snow storm. (Tara Barnwell/AllOTSEGO.com)
CCS Outbreak Hits Herzigs
Otsego COVID Cases Double, 5 Delaware Ones Sent Here

CCS Outbreak Hits Herzigs

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Mayor Gary Herzig takes a COVID test when the SUNY epidemic h

ONEONTA – In the past week, Otsego County doubled its November COVID-19, leaving Oneonta’s mayor and his wife among the newly quarantined.

With 37 new cases of the virus identified from Tuesday the 10th to Tuesday the 17th, the number of cases for the month rose from 46 to 83 in just seven days. Two from Otsego County were hospitalized, including a resident from a group home where 16 were infected after a staff member tested positive.

“The numbers are going in the wrong direction,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “And unfortunately, it’s a bit random, so that’s worrisome.”

Herzig himself is in “voluntary quarantine” after his wife Connie was exposed at Cooperstown Elementary School. She was deemed to be in “close contact” with a Cooperstown Elementary School teacher who tested positive for COVID on Monday, Nov. 16.

Herzig, who was substitute teaching at the school she retired from in 2018, is under required quarantine for two weeks.

“It’s something we’re all going through,” said the mayor, who was nonetheless able to attend this week’s Common Council meeting, held via Zoom.

Neither Herzig has shown symptoms or tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday, Nov. 17.

But more worrisome, said Heidi Bond, Otsego County public health director, is that her team so far hasn’t been able to link — or contact trace – some of these new cases spreading across the county.

“People can’t figure out where they picked it up,” she said. “These are people who have no known exposure to someone who they knew had tested positive.”

Last week, an employee at Applebee’s in the Southside Mall tested positive, but Bond said that no patrons have come forward with positive tests, only a few “close contacts” of the patient.

And before that, staff and residents of two residential living facilities, one in Oneonta and one in Cooperstown, tested positive for the virus, marking small “clusters” of cases that could be traced.

“That’s what we do when we interview people,” she said. “We try to determine where they’ve been for the last two weeks.”

The good news, she said, is that the SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College outbreaks have quieted, with one case at Hartwick and three at SUNY in recent days.

It’s too early, she said, to determine how many cases will spread from the positives at Cooperstown and Greater Plains Elementary Schools, both which went to remote learning this week after positive tests.

In all, 218 people are in quarantine, with one hospitalized at Albany Medical Center.
Local hospitals, meanwhile, are housing patients from Delaware County.

“Delaware County doesn’t have any ICU beds,” Bond told the SUNY Oneonta COVID-19 Task Force during its meeting on Monday, Nov. 16. “Two of those patients are at Fox Hospital, and three of them
at Bassett.”

According to Karen Huxtable-Hooker, Bassett Health Network spokesman, no hospitals in Delaware County are critical-access hospitals and they don’t have any ICU beds.

“They routinely transfer critical-care patients elsewhere,” she said.

While Fox does not have a dedicated ICU, Huxtable-Hooker said they have sectioned off spaces to provide COVID-specific care.

“Not all patients who are hospitalized for the coronavirus need ICU care,” said Huxtable-Hooker. “Some respond to treatment quickly and fully recover.”

Numbers are rising statewide and nationally, especially as students prepare to head home for the holidays, a move that could cause cases to spike.

“Families bringing their kids back to the area need them to quarantine for 14 days,” she said. “It’s hard, it’s the holidays, and no one wants to quarantine away from their family.”

After Potential Exposure, Mayor, First Lady In Quarantine

After Potential COVID Exposure,

Mayor, First Lady In Quarantine

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

Connie and Mayor Gary Herzig are quarantining after being exposed to COVID-19. (Libby Cudmore/AllOTSEGO.com)

ONEONTA – Following a “potential exposure” to COVID-19 at Cooperstown Elementary School, Connie Herzig, wife of Mayor Gary Herzig, is in precautionary quarantine and undergoing testing, as mandated by the Otsego County Department of Health.

Herzig is also “voluntarily” quarantine for 14 days. “It’s something we’re all going through,” he said.

According to Mayor Herzig, Connie, who retired from the school in 2018, was at the school as a substitute teacher, and was in contact with a teacher who later tested positive.

Neither Herzig has shown symptoms or tested positive for the virus

Despite Cold, Oneonta Welcomes The New Year

In Spite Of Wet Weather,

Oneonta Welcomes 2020

Mayor Gary Herzig and wife Connie bid onlookers a Happy New Year as they walk in the annual First Night parade in Oneonta this evening. Despite the wet weather and forecasted snow squalls, the parade went on, although the fireworks at the end of First Night’s “20/20 – I Can See Clearly” event were cancelled. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Art Abounds At City of the Hills Festival

Art, Culture Abound At

City of the Hills Festival

Sporting his “We’re Onta Something” shirt, Mayor Gary Herzig and First Lady Connie did some shopping at the City of the Hills Arts Festival, held this afternoon on Main Street in Oneonta. Warm weather and bright sunshine brought plenty of people downtown to visit the more than two dozen artisans and vendors who lined the streets for the annual festival, which also included music, readings and demonstrations, including Brenda Brooks of Studio BB in Goodyear Lake, right, who was busy painting a landscape next to her booth. “I had a lot on my walls, so I thought I’d sell some to buy more canvases!” she said.

 

 

 

Morell Breaks OHS Discus Record At Yellowjacket Invitational

SPEAKING OF SPORTS

Morell Breaks OHS Record

At Yellowjacket Invitational

Morell smiles after a successful throw at the Yellowjacket Invitational.

ONEONTA – With an AP exam on Friday, May 10 and another one scheduled for Monday, May 13, Bradley Morell still had time to break a school discus record at the Yellowjacket Invitational on the Lloyd Baker Field.

With a toss of 163’ 8”, Morell eclipsed his season best set last week of 160’ 0”.  The previous record was held by Jim Hurtubise in 2003, and was 163’ 3”.  Morell was very happy with his throw, and is looking toward the Section IV record of 176’ 0”, set by Ithaca’s Sam Cherney in 2012.

Morell helped his team by also winning the shot put with a put of 47’ 4”, a season best by almost a foot and a half.

In all, the girls took second out of 16 teams competing in the invitational, scoring 68.5 points, and the boys placed third with 43.5. Powerhouse Norwich won both.

Oneonta, Cooperstown Shine At Don Howard Invitational

MORELL, JENSEN LIFT TEAMS

Oneonta, Cooperstown Shine

At Don Howard Invitational

The winning OHS Yellowjackets are, front row from left, Erin Stalder, Ting Poon (holding trophy) and Yuliah Johnson; back row, from left, Sabrina Scianimanico, Jocelyn Turley, Jillian LaHood, Samantha Ficano, Olivia Hanbridge, Miriam Fonjweng, Randy Odago, Autumn Nealis, Oliva O’Donnell, Danielle Basdekis, Morgan Jipson. (Connie Herzig/AllOTSEGO.com)

Editor’s Note:  With this report, Connie Herzig becomes the weekly sports columnist for AllOTSEGO.com, Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.   An Oneonta resident and retired 25-year elementary phys-ed teacher at Cooperstown Elementary, she is active in the life of both communities, and expert in both sports scenes.  Send Connie news, story tips and any other inputs at herzig@stny.rr.com

OHS’ Brad Morell won both throwing events, pushing his team into first place.  (Photo courtesy David Morell)

The 29th Annual Don Howard Track & Field Invitational last Saturday, May 4, at Cooperstown High School had an unlikely star – the sun popped through for a while on a cloudy, windless and not-rainy day.  The spring season has been cold, wet and windy for much of the young season, but perfect conditions led to many season-best performances.  The great one himself, Don Howard, was there with his wife, Doris, to cheer on the teams.

The Oneonta girls’ team won the 13-team meet with 140.5 points, while Cooperstown’s girls were nipping at their heels in second with 119.5.

The two teams battled head to head in several key events, which were highlighted by the sprints, hurdle races and the jumping events.  In the 400m relay, the Oneonta team of Erin Stalder, Morgan Jipson, Yuliah Johnson and Reece Thorsland posted a time of 53.19, almost a second better than they had previously run this season.

The Cooperstown girls, Ashley Kiuber, Ireland Gable, Samantha Vezza and Nora Jensen, were second, improving their seed time by almost a second at 53.44.  Oneonta’s 1600m relay team also won, with Staldler, Thorsland, Danielle Basdekis and Randy Odago shaving five seconds off their time.

Cooperstown’s Nora Jensen won the 100m hurdles and was second to Oneonta’s Basdekis in the 400m hurdle race. (Cheryl Clough/AllOTSEGO.com)

Cooperstown’s Jensen had a great day in the hurdle races, winning the 100m hurdles and coming in second to Oneonta’s Basdekis in the 400m hurdle race.  Basdekis also won the 200m with teammate Johnson getting third.  Between them was Cooperstown’s freshman sprinter Gable.  Johnson also won the 100m for Oneonta.  In the 400m, Oneonta’s Stalder won the race, taking 3 seconds off her season best.  Teammate Olivia O’Donnell was third and Cooperstown’s Abby Ford was fourth.

West Kortright Center Sends Director Off In Style

West Kortright Center Sends

Van Burek Off In Style

Mayor Gary Herzig and wife Connie give Martha Van Burek, outgoing director of the Wet Kortright Center, at Martha’s Great Retirement Rumpus on Saturday afternoon. Hundreds of guests honored Van Burek, who has worked there for 43 years, with testimonials, musical performances and scenes from Shakespeare plays. Marie, Sander Sebastian, who owns the farm next door, presented Martha with a quilt made in 1987 bearing an image of the Center. “I just love this place.” said Van Burek, “It raised my daughter and now my grandchildren. It’s all so rewarding and I think you all for letting me do it.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

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County Who’s Who Hails $10 Million Check Arrival

SEE SLIDE SHOW OF BIG EVENT

County Who’s Who Hails

$10 Million Check Arrival

Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gets a congratulatory hug from Otsego Now COO Elizabeth Horvath after the announcement that the City of Oneonta will received a $10 million special allocation from Governor Cuomo for downtown revitalization. At right is the city's first lady, Connie Herzig. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig gets a congratulatory hug from Otsego Now COO Elizabeth Horvath after the announcement that the City of Oneonta will received a $10 million special allocation from Governor Cuomo for downtown revitalization.  At right is the city’s first lady, Connie Herzig.   Check slide show to see the range of attendees at yesterday’s event in Foothills Performing Arts Center’s black-box theater.  (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
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