COOPERSTOWN – Former Cooperstown gym teacher Justin Hobbie, 42, has been sentenced to 200 months in prison for posing as a teen boy on social media to persuade three teenage girls to send him sexually explicit videos of themselves, according to a release from United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
“While working as a teacher, Justin Hobbie preyed on teenage girls he met online by pretending to be a teenage boy and pressuring victims to make and send him sexually explicit video,” said Jaquith. “Hobbie has now been held accountable for egregiously exploiting those children over a three-year period.”
After a downpour delayed Cooperstown Central School’s 1:30 p.m. Commencement 2020 for 45 minutes this afternoon, Anya McGoldrick, left, and Natalie Fountain, top photo, lead a procession of 78 seniors through cheers and beeping horns in the school parking lot to the ceremony in the field between the high school and elementary schools. Inset left, Tammi Kelly and Don Corns – their grad is Morgan Kelly – opened a golf umbrella through their sunroof as shelter from the rain. The seniors will be honored with a parade through downtown Cooperstown at 5 p.m. – head- on down! (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
CABARET – 5 – 9 p.m. CCS students present this years Cabaret night. Begins with soup & chili dinners, 2 stage of entertainment featuring local performers, & silent auction. Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. 607-547-8181 or visit www.cooperstowncs.org
COOPERSTOWN – Some 200 people filled the high school cafeteria for a half-hour this evening, expressing fears to the Cooperstown Central school board that the development of the 2020-21 budget would bring an end to varsity football and curtail other extra-curricular activities.
Despite the size of the crowd, school board President Tim Hayes cut off discussion after the 30 minutes scheduled for public input. “There is no plan right now,” he said, although the school board is considering all options in its budget deliberations. Decisions will have to be made by May, when the school budget goes to a public vote.
Parent Tom Ives, Mount Vision, described ending football as “cutting the head off the snake,” suggesting that all the striving, discipline and community spirit engendered by the sports – the body of the snake – will die, too.
CONCERT – 3 p.m. Enjoy mix of American music for ‘Good Ol’ Summertime in Winter’ concert. Beat the winter blues with pieces like Carousel, America The Beautiful, more performed by Oneonta Community Concert Band. FoxCare Center, 1 FoxCare Dr., Oneonta. 607-432-7085.
COOPERSTOWN – K-12 staffing, extracurricular activities and classroom sizes will all be discussed during the second of three public meetings on the Cooperstown Central School budget, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22 at the school.
“We are in the very early stages of budget formation,” said Superintendent Bill Crankshaw. “Last month we discussed the administration portion of the budget. This month we will talk about the program portion of the budget and then the capital portion.”
Although the budget won’t officially be unveiled until March, the Board of Education will take this opportunity to explore their options.
COOPERSTOWN – The mother of two 7-year-olds was fearful as this edition went to press Tuesday evening, Oct. 1, that one of her sons would be barred from Cooperstown Elementary School the following morning, even though she believed both boys are vaccinated in accordance with a new state law.
That morning, she had received an email from CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw directing her to remove her children from school for failing to be fully vaccinated.
Amanda Perrault, a Hartwick College graduate who works at Bassett Healthcare and lives in the Town of Hartwick, said she has a religious objection to using vaccines developed from aborted fetal tissue. (The Immunization Action Coalition reports that two cell lines from two legally aborted fetuses in the 1960s are the basis of vaccines for varicella, rubella, hepatitis A and other ailments.)
However, since the state Legislature removed the religious exemption in June, the two children have been undergoing the vaccination regimen, and are due for their final injections Oct. 16. “As far as I understand it,” she said, “it’s affected a lot of families statewide.”
Meanwhile, tests (titers) as recently as Monday, Sept. 30, showed Perrault’s two children are free of any of the feared diseases, and she believes that she is in compliance with all associated provisions of the state Public Health Law.
The email from Crankshaw included “as it was explained to me,” which caused the mother to believe that the superintendent may not understand that her children are compliant and in the process of becoming fully compliant.
Later in the day, she said she met with the elementary principal, Ann Meccariello, and school nurse Kim Stahl and explained that one of her boys is on a schedule of shots that will be complete Oct. 16. A vaccination was administered faultily to her second son, she continued, and cannot be administered again for a set period of time.
Perrault said she recognizes the need for vaccines, and while in high school at Mount Markham participated on a mission to Bolivia to vaccinate children against measles. But raised a Catholic and now a Christian, she withheld vaccinations heretofore because of her religious beliefs.
With her husband Cory fighting cancer and tending babies at home, she has no daycare option if the children can’t go to school, she said.
Reached later Tuesday, Crankshaw said “the general approach is to be compassionate and understanding, but we certainly need to defer to state law and the advice of our medical professionals” – he cited Dr. Phil Haevner, the district medical director, in his email to Perrault – “and our attorneys as well.”
OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate group art exhibit “The Land On Which We Gather,” honoring new SUNY president Barbara Jean Morris. Features 40+ works by 8 artists of native descent in various mediums from painting to beading, sculpture. Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3456 or visit suny.oneonta.edu/art-department/art-galleries
COOPERSTOWN – Former Cooperstown Central School gym teacher Justin Hobbie pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, nine months after the Department of Homeland Security raided his home and found child pornography on his computer in December 2018, United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith announced in a release.
In pleading guilty, Hobbie, 41, Springfield Center admitted that from 2015 to 2018, he persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced three girls under the age of 16 to transmit live depictions of sexually explicit activity to him. Hobbie then recorded them so he could look at them again, according to the U.S. attorney.
DUCK DERBY – 10 a.m. Help launch a flock of rubber duckies at the headwaters of the Susquehanna. Support Cooperstown Leo Club on day trip to the United Nations in NYC. Cost, $5/duck or $20/5-ducks at Otesaga, Mel’s @ 22, others. Finish line just South of Main St. Bridge, Cooperstown. 607-282-2956 or visit www.facebook.com/CooperstownLionsClub/
COOPERSTOWN – While contemplating how to respond to a student’s beating and the furor it evoked, Cooperstown Central School Superintendent Bill Crankshaw got some welcome good news.
After a four-year wait, CCS received word Monday, June 17, it has received $500,000 in state Smart School Bond money intended for security and infrastructure improvements in the schools.
“It’s great news and it’s a relief,” said Crankshaw.
It means the district has funds to help assuage parents’ and students’ safety concerns after two high school students allegedly called a classmate a “f—-t” and kicked and beat him.
Parents and students packed a Cooperstown PTA meeting on Tuesday, June 11, and a school board one Thursday, June 13, some upset at school administrators’ handling of the alleged attack and bullying prevention, in general.
Of the half-million dollars, $240,000 will be used to install security cameras campus-wide “in areas that have the most traffic and potential for safety concerns” and about $70,000 will go to installing “a new centralized proximity-reader system connected to the security camera system,” according to CCS’ Smart School Bond’s Plan Summary in using the funds.
COOPERSTOWN – All students are safe and law enforcement is present at Cooperstown Schools after Superintendent William Crankshaw received a tip that a student allegedly had access to a firearm.
“During the early morning hours, I was notified by a community member that a student may have access to a firearm,” he wrote in an email to parents this morning. “Law enforcement was also notified, and conducted an immediate investigation. It was concluded by law enforcement that there was no threat to the School District. This student will not be in attendance today.”
COOPERSTOWN – Following up on last night’s PTA meeting, CCS Superintendent Bill Crankshaw plans to put together a document with information on the school district’s current programs and policies and future ones “to combat harassment, bullying and discrimination.”
“Because of conversations with students, clergy, and parents on areas that they would like to see addressed,” he said. “I can assure you that moving forward, the timeline for reflecting on and doing the work is immediately.”