News of Otsego County

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


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Pride Flag Raised At Seat Of Village


Pride Flag Raised

At Seat Of Village

At 22 Main, Not Main And Pioneer

Without pomp, circumstance, speechifying or song, the Pride Flag was hung at Cooperstown Village Hall, 22 Main St., for the first time at 8:30 a.m. today.  It will remain there through June, Gay Pride Month.  Public Works Director Mitch Hotaling climbed a ladder, and the deed was done.  The historic event was witnessed only by Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk and Trustees MacGuire Benton and Richard Sternberg.  “I think, in a different world, without a pandemic and protests on more important issues, we might have handled it differently,” said Falk.  Originally, the Pride Flag was supposed to be hung at the flagpole at Main and Pioneer; but with the Stars and Stripes at half staff indefinitely, in remembrance of those who died of coronavirus, hanging it at Village Hall seemed like a better idea, Falk said.  Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch had a meeting with a client and was unable to attend.  When the idea was originally debated over the winter, it stirred some controversy.  The issue has yet to be broached in Oneonta. (Jim Kevlin/
Pride Flag Will Fly Over Cooperstown Village Hall


Pride Flag Will Fly Over

Cooperstown Village Hall

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

The Pride Flag will fly at Cooperstown Village Hall next June, Pride Month, after a village trustees’ vote.

COOPERSTOWN – The Pride Flag flew over the state Capitol in Albany this summer for the first time.


The idea of flying it over Village Hall in Skaneateles was proposed in June, but no action’s yet been taken there.

That means the Village Board’s unanimous voted Monday, July 22, may make Cooperstown the first municipality in the state to authorize flying the Pride Flag on Village Hall next June, LGBT Pride Month.

In announcing the decision, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch said, “There’s wasn’t a lot of discussion. Someone said they would have liked a little more background information.  Most of us basically knew the topic and supported it.”

Challenges Aplenty Aired At Otsego Now ‘Town Hall’

Challenges Aplenty Aired

At Otsego Now ‘Town Hall’

Otsego 2000 Executive Director Ellen Pope, at the rear, suggests to her Otsego Now counterpart, Jody Zakrevsky, at right, that part of the answer to the county’s economic-development challenges is quality-of-life improvements to bring more people here. Zakrevsky was at Cooperstown Village Hall this evening hosting the third ‘Town Hall’ to share his organization’s mission and plans with the public. Jobs, housing and energy were among the other issues discussed. Others attending, from left, included Village Trustee James Dean, the Lions Club’s Jim Donley, Otsego Now Board members Dave Rowley and Andrew Marietta, who is also county rep from Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, Village Trustee Cindy Falk, and Cassandra Harrington, director of Destination Marketing of Otsego County.  Zakrevsky’s next appearance in this cycle will be at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, April 18, at the Richfield Springs Community Food Coop, 140 Main St., in a session co-sponsored by the Richfield and Otsego chambers.   (Jim Kevlin/



TAI CHI – 10-11 a.m. Tai Chi for Arthritis classes for ages 60 and older. Free, donations accepted, registration and commitment to a minimum of 11 classes required. Meadows Complex, 140 County Hwy 33W, Cooperstown. Info, (607) 547-4232.

Hometown Crowd Cheers Cooperstown’s Erin Collier

Hometown Crowd Cheers

Cooperstown’s Erin Collier

Erin Collier of Cooperstown, the only Otsego County candidate in the race in the 19th Congressional District Democratic primary race, pauses with family members after she was warmly applauded by a local crowd after a forum that ended a few minutes ago in the Village Hall ballroom.  Seated from right are sisters Erica and Jessica Collier, the candidate, and grandmom Shirley Banner and her friend, Leon Spicer.  Standing from right are Jessica’s fiance Lance Lowell, parents Steve and Evelyn Collier, beef farmers in the Town of Middlefield, and brother Todd Collier.  (Another brother, John Collier, and his wife, Karen, were away on vacation this week.)  During 70 minutes that included a presentation and Q&A, Erin, an economist who works for USAID, a federal famine-prevention agency, fielded questions ranging from how to expand local healthcare to how to firm up Social Security, expressed confidence her nomination petitions would withstand a challenge.   She reported her “great, great, great, great, great grandfather” moved to the county “after fighting the Revolutionary War,” and Colliersville bear her family’s name.  Milford’s Banner Hill is named after her mother’s family.  The candidate is due at a forum at 6 p.m. today in Lecture Hall One at SUNY Oneonta HIRC building, sponsored by the college’s Young Democrats.  (Jim Kevlin/
Jeff Beals Promotes Progressive Agenda

Jeff Beals Promotes

Progressive Agenda

19th District Congressional candidate Jeff Beals, a former CIA agent and State Department staffer in the Middle East, this afternoon burnished his progressive credentials before 40 voters in Sunday forums in Cooperstown Village Hall for candidates running against U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook.  He embraced his endorsement by Bernie Sanders’ progressive, called for “Medicare for All,” and told the gathering when they here any of the seven Democrats being called “carpetbaggers,” they should respond that Faso is a “corporate-bagger,” given the sources of his funding.  Beals, currently a history teacher at a private school in Woodstock, said his family has associations with the Catskills and current 19th District going back two generations, and said he is one of only tw0 of the seven Democratic candidates vying in the June 26 primary who actually voted locally in 2016.  Listening to Beals are Bob Eklund, New Lisbon, left, and Ken Fogarty, Chenango County, right. Inset, one of Oneonta Assembly candidate Dan Buttermann’s daughter returns from handing moderator Richard Sternberg a written question from the audience.  Sternberg announced Erin Collier of Cooperstown, the latest Democrat in the race, will appear at a Sunday forum at 3 p.m. April 22. (Jim Kevlin/

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