News of Otsego County


AllOtsego people: In Cooperstown, a female majority forms

AllOtsego people: In Cooperstown, a female majority forms

By PHOEBE SMITH • Special to

Cooperstown’s Village Board of Trustees has a majority of female members for the first time as seen in this picture from Monday, July 12. From left, are trustees Jeanne Dewey, Cindy Falk, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh and Hanna Bergene. (Greg Klein/

COOPERSTOWN — When Hanna Bergene decided to run for a village trustee position and Jim Dean
announced he would step down to make way for her, it inadvertently led to a local first: a female majority board of trustees.

Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh, who was first elected in 2018, and is the second female mayor of the village, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk and trustees Bergene and Jeanne Dewey hold four of the seven votes on the local board, although with all seven members being part of the Democratic Party, there are not many political or ideological differences being debated in the village.

Instead, the four women are a majority part of Cooperstown’s expansive investments and infrastructure projects, working to shape the village for the 21st century and helping it get past the economic damage brought by the coronavirus pandemic.

Chestnut Crossing developers host neighborhood Q&A
Artist’s rendering for the Chestnut Crossing property proposed for 10 Chestnut Street, shows the alleys, parking area and adjacent property on Pine Boulevard that will act as a buffer between the 13-unit rental property and its neighbors. (Greg Klein/Allotsego)

Chestnut Crossing developers host neighborhood Q&A

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN — About 50 village residents gathered Monday, June 15, at a residential space at 20 Lake Street to hear a detailed presentation and ask questions about a debated proposal to build a 13-unit rental apartment on several pieces of property on Chestnut Street.

Josh Edmonds, a Cooperstown native who is the owner of Simple Integrity Construction, and Francesca Zambello, the artistic and managing director of The Glimmerglass Festival, detailed their private partnership and its plans to develop the three pieces of property they own—two on Chestnut and one on Pine Boulevard, behind it—into one housing project.

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.

Education company seeks to fill camp void

Education company seeks to fill camp void

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

A local education company is planning to fill the gap in camps this summer.

ResourceME, an Otsego County company started by Cooperstown Central School special education teacher Stephanie Nelen, will offer summer camps this year.

“The thing about this company is we want to be a source to fill a need in Cooperstown for educational enrichment, not to compete with anything we already had,” Nelen said.

Nelen’s company had been working with Cooperstown Baptist Church during the height of the coronavirus pandemic to host learning pods and tutoring sessions.

The church had applied for COVID money to help with educations needs during the pandemic. However, when Pastor Joseph Purdue left for a church in Connecticut, Cooperstown Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk — who is a member of the church and had helped Purdue apply for the grant — reached out to Nelen for help.

COVID update for Otsego County

COVID update for Otsego County

STAFF REPORT • Special to

As of Tuesday, June 1, COVID cases in Otsego County have decreased to a 0.6% positivity rate with 1% of tests coming back positive, according to the Otsego County Health Department.

Currently there are 15 active cases with two hospitalizations as a result of COVID.

As COVID cases continue to go down, many businesses and towns are seeing an easing of COVID restrictions.

A mask ordinance in Cooperstown is no longer being enforced while Oneonta is expected to ease its mask ordinance for Main St.

Total cases in Otsego County for 2021 are 4,469 with 63 deaths.


Delgado visits Otsego County to tour American Rescue Plan
Antonio Delgado (D-NY14) is shown how the whiskey is poured at Cooperstown Distillery. (Kevin Limiti/

Delgado visits
Otsego County

to tout
American Rescue Plan

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

COOPERSTOWN — Rep. Antonio Delgado, D-NY19, appeared in Otsego County on Thursday, May 28, to speak about the money the county will receive from the American Rescue Plan, which he help shepherd through Congress.

Otsego County receive about $11.5 million, he said, half of which has already been delivered, with the other half to follow within a year. Other county towns and villages will also receive money from the act.

“Its been a joy,” Delgado said. “It’s a real testament to what government can do.”

Delgado also praised the bipartisan nature of the politicians that were gathered at the press conference, including State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-51st District, and State Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-102nd District, and said it is how it should be in all forms of government.

“This is a big deal, people,” Delgado said. “We’re able to get real meaningful dollars to our community.”

Delgado also said that they had to make sure “we had flexibility” to get things done with “something more cooperative.”

“I call that direct democracy,” he said.

Delgado spoke on the importance of getting broadband for the county calling it a “basic necessity.”

Regatta switches to virtual event for 2021

Regatta switches to
virtual event for 2021

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Erica Collier of Cooperstown and John Collier of Richmondville race in the Mixed CC Endurance class of the 2018 General Clinton Canoe Regatta. (Cherly Clough/

The General Clinton Canoe Regatta, which is traditionally held Memorial Day, will be held virtually this year, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We have exhausted all other options,” the General Clinton Canoe Regatta website read.

There will be no winners or awards this year, but racers will be credited with finishes, according to event organizers.

Participants will be provided with a GPS in order to get credit for their finish on the 70 mile course. Those who finish will receive a t-shirt and an official 70-mile finish credit.

In addition, there will be no activities in General Clinton Park, because of the pandemic.

Film COOP to hold location tour for women filmmakers

Film COOP to hold location tour for women filmmakers

STAFF REPORT • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Film COOP announced Thursday, May 27, that it will produce a destination weekend event to bring female film producers, directors and location scouts to the region in the fall to tour locations and meet local officials.

The Women in Film Peak Leaf Weekend Location Tour and Networking Event will take place from Thursday, Sept. 30 to Sunday, Oct. 3, according to a media release from
the nonprofit.

Film COOP is the official film commission office for Otsego County, the village of Cooperstown, and the town and city of Oneonta. It is the pioneer, and so far only, film commission office in what the state calls the Mohawk Valley Economic Development District.

The filmmakers will stay in Cooperstown for the weekend and tour sites throughout Otsego County, as well as The Stanley Theater in Utica, which is one of the qualified production facilities on the tour. The other is Foothills Performing Arts and Convention Center in Oneonta.

According to Film COOP Board Chair Greg Klein, the details of the tour are still being worked out, but it will include sites in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Springfield, Middlefield, Maryland, Gilbertsville, Edmeston, Cherry Valley, Richfield Springs and more.

Coop baseball stays undefeated with big conference wins

Coop baseball stays undefeated with big conference wins

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

Cooperstown won two blowouts and a tight conference game with a controversial ending in a four-day stretch to stay undefeated in baseball.

The Hawkeyes started the weekend by honoring their seniors at Doubleday Field on Friday, May 14, before a 14-1 win over Frankfort-Schuyler in a Center State Conference game.

Chris Ubner hit a grand slam home run and pitched four scoreless innings for the win.

Cooperstown senior Chris Ubner, center, tips his helmet following a grand slam to left center field at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown on Friday, May 14. Ubner had five RBIs on the day and was the winning pitcher. (Greg Klein/Allotsego)

Cooperstown led 11-0 before F-S got on the scoreboard off reliever Derek Moore in the sixth inning.

Treston Emerick relieved Moore and got out of a bases loaded, one-out jam, getting two outs on four pitches. Emerick finished the game with a scoreless seventh inning.

Ubner went 2-for-4 with 5 RBIs and two runs scored. He faced just 12 batters in four innings, although his defense helped him with two double plays. He got five strikeouts and gave up one walk and one hit.
Kendall Haney also had a home run, to almost the same spot in left center field where Ubner cleared the wall, and went 1-for-2 with two runs. Moore went 3-for-4 and scored two runs and Alex Poulson went 1-for-3 and scored three runs.

This Week — May 13, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 13, 2021


Yuliah Johnson, a senior at Oneonta High School, drives a kick ball during a game with her classmates on the turf Friday, May 7. (Korey Rowe/


Otsego preps for hiring new administrator

Tourism promoter: Focus different for 2021

Cooperstown & Around

City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Duo sentenced for series of gas station robberies

Schools face budget votes Tuesday; prepare for graduations

Community Foundation announces $2 million fund, initial campaign success

Master Gardeners to return May 29

Cooperstown couple wins recognition for care of senior citizens at center

Morning Glow

The mist steams off of the water in Colliersville near state Route 7 on Friday, May 7. (Korey Rowe/


Coop’s bats too much for Oneonta in softball

Unatego’s Couperthwait pitches no-hitter vs UV/GMU

Roundup: Hawkeye staff no hits Herkimer; Milford wins softball opener


The question is not why, but why would you not cover sports?


Hatred of Asians isn’t new, but support helps

Views Around New York


Rainy Day Runoff

Heavy rains in the area have caused even the smallest streams to become ferocious waterways as seen at this unnamed creek off Evening Inn Road just outside of Oneonta on Friday, May 7. (Korey Rowe/


Editors Policy

NORTHRUP: Proposed apartments better than existing eyesores


History Columns

Bound Volumes: May 13, 2021

Hometown History: May 13, 2021

Pandemic Proof? Canoe & Kayak plans expansion

Puppet theater to return to Oneonta

The Dog Charmer

Spring Chicks

A robin feeds its two recently hatched chicks in a backyard gazebo near River Street in Oneonta. American robin hatchlings typically take about two weeks before they fledge and are ready to leave the nest. (Jacob Forster Rothbart/



Douglas Stratton Felder

David Damon Jeffres

Jeanne W. Carey

Mary Ellen Budro

Clayton Harvey Bantham Jr.

Sarah McLean

Valerie Louise Porter

Debra L. MacClintock

Richard M. Rumenapp

Charles W. Holcomb

Charles W. (Chuck) Holcomb, 77: Worked at Oneonta Grocery Company, enjoyed tinkering

In Memoriam

Charles W. (Chuck) Holcomb, 77: Worked at
Oneonta Grocery Company, enjoyed tinkering

Charles W. (Chuck) Holcomb, 77, passed away on May 8, 2021 at Bassett Hospital, Cooperstown after a short illness.

Chuck was born the son of Charles Holcomb and the former Elsie Platt.

He retired from Oneonta Grocery Company and after worked a few years at Ames Department store in Oneonta.

Chuck married the former Doris Jubar of Oneonta and they recently celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary.

Chuck enjoyed tinkering on things outside, going on side-by-side rides and playing pitch. Most of all he enjoyed his sons and his grandchildren.

Trustees Agree To Remove Sign That Angered Residents

Trustees Agree To Remove
Sign That Angered Residents

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

A solar-powered speed limit sign on Pioneer Street that village residents disliked will be moved to State Route 28.

The village of Cooperstown will remove a controversial solar-powered speed limit sign from Pioneer Street.

The village’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday, April 26, to remove the sign, which was in front of 100 Pioneer Street and told motorists heading south on Pioneer if they were exceeding the village’s 30-mile-per-hour speed limit.

The meeting was held in person in the village ballroom at 22 Main St.

As part of the motion, the trustees agreed to relocate the sign to the southern entryway to the village on State Route 28.

The sign has drawn complaints from dozens of current and former village residents, complaining about the aesthetics of the sign and dismissing the need to put it in a residential area. Two residents spoke against the sign Monday, leading Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh to tell the crowd of about 15 people that the trustees would fix the sign problem later in the meeting.

“The intent of the meeting tonight will be to remove the solar-powered sign … and nothing will be on Pioneer.

ELLSWORTH: A Bad Sign I Placed On Pioneer

A Bad Sign I Placed On Pioneer

To the Editor:

Having lived on Upper Pioneer Street for some 36 years, it was indeed distressing to read John Webb’s “Letter to the Editor” in last week’s paper. The very idea of placing a solar-powered speed sign in one of Cooperstown’s residential neighborhoods is beyond the pale.

It is made even more reprehensible given the fact that not only was the sign a gift to the village by one of the street’s residents, but more importantly, the village erected the sign without giving the other residents of the street the opportunity to give any input into having such a sign in their neighborhood. It is indeed sad to think that the village government is doing the bidding of one individual without any seeming concern for the rest of its constituents. Of course, it would seem of late that the village has a bit of a history of accepting a number of things without considering what the final affect might be on village residents.

BERGENE: ‘Someone’ Who Cares Running for Village Trustee

‘Someone’ Who Cares
Running for Village Trustee


To The Editor:

My name is Hanna Joy Bergene and I am honored to be running for village trustee alongside our current trustee/deputy mayor, Cindy Falk in the village election next Tuesday, March 16.

Many in the local business community may know me from my time working at the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, Paperkite, Stagecoach Coffee and the Cooperstown Winter Carnival Committee.

I’ve called Cooperstown home my entire life. My parents, Gregory and Susan Bergene, both long-time employees of Cooperstown Central School District, taught me the value of a good work ethic and getting involved in your community from a young age.

As a village trustee, my goal is to make Cooperstown the best place it can be for all residents and businesses alike. I have thought long and hard, as well as asked a few close friends about what makes a great trustee. Some of the things that stood out to me are:

• Someone with a passion for public service.

At Woodside Hall, Not One COVID Case In Year

At Woodside Hall, Not One COVID Case In Year

The Rules Are Clear, Says Proprietor,
But They Must Be Enforced Every Day

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Woodside Hall proprietor Stephen Cadwalader, left, and Administrator Joel Plue discuss anti-COVID strategies in the bright drawing room. (Jim Kevlin/

‘When I was a child, a classmate was one of the last Americans to have polio,” said Woodside Hall proprietor Stephen Cadwalader. “What if COVID-19 is like polio? That’s what went through my mind.”

So here we are, a year since the coronavirus arrived – Governor Cuomo reported Tuesday was the anniversary of the first in-state COVID case – and not a single case has appeared at Woodside Hall, a nursing home in the imposing mansion at 1 Main St.

“I’m proud to say, we’re the only facility in the county not to test positive for COVID,” said Joel Plue, the home’s administrator since last September.

Asked to confirm that, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond concurred: The only one.

“We look at residents as an extension of our family,” said Plue, sitting in the bright drawing room across from the grand piano.

The home’s secret? It’s not so much a secret, it turns out, as rigorously applying generally accepted standards.

First, Plue continued, “we take care of our staff. If they arrive with even a sniffle, they’re sent home. They come back to work as soon as they test negative.”

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