News of Otsego County

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



Herzig: 3 COVID-19 Cases In City

Mayor Herzig Reports:

3 COVID-19 Cases In City

ONEONTA – As first reports of three cases of COVID-19 in the City of Oneonta surfaced this evening, Common Council unanimously approved two measures to shelter workers who may need quarantine and transfer funds for COVID-19 expenditures.

“The good news is that it’s a small number, thanks to the selfless way they are quarantining themselves,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “The bad news is that we know that more people are contagious, but may have no symptoms, and that there are not enough tests. We’re doing great, but we cannot ease up.”

Masked Bagging Crew Help Farmers’ Market Adapt

With Masked Baggers,

Farmers’ Market Adapts

At the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market, Sherrie Kingsley, Otsego 2000 Executive Director Ellen Pope and Deb Dalton wear protective masks as they fill 40 orders for curbside pick-ups.  “People order online and we follow the list going from vendor to vendor,” explained board member Robert Nelson, who was at the door making sure customers washed their hands before entering. “The vendors have been really prepared and organized, numbering the bags and making sure everything is organized. With this many orders, we kept this many people out of the market and kept that many safe. We hope this is successful.” Signs ask patrons to adhere to 6-foot social distancing and not to touch any of the produce; the sellers bag it themselves. At right, Seth Friedman, Greentopia Farm, Davenport, was offering some of his own masks (which he uses for harvesting mushrooms) to customers. “When you pick mushrooms you have to wear gloves and masks because you don’t want to be exposed too much to their spores,” he said. “So these safety measures are normal for me.”  The markets, in Pioneer Alley, is open until 2 p.m. today (Ian Austin/

Police: Woman Spit On Bassett Employees

Police: Woman Spit

On Bassett Employees

COOPERSTOWN – A woman was arrested after she allegedly spit on Bassett Hospital employees and told them she had COVID-19, according to Cooperstown Police Officer David Kaminski.

“A female was being seeing by staff at Bassett when she became irate and began spitting in several staff member’s faces,” said Kaminski. “She then told them she had coronavirus.”

Fenimore, Farmers’ Museums Delay 4/1 Opening

Fenimore, Farmers’

Delay 4/1 Opening

COOPERSTOWN – The Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmers’ Museum will not open April 1, according to Todd Kenyon, director of marketing for the museums.

At the Fenimore, the exhibits “The World of Jan Brett,” “Blue Gardens: Photographs by Gross and Daley,” “Prismatic Beauty: American People and American Art,” “Elegant Line/Powerful Shape: Elements of Native American Art,” and “Hamilton’s Final Act: Enemies and Allies” were scheduled to open the 2020 season, but both museums will remain closed, with all scheduled activities cancelled, until further notice.

Church Sewing Group Making Masks For Bassett

Church Sewing Group

Making Masks For Bassett

Michealle Cole, a second grade teacher at CCS, shared this photo, of the 36 face masks she made to take to Bassett Hospital, on her Facebook page.

FLY CREEK – With many of her fellow Fly Creek United Methodist Church quilters stuck inside under COVID-19 precautions, Pastor Sharon Rankins-Burd has found a way to keep sewing – and help the community.

“We became aware that there was a need at Bassett Hospital for masks,” she said. “Someone found a pattern online, and apparently, a lot of people are making these.”

While the masks are not full protection against COVID-19, they will help health care workers at Bassett reduce the risk.


Facility Offered To Bassett




By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Citing the “best interest” of community, employees and traveling players and families, Cooperstown Dreams Park has announced it will be closed for the 2020 season.

“Cooperstown Dreams Park was hoping to avoid this outcome,” says a letter on its website. “But it is the only responsible course of action.”

All teams will receive a 100 percent refund or the option of future participation, and employees will remain at work “to the extent permitted by the mandates of Governor Cuomo.”


Farmers Markets Still On

Farmers’ Markets have been classified as “essential businesses”, and are permitted to continue under the governor’s “New York State On PAUSE” program:

ONEONTA FARMERS MARKET – 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Market runs indoors at Main St. Garage Walkway during winter, outdoors on Muller Plaza during summer. For the health of the community, patrons are asked to limit hand-to-hand contact, frequently wash/sanitize hands. Customers can also reach out to vendors for pre-order & market pick-up. Main St, Oneonta. Info,

COOPERSTOWN FARMERS MARKET – Saturdays 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  Tuesday Market (June-September) 3 – 7 p.m. 101 Main St., Pioneer Alley, Cooperstown. Rain or shine. Info,


Livestream Birding Presentation


BIRD ATLAS – 7:30 p.m. Learn about history, importance of the third Breeding Bird Atlas with project coordinator Julie Hart and Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society. Elm Park United Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. In process of shifting to a virtual event people will be able to participate in from home computers. Follow the link for updates. 607-397-3815 or visit

Bassett Suspends Visitation, Closes FoxCare Fitness

FoxCare Fitness Gym Closed

As Bassett Suspends Visits

COOPERSTOWN – Bassett Healthcare has suspended visitations to all hospital and long-term care visitors at Bassett, Fox Hospital and all other hospitals in the network, as well as Fox Nursing Home.

Additionally, access to clinic buildings and outpatient services areas in all Bassett Healthcare Network facilities, including clinic buildings and outpatient services, is being limited to only patients with scheduled appointments or required business, such as prescription pickup.

Baseball Hall Of Fame Cancels Classic Weekend

Baseball Hall Of Fame

Cancels ‘Classic Weekend’

COOPERSTOWN – The annual Hall of Fame Classic weekend at the Baseball Hall of Fame has been cancelled, Jon Shestakofsky, Communications VP, announced moments ago.

“This precautionary measure is being implemented in accordance with recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and government officials to limit opportunities for large gatherings and the further spread of the COVID-19 virus,”Shestakofsky wrote in a statement.

Some Churches Close; At Others, Cautionary Measures Put In Place


Some Churches Close;

At Others, Cautionary

Measures Put In Place

In Cooperstown, two neighboring churches have responded differently to the coronavirus scare. St. Mary’s, foreground, is holding Mass as usual. Cooperstown Baptist has suspended services for the time being. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to


The first Sunday after the National Emergency on coronavirus declared by President Trump Friday afternoon, Otsego County churches have made a variety of decisions on how to go forward, or not to go forward, guided by concern of congregants’ health, particularly elderly one.

CDC images of coronavurus

The variety is such that congregants should check with their churches in advance of Sunday services.

At one end is the Lutheran Church, where Lutheran Bishop John Macholz of the Upstate New York Synod announced a “cessation of ‘in person’ worship” from tomorrow through March 31, when the issue will be reassessed. That affects the Church of the Atonement, Oneonta; Evangelical Lutheran, Hartwick Seminary, and St. Matthew’s, Laurens.

City Meetings To Be Live-Streamed, Activities Cancelled, Mayor Reports

OPT Remains Open, Activities Cancelled

‘Social Distancing’

To Guide City Hall,

Mayor Announces

Mayor Herzig.

ONEONTA – To implement “social distancing” in the fight against spreading coronavirus, Mayor Gary Herzig announced this evening that Common Council meetings  will be streamed on Facebook Live.

CDC images of coronavurus

“The public is encouraged to attend remotely,” said Mayor Gary Herzig in a statement. “The severity of this pandemic can only be minimized by all communities acting locally to mitigate the spread of this virus.

“Here in the City of Oneonta, we owe it to ourselves, our neighbors and our fellow New Yorkers to voluntarily implement social distancing measures in all group activities,” he said.



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