News of Otsego County


Sen. Oberacker: Flood costs could exceed town budgets

Flood damage in Gilbertsville on Sunday, July 18, shows the extent of the problems left behind by Saturday’s storm. (Janice Costello).

Sen. Oberacker:
Flood costs could
exceed town budgets

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

The flooding that occurred in Gilbertsville, Morris and Pittsfield on Saturday, July 17, is expected to cost millions and elected officials are calling for federal and state funding to pay for some of the damages.

State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Maryland, estimated that the amount of money needed for the flood damage in Butternuts and Morris would far exceed their total respective town budgets.

“After what I’ve seen, it would be conservative (that damages) would cost at least their budgets and then some,” Oberacker said.

Roads still closed around Gilbertsville as flood clean-up enters day two

Flood waters overtook the Meadow Brook Bridge on county Route 4 in the town of Gilbertsville on Saturday, July 17, causing extensive damage in the southwest part of Otsego County. (Contributed).

Roads still closed
around Gilbertsville
as flood clean-up
enters day two


Federal Emergency Management Agency officials were on the scene in southwestern Otsego County on Sunday, July 18, to assess flooding Saturday, July 17, in the villages of Morris and Gilbertsville and the towns of Morris and Butternuts.

According to Rep. Michelle Farwell, D-Butternuts, Morris, Pittsfield, the cost of the damage is expected to be in the millions, particularly with the damage to one of the bridges on state Route 51.

Heavy rains Saturday night caused the Butternut Creek and several of its tributaries to flood, first around Gilbertsville, and later in Morris south of the Otsego County Fairgrounds. An eyewitness account said the floodwaters in Gilbertsville at about 8:30 p.m., Saturday, were “like a waterfall coming down the hill.”

The floods stuck Morris a few minutes later, after a wash of flood debris clogged the culverts around the fairground, which were put in after the massive 2006 floods. The debris rendered the improvements useless and many of the same areas that flooded in 2006 got reflooded.

Gilbertsville and Morris hit by massive flooding
Flood damage in a Main Street business in Morris is evident Sunday, July 18. (Kevin Limiti/

Gilbertsville and Morris
hit by massive flooding

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

MORRIS — Heavy rains Saturday, July 17, led to massive flooding in the western part of Otsego County and left officials in several towns and villages assessing the damage Sunday morning.

Main Street in Morris looked like a disaster zone, Sunday, July 18, with construction crews and the Morris Fire Department working to clean up the damage from the previous night’s storm.

Morris FD officials said nearly every business was damaged by flooding, with water reaching as a high as a foot at a certain point and rain fall accumulating to three and half inches in less than an hour.

Gilbertsville’s Lull reports sports news with a passion

WCDO Sports Director Nate Lull, center, accepts a gift from the 2019-2020 Cooperstown Central School Leadership Training for Athletes officers after speaking at their event in March 2020, days before the coronavirus pandemic shutdown went into effect. From left, Abby Ford, Piper Seamon, Lull, Ryan Lansing and Kate Donnelly. (contributed)

Gilbertsville’s Lull reports sports news with a passion

By GREG KLEIN • Special to

If you are interested in high school sports in Otsego County, you likely already know who Nate Lull is.
From his desk at WCDO in Sidney, where he is the radio stations’s sports director, from high school gyms around three Central New York counties – Chenango, Delaware and Otsego – and from whatever parking lot or McDonald’s offers WiFi after games, Lull has revolutionized how sports fans locally get their high school scores and statistics.

In a 21st-century way, he is the radio guy known for his Twitter account, @NateLull, where every night during school seasons he is the first person to post the results of most games and competitions.
“It is a weird thing,” he said in a phone interview Thursday, July 1. “For a lot of people I am more of a Twitter thing and I am less of the radio guy.”

Although Lull does play-by-play for his radio station whenever there is a big game, and also semi-regularly during the peak fall and winter seasons, and he sells sponsorships for his broadcasts and his podcast, The Nate Lull Podcast, much of his work life is off the air, a job endorsed by the radio station’s local ownership.

“I have always thought about coming on the air for sports updates or something, but in some ways, as my boss said, I am a victim of my own success,” Lull said. “This Twitter thing took on a life of its own.”
A Gilbertsville native and 2003 Gilbertsville-Mount Upton Central School graduate, Lull said he was always interested in athletics. He played soccer, basketball and baseball in school, then switched to track and field when G-MU added the sport while he was in high school. He was a communication major at SUNY Geneseo and he worked at the campus radio station, where he became a play-by-play announcer, covering all sports, but developing a passion for hockey.

Quilting Captured Jim Bryden

Jim Bryden, Quilter:

Fabric Arts Captivated Man

With 18 years experience, Jim Bryden, is this year’s featured quilter at
The Major’s Inn Silver Jubilee Quilt Show. The Bargello style quilt behind him uses strips of fabric sewn together to create the appearance of movement. (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

GILBERTSVILLE – Jim Bryden is not fazed by the fact he is the first man to be the featured quilter for The Major’s Inn Foundation’s annual quilt show – the 25th anniversary one, no less.

“If they want to put up with me that’s their decision,” the 81-year-old Sidney Center resident said.
About 20 of Bryden’s quilts will be displayed, mostly in a room exclusively for his work, along with 300 others quilts at The Major’s Inn Silver Jubilee show this weekend. And 44 quilters whose work was displayed in the first show in 1994, then called “Butternut Valley Quilts,” will have quilts exhibited in the 25th one.

“All of our quilters at the first show were from Butternuts,” said Diana Heeman, a founder of the quilt show and a long-time foundation volunteer. “But now we have some quilters from far away – Virginia and Maryland.”

Heeman had attended a quilt show in McIntosh, Fla., in the 1990s, and when she returned to Butternuts, she shared her impressions of the show with Cece Rowe, now the foundation’s director. They agreed a quilt show would work well at The Major’s Inn and be a way to raise funds for the inn’s restoration, which has been ongoing since Alan Cleinman, Cleinman Performance Partners’ in Oneonta, began the foundation in 1980.

“We had about 240 quilters in the first show, all from our community,” said Heeman. “It exceeded our expectations.”

About 75 volunteers work to put on the show, which includes hanging and labeling the quilts, making the lunches for the event’s visitors on all three days, and breaking the exhibit down afterward. Rowe curates the exhibit, with her cousin and neighbor Pat Cleinman as her right-hand assistant. “I’m fussy and meticulous,”

Rowe said. “I want each piece to stand on its own and not outshine or be outshined by another one.”
“We’ve kept this a non-juried show,” said Heeman. “We want everyone to feel their quilts are worthy of being shown.”

“Many of the girls at our show are featured in magazines and have won awards at the state and local level,” Heeman said. “They’re very involved with their communities. They make lap quilts for patients in nursing homes and hospitals and raffle them off.”

It is Bryden’s first time exhibiting his quilts at The Major’s Inn event, but they have been displayed in about 25 shows since his foray into quilting 18 years ago. His style – vivid colors often in geometrical patterns on a black background because he wants “people to open their eyes and see it” – has attracted attention locally.

“I just go along with whatever it is, what people want,” said Bryden.

Bryden began quilting the year he retired from his profession as a stone quarry cutter, in 2001. “Doing stonework was getting too rough for me to do in the winter, so I decided to draw my Social Security and live at home that winter,” he recounted. “But a week of being a couch potato didn’t go over very well.”

He asked his wife, Joan, a lifelong quilter, if she would teach him to quilt. Under her tutelage, Bryden cut 6-inch squares and stitched them together, then used an “inside-out” method that does not require using binding for making the quilt.

“If I can do it, anyone can do it,” Bryden said.

The funds raised from the show will go toward renovation of The Major’s Inn.


Food, Fun, & More

At Country Living Festival


COUNTRY LIVING FEST – 1 p.m. Celebrate country life with vendors, cornhole tournament (1-6:30), pumpkin patch, farmers’ market, more. Includes demonstrations on backyard beekeeping, floral arrangements, fly fishing, cider pressing, metal detecting, more. Kallan Fields, Well’s Ave., Hartwick. 607-293-8123 or visit

Springfest A Hit At Copes Corners

Springfest A Hit

At Copes Corners

Above, little Evelyn Covington, Gilbertsville, gets her face painted by Annika Christensen, Gilbertsville, at Copes Corners Park Springfest in Gilberstville on Saturday afternoon. Visitors enjoyed meeting animals at the Utica Zoomobile, building and racing wooden boats, a fishing derby sponsored by Trout Unlimited, Live music, atlatl throwing, fireman’s competition, vendors, chicken BBQ, live music and an ice cream social.(Ian Austin/

Museum Members Art Showcase


MEMBERS SHOWCASE – 5:30 p.m. Celebrate talented members of the Art Museum displaying their 2-D artworks. Reception includes food, beverages, secret ballot for member’s choice award. The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1510 or visit

CAREER EXPO – 1 – 3:30 p.m. Businesses showcase organizations to Hartwick students seeking employment, internships. Registration required. Lambros Arena, Hartwick College, Oneonta. 607-431-4064 or visit


Exhibit By Watercolor Society,

Art Assocaitions Luck Of The Draw


RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Opening exhibit by Central New York Watercolor Society and Luck of the Draw exhibit, buy tickets, enter to win artwork, final drawing 10/21. Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit

RELEASE PARTY – 7 p.m. Celebrate first ever issue of The Green Zine, a collection of art & writing from local artists published by The Green Toad Book Store. Grab a copy, eat, drink, celebrate. Roots Brewing Company, 175 Main St., Oneonta. 607-433-8898 or visit


Fine Arts On The Lawn


FINE ARTS – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Fine arts on the lawn features works for sale by local artists, members of CAA. Cooperstown Art Association. 607-547-9777 or visit

WEST KORTRIGHT FAIR – Noon – 6 p.m. Celebrate regions agricultural bounty with afternoon of fun, music, food. Live music features PALEFACE, Richie and Rosie, The Big Takeover. Enjoy local food, group art show, silent auction, rummage sale, activities, local vendors, more. West Kortright Center, 49 West Kortright Church Road, East Meredith. 607-278-5454 or visit

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