News of Otsego County

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


goodyear lake

Steven C. Naatz, 67; Forester, Outdoorsman, Entrepreneur


Steven C. Naatz, 67; Forester,

Outdoorsman, Entrepreneur

Steven Naatz

SCHENEVUS – Steven C. Naatz, 67, formerly of Goodyear Lake, a forester who could identify every tree and animal by its Latin name and proprietor of Naatz Excavating & Forestry, passed away on Sunday, July 7, 2019, with family by his side.

Steve was born on Sept. 30, 1951, at Fox Hospital in Oneonta to Audrey V. (Baumann) and William M. Naatz of Emmons, the middle of five children. He graduated from Oneonta High School, earned an A.A.S. from the SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry Ranger School in Wanakena, then received a M.S. from Colorado State University. He served in the Army National Guard as a senior surveyor at Fort Belvoir, Va.

Goodyear Lake Trailer Charred


Goodyear Lake

Trailer Charred

A trailer home was heavily was destroyed, in a fire that broke out around 5:45pm at 920 Shady Acres, the mobile home park in Silliman Cove, Goodyear Lake. Above, Crews were on the scene within 7 minutes of the 911 call coming it. At right, Cooperstown firefighters Joel Bostwick and Billy Smith pry off roofing searching for straggling flames.The officer in charge, Milford Fire Chief Don Eckler, said “The fire was rolling out of the trailer pretty well when we arrived.” with he arrived with the first engine. With three hoses, Porta-Ponds and tanker relays, the fire was extinguished fairly quickly, he said. No one was in the home at the time the fire started, and only one injury was reported: a firefighter cut his hand trying to get inside. Eckler said the home belonged to an elderly couple who had left around 12:30pm. He didn’t know the name of the residents. Firemen from Oneonta, Cooperstown, Hartwick, Hartwick Seminary, Schenevus and Mount Vision helped their Milford colleagues, with Fly Creek and Davenport crews on standby. The home was deemed uninhabitable and The Red Cross was notified and will be providing assistance. (Ian Austin/

Thomas D. Hurley, 54; Longtime Custom Electronics Supervisor

IN MEMORIAM: Thomas D. Hurley, 54;

Longtime Custom Electronics Supervisor

GOODYEAR LAKE – Thomas D. Hurley, 54, of Goodyear Lake, a longtime supervisor at Custom Electronics, passed away unexpectedly Thursday, May 9, 2019, at home.

He was born on July 30, 1964, in New York City.

He enjoyed spending time with his family, barbecues (especially cheeseburgers), was a lifelong Mets fan and liked motorcycles and classic cars.


Polar Bear Jump Planned

Feb. 16 On Goodyear Lake

MILFORD CENTER – The Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump has been scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 16, and 10 youngsters will benefit from the proceeds, organizer Jamie Waters announced this morning.

The benefit Chinese auction is planned Sunday, Jan. 27, at Milford Central School.  Doors open at 12:30, and the drawing begins at 2:30.

This is the 24th year Jamie and wife Brenda have organized the event, which also benefits Portlandville Methodist Church, Catskill Area Hospice and the Milford Fire Department and EMT unit.


City of Hills Art Fest Today


ART & MUSIC – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Outdoor street festival featuring outstanding regional artists, crafters, musicians, writers, more. Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit

O-COUNTY FAIR – 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include equestrian Gymkhana, bicycle giveaway, truck pull, livestock parade of champions, Supreme Champion Showmanship, talent contest, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit


Kick Off Junior Livestock Show


LIVESTOCK SHOW – 5 p.m. Open the 4-H Junior Livestock show with a chicken BBQ for public & exhibitors followed by an ice cream social at 7:30 p.m. Cost, $10 for the BBQ. Iroquois Farm Showgrounds, 1659 Co. Hwy. 33, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-1452 or visit

PADDLE & PULL – 1 – 4 p.m. Bring your canoe/kayak, or reserve one of OCCA’s, and help pull invasive water chestnuts from the stump portion of Goodyear Lake. Bring water, sunscreen, & a hat. Registration requested. Meet at Portlandville Fishing Access, St. Hwy. 28, Portlandville. Call 607-547-4488 or visit




Foot Of Ice Ideal For Goodyear Jump

Just because Mataiah Waters, daughter of Goodyear Polar Bear Jump founders Jamie and Brenda Waters, has been taking the plunge since age 3 doesn’t make the shock any less. She jumped today with boyfriend Mike Strenck of Milford. For more than a quarter-century, the annual jump has been raising funds for ailing children. Some 200 jumpers were prepared to take the leap today. (Jim Kevlin/
Locals Gather to Carol Around Goodyear Lake

Locals Gather to Carol

Around Goodyear Lake

Carolers gathered on a hay wagon on Saturday night at Goodyear Lake. The carolers rode around the lake singing holiday tunes to their friends and neighbors on the lake. Jamie Waters, pictured at center in blue, and his wife Brenda have been organizing the annual community event for four years as a way to bring community members together. (Parker Fish/



Binghamton-Based Company Said

About To Buy Cooperstown Firm

Mirabito Energy Products Regional Manager Phil Barton, left, and Sales & Marketing Director Kevin Quinton pause outside the Goodyear Lake convenience store shortly after the sign was changed from Taylor’s. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

“Mirabito” replaced “Taylor” on the sign in front of the Goodyear Lake quick-stop this afternoon as the worst-kept secret in Otsego County in recent days became public.

Word is that Binghamton-based Mirabito is buying Cooperstown-based Taylor Heating & Mini Marts.  Of the seven stores, five are in Otsego County, including the lighthouse-adorned one, a landmark as you enter Cooperstown on Route 28 from the south.

In addition to Goodyear Lake and Cooperstown, Mirabito is acquiring the Mini Mart in Oneonta’s East End, plus the ones in Laurens and Richfield Springs.  Outside Otsego County, Mini Marts in Norwich and Richmondville are part of the package.

Callahan: ‘I Wasn’t The Best Husband’

Callahan: ‘I Wasn’t

The Best Husband’

With Suspect Taking Stand In

Own Defense, Testimony At End

Murder defendant Casey Callahan of Goodyear Lake took the stand in his own defense this afternoon; (Parker Fish/AllOTSEGO.,com)

By PARKER FISH • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Accused of running over his wife with his rig 17 years ago, Casey Callahan took the stand in his own defense as three days of testimony came to an end.

“I wasn’t the best husband,” Callahan told his lawyer, Public Defender Bruce Maxson. “I could say mean things at times, but I loved her.” When Maxson questioned him about earlier testimony that alleged domestic abuse, Callahan responded, “I’ve never hit her. I’ve never kicked her.”

Killing Intrigued Callahan, 2 Former Friends Testify


Killing Intrigued Suspect,

2 Former Friends Testify

By PARKER FISH • Special to

Casey Callahan, right, is led out of the Otsego County Courthouse by a sheriff’s deputy at the conclusion of the first day of his trial. An Attica inmate, he is currently being housed at the Otsego County Jail. (Parker Fish/

COOPERSTOWN – Casey Callahan, on trial for murder in Otsego County Court, discussed with two friends why and how he would kill someone shortly before the 2000 death of his wife, the two testified this afternoon.

“I’ve always wanted to know what it felt like” to kill someone, one witness, Joseph Keto, Oneonta, on the stand this afternoon, recalled hearing Callahan say.

“He said he would run someone over with a truck,” said the other witness, Patrick Welsh, Goodyear Lake, brother of the alleged murder victim, Elizabeth Welsh Callahan, Casey’s wife.

Callahan’s trial, which began with opening statements this morning, recessed for lunch, then testimony continued until 4:30.

230 Take To The Water In Polar Bear Jump ’17

Mercury In Mid ’50s

For 230 ‘Polar Bears’

For the first time in a long time, the water was colder than the air at the 21st annual Polar Bear Jump at Goodyear Lake this afternoon. Under the watchful eyes of the state police Troop C Dive Team, over 230 jumpers braved icy water to help raise money to help ten local recipients . Above, event organizer Brenda Waters, Milford, and Jay Murphy, Oneonta, call the jumpers out onto the ice to line up before taking the plunge.  Left, Christopher Vun swims as fast as he can towards the ladder out of the lake. (Ian Austin/

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