News of Otsego County

Hometown Oneonta

THIS WEEK: 03-16-23


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

March 16, 2023



NYCAMH Facing Budget Difficulties

Paintings Travel to Los Angeles for Solo Exhibit

CFOC Opens 2023 Awards Cycle

ZBA Denies Short-term Rental Application

Inside The Paper

News Briefs: March 16, 2023

Village Seeks Transfer of Acreage

Oneonta Artist Captures Essence of Our Region Using Spray Paint

Otsego Town Board Tables Discussion of Tax Exemption



A Syrupy Salute to Spring


The Partial Observer: What Are We Doing? Activity at Averill Road Property Questioned

Bassett at 100: No Easy Answers for Complex Challenges

Noteworthy: Opioids: Examine the Risks, Benefits, Alternatives

Desert Dispatch: Hiking Offers Temporary Distraction from the Difficulties of Today

Life Sketches: Retired Poultry Farmer Recalls ‘Roger’s Colossus’ in Face of Avian Flu Epidemic


Membrino: Candidate Urges Citizens To Vote

Mebust: Coop Village Election is Next Tuesday

Fasanelli: Trustee Candidate Looking To Serve

Committee: Project Prom Seeks Support

Lynk: Fitness Center Needs Community Support

Phillips: Therapool Loss a Real Concern

Walker: Sadness, Anger at FCF Closing

Peterson: Health Needs Outweigh Profits

Kirsch To Bassett: Please Keep FCF Open


Bound Volumes: March 16, 2023

Hometown History: March 16, 2023


Daniel Lee Schoellig


Happenin’ Otsego

THIS WEEK: 03-09-23
This Week: 03-02-23
Editorial: Help Wanted

Help Wanted

First, a heartfelt thanks to our many readers who have reached out to us with praise and appreciation for the steps we have been taking to make our print and digital publications a more informative and engaging community resource.

Now we are asking for your help in the next phase of our improvement efforts; please respond to a new survey designed to help us get a better sense of how our readers interact with our newspapers and website. Our intent is to discover what our readers most enjoy and what we could be doing better. In hopes that as many voices as possible will be heard, the survey has also been designed for non-readers—and sporadic readers—to complete as well. The more information we gather, the better able we will be to continue our efforts to make our papers—and their online counterpart, currently in the throes of re-design—vital and integral resources for our communities.

Editorial: Everything Old Is New Again

Everything Old Is New Again

It has been 20 years or so since the names Tara Barnwell, Michael Moffat, Elinor Vincent and Darla Youngs have appeared together on the masthead of “The Freeman’s Journal.” A confluence of events perhaps regarded by some as a perfect storm—or an imperfect storm, by others—has brought us all together again.

“The Freeman’s Journal” is arguably one of the oldest weekly newspapers in the nation. Founded by Judge William Cooper, it began as the “Impartial Observer” in 1808 with publisher William Andrews. A year later, both the name of the paper and the publisher had changed, becoming the “Cooperstown Federalist” under the direction of John H. Prentiss. The newspaper’s flag finally stuck in 1817 and has remained “The Freeman’s Journal” ever since. The Journal’s sister newspaper, “Hometown Oneonta,” is a mere babe in the woods by comparison at just 15 years old.

Publishing Group Announces Hire of New GM

Publishing Group Announces
Hire of New General Manager

Darla M. Youngs

Iron String Press, the parent company of “The Freeman’s Journal,” “Hometown Oneonta” and “,” has hired Darla M. Youngs as general manager. Youngs joins Publisher Tara Barnwell and her team as the organization seeks to revitalize its newspapers, revamp its website and reestablish its connection with the communities it serves.

“We are so fortunate to have Darla join us,” Tara Barnwell, Publisher, said. “She brings a wealth of knowledge from her previous newspaper experience, everything from design and production to sharp editing skills.”

Youngs, who hails from Bouckville originally, has a long history covering the news and addressing issues important to Otsego County.

This Week – 03-24-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

March 24, 2022


Dutchess County Executive and Republican candidate in the race for Otsego County’s 19th Congressional District, Marc Molinaro, teamed up with New York State Senator Peter Oberacker and Assemblyman Chris Tague to visit the Singh Family’s Apple Food & Grocery on Route 28 in Milford to discuss small business challenges and the senator’s proposal that would suspend the state’s gas tax for the summer driving months. Pictured here in front of the market are, from left to right, Malkit Singh, Tony Singh, Inderjit Singh, Paul Singh, Monty Singh, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro, Gurdev Singh, Assemblyman Chris Tague, Senator Peter Oberacker, Harry Singh and his daughter, Javin Singh, and Billy Singh. For more on the story, CLICK HERE


Junior/Senior High Principal O’Leary out at Cooperstown

Blood disorder stymies doctors as family perseveres

Inside The Paper

Hoffman’s coming to Oneonta

Oberacker, Molinary, Tague tout gas tax break as small biz economic relief

Gallery seeks red dress donations for installation



Time to move on


Calculus, Chaos, Cuomo

History Column

Bound Volumes


Editors Policy


Lois I. Brenner

Lee Carlton Winnie

Deborah G. Kabat

Caroline M.S. Harter


Happenin’ Otsego

Coming up in this week’s editions

Coming up in this week’s editions

The March 17 edition of The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta includes a look at local reaction to New York’s new retail pot dispensary regulations … whether giant spiders are headed our way … tips on taking care of your pupper’s paws … thoughts on botany … helpful March Madness bracket hints … Merl Reagle’s fantastic crossword puzzle … and more! Subscribers will see all our stories on-line at

In our print edition this week

In our print edition this week

Available now, this week’s print edition of The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta, featuring the stories we’re adding this morning for our on-line readers — plus this week’s Merl Reagle crossword puzzle, a take on the whole Major League Baseball kerfuffle courtesy of Babe Ruth’s grandson, letters to the editor, and the joy of holding a printed newspaper in your hands. Subscribe now!

This Week 03-03-22
. . .Now let’s see, where was I?

Ted Potrikus

. . .Now let’s see, where was I?

By TED POTRIKUS • Special to

Oh yes, I remember: August 1983, leaning against a column in front the library on Main Street for a photo, thanking the people of Cooperstown for reading my Freeman’s Journal work that summer, and heading back to Rochester to begin my junior year of college. My boss published the picture with the caption, “I’d like to thank Richard Johnson for giving me my own column.”

A few things happened since then. I met her in London, England, in 1984 and in 1986 married the wonderful Angela Buesing of Davenport, Iowa; we raised two daughters, each grown and married. I was a newspaper editor in suburban Rochester and then worked for the New York State Senate. I spent three decades in Albany as the lobbyist for New York’s retailers large and small, retiring in November 2020.
But like classic rock bands that retire — only to come back a year later — here I come, out of retirement and back to my beloved hometown. Back to writing for the newspaper that my dad brought home every week when I was growing up, that I’ve never stopped reading, and that indeed gave me my own column all those years ago. I’m honored by the opportunity to work here again and am grateful to Tara Barnwell, Lin Vincent, and Michael Moffat for their dedication to local journalism and their trust in me.

THIS WEEK — May 20, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 20, 2021


Fly Creek Fire Department junior members, from left, Lt. Eric Deysenroth, Connor Voulo, Troy Hight and Wayton Cassell pose Monday, May 17, in Fly Creek. Read more in ‘Junior firefighters provide big lift to Fly Creek department.’


Police review leaves behind serious debates

Help wanted: Businesses struggle to find workers

After year of COVID, SUNY Oneonta bids grads farewell

Cooperstown & Around & City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Junior firefighters provide big lift to Fly Creek department

AllOTSEGO people: Post-rally, Bohler’s life is that of average teen

Art Garage to hold open studio, final viewing

Members of the Arc Otsego leadership team on Academy Street in Oneonta wave goodbye Friday, May 14, to Pat Knuth, the outgoing executive director, who has worked for the Arc for more than 30 years. May will be her last full month with the agency. (Korey Rowe/


For Mead, family separation became too tough

Coop baseball stays undefeated with big conference wins

Caden Keto, 3, of Westford, plays soccer Friday, May 14, at the Oneonta Family YMCA on Ford Avenue, during an outdoor session with, ‘Coach Jason.’ (Korey Rowe/


Robert Badger Seaver: The Badger

The return of the Old Badger: ‘The First of the Mohican’

The myth of the ‘good minority’ hurts everyone


Editors Policy

LEVINE: Foundation stresses needs of community


BERKSON: Pen pal letters brought good news from France

History Columns

Bound Volumes: May 20, 2021

Hometown History: May 20, 2021

Artist experiments with different forms at CANO

Concert series to return with Oshima Brothers


Claud D. Fold

John G. Goddard

Patrick R. Materazzo

Yvonne F. Page

Jonathan A. Graham

Lawrence J. “Butch” Weill Jr.

New Editor Views Media Brands As Community Service

New Editor Views Media

Brands As Community Service


I can honestly say this is a column I never thought I would write, my first as editor of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

I say that for two reasons: one, I spent the past decade in competition with the Iron String Press media team, while working as an editor and reporter for another news organization; two, that stint, with an Alabama-based organization I shall forever more refer to as the pension fund, did not go well.

My first play, “The Sun,” first staged in 2004, is about a small-town newspaper that is being destroyed as larger news organizations try to buy it. I spent the past decade at the pension fund thinking either irony is a cruel trick of life, or I was being blessed with an abundance of stories for the television adaptation.

The twin low points were mass layoffs on Good Friday/Passover eve and the closing of the Town Crier office and relegating the Cooperstown paper to a reprint.

As the Crier editor at the time, I took the laying off of my reporter (while I was on vacation, no less) hard and the office closing harder. I transferred to a couple of different roles at the pension fund’s daily, but it wasn’t a secret I hated commuting to Oneonta. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise in some ways as I got to know the city, its politicians and businesses, and the southern half of the county.

Still, I missed Cooperstown and the coronavirus pandemic and family issues made it harder and harder for me to commute.

I had been planning to quit the newspaper business for good this year, perhaps to go back to my dreams of making movies. Or, at least, to help other people make their movies. Last year, after years of discussions, I teamed up with a group of local film makers, businesspeople and political leaders to start a nonprofit 501c6 film commission office, Film COOP (rhymes with hoop, we are not a co-op), or more officially, The Cooperstown, Oneonta, Otsego County Film Partnership, Inc.

THIS WEEK — April 22, 2021
Local Publishing Company Under New Ownership

Local Publishing Company
Under New Ownership

Tara Barnwell promoted to publisher;
Greg Klein named editor;
ownership remains In local hands

Tara Barnwell today succeeds Jim Kevlin as publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and (Larissa Ryan/

COOPERSTOWN – As of Friday, April 16, Iron String Press, Inc, publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and is under new ownership.

Tara Barnwell, general manager of Iron String Press, becomes president and publisher and actor-writer Greg Klein becomes editor of the company’s print and digital news and entertainment sources, succeeding Jim Kevlin.

Kevlin after 15 years as editor, publisher and president of Iron String Press and its media family, has retired.

With the new ownership, Iron String Press remains the only locally owned and locally focused news and entertainment operation in Otsego County.

A full story will appear in this week’s print editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.

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