News of Otsego County

Libby Cudmore

Dad, daughter authors set signing

Dad, daughter authors set signing

Local author Dana Cudmore and his daughter, Libby, to sign books Sunday

Local father and daughter authors will sign their books together on Sunday, December 12, at the Apple Barrel, Route 30A in Schoharie.
Dana Cudmore will sign copies of his new book, Underground Empires: Two Centuries of Exploration, Adventure and Enterprise in NY’s Cave Country. The book, from Black Dome Press of Catskill, documents the wonder, drama, and history of the region’s caves and describes the remarkable personal and engineering accomplishments that turned some into popular tourist attractions.
His daughter Libby Cudmore, now of Oneonta and the former managing editor of The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta, will sign copies of The Big Rewind from William Morrow publishers of New York City. The murder-mystery follows hipster Jett Bennett after she finds her Brooklyn neighbor bludgeoned to death. The wise-cracking, music journalist wannabe Bennett uses a mysterious mixtape to track down her killer.
The Cudmores will sign books from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Rivkah Feldman, 87; Taught At SUNY Cobleskill, Oneonta


Rivkah Feldman, 87; Taught

At SUNY Cobleskill, Oneonta

Rivkah Feldman

ONEONTA – Rivkah Feldman, 87, who taught at SUNY Cobleskill and SUNY Oneonta for many years, died of complications from COVID-19 on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021, in Manhattan.

Survivors include Libby Cudmore of Oneonta, former managing editor of Hometown Oneonta and The Freeman’s Journal.

Rivkah was born April 22, 1934, in The Bronx, to Rabbi Isiah and Esther Molotin.

Chrystal Savage Named To Managing Editor Post

Chrystal Savage Named

To Managing Editor Post


With the first edition of 2021, Chrystal Savage, former editor of SUNY Oneonta’s State Times newspaper, will assume the duties of managing editor of Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and

Savage succeeds Libby Cudmore, who is joining Hartwick College as a Writer for Young Audiences, working across the college’s publications, social media platforms and the new FlightPath program, which helps students identify and work towards career goals while exploring major and course options.

“Libby has made a huge contribution to the development of our newspapers and website over the past 10 years,” said Editor & Publisher Jim Kevlin. “She’s a good friend and colleague to all of us here. We’re sorry to see her go, but wish her continuing success and happiness in her new endeavor.

“Meanwhile, we’ve been lucky to find Chrystal, who is familiar with Oneonta and Cooperstown, and experienced in reporting and producing a newspaper,” he said. “We’re excited about the skills she’s bringing to our operation.”

A Delhi native, Chrystal graduated from Delaware Academy Central School District at Delhi, and majored in English and General Human Ecology at SUNY Oneonta, graduating magna cum laude in May.

As editor of the States Times, she discovered a love of journalism. She has also freelanced for Catskill Country and other magazines, and reported for The Reporter, based in Delhi.

A native of Cobleskill, Libby is a graduate of SUNY Binghamton and received a Master’s in Fine Arts from the University of Southern Maine’s Stonecoast Program. In 2016, her critically reviewed debut novel, “The Big Rewind,” was published by William Morrow.

Libby’s husband, Ian Austin, will continue as photographer for the newspapers and website.

Baseball Movies, Farmers Markets, And A Bright 5K


Baseball Movies,

Farmers’ Markets,

And A Bright 5K

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Get your baked goods, fresh meats, eggs and more at the Milford Farmers’ Market, now open for the summer! 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, May 31, Curry Park, State Route 28, Milford.

The Franklin Farmers’ Market specializes in fresh produce and artisan crafts as they start their summer season. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday, May 31, Franklin Farmer’s Market, 15 Institute St., Franklin. Info (615) 592-1337

Libby Cudmore is managing editor of Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and

SUNY Delhi English professors Kathryn DeZur, Shelly Jones, and Erin Wagner read their literary & speculative stories, followed by a Q&A. 7-8:30 p.m. Thursday, May 28,

If poetry is more your scene, Bright Hill Press & Literary Center presents a virtual reading by Rainie Oet, author of three books of poetry, including a “Porcupine in Freefall.” 7-9 p.m. Thursday, May 28. Visit

Turner Classic Movies film host Ben Mankiewicz, discusses his favorite baseball films and reveals which one is his favorite. 11 a.m. Friday, May 29, Visit for info.

Dress up in your most colorful costume, grab some confetti and run/walk through your neighborhood to support Pathfinder Village in the virtual Splash Path 5K Race! Saturday, May 30, Visit for info & registration.

Clark, Y At Home, Yoga For The Kids And Dance Parties


Clark, Y At Home,

Yoga For The Kids

And Dance Parties

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

If the weather is lousy or you just don’t feel like going outside, there are plenty of low-cost (or free!) online fitness classes, from Zumba and yoga to chair workouts and cardio, from kids to grandparents.

Libby Cudmore Headshot
Libby Cudmore is managing editor of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and

The Clark Sports Center offers Pound classes, chair and at-home workouts and even a series for kids on their YouTube channel, all taught by your favorite instructors.

Zoe Curtis is offering her Fitness With Zoe Zumba and Pound classes over Zoom. Classes are by donation, RSVP on
Facebook for class invite.

Oneonta YMCA members can check out a variety of online classes, including Y 360, five-minute 12 Burst exercises and Silver Sneaker workouts for seniors. Check in with your Y membership for full access!

If your kids have been watching movies,
obsessively, give them a break from the TV with yoga themed around “Frozen” “Trolls” “Harry Potter” and more from CosmicKids.

Have a party and get fit! Plyojam is offering a 30-day free trial of all their dance-inspired workouts.

Planet Fitness is offering a daily class, taught by fitness celebrities and personal trailers, all over Facebook Live. You
don’t even need to be a member! 7 p.m.

Barry’s trainers are also offering classes twice a day over Instagram.

Author Discusses Detective Fiction, Movies At Cooperstown Film Society

Author Discusses Detective Fiction,

Movies At Cooperstown Film Society

Libby Cudmore, author of “The Big Rewind” and managing editor of The Freeman’s Journal & Hometown Oneonta, discusses film noir, its impact and what defines it during an interview with the Hall of Fame’s Bill Francis at a meeting of the Cooperstown Film Society this evening at the  Village Library of Cooperstown.  She focused on Oneonta mystery writer S.S. Van Dyne’s novels about detective Philo Vance, which were made into a series of Hollywood movies in the 1930s, starring William Powell, Basil Rathbone and other major stars.    A Noir Double Feature followed, with the screening of “The Big Clock” and “An Active of Violence.”  (Ian Austin/

Noir Double Feature & Discussion

With Local Author Libby Cudmore


FILM SOCIETY – 7 – 11 p.m. Cooperstown film society presents Noir double feature ‘The Big Clock’ (1948) & ‘An Act of Violence’ (1949) with special guest Libby Cudmore, author ‘The Big Rewind’ & journalist, joining us for dark discussion of black & white crime. Cooperstown Village Library, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. Visit

Libby Found Love, Work, Heartbreak — And Home


Libby Found Love, Work,

Heartbreak — And Home

Editor’s Note: What a decade! Her friends and colleagues celebrated Manager Editor Libby Cudmore’s 10th anniversary among us on production day, Tuesday, Dec. 10, and agreed to write this memoir.


Libby Cudmore with Mascot Goodie at the 2013 Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump. ( photo)

There’s a lot for Ian and I to celebrate in December. Our families do Christmas, Yule and Hanukkah, our original anniversary, the New Year’s Eve to cap it all off.

But this December, I realized that I had another anniversary to celebrate – 10 years with the Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and, most recently, It’s the longest I’ve ever stayed with a job, but in 10 years, I’ve realized that it’s more than than a job – it’s a way to give back to a community that has welcomed me so graciously.

When I moved to Oneonta in May 2007, I wasn’t sure if I would stay. This was my husband’s hometown, after all, but I wasn’t sure that there was a place for me yet. But that changed when Jim Kevlin hired me as a freelance reporter in April 2009.

My first story was about a bridal fashion show at SUNY. My second was an interview with Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, who was playing at the now-defunct Oneonta Theatre, then re-opened and full of promise.

I was hired full-time that December, Monday the 14th,  given a desk and the business cards I’ve been passing out ever since. If you look in your drawer, chances are you have one. If it was before 2017, it said “Reporter.” Since then, it has said “Managing Editor.”

Our new reporter, James Cummings, asked me: What’s the favorite story you ever written? How do you even pick?

But a few come to mind: getting to travel to Oneonta, Ala., and see the similarities (and a few differences) between our cities, and declaring actor Cuyle Carvin “Oneonta’s Heartthrob.” As an obsessive music fan, I still get giddy knowing that, at any time, I can pick up the phone and call Greg Harris, president of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, for comment.

I love being able to support the good deeds at the Susquehanna SPCA, see the rise and revitalization of the Milford Methodist Church, to be a first-hand witness to all of the change in Oneonta as the DRI gets underway. I absolute agree that we’re “Onta Something.”

Of course, there has been plenty of heartache too. The sudden death of Mayor Dick Miller was when I felt it the most profoundly. I was tasked with not only covering the tragedy, but also processing my own grief privately. I had seen Dick that Thursday evening at the Future for Oneonta Foundation reception. He gave me one of those sideways handshakes I knew so well, the quick “how ya’ doin’” in passing. We’d had our disagreements over the years – par for the course in both our professions – but I respected and enjoyed him immensely, and still miss him.

The murder of 11-year-old Jacelyn O’Connor still haunts me. I’ve written about far too many brutal deaths in our county, but in some ways, I’m honored to do so, because I task myself not with writing about the killer, but letting my readers know who the victim was to their family, their friends, their community. They’re stories I wish that I didn’t have to write, but I am always honored when I get to speak with survivors like Jennifer Kirkpatrick and Erika Heller, to be trusted with their loved ones’ legacies.

I am always in awe of the support that the people of Otsego County continue to bless me with. From the packed house at the Green Toad for the launch of my debut novel, “The Big Rewind,” to the votes that came in for my guest conductor bid at the Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s cabaret concert. Many of you were there to cheer when Ian proposed to me in the 2013 Halloween parade, and some of you came to our wedding in 2015.

But you have also been with me in the darkest times to. In 2017, we lost MJ Kevlin, my dear friend and mentor. The outpouring of love and support from all of you was overwhelming, and if I didn’t thank you then, consider this a much delayed appreciation for the kindness you showed me, the grief we shared.

Recently someone asked me where I was from. For the first time in my life, I didn’t reply “Oklahoma City,” where I was born, or generic “Upstate New York” to compensate for a hometown I don’t particularly associate myself with. “Oneonta,” I answered without hesitation.

I didn’t grow up here. But if home is where you hang your hat (and, as you know, I wear many of them) then it stands to reason that your hometown is the town where your home is located – and thus, your hat hangs.

Writing for the Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and has made me feel more a part of this community here than any career I thought I would have. Every week you welcome me into your home and your lives, you call me with good stories about graduations and strange collections and upcoming meetings, you allow me to lament with you when you send in obituaries and when we stand at the scenes of loss. It’s a position I do not take lightly, and I pledge to continue to my best to tell your stories accurately and honestly.

I’ve lived in a lot of places and I’ve traveled internationally and cross-country. But when I come off I-88 and turn onto the Lettis Highway, whether after a few days or a few weeks away, I always get the same feeling as the lights of Main Street greet me.

Welcome home.

Libby Cudmore Feted On 10th Anniversary


Libby Cudmore Feted

On 10th Anniversary

Libby Cudmore, managing editor Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and, cuts a 10th anniversary cake a few minutes ago at Iron String Press’ headquarters.  Celebrating with her are, from left, Advertising Consultant Thom Rhodes, Editor/Publisher Jim Kevlin, Advertising Director & General Manager Tara Barnwell, Photographer Ian Austin (Libby’s husband), and Office Manager Larissa Ryan.   Libby, a SUNY Binghamton graduate with a master’s from the Stonecoast MFA program at the University of Southern Maine, published her first novel, “The Big Rewind,” (William Morrow, 2016), while pursuing her duties here.  In remarks, Kevlin noted, “Libby’s energy, enthusiasm and talent have allowed us to continue expanding our reach and aspirations.  Thank you — and well done!”  (James Cummings/
Philo Vance Film Series Concludes With Lecture From Mystery Novelist


Mystery-Writing Editor

Places ‘Oneonta-Born’

Philo Vance In Context

Oneonta mystery writer Libby Cudmore assesses Philo Vance’s place in the golden age of detective fiction at this evening’s third installment of the Philo Vance Film Series at the Greater Oneonta Historical Society.  The talk preceded a screening of “The Dragon Murder Case,” based on one of the lesser beloved of S.S. Van Dine’s 12 novels featuring the detective that Van Dine (aka Willard Huntington Wright) created while living in his aunts’ home on River Street. At  left are GOHS Executive Director Bob Brzozowski and Father Ken Hunter, St. James Episcopal pastor and a mystery buff, who organized the film series.  Cudmore is also managing editor of Hometown Oneonta, The Freeman’s Journal and  Her “The Big Rewind” was published by William Morrow in 2016. (Ian Austin/
What A Weekend Of Festivals, Picnics, Music, Drama, Art!


What A Weekend

Of Festivals, Picnics,

Music, Drama, Art!

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Festivals for music, for beer, for Classical music abound this weekend around Otsego County!

Start at the first annual Summer Fest as the Red Shed Brewery celebrates good weather, good friends and, most importantly, good beer! Cornhole tournaments, food trucks, karaoke and beer marionette planned. 12 p.m. Friday-Sunday, Aug. 2-4, 709 County Highway 33, Cooperstown. Info,

Oneonta is alive as the annual City of the Hills Art & Music Festival fills downtown with artisans, live performances and more. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, Main St., Oneonta. Info,

The Cooperstown Summer music festival opens with the Bill Charlap Trio, one of the country’s premier jazz ensembles. Tickets, $25/adult. 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, The Otesaga, Cooperstown. Info, (877) 666-7421

Celebrate natural world and Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) culture with song, dance, & storytelling by Kay Olan and the Ahkwesahsne Women Singers. Listen to traditional stories of Native peoples, participate in dance, music, kids make Iroquois-themed take-home craft. 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, The Fenimore Art Museum, Cooperstown. 607-547-1472

Enjoy an afternoon in one of Otsego County’s hidden gems as the Otsego Land Trust hosts a picnic at Brookwood Point. Tours, boat rentals, food and a concert by the Glimmerglass Young Artists ($30/person). 11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, Brookwood Point, 6000 St. Hwy. 80, Cooperstown. Info, (607) 547-2366 ext. 108

It’s two plays – and a picnic! – for the price of one! First, Shakespeare in the Valley presents an evening of theater featuring original play “Monster Mic” followed by community picnic, then teen theater performance of Macbeth. Cost, $12/adult. 6 p.m. Friday-Saturday, Aug. 2-3, West Kortright Centre, 49 W. Kortright Church Rd., East Meredith. Info, (607) 278-5454.

Celebrate our great local bands with the annual Music Festival, supporting the Gary Johnson Memorial Music Scholarship Fund. 1-8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, Maple Street Park, Oneonta. Info, (607) 431-1001.


Best Bets: From Rock ‘n’ Roll To Ninjas Warriors


From Rock ‘n’ Roll

To Ninjas Warriors

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Summer has OFFICIALLY arrived in Otsego County! Celebrate the best time to be here with games, theater and a major rock band coming to town!

“I Will Possess Your Heart” hipsters Death Cab For Cutie will perform their soulful indie rock on the Ommegang stage with Jenny Lewis opening. All-ages show, $45, Camping +$15. 5 p.m. Friday, June 21, 656 County Highway 33, Cooperstown,

There are games and sweet treats at the Clark Center as it celebrates the first day of summer with giant Jenga, Corn Hole and free popsicles! 3-4:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, Clark Sports Center.  124 County Hwy 52, Cooperstown.  Info, 607-547-2800, ext. 103.

If it’s not sunny enough for you here, why not take a trip to Agrabah? The Orpheus Theatre Starstruck Performers perform “Aladdin Jr.” 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, June 21-22, 2 p.m. Saturday, June 22. Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta,  Info, 607-287-1288

Find some tranquility in a performance of “Peace Tales around the World,” an original production by LEAF, Inc. and Mountains View Wellness Center’s Theater Arts Troupe. 6:30 p.m. Saturday, June 22, First United Methodist Church, 66 Chestnut St., Oneonta.  Info, (607)433-1714 ext. 201,

Take the whole family out to the ballgame at historic Damaschke Field as the American Legion teams play a game. 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 21, Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Info,

The Oneonta Community Concert Band welcomes summer with “Olympic Fanfare and Theme,” “On a Hymnsong of Philip Bliss,” “National Emblem March,” and more. Bring a lawn chair and enjoy a free concert! 3 p.m June 23, Pavilion, Wilber Park, Oneonta. 607-437-0152.

Oneonta has our very own Ninja Warrior, Anthony Earley, and you can help cheer him on during a big-screen watch party of “American Ninja Warrior.” 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, Foothills Performing Arts Center, 24 Market St., Oneonta. Info,


THINGS TO DO: Lumberjacks, Jazz, Rock & Roll Guitar


Something For Every Dad,

From Lumberjack To Daddy-O

Show Dad how much you care with whirring chainsaws, enormous hacksaws, a rodeo, live music and more outdoorsy fun at the annual Lumberjack Fest. Friday-Sunday, June 14-16, Alden Field, Cherry Valley. Info, full schedule,

Think your dad rocks? Check out two events themed around the “Herb Ritts: The Rock Portraits” exhibit at The Fenimore Art Museum this weekend. On Friday, catch a screening of Jamie Foxx in “Ray.” $5 members $7 non-members, 6:30 p.m. Friday, June 14 in the auditorium.
And on Saturday, Tom Lieber presents “The Art of the Guitar,” a peek at instruments he made for Jerry Garcia, Pete Sears and others. $50/$45 members, 6 p.m. Saturday, June 15.
But if you just want to look around, basic admission to The Fenimore and The Farmers’ Museum is free for dads and granddads. Fenimore Art Museum, 5798 NY-80 & Farmers’ Museum, 5775 NY-80, Cooperstown. Info 607-547-1472.

But if your father’s more of the Daddy-O type, treat him to an evening of brand new jazz by the Blake Fleming Trio. 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, The Star Theater, 44 Main Street, Cherry
Valley. Info

The annual summer series at the Swart-Wilcox opens with “The Man of the House,” a program that offers Henry Wilcox’s 1867-1911 diaries’ excerpts to show drastic changes in that role since. Refreshments, house tours. Free, 1-3 p.m. Sunday, June 16, Swart-Wilcox House, Wilcox Ave., Oneonta.

Tour an old-fashioned country fair and help the Pierstown Grange with their rebuilding efforts. Plants, baked goods and other items for sale. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Saturday, June 15. Pierstown Grange, 137 Wedderspoon Hollow Road, Cooperstown. Info 607-547-8261.

And for more old-fashioned fun, the Hanford Mills Museum offers a Free Family day with hands-on activities. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday, June 15, 51 County Hwy. 12, East Meredith. Info,, 607-278-5744.

Can’t do all sorts of fun stuff over the weekend if you don’t start the day with a hearty breakfast! The Middlefield Volunteer Fire Department hosts all-you-can-eat pancakes with plenty of food to fill your plate – and stomach! $7.50 adults, $5 under 12. 7:30 – 11 a.m. Saturday, June 15, Cooperstown/Westville Airport, Rte/ 166. Cooperstown.

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