News of Otsego County

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


martin luther king

United Way Drive Aims To Help Needy Keep Warm

United Way Drive Aims

To Help Needy Stay Warm

United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties’ Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Adams, left, and Executive Director Kimberly Lorraine show the boxes, decorated by United Way volunteers, they will use to collect warm hats, gloves, mittens and scarves as well as non-perishable, instant food items for those in need through Thursday, Jan. 17. Volunteers will hang bags of the donated food and the clothing in trees in Huntington Park on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Monday Jan. 21. (Jennifer Hill/

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

ONEONTA – The season of giving may have officially ended, but United Way of Delaware & Otsego Counties is continuing it with a “Keeping You Warm Inside and Out!” donation drive.

“The holidays when people donate a lot are over,” United Way Volunteer Coordinator Valerie Adams, who is overseeing the drive, said. “But there are still people who are hungry and need warm clothing, and the end of January, beginning of February is our coldest time of the year.”

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 21, volunteers will tie ribbons around packets of food and warm clothing and hang them from trees in Huntington Park, inviting community members to take what they need.

MLK Day Mementos

MLK Day Mementos

In a run-up to Martin Luther King Day, local historian Tom Heitz discusses slavery in Otsego County with a CCAL class at First Presbyterian Church, Coopertown. Behind him are two just-approved State Historic Markers, one commemorating the church’s 1827 celebration of the end of slavery in New York State, the other Susan B. Anthony’s visit to Otsego County.

2 Historic Markers

Commemorate Freedom


COOPERSTOWN – Just in time for Martin Luther King Day, two state Historical Markers commemorating the United States’ march toward freedom – and Otsego County’s – have arrived at First Presbyterian Church here.
One marks Susan B. Anthony’s Feb. 9, 1855, appearance in a building where the church’s chapel is now. During her visit, she formed a local committee to advocate for the women’s right to vote.
The second commemorates July 4, 1827, when about 60 blacks gathered in the church, “with music and banners flying,” to celebrate the end of slavery in New York State.
The markers will be unveiled to the public at the church’s MLK Day celebration at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at 25 Church St. and erected on the front lawn in the spring.
These were little-known events until

Hall Of Fame Honors Black Inductees On MLK Day

Black Inductees Honored

By Hall On MLK Jr. Day

Standing next to a statue of Buck O’Neil, Cooperstown resident John Rankin explains why O’Neil was an important figure in baseball:  Hel was a star first baseman for the Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues, and eventually went on to become the first African-American coach in Major League Baseball. After his death in 2006, The Hall Of Fame created the Buck O’Neil Lifetime Achievement Award to honor those that have made a significant impact on the game. (Parker Fish/

Museum Tours For MLK Day


MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY – Visit to learn more.

CELEBRATION – 9 a.m. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day at the museum. Features guided tours, opportunity to learn about Jackie Robinson & Roberto Clemente. Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-7200 or visit

FILM & DISCUSSION – 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Showing civil rights film “Martin Luther King, I Have A Dream,” with Harry Bradshaw Matthews as facilitator. Location TBA. Call 607-431-4428 or visit

Cooperstown Celebrates MLK With Candle Light Vigil, History

Cooperstown Celebrates MLK

With Candlelight Vigil, History

Rev. Elsie Rhodes, First Presbyterian Church, lights the candle of Omonike Akinyemi and daughter Simone Sprague as the gathered sing “We Shall Overcome” while closing out a celebration in honor of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this evening. 250 people filled the sanctuary where a history of slavery and civil rights in Cooperstown was given along with hymns, inspirations and poetry. (Ian Austin/
NAACP Offers $500 Scholarship For Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay


NAACP Offers $500 Scholarship

For Martin Luther King, Jr., Essay

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

ONEONTA – The Oneonta Area Branch of the NAACP has announced that a $500 scholarship will be awarded this year.  All high school seniors and entering first-year college students living in the Oneonta area are encouraged to submit their application and essay entitled “Saluting Greatness:  The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”. 

This scholarship program began in 1995.  The purpose of this scholarship is to recognize students who have demonstrated the ideals and principles of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in their schools and communities.  The Scholarship committee seeks students with exemplary leadership skills who have championed the cause of cultural awareness, diversity and harmony.  All students, regardless of ethnic origin and gender, will be considered during this competitive process.

All Welcome To Sing In Choir On MLK Birthday This Year

All Welcome To Sing In Choir

On MLK Birthday This Year

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

ONEONTA – Everyone will be welcome to sing along with the MLK Choir at this year’s commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., 2-4 p.m.  Sunday, Jan. 17, at the Unitarian Universalist Church, Regina Betts, vice president of the NAACP, Oneonta Branch, announced today.

The only requirement is that people intending to sing with the choir should arrive at 1 p.m. for a rehearsal, according to Robin Seletsky, the choir’s leader.

The afternoon will also feature entertainment, readings from Dr. King and a performance by a jazz ensemble, ending with sharing of a birthday cake.

The event is co-sponsored by the NAACP and the city Commission on Human Rights.

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