News of Otsego County


HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Hand Dyeing At Sunday Series 08-02-20

Hand Dyeing At Sunday Series


SUNDAY SERIES – 1 – 3 p.m. ‘Swart Dye Pot – Textiles’ presented by Jeanne Westcott. Learn how the Swarts, other Colonial Americans would have used the plants and resources at hand to color their fabrics, and textiles at The Swart-Wilcox House Musuem, Wilcox Ave., Oneonta. Visit for schedule updates.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Lecture On Local History 07-19-20

Lecture On Local History

14-19eventspageSUNDAY SERIES – 1 – 3 p.m. Learn about Ned Buntline with Karen Cuccinello. Hailing from Stamford, Ned Buntline was a fascinating figure whose many occupations inculded author, soldier, patriot, temperance lecturer, tavern customer, and was also husband to many. Learn the history at The Swart-Wilcox House Musuem, Wilcox Ave., Oneonta. Visit for schedule updates.

Environmental Stewards Enjoy Earth Fest Fun

Environmental Stewards

Enjoy Earth Fest Fun

Maureen Murray, Cooperstown, and Barbara Deemer, Oneonta help separate Styrofoam and plastics for Eva Davey, Westford, to put on the truck for recycling during the annual Earth Fest event at Milford Central School this afternoon. At right, Bill Hardy, Oneonta, of the ARC’s Oneonta ReUse Center, holds before photos of their re-purpose contest winner; an industrial fan that was made into an unique coffee table by Joanne Mkytyn of Oneonta. Guests could browse the clothing swap, shred old papers, enjoy dog herding demonstrations, taste local food and enjoys a wide selection of informational tables from local organizations.(Ian Austin/

Locals: Feb 21 22 2019

Locals: Feb. 21-22, 2019

Six Named To RIT Dean’s List


Virginia Aswad, Cooperstown, a biomedical science major at the Rochester Institute of Technology, was named to the Fall 2018 Dean’s List.
Also on the list were:
• Shane Tang, Cooperstown, computer science program.
• Jessi Falke, Springfield Center, ASL-English interpretation program.
• Adam Kruh, Maryland, electrical engineering program.
• Alexis Slentz, Edmeston, chemistry program.
• Nathaniel Wilcox, Fly Creek, electrical engineering program.

Winter Fun: Jump Auction, Richfield Events, Winterfest

Winter Fun: Jump Auction, Richfield Events, Winterfest

Help support the annual Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump and maybe take home some great prizes! The annual Chinese Auction allows you to raise funds for local families struggling with chronic illnesses – all without having to jump in a freezing cold lake. 12:30 p.m.; drawing begins at 2:30. Sunday, Jan. 27, Milford Central School, 42 W. Main St., Milford. Info (607) 286-7101.

Just because it’s snowy doesn’t mean you can’t have fun! In Richfield Springs, the annual Winter Carnival

Milford 5th-Graders Study Trout By Raising Trout

Milford 3rd-Graders
Study Trout By Raising Trout


Julia Leech, left, learns about trout from Kevin Kelly, a member of Trout Unlimited, who helped sponsor the Trout in the Classroom project at Milford Central School.

MILFORD – Call it a School of Fish.
Kim Burkhart’s Milford Central School third-graders are raising 50 brown trout in their classroom, learning hands-on about the ecosystems of rivers and streams. If you feel inspired having read this article, then you may want to consider some fishy-y learning aids for your children at home. Consider looking at Odd Ball Fish online to get some innovative ideas for stocking a new aquarium.
“They’re inspired when they participate in this life cycle instead of just reading it in books,” she said. “It sticks with them.”
A state certified Master Teacher, Burkhart first did the trout program with students when she taught first grade at Sherburne. “Some of them, now in fourth and fifth grade, still write to me about it,” she said.
“Last November, we had a request from Kim to start a Trout in the Classroom program,” said Oneonta’s Tom Trelease, president of the Trout Unlimited local chapter. “We had limited funds, so we got a local foundation to buy all the equipment.”
Included in the setup was a tank, a filter, a chiller to maintain water temperature and a piece of AirStone to keep oxygen in the water. If they wanted to be even more safe with the tank to ensure the water quality is top-notch, they could also install a canister external filter, similar to the ones found at This would ensure the water is of a better quality, making it a more comfortable habitat for the trout.
And the kids helped make it a home for their fishy friends. “We researched trout habitats and made a background” for the fish tank, said pupil Liam Gannon.
On the background are logs, rocks and insects, as well as otters – a predator – and some duck feet poking down. “We wanted to make it just like home,” said Liam.
The students also practiced their persuasive writing skills in letters to the trout, encouraging them to hatch and come live in their classroom.
“First, the tank has a thermometer,” Kenson McWaters wrote enticingly. “Next, we will not let sharks in.”
But by the time they were able to purchase and set up the tank, hatching season was already over. “A teacher in Stamford has been doing this for 17 years, and she had 200 trout,” Trelease said. “She gave Kim’s class 50.”
And whoever is in charge of snacks also has to make sure the fish get their snacks too. “We feed them special trout food,” said Natalie Roe.
“The kids come in every morning and look at them,” said Burkhart.
Their observations can quickly turn into lessons. “They love to hide in the rocks, and the students thought they were dead or stuck,” she said. “But we learned that in the wild, that’s how they would hide from predators.”
In addition to the science lessons about the fish and their habitats, the students are also going to learn how to tie flies and about the importance of conservation.
“Seeing fish from start to release helps students better understand the life and health of a stream,” said Trout Unlimited member Kevin Kelly, also of Oneonta.
“It gives them an appreciation of how important our streams are,” said Trelease. “Our goal is to promote fishing to young kids.”
“This is another way to get kids outside,” said Burkhart. “They can go fishing or look around in the creek instead of playing video games.”
While this is the first Trout Unlimited-sponsored program in an Otsego County school, the chapter also provided guidance for a “Trout in the Classroom” project fifth-grade teacher Suzanne Johnson is running at Riverside Elementary School in Oneonta.
In the spring, the students will take a field trip to a DEC-approved stream to release the fish. “In Sherburne, every student got to let a fish go,” Burkhart said. “We think we have enough for every student here to do that too.”

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