News of Otsego County

New York State Police

Police Identify Human Remains Found in Morris

Police Identify Human
Remains Found in Morris

This photo of the ring that was circulated on social media platforms.

The New York State Police at Oneonta were asking for help from the public in identifying the remains of a female found in the town of Morris. On August 11, they released photos of a ring, a necklace and a pair of Carolina boots. The photos were posted on Facebook and elsewhere, asking for help from anyone with information.

The original press release stated: “The New York State Police at Oneonta are investigating the discovery of unidentified human remains, located in a remote area in the town of Morris, Otsego County.

The remains are those of an adult female, approximately 4’9″ – 4’11” in height. The woman was wearing Adidas brand jogging pants, a pink tank top, a lightweight black jacket with a pink zipper, and Carolina brand boots.

State Police on the lookout for impaired drivers

State Troopers on the lookout for impaired drivers

The New York State Police will increase patrols to crack down on drunk and drugged driving and other traffic infractions over the Fourth of July holiday. This special enforcement period will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, July 1, 2022, and run through 3 a.m. on Tuesday, July 5, 2022.

During this enforcement period, drivers can expect to encounter sobriety checkpoints and DWI patrols. Troopers will also be looking for motorists who are using their phones and other electronic devices while behind the wheel. Drivers should also remember to “move over” for stopped emergency and hazard vehicles when they travel New York roadways.

Troopers will be using both marked State Police vehicles and Concealed Identity Traffic Enforcement (CITE) vehicles as part of the operation. The CITE vehicles allow Troopers to more easily identify motorists who are using handheld devices while driving. These vehicles blend in with everyday traffic but are unmistakable as emergency vehicles once the emergency lighting is activated.

During last year’s Fourth of July enforcement period, Troopers issued 10,238 total tickets, arrested 195 people for DWI and investigated 648 crashes, including two fatalities. 

The Fourth of July initiative is partially funded by the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee (GTSC). The GTSC and the New York State STOP-DWI Foundation remind motorists that their “Have a Plan” mobile app, is available for Apple, Droid and Windows smartphones. The app enables New Yorkers to locate and call a taxi or rideshare service and program a designated driver list. It also provides information on DWI laws and penalties, and provides a way to report a suspected impaired driver.

If you drive drunk or drugged, you not only put your life and the lives of others at risk, you could face arrest, jail time, and substantial fines and attorney fees. The average drinking and driving arrest costs up to $10,000.

Arrested drunk and drugged drivers face the loss of their driver’s license, higher insurance rates, and dozens of unanticipated expenses from attorney fees, fines and court costs, car towing and repairs, and lost time at work.

The New York State Police, and GTSC recommend these simple tips to prevent impaired driving:

  • Plan a safe way home before the fun begins;
  • Before drinking, designate a sober driver;
  • If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation;
  • Use your community’s sober ride program;
  • If you suspect a driver is drunk or impaired on the road, don’t hesitate to contact local law enforcement;
  • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.
This Week – 04-14-22


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

April 14, 2022


They are the champions! Meet the Laurens Central School Jaguars SA-1 Winter Guard, fresh off their championship turn at the Mid York Color Guard Circuit’s competition on April 2 in Clifton Park. Top row, left to right, Athena Saggese, Sophie Gilmore, and Mackenzie Budine; center row, left to right, Sierra Rondeau, Natalie Davis, Mallory Kovacs, and Alexis Cole; lower row, left to right, Alicia Stevens, Isabella Failla, Emma Hughes, and Mackenzie Louden. Read all about their victory and all the work it takes to keep the team at peak performance in our story HERE.


Laurens Color Guard wins regional championship

State Police Conclude Hartwick Incident An Accident

Remembering Vincenza Alessi

Inside The Paper

Otsego County, Mohawk Valley group team up to go green

North American Cashmeres, junior apprentice program among Hulse Hill’s treasures

League of Women Voters talk democracy at the local level

Gas tax holiday, drinks-to-go, volunteer fire department aid in state’s $220 billion budget

Springfield Man Charged With Ghost Gun Felony Count

Catskill Community Players spread “Rumors” April 29 – May 1



Gaslighting Hartwick


Commentary: Don’t be fueled


Janet L. Frankl

Carol A. S. Gorsin


Happenin’ Otsego

Gaslighting Hartwick

Gaslighting Hartwick

Editorial: April 14, 2022

The saddest truth, in the end, is a person died several weeks after a horrible in-home accident, and to the family of Flora Polulech, The Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta sends our sympathy.

Late in the afternoon on Friday, April 8, New York State Police issued a press release finally admitting they found a January 2, 2022 incident to be a sad and tragic accident. It’s called a “Friday news dump” — late on a Friday afternoon is the perfect time to send out a press release that the issuer would rather see lost in a weekend news cycle, the timing exceptionally matched here to a heavy load of state budget news out of Albany. It’s like a newspaper using the Legal Notices page to bury a correction to a howling error on a front-page story.

Remember this: the State Police issued a guns-a-blazin’ press release on January 3, 2022 “looking for person(s) who burglarized then injured an elderly homeowner in Hartwick.” Police asserted with provocative certainty that “the suspect(s) unlawfully entered a residence on Poplar Avenue and caused physical injury to an elderly victim.” Frightening stuff indeed.

That gaslighting bulletin put local residents on edge and kicked off rampaging speculation as to who did what to whom and the extent to which the victim was harmed. One month later, on February 2, we asked State Police to

Springfield gun charge

State Police charge Springfield man on ‘ghost gun’ count, more

New York State Police charged a Springfield, New York man with numerous felonies after members of the NYSP’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations discovered he was in possession of ’ghost guns’ and other firearms.

On April 10, 2022, Troopers from the Richfield Springs barracks responded to a 911 complaint of domestic incident that involved an attempted break-in at a residence on County Highway 54 in the town of Springfield.

Police said Kenneth A. Carson, age 37, of Springfield, attempted to enter the home of a known acquaintance and discharged a firearm while outside. No one inside was hurt.

Carson was arrested and charged with:

  • Attempted Burglary in the first degree, class “B” felony
  • Criminal Use of a Firearm in the second degree, class “C” felony
  • Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the second degree, class “C” felony
  • Manufacture of a Machine Gun, class “D” felony
  • Two counts of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the third degree, class “D” felony
  • Reckless Endangerment in the first degree, class “D” felony
  • Criminal Mischief in the third degree, class “E” felony

Carson was transported to Otsego County Central Arraignment and Processing and remanded by a judge to the Otsego County Jail on $20,000 cash bail or $45,000 bond. His next court date was scheduled for May 5, 2022, at the Springfield Town Court.

The New York State Police reminds people that possessing or making privately manufactured firearms without serial numbers (’ghost guns’) is a crime and is a threat to public safety.  If you know of anyone who is making firearms, please contact your closest law enforcement agency.

Hartwick incident an accident

NYSP determines Hartwick incident to be an accident

New York State Police issued a statement late in the afternoon on Friday, April 8, announcing “no criminal activity occurred” in a January 2 incident in Hartwick and “the victim’s injuries were the result of an unfortunate fall.”

The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta first reported in our February 3 edition that sources with direct knowledge of the investigation already had determined the unfortunate incident to be an in-home accident. New York State Police told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta at the time they had determined the January 2 event “appears to be an isolated incident.”

According to the April 8 statement from the New York State Police,  “Investigators spent months conducting interviews and examining evidence, ultimately leading to the determination that the woman’s physical injuries were caused when she fell inside her home.  The investigation has determined that no criminal activity occurred in the home and the victim’s injuries were the result of an unfortunate fall. Sadly, the woman passed away several weeks after her fall. She is identified as 86-year-old Flora Polulech.

The New York State Police offers our sympathy to the fall victim’s family, and are glad to report that no crime occurred and there is no threat to the community. We also thank the Hartwick community for their patience while we fully investigated this incident to ensure accuracy and public safety.”

Schenevus accident victim airlifted to Albany Med

New York State Police at Oneonta say they responded late in the afternoon of February 16 to a report of a vehicle that had crashed into a tree.

State Troopers, Schenevus Fire, Worcester Fire, and Otsego County Emergency Services all responded to State Route 7 (Main Street) across the road from the Schenevus Central Schools in the village of Schenevus.

Police say the driver, Stephanie N. Robinson, age 30 of Schenevus, was airlifted by LifeNet to Albany Medical Center for serious injuries. She was the only person in the car.

The crash remains under investigation.

January in Hartwick: Maybe just an accident?

January in Hartwick: Maybe just an accident?

New York State Police said February 1 an incident they reported as a burglary in the Town of Hartwick on January 3, 2022 “appears to be an isolated incident and remains an active and on-going investigation.”

Trooper Aga Dembinska told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta “there have been no other reported incidents like this.”

Sources say the matter was never a burglary nor a home invasion but was, upon investigation, an accident in the person’s home.

State Police make arrest in Ononta assault

State Police make
arrest in Oneonta assault

New York State Police took 29-year-old Anthony Masi into custody on January 5 after a nearly week-long search following a December 30, 2021 incident at the Budget Inn on State Route 23.

Police say Masi was arrested and charged with Assault in the first degree, a class “b” felony. The warrant for his arrest stemmed from what police called a “serious assault that occurred in Oneonta after Masi attacked a victim with a machete-type knife.”

The victim of the assault was taken to Bassett Hospital, then transferred to Upstate Medical Center in Syracuse to undergo surgery.

State Police: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

State Police: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Fair warning for Christmas week drivers – the New York State Police plan to step up enforcement to crack down on impaired and reckless driving during the upcoming busy season.

It’s a part of the national “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” initiative running Friday, December 17 through New Year’s Day. Drivers can expect to see sobriety checkpoints, along with more troopers on roadways during the two-week campaign.

Man drowns in Canadarago Lake on Saturday

Man drowns in Canadarago Lake on Saturday

STAFF REPORT • Special to

A man from Mohawk died in Canadarago Lake after he went after his boat that had gone adrift on Saturday, July 31, state police said.

David Morrisey, 54, was on Deowongo Island at the time. A joint effort of the state police, Fly Creek EMS, Richfield EMS, Otsego County Sherriff’s Department and Milford Fire Department made an effort to recover his body, which was eventually found by the New York State Police Underwater Recovery Team.




Remembering Our First President


HISTORY – 6:30 p.m. Learn how our memory of the First US President has changed over time in ‘The Property of the Nation: George Washington’s Tomb, Mount Vernon, and the Memory of the First President’ presented by author Matthew R. Costello, Senior Historian White House Historical Association. Fort Plain Museum, 389 Canal St., Fort Plain. 518-993-2527 or visit

Troop C: Suspect Advanced, Firing Semi-Automatic

Troop C: Suspect

Advanced, Firing


Man, 30, Died At Route 17 Scene;

Officer Wounded In Left Shoulder

Troop C reported the suspect killed in last night’s shooting began firing through his back window with a semiautomatic when he was pulled over.  These bullet holes are in the window of Trooper Conklin’s cruiser.  (Troop C photo)

Editor’s Note: Troop C, which includes Otsego County, released this account of the shooting exchange last evening in the Town of Kirkwood, Broome County, where the investigating trooper was injured and the suspect killed.

Trooper Conklin lights a candle at last July’s funeral in Vestal for Trooper Nicholas Clark, shot in a standoff. Last night, Trooper Conklin had a narrow escape.


On Jan. 28, 2019 at approximately 6:09 p.m., the State Police at Binghamton received a report that Nicholas P. Philhower, age 30, had taken his mother’s motor vehicle without her permission and she requested he be located and arrested.  At approximately 6:20 p.m., Trooper Timothy S. Conklin, a 28-year veteran, observed the suspect vehicle traveling west on State Route 17 in the Town of Kirkwood.

Philhower observed Trooper Conklin approaching and took evasive action, traveling through the median at the intersection with Interstate 81, and then onto State Route 17 east bound, coming to a stop shortly thereafter.  At that point Philhower, who was armed with a military style semi-automatic rifle, immediately opened fire on Trooper Conklin through the rear window of the vehicle.

Major McEvoy Named Troop C Commander


Major McEvoy Named

Troop C Commander

Maj. William McEvoy

SIDNEY – State Police Capt. William F. McEvoy has been promoted to major and appointed commander of Troop C, which covers Otsego County and includes the barracks at Oneonta.

One of his first responsibilities will be to host the public at a Centennial Open House 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7, at Troop C headquarters, Route 7, Sidney.

In a varied career that began at Troop C in 1984, he also served for a short time as zone commander of the Oneonta Barracks.

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