News of Otsego County

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



Two Honored By City For Emergency Response

Two Honored By City

For Emergency Response

Jason Bouton, stands with Mayor Gary Herzig after receiving recognition from the City of Oneonta as an Employee of the Quarter. Also honored was Scott Burger, who was unable to be present, with his boss Chris Pelligra accepting the award for him. Both men, who work at the Waste Water Treatment Plant in Oneonta, were recognized for their quick thinking, fast response and professional handling of two separate medical emergencies that happened on their job site. (Ian Austin/
OCCB Brings Summer Early Through Concert

Summer Comes Early

Through OCCB Concert

The Oneonta Community Concert Band, above, performed its “Good Ol’ Summertime In Winter Concert” this afternoon in the halls of the Foxcare Center.  Led by Conductor Kerri Hogle, Milford, the band’s selections included “Seventy-Six Trombones,” ‘The Magnificent Seven,” “Carousel Selections,” and more. At right, David Hayes and wife Julie Suarez Hayes applaud after the band concluded the evening with “America, The Beautiful.” The next public concert will be held on Flag Day, June 14, 2020. (Ian Ausin/

Flavors Abound As Chili Bowl Returns

Flavors Abound As

Chili Bowl Returns

Tastes and talents were on parade during the 16th annual Chili Bowl at CANO this afternoon. Art lovers lined up before the doors opened to be the first to browse this year’s selection of artisanal decorated bowls. Inside and outside of CANO, guests enjoyed plenty of chili for all preferences. Above, chef Rhett Mortland, representing the Autumn Cafe, serves Otsego County Representative Danny Lapin, right, a bowl of Montezuma’s Tail and Feather Chili. (Ian Austin/
Elizabeth Bishop Focus Of Travisano Talk, Book

Click For More On ‘Love Unknown’

Elizabeth Bishop Focus

Of Travisano Talk, Book

Tom Travisano, Hartwick College professor of English emeritus, briefs a local audience “Love Unknown: The Life and Worlds of Elizabeth Bishop” at Foothills Preforming Arts Center on Saturday. Travisano spoke on the poet’s upbringing and early days while including photos of her childhood as well as scans of her earliest letters. Following the talk Travisano signed copies of the book, which was published this past November by Viking. Copies are available locally at the Green Toad. (Ian Austin/
Seed Swap Moves To Huntington Library

Seed Swap Moves

To Huntington Library

Mark Boshnak and Ellen Alex, both of Oneonta, and Sandi Andrews, Milford, look over some of the offerings at the 3rd annual seed swap, which was sponsored by the Otsego County Master Gardeners at Oneonta’s Huntington Memorial Library this morning. Guests could come and get a wide selection of seeds for vegetable gardens and flower beds. For the past two years the event had been held at the Kinney Memorial Library in Hartwick, but it was moved to Oneonta as the  larger population center. (Ian Austin/
Vigilance Encouraged At MLK Celebration

Vigilance Encouraged

At MLK Celebration

The sanctuary at First United Methodist Church in Oneonta was filled with inspiring words, social commentary and song this afternoon as crowds gathered to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s 91st birthday. The event, hosted by the Oneonta NAACP, featured over a dozen speakers and performers including Yolanda Bush, seen above with Rich Mollen, as she sings “Rise Above,” written by Robin Seletsky and dedicated to the Oneonta NAACP. Mayor Gary Herzig, inset right, was also among the speakers, where he praised the NAACP and the Oneonta Police Department for their leadership in civil rights issues. He continued, encouraging vigilance, saying there was still work to do even in a “progressive and diverse” City like Oneonta: “Here in Oneonta, an individual visited our DMV and was told, ‘We cannot serve you,’ and was told to go to Cooperstown. In the year 2020 we are hearing this! As Dr. King said, ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’ Oneonta must be open and welcome all persons.”  Herzig’s reference was to the “Green Light” Law, where the state Legislature directed the issuance of driver’s licenses to illegal aliens; because of the special equipment and training required, county Clerk Kathy Sinnott Gardner has centralized processing those license applications at the main office in Cooperstown.  (Ian Austin/

Holiday Lanes Hosts Rigas Bowling Lessons For 2nd Year

Holiday Lanes Hosts Rigas

Bowling Lessons For 2nd Year

Anton Jenkins, Oneonta, throws his ball down the lan at Holiday Lanes in Oneonta on Saturday afternoon as he and 20 other kids took part in bowling lessons under the instruction of coach Art Rigas and Bruce Hopkins. The lessons are once a week for 10 weeks and kids can join anytime until March 28. “This is the second year we are offering this.” said Rigas, “They seem to have a lot of fun and I see a lot of smiles.” Cost is $10 per child and includes shoes and 3 games. (Ian Austin/
27 Professionals Attend Otsego Leadership Summit

27 Professionals Attend

Otsego Leadership Summit

Otsego County Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan recruited a bumper crop for the 2020 Otsego Leader class, whose program got underway this morning at Foothills Performing Arts Center in Oneonta.  Over the next few weeks, the class – rising managers at local enterprises and institutions – will be visiting colleges, hospitals and other key county institutions, to “put them in the picture” as they move forward.  The Class of 2020 includes, above, clockwise from front left, Mike Tranvvag, Deborah Cornell, Jackie Burke, Leslie Woodward, Anneth Nelson, Brittany Goodrich, Cynthia Saggese, Tania Cape, Danielle Rowe, Tara Bronson, Tammy Christman, Lisa Cronan, Amanda Stamas, Monica Calzolari, Jennifer Insetta, Sandra Gardner, Kyle Liner, William Rohde,Heegan, Loretta Garcia, Adam Remillard and Lonny Chin.  Inset is Number 27 is Melissa Marietta, Oneonta, who introduces herself and tells how she fell in love with out area. (Ian Austin/

250 Attend Foothills  Wedding Expo, After Party

250 Attend Foothills

 Wedding Expo, After Party

Over 250 brides, grooms and their families came to the 2019 Bridal Expo this afternoon in the atrium of Foothills Performing Arts Center. Guest like Danielle Dobitsch and Tim Maguire, Walton, at right, sampled cake, BBQ and hors d’oeuvres as they spoke with DJ’s, wedding vendors, photographers and more. Afterwards, brides like Marisa Gray, above, Unadilla, who was spending some quality time with her future mother-in-law Ann Marie DeForest, made her way to the Rainbow’s End After Party to try on dresses and partake in the Bag o’ Bargains event, where they could fill a bag with as much wedding attire as possible for only $100. (Ian Austin/

Postcards-a-Plenty  At Sunday Flea Market

Postcards Aplenty

At Sunday Flea Market

GOHS Executive Director Bob Brzozowski, Oneonta, peruses vintage postcards and papers at a booth at the Second Sunday Flea Market this morning at the Quality Inn. Whether you are on the hunt for a piece of history or looking for a new piece of art for the walls or you just like to look, you can stop by the show until 2 p.m. today. (Ian Austin/
145 Runners Finish 2019 With Frostbite 5K

Parade, Party At Foothills Tonight

145 Runners Finish 2019

With YMCA’s Frostbite 5K

Brian Horne, Mitchell Woodbeck, Gary Toombs, Keira Brown and 142 other brave – and chilly! – runners take off from the starting line of the starting line of the YMCA’s annual New Year’s Eve Frostbite 5K run earlier this afternoon on Market St. At right, Oneonta’s Michael Hamilton came in first place overall with a time of 18:06. The New Year’s Eve festivities continue this evening with the First Night parade at 5:30, followed by music, dancing, a poetry reading and talent show, as well as a chance to meet Oneonta’s own American Ninja Warrior, Anthony Eardley, at the free “20/20 – I Can See Clearly Now” celebration at Foothills. The fun continues until 10 p.m., when fireworks will be launched from Neahwa Park, then stick around for a blacklight after-party and Cosmic Karma fire dancers.  (Ian Austin/

Everett Bassett Retires As UM District Superintendent

Everett Bassett Retires As

UM District Superintendent

Over 150 friends and family, some coming from as far away as Denver, gathered this afternoon at Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta to honor Everett Bassett, seen here with wife Sharon, on his retirement. Everett has served the United Methodist community for 43 years, for the past three and a half years as superintendent of the Oneonta District, overseeing 57 United Methodist churches. The Bassetts will be moving to Virginia Beach, Va. The church assembled numerous cleaning kits in their honor, which will be donated to the North East Mission Central Hub. From there, the kits will be sent out to UMCORPS operating in disaster zones. (Ian Austin/
Happy Chanukah!

Happy Hanukkah!

Crowd Marks First Night

On Muller Plaza Menorah

In celebration of the first night of Hanukkah, Jeff Rebinowitz, Temple Beth El, lights the first candle on the Menorah during the third annual Hanukkah celebration in Muller Plaza this evening. Before the lighting, Rabbi Meir Rubashkin, seen in lower left, shared his thoughts with the crowd, urging them, “Ask ourselves how we can add kindness and positivity to the world in ways that is outside the norm? You gotta be a little nuts in how you spread your light in the world. We can overcome darkness, and it will be a catalyst to something greater.” Following the lighting, guests enjoyed hot cider, apple sauce, latkes, gilt and more. (Ian Austin/
That’s A Wrap!

That’s A Wrap!

Annual CSO Gift Wrapping

Returns To Southside Mall

Sarah Patterson, Oneonta, gift-wraps presents for Chrsitmas shoppers at the Southside Mall Saturday afternoon at the gift-wrapping station near Bath & Body Works.  It’s an annual tradition to help benefit the Catskill Symphony Orchestra and will continue until Christmas Eve. Hours are Sunday 12-6pm, Monday 10am-8pm and Tuesday 10am-5pm. (Ian Austin/
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