News of Otsego County


HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Oneonta History Center Celebrates Grand Re-Opening 05-13-22

Oneonta History Center
Celebrates Grand Re-Opening


HISTORY CENTER OPENING – 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Celebrate the grand re-opening of the renovated history center featuring new exhibit ‘Small Community, Big Ideas.’ Evening will include opening remarks, exhibit tours, and live entertainment. Free, open to the public. Beer & wine will be served. Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-0960 or visit

BLOOD DRIVE – Noon – 5 p.m. Donate through May 19 for chance to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps eight. Quality Inn, 5206 St. Hwy. 23, Oneonta. 1-800-733-2767 or visit

In Memoriam Veronica La Verne M. Hawver March 2, 1942 – April 26, 2022

In Memoriam

Veronica La Verne M. Hawver, 80

March 2, 1942 – April 26, 2022

Veronica La Verne M. Hawver

SHALLOTTE, N.C. – Veronica La Verne M. (Mike) Hawver, 80, went home to be with the Lord, on April 26, 2022. She passed away peacefully in her home following a brief illness.

Mike was born March 2, 1942 in Perth Amboy, NJ the daughter of Michael and Verne (Franko) Nemyo.

Mike married James L. Hawver, her husband of 54 years, in February, 1963 at the Air Force Chapel at McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey.

Mike was predeceased by her husband, Jim, and her parents, Michael and Verne (Franko) Nemyo.

Mike is survived by her two sons, James M. Hawver of Shallotte, NC and Scott F. and his wife Beverly (Braumuller) Hawver of Eva Beach, HI, two grandchildren Evan Scott Lee and Kyalimpa Faith, her brothers Ronald Nemyo and Joseph Nemyo of Pennsylvania.  She was predeceased by her foster granddaughter Ronella Pasquale.

Notice of Death: Wayne L. Roseboom, 83

Notice of Death

Wayne L. Roseboom, 83

Wayne L. Roseboom

Wayne L. Roseboom, 83, of Oneonta passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 1, 2022 at the Cooperstown Center. Wayne was born on August 28, 1938 in the Town of Butternuts; a son of the late Leon M. and Marion E. (Emerson) Roseboom.

Wayne was a well-liked custodian for many of Oneonta’s businesses and was last employed by the Black Oak Tavern.

Wayne’s family will have a service in the future at a date to be determined.

In Memoriam Carl Lusins, 53 September 6, 1968 – April 25, 2022

In Memoriam

Carl Lusins, 53

Sept. 6, 1968 – Apr. 25, 2022

Carl Lusins

ONEONTA – Carl Lusins, longtime Oneonta resident, died in Albany, New York on Monday April 25th. He was 53. He is survived by his children, Alex Lusins, 25, and Catherine Lusins, 20, his mother, Anna Marie Lusins and his siblings, Gillian Lusins, Dr. John Lusins III, and Matthew Lusins. Carl’s beloved father, Dr. John O. Lusins, and sister, Noelle Lusins, predeceased him in 2001.

Carl was born in New York City on September 6th, 1968. His family lived in Bronxville until he was 15. Carl attended Bronxville Elementary School and Middle School, and he meet his lifelong best friend, Chris Long, and formed many other close bonds.

Carl moved to Oneonta with his family and soon became a vibrant part of the community.  He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1987.  He was an avid hockey goalie and played in Binghamton throughout high school. He loved throwing parties and driving around Oneonta in his Mazda RX-7 – a love of cars stayed a constant in his life – and was always willing to help his friends and family. He was a graduate of New England College.  A highlight of his college years was a semester spent abroad in England. During that year, he traveled throughout Europe and he was in Berlin, in 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell, a memory he treasured.

League looks at local democracy

League of Women Voters talks democracy at the local level

Otsego County Board of Representative members Adrienne Martini and Meg Kennedy will speak about they decided to run for office and how individuals can improve local democracy at an April 21 event sponsored by the League of Women Voters, Oneonta Area and Cooperstown Area. The free forum begins at 7 p.m. at the Foothills Performing Arts Center Atrium in Oneonta.

Meg Kennedy, a Conservative, represents Otsego County District 5 which includes Milford, Hartwick, and New Lisbon. She works in her family business ARK Floral and is part of the leadership committees of both the Oneonta and Cooperstown Farmers’ Markets. She also serves on the Town of Hartwick Planning Board. Adrienne Martini, a Democrat, represents Otsego County District 12, which includes Oneonta City Wards 3 and 4. She is an award-winning journalist and author of three books, including Somebody’s Gotta Do It-Why Cursing at the News Won’t Save the Nation, But Your Name on a Local Ballot Can.

Along with the forum, participants can find out about the work of the League of Women Voters, which includes Voter Registration; Vote411, a free online resource to find out about candidates running for office, organizing candidate forums, youth engagement, efforts to protect the environment, and the Leagues’ advocacy work.

League Members will be on hand to explain why they joined the League and the benefits of membership. Anyone who joins the League of Women Voters of the Oneonta Area (which is open to all) by April 30 will receive discounted membership fees. In addition, those joining the Oneonta League before the end of the evening will be entered into a drawing for the $100 gift card to The Green Toad Bookstore. Those mailing in the membership form, postmarked by April 30, will be entered into a $50 gift card drawing.

Oneonta advisory: water main repair on Monday

The City of Oneonta’s Department of Public Works will be repairing a water main break on Monday, April 4, in front of 274 River Street beginning at 7 a.m. until repair is completed.

During this time, residents may experience a change in water color, pressure and/or loss of water.  This is a common, temporary occurrence and is not a cause for alarm. Water discoloration should disappear after running a cold-water tap for a few minutes.

For questions, please call the Department of Public Works at (607) 432-2100 or email

Cabaret a big success

CSO’s ‘Cabaret’ a big success

Jake Patterson steps in for his dad, Paul, who won the coveted ‘guest conductor’ honors to lead the Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s Cabaret finale. [Photo courtesy of David Treanor.] 

The Catskill Symphony Orchestra’s Cabaret fundraiser on March 26 raised more than $44,000 – not including ticket sales – attracting a sell-out crowd of some 550 attendees to SUNY Oneonta’s Alumni Field House.

“This is one of the most successful Cabarets, ever, in the more than 20 years we’ve been doing it,” says CSO Chair Sarah Patterson, who has volunteered with the CSO for more than a decade and whose husband, Paul, won this year’s guest conductor competition.

Paul, a retired fleet master and director of Oneonta Public Transit, competed against Stagecoach Coffee’s Matt Grady and SUNY Oneonta’s Dr. Tracy Allen to raise the most money for the CSO and

In Memoriam Donna Leh Black, 72 June 18, 1949 – March 16, 2022

In Memoriam

Donna Leh Black, 72

June 18, 1949 – March 16, 2022

Donna Leh Black

PITTSFIELD –  Donna Leh Black, 72, of Pittsfield passed away peacefully at her home on Wednesday, March 16, 2022.

Born in Oneonta, on June 18, 1949, she was the daughter of Benjamin and Marion (Harris) Keator.

She was a member of the Assembly of God Church in Oneonta.  Donna was the President and Office Manager of Van’s Auto Sales & Service in Oneonta.  She was the backbone behind this shop and is the reason it ran smoothly for so many years.  In her leisure time she enjoyed working in her flower garden and feeding the wild animals. She made pets of them; in particular her cat, Mr. Kitty, who she tamed from the wild.  Donna was a strong-willed and compassionate person.  Her life revolved around her family, she was always there for us.  She was always looking for ways to make our home a better place.  Donna liked HGTV with all the home make over shows.

In Memoriam Deborah G. Kabat, 69 March 1, 1953 – March 14, 2022

In Memoriam

Deborah G. Kabat, 69

March 1, 1953 – March 14, 2022

Deborah G. Kabat

Deborah G. Kabat, 69 of Williamsport and formerly of Oneonta, New York valiantly fought an illness for a year after receiving the COVID vaccination. She passed on Monday, March 14, 2022 at home. Surviving is her loving husband of 45 years Gerald “Jerry” A. Kabat.

Born March 1, 1953 in Cortland, New York she is a daughter of the late John and Virginia (Evans) Graffius.

Deb was a 1971 graduate of Vestal High School. She earned a bachelor’s degree from SUNY Brockport and a master’s degree from Nazareth College. Deb spent 35 years as a Speech Language Pathologist working with preschool children in the Oneonta New York Area.

She was a member of Elm Park United Methodist Church, Oneonta New York where she also served as a youth group leader and family ministry chairwoman. She had recently been attending St. John’s-Newberry United Methodist Church. Deb could often be found reading, gardening, going for walks, hiking and bike riding, all hobbies that she enjoyed. She loved to laugh and had a giving heart. She enjoyed sewing and knitting for her family and would also donate hats and scarves she had made to Sojourner Truth Ministries.

This Week – 03-17-22
Springbrook details plans for “Ford on Main”

Springbrook: Plans for “The Ford on Main”

[Editor’s note: This week’s “News from the Noteworthy” column comes from Seth Haight, Chief Operating Officer for Springbrook.]

I hope Springbrook’s plans to renovate Oneonta’s historic Ford Block buildings come as no surprise.

While the COVID-19 pandemic put the project on hold, it is near and dear to our hearts here at Springbrook. That is why I was excited when Patricia Kennedy, Springbrook’s CEO, asked me to write this piece and bring the public back up to speed about our plans for the buildings. I am Springbrook’s Chief Operating Officer and leader for this project.

I’ll start with why Springbrook chose to pursue renovating a downtown building. For us, this project is about community. Springbrook is recognized across the state for our innovative, compassionate, and professional approach to supporting people with developmental and intellectual disabilities. We have offices in Oneonta, Norwich, Binghamton, and Ithaca, operate homes in five counties, and offer supports in 14 counties. But Oneonta is home.

Yes, we’ve spread, but always for a purpose. Our approach is to find what works here in Oneonta and Otsego County first, then offer those services across the state. Springbrook’s success is built on this sound strategy and our commitment to the mission. This project is no different. This community has supported our growth and the needs of the people we support for nearly 100 years, and we need to invest back into the community.

The planned $6.5 million project will add vibrancy to Oneonta’s downtown, preserving the beautiful historic character of the buildings while attracting professionals to live downtown and showcasing some of Oneonta’s outstanding small businesses, like the Latte Lounge and the Green Toad Bookstore. We envision “The Ford on Main” as more than a building—we hope it will be a destination, a testament to a community that can change to meet the needs of the people who live here.

The renovations will keep existing retail space on the lower floors while the upper two stories will be converted into 22 affordable, market-rate residential units. Renovations will also revive the pass-through area from the municipal parking lot to Main Street. The corridor has long served as an unofficial introduction to Oneonta for tourists, students, and newcomers to our region. This project also follows in the footsteps of other similar investments in this community, like the Klugo renovations to the former Bresee’s building or the repurposing of the former Christian Life Sciences Center. Each investment builds on the next—all good things for Oneonta.

As “The Ford on Main” project is about community, we are excited to acknowledge our many partners. Springbrook is driving the bus, but many others are along for the ride. These partners include the City of Oneonta, NYS Homes and Community Renewal, Community Preservation Corporation, the Otsego County IDA, NYS Parks & Recreation, the National Parks Service, and the Empire State Development Corporation. They have helped us navigate grants, loans, designs, contracts, and much more. They will also help us with our goal of using local suppliers, contractors, and talent as much as possible.

We intend to start construction in the second quarter of 2022, with a tentative open date in the fourth quarter of 2022 (don’t quote me on that opening date!). A website for the project will launch in April. I encourage you to visit to stay up-to-date on construction, find rental information, and share your perspective about the building or the pass-through space.

Springbrook is here for a lifetime—mine, yours, your children’s, your grandchildren’s, the lifetime of Otsego County, of Oneonta. We all thrive together. And remember, buy local!

Newsies on tap for this weekend in Oneonta

Orpheus presents “Newsies” at Oneonta’s Foothills

Performances this weekend

A cast of 43 local actors brings “Newsies” – the Disney film turned Tony Award-winning Broadway hit — to life on the mainstage of Oneonta’s Foothills Performing Arts Center March 18 – 20.

Set in turn-of-the century New York City, it’s the rousing, true-story tale of Jack Kelly (played by Quinn Kelley), a charismatic newsboy and leader of a band of teenaged “newsies.” When titan of publishing, Joseph Pulitzer (played by Doug Decker) raises distribution prices at the newsboys’ expense, Jack rallies newsies from across the city to strike against the unfair conditions and fight for what’s right!

With music by Alan Menken, lyrics by Jack Feldman and book by Harvey Fierstein, this production of Orpheus Theatre is directed by Mary-Jo Merk, with choreography by Angela Miller and Kaitlyn Jackson, musical direction by Tim Horne, costumes by Kathleen Mami-Moore, and stage management by Kate Simeon.

Newsies is packed with non-stop thrills and a timeless message, perfect for the whole family. Director Mary-Jo Merk is excited to present this powerful show to local audiences, saying “The story behind NEWSIES is true! The audience will get to learn a bit of American history, while at the same time enjoying an exciting, high-energy musical!”

General admission tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors 65+ and $10 for children and students 17 and under. Tickets are available for purchase online at: If seats are still available, they will be sold at the door starting one hour prior to showtime.

Orpheus Theatre is committed to providing a safe theatrical experience for all involved. Seats available will be limited, in accordance with New York State and CDC guidelines. Audience members will be asked to wear a mask regardless of current mandates and/or vaccination status.


Oneonta teen’s backpack project gave hope during Lent

Oneonta teen’s backpack project gave hope during Lent

When 13-year-old Elizabeth Reynolds sat down to decide what to give up for Lent in 2021, the Catholic Oneonta resident decided to instead set out on a community service project to help the city’s hidden homeless population. She wrote a letter to her family and friends outlining her plan – ‘Backpacks for the Homeless’ – and ended up raising $1,000 in short order.

“Instead of giving up my usual, chocolate, gum cheese … you get the idea! … I came up with the idea of providing backpacks for the homeless people in Oneonta,” she wrote.

She told The Freeman’s Journal / Hometown Oneonta she sat down with her mother, Carolyn Laden, St. James Church, and The Lord’s Table to craft a list of items and a strategy to distribute the backpacks.

“We brainstormed,” she said. “Blankets, adult-sized sweatshirts, socks, hygiene products were all the things that we thought about. I raised the $1,000 and then built my budget around that.”

On a legal pad, the teen priced out a total of two dozen backpacks and the items she thought best to include – everything from hair ties and Chapstick to hair brushes, rain ponchos, deodorant, facemasks, snacks and water, sweatshirts, and a throw blanket.

“I wanted to gear these toward adults,” she said.

In Memoriam Leslie E. D. B. Jordan, 71 October 11, 1950 – February 5, 2022

In Memoriam

Leslie E. D. B. Jordan, 71

October 11, 1950 – February 5, 2022

Leslie E. D. B. Jordan

Leslie Elaine Dolezel Blum Jordan passed away on February 5, 2022 in Lennox, South Dakota with her devoted granddaughter Skyler Grace at her side and other family there in spirit.

Leslie was born October 11, 1950 in Oneonta, New York. She was the daughter of Douglas M. McLaud and Joan Crandall McLaud.  Leslie began her life on State Street in Oneonta and attended Bugbee School. At ten, her family moved to their farm on the Otsdawa Road in Otego where she attended and graduated from Otego Central School.  She played flute and piccolo in the band and loved singing and acting in school productions. She was a lifeguard at the Otego Pool and was Miss Otego. She was an avid reader, even sneaking books and a flashlight into bed.  Her son Daniel credits his mother with teaching him to read and instilling in him a lifelong love of books.  Leslie loved cooking and was proud to have won contests for The Oneonta Star and Otsego County Fair for her delicious Orange baked chicken and desserts.  In high school she was a Candy Striper at Fox Hospital and worked at Grossinger’s Resort in the Catskills.

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