News of Otsego County

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



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/
Calvary Hill Creche Show Continues Through Weekend

Calvary Hill Creche Show

Continues Through Weekend

Jerry Kabat, overlooks a Living Home Nativity set he purchased at BJ’s several years ago. “The figures are porcelain and the clothes are all made of fabric. I just love this one, and I haven’t seen another like it since,” he said. The creche is one of more than a dozen from all over the world, ranging from vintage to modern, rendered in all sorts of mediums, now on display at the annual Creche Show at Cavalry Hill Retreat Center at 290 Chestnut St. in Oneonta. The show is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m Saturday and 12 p.m.-5 p.m. Sunday. (Ian Austin/
Crowd Braves Cold Supporting ‘Impeachment Eve’

Crowd Braves Cold

For ‘Impeachment Eve’

Fifty protesters gathered in Oneonta’s Muller Plaza this evening in support of the impeachment of President Donald Trump, which may be voted on by the House of Representatives tomorrow. Above, Alice Lichtenstein, Becca Brooks, Elayne Moser-Campoli and others flash their signs as passing cars while organizer Amy Pondolfino, right, read selections from Congress’ Articles of Impeachment, which charge the President with Obstruction of Justice and Abuse of Power stemming from charges that he withheld military aid as a means of pressuring Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky to perform favors for him. The crowd followed by singing seasonally inspired songs like “‘Tis The Season For Impeachment.” (Ian Austin/

Car Troubles Bring Choir Guests

Car Troubles

Bring Choir Guests

After strange metallic sounds landed their car in the shop for repairs, Liza DiSavino and A.J. Bodnar found themselves on an extended layover and decided to share their musical talents alongside area hand bell choirs for this afternoon’s Christmas in the Catskills Holiday Spectacular at First United Methodist Church. Above, Liza and A.J., as their stage act is known, sing a Christmas song from Kentucky, where they now live after moving from Westford.  At right, Chris Brashear, Oneonta, performs with The Buckingham Ringers alongside his son, Elias, during one of the opening numbers of the concert. (Ian Austin/



Fun Ugly Sweater Holiday Run


HOLIDAY RUN – 10 a.m. Race through Cooperstown in your ugliest holiday sweater. Runners receive free coffee/hot chocolate upon completion. Registration 8:30 – 9:30. Cost, $25/individual. Start at Santa’s house, Pioneer Park, Main St., Cooperstown. 607-547-2800 or visit

Dancers Dazzle At Fokine’s ‘The Nutcracker’

Dancers Dazzle At

Fokine’s ‘Nutcracker’

The Nutcracker (Caio Legname, right), and Clara (Julianna Brzezinski, left) dance with Sugarplum Fairy Maya Schonbrun  during the Fokine Ballet Company of Oneonta’s annual production of Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker” Saturday afternoon at SUNY Oneonta’s Goodrich Theater.  Inset, Mouse King Evan Clark and The Nutcracker lock in a duel of swords beneath the Christmas Tree. (Ian Austin/

Anna & Elsa Bring Magic To Tree Lighting Ceremony


Ice Queen Brings Magic

To City’s Tree Lighting

Oneonta’s Autumn Fox embraces Hill City Ice Queen Elsa, and sister Anna, next to the Christmas Tree in Muller Plaza this evening following the annual Tree Lighting ceremony there. The two led the crowd in songs from Disney’s “Frozen” movies before meeting and posing for pictures with their fans.  Inset, Krystal Poole, 16, a junior at Charlotte Valley High School, sings Christmas carols for the crowd. Poole, nicknamed “The Country Sweetheart,” and is an ambassador for the “Toys for Joy” toy drive, which asks for new toys to be donated as Christmas presents for those in need.  (Ian Austin/

Frigid Temperatures Mark Santa’s Arrival

Frigid Temperatures

Mark Santa’s Arrival

Santa in driven into Oneonta by Jay Chase of Chase-n-Dreams Farm, Oneonta, and his sister horses Molly and Dolly during this evening’s Santa Parade in downtown Oneonta. At right, Andrea Thies, Oneonta, walks her dog Sanabel along the parade route, wishing onlookers Merry Christmas. Temperatures in the upper teens thinned some of the crowd, but didn’t keep hundreds from turning out to welcome St. Nick. After visiting with Santa, families could walk around downtown enjoying cider, cocoa, alpacas and carriage rides as they awaited the Tree Lighting ceremony in Muller Plaza. (Ian Austin, James Cummings/

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