News of Otsego County


‘Bill’ Brown, Otego, Lived Life As He Wished, Succumbed To Cancer

IN MEMORIAM: ‘Bill’ Brown, Otego, Lived

Life As He Wished, Succumbed To Cancer

Donald Ferris ‘Bill’ Brown of Otego.

OTEGO – Donald Ferris “Bill” Brown of Otego passed away on April 6, 2020, following a heroic fight with pancreatic cancer.

Wild Bill did many crazy and downright dangerous things during his time. He is loved by many, liked by lots, respected by some, and despised by a few. His favorite times were spent hunting or playing cards, riding his four-wheeler, pushing dirt with a Bobcat, or just generally getting into trouble.

Clarence R. ‘Bob’ Strom, 87; Navy Veteran Taught American History Locally

IN MEMORIAM: Clarence R. ‘Bob’ Strom, 87;

Navy Veteran Taught American History Locally

Bob Strom

UNADILLA – Clarence Robert (Bob) Strom, 87, an American History teacher at Otego and the Unadilla Central School District for almost three decades, passed away Sunday, March 22, 2020, at Bayfront Health Hospital, Punta Gorda, Fla.

He was born in Erskine, Minn., on July 28, 1932, the son of the late Adolf and Fedilise Strom. Bob graduated from Swanville High School in 1950. After graduation Bob enlisted in the Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Antietam and USS Shangri-La during the Korean War.

Louie Johnson, 79; Farmer Loved Draft Horses Jack, Jim

IN MEMORIAM: Louie Johnson, 79;

Farmer Loved Draft Horses Jack, Jim

Louie Johnson and his beloved draft horses, Jack and Jim.

OTEGO – Louis “Louie” E. Johnson, 79, whose draft horses, Jack and Jim, were well known at plow days, wedding and log skids, passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019, at Bassett Hospital, with his family by his side.

He was born on May 1, 1940, in Franklin, the son of Elmer and Helen (Palmer) Johnson. Louie attended Franklin and Delhi Schools. At a young age, he worked on local farms and in 1963 purchased his own farm in East Meredith on the West Kortright Church Road.

He sold his farm in 1987 and continued to haul cattle until he became ill in 2015.

Alumni Herring, Bard Join Unatego Hall Of Distinction

Alumni Herring,
Bard Join Unatego
 Hall Of Distinction

UNADILLA – Herring Lumber Co. owner Charles W. Herring Jr. and Joseph Bard, retired executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Rural & Small Schools, will be inducted into the Unatego Hall of Distinction Friday, Jan. 25.
Charles Herring graduated from the Otego Central School in 1943 and soon thereafter enlisted in the Army Air Corps where he served with distinction as a gunner on a B-29 in the Pacific Theater. Following his discharge at the end of the war, he attended Cornell University and graduated in 1950 with a degree in Agriculture and Animal Husbandry.
He returned to Otego after college and owned and operated the Herring Lumber Company for the next 30 years. He was also a prolific volunteer in the community, serving a member of the Otego Volunteer Fire Department, Masonic Lodge, and the Unatego school board.
Joseph (Joe) Bard, a 1959 graduate of Otego Central, recently retired after 20 years as the executive director of the Pennsylvania Association of Rural & Small Schools, capping a distinguished career of more than 50 years in public service.

IN MEMORIAM: Andrew J. Adell, 25, Otego

IN MEMORIAM: Andrew J. Adell, 25, Otego

Andrew J. Adell

OTEGO – Andrew J. Adell, 25, of Otego, passed away Wednesday morning, Dec. 5, 2018, at Wilson Memorial Hospital, Johnson City.

He is survived by his mother, Teresa Adell, Otego, and his father, T.J. Adell, Oneonta; two brothers, Logan and Rebecca Osborne in Virginia, and Brad Adell and his fiancé Heather Gross; Andrew’s fiancé, Sophia Troilo, Sidney; grandparents, Earl and Alice Wilber, Franklin, and Richard & Doris Brothers in Ohio, and also several aunts, uncles, cousins and other family.




Fire crews from the Oneonta and Sidney Fire Departments are on the scene of a house fire at 89 Ford Avenue in Oneonta. Though the fire has been contained, when crews responded to the call at 5:45 p.m., the black smoke could be seen from the bottom of Ford Avenue and the house was engulfed in flames when they arrived. No one was home at the time of the fire, and the cause is still unknown. Mutual Aid is being provided by Worcester, Franklin, Schenevus and Otego fire departments, with. Laurens on standby for the OFD. (Ian Austin/

This Is A Developing Story,

Please Check Back For Details


Otego Man Charged With Attempted Kidnapping

Otego Man Charged With

Grabbing Cooperstown Boy

COOPERSTOWN – An Otego man is facing charges of attempted kidnapping for allegedly grabbing an 8-year-old on Main Street last Friday.

Luke O’Hara, 36, allegedly left Community Bank at 1:3- p.m. on Friday, June 22, and grabbed the victim, who passed by him on his way to the post office, Police Chief Mike Covert said today.

IN MEMORIAM: Deanna Beers Utter, 73; Aid At Fox Hospital


Deanna Beers Utter, 73;

Worked At Fox Hospital

OTEGO – Deanna Beers Utter, 73, a former aid at Fox Hospital, passed away Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017 at the A.O. Fox Nursing Home.

She was born Aug. 24, 1944 in Oneonta, the daughter of the late Ira and Doris (Williams) Beers.
Deanna went to Otego Central School and graduated in 1962. In 1965 she entered Davis College in Johnson City and graduated in 1967. For several years she worked at Gladding Keystone and Corning Class Company in Oneonta.

On Feb. 3, 1973, Deanna married Gordon C. Utter and they had one son together, Ira Gordon Utter.

In 1976, Deanna started working for A.O. Fox Hospital as an aid in the x-ray department then transferred to the surgery unit. She retired in 2006 to take care of her husband.

Absentee Ballot Counts Due In Tight Races First

Absentee Ballot Counts

Due First In Tight Races 

Key Tallies To Be Done Next Wednesday

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Absentee ballots will be counted first in close races where they might change the outcomes, Elections Commissioners Lori Lehenbauer and Mike Henrici said today.

Usually, absentee ballots are counted in alphabetical order, according to the names of the jurisdictions, they said.

questionnaire 2017 — cathy nardi




EDUCATION: BA Journalism

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE: Communications and Media Studies lecturer, SUNY Oneonta; freelance journalist


• Executive board, Greater Oneonta Historical Society

• Executive board, Harris Memorial Library, Otego

• Member of LINKS, Unatego educational compliance committee

FAMILY: One son, Armand Charles; two daughters, Cara Badham and Mary Brett; one dog, Daisy and two cats, Jasper and Jinx.

PHILOSOPHY OF GOVERNMENT: Open and honest, home rule, fiscally responsible, environmentally conscientious, stimulating economic prosperity.

MAJOR ISSUES FACING OTSEGO COUNTY: We need to work together, share resources, concentrate on our assets; hire a county manager, stimulate economic growth, consider revitalizing our railroad and move Upstate New York produce and meats to New York City; make Internet availability an infrastructure issue.

MY QUALITIES: I believe people are mostly good, most of the time. When we come together to solve problems, and we are mindful of the needs of all of the residents of our community, we can do wonderful things. I am an optimist. I believe happy, healthy people make decisions that benefit the community. If we treat all members of our community with respect, we will thrive. I am a very good communicator. I can bring people together for a common good.

STATEMENT: The county Board of Representatives has a responsibility to lead the community to a better quality of life. We are almost taxed out of existence, our schools are closing, our population is declining. But at the same time, this is one of the most beautiful places on Earth. We have fresh air, clean water and beautiful vistas. This is the best virtual office any city-dweller might dream of. We are developing solar energy, nano batteries and organic markets. We are a tolerant, family oriented, hardworking community. We need someone to pull it all together. I am that person.

Janet B. Raymond, 84; Worked At Bresee’s, Then Fox Hospital

IN MEMORIAM: Janet B. Raymond, 84;

Worked At Bresee’s, Then Fox Hospital

Janet B. Raymond

OTEGO – Janet B. Raymond, 84, a nurse who retired from Fox Hospital, passed away June 16, 2017 at her home.

Janet was born April 29, 1933 in the family home on Hudson Street in Oneonta, the daughter of Jay and Catherine (Smith) Woolheater. She graduated from Oneonta High School in 1950 and began raising a family of seven children and many four-legged friends. She married James Raymond in November 1969.

Frederick I. Underwood, 92; Developed Underwood Heights

Frederick I. Underwood, 92;

Developed Underwood Heights

Frederick I. Underwood

OTEGO – Frederick I. Underwood, 92, a life-long independent businessman who developed Underwood Heights in Otego, passed away June 8, 2017.

He was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Joyce Burnside Underwood, on Nov. 17, 2011.

Fred was born in Sidney Center on Dec. 10, 1924, to Henry and Fannie (Sheldon) Underwood, who along with siblings, Mildred, Seymour, Ken, Lucy and George predeceased him.

Bill Schraft, 83; Worked For Best Brands, Bugbee

IN MEMORIAM: Bill Schraft, 83;

Worked For Best Brands, Bugbee

OTEGO – William “Bill” H. Schraft, 83 of Otego, passed away at his home on May 17, 2017, after a short battle with cancer.  He was surrounded by family and his devoted dog Midnight.

Bill was born on Nov. 2, 1933, in Oneonta, to William H. Schraft, Sr. and Sophie (Kovatchich).  He graduated from Oneonta High School in 1952, then spent two years in the Army. Bill worked for Best Brands Beverage as a truck driver and later as a salesman. He retired from SUNY Oneonta’s Bugbee Day Care,  where he worked as a custodian and bus driver.

Richard Simmons, 64, Auto Mechanic

IN MEMORIAM: Richard Simmons, 64, Mechanic

OTEGO – Richard “Simm” Simmons, 64, of Otego, an auto mechanic and woodworker,  passed away Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2017.

Simm was born in Oneonta, the son of Earl and Ida (Collison) Simmons. He married Lisa Toth at St Mary’s Church in Oneonta on May 4, 1991.





OTEGO – As it begins to prepare its 2017-18 budget, the Unatego Central School District has discovered an accounting error has left it almost $1.5 million short of where it thought it was on its finances.

Superintendent of School David Richards said today that a review of Unatego finances released last night found that as a result of a non-cash accounting error in 2010, compounded by expenditures made following that error which assumed the funding was available, has left the school district with a $1.484 million shortfall as it prepares to develop the 2017-18 school budget. This is a huge error that will leave the school with a huge financial burden; had the school been in contact with a more professional and efficient accounting firm, like the Accountants in Windsor, this perhaps wouldn’t have happened and would have the school in a good place in terms of money. Should the finance team at the school have kept up to date with technology advancements in the accounting sector, such as looking into comparisons of wave vs quickbooks as well as other bookkeeping tools, they might have been able to spot this accounting error within one of these new tools and possibly rectified the issue before it became a problem for their 2017-18 budget.


This shortfall came to light as the district’s new Shared Business Official was closing out paperwork related to the district’s $15.8 million capital project from 2010. She discovered that there was a significant amount of funding shown as due to the General Fund from Debt Service in the both the current year’s budget as well as in previously audited financial statements.

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