News of Otsego County


‘Ponies, Pumpkins and Puppies: Oh, My!’

‘Ponies, Pumpkins
and Puppies: Oh, My!’

By Anneliese Gilchrest
Nathan Mosher visits with four-legged friends at the Athelas Fall Festival last weekend. (Photo by Allison Mosher)

The crisp smell of autumn, combined with sizzling Liam’s Hot Dogs and delicious grub from S&S Café of Bainbridge, filled the air at Athelas Therapeutic Riding Inc.’s Fall Festival on Saturday, October 1. More than 200 people gathered to support the cause while enjoying the weather and seasonal festivities at Athelas, located at 1179 County Highway 5, Otego.

Inside the large indoor facility at Northfield Farm LLC, therapy ponies Powder and Chance were a huge attraction as they gave rides to giggling children. The bouncy house had a steady line of participants who jumped and bounced the afternoon away. More than 125 pumpkins, donated by Frog Pond Farms of Bainbridge and Hager Farms of Bloomville, were painted and carried home by kids and adults alike.

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.

In Memoriam Janet L. Frankl, 72 Dec. 9, 1949 – Mar. 19, 2022

In Memoriam

Janet L. Frankl, 72

Dec. 9, 1949 – Mar. 19, 2022

Janet L. Frankl

OTEGO – Janet L. Frankl, 72, passed away peacefully at home with family on March 19, 2022.

She was born December 9, 1949 in Livingston, Montana, the daughter of Joseph and Dorothy (Kinnick) Adams.  Janet grew up on a cattle ranch south of Livingston in Paradise Valley on the Yellowstone River.  The family raised black angus cattle.  Janet was proud to show the steers in 4-H competitions.   She enjoyed riding horses and sleeping outside under the apple tree with her sisters.  She attended a one-room schoolhouse until the 8th grade.  A photo of the schoolhouse along with Janet and her young classmates, was published on the April 2, 1960 Saturday Evening Post.  Janet belonged to a small country Methodist Church, where she was involved with Methodist Youth Fellowship.

Janet graduated from Park County High School, Livingston, Class of 1968.  She attended Montana State University.  Janet moved to New York State and attended SUNY of Oneonta as a non-traditional student, maintaining a 4.0 GPA; attaining a Bachelor of Science Degree, Class of 1989.   Upon graduation she was immediately hired by SUNY Oneonta, working different positions before becoming the Assistant Director of Facilities Planning.  Janet was very dedicated to her position as a professional at SUNY Oneonta making a positive impact and contribution for a rewarding 27-year career.  Janet was held in high esteem by her colleagues, and that was mutual.  Janet was always very proud of how clean and well maintained the SUNY campus was, and still is.  Janet was very active with her union (United University Professionals) as a delegate and executive board member.  Janet would always adhere to her values of professionalism and fairness.

Buzz Hesse wants ‘wrong’ sign to come down

It’s not the Mohawk Valley, says Otego’s Buzz Hesse

[Editor’s note: This piece comes from the careful pen of Buzz Hesse, Otego, New York, resident and an expert on New York’s geography and geology.]

Did you know we now live in the Mohawk Valley Region?

Traveling east on I-88 at Otego, New York exit 12 (mile marker 46), there is a relatively new New York State sign promoting the state’s tourism. At the bottom of the sign, in huge letters, it says: MOHAWK VALLEY REGION.

This is blatantly incorrect and misleading!

Although adjacent to the Mohawk Valley, we are miles and miles away from it. Our area is the Upper Susquehanna River Valley. The source of the Susquehanna is in Otsego County at Otsego Lake, in Cooperstown. From these headwaters, the Susquehanna River traverses our area, continuing some 444 miles to the Chesapeake Bay.

The phrase MOHAWK VALLEY REGION on this sign is wrong. It is wrong historically, geographically, and geologically. These are actual facts that cannot be disputed.

This sign discredits our area; it erases our identity! It should be corrected either to say UPPER SUSQUEHANNA REGION (or, perhaps, LEATHERSTOCKING REGION) or it should be removed. Period.

Our area has been inhabited for some 14,000 years, as attested to by Dr. Robert Funk, New York State Archaeologist, in his published work, “Archaeological Investigations in The Upper Susquehanna Valley New York State.” Please note that he correctly referred to our area as the Upper Susquehanna Velley, not the Mohawk Valley.

Historically, our area is significant unto itself as it was the first to be settled by colonial westward expansion as a result of the 1768 Fort Stanwix Treaty. Subsequently, it was historically significant for the 1778-79 Sullivan and Clinton Campaign, the only military expedition ever to come down the Upper Susquehanna.

Further, our area is home to the famous author James Fenimore Cooper, the Baseball Hall of Fame, the Glimmerglass Opera, and many other significant entities.

Geologically, our area is distinctive due to the Helderberg Limestone Escarpment, which separates our area from the Mohawk Valley. The Mohawk River flows west to east and into the Hudson River watershed; the Susquehanna flows north to south and into the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Obviously, these are two distinctively different watersheds.

These facts cannot be disputed. The sign on I-88 discredits our area. It is misleading to the tourists and others traveling through our area.

New York State Department of Transportation officials should remove and relocate this sign further east to I-88 mile marker 84 near East Worcester and Richmondville, on the other side of the interfluvial. At that location, the sign would be accurate.

Won’t you join me in taking an active part in preserving the integrity of our area? I have a list of NYSDOT officials and politicians to be contacted to move this issue forward. Please find me at or by telephone at 607-287-5320.

In Memoriam Barbara Calabrese, 77 September 30, 1944 – February 22, 2022

In Memoriam

Barbara Calabrese, 77

Sept. 30, 1944 – Feb. 22, 2022

Barbara Calabrese

OTEGO – Barbara Calabrese, age 77, of Otego, N.Y., passed away on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 peacefully in her home while being cared for by Clyde, Michael and Jessica Bliss. Barbara was born on September 30, 1944 to Frank and Evelyn Insetta in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Barbara was predeceased by both of her parents and her brother, John Insetta.

She is survived by her longtime companion and best friend of almost 50 years, Clyde Bliss.

In Memoriam Marshall L. Thorne, 80  Oct. 23, 1941 – Jan. 28, 2022

In Memoriam

Marshall L. Thorne, 80

 Oct. 23, 1941 – Jan. 28, 2022

Marshall L. Thorne

COOPERSTOWN – Marshall Lewis Thorne, 80, a life-long resident of Cooperstown, passed away peacefully Friday afternoon, January 28, 2022, at his son and daughter-in-law’s home in Otego. He is now reunited with his beloved wife of 57 years, Sandy, who passed away November 8, 2021.

Born October 23, 1941, at the Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, Marshall was one of three sons of Loren E. and C. Emergene (Thayer) Thorne.

After attending Cooperstown schools, Marshall proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corps from 1960 until 1964. Stationed in Quantico, Virginia he specialized in field artillery and received a Good Conduct Medal and Rifle Sharpshooter Badge 7.62 mm. He was proud to have marched in President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration parade, as well as in his funeral procession to the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. In later years Marshall enjoyed attending reunions with his former artillery company in Las Vegas, Mississippi and South Carolina.

In Memoriam Douglas Lynn McLaud, 72 March 4, 1949 – January 7, 2022

In Memoriam

Douglas Lynn McLaud, 72

March 4, 1949 – January 7, 2022

Douglas L. McLaud

Douglas Lynn McLaud passed away peacefully on January 7, 2022 at his home in Springhill, Florida with his beloved wife Pauline Miller McLaud at his side. Douglas and Pauline were married on December 31, 1968 and had just celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary. Pauline’s care exemplified their lifelong love.

Douglas was born on March 4, 1949 in Oneonta, New York. He was the son of Douglas M. and Joan Crandall McLaud. Douglas grew up in Oneonta and Otego and graduated from SUNY Oneonta. After graduation, Douglas worked for many years with his parents as part of the Douglas M. McLaud Insurance Agency team in Otego, NY. before moving to Cocoa Beach, Florida. Douglas owned and operated a Ship Chandlery business in Port Canaveral, Florida and became a Real Estate Developer in Florida.

County Board contest could be close

County Board contest could be close

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

The race for Otsego County Board of Representatives District 3, which covers Laurens and Otego, could stand among the more competitive contests on November 2.

Republican incumbent Richard Brockway once again faces off against Democrat Caitlin Ogden in a repeat of their 2019 campaign for the seat.

Inge Otten Roemer, 100  February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

In Memoriam

Inge Otten Roemer, 100

 February 1, 1921 – October 16, 2021

Inge Otten Roemer

Inge Otten Roemer, 100, a resident of Sand Hill, Otego, Fly Creek and Oneonta in Otsego County for 75 years, passed away Saturday night, October 16, 2021, at her home in Otego.

A native of Germany, Inge was born February 1, 1921, in Hamburg, a daughter of Ernest and Elizabeth (Bartels) Bondiek. When she was 2 ½ she and her parents moved from Germany to Fairview, New Jersey, to live with an uncle who paid their way to the States. One of her earliest memories was witnessing the opening of the George Washington Bridge in 1931. As a teenager she worked in the summer as kitchen help for a wealthy family, and also on a farm that had summer boarders. After graduation from Cliffside High School in 1938, she traveled to Germany to live with relatives still in the old country, as well as to begin her training as a school teacher, studying the methods of kindergarten founder Friedrich Wilhelm August Froebel at the Froebel School in Hamburg.

Her training was interrupted in August 1939, when the American Consulate sent a message to “leave immediately” because the German borders were closing at midnight. With the help of friends and strangers, Inge was able to take a ferry to Sweden, then drive through the night to Oslo, Norway. As her German Reichsmarks were suddenly worthless, it was only through the kindness of an American – who happened to live near where her parents were living in New Jersey – that she was able to book passage on the Norwegian  SS Bergensfjord.

John J. Pohli, 75 June 26, 1946 – October 7, 2021

In Memoriam

John J. Pohli, 75

June 26, 1946 – October 7, 2021

John J. Pohli

OTEGO – John J. Pohli, a lifelong area resident, passed away Thursday afternoon, October 7, 2021, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown. He was 75.

Born June 26, 1946, at the A.O. Fox Memorial Hospital in Oneonta, John was a son of John J. and Margaret (Sorocco) Pohli. After graduating from high school, he attended Mohawk Valley Community College where he earned an associate’s degree in electrical technology. For 30 years he was employed with NYSEG, and retired as an electrical supervisor in 1990.

On September 2, 1966, John married Lillian J. Pearce in Oneonta. They enjoyed living in their log cabin in the countryside of Otego.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Senior Social & Trivia Night 09-15-21

Senior Social & Trivia Night


SENIOR SOCIAL – 1 p.m. Otsego County Seniors (and a guest) are invited to test out their trivia on the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s. Bring a team or we will make one for you. Prizes awarded for each round. Donuts and cider will be provided. Presented by the Otsego County Office for the Aging. American Legion Pavilion, Willow St., Otego. 607-432-3279 or visit

BLOOD DRIVE – Noon – 5 p.m. Quality Inn, 5206 St. Hwy. 23, Oneonta. 1-800-733-2767 or visit

Otego residents lament loss of local bank as Community closes branch

Otego residents lament loss of local bank as Community closes branch

By KEVIN LIMITI • Special to

Community Bank has closed its branch in Otego, the only bank in the town, much to the dismay of residents and local leaders.

In a letter dated June 22, F.J. Buzz Hesse, chairman of the village of Otego Planning Board, Otego Mayor Ernest Kroll and Otego Town Supervisor Joseph Hurlburt asked Hal Wentworth, senior vice president of retail banking for Community Bank, to reconsider closing the branch.

Margaret E. Ann O’Hara May 24, 1920-Nov. 28, 2020


Margaret E. Ann O’Hara

May 24, 1920-Nov. 28, 2020

Margaret E. Ann O’Hara

OTEGO – Margaret E. Ann O’Hara passed away peacefully Nov. 28, 2020, after living a long, healthy and wonderful life.

She was born in New Haven, Conn., on May 24, 1920, on the heels of the Spanish Flu pandemic.  Her family moved to Oneonta when she was young. Her parents supported and encouraged her love of dance and music and at the age of 14 she became a very well-known dance instructor throughout the area.

Margaret owned two different dance studios in Oneonta, teaching ballet, tap and jazz for many years.  After her retirement, she found herself assisting with the theatrical productions at Unatego Central School and a few local theater groups.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Help Coop EMS Help Food Pantry 12-12-20

Help Coop EMS Help Food Pantry


FOOD DRIVE, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. – Help the Cooperstown Food Pantry by contributing food and personal care items at the annual Cooperstown Emergency Squad food drive in the Price Chopper parking lot, 113 Chestnut St.  Canned tuna, peanut butter and jelly, and items like shampoo or body wash, etc., especially needed.  The goal is “to fill the back of the ambulance, maybe twice!”

OTEGO HOLIDAY TOUR,  4-6 p.m. – See Otego during holiday season. Enjoy treats from Santa, drive thru nativity scene, opportunity to view Otego Christmas tree, a holiday dinner (pre-registration preferred). Please wear a mask & practice social distancing when out of the car. Please bring dry goods or hygiene products to donate to local food banks. Presented by Harris Memorial Library. 607-988-6661 or visit

‘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.

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103