News of Otsego County

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


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.


Celebration of Carols


CONCERT – 7:30 p.m. Catskill Choral Society presents “NOEL! A Celebration of Carols Past and Present” featuring Messe de minuit pour Noel, more with artistic director/conductor Dr. G. Roberts Kolb. Tickets $22/adult at-door. Auditorium, Cooperstown High School. 607-431-6060 or visit

GARDEN CLUB – 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Holiday Greens Sale & Luncheon features wreaths, fresh arrangements, holiday bake sale and soups and sandwiches at the luncheon. Proceeds used to beautify downtown Oneonta. St. James Episcopal Church, 300 Main St., Oneonta. E-mail or visit




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


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 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.

Russell A. Southard Sr., 96; WWII Vet Supervised Major Construction Projects

Russell A. Southard Sr., 96; WWII Vet

Supervised Major Construction Projects

Russell A. Southard Sr.
Russell A. Southard Sr.

OTEGO – Services are planned later this month for Russell Anderson Southard Sr., 96, a WWII veteran who helped build the Downsville Dam and supervised other major construction projects while raising six daughters and a son in Otego.  He died Monday, Dec. 5, 2016, at the Oxford Veterans Home.

He was born Sept. 11, 1920, one of four sons of Lou and Bethel (Anderson) Southard. He married Marguerite Smith on Oct. 22, 1942, in the Otego Presbyterian Church. Together they raised a family of seven. She died Aug. 28, 1986.

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