News of Otsego County

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

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All Arraignments Now At County Jail
From Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal

All Arraignments

Now At County Jail

State Mandate Requires Hiring

Of 7 More Local Public Defenders

Sheriff Devlin confers with Deputy Jason Kehoe, who uses the new bench for security duty between arraignments. (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

TOWN OF MIDDLEFIELD – Otsego County’s new centralized court at the county jail in the Town of Middlefield means no more 3 a.m. phone calls seeking arraignments from Town of Otsego Judge Gary Kuch.

“I’ve had nights where I’ve been called in and we have to call around, and then wait 45 minutes for a public defender,” said Kuch. “Now, justices and public defenders take slots, so there’s always someone available.”

Officially known as Centralized Arraignment Parts, (CAP) was signed into law by Governor Cuomo in 2016, but was just implemented locally Oct. 1, with the construction of the Centralized Courtroom in the jail lobby.

Edith M. Catella, 93; Head Bookkeeper At Oneonta’s Sears

IN MEMORIAM: Edith M. Catella, 93;

Head Bookkeeper At Oneonta’s Sears

Edith M. Catella

ONEONTA – Edith M. Catella, 93, longtime head bookkeeper at the former Sears & Roebuck in downtown Oneonta, passed away Friday, Oct. 25, 2019. She passed away with family at her side at Albany Medical Center.

Edith was born on Aug. 1, 1926, to Andrew and Goldie Himes, joining a large family. Edith spent her entire life in Oneonta, and recently celebrated the 75th anniversary of her Oneonta High School Class of 1944.

She married her high school sweetheart, Fred, on April 5, 1947, and started her own family with Linda in 1948, followed by Fred in 1951.

No Women In ‘Canon’ Because Men Decide It


No Women In ‘Canon’

Because Men Define It

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Erica Jong at a dinner during last weekend’s Sharon Springs Poetry Festival.

SHARON SPRINGS  – Why women shop in Bloomingdale’s, witches and telling the truth through poetry were just a few of the topics discussed in “Erica Jong in Conversation with Jean Hanff Korelitz” at the Roseboro Hotel last Saturday, the final event of the Sharon Springs Poetry Festival.

Novelist Korelitz, who lives here parttime, opened her “intimate talk” with Jong – and 40-plus literature devotees – with “Fear of Flying,” Jong’s 1973 novel that revolutionized views on female sexuality and has sold over 35 million copies worldwide, and how the two authors first met in 1979.

BOUND VOLUMES Oct. 10, 2019


Oct. 10, 2019


Advertisements: Evening School – Israel Day, will open an Evening School, the Monday evening after the Fair, at his school room in which will be taught Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and English Grammar.
Medical Meeting – Notice is given that an Annual Meeting of the Otsego Medical Society, will be held at the House of Joseph Griffin, in Cooperstown, on Monday, the 18th day of October next at one o’clock p.m. T. Pomeroy, Secretary.
Caution to Trespassers – As many persons have been in the habit of committing trespasses on the estate of the late William Cooper, I offer a reward of double the penalty prescribed by law, to anyone who will give me information of such trespass, and furnish sufficient evidence of the fact. William Cooper.

October 11, 1819


Notices – We are requested to mention that Dr. King will lecture at the Presbyterian Church in Fly Creek on Monday evening , the subject being the effect of alcohol on the human stomach.
Cassius M. Clay and Gerrit Smith are to hold a personal disputation at Syracuse, at a time to be fixed on, on the question whether Henry Clay or James G. Bibney is best qualified to the votes of abolitionists. The former is the challenger, which has been accepted at his convenience by the latter.
At a house warming in Warren, Herkimer County, where 70 farmers and mechanics were present, with 36 yoke of oxen, a vote was taken on the Presidential question, which stood 60 for Polk and 10 for Clay.

October 14, 1844


The New District School opens splendidly as to the number of scholars in attendance. The first day, notwithstanding the rain, 140 were there; the second day 175; on Wednesday nearly 200. The scholars are classified into three general departments. Most of them appear to be under thirteen years of age. They represent all walks in village life. The more advanced scholars occupy the large room in the second story of the building. Two recitation rooms are under the immediate charge of the Principal, Mr. Howe, assisted by Miss Gaylord and Miss Ball. The intermediate department is taught by Miss Reynolds and the Primary by Mrs. Brower. Mr. Howe is a Massachusetts man and a graduate of Albany Normal School. Miss Gaylord is from Ilion, a graduate of the Normal School at Oswego. Miss Ball is “to the Manor born” and one of the best lady teachers we ever had in Cooperstown. Miss Reynolds is from Middlefield, and has had considerable experience in teaching. Mrs. Brower is from Exeter and is a successful teacher of young children. The ship is afloat, well officered. Bon Voyage.

October 8, 1869


Mohican Club – The attendance of members on Friday evening last was unusually large, there being considerable interest felt in the matched games played. In four-ball billiards, 200 points, Charles Page and C.T. Huyck played against Dr. Butler and S.J. Conkling; the former making 200 points and the latter 179, a reasonably close game. In the game of bottle pool, best two and three, 31 points, S.M. Shaw (editor of The Freeman’s Journal) and L.N. Wood played against C.W.G. Ross and C.M. Alison, the former getting the first game, the latter the second and third, the last one by a single shot when they had five to make against four. On Friday evening next at 8 o’clock Dr. Butler and Mr. Page will play a matched game, three ball billiards for 100 points. Mr. Jarvis will umpire.

October 11, 1894


The first of the series of square dances which will be held every other Friday night during the winter season at the Alfred Corning Clark gymnasium took place on Friday of last week under the direction of Gene Gowing of New York City. A fine time was enjoyed by all and good music was furnished by Mrs. Anita Coleman and Mrs. Florence Sheridan.
Pvt. Murdock Hall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Hall of this village arrived home Sunday to spend a 21-day sick leave. Pvt. Hall was in the Framington General Hospital at Framington, Massachusetts for several weeks following his return from Europe where he received an eye injury in Normandy.
The Presbyterian Rummage Sale will be held Saturday, October 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Chapel on Pioneer Street.

October 11, 1944


The Cooperstown Rotary Club entertained seven Japanese business and professional men at its regular weekly luncheon meeting at the Cooper Inn. The group is headed by Dr. Hiroji Mukasa, a psychiatrist who operates a mental clinic in Nakatsu City on the southern island of Kyushu, and is in this country for two months. The visitors arrived in Cooperstown Tuesday morning and were taken on a tour of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum by Howard C. Talbot, Jr., its treasurer and a past president of the Rotary Club.

October 8, 1969


The winning and the shutouts keep coming for the Cooperstown girls’ soccer team. Over the past week, the Redskins have won three games, outscoring their opponents by a 11-0 margin while extending their winning streak to 12 games. “We had some close ones this week, but we came out okay,” said Cooperstown coach Lisa Cherubin. The Redskins defeated Waterville 2-0 in overtime on Saturday for another Center State Conference win. Saturday’s win gave Cooperstown an overall record of 12-2 and 12-0 in league competition.

October 12, 1994


Gawkers gathered and shutterbugs snapped photos of the two-day-long scene at Main and Railroad in Cooperstown where crews struggled with a crane and a 30-tire flatbed trailer to load and move the 60-ton 1942 ALCO Locomotive that has been parked in the Delaware-Otsego Corporation’s parking lot for 20 years. The railroad relic is headed to a new home in western Maryland. The engine has been purchased with plans to restore it to running order by Bill Miller Equipment Sales of Eckhart Mines, Maryland, one of the largest Caterpillar Equipment dealers in the world. Efforts to uproot a small tree growing out of the smokestack were unsuccessful.

October 9, 2009

Waits Over An Hour, Record Haul Seen On Hazardous Waste Day

Waits Over An Hour,

Record Haul Seen On

Hazardous Waste Day

Advertising Called Key To Success

Cars were backed up Saturday, Sept. 21, from the turnoff to the Meadows Complex all the way north on Route 33 to the Route 11C cutoff, waiting to drop items off at the county’s Household Hazardous Waste Day. Some reported waiting up to 90 minutes. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

MIDDLEFIELD – Tonnage and volume are still being tallied, but the car count is in, and 920 vehicles lined up to drop off paint, e-waste, prescriptions – you name it – at Household Hazardous Waste Day Saturday, Sept 21, at the county government’s Meadows Office Complex.

Mom Laura Carpenter of Oneonta took the wait in stride, but Cordell, 5, and Kirk, 3, seems to be getting a little itchy.

That was up from 500 last year, almost double, county Planning Director Karen Sullivan is reporting.

The day before, Friday the 20th, in Unadilla, it was the same story: 162 vehicles,
double the year before she said.

Sullivan credited a number of factors, but focused again at the one word she’d shouted out from the middle of the parking lot in the midst of all Saturday’s activity: “Advertising!”

This year, the planning department placed a constant stream of advertising on this newspaper’s site, as well as its two sister newspapers, supplemented by radio, additional print advertising, and the “Otsego Co. Household Hazardous Waste Event” Facebook page.


“I think multi-media, the Facebook page, and all the different ways of communicating really made a difference,” Sullivan said.

Scheduling the drop-off day two weeks later – it’s usually the weekend after Labor Day – and a continuously heightened public awareness of recycling, may have been contributing factors, she added.

It was a beautiful day – but it was a beautiful day last year, Sullivan said.
Household battery collection was up. Thirteen barrels of paint, compared to nine the year before. “Lots of fluorescent bulbs,” said the planning director. “Everything exceeded what we had the year before.”

Saturday morning, it became obvious pretty early something different was happening.
By 9 a.m., traffic was backed up ¾ miles from the Meadows all the way north on Route 33 to Route 11C. Drivers reported waiting an hour, an hour and 15 minutes, even 90 minutes to access the free disposal service.

One driver called out, “That’s county efficiency for you.” But mostly there was a good-natured, celebratory atmosphere – the Woodstock of Trash, if you will – with participants embracing the idea they were experiencing something special.

“Usually by noon, there are one or two cars,” said Senior Planner Erik Scrivener, who was directing traffic into the Meadows parking lot. He cast a glance at a line of cars that extended until it went out of sight.

The event was supposed to end at 1 p.m., but Sullivan made the decision to stay on the job until all were served. The last vehicle came through at 2 p.m., she said.

“We were in line for over an hour,” said Edward Snyder of Cooperstown, there with wife Joan, having just handed off fluorescent bulbs and batteries at the e-waste drop-off, where TVs and computer monitors were stacked taller than the crew members – grown men – from Evolution Recycling of Gloversville.

“People are a little more educated on recycling,” said Evolution’s Mason Bruse, trying to explain the turnout. “New York State’s enforcing it a lot more.”

With recycling facing new challenges – the latest, what to do about e-waste; the county is considering charging – the public may be more eager to take advantage of whatever free services there are.

Sullivan credited a front-page headline in this newspaper last week, “Fee For E-Waste Possible,” with driving business at that drop-off point.

County Rep. Andrew Marietta, D-Cooperstown/Town of Otsego, was lined up with everybody else, and declared cheerfully, “We broke the system.”

He and his county board colleagues, he said, will have to discuss what changes may be necessary – perhaps two Household Hazardous Waste Days a year instead of one.

This year, Sullivan said, there was only enough money budgeted to do one pick-up day, but she and her staff sit down every year for a post-mortem, to discuss how things might be done better, and that might be an issue raised.

Leslie Orzetti, executive director at the OCCA, which provided 20 volunteers – many, like Antoinette Kuzminski, Andree Conklin and Martha Clarvoe, have been doing it for years – said that instructing ways to avoid piling up hazardous wastes may help ease any crunch next year.

For instance, she pointed out, e-waste is accepted at Casella’s Southern Transfer Station in Oneonta, so far for free. (The county board is considering charging a fee.)
Plus, if a can of paint is less than half-full, homeowners can open it, let it dry and harden, then dispose of it in the regular trash.

Thomas O. Malz, 88; Korean Veteran Worked For Pan Am

IN MEMORIAM: Thomas O. Malz, 88;

Korean War Vet Worked For Pan Am

Thomas O. Malz

EAST MEREDITH –  Thomas Oscar Malz, 88, of East Meredith, a cargo handler for Pan American Airways for 36 years, passed away July 24, 2019, at UHS Chenango Memorial Hospital in Norwich.

He was born on Feb. 22, 1931, in New York City, son of Oscar T. Malz and Louise Schroeder.  A high school graduate, he served in the Air Force during the Korean War,from April 11, 1951, to April 10, 1955.

Honorably discharged, Thomas joined Pan Am, working there from 1955 until the company’s dissolution in bankruptcy in 1991. After Pan Am, he was a hall monitor at Mepham High School in Bellmore for 20 years.

What A Crowd! Induction Of Mariano Rivera, 5 Others Brings 55,000 Here

What A Crowd!

Induction Of Mariano Rivera,

5 Others Brings 55,000 Here

Hall of Fame staffers Roger Lansing, left, and Bruno Russo keep an eye on 2019 Inductee Mariano Rivera during the half-hour the Yankee pitching star spent shaking hands and signing autographs for fans at the end of the Legends of the Game Parade. Lansing is the Hall’s multi-media manager; Rosa, from Atlanta, Ga., is a volunteer and former HoF Steel intern. (Jim Kevlin/


COOPERSTOWN – Induction 2019 was notable for what didn’t happen as much as did.

With the Legends of Baseball parade ostensibly cancelled, Johnny Bench nonetheless jumped out of the pickup truck he was riding in and walked the length of the parade route to the Hall of Fame, to the roar of 10,000 fans.

One, the folks who didn’t collapse from the heat.

A violent storm late Saturday broke the humidity that created a steamy high of 88, making way for much drier Induction Day Sunday, July 21, with highs in the low 80s and a slight breeze keeping the Induction crowd feeling more comfortable than expected.

Two, the parade that didn’t happen.

Due to a pending thunderstorm that didn’t happen (until later), the Hall cancelled what’s become a weekend highlight:  The Parade of Legends.  Still, as most the Hall of Famer stayed enclosed in the cabs of pickup trucks as they rolled down Main Street past thousands of fans, Johnny Bench, 71, hopped out and walked the distance, and other stars followed suit as 25 Main neared.

Three, the attendance record that wasn’t broken.

While the crowd of 55,000, as reported by the Hall, was 3,000 more than last year’s class that included Chipper Jones and Vladimir Guerrero, it still fell significantly short of the 2007 Cal Ripkin Jr./Tony Gwynn 82,000 record.

Emotional Ceremony Sends 29 Seniors Out Into World


Emotional Ceremony Sends

29 Seniors Out Into World

Alicia Marie Gee listens tearfully at this morning’s commencement ceremonies at Richfield Springs Central School, where 29 seniors were sent forth into the world. Inset, Valedictorian Jacob Calta listens to a praiseful introduction by High School Principal Joseph D’Apice as he prepares to delivery his Valedictory. Next to him is Salutatorian Mashayla Davis. The ceremony included the traditional slide show that traced the Class of 2019’s progress through the 13 grades. (Jim Kevlin/

Duncan Powell Nesbitt, Sr., 76; A Last Manager Of Family’s Mill

Duncan Powell Nesbitt, Sr., 76;

A Last Manager Of Family’s Mill

Duncan Powell Nesbitt, Sr.

ONEONTA – Duncan Powell Nesbitt Sr., 76, one of the last family members involved in operating the West-Nesbitt Feed Mill, where Foothills is today, died unexpectedly on April 16, 2019, in Wilmington, N.C., where he lived since 2010.

He leaves his wife of 54 years, Rebecca “Becky” Rogers Nesbitt; and son Duncan Powell Nesbitt Jr. He is also survived by his sister, Betty Robinson; and brother, Ben Nesbitt, the retired banker, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Born and raised in Oneonta, he was the son of Gus and Mary Nesbitt.

He graduated from Westtown Friends School in Philadelphia, and received his degree from Furman University, Greenville, S.C.

After 19 Years, Father Rosson Bids 200 Parishioners Farewell


After 19 Years, Father Rosson

Bids 200 Parishioners Farewell

Retiring today after 19 years as pastor of St. Mary’s “Our Lady of the Lake” Roman Catholic Church in Cooperstown, Father John P. Rosson, 71, tells 200 parishioners this morning at his final mass, “This is a glorious day, not a day to lament, but to celebrate: One priest had the opportunity to serve … I would do it over again in a heartbeat.” A brunch in his honor is underway now until 1 p.m. at the Parish Hall. All are welcome at an open house from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Rectory on Elm Street.  Instead of the usual purple vestments at this time of year, the priest, who was ordained 44 years ago, noted this is Laetare Sunday, halfway through Lent, when pink vestments are allowed.  “Keep the faith,” the dean of Cooperstown’s clergy told his congregation.  “The church is the body of Christ.”  (Jim Kevlin/
Oneonta Needs to Prepare for State’s Legalization of Marijuana, Mayor Says

Oneonta Must Prepare

For State’s Marijuana

Legalization, Mayor Says

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

Mayor Gary Herzig said Oneonta should start preparing legalization of marijuana. (Jennifer Hill/

ONEONTA – The legalization of marijuana is coming soon to the state and Oneonta should begin preparing for it. Similarly to the montana marijuana laws, then once the use of medical marijuana becomes legal in Oneonta, then there will also be rules to follow, in order to comply with the industry and the law.

That was Mayor Gary Herzig’s big news from the New York Conference of Mayors (NYCOM) in Albany, specifically in the meeting of the Community Development Committee of Mayors. which Herzig co-chairs.

“This is something that is coming,” the mayor told Common Council’s Community Development Committee at its meeting this evening. “It…could impact our future and we should start thinking about it, positively or negatively. I don’t have judgement on it either way.” Soon, anyone who is a user of medical marijuana will be able to look into something like speed greens online, if they do not have time to visit a dispensary. But until then, everyone who live in Oneonta will have to wait until this becomes legalised. This may have been a long time coming.

Leading National Ambulance Service Is Acquiring CMT

Leading National

Ambulance Service

Is Acquiring CMT

Margaret McGown, Mark Zeek Ran

Cooperstown Company For 38 Years

Margaret McGown nad Mark Zeek of Cooperstown today sold Cooperstown Medical Transport, which they’ve been operatiing 38 years. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

The distinctive Cooperstown Medical Transport ambulances are familiar sights in Otsego, Delaware and Chenango counties.

COOPERSTOWN – Owners Margaret McGown and Mark Zeek today announced the sale of Cooperstown Medical Transport to AMR (American Medical Response), which employs 28,000 emergency medical personnel in 40 states and Washington, D.C.

An asset-purchase agreement has been signed, and the sale is expected to be complete by the end of March, pending final approval by the Susquehanna Regional EMS Council, covering Chenango County, and the Adirondack/Appalachian EMS council, which covers Otsego and Delaware counties.

In a press release, AMR said it will transition employees and customers to the new entity between now and then.

On Today, Cooperstown Native Recalls Work With George Bush

On Today, Cooperstown Native

Recalls Work With George Bush

Cooperstown native and NBC’s TODAY senior producer Karen Trosset, second from left in this photo from Kennebunkport, Maine, where President George H.W. Bush maintained a summer home, has worked on numerous projects with Jenna Bush Hager and the Bush family. In her own words, she remembers President George H.W. Bush.







ONEONTA – Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. isn’t waiting for his challenger, Bob Fernandez, to come around.

“We are very confident, we are declaring victory,” the incumbent Devlin declared after Fernandez, a retired state trooper and registered Republican who is running as a Democrat, declined to concede the hard-fought race.

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