News of Otsego County

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


Otsego County Chamber

Tomorrow, Call Before You Shop

Tomorrow, Call

Before You Shop

Malls, Auto Dealers, Others

Close, But Full List Unclear

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan.

ONEONTA – If you’re planning any shopping tomorrow in Otsego County or throughout New York State, you better call ahead.

“Other than health and food, it’s going to have a wide impact,” said Barbara Ann Heegan, Otsego County Chamber president.

For instance, Southside Mall is closed.  Oneonta’s auto dealers won’t be selling cars, although they are keeping their service departments open.

Tobacco Free Communities Moves To Downtown Oneonta

Tobacco Free Communities

Moves To Downtown Oneonta

Tobacco Free Communities of Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie (TFC-DOS) cut the ribbon Wednesday on its new offices at 151-153 Main St., the former Stevens Hardware.  Front row, from left, are TFC-DOS Director Judy Rightmyer, Community Engagement Coordinator Jennifer Hill, Program Specialist Barbara Doyle, Youth Engagement Coordinator Chris Bradley, LEAF’s Executive Director Julie Dostal, and Chamber of Commerce President Barbara Ann Heegan. Back row, from left, the Chamber’s Director of Special Events Kathryn Dailey; Alan Cleinman of Cleinman Performance Partners; LEAF Prevention Specialist Carol Mandigo; County Rep. Clark Oliver, D-11; and Oneonta Common Council member Mark Drnek, Ward 8.  Dostal, Cleinman, and Mandigo advocated for Oneonta’s tobacco-free parks ordinance in 2017.
At Wistful Event, Seward Receives Standing Ovation


At Wistful Event, Seward

Receives Standing Ovation

A visibly pleased state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, above, who announced last week he will retire at the end of the year after 34 years representing Otsego County in Albany, receives a standing ovation from the 140 attendees at the Otsego Chamber’s State of the State Luncheon today at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Hall.    He is flanked by Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, right, and Assemblyman John Salka, R-Brookfield.  Insert, left, Assemblyman Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, gave a thundering address after soliciting from the audience three reasons why people are leaving Upstate New York:  High taxes, over regulation and no jobs.  “Let’s address these three issues and bring people back to New York State,” said Tague, a leading Republican prospect to succeed Seward; he would face Jim Barber, a Schoharie farmer, who has won Democratic backing.  “I’d have big shoes to fill,” said Tague, then reported his shoe size as 14 1/2, triple E.   Seward said, “Don’t worry, I’ll be back next year.”  He won’t be at the head table, he said, “I’ll be in the audience with you, asking tough questions.”  Also speaking were Mayors Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch of Cooperstown and Gary Herzig of Oneonta.  (Jim Kevin/

Delgado, Seward Due At State Of The State

Delgado, Seward Due

At State Of The State

Event Moved To Jan. 24 At SUNY Oneonta


ONEONTA — The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce’s State of the State breakfast will be Jan. 24, not the usual day after New Year’s, will be a luncheon instead, and will feature two novelties:

• Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19.  The date was changed to accommodate his scheduled.

• State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who is recovering from a cancer recurrence.  This will be his first public reappearance.


Turkey Dinner For Senior Citizens


ANGEL TREE PROGRAM – Give the Gift of Christmas this holiday season. Adopt a family in need. Visit to learn how.

TURKEY DINNER – 5 – 6:30 p.m. Senior citizens are invited for delicious dinner sponsored by Lions Club, LEOs, CCS PTA. Take-out available. Cafeteria, Cooperstown High School. 607-547-2401.

ISD Protects Nature From Computers

ISD Protects Nature

From Computers

Oneonta Tech Firm Honored With

Otsego Chamber Environment Award

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Bins full of discarded computer equipment to be recycled bear witness to the company’s sense of responsibility, says partner Roxana Hurlburt. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – Information Systems Divisions Inc. isn’t just the place to get a new computer or get your company’s IT needs taken care of.

It’s also a steward of the environment.

“Since 2011, we’ve recycled more than 84,000 pound of electronic waste,” said Roxana Hurlburt, who, with Ron Ranc II, founded the company in 1989. “And we do it for free.”

It was this commitment to the environment that earned ISD Tech the Environmental Stewardship Award from the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, to be presented at its annual Summer Soiree on Thursday, Aug. 22, at the Clark Sports Center.

“We live in a beautiful area,” said Hurlburt. “You don’t want to drive down country roads and see old computers just dumped out there.”

Andela To Break Ground On 100,000-Square-Foot In 2020, President Says

Andela To Break Ground

On 100,000-Sq.-Ft. Plant

In 2020, President Says

Development May Be ‘Eco-Commerce Park,’
Using Geothermal Heat, But Also Natural Gas
Andela Products’ President Cynthia Andela discusses her plans with two men who sometimes find themselves on different sides of economic-development issues: Tom Armao of Oneonta, left, an Otsego Now board member, and Adrian Kuzminski of Fly Creek, Sustainable Otsego moderator. In the background are Richfield Town Board member Larry Frigault and Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham. (Jim Kevlin/www.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Cynthia Andela shows off the Ruby Glass catalogue at this morning’s presentation.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Andela Products and its subsidiary, Ruby Lake Glass, expects to break ground in 2020 on a 100,000-square-foot building on a 40-acre parcel just south of the village owned by Otsego Now, company President Cynthia Andela told a gathering of businesspeople this morning at the Richfield Springs Community Coop.

That will still leave room for a 50,000-square-foot building on the site, which could be used by a single company, or subdivided to accommodate several companies, she said at a session organized by the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce.

The 25-year-old company recycles glass, and Ruby Lake colorizes glass that can then be used for crossing stripes and other markings on road pavement.  Andela said her company currently has a contract with New York City to stripe pavement; if you’re there, you can see it in the vicinity of the Flatiron Building.  The product offers “color, friction and durability,” with resulting stripes withstanding 4-5 years of traffic.

So Far, 125 Sign Up For Energy Summit, With Limit Of 200


With Week To Go,

Energy Summit Fills

125 Of Its 200 Seats

Seeking ‘Balanced Agenda,’ 19 Speakers

Planned; Day Expands From 6 To 9 Hours

Jay Egg of Geothermal is keynoter at the Otsego Chamber’s “Energy Summit.”

COOPERSTOWN – With a week to go, 125 people have already signed up for the Otsego County Chamber’s “Energy Summit: Infrastructure & Economy,” and the day has expanded from the original six hours to a nine-hour program to accommodate a growing roster of speakers.

Planned Thursday, Jan. 31, at The Otesaga, the summit will be able to accommodate about 200 people.   To register, call 432-4500, extension 104, or email

After announcing the original concept, the phone started ringing with suggested speakers, Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan said in an interview a few minutes ago, and she kept adding speakers to ensure “a balanced agenda.”

Cooperstown And Around

Cooperstown And Around

Both Mayors, Seward Weigh State Of State

By: Ian Austin

Christian Shaefer of Richfield Springs, who mounted a surprise write-in campaign to win a county coroner post in the Nov. 6 election, takes the oath of office Tuesday, Jan 1, at Foothills in Oneonta Ian Austin/The Freeman’s Journal


Christian Shaefer of Richfield Springs, who mounted a surprise write-in campaign to win a county coroner post in the Nov. 6 election, takes the oath of office Tuesday, Jan 1, at Foothills in Oneonta

State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and two mayors, Cooperstown’s Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and Oneonta’s Gary Herzig, were due to address the Otsego Chamber’s annual State of the State Breakfast at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 2, at SUNY Oneonta’s Morris Conference Center. Click for details.

►THE OTSEGO LAND TRUST announced the  donation of a conservation easement on 133 acres of forests, hills, farmland and wetlands in the Town of Oneonta on Friday, Dec. 28..

►A FIRE DESTROYED the Fred A. Roos Jr. house at 264 Geywits Road, Town of Springfield on Friday, Dec. 28, according to Assistant Chief Dale Schulz of the Springfield Center Fire Department. No injuries were reported, but the fire remains under investigation.

►OUTGOING CONGRESSMAN John Faso wouldn’t rule out running for Congress again in 2020 – but wouldn’t rule it in either, he told WAMC President Alan Chartock.

►310 AIRBNB HOSTS in Otsego County each earned about $5,900 in supplementary income in 2018, the company announced at year’s end.


State Of State Includes Senator, Both Mayors, Chair Of County Board


State Of State Includes

Senator, Both Mayors,

Chair Of County Board

ONEONTA – The Otsego County Chamber of Commerce today announced the lineup for its annual State of the State Breakfast, scheduled as it’s been traditionally done on the day after New Year’s Day.

The headliners are state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, Cooperstown’s new mayor, Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch and her Oneonta counterpart, Gary Herzig, and David Bliss, chairman of the Otsego County Board of Representatives.

There ARE Jobs In Select Fields, Conference Told


There ARE Jobs

In Select Fields,

Conference Told

Jobs are available locally, but the workforce to fill them is shrinking through shrinking population and pending retirements, Christian Harris, state Department of Labor analyst, tells at Workforce Summit underway today at The Otesaga. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Cooperstown Central school board President Marcy Birch, also a businesswoman, and Superintendent Bill Crankshaw listen intently to Harris’ presentation. In the background is Mary Joe Ferrare of the Workforce Development Institute.

COOPERSTOWN – The good news is, if you want a job as a registered nurse, retail supervisor of information security analyst around here, you’ve got it.

The bad news is, young people aren’t participating in the workforce as before, and people generally are leaving the area.

Overall, if you really want to work, go into the hospital and healthcare fields.

That was the news Christian Harris, state Department of Labor analyst for the region that includes Otsego County, shared with 70 attendees at a Workforce Summit underway today at The Otesaga, co-sponsored by the Otsego Chamber of Commerce and State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.

ARC Otsego Opens Otsego ReUse Center

ARC Otsego Opens

Otsego ReUse Center

Pat Knuth, Executive director of the Arc Otsego, Liz Shannon, Otsego County District 14 representative, Karen Sullivan, Otsego County, Bill Hardy, manager of Otsego ReUse Center, Ryan Eldred, assistant and Otsego ReUse Center, Barbara Ann Hegan, Otsego County Chamber of Commerce, Thomas Wolf, Otsego Chamber board member, and Darcy Dibble, CFO of the ARC, cut the ribbon at the grand opening of their location on Duane Street in Oneonta this morning. (Ian Austin/
Pat Knuth examines a selection of door and dresser fixtures.

ONEONTA – ARC Otsego celebrated the grand opening of their Otsego ReUse Center on Duane Street this morning with a ribbon cutting ceremony and tours of their location. Betty Li set up in the old Bresees’ warehouse, ReUse acts as a collection station for usable items that were destined for the landfill.

“Since our soft opening in November, we have already kept over fourteen tons of usable items out of our landfills.” remarked Pat Knuth, executive director of Arc Otsego.

“We have lots of people drop off great stuff!” said Bill Hardy, manager of the location. “Local contractors, Carpet Plus, Scholet furniture, Lowes, G&I Homes, SUNY Oneonta, they have all donated things here which we sell at a fraction of their original cost!”

The ARC plans to purchase the building from Mark Bresee in the fall and are currently looking for support to help with the purchase.The Otsego ReUse Center is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Saturday.




NBT Second Honoree At Chamber Banquet

NBT Second Honoree

At Chamber Banquet

Bank, Bettiol Distinguished Business, Citizen

Cutting the ribbon at NBT’s Oneonta Regional Financial Center at One Wall Street last year are, from left, Mayor Gary Herzig, Otsego County Chamber Board Chair Jim Potts,  chamber  President/CEO Barbara Ann Heegan, NBT Bank Regional Executive Jamie Reynolds, NBT-Mang Insurance Agency President Tucker Lounsbury, and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford.
Gene Bettiol Sr.

ONEONTA – NBT Bank will be honored as the NYCM Insurance Distinguished Business of the Year at the Otsego County Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, Thursday, May 3, at Foothills, beginning at 5:45 p.m., the chamber announced today.

Earlier, it was announced that Eugene A. Bettiol Sr., who passed away in December, will received the Eugene A. Bettiol Jr. Distinguished Citizen Award named for his son and sponsored by Bassett Healthcare.

The evening’s theme is   “Supporting Entrepreneurial Spirit in Otsego County.”

They’re The Tops, Oscar Avers As Winning Businesses Toasted

They’re The Tops, Oscar Avers

As Winning Businesses Toasted

A life-size Oscar looks on approvingly at this evening’s honorees at the Otsego County Chamber’s 18th annual Banquet & Celebration of Small Business, now underway at The Otesaga. Center right, Springbrook President Patricia Kennedy and Finance Committee chair Bill Mirabito accepted the Breakthrough Award. Center left, Barbara Roberts and Joan Fox accepted the Small Business Award on behalf of their Keller Williams realty network.   Hartwick College’s Allison Homler, left, and SUNY Oneonta’s Matthew Coville, right, were Interns of the Year.  A new format – an evening of networking – was tested this year:  The awards were presented first, then the 250 guests went through a buffet line and circulated, introducing themselves of other guests, chatting and snacking.  The big Oscar was created by Ian Austin of Oneonta for the Fox Hospital’s recent annual gala, but is now making the circuit of the season’s social events.  (Jim Kevlin/
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