Tara Barnwell promoted to publisher;
Greg Klein named editor;
ownership remains In local hands
COOPERSTOWN – As of Friday, April 16, Iron String Press, Inc, publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and www.allotsego.com is under new ownership.
Tara Barnwell, general manager of Iron String Press, becomes president and publisher and actor-writer Greg Klein becomes editor of the company’s print and digital news and entertainment sources, succeeding Jim Kevlin.
Kevlin after 15 years as editor, publisher and president of Iron String Press and its media family, has retired.
With the new ownership, Iron String Press remains the only locally owned and locally focused news and entertainment operation in Otsego County.
A full story will appear in this week’s print editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.
Chris Gustafson, top, counts the chimes as Rev. Mark Montfort rings the church bell at First Presbyterian Church in Oneonta this morning. Today marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Brenda L. Utter, Morris, who was the first COVID related death in Otsego County. In the year since Utter’s passing, 55 residents have died from COVID-19, and this morning members of the congregation took turns ringing the bell in memory of those lost. “This is a somber anniversary for the community,” said Montfort, “We didn’t ring the bell for those who believed the way we do, vote how we vote, or for any other consideration. We’re all in this together and each loss is a loss for everyone. We rang the bell for all who have gone on and for everyone who is still here.” (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
ONEONTA – Oneonta City Judge Lucy Bernier announced her retirement this morning; and Attorney Bob Gouldin this afternoon announced his candidacy to succeed her. Both are Democrats.
Gouldin is the only candidate to have filed his petitions by the deadline of Thursday at 5 p.m. However, independent candidates can circulate petitions by May 25 to get on the ballot.
The candidate has lived and practiced in Oneonta for over 20 years, and was recently appointed city prosecutor by Mayor Gary Herzig. Before that, Gouldin had been a part-time county public defender for 15 years, focused on representing indigent defendants in City Court.
WEST DAVENPORT – Sally A. Beams, 86, former West Davenport postmaster, firefighter and town historian, died on Thursday, March 25, 2021, at Fox Hospital, following a brief illness.
She was born in Rye, the daughter of William and Beatrice (Mott) Balcom. At an early age, she moved to East Meredith and graduated from Charlotte Valley Central School. She married Benjamin C. Beams on Dec. 21, 1952.
This week’s wind and temperatures in the low 60s broke up the ice block on Otsego Lake Tuesday, and Wednesday – with the lake open but the coves still iced up – folks, inset, headed down to Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park to take in the Sleeping Lion, considered by some to be among the most famous views in the world. This afternoon, high winds pushed the remaining ice onto the beach at the village’s Three Mile Point Park, giving it the look of a giant icemaker. Thad Wheeler and spouse Francesca Vanasco, Town of Middlefield, were up there checking it out. (Tara Barnwell, Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com
ONEONTA – Members of Oneonta’s First Presbyterian Church, 296 Main St., will ring the church bell at 11 a.m. Saturday (tomorrow) to mark the anniversary of the Otsego County’s first COVID-19 death.
The bell will be rung one time for each local COVID victim; several church members, and some children, will participate in the bell-ringing, according to the Rev. Mark Montfort, pastor.
As of this afternoon, there were 55 deaths, according to the county Health Department. The county’s first victim was Brenda L. Utter, 63, of Morris, who passed away at Bassett Hospital on March 27, 2020.
COOPERSTOWN – The 2021 battle for the Otsego County Board of Representatives has been joined, with more candidates fielded than any time in recent memory, with contests in 11 districts.
In the 14 districts, 11 Republican candidates, one Conservative (allied with the Republicans) and 13 Democrats filed petitions to run by 5 p.m. Thursday, the deadline for the filings in the Nov. 2 local elections, which include county and town boards.
Independent candidates can still enter races. The first day to circulate independent petitions is April 13, and they must be submitted to the county Board of Elections between May 18 and 25. Contact the board or county chairman for details.
As it stand, if the Republicans lose one district, they would lose their majority (which rests on an alliance with board Vice Chairman Meg Kennedy, a Conservative). If the Democrats lose even one district, the Republican hold on the county board would be cemented for another two years.
ONEONTA – After 18 years as Oneonta City Court judge, Lucy P. Bernier, who broke the glass ceiling in many of the county’s legal roles, will retire from the bench when her term expires at the end of this year. She was the first woman to serve as city judge here.
“It has been an honor and privilege to serve the community as judge, and I am grateful for the trust the people of Oneonta placed in me. I’ve worked hard to make sure each person who came before me was accorded their legal and constitutional rights, that they were treated respectfully and fairly, and that fair and just decisions were rendered,” she said in a statement.
She was initially appointed to the bench in 2004 for a six-year term by Oneonta City Mayor Kim Muller, and was elect in 2009 and 2016 to six-year terms.
ALBANY – State Sen. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, today attended a memorial gathering marking the one-year anniversary of the Cuomo Administration’s order that sent COVID-positive patients directly into New York’s nursing homes.
Oberacker told the gathering he is co-sponsoring a Senate Resolution (J554) which would designate March 25 as “We Care” Remembrance Day.