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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otsego county news

The Hill City Rollers Skate Against Hate

The Hill City Rollers

Skate Against Hate

Baby Lace, Mrs. Boutfire and Bizzy Cheap Skate lead a a group around Neahwa Park this morning at the Hill City Roller Derby team took a stand against hate. The demonstration was part of the Worldwide Roll Out Day: Roll To Erase Hate movement started by skating coach Skate Fan Tazee out of Atlanta. “We wanted to get people from the rolling community to promote positivity and safe spaces in our community.” explained Mrs. Boutfire (aka Robin Williams, Oneonta) “We want to be open to all people. Derby is about anyone being able to do it regardless of color, body type, gender, or how much you have skated. This is an all-inclusive sport!” The group met at the skatepark and rolled their way around the park with their signs. “Anything we can do to make a statement.” said Jim Ruffo, Oneonta, “We will not stand for hate.”(Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Drive-In Hosting Second Concert; This Time, Blake Shelton

Drive-In Hosts 2nd Concert;

This Time, It’s Blake Shelton

Former No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani will perform alongside her fellow “The Voice” judge, country star Blake Shelton, at a drive-in exclusive concert on Saturday, July 25.

UNADILLA – With the sold-out Garth Brooks drive-in concert a success, the Unadilla Drive-In will again be the hottest music venue in the county as they present Encore’s exclusive Blake Shelton concert on Saturday, July 25.

The family-friendly concert is a drive-in exclusive, and will also include special guests Gwen Stefani and Trace Adkins.

SQSPCA Needs Volunteers To Play With Kittens

SQSPCA Needs Volunteers

To Help Socialize Kittens

COOPERSTOWN – It’s a tough job, but someone has to help these kittens learn to cuddle.

“We currently have 28 feral or unsocialized kittens on-site, with more arriving daily,” said Stacie Haynes, Executive Director. “Our new ‘Feral to Friendly’ program is designed to give volunteers the opportunity to meet and help socialize these kittens, and also to lighten the load for staff as the shelter enters its busiest season.”

One Report, One Recovery Keeps COVID-19 Stable At 3

One Report, One Recovery

Keeps COVID-19 Stable At 3

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – A new case of coronavirus has surfaced since the last report by the county Department of Health on July 6, and there has also been one recovery, maintaining the number of active cases in Otsego County at three.

That brings the total confirmed cases to 81, and the total recoveries to 73.  There were five deaths locally.

Other data released today included:

Village Hoists Banner Encouraging Wearing Masks, Social Distancing

Village Hoists Banner Encouraging

Wearing Masks, Social Distancing

David Lamb, assisted by Randy Bailey, hoists a new banner across Cooperstown’s Main Street this morning encouraging residents and visitors alike to follow measures recommended to stem COVID-19, including wearing masks and social distancing. Lamb started putting up the banner on returning from the service in the 1980s – an adjunct to his father’s banner-making business. And he’s been doing so ever since. The issue of wearing masks was raised again this week at a special meeting of the Village Board. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Leroy Charles Klein, 78; Oneonta Native Was Retired Contractor

IN MEMORIAM: Leroy Charles Klein, 78;

Oneonta Native Was Retired Contractor

Leroy Charles Klein

ONEONTA – Oneonta native Leroy Charles Klein, 78, of Keystone Heights, Fla., passed away Sunday, July 5, 2020, from injuries he sustained in a tractor accident.

He was born May 31, 1942, in Oneonta, to Edward and Doris (Earing) Klein. Mr. Klein served in the  Navy and was a retired contractor. He was Episcopalian and loved staying busy doing odds and ends.

In addition to his father his son Wayne Klein and brothers Philip Klein and Paul Klein had also preceded him death. Mr. Klein leaves behind is daughters Shawn McClure (Robert) of Boynton Beach, Fla., and Jannell Davisson of West Columbia, S.C.

ON A MISSION From Mary
Reprinted From This Week’s
Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal

ONEONTAN INSPIRED

ON A MISSION

From Mary

Jim Belleau shows off two views of Notre Dame de Paris, which he has used in developing his computerized schematic of what he calls “Mary’s Plan” for the iconic cathedral. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)
Inspired by a 2017 visit to the shrine at Lourdes, France, a devout Jim Belleau of Oneonta prayerfully offered to organize seminars to explore the meaning of the Virgin Mary’s 18 appearances in 1858 to a 14-year-old peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, “unless you have somethng better for me.” Belleau believes that “something better” is coming to pass.

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – “It was an amazing moment.”

It was October 2017, and Jim Belleau was in his third or fourth night of his second visit to Our Lady of Lourdes Shrine in France.

A procession at Lourdes, photographed by Jim Belleau in 2017.

“We witnessed this procession,” the Principally Prints owner recalled the other day. “It was a warm night. The moon was out. And, for an hour, I had just witnessed 12,000 people singing the Rosary and holding candles.”

St. Mary with crown, the statue in the Lourdes plaza.

He had attended a mass, in Italian, at the Grotto, and was walking back to the hotel, crossing the 124-acre main square – it can accommodate up to 100,000 visitors; now it was completely empty – with the cathedral-like chapel behind him.

“I turned toward Mary,” he said, a famed statue of Our Lady of Lourdes, crowned, “and I got down on one knee. And I placed the rest of my life at her service. I said literally that.”

Oneonta Mayor: Bars Beware Or Be Closed
Reprinted From This Week’s
Hometown Oneonta, Freeman’s Journal

Question: Can Students Safely Return?

Mayor Herzig:

Bars Beware

Or Be Closed

Hayley Dower, manager, Red Jug Pub, is already a social distancing VIP, setting up the “velvet rope” to limit the number of customers in her bar. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

ONEONTA – Mayor Gary Herzig has a message if returning Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta students go out on the town – follow the rules, or the fun stops.

“We will enforce the state regulations,” said Mayor Gary Herzig. “If you’re not at a table, you need to have your mask on. You can’t be elbow-to-elbow at the bar. We will send the police, code enforcement or the state Liquor Authority in to respond to complaints.”

As the colleges announced reopening plans for this fall, Herzig plans to meet with the two college presidents, Hartwick’s Margaret Drugovich and SUNY Oneonta’s Barbara Jean Morris, to lay out the city’s new approach.

Truck Driver Falls Asleep, Spills Milk All Over I-88

Truck Driver Falls Asleep,

Spills Milk All Over I-88

I-88 was closed this morning after a milk truck rolled over in Otego.

OTEGO – A truck driver fell asleep at the wheel on I-88 and crashed a truck filled with milk and other dairy products all over the roadway in Otego earlier this morning, according to a press release from state troopers, Troop C.

Andrew A. Lloyd, 26, Porter Cors, allegedly told told troopers that he fell asleep and drifted on the roadway, rolling his vehicle. No injuries were reported, but I-88 was closed until just after non., with traffic  diverted off at Exit 12 into Unadilla.

History Center Reopens Friday

History Center

Reopens Friday

The Oneonta History Center at Dietz and Main is opening Friday.

ONEONTA – The Oneonta History Center reopens at noon Friday, Executive Director Bob Brzozowski announced a few minutes ago.  COVID-19 closed the center at 183 Main St. almost four months ago.

The GOHS has developed a Safety Plan to help ensure everyone’s health upon reopening. Attendance will be limited to 15 persons at a time. Masks and social distancing will be required. There will be regular cleaning and disinfecting of high-contact surfaces.

Schumer Promises Help For Local Governments

STOPS AT DOUBLEDAY FIELD

Schumer Promises Help

For Local Governments

Against a backdrop of pure Americana – the Stars & Stripes, Doubleday Field and the Sandlot Kid – U.S. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, the state’s senior senator, this afternoon pledged federal support that would go directly to local governments in the support package now being negotiated in Congress.  He appeared with county board Chairman David Bliss, left, and Treasurer Allen Ruffles, who have been pleading for that kind of direct aid to municipalities (if the money goes through Albany, it can never make it here), as well as, inset left,  Mayors Gary Herzig of Oneonta and Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch of Cooperstown, who detailed how their municipalities’ financials have been stricken by the coronavirus threat. He called Cooperstown “one of the hardest hit” communities due to its dependence on tourism. The senator, who makes a swing to Otsego County at least once a year, had begun the day in Buffalo and, his airplane grounded at Oneonta Airport by the weather, drove on to New York City. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)

Free Parking On Fridays OK’d For Doubleday Lot 

Free Parking On Fridays

OK’d For Doubleday Lot 

Merchants Urged: Stay Open Until 8:30

COOPERSTOWN – The Village Board this morning approved free parking in the Doubleday Field lot on Fridays from July 18 to Sept. 5, as part of its “Cooperstown Outdoors” promotion of the downtown.

In collaboration with the Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce, stores will be encouraged to stay open until 8:30, and “Music on Main” performances will be scheduled on Fridays to help draw people downtown.

The idea came out of a meeting last week between Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, new Chamber President Jess Lanza and Chamber Executive Tara Burke.

Require Masks On Main Street, Trustee Declares

AT COOPERSTOWN VILLAGE BOARD:

Require Masks

On Main Street,

Trustee Declares

Sternberg Says ‘Punitive Steps’ Required;

Trustees OK ‘Masks On Main’ Promotion

At today’s special meeting of the Village Board today are Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch, top left. Trustee Richard Sternberg is at center.  Clockwise from upper right are Trustees Cindy Falk, Joe Membrino, Jim Dean and Jeanne Dewey.  Trustee MacGuire Benton was absent.  (From Youtube video)

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com

COOPERSTOWN – This morning’s special Village Board meeting, called to approve a “Cooperstown Outdoors” promotion and “Masks on Main” signage, spun off into a larger discussion of the need for masks, with Trustee Richard Sternberg calling for “punitive measures” against people not wearing masks.

“I certainly think we need to go – just like Texas happens to be going – to mandatory masks outdoors,” he said. “Sorry, I don’t like all these tourists coming here, thinking they’re on vacation from the constraints of COVID, and just walking around without masks just like they own the place.”

While Sternberg didn’t carry the day, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch said she will fast-track the placement of a banner across Main Street (between Key Bank and Sal’s) that encourages mask-wearing. (It has already arrived, but was waiting for the “Congratulations CCS Class of 2020” to be taken down.)

Council Approves Main Street Closure, Dining

Common Council Approves

Main Street Closure, Dining

ONEONTA – Starting 9 a.m. next Saturday, July 18, and continuing through Sept. 5, Main Street from Elm to Chestnut will be closed to allow restaurants to expand their outdoor dining opportunities.

“It’s highly marketable,” said Council Member Mark Drnek, Eighth Ward, who chairs the Survive, Then Thrive committee. “Downtown Oneonta could become the Best Restaurant in New York.”

Restaurants will be able to place tables in front of their restaurants only, as well as determine whether to offer service or ask diners to order take-out. Patrons will still be required to wear masks where social distancing is not possible.

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