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 news

Kettle Drive Begins For Salvation Army


Kettle Drive Begins

For Salvation Army

Bell-ringer Brian Oliver of Oneonta mans the kettle at Cooperstown’s Price Chopper at this hour as the Salvation Army’s annual Kettle Drive gets underway today for the 2019 Christmas Season. Kettles crews are also stationed at Oneonta’s Price Chopper, Southside Mall and the Kmart in Sidney. (Jim Kevlin/
60-80 Soup Lovers Served At Mount Vision Luncheon

60-80 Soup Lovers Served

At Mount Vision Luncheon

Valery Worden, who chaired the organizing committee for today’s annual soup luncheon at the Mount Vision Methodist Church, replaces a place setting for the 60-80 soup lovers attending.  With her are committee members Kay Brick, right, and Lucie Edwards.  Inset, young Weston Lindberg, 2, of Fly Creek, attended with his great-grandmother Constance Tilley, right, and great-aunt Paula Robinson, both of Mount Vision.  Fifteen tureens of soup ranged from chili and pasta fagiole to cheese and cauliflower, and potato and lamb.  And brownies, cookies and other desserts.  (Jim Kevlin/

John Shulgay, 80, Schenevus; CV Native Farmed, Drove Truck, Worked For Town

IN MEMORIAM:  John Shulgay, 80, Schenevus;

Farmed, Drove Truck, Worked For Westford

SCHENEVUS – John Shulgay, 80, a Cherry Valley native who retired from the Town of Westford, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019 at his residence.

He was born Dec. 2, 1938 in Cherry Valley, the son of Pete and Pauline (Mygus) Shulgay.  He grew up in Cherry Valley and attended Cherry Valley School.

Mary Jane Jackson, 63; 35-Year Nurse’s Aide At County’s Meadows

IN MEMORIAM: Mary Jane Jackson, 63;

35-Year Nurse’s Aide At County’s Meadows

RICHFIELD SPRINGS — Mary Jane Jackson, 63, a nurse’s aide at the county’s Meadows Nursing Home for 35 years, passed away on Tuesday evening, Nov. 12, 2019, in Bassett Hospital. She had the support and comfort of her loving family at her side.

Mary was born on Aug. 5, 1956, in Amsterdam, daughter of the late Victor B. and Dorothy R. Damulis.  A lifelong area resident, she was a graduate of Richfield Springs High School.

2020 County Budget Would Top $120M

2020 County Budget

Would Top $120M

COOPERSTOWN – The Otsego County Treasurer’s Office today released a tentative budget for 2020 that, if adopted as is, will cross the $120 million mark for the first time, by $200. If approved, the tax levy would rise 3.73 percent to $12,144,437.

The public hearing on the budget is at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 26.  The budget must be adopted by mid-December.

Hartwick Student Joins 2 In Challenging Salka


Hartwick Student Joins

2 In Challenging Salka

ONEONTA – The field is filling up with Democrats aiming to challenge freshman Assemblyman John Salka, R-121, whose district includes Oneonta and Cooperstown, as well as Madison and past of Oneida counties.

Nick Chase, a Hartwick College students and Oneonta native, this week joined Oneonta City school board member Dan Buttermann and Corey Mosher, a Hamilton farmer and board chair of Madison County Cooperative Extension.

Chase entry makes a Democratic primary next June more certain.

BULLETIN: Dunkin’ Quits Cooperstown


Dunkin’ Quits


This is an artist’s rendering of the proposed Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins co-branded site that the company has now withdrawn.

COOPERSTOWN – Dunkin’ Donuts today advised Village Hall it is withdrawing its application to build a co-branded outlet with Baskin Robbins in the village, Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh Kuch confirmed a few minutes ago.

ALLOTSEGO VIDEO: Watch The Debate On County Manager


Watch The Debate

On County Manager

County Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Hartwick, briefs her county board colleagues on 20 months of study and discussion on creating a county manager form of government for Otsego County. On this video, presentations by each member of the county board’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee (Reps. Farwell, Shannon, Oberacker and Marietta) begins at 58:40. The board’s discussion and vote setting a public hearing on the $150,000 job for 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, begins at 2:17:30. (Video by Jim Kevlin/
Rescued Dog’s Leg Appears Blown Off


Dog Rescued

With Missing Leg

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

Zoe, a German shepherd, was rescued from Burlington Flats.

BURLINGTON FLATS – The Susquehanna SPCA rescued a senior German shepherd Zoe who was found injured and in an inadequate shelter at a home in Burlington Flats.

“A passerby noticed this dog tied outside and that her leg looked like it had been blown off,” said Stacie Haynes, executive director.

With the help of Otsego County 911, State Police, and Anita Vitullo of Staffworks, the shelter saved Zoe. She is currently being treated at the Oneonta Veterinary Hospital.

“Her fight to survive has just begun because her missing leg is only one of many concerning medical ailments she is facing,” Haynes wrote on the shelter’s Facebook page. “The team is going to do everything we can to ease Zoe’s pain and show her compassion and a more peaceful life that she deserves.”

3rd CSO Candidate Slips On Ice, Dislocates Elbow

Żółtowski To Conduct With Left Hand

3rd CSO Candidate Slips

On Ice, Dislocates Elbow

Maciej Żółtowski leads the Catskill Symphony Orchestra in rehearsal earlier this week. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – The show must go on.

Walking back from his interview with the Catskill Symphony Orchestra board, Maciej Żółtowski, the final of the three contenders for the music director of the CSO, slipped on the ice on the SUNY Oneonta campus and dislocated his right elbow, according to Laurie Zimniewicz, chair of the search committee.

An EMT assisted Żółtowski back to the Red Dragon Building, and an ambulance was called.

Trying to assist Żółtowski, CSO Executive Director  Thomas Wolfe fell on the stairs and dislocated his right shoulder, Zimniewicz said. A second ambulance was called and both were treated at the Fox Hospital emergency room.

From All, Best Wishes For A Speedy Recovery


From All, Best Wishes

For A Speedy Recovery

$10 MILLION MAN: State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, is flanked by, from left, MVREDC chairman Robert Geer, Empire State Development Corp. President Howard Zemsky, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig and Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, when the City of Oneonta was named the first DRI community on July 20, 2016. (Ian Austin/

Editor’s Note: This editorial is reprinted from this week’s editions of Hometown Oneonta & The Freeman’s Journal, on newsstands now.

The news that state Sen. Jim Seward’s cancer is back – his office issued a press release Wednesday, Nov. 6 – brings two immediate reactions.

One, fingers crossed. Advances in cancer-fighting research can mean five years, 10 years – and more – of active living. Everyone’s got a story of a happy outcome.

Two, reflections immediately come to mind on the ongoing Seward Era of Otsego County politics. It’s been a charmed one, and to reflect on it underscores how his recovery will be good news for all of us.

Just think about this decade, the State Sen. Jim Seward Decade, if you will.

As SUNY Retreats, Hartwick Fills Void

As SUNY Retreats,

Hartwick Fills Void

College Plans ‘Hawks Town Fever’

To Replace OH-Fest Street Fair

SUNY Oneonta pulled out of OH Fest, but Hartwick will has vowed to continue the community-focused annual street fair. ( photo)

ONEONTA – As SUNY Oneonta steps back, Hartwick College steps forward.

Wednesday, SUNY Oneonta announced it is pulling out of the two-college OH Fest, moving the annual concert from Neahwa Park to the Dewar Arena, and cancelling the OH street fair that has been a springtime staple in Oneonta for more than a decade.

Thursday, Hartwick announced it will continue the street fair without SUNY’s participation.

Dean D. Wayman, 94, Cooperstown, Native Son, Sperry Chevrolet Owner

Dean D. Wayman, 94, Cooperstown;

Native Son, Sperry Chevrolet Owner

Dean Wayman

COOPERSTOWN — Cooperstown Native Son Dean D. Wayman, 93, a lifelong auto buff and former co-owner of Bob Sperry Chevrolet, died Saturday Nov, 9, 2019, at Bassett Hospital, surrounded by his family.

Dean and his twin brother Doug were born May 13, 1926, at the former Thanksgiving Hospital in Cooperstown, the sons of Floyd and Murl (Dyer) Wayman.

Energetic Case Made For County Manager

Energetic Case Made

For County Manager

Only 10 At Briefing In Oneonta City Hall;

Second Session Tuesday In Cooperstown

“I don’t think (county government) is run as effectively as the people who elect us should demand it should be,” county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, inset at right, told the 10 people who attended an informational session this evening in Oneonta City Hall on the county Board of Representatives’ plan to create a $150,000 county manager job to run the $116 million operation. Members of the county board’s Intergovernmental Affairs Committee – chair Meg Kennedy, and county Reps. Michele Farwell, Liz Shannon, Andrew Marietta and Oberacker – repeated presentations they gave at last week’s monthly county board meeting.  In the Q&A, Oneonta Mayor Gary Herzig, top photo, who works with a city manager, said policy questions will be still be debated in open meetings, but operational decisions – his example: which roads get paved – will be made out of the public eye.  A second informational meeting – the League of Women Voters is running the sessions for the county board – will be at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the county courthouse in Cooperstown.  The official public hearing will be at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4, prior to the county board’s monthly meeting.  Seated at rostrum in top photo are, from left, the League’s Stephanie Bauer, and county Representatives Gary Koutnik, David Bliss (chairman), Farwell, Shannon, Kennedy and, with back to camera, Andrew Stammel.  Behind Herzig are two new county reps, Clark Oliver and Jill Basile.

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