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

City Hall Issues Warning To Newcomers, Check In With County, Quarantine

City Hall Issues Warning

To Newcomers: Check In

With County, Quarantine

Click to read full-size

ONEONTA – City Hall today encouraged landlords to only rent apartments to people from out of town “under conditions of great urgency.”

Newcomers “will be expected” to self-quarantine for 14 days and to notify the county Department of Health on their arrival, said in a statement from the city clerk’s office.

“While we are fortunate to have excellent healthcare facilities in our community,” said Mayor Gary Herzig in an accompanying letter to landlords, “their capacity is limited and could become overwhelmed if infection spreads too quickly.”

Julia Fassett, Retired CV, Fort Plain Teacher

IN MEMORIAM: Julia Fassett,

Retired CV, Fort Plain Teacher

Julia Fassett

EAST SPRINGFIELD – Julia A. Fassett, a retired Cherry Valley and Fort Plain teacher, died peacefully in her sleep at home on Friday, April 3, 2020.

She was born in 1926, in Schenectady, the daughter of Emilo and Rose Parillo Genovesi.

On June 24, 1951, she married Kenneth L. Fassett of East Springfield at St. Thomas Church in Cherry Valley.

Federal Government Sends 1,000 Workers To Help NY


Federal Government Sends

1,000 Workers To Help NY


ALBANY – At his briefing today, Governor Cuomo announced the federal government has deployed 1,000 federal workers to help fight coronavirus at the “most stressed hospitals” in New York State.

“I know how much we are asking of our health care workers on the frontline,,” he said, “and I thank them for everything they are doing because they are true heroes.”

Delgad0 Signs Onto Bipartisan Statement: Keep Ventilators Here

Delgado Signs Onto

Bipartisan Statement:

Hands Off Ventilators


Today, Congressman Antonio Delgado, D-19, signed a bipartisan statement opposing Governor Cuomo’s order allowing National Guard to remove ventilators from Upstate hospitals for transport to the New York metropolitan area.

“We stand ready to help our fellow New Yorkers,” said the signators, who included Delgado, “but moving needed ventilators from our region now would be devastating and counter intuitive to all data on the spread of COVID-19.”




Senator Seward

MILFORD – Cindy Seward just reported she has spoken to her husband, state Sen. Jim Seward, and he reported the ventilator he was on was removed this afternoon.

“Of course he will still need monitoring, but I thank you all for your outpouring for us!!” she reported.

Seward, who is battling the coronavirus, was put on the ventilator Thursday morning and Albany Medical Center, and was soon showing some signs of improvement.

Donated Surgical Masks, Ventilators Pour Into NY


Donated Surgical Masks,

Ventilators Pour Into NY

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo at today’s briefing announced donations that included a million surgical masks each from the NBA and two Chinese Foundations, plus 1,000 ventilators and 100,000 pairs of goggles.

The Joseph and Clara Tsai Foundation and Jack Ma Foundation were the donors, and the gift was facilitated by the Chinese government and Ambassador Huang Ping, the Chinese consul general in New York City, the governor said.

The Tsais and Ma are co-founders of Alibaba, China’s equivalent of Google.

Senator ‘Slightly Improved,’ But ‘Next Few Days Crucial’


Senator ‘Slightly Improved,’

But ‘Next Few Days Crucial’

Senator Jim and Cindy Seward.

MILFORD – “The next few days are crucial” for state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who has “slightly improved” since being placed in a medically induced coma Thursday morning at Albany Medical Center, his wife Cindy told the Milford community in a Facebook post this afternoon.

She said the briefing was prompted by “all of our friends in our Milford community who have reached out with care, concern, and love, (about) my husband’s and my status.”



Keep Hands Off Upstate Ventilators


Keep Hands Off

Upstate Ventilators

Here is an example of the ventilator being used for coronavirus patients.

COOPERSTOWN – Three key Republicans representing Otsego County issued a statement today calling Governor Cuomo’s plan to “seize” ventilators and PPE equipment from Upstate hospitals “dangerous” and “just plain wrong.”

They are county Rep. Peter Oberacker, R-Schenevus, who is running to succeed state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, and Assemblymen John Salka, R-Brookfield, whose district includes Oneonta and Cooperstown, and Chris Tague, R-Schoharie, whose district includes Cherry Valley, Roseboom, Decatur and Worcester.

Cuomo Cites Fracking Ban, $700M For Environment


Cuomo Cites Fracking Ban,

$700M For ‘Mother Nature’

Andrew Cuomo is serving his third term as New York State’s governor.

ALBANY – Governor Cuomo called the state’s 2020-21 budget, passed at 3 a.m. yesterday, “extraordinary,” according to the press statement from his office.

“I understand we’re all consumed with the coronavirus situation but we have to be able to walk and chew gum,” the governor said after the passage, adding “the budget was difficult because the state has no money, … and we came up with a somewhat novel budget that actually is calibrated to future revenues or losses. … When we see how much revenue the state makes, how fast the economy comes back, what the expenses are, we’ll calibrate accordingly.”

Here are the highlights issued by the Governor’s Office:


Spending Plan Centralizes Power In Albany, GOP Says


Spending Plan Centralizes

Power In Albany, GOP Says

Editor’s Note: Here’s is the Republican response to the budget passage from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay, R-Pulaski.

By WILL BARCLAY • Special to

Will Barclay, a Syracuse lawyer and resident of Pulaski, Oswego County, has served in the state Assembly since 2003.  He was elected minority leader in January.

During unprecedented times that demand a concentrated focus, state Democrats rushed out a cluttered $178 billion state budget that offered nothing of the kind. Concocted behind closed doors and advanced under the cover of darkness, the state’s final spending plan drifted too far from our current crisis, and was entirely bogged down by misguided political policies.

 The COVID-19 outbreak threatens the health of every community and has turned our financial position on its head. Rather than adopt a bare-bones budget that directly addresses our significant challenges, the Legislature compromised its process, gave away its authority and acted less as an independent branch of government, and more as an extension of the Executive.

3 More Cases Reported Here


3 More Cases

Reported Here

CDC image of the coronavirus

COOPERSTOWN – Three more cases of coronavirus were reported today in Otsego County, bringing total confirmed cases locally to 24, county Public Health Director Heidi Bond announced a few minutes ago.

Of the total cases, one is hospitalized, and three have recovered and are out of isolation.  There has been one death, Brenda L. Utter, 63, of Morris, who passed away a week ago Thursday.

CSO’s New Conductor, Unable To Return Home, Uses Time Productively

Stranded, Conductor

Uses Time Productively

Zoltowski Walking Friend’s Dog,

Thinking About Symphony’s Future

Maciej Zoltowski interviewed at Latte Lounge before it shifted to takeout. (Ian Austin/

ONEONTA – The Catskill Symphony’s new conductor, Maestro Maciej Zoltowski, has been stranded in Upstate New York due to coronavirus strictures, but is using his time here productively.

Here’s the text of a letter to CSO members, received today:

“I hope this note finds you all in good health. My elbow (he fell on ice last November while here for his audition concert) has healed remarkably well, and I had been looking forward to greeting many of you at the Cabaret Concert. As you are all aware, the government forced our hand to cancel this years’ Cabaret because of the coronavirus. We at Catskill Symphony Orchestra, however, are looking to the future.

Masked Bagging Crew Help Farmers’ Market Adapt

With Masked Baggers,

Farmers’ Market Adapts

At the Cooperstown Farmer’s Market, Sherrie Kingsley, Otsego 2000 Executive Director Ellen Pope and Deb Dalton wear protective masks as they fill 40 orders for curbside pick-ups.  “People order online and we follow the list going from vendor to vendor,” explained board member Robert Nelson, who was at the door making sure customers washed their hands before entering. “The vendors have been really prepared and organized, numbering the bags and making sure everything is organized. With this many orders, we kept this many people out of the market and kept that many safe. We hope this is successful.” Signs ask patrons to adhere to 6-foot social distancing and not to touch any of the produce; the sellers bag it themselves. At right, Seth Friedman, Greentopia Farm, Davenport, was offering some of his own masks (which he uses for harvesting mushrooms) to customers. “When you pick mushrooms you have to wear gloves and masks because you don’t want to be exposed too much to their spores,” he said. “So these safety measures are normal for me.”  The markets, in Pioneer Alley, is open until 2 p.m. today (Ian Austin/

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