News of Otsego County

otsego county news

THIS WEEK — July 15, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

July 15, 2021


Artist’s rendering for the Chestnut Crossing property proposed for 10 Chestnut St. in Cooperstown shows the frontage of the project, second from right, as it would look while blending in with the remainder of the houses on the street. The project was approved by the Cooperstown Village Trustees, but still must get approval from 3 other Village Boards.


Cooperstown Trustees approve Chestnut Project

AllOtsego people: Mattice excited about new city role

Junior Livestock Show returns with a barnyard of fun

Cooperstown & Around

City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

After COVID delay, Cooperstown teacher plans overseas trip for 2022

Rotary announces 2021 award winners

Otsego County opts into pilot hunting program for kids 12, 13

Student News



The Old Badger: Miller place brings back old memories of summer


DeROSA: Garlic harvest is one of my favorite routines

BERKSON: Remembering the sad story of a Soviet Prisoner

History Columns

Bound Volumes: July 15, 2021

Hometown History: July 15, 2021


GEERTGENS: Writer explains ‘what schools should teach’

Editors Policy


Clark gym becomes summer basketball gathering spot

Schenevus, Cooperstown players make All-State softball teams

VASCELLARO: Baseball has come a long way since the pandemic shut it down

Hall of Fame launches YouTube series of historic moments


Jill Maney

Robert C. Sharp

John D. Robinson

Cheri L. Kline

Summer Dreams

The Glimmerglass adapts

An opera primer: Glimmerglass regular explains the basics of the genre

Best Bets

Staff Dining Picks

This Week — June 3, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

June 3, 2021


Rep. Antonio Delgado samples a chocolate-flavored whiskey at the Cooperstown Distillery during a tour Thursday, May 27. Get the full story in this week’s edition of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta.


Education company seeks to fill camp void

AllOtsego people: Milford graduate helping with pandemic relief in Nepal

Cooperstown & Around

City of the Hills

Tour Time

Cooperstown Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk, left, and Otsego 2000 Executive Director Ellen Pope, to Falk’s left, talk about the architecture of an 1800s Federal-style house at 30 Lake St. in Cooperstown, which is known as the oldest corner of the village. The two women gave an architectural tour in the village Monday, May 31, sponsored by Otsego 2000 and the Cooperstown Graduate Program, where Falk is a professor. About 60 people were on two 90-minute trolley tours through the village Monday afternoon. Falk said a similar tour of Oneonta will take place sometime in the future. (Greg Klein/

Inside The Paper

Student News


Outlaws to return for 2021, home opener June 4

From state title to college hoops, Lambert looks for his shot


The Old Badger: Automobiles led to the last of the Mohican

LGBTQ+ rights are still fragile


Editors Policy

New York must address rural EMS issues before a crisis occurs


BERKSON: Whistling with my fingers, thinking of songs

History Columns

Bound Volumes: June 3, 2021

Hometown History: June 3, 2021


Major Richard (Dick) Bratton

Joseph S. Harris

Summer Dreams

Keith Haring: Radiant Vision

Best Bets

Staff Dining Picks

THIS WEEK — May 20, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 20, 2021


Fly Creek Fire Department junior members, from left, Lt. Eric Deysenroth, Connor Voulo, Troy Hight and Wayton Cassell pose Monday, May 17, in Fly Creek. Read more in ‘Junior firefighters provide big lift to Fly Creek department.’


Police review leaves behind serious debates

Help wanted: Businesses struggle to find workers

After year of COVID, SUNY Oneonta bids grads farewell

Cooperstown & Around & City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Junior firefighters provide big lift to Fly Creek department

AllOTSEGO people: Post-rally, Bohler’s life is that of average teen

Art Garage to hold open studio, final viewing

Members of the Arc Otsego leadership team on Academy Street in Oneonta wave goodbye Friday, May 14, to Pat Knuth, the outgoing executive director, who has worked for the Arc for more than 30 years. May will be her last full month with the agency. (Korey Rowe/


For Mead, family separation became too tough

Coop baseball stays undefeated with big conference wins

Caden Keto, 3, of Westford, plays soccer Friday, May 14, at the Oneonta Family YMCA on Ford Avenue, during an outdoor session with, ‘Coach Jason.’ (Korey Rowe/


Robert Badger Seaver: The Badger

The return of the Old Badger: ‘The First of the Mohican’

The myth of the ‘good minority’ hurts everyone


Editors Policy

LEVINE: Foundation stresses needs of community


BERKSON: Pen pal letters brought good news from France

History Columns

Bound Volumes: May 20, 2021

Hometown History: May 20, 2021

Artist experiments with different forms at CANO

Concert series to return with Oshima Brothers


Claud D. Fold

John G. Goddard

Patrick R. Materazzo

Yvonne F. Page

Jonathan A. Graham

Lawrence J. “Butch” Weill Jr.

This Week — May 13, 2021


The Freeman’s Journal • Hometown Oneonta

May 13, 2021


Yuliah Johnson, a senior at Oneonta High School, drives a kick ball during a game with her classmates on the turf Friday, May 7. (Korey Rowe/


Otsego preps for hiring new administrator

Tourism promoter: Focus different for 2021

Cooperstown & Around

City of the Hills

Inside The Paper

Duo sentenced for series of gas station robberies

Schools face budget votes Tuesday; prepare for graduations

Community Foundation announces $2 million fund, initial campaign success

Master Gardeners to return May 29

Cooperstown couple wins recognition for care of senior citizens at center

Morning Glow

The mist steams off of the water in Colliersville near state Route 7 on Friday, May 7. (Korey Rowe/


Coop’s bats too much for Oneonta in softball

Unatego’s Couperthwait pitches no-hitter vs UV/GMU

Roundup: Hawkeye staff no hits Herkimer; Milford wins softball opener


The question is not why, but why would you not cover sports?


Hatred of Asians isn’t new, but support helps

Views Around New York


Rainy Day Runoff

Heavy rains in the area have caused even the smallest streams to become ferocious waterways as seen at this unnamed creek off Evening Inn Road just outside of Oneonta on Friday, May 7. (Korey Rowe/


Editors Policy

NORTHRUP: Proposed apartments better than existing eyesores


History Columns

Bound Volumes: May 13, 2021

Hometown History: May 13, 2021

Pandemic Proof? Canoe & Kayak plans expansion

Puppet theater to return to Oneonta

The Dog Charmer

Spring Chicks

A robin feeds its two recently hatched chicks in a backyard gazebo near River Street in Oneonta. American robin hatchlings typically take about two weeks before they fledge and are ready to leave the nest. (Jacob Forster Rothbart/



Douglas Stratton Felder

David Damon Jeffres

Jeanne W. Carey

Mary Ellen Budro

Clayton Harvey Bantham Jr.

Sarah McLean

Valerie Louise Porter

Debra L. MacClintock

Richard M. Rumenapp

Charles W. Holcomb

Local Publishing Company Under New Ownership

Local Publishing Company
Under New Ownership

Tara Barnwell promoted to publisher;
Greg Klein named editor;
ownership remains In local hands

Tara Barnwell today succeeds Jim Kevlin as publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and (Larissa Ryan/

COOPERSTOWN – As of Friday, April 16, Iron String Press, Inc, publisher of The Freeman’s Journal, Hometown Oneonta and 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.

For Whom The Bell Tolls

For Whom The Bell Tolls

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/

Oneonta Attorney Gouldin Runs To Succeed Bernier

Oneonta Attorney Gouldin

Runs To Succeed Bernier

Robert Gouldin

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.

Sally A. Beams, 86; Postmaster, Firefighter, Town Historian

IN MEMORIAM: Sally A. Beams, 86;

Postmaster, Firefighter, Town Historian

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.

Wind, Warm Weather Open Up Otsego Lake


Wind, Warm Weather

Open Up Otsego Lake

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/

Bells Will Be Tolled, Once For Each Local C-19 Victim

Presbyterians Plan Tribute Saturday

Bells Will Be Tolled, Once

For Each Local C-19 Victim

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.






New Names: Jastremski, Ross, Catan;

2 Democrats Vying To Face Brockway


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.



After 19 Years, Bernier To Retire As City Judge


After 19 Years, Bernier

To Retire As City Judge

Judge Bernier

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.

Oberacker To Urge Probe In Nursing-Home Deaths


Oberacker To Urge Probe

In Nursing-Home Deaths

Senator Oberacker speaks with Anne Brancati, from Voices for Seniors advocacy group, after the “We Care” Remembrance Day memorial event in Albany today. Anne’s mother, Eleanor Ablett Brancati, 86, passed away Jan. 25 at the Fort Hudson Nursing Home in Fort Edward. (Jeff Bishop photo)

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.

$7.4M Grant Fuels Broadband March

$7.4M Grant Fuels
Broadband March

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Customer as well as CEO, Tim Johnson, with wife Vicki, enjoy Broadband at their rural Edmeston home. (Jim Kevlin/

Hickling’s Fish Farm Inc. is exactly what Otsego Electric President/CEO Tim Johnson is talking about.

In tanks inside four sizeable modern buildings on Pitts Road near here, the Hicklings are growing 65-70,000 trout yearlings annually, and another 20-30,000 pounds of 2-year-old bass, which – a delicacy in Thai and other cultures – are sold to Asian markets in Boston and other East Coast cities.

“The big money we’re spending now is in technology,” said Darren Hickling, a civil engineer who operates the business with his parents, Vincent and Linda, a nephew and one of the nephew’s high-school buddies.

With the county’s outmigration, Hickling said he can’t expand his workforce even if he wanted to: There’s no one to hire.

“It” – Broadband – “was an economic-development initiative for us,” said Johnson, who had been outside legal counsel to Otsego Electric for 25 years before becoming the top executive in 2015.

As a 501(c)(12), Otsego Electric – a cooperative founded during the Depression, owned by members to serve members – Otsego Electric is prohibited from making profits.

2 Democrats Challenge Oneonta Town Justices

2 Democrats Challenge

Oneonta Town Justices

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

WEST ONEONTA – A rare contest is shaping up for Oneonta town justice, where two Republican incumbents are being challenged by two Democrats.

On the Republican side, incumbents Sean Farrell and Karen Liddle announced they are running again.

On the Democratic side, Tim Gibson, a 33-year registered nurse in Fox Hospital’s operating room has announced his candidacy.  And local lawyer Bill Schebaum is also planning a run, according to Town Supervisor Bob Wood.

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