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

Oneonta Enjoys A Colorful 4th of July


Colors Abound

At Oneonta’s 4th

Dr. Joe Rufrano barrels through a cloud of color during the annual Color Run that kicked off today’s annual Hometown Fourth of July celebration in Neahwa Park.  The celebration continued with a parade at noon, followed with live music, food, vendors, bounce houses, demonstrations, and more. Fireworks will follow this evening night. (Ian Austin/
First Day For New Provost At Hartwick College

First Day At Hartwick College

For John Ehmann, Provost, VP

Dr. Bill Ehmann started as Hartwick College’s new Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs this morning. succeeding Dr. Michael Tannenbaum, who retired this year after a decade with the college. He’s returning to the area after working at Marymount University in Arlington, Va, and had previously been a provost at SUNY Plattsburg, an associate dean at Empire State College and on the faculty at Mercy College.  Dr. Leamor Kahanov from Misericordia University, Dallas, Pa., joins SUNY Oneonta next Monday as provost, the top academic post at colleges and universities.  (Ian Austin,
Doug MacArthur, 77; Unadilla Athlete Founded Trucking Firm

IN MEMORIAM: Doug MacArthur, 77;

Unadilla Athlete Founded Trucking Firm

Doug MacArthur

UNADILLA – Douglas Alexander MacArthur, 77, a professional truck driver who eventually founded his own company, MacArthur Trucking,  passed away peacefully at home in Wellington, Colo., on June 4, 2019, surrounded by his family in Northern Colorado.

Doug was born in Sidney on Jan. 11, 1942, to Mary Beardsley and John MacArthur. He spent most of his childhood in Riverside, Calif., where he enjoyed working in the orange groves with his uncles, riding his horse and fixing up old cars.

The MacArthur family resettled in Unadilla when Doug was a teenager. He enjoyed working in his father’s car shop on Route 7 and became a proud Unadilla athlete. He enjoyed playing football and basketball.

First UM Votes No On ‘Traditional Plan’


First UM Votes No

On ‘Traditional Plan’

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

ONEONTA – Members of Oneonta’s First United Methodist congregation tonight approved a “We Refuse” resolution that rejects the United Methodist Church’s reaffirmation of prohibitions against gay marriage and gay pastors.

The “We Refuse” resolution says the “Traditional Plan,” approved, 53 percent to 47 percent, at the UMC’s General Conference last February in St. Louis, is “incompatible with God’s all-inclusive love of and for everyone.”

From Deadly Arson, To Deadly Garments

From Deadly Arson,

To Deadly Garments

Front breaking news – Gabriel Truitt arrested in the Dec. 29 fatal first on Walling Avenue – to feature stories – a SUNY professor and his student raising the alarm on the dangers posed by the garments you wear – this week’s editions of The Freeman’s Journal and Hometown Oneonta contains a wide range of offerings. That includes the latest about OH-Fest cancellation of Rapper Sean Kingston’s concert and the ramifications on campus. Both newspapers are on newsstands around Otsego County this afternoon.
Chobani Doubles Grant Dollars for SC New York Economic Development

Chobani Doubles Grants

To Underwrite ‘Big Ideas,’

Bring Jobs To CNY Region

By JENNIFER HILL • Special to

WEST EDMESTON – Chobani has doubled its “impact fund” from $100,000 to $200,000 to award Central New York organizations that propose “big ideas” that “strengthen local economies…right at home,” a company spokesperson announced in a press release.

The company created a Community Impact Fund in 2018 for ideas to  “help expand economic opportunity and promote entrepreneurship in the regions where our employees live and work” – Otsego, Delaware, Chenango and Madison and Otsego counties.

Boys, Welcome To Baseball Mecca – Have A Joint


Boys, Welcome

To Baseball Mecca

– Have A Joint

The other day in downtown Cooperstown, a kitchen worker stepped out onto Main Street’s sidewalk in the middle of the day, lit a joint, took a few tokes and went back to work.

Just what we need: An American Needle “Male High” snapback baseball cap.

You might think, get used to it. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Legalization of marijuana, which the ascendant Democratic majorities in the state Legislature and Governor Cuomo expected to become law in January, has foundered over a number of issues.

When trouble arose, the governor’s fallback plan was to include legalization in the FY20 state budget that passed April 1.

A state budget is a cloak for a myriad of controversial issues. The single budget vote, required by April 1 under the state Constitution, gives assemblymen and state senators deniability if constituents try to make them accountable on any single issue – like, say, legalizing pot.

Hartwick E-Hub Students Share Experiences With Rotary


Hartwick E-Hub Students

Share ‘Liberal Arts In Action’

Rotarian (and Hartwick College president) Margaret L. Drugovich, above, introduces Hartwick students Allison Taft and Taylor Diepold, who spoke at today’s the Oneonta Rotary Club luncheon at The Elks Club.   Each Thursday this month, Hartwick is providing luncheon speakers to the local club.   Today’s topic was the “E-Hub Experience: Liberal Arts in Action” initiative.  Economics Professor Kristen Jones, at left,  explains how uncertainties in the future of the workforce led the college to develop the program, which helps students apply liberal arts training to hands-on problem solving.   Allison Taft spoke of the Applied Theater segment:  for instance, acting students are helping train nursing students by portraying patients’ ailments more realistically; in turn, the program helps the fledgling actors sharpen their skills.   Taylor Diepold described the development of an Agricultural Distribution Model to help local farmers get their produce to market. (Ian Austin/

RSS Housing Project Not Right For Oneonta
from Danny Lapin

RSS Housing Project

Not Right For Oneonta

To the Editor:

The proposed housing project by Rehabilitation Support Services (RSS) of Altamont in Oneonta’s Sixth Ward is a flawed development. RSS wants taxpayers to pay for it; they trying to circumvent public input and they’re using strong-arm tactics to get approval to start construction.

Therefore, I oppose it.

RSS wants to build a 64-unit project for low- and moderate-income people that will include 14 apartments reserved for individuals recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. Subsidized rents will range from $520 to $1,067, well below market rates for Oneonta.

Underage Drinking Initiative Checks 13 Shops, All Compliant

Underage Drinking Initiative

Checks 13 Shops, All Compliant

SIDNEY – Troop C’s Underage Drinking Initiative is commending 13 stores, 12 in Chenango County and one in Otsego, found in compliance during a two-county check conducted Friday.

The Otsego store was Mirabito Convenience Store, 81 South Broad St., Morris.

The other 12 stores included nine in Norwich and three in Sherburne.   Five were Mirabitos and the others were with various companies.

Fox Debuts Fantasy-Romance Novel At Green Toad

Fox Debuts Fantasy-Romance

 Novel At Green Toad

Amanda Fox, right, reads a passage from her new fantasy-romance novel “Rogue Fate” to friend Jess Brown, mother Donna Conrad, dad Gary and brother Scott, seen above, at the Green Toad on Saturday afternoon where she was signing copies. The book, the first book in The Rogue series, was released in January and is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kabo as an ebook, and an audiobook. Fox is currently working on the sequel “Dragon’s Scars”. More info on Fox and her books can be found at (Ian Austin/


We Must Decide

If We Want Them Here



County Board Must Give OK To Pot Stores

You can smoke it in Otsego County if marijuana is legalized – but can you sell it?
Legislation now being considered in Albany would legalize use of recreational marijuana statewide, but individual counties must decide whether dispensaries would be permitted to sell pot.
If such dispensaries were approved, the City of Oneonta, towns and village would be able to decide where they are allowed, when they can be open, and other aspects of their operation. Residents may be pleased to know that purchasing marijuana over the internet is gaining traction meaning that the need for a physical dispensary is reduced. Those who wish to Buy Weed Online can use sites like Triple Loud to do this.
Otsego County Rep. Meg Kennedy, C-Mount Vision, a new member of the state Association of Counties’s board, got a crash-course on legal pot’s prospective complexities at NYSAC’s 2019 Legislative Conference at the end of January.

PRESIDENTS & Otsego County

PRESIDENTS & Otsego County


FDR IN VAN HORNESVILLE: In 1931, GE President Owen D. Young, then the presumptive nominee for the Democrat nomination for President in 1932, invited New York Gov. Franklin D. Roosevelt to the dedication of the school in Van Hornesville that bears Young’s name. By 1932, FDR had outstripped Young for the Democratic nod, and went on to be elected President four times.

STILL NO TRUMP: Another year has gone by, but the current sitting president, Donald Trump, has still to make it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame or Otsego County generally. Surprising, given that, according to some reports, he was scouted for the Phillies and the Red Sox on graduating from high school, choosing to go to college and into his dad’s real-estate business instead.

HE DIDN’T SLEEP HERE: George Washington visited Otsego Lake’s outlet in 1783 to view where General Clinton blew up the dam that allowed his army aboard bateaux to surprise the Iroquois at Oquaga (Afton), disperse the tribe and open the way for New Englanders to settle Otsego County after the American Revolution. After a gala at Swanwick, the lakeside mansion, he reportedly rode on the Fort Plain that night.

It’s said Congressman George Fairchild hosted Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft at different times at
his mansion at Main Street and Grand Avenue, Oneonta, now the Masonic Temple. Fairchild, publisher of the Oneonta Herald, would later be first chairman of IBM.

The past three sitting presidents, Barack Obama, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton all visited the Baseball Hall of Fame at some point, Obama while he was still in office.

Delhi Culinary Earns Top Honors At Chili Bowl

Delhi Culinary Earns

Top Chili Bowl Honors

More people voted in this year’s 15th annual Chili Bowl in Oneonta than at any other in the history of the event. Guests and chefs waited in suspense for over an hour as CANO volunteers and staff sorted through more than 400 ballots, then announced a Caribbean-inspired dish from SUNY Delhi Escoffier Club members Jessica Shultis, Peter Blayne, John Gougoutris and Carly Yezzo, in top photo with CANO President Jim Maloney.  Maloney took both the Fireman’s Award and the People’s Choice Awards for Best Chili. Second place went to the Tulip & Rose of Franklin with The B-Side taking third place.  At right, Kirsten Gargash and daughter Skylar stir up their beef and venison chili before the first guests arrive. (Ian Austin/

The Snow Must Go On!

The Snow Must Go On!

OCCA Program Director Jeff O’Handley, right, leads Bridgette Hulbert, daughter Vivian, Jack and William Mokay, and Andrew Rock, all of Delhi, and Erin and Kathryn Dailey, both of Oneonta, on a snowshoeing hike at the annual Winter Fest at Gilbert Lake State Park this afternoon. At right, Tami-Lee Volgari, Oneonta, sleds down a hill with her daughter Eama-Lee. Visitors also enjoyed skiing, information sessions on winter camping and survival, as well as a bonfire. The event was hosted by OCCA and Five Star Subaru. (Ian Austin/

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