News of Otsego County

Serving Otsego County, NY, through the combined reporting of Cooperstown's Freeman's Journal and the Hometown Oneonta newspapers.

Richfield Springs news

IN MEMORIAM: Val Frank Oliver, 67; Veteran, Devoted Family Man

IN MEMORIAM: Val Oliver, 67;

Vietnam Veteran, Family Man

Val Frank Oliver

WATERVILLE – Val Frank Oliver, 67, a Vietnam veteranpassed away peacefully after an extended illness on Monday, Sept. 9, 2019 in Bassett Medical Center, Cooperstown.   He had the support and comfort of his loving family at his side.

He was one of 22 children. Hwas born on Feb. 14, 1952 in Ilion, son of the late Frank E. and Ruth McCumber Oliver.  He was raised and educated in Brookfield.  He first worked on his family’s farm.

Ida Marie Miller, 94; She, Husband Warner, Celebrated 70th

IN MEMORIAM: Ida Marie Miller, 94;

She, Husband Warner, Celebrated 70th

Ida Mae Miller

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Ida Marie Miller, 94, who celebrated her 70th wedding anniversary with husband Warner last week, passed away peacefully on Saturday evening, Sept. 7, 2019, in her home after an extended illness.  She had the support and comfort of her loving family at her side.  

She was born on Feb. 4, 1925, in Little Falls, daughter of the late Antonio and Sarafina Evangelista BiscontiA lifelong area resident she was raised and educated in Little Falls.  

50 Runners Mark 20th Of Route 20 Challenge

50 Runners Mark 20th

Of Route 20 Challenge

Lafayette-To-Duanesburg Relay Unites

Participants In Smaller Runs On Stretch

Participants line up at Clancy’s Banquet Hall in West Winfield Saturday morning for the the Route 20 Road Challenge 20th anniversary run, a relay from Lafayette to the west and Duanesburg from the east.
“The Rockin’ Chicks,” who ran 20 relay laps, are cheered on reaching their destination.

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – The Route 20 Road Challenge marked its 20th anniversary Saturday, and 50 runners in small communities along the route took part in a relay covering the entire distance of the Route 20 Scenic Byway between Duanesburg to Lafayette..

“We first heard of this at a planning meeting for the (Road Challenge) banquet, said Kevin Hoehn from Rome, the Road Challenge’s unofficial ambassador.  Bill Kosina of Richfield Springs, co-chairman, “comes up with some great ideas and really carries them through. It’s amazing.”

Dennis C. Mang, 69; Worked At Remington, Bassett, ARC

IN MEMORIAM: Dennis C. Mang, 69;

Worked At Remington, Bassett, ARC

Dennis C. Mang

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Dennis C. Mang, 69, of Richfield Springs, passed away unexpectedly on Friday Aug. 9, 2019, in Cooperstown.

Dennis was born on Jan. 2, 1950 in Cooperstown, the son of the late Charles F. and Elsie Mae Cardarelli Mang. A lifetime resident of the area, Dennis attended Richfield Springs Central School before serving in the Air Force from 1969 to 1973.

Dennis was employed with CP, Remington Arms, Bassett Hospital, Sitrin Home and the ARC.

Elliott M. Helfand, 100; Ran Department Store In Downtown Richfield


Elliott M. Helfand, 100;

Ran Department Store

In Downtown Richfield

Elliott M. Helfand

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Elliot Meyer Helfand, 100, proprietor of Ruby’s Department Store here for many years, passed away on Sunday morning July 28, 2019, in Windsor of Venice Hospice Care, Venice, Fla., with his loving wife, Marty, at his side.  They resided in Englewood, Fla.

He was born on Jan. 12, 1919, in New York City, son of the late Reuben and Rose Osowitz Helfand.  He was educated in Brushton, Franklin County, where his parents also operated a department store, and went on to Michigan State University and Clarkson University. where he earned a bachelor’s.

Emotional Ceremony Sends 29 Seniors Out Into World


Emotional Ceremony Sends

29 Seniors Out Into World

Alicia Marie Gee listens tearfully at this morning’s commencement ceremonies at Richfield Springs Central School, where 29 seniors were sent forth into the world. Inset, Valedictorian Jacob Calta listens to a praiseful introduction by High School Principal Joseph D’Apice as he prepares to delivery his Valedictory. Next to him is Salutatorian Mashayla Davis. The ceremony included the traditional slide show that traced the Class of 2019’s progress through the 13 grades. (Jim Kevlin/

Green Cow Features Local Grass-Fed Beef

Grown Here, Now Savored Here

Green Cow Features

Local Grass-Fed Beef

Partners in life, Doug and Carrie Thompson are now also partners in the Green Cow, the county’s first grass-fed beef butcher shop. (Jim Kevlin/

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

COOPERSTOWN – Doug Thompson doesn’t have anything against toppings, but he believes, at least for the first bite, the meat should speak for itself.

“It will really surprise you when you realize that meat has flavor,” he said.

Monday, June 24, he and wife Carrie opened a butcher shop, The Green Cow, at 21 Railroad Ave., and for the first time local grass-fed beef – a growing ag sector for a decade – is available to local shoppers.

Vendors Reveal Favorite Flavors, How To Mix ‘Em


Vendors Reveal

Favorite Flavors,

How To Mix ‘Em

Katie Entwistle-Eddy samples Black Cherry ice cream on one of Mr. Shake’s homemade waffle cones. In the background, you can see the fountain on the redone miniature golf course. (Ian Austin/SUMMER DREAMS)

By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Growing up, Katie Entwistle-Eddy knew if she wanted a cold treat on a hot summer day, Mr. Shake on Route 28 was the place to go.

“This place has been here for more than 30 years,” she said. “Whenever my family went out for ice cream, we came here.”

Later, she got a job there.

In the window at Oneonta’s Lizard Lick, Cheyanne Horth offers one of the specialty ice-cream sandwiches, made from those luscious M&M cookies from owner Dave Zummo’s nearby Latte Lounge

And, in 2015, her parents Jim and Beth bought the ice cream parlor and mini golf course from owner Rich Hiltz. “I worked here for so long that it made sense for me to run it,” said Katie.

Though Hiltz used homemade ice cream, Entwistle-Eddy switched to Perry’s, Turkey Hill and Gifford’s ice cream to expand the flavor options – and offerings.

“We make our own waffle cones, so we do a waffle taco sundae,” she said. “Your choice of ice cream, plus two toppings.”

You can also get a cold one for your faithful friend: a scoop of soft vanilla with a dog bone.

On average, Mr. Shake goes through 200 gallons of soft-serve a week, including wild flavors like pistachio and orange creamsicle, plus 45 gallons of hard ice cream over 15 flavors.

But you don’t just go for ice cream – once you finish your cone, you can play a round of mini-golf on one of the newest courses in the county. “When we bought it, we demolished the old course,” Katie said. “We had it completely rebuilt.”

The new course, she said, even features a waterfall.

Descendants On Hand To Honor Revolutionary War Hero

Descendants On Hand

To Honor Revolutionary War Hero

A new roadside marker honoring American Revolution War hero Adam Helmer was unveiled in a dedication ceremony today at 11:30 a.m. in Richfield Springs” Spring Park, with some of his descendants observing the dedication pictured here: Mary Helmer, left, her brother, Bill Helmer, and Marie Skinner Guerra. The roadside marker stands at the approximate location where Hembler crossed Route 20 during a 30-mile “meandering” run after he escaped an ambush led by Chief Joseph Brant on Helmer’s scouting group near South Edmeston. As he ran, Helmer warned settlers about Chief Brant’s party of Mohawk Indians, which earned him the name, “The Paul Revere of the Mohawk Valley,” Helmer is credited with having saved more than 200 settlers’ lives. Marie Guerra is one of Adam Helmer’s direct descendants and recalls her grandfather, Clyde Helmer telling her and her siblings about their ancestor. Mary and Bill Helmer are descendants of George Helmer, Adam’s brother, who was also a Revolutionary War scout. Another descendant, Steve Oldick, 73, was at the ceremony but left before this picture was taken. His mother, Edna Helmer Oldick, was Adam’s great-great-great-great-great granddaughter. Richfield Springs Mayor Robin Moshier and Assemblyman John Salka spoke at the ceremony.(Jennifer Hill/
Richfield’s Zoning Plan Will Give More Options Than Are Available Now

Richfield’s Zoning Plan

Will Give More Options

Than Are Available Now

To the Editor:

The Town of Richfield and the Village of Richfield Springs were given a tremendous gift from the IDA in 2015 by funding the hiring of professionals to help us create a Comprehensive Plan and update the Town Zoning Law that were created in 1992.

The Joint Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Village in December 2017, and by the Town in January 2018.

This Joint Comprehensive Plan received The Comprehensive Plan award in April from the New York State Planning Federation. The next step is to update the Town Zoning Law to meet the Comprehensive Plan.

Our original law created in 1992 had 23 allowed uses, and then in 2005 and 2006 the allowed uses were stripped down to six allowed uses under then Supervisor Palevsky, and allowing other uses by “special permit.”

The updated zoning has 73 allowed uses and they are very broadly defined uses. This will allow us to market our town to businesses that fit the character of the community.

Before businesses will consider a town, they want to know that they are “allowed” and they want to know what else is “allowed” so their investment isn’t negatively impacted by having a business next door that would hurt their investment.

Mr. Palevsky obviously doesn’t like zoning at all, but without good zoning laws your community becomes a dumping ground for unwanted projects, property values can suffer, as well as the quality of life for the residents.

Mr. Palevsky has misrepresented the updated zoning law with false statements very publicly for months in a shameful attempt to scare people. The updated zoning actually gives people more rights than they have currently, and it will help us create the prosperous community that Richfield can be.

Member, Comprehensive Plan Committee
Zoning Commission, Town of Richfield

Caroline A. Sarafin, 74; Operated Jordanville Farm With Husband

IN MEMORIAM:  Caroline A. Sarafin, 74;

Operated Jordanville Farm With Husband

Caroline Sarafin

COOPERSTOWN – Caroline A. Sarafin, 74,who ran a dairy farm in Jordanville with her husband, passed away peacefully on Wednesday morning Nov. 21, 2018, in the Clara Welch Thanksgiving Home in Cooperstown.

She was born on July 15, 1944, in Herkimer, daughter to the late Frank and Eleanor Kroll. Caroline was raised and educated in Richfield Springs graduating Richfield Springs Central School with the Class of 1962.

On July 31, 1971 she married Leon Sarafin in St. Joseph’s Church in Richfield Springs, a blessed union of 39 years until his passing on Nov. 15, 2010. Caroline was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker who helped her husband run the Valley-Hi Dairy Farm in Jordanville.





AT RTES. 20, 80

A driver’s body was removed from this crumpled red Buick Lacrosse in today’s 2:45 p.m. fatal crash that also sent Sheriff’s Deputy James Mateunas to a Bassett Hospital operating room.  The driver’s identity has not yet been released, but an eyewitness said he saw the driver in a altercation with a woman, Robin Church, at the State Police barracks in Richfield Springs.  The driver fled the barracks with troopers in pursuit, and deputies joined the chase, which ended when the fleeing car collided head-on with Mateunas’ cruiser at the junction of Routes 20 and 80, Kelly’s Corners, at the north end of Springfield Center.  Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr. is at the scene at this hour, and details will be reported as they become available.  (Jennifer Hill/
Frances J. Marriott, 96, Raised Along With 6 Brothers, 6 Sisters

IN MEMORIAM: Frances J. Marriott, 96,

Raised Along With 6 Brothers, 6 Sisters

Frances Marriott

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frances J. Marriott, 96, one of 13 brothers and sisters from Edmeston, passed away peacefully on Thursday morning May 16, 2019 in Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, Utica.  She had the support and comfort of her loving family at her side.  

She was born on March 3, 1923, in Edmeston, daughter of the late Charles and Nora Caulder Marriott.  A lifelong area resident, she was educated in West Burlington and West Winfield public schools.  In 1940 she moved from West Burlington to Richfield Springs.  

For many years she worked for General Electric in Utica, retiring in 1977.  

Edith I. Acres, 94; Pop’s Place Owner  To Be Laid To Rest

IN MEMORIAM: Edith I. Acres, 94;

Pop’s Place Owner  To Be Laid To Rest

HERKIMER – The funeral service for Edith I. Acres, 94, who used to operate Pop’s Place in Richfield Springs, is planned at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Springfield Center Cemetery on Route 20.

Mrs. Acres passed away Tuesday, Nov. 27,  in Little Falls Hospital.

She was born on May 18, 1924, in Mohawk, a daughter to the late Irvin and Laura Robertson-Pett.  She was raised and educated in Mohawk, graduating from Mohawk High School.

Frank Kasprowicz, 82; Farmer Led Snowtopper Snowmobilers


Frank Kasprowicz, 82; Farmer

Led Snowtopper Snowmobilers

Frank Kasprowicz

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frank Kasprowicz, 82, second president of what became the Canadarago Snowtoppers’ snowmobiler club, passed away on Saturday morning, April 27, 2019, at Foltsbrook Rehabilitation & Nursing Home in Herkimer.

He was born on the family farm in South Columbia on Nov. 10, 1936, son of the late Frank and Ida Siedletska Kasprowicz.

Mr. Kasprowicz was the snowmobile club’s second president and worked to incorporate it as the Canadarago Snowtoppers. He also was an Agway committeeman and member of the Polka League of the Mohawk Valley.

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