RICHFIELD SPRINGS – The U.S. Commerce Department has approved a $1.2 million grant to establish the Richfield Springs Eco-Industrial Business Park, Otsego Now, the county’s economic development agency, announced today.
The Economic Development Administration grant, to be matched with $325,000 in state funds and $875,000 in local funds, is expected to generate more than $10.5 million in private investment, the announcement said.
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – A Richfield Springs man was arrested after he allegedly threatened two teenagers with a knife, according to a release from State Police, Troop C.
Thomas A. Niznik, 45, allegedly approached two teenagers on James Street in the Village of Richfield Springs. The teens told the police that they had stopped when the chain broke on one of their bikes.
CELEBRATE – 5 – 8 p.m. Celebrate our progress since the official end of slavery with food, music and art. Also, learn about all the work that still needs to be done. Please wear a mask & practice social distancing. Includes speakers at 6 with candlelight vigil at 7:45 p.m. Neahwa Park, Oneonta. Visit www.facebook.com/events/275119526873479/ for info.
MILFORD – In an average shopping trip, Laura Eggleston, Milford Food Pantry director, might buy 1,100 pounds of food to serve their 39 households.
On Monday, April 13, she placed an order for 4,300 pounds. “In these last two weeks, we’ve served 56 families,” she said. “That’s 193 individuals.”
As the COVID-19 crisis deepens, food banks across the county are seeing “a dramatic uptick,” said Maj. Cheryl Compton, Salvation Army. “Everyone just paid rent and many of them haven’t gotten their unemployment this month.”
Many of them are new customers, noted Julia Perdue, Cooperstown Food Pantry director. “We served 29 new households last month,” she said. “In all, we served 219 families. That’s our highest since 2007.”
“We’ve already seen 15 new people this month,” said Joyce Mason, director, St. James Food Pantry. “And it’s going to get worse the longer this goes on.”
However, she noted, the evening feeding ministry, The Lord’s Table, has seen a decline in people coming for the take-out hot meals. “It’s a social thing for them,” she said. “People want to sit down, and not being able to do so is difficult for them, so they don’t come.”
In Richfield Springs, Polly Renckens has seen the same influx of new clients herself, but worries the poor weather – or fears about COVID-19 exposure or that food may have run out – is keeping some former clients away.
“We have plenty of food!” she assured. “If we don’t see some people soon, we’re going to start calling individually to check on them.”
At many of the pantries, visitors are given a “shopping list” where they can check off what they need and want. “Client choice maintains dignity and alleviates food waste,” said Purdue. “If we give someone something they don’t want, it’s just going to go to waste on a shelf.”
The groceries are packed and bagged by volunteers – in masks and gloves – and then taken curbside for the client to pick up, contact-free. “We make every effort to protect the safety of our volunteers and clients,” said Renckens.
And so that no one goes hungry, Stacie Haynes, executive director, Susquehanna SPCA, started
a pet food pantry to help families stretch their budgets in tight times. The pantry has
been placed outside of the shelter so that people can maintain social distancing.
But, she noted, if someone can’t get to the pantry, a volunteer will take the food to them.
And although the pantries are seeing a rise in need for the pantries, they’re also seeing a rise in donations.
“We’ve raised $1,000 in the last month,” said Eggleston. “A dollar buys $10 of food from the regional food bank.”
“People are donating anything they can,” said Mason. “And we’re getting a lot of help from organizations.”
Even between pantries, there’s sharing. “If I have an excess of anything, I call around to see who needs it,” said Mason. “That’s just how I do it. We have to help each other out.”
But however long this lasts, Eggleston assures people that the pantry will always be there to help their neighbors.
“As long as we have food, we’ll hand it out,” she said.
STATE OF THE STATE – 11:45 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Hear from your elected officials in local, county, state, federal government on the State of Otsego County. Learn about legislation & initiatives that may impact your business. Featuring Antonio Delgado, James Seward, John Salka, others. Cost, $40/non-member. Otsego Grill, Morris Hall, SUNY Oneonta. 607-432-4500 or visit otsegocc.com
“The road was icy, but we don’t believe that was a contributing factor,” said Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr.
According to Devlin, the driver of the vehicle consented to be tested at the scene, and showed no signs of impairment. “He is being fully cooperative and has agreed to talk to us,” he said. “At this point, we don’t believe this was intentional.”
By JIM KEVLIN & LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Nine people were injured and four other vehicles crushed when a state fire marshal’s truck careened through this village’s Main Street at about 4 p.m. today, coming to a stop when it smashed into the front steps of the Post Office.
The fire marshal’s truck was headed east on Main Street when it suddenly accelerated, smashing into one vehicle in the vicinity of Richfield Springs Central School, then a second vehicle at Lake and Main, next to the village’s landmark clock.
Water-logged trails and a lot of mud didn’t seem to slow down 82 teams of dog racers in Richfield Springs this morning during the Dryland Sled Dog Challenge, part of the International Sled Dog Racing Association. Landowner Steven Davis, seen above driving a team during the six-dog event, is an 11-year veteran of dog racing and hosted the event on his land on Millstone Road. Teams came from Michigan, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, as well at the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. While racers waited for their turn, they could stop by the concession stand and grab a burger made by Danny Garbera, Richfield Springs, and Dennis Dorn, Springfield Center, (inset photo), who were representing the Canadarago Snow Toppers. Also helping out with dog handling were members of the Richfield Springs Youth Sports group. The races continue tomorrow starting at 8am. (Ian Austin/AllOTSEGO.com)
CONCERT – 6:30 – 8 p.m. Local singer/songrwriter Khalil Jade performs original works at the Major’s Inn. Free will donations. Proceeds go to inn’s restoration. 104 Marion Ave., Gilbertsville. 607-783-2967 or visit www.themajorsinn.com
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.