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

Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87; Retired OR Nurse At Bassett


Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87;

Retired OR Nurse At Bassett

Barbara Roberts

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Barbara Atwell Roberts, 87, formerly of Richfield Springs and a retired operating room nurse at Bassett Hospital in Cooperstown, died Feb. 21, 2019, of heart failure at Concord Hospital in Concord, N.H.

She lived at Havenwood Heritage Heights in Concord for the past nine years.

Raised in the Baptist church, Barb’s unshakable faith guided and strengthened her throughout her life, in happy times and sad times. She lost her son at age 10 and survived domestic abuse. “Let your life speak,” say the Quakers, and Barb did so, with her gentle and forgiving nature, optimism, generosity, and most of all, loving kindness. She walked “cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone.”

With Gas Aplenty, Andela Predicting Jobs For Richfield

With Gas Aplenty,

Andela Predicting

Jobs For Richfield


RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Andela Products President Cynthia Andela outlined her plans for a gas-fueled commerce park on 55 acres owned by Otsego Now south of this village to the Richfield Springs Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, Feb. 19.
When complete, she anticipates Andela and subsidiaries Ruby Lake Glass will be adding nine more jobs to their 20-job workforce.



Ice Harvest Fest At Mills


ICE HARVEST – 10 – 3 p.m. Participate in traditional ice harvest. Includes ice carving, ice fishing, horse-drawn sleigh rides, snowman village, hot soup buffet, food truck, blacksmithing, cooking demonstration, exhibits by local businesses, farmers. Cost, $9/adult. Hanford Mills Museum, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. 607-278-5744 or visit


Film Society Opening Night


OPENING NIGHT – 7 p.m. Returning for a second season, Film Society of Cooperstown presents “All The President’s Men” (1976) with after film discussion led by Will Walker, associate producer of history at CGP. Free, refreshments included. Village Ball Room, 22 Main St., Cooperstown. 607-437-6903 or visit

Richfield’s ‘Gentle Giants’ All-American Clydesdales

Richfield’s ‘Gentle Giants’
All-American Clydesdales

Wilson hugs her 2,000-pound babies, champions Captain Max, right, and Royal Rex.


Shown in the same arena as The famous Budweiser Clydesdales, Wilson’s Clydesdales brought home a total of six ribbons from the World Show, including 1st & 4th place single cart in the Make-A-Wish category, which collectively, brought in $20,000 to help realize a Dream for a much deserved Cancer patient. Captain Max took 5th in Halter class & Patrick took 9th, as well as two other team wins which included Royal Rex.With over 700 Clydesdales competing to be the best of the best at the 2018 World Clydesdale Show, Captain Max, Royal Rex and Patrick, of Rolling Meadows Clydesdales in Richfield Springs placed in all classes, culminating in nominations for the All-American Clydesdale Awards, their owner, Donna Wilson, reported.

They had a full summer of shows, with wins at the Midwest Regionals at the Wisconsin State Fair, Boone County Fair and the Nationals at the Iowa State Fair.



Arlene J. Burnside, 84; Worked For General Electric For 30 Years

IN MEMORIAM: Arlene J. Burnside, 84;

Worked For General Electric For 30 Years

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Arlene J. Burnside, 84, who for more than three decades  worked on the line for General Electric, passed away Saturday afternoon Dec. 22, 2018, in her home, with her family by her side.

She was born on June 14, 1934 in Cooperstown, a daughter to the late Ward C. and Dorothy M. Sheridan Fish. Raised and educated in Richfield, she graduated from Richfield Springs High School.

Red Sky At Night…

Red Sky At Night…

… delighted everyone between Richfield Springs and Schuyler Lake last evening, as the sun went down with a vengeance. As red skies predict, the sun came up again today, although rain and mixed weather are due to arrive from the south this afternoon. (Jim Kevlin/
Elwyn K. Sheldon, 77; Retired Union Contractor, Well Driller

IN MEMORIAM: Elwyn K. Sheldon, 77;

Retired Union Contractor, Well Driller

“Skip” Sheldon

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Elwyn K. “Skip” Sheldon, 77, of Division Street, a union contractor and well-driller, passed away peacefully on Monday Dec. 10, 2018 in his home.

Elwyn was born Feb. 11, 1941 in Herkimer, a son to the late Elwyn A. and Thelma Griffiths Sheldon. He was raised and educated in Richfield Springs.

Skip was a heavy equipment mechanic and a union contractor with Local 1249 IBEW. He also was in the well-drilling business for many years, retiring in 1995.

103 Without Power In County

103 Without Power County-Wide

Several households remain without power in Richfield Springs, where six inches of snow fell overnight. (Jim Kevlin/

COOPERSTOWN – 63 households in Pittsfield and 103 across the county are without power following last night’s snowstorm, according to NYSEG.

Six inches of snow fell in the Richfield Springs area, with temperatures currently around 32 degrees. In Jordanville, all 38 NYSEG customers are without power. In Cooperstown, five households remain without power, and in Springfield Center, 10 homes.

Frank J. Kranitz, 92, Richfield; WWII Vet Ran Lake-In-Pines

Frank J. Kranitz, 92, Richfield;

WWII Vet Owned Lake-In-Pines

Frank Kranitz

RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Frank Joseph Kranitz, 92, World War II veteran and owner of the Lake-n-Pines Motel on Otsego Lake for many years, passed away peacefully on Monday evening, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Saint Johnsville Rehabilitation Center in Montgomery County.

He was born on Oct. 12, 1926, in Woodside, Queens, son of the late Joseph and Mary Tones Kranitz. Frank was raised in Queens where he graduated high school.

After graduation, he answered the call of his country by enlisting in the Army during World War II.

‘Knowledge’ Is Our Future

Editorial for November 9, 2018

‘Knowledge’ Is Our Future

The Freeman’s Journal – Al Cleinman at Workforce Summit: a “knowledge economy” is our future.

This week’s Tom Morgan column on the facing page, and former DEC Commissioner Mike Zagata’s column last week capture the Upstate dilemma: Upstate is rebounding more slowly than any other area of the country.
First, let’s look at local bright spots.
• Custom Electronics in Oneonta is planning a futuristic 250-job production line making self-recharging batteries.
Andela Products, the Richfield Springs glass recycler, is likewise looking to expand. And Corning’s Oneonta plant is investing $11 million to ensure 150 jobs for the next 15 years.
• As or more important, as Spectrum dithers, Hartwick-based Otsego Electric Cooperative keeps expanding its broad-band ambitions, as the county Board of Representatives was told last month. The PT boat may outmaneuver the aircraft carrier.
• Even today, as the Otsego Chamber of Commerce and Senator Seward’s Workforce Summit was told last week, the challenge isn’t so much new jobs as finding people to fill existing jobs. RNs, code writers and CDL drivers can start tomorrow.

• What’s more, Hartwick College and SUNY Oneonta, Bassett and Fox Hospital, plus thriving Springbrook provide a solid economic base.
• To top it off, county Treasurer Allen Ruffles reports the county’s tax rate, thanks to vibrant tourism, is the lowest among the state’s 67 counties. It’s been low – but THE lowest!

All this is good. What’s lacking is a future: new and better kinds of jobs and salaries to keep our young people here and bring in new ones, and
a vision to get us there.
At that Workforce Summit – 80 people packed The Otesaga’s Fenimore Room Wednesday, Oct. 31 – the indefatigable Alan Cleinman, the Oneonta-based consultant to the national optometry sector, provided that vision:
“The future is knowledge-based industry” Cleinman declared. “The future is not industry.”
Knowledge workers: “software engineers, physicians, pharmacists, architects, engineers, scientists, design thinkers, public accountants, lawyers, and academics, and any other white-collar workers whose line of work requires the one to ‘think for a living,’” is how Wikepedia defines it.
In constant national travels, Cleinman has visited such boomtowns as Boise, Idaho, and Bozeman, Mont. – places truly in the middle of nowhere that embraced “knowledge-based industry” and are thriving.
He estimated Hartwick and SUNY Oneonta have 75,000 living graduates and create 1,500 new ones a year, many of whom would no doubt love to relive positive college experiences here and, while at it, make a living.
Cleinman’s idea is to collaborate with the colleges on a marketing campaign to bring some of these people back – a one-percent return is 750 professionals. And to raise
a $1 million venture-capital fund to help them do so.
Senator Seward immediately pledged to form a task force to pursue the “Come Home to Otsego County” campaign, plus a “Stay Home” campaign. Contacted later, Hartwick President Margaret Drugovich also expressed support.

In recent weeks, we’ve seen the deepening of a county rift that could stop any forward movement short: economic developers versus no-gas, no-way, no-how adherents.
Otsego 2000, the formidable and well-funded Cooperstown-based environmental group, has laid the groundwork to sue Otsego Now’s economic developers and the City of Oneonta if plans for a gas-compression station goes forward.
A “knowledge economy” requires some energy – a million-square-foot office building would require 5,800 gallons of propane a day to heat, Otsego Now’s Jody Zakrevsky estimated – but considerably less than manufacturing.
No-gas, no-how may not be feasible. But a “knowledge economy” may allow a balanced energy strategy that is palatable all around.
Otsego 2000 President Nicole Dillingham herself expressed considerable interest in Cleinman’s idea.
If it and other environmental groups could move from always “no” to occasionally “yes,” that would be good all around.

In short, Cleinman’s right on.
Bozeman, Boise and other knowledge economies got where they are by embracing four qualities: ingenuity, educational resources, money and
quality of life, he said.
“We have them all in Otsego County,” the proud native son from Gilbertsville declared. “What better place to live than in this amazing county?”
What better place indeed? Fingers crossed. Let’s see where it goes.


Lumberjacks, Woodworking,

More At Hanford Mills Festival


WOODSMEN’S FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Festival celebrates way people use, work with wood. Features lumberjack events, woodworking demonstrations, horse-drawn wagon rides, local vendors, mill tours, food, music, crafts, science exhibits, more. Cost, $9/adult. Hanford Mills, 51 Co. Hwy. 12, East Meredith. 607-278-5744 or visit

FALL ART SHOW – 1 – 3 p.m. Fall show features works by Leatherstocking Brush & Pallete Club, local artists. Includes bake sale to benefit Springfield Historical Society. Gym, Springfield Community Center, 29A, Springfield Center. 607-264-3375 or visit


Theatrical Performance

‘A Raisin In The Sun’


THEATER – 7:30 p.m. Performance of “A Raisin In The Sun” following the Youngers, a black family in a Chicago apartment, as matriarch awaits an insurance check and family debates what to do with it. General admission, $5. Hamblin Theater, SUNY Oneonta. Visit

WORD THURSDAY – 7 – 10 p.m. Writers are invited to share works at open mic followed by refreshments & featured author Kelly Bean, whose work discusses how we arrive at conclusions about literature, the world, what is knowledge; and Lisa Wujnovich, author of 2 poetry books ‘Fieldwork,’ ‘This Place Called Us.’ Bright Hill Press and Literary Center, 94 Church St., Treadwell. 607-829-5055 or visit

Two Arrested In Burglary At Richfield Liquor Store

Two Arrested In Burglary

At Richfield Liquor Store


RICHFIELD SPRINGS – Two 19-year-old are under arrest, charged in connection with a  burglary at Park View Liquor at Main and Lake, State Police here announced today.

Troopers received the complaint at 6 a.m. Sept. 6 from a passerby who reported the glass door of the liquor store was broken.  Four bottles of liquor were reported missing, totaling approximately $150.  The damage to the door was valued at approximately $495.

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