News of Otsego County

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

Southside Mall

Oneonta DAR Builds Constitution Display At Southside Mall

DAR Display At Mall

Honors Constitution

In honor of National Constitution Week, the Oneonta chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has put together a display on the document at the Southside Mall, commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.  From left are DAR members Jeanne Westcott, Helen Rees and Linda Riddell. The display is near Bath and Body Works and will remain up through Sept. 23.
Harbor Freight Tools Opens May 15 At Mall

Harbor Freight Tools

Opens May 15 At Mall

ONEONTA – Harbor Freight Tools, America’s leading retailer of quality tools at the lowest prices, will celebrate the grand opening of its new store in Southside Mall at 8 a.m. Wednesday, May 15.

“We’re excited to serve customers in the great city of Oneonta,” said Jennifer Oates, store manager, in a press release.  “At Harbor Freight, we’re passionate about providing our customers with the tools they need to get the job done, and always at an affordable price.”

Sign Of The Season

Sign Of The Season

Noah Tejada, 5, and Xavier Baranona, 1 year, four months, were up from Sidney at Southside Mall in Oneonta this morning to meet the other BMOC of the Season – the Easter Bunny. Palm Sunday is tomorrow, and Easter Sunday, April 28. (Jim Kevlin/
Southside May Become Center of Renewable Energy

Town May Follow City’s Suit

Southside Could Become

Geothermal Energy Center

Jay Egg, CEO, Geo Egg, inset photo, speaks about heating Southside Mall with geothermal energy at a packed Oneonta Town Board meeting this evening in West Oneonta, as Town Board member Randal Mowers listens.  “The writing is on the wall,” Egg said about future energy use.  Municipalities and counties like Westchester are already declaring moratoriums on expanding natural-gas use while the state is green-lighting renewable energy.  The Town of Oneonta is considering installing a geothermal heating system in Southside and other parts of the municipality, while the City of Oneoneta this week contracted with Geo Egg for a feasibility study on retrofitting a geothermal heating system in South Main Street.  (Jennifer Hill/

Annual Canstruction Event Yields Over 1 Ton of Food

Canstruction Construction

Yields Over Ton Of Food

Linda Drake, SUNY Oneonta’s Center for Social Responsibility & Community executive director, presents Abe Lippitt, Cooperstown, with the Best Meal Award for his 4H team’s pirate-ship entry in this year’s Canstruction event. The 0415 FIRST Robotics team took the Structural Integrity Prize for its rocket ship; Fox Hospital, Best Use of Labels award for its Operation board game, and SUNY took the Judge’s Favorite award with its soccer field. All in all, the event brought in 2,645 pounds of food that will be donated to area food banks. You can still place your vote for the People’s Choice Award at the Southside Mall throughout the week. (Ian Austin/
Stores May Come, Go, Southside Mall Endures

Stores May

Come, Go,

Southside Mall Endures

Jim Kevlin/ –  Southside Mall Manager Luisa Montanti catches up with Kay Jeweler’s Manager Bob McCann, who says he’s seen sales rise 20 percent this year.

With 36 Tenants, Manager Montanti Says Entertainment Will Invigorate County’s Largest Warm, Covered Space


ONEONTA – On Feb. 19, the national chain, Payless Shoesource, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it is closing its 2,500 North American stores, including one in Southside Mall.
That made it a local news story.
But right down the marble-tiled mezzanine, the expansive Shoe Department is doing so well it’s looking to expand, Mall Manager Luisa Montanti will tell you.


Renewable Energy & Economic

Development Panel Discussion


ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – 7 – 9 p.m. Join panel to discuss Economic development, renewable energy possibilities, existing conservation/renewable energy programs, more with Karl Seeley professor of economics at Hartwick, Dan Butterman candidate for NYS Assembly district 121, Leslie Orzetti executive director Otsego County Conservation Association. Followed by Q&A session. Elm Park Methodist Church, 401 Chestnut St., Oneonta. Visit

Farewell, Mrs. Claus!

Farewell, Mrs. Claus!

Mrs. Claus, aka Vera Stewart, seen at her post outside of JCPenney at the Southside Mall (Ian Austin/

By IAN AUSTIN • Special to

Steve Hughes, Gilbertsville, gives Mrs. Claus a big Christmas hug.

ONEONTA – The end of the Christmas season will mark the end of an era for a Southside Mall mainstay.

For over two decades, Vera Stewart, aka Mrs. Claus, has been volunteering for the Salvation Army by ringing bells and holding doors at her station outside of JCPenney, spreading cheer to holiday shoppers. Dressed in red velvet with white trim, the Southside Mrs. Claus has become a mainstay of the Christmas season to many visitors young and old.

“When they first asked me to be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army, I decided to try it.” said Stewart, “I began doing it only on weekends, then I went to five days a week.”

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21 Railroad Ave. Cooperstown, New York 13326 • (607) 547-6103