News of Otsego County

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




Fly A Kite At Cherry Valley Fest


KITE FESTIVAL – 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. All day outdoor kite fly for all. Includes Rev Riders Team Performances, Fighter Kite Battles, more. Admission, $5/adult. Campbell Road, Cherry Valley. 607-264-3080 or visit

BLOCK PARTY – 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Benefit for Family Resource Network features free hot dogs, vendors, children’s activities, opportunity to dunk Pastor Paul, 3 tries/$1, Noon – 12:30 p.m. Bring friends, meet more. Atonement Lutheran Church parking lot, 1 Center St., Oneonta. 607-432-6852.

Pamela Stewart, 62; Residential Aide At Local Institutions

IN MEMORIAM: Pamela Stewart, 62;

Residential Aide At Local Institutions

HARTWICK – Pamela J. Stewart, 62, a residential aide at The Meadows, Arc and Springbook, passed away peacefully Tuesday night, Aug. 14, 2018, with family by her side at her home on Buchanan Drive in Hartwick following a courageous battle with cancer.

She was born July 2, 1956, in New Berlin, a daughter of Franklin Jay and Wanda L. (McLean) Stewart.  After graduating from Cooperstown Central School with the Class of 1974, she attended college.

Springbrook Invitational Basketball Tourney Underway

Springbrook Invitational

Basketball Tourney Begins

Andrew Poole of the Springbrook Scorpions, left, makes a jump shot as teammates Christian Mann and Nate Benett keep away Travon Scott and Troy Kithcary of the Onondaga Cougars during their basketball game at Springbrook this morning. The teams were facing off as part of the 6th annual Springbrook Invitational Basketball Tournament that features 8 teams competing as well as skill competition drills and visits by former Syracuse Orangemen players Roosevelt Bouie, Dale Shackleford and more. (Ian Austin/
County Reps, 100 Attendees Consider County’s Future

County Reps, 100 Attendees

Consider County’s Future

Dr. Gerald Benjamin, SUNY New Paltz vice president for regional engagement, presents “County Manager v. County Executive” to a full house at Springbrook’s new Family Engagement Center this morning. The 45-minute presentation, moderated by Hartwick College President Margaret Drugovich, outlined the pros and cons of both governmental structures, as well as ideas for how the Otsego County Board of Representatives might begin the process of considering new management models for the county. At right, incoming county Rep. Danny Lapin, D-City of Oneonta, asks what resources might be available to the county board for further study. (Ian Austin/


County Manager Or County Executive?


PRESENTATION – 8 a.m. Gerald Benjamin presents “County manager or County Executive” followed by Q&A session with the leading figures from across our county’s political spectrum. Family Engagement Center, Springbrook, on Rt. 28, Milford Center. Call 607-547-6103 to RSVP or email

PREVIEW PARTY – 5-7 p.m. Enjoy holiday treats, drinks, and a good browse through the creations of students and guests for the Holiday Marketplace. The Smithy Clay Studio, 1 Otsego Court, Cooperstown. Call 607-547-8671 or visit

They’re The Tops, Oscar Avers As Winning Businesses Toasted

They’re The Tops, Oscar Avers

As Winning Businesses Toasted

A life-size Oscar looks on approvingly at this evening’s honorees at the Otsego County Chamber’s 18th annual Banquet & Celebration of Small Business, now underway at The Otesaga. Center right, Springbrook President Patricia Kennedy and Finance Committee chair Bill Mirabito accepted the Breakthrough Award. Center left, Barbara Roberts and Joan Fox accepted the Small Business Award on behalf of their Keller Williams realty network.   Hartwick College’s Allison Homler, left, and SUNY Oneonta’s Matthew Coville, right, were Interns of the Year.  A new format – an evening of networking – was tested this year:  The awards were presented first, then the 250 guests went through a buffet line and circulated, introducing themselves of other guests, chatting and snacking.  The big Oscar was created by Ian Austin of Oneonta for the Fox Hospital’s recent annual gala, but is now making the circuit of the season’s social events.  (Jim Kevlin/
Police: Oneonta Man Stole $7,000 From Springbrook

Police: Oneonta Man Stole

$7,000 From Springbrook

Michael Graziano

MILFORD – An Oneonta man was arrested after state police received a tip that a Springbrook employee was stealing from the company.

Michael G. Graziano, 34, Oneonta, was arrested after police were advised of theft at Springbrook’s Milford campus. An investigation determined that Graziano had allegedly falsified business records from January to September 2017 to steal over $7,000 in pay.

Springbrook, Realtors Honored By Chamber

Springbrook, Realtors

Honored By Chamber

Award Dinner Planned Nov. 16 At Otesaga

Springbrook’s Family Engagement Center has won the Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield Breakthrough Business of the Year, and Keller Williams Upstate NY Properties, the 18th annual Small Business of the Year, Otsego County Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan announced this morning at a press conference at the Family Engagement Center in Milford Center. Also, Hartwick College student Allison Homler and Matthew Colville of SUNY Oneonta were named Interns of the Year. The winners will be honored at the chamber’s Small Business Banquet Thursday, Nov. 16, at The Otesaga. From left are Melissa Marietta, Hartwick internship director, Homler (Colville was in class), Springbrook board treasurer Bill Mirabito, Springbrook Executive Director Patricia Kennedy, Keller Williams’ partners Joan Fox and Barbara Roberts, Springbrook Deputy Executive Director Seth Haight, and Heegan.  (Jim Kevlin/
Springbrook Cuts Ribbon On Facility For Families

Springbrook Cuts Ribbon

On Facility For Families

Thomas Maggs, president of Springbrook’s Board of Directors, addresses the donors, residents, families, and staff yesterday who gathered to celebrate the opening of the organization’s new Family Engagement Center. The center provides a place for residents and their families, who often visit from afar, to meet, and for visitors to stay.  The building is visible to passersby on Route 28, Milford Center. (Luke Moran photo)


The Broadway Musical


SEUSSICAL – 7 p.m. Sing a Song of Broadway presents the award winning musical based on the Dr. Seuss stories and characters. Admission, $15 adults, $10 students, $7 children 7 and under. First Presbyterian Church, 296 Main St., Oneonta.

WRITERS SALON – 7:30-9 p.m. Presentation from a panel of authors on entering the publishing world. Includes local authors such as our own Libby Cudmore, Jennifer Donohue, April Benson, and April Ford. Community Arts Network of Oneonta. Wilber Mansion, 11 Ford Ave., Oneonta.

Springbrook Ready To Open Family-Engagement Center

Springbrook Ready To Open

Family-Engagement Center

A ribbon-cutting on Springbrook’s Family-Engagement Center is planned Thursday the 20th.

MILFORD CENTER – Springbrook planning a ribbon-cutting at 4 p.m. next Thursday, July 20, to celebrate the opening of its newest buillding, the Springbrook Family-Engagement Center.

Families, residents, administrators, and several of the organization’s key supporters have been invited to the opening.  Passersby on Route 28 have been watching the building rise for the past several months.

Springbrook Promotes Harman To Chief Financial Officer Post

Springbrook Promotes Harman

To Chief Financial Officer Post

Wade Harman

ONEONTA – Springbrook had announced the appointment of Wade Harman as chief financial officer.

Harman has been a member of Springbrook’s leadership team since August 2015, serving as the director of fnance. He joined the organization in February 2013 as the assistant controller.

As CFO, Harman will work closely with Springbrook’s Chief Operating Officer Seth Haight, Chief Executive Officer Patricia Kennedy, and the organization’s Board of Directors.

Springbrook Wages Rise To Cuomo’s 2019 Level

Springbrook Hikes Pay

To Cuomo’s 2019 Level

 Goal: Attract Employees, Lower Turnover

Tyrone Lohr, Maggie Reopell and Noble Champen were chosen by their fellow DSPs to represent their point of view in an upcoming article in the Springbrook newsletter.

ONEONTA – Springbrook is getting ahead of Governor Cuomo’s minimum-wage increases, raising its “direct support professionals”  to the 2019 level, effective New Year’s Day.

Otsego County’s third largest employer, Springbrook provides residential living for disabled children and adults on its Milford Center campus and group homes around the region.

The wage increase for its DSPs is a $1.2 million investment, Springbrook said in announcing the wage hikes today.

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