News of Otsego County

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


state Sen. Jim Seward

Cancer Back, Seward Reports

Cancer Returns,

Seward Reports

Senator’s Offices Will Remain

Open While He Gets Treatment

Senator Seward

ONEONTA – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, announced that the cancer he underwent treatment for in 2016 has returned.

“My physicians have recommended a series of treatments over the next several weeks that will limit my availability and curtail my normal, active district schedule,” he said in a statement. “While I will be taking some time to concentrate on getting better, my offices will remain open and my capable staff will continue to assist constituents with their state-related needs.”

At Rally, Victim’s Sister Warns: ‘David Dart Will Kill Again’

At Rally, Victim’s Sister Warns:

‘Dart Will Kill Again’

His Juvenile Conviction Sealed,

His First Victim Tells Her Story

Jennifer Kirkpatrick, sister of Gillian Gibbons, asked  50 supporters gathered at the “Justice For Gillian” rally in Muller Plaza this afternoon to send letters asking the state Parole Board to deny convicted murderer David Dart parole in the stabbing death of Gibbons, 18, in Oneonta’s Municipal Parking Garage 30 years ago. “If he gets out, he will rape, he will kill again,” Kirkpatrick warned. With her is state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, who helped put the rally together and has sponsored a bill to increase the time between parole hearings from two to five years for violent offenders like Dart. At right, Jennifer Miller Dutcher tells her story – that when they were teens, Dart, who lived with his grandparents across the street from her in Portlandville, held her at knifepoint and assaulted her. “We were able to get him sent away for a little while. But when Gillian’s life was taken, I was devastated. I didn’t think I did enough,” she said.  Then shifting to address Bart, she said: “I am a victim who has a voice, and I am using that voice to ask you to keep him behind bars.” (Ian Austin/

Democrats Bottle Up Bill To Discourage Attacks On Officers



Democrats Bottle Up

Bill To Discourage

Attacks On Officers

By State Sen. JIM SEWARD • Special to

Police, firefighters, and emergency first responders are vital to public safety.  The brave men and women who work in these fields put the lives of others first and often risk their own well-being.  I am appalled by recent incidents in New York City of individuals hurling buckets of water at on-duty police officers.  Video of these abuses has spread on the Internet, certain to trigger copy-cat offenses.

This type of disrespect toward our uniformed police officers cannot be permitted to escalate further.  To help thwart this behavior, I have joined with my Senate Republican colleagues in co-sponsoring legislation that would make this type of harassment a class E felony.

The new legislation (S.6641) reads in part:

“The men and women who serve and protect our communities as police officers risk their lives every day. Therefore, it is extremely disheartening that there are members of communities harassing these officers with water and at times even assaulting them. Law enforcement in our state deserves better. 

Seward Legislation Seeks To Name Route 205 In Honor Of Fallen Marine

Seward Legislation Seeks

To Name Route 205

In Honor Of Fallen Marine

Sergeant Winslow

Today the state Senate passed legislation, proposed by State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, to rename the Hamlet of Hartwick portion of Route 205 in honor of United States Marine Corps Sergeant John Kempe Winslow.

Every man and woman who dons a United States military uniform sacrifices for our nation and our way of life,” said Seward.  “Sergeant Winslow made the ultimate sacrifice and we owe it to him and his family to keep his memory alive.”

Sergeant John Kempe Winslow was a life-long resident of Hartwick and a decorated Marine who served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning a Purple Heart during his first tour.  Tragically, Sergeant Winslow was killed in action on July 30, 1969.

At Milford, Seward Declares March As ‘Youth Art’ Month

At Milford, Seward Declares

March As ‘Youth Art’ Month

Earlier this morning, State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, presented Jill Accordino, the art teacher at Milford Central School, with a resolution asking Governor Mario Cuomo to officially proclaim March as Youth Art Month. “This is a national designation.” said Seward, “We want to show how important art is. Art and education go hand-in-hand.” The presentation took place in Accordino’s classroom where her 6th graders were making Greek columns to coincide with their unit on Greece in history. (Ian Austin/
189 Applaud Award Winners At Small Business Banquet

189 Applaud Award Winners

At Small Business Banquet

Almost 200 well-wishers turned out this evening to applaud honorees at the Otsego County Chamber’s 19th annual Banquet & Celebration of Small Business at The Otesaga. From left are Chamber board chair Nick Savin; Arc Otsego’s Pat Knuth and ReUse Center Manager Bill Hardy, who won the Breakthrough Award; Charlotte and Chris Chase of Directive, a 25-year-old computer services business, which won the Small Business Award; Hartwick College’s Kelsey Prest and SUNY Oneonta’s Emily Ahlqvist, Interns of the Year, and Chamber President Barbara Ann Heegan and state Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford. (Jim Kevlin/




GOHS Board Member Bill Pietraface presents Senator Seward with a commemorative statuette reflecting Oneonta’s love of baseball and proximity to Cooperstown, and praises him for “hitting a 250-grand slam.” (Jim Kevlin/

Grant Will Largely Complete

15 Years OF GOHS Strivings

Applauding Senator Seward’s announcement are, from left, GOHS member Wayne Wright, the retired NYSHA library director, GOHS President Corinne Bresee Smith, past president John Carney, and Carney’s daughter Caralee.

ONEONTA – State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, this afternoon joined Greater Oneonta Historical Society officers in announcing a $250,000 state grant to largely complete the renovations of the second and third floors of the Oneonta History Center, 183 Main St.

The history center, Seward said, “is a showcase for the city’s past and a key component of the downtown revitalization taking place in Oneonta.”

In thanking the senator, GOHS President Corinne Bresee Smith expressed her organization’s gratitude, calling him “a native son of Oneonta (who) knows the value of our past and is invested in the vitality of our future.”


Goal: Repair Aging Sewer Plant



State Sen. Jim Seward, R-Milford, enters the Cooperstown Village Board meeting room this morning, where he announced a $2 million grant to help repair the half-century-old water treatment plant on the Susquehanna River. Seward’s $2 million comes two months after Assemblyman Bill Magee, D-Nelson, announced another $2 million grant for the project.  Mayor Jeff Katz said, with the help of Otsego Now COO Sandy Mathes, another $3.5 million state Enviromental Facilities Corp. grant may be forthcoming in the spring, plus a zero-percent, 30-year loan, that will save another half-million. This should allow the project to be done with no hike to rate users, particularly important to Bassett Hospital, whose bill covers 30 percent of the sewer revenues. Seward is shaking hands with Village Trustee Richard Sternberg.  In the foreground are Anders Bergfjord, Water & Sewer Commission chair, right, and Village Trustee Jim Dean.   (Jim Kevlin/
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