News of Otsego County

Susquehanna River

New Neawha trail

Susquehanna Greenway, Foundation team up for trail upgrade

Future for Oneonta Foundation Chairman Alan Cleinman previews the project as paving begins

Neahwa Park adds another attraction with a June 16 groundbreaking for updates to the Mill Race segment of the popular Oneonta Susquehanna Greenway – a transformational project that will see the section paved and accessible and, supporters hope, an attraction for residents and would-be residents alike.

The new paved trail will connect Neawha Park, Catella Park, and the trails available on New Island – a “critical link,” said OSG’s Donna Vogler. “It’s gratifying to see this section paved and accessible to all.”

A $50,000 grant from the Future for Oneonta Foundation kickstarted the project, an improvement in the City of Oneonta’s Comprehensive Plan since 2000. The FOF donation proved crucial to the 2022 upgrade.

“This has been one of my dreams for a long time,” said Alan Cleinman, the newly-installed chairman of the Future for Oneonta Foundation. “Making this accessible to everyone is so important.”

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Public Utility Open House 10-07-21

Public Utility Open House


OPEN HOUSE – 2 p.m. Celebrate the completion of a 3 year project to improve the local Waste Water Treatment Plant. The public is invited to meet the operators, tour the facilities, and hear remarks from Mayor Tillapaugh and representatives of the state funding agencies. Delaware Engineering representatives will be on hand to discuss the upgrades made by the project to protect the Susquehanna River and expand capacity for the future. Driveway access is between the Ball Fields at the South End of Linden Ave. Waste Water Treatment Plant, Cooperstown. 607-322-4039.

HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: Ren Faire at Windfall Dutch Barn 08-22-21

Ren Faire at Windfall Dutch Barn


RENAISSANCE FAIR – 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Dress in you medieval/renaissance best and come out for performances by Celtic step dancers, The Happy Haggs, as well as vendors, crafters, and games for all ages at this years annual Ren Faire. Admission, $5. Windfall Dutch Barn, 2009 Clinton Rd., Cherry Valley. 518-774-0134 or visit

Expert Believes He’s Discovered HQ Of Iroquois


Expert Believes

He’s Discovered

HQ Of Iroquois

Buzz Hesse Also Found ‘Old Unadilla’

Janice Springsteen, 91, and archaeologist Buzz Hesse discuss Native American artifacts and lore. (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

Buzz Hesse examines artifacts that surfaced when the Millennium Pipeline added a line in Mrs. Springsteen’s neighborhood in 2003. (AllOTSEGO photo)

WINDSOR – There’s an island, a mountain, a curve in the river, flatlands and, up the road, a site that’s long been reported as a mission/trading post set up by Sir William Johnson, Great Britain’s last governor general of the Province of New York.

The flat land along the shore of the Susquehanna would be ideal for Iroquois longhouses.  “That’s exactly what the map shows – a little rectangle of houses,” said Buzz Hesse, who before opening Hesse Auctions in Otego was with the Office of the State Archaeologist under his mentor, Dr. Robert Funk.

Mystery solved: After decades of uncertainty, Hesse Sunday, May 19, believed was looking for the first time at was the site of the village whose dispersal signaled the beginning of the end of the famed six-tribe Iroquois Confederacy.

Onaquaga is linked to Otsego County through Gen. John Clinton’s famous damming the Susquehanna River at Cooperstown; he blew it up on Aug. 9, 1779, and his 200-bateaux force was carried down the river to Onaquaga, destroyed the year before.

Clinton’s one brigade from Albany would reconnoiter with Gen. John Sullivan’s four brigades coming up from Pennsylvania on a campaign that would pacify Central New York, allowing Yankees to pour westwards from New England on a century-long quest to control the continent.

Lions Club Service Project Clears River Of Debris

Lions’ Service Project

Clears River Of Debris

Butch Weir, Cooperstown, left, looks on as Matt Chisdock and Doug Perry haul an old 50-gallon drums aboard the Otsego Sailing Club work barge this morning during a Susquehanna River clean-up behind Bassett Hospital. The clean-up was a community service project headed by the Cooperstown Lions Club with help from the OCCA and the SUNY Biological Field Station volunteer dive team. At right, event organizer John Rowley brings ashore the first of over 25 tires retrieved. Teams also brought up scores of bottles, barrels, pipes, a feeding trough and other refuse from the floor of the river. Neighbors who use the waterway applauded their work and even helped in the effort. (Ian Austin/


City of Hills Art Fest Today


ART & MUSIC – 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Outdoor street festival featuring outstanding regional artists, crafters, musicians, writers, more. Main St., Oneonta. 607-432-2070 or visit

O-COUNTY FAIR – 8:30 a.m. – 8 p.m. See best Otsego County has to offer. Daily shows, rides, more. Highlights include equestrian Gymkhana, bicycle giveaway, truck pull, livestock parade of champions, Supreme Champion Showmanship, talent contest, more. Otsego County Fair, Mills St., Morris. 607-263-5289 or visit

Interns Find American Eel In River At Cooperstown

Interns Find American Eel

In River At Cooperstown

Here’s a file photo of an American eel, the type BFS interns discovered near Cooperstown Dam.

COOPERSTOWN – Summer interns at the SUNY Oneonta Biological Field Station stumbled upon a surprise recently when they caught a 12-inch American eel more than 440 miles from the ocean in a habitat from which the species was thought to have been extirpated.

The interns, high school graduates Alexa Platt and Lauren Saggese, were researching near the beginning of July in the Susquehanna River near the base of the Cooperstown Dam at Otsego Lake.




Drowning Accidental, Police Conclude

BCI Capt. Scott Heggelke briefs reporters this afternoon on the drowning of a 3-year-old boy near Goodyear Lake. (Ian Austin/

By PARKER FISH • Special to

Andrew Durkin, 3, was found in water 17 feet from a Susquehanna River embankment.

GOODYEAR LAKE – Three-year-old Andrew James Durkin was dressed in the same outfit as his identical brother when he went missing at his family’s seasonal house on the Susquehanna River just north of Goodyear Lake.

By the time the family realized that one of the twins was nowhere to be found, it was too late.

According to a briefing this afternoon by state police Capt. Scott Heggelke, Bureau of Criminal Investigation (BCI), a 911 call came in to Troop C headquarters in Sidney at 2:54 p.m. regarding a missing child on Bob Wilson Road, Milford Center.

56th Annual Regatta Brings Out Local Pros

56th Annual Regatta

Brings Out Local Pros

Oneonta residents Trevor LeFever, front, and Benedict Schlimmer, rear, paddle on the Susquehannah through Emmons, near Fortin Park, during today’s 56th annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta. The 70-mile canoe race brings professional paddlers from all over North America to the Susquehanna every year on Memorial Day weekend. LeFever and Schlimmer, racing in the Pro class, came through Oneonta in second place, behind veterans Steve Lajoie and Andy Triebold. Pictured at right,  Congressional candidate Erin Collier, Cooperstown, cheers on her brother Todd Collier and his partner Luke Banner. Collier, who is running against six other Democrats in the June 26 primary for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-Kinderhook, was part of her brother’s pit crew, and waded into the river to give him a fresh water bottle and a quick snack. (Parker Fish/


Bassett Docs Warm Up For Goodyear Plunge


Bassett Staff Warms Up

For Goodyear Plunge

It wasn’t formally associated with the 26th annual Cooperstown Winter Carnival, but it could have been. For the 15th year, Bassett Hospital doctors and staff – from left, Dr. Laura Kilty, R.N. Barbara Petersen and Dr. Bruce Kramer, and Ken Stanford, who works in the Cardiac Care Unit –  plunged into the Susquehanna at Mill Street, Cooperstown, at 3:45 p.m. today, a “warm-up” to the main event, Goodyear Lake Polar Bear Jump next Saturday, Feb. 17. Afterwards, Kramer, Lexi Stanford, Mike Rutledge, photo at right, and the rest of the participants made snow angels in the nearby snow, then hurried to the Cramer-Keilty’s for a warm fire and hot chili. (Jim Kevlin/

Collier Family Adding To 75 Regatta Finishes


Collier Family Adding

To 75 Regatta Finishes

The Cooperstown Colliers today are looking to add to the family’s tally of 75 finishes since 1979 in the annual General Clinton Canoe Regatta, underway today for the 55th year from Brookwood Point on Otsego Lake down the Susquehanna River to Bainbridge.  And not just dad Steve Collier with daughter Jessica, seen above passing Council Rock at the river’s source.  At Council Rock Park in Cooperstown, mom Evelyn, in red, white and blue top in left photo (chatting with retiring CCS art teacher Kristin Karasek and Kim Johannsen), said son John and daughter Erica in one canoe, and son Todd with Luke Banner in a second, are also participating in today’s race.  Some 1,500 canoeists from across the country are paddling in the event, which for the first time in race history did not depart from Cooperstown’s Lakefront Park; the village’s downtown, usually packed, was empty this morning.  The top class can complete the 40-mile course in a little over six hours.  (Jim Kevlin/

Flood Waters Down in Unadilla

Flood Waters Down In Unadilla

Though the waters of the Susquehanna River were still high, by mid-afternoon, they had fallen below the 11 foot flood marker. A flood watch remains in effect until tomorrow. (Ian Austin/

UNADILLA –  Though the floodwaters have receded to under 10 feet, a flood warning remains in effect until Saturday afternoon at Unadilla.

Flood stage is considered at 11 feet, and the river is reportedly just under 10 feet as of 5 p.m.. The National Weather Service predicted minor flooding between Main Street and River Road, and drivers are advised not to drive across flooded bridges or roads.

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