News of Otsego County

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


Tom Armao

Folks Flee Upstate USDA Exec Learns

Folks Flee Upstate,

USDA Exec Learns

Fewer Students For Hartwick College,

Jobs Available But Unfilled, Hazlett Told

U.S. Rep. John Faso welcomes attendees to today’s rural development forum at Hartwick’s Shineman Chapel. He is flanked by the guest of honor, Assistant USDA Secretary Anne Hazlett, left, and College President Margaret L. Drugovich, the host.  At right are Otsego Now CEO Jody Zakrevsky and Kinderhook Bank VP Anne Finnegan.  (Jim Kevlin/

By JIM KEVLIN • Special to

New York has fewer people than Florida and double the state budget. That says it all, Country Club Auto’s Tom Armao, left, says. Also on today’s panel was Brooks B-B-Q’s Ryan Brooks, right.

ONEONTA – Not only did the USDA assistant secretary for Rural Development learn about Upstate declining population at her visit to Hartwick College this morning, she got a sense of the impacts.

In her opening remarks, Hartwick President Margaret L. Drugovich reported a 17 percent decline in high school graduates between 2009 and 2017, and some predictions of “another 4-8 percent in the next 15 years,” a challenge for Upstate liberal arts colleges.

“These are the kind of things on my mind when we think about economic development,” said Drugovich, economic development being one of the topic when Anne Hazlett, the USDA official charged with rural development, convened a two-hour forum of a dozen community leaders in Shineman Chapel.

Dr. Strek Honored

Steady Stream Of Well Wishers

Bid Dr. Bill Streck Fond Farewell


Bassett President/CEO Bill Streck, who is retiring July 1 after 30 years at the helm of what has grown into a nine-county medical system, greets Oneonta businessmen Tom Armao, left, Country Club Automotive, and Bob Harlem, Oneonta Block, at the last of three receptions today under a tent on the Bassett Hospital veranda in Cooperstown.   Streck’s successor, Dr. Vance Brown, arrives on site Monday for a two-week transition.   (Ian Austin/

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