News of Otsego County



Cherry Valley Marks
Beginning Of Holiday Season

HOLIDAY WEEKEND—10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit the shops of Cherry Valley throughout the day with a tree lighting from 5-8 attended by Santa, The Happy Haggs, a fire juggler, as well as live music and entertainment at various locations throughout the village. Cherry Valley. Visit

HOLIDAY MARKET—5-8 p.m. The holiday season has arrived and the gallery at 25 Main is celebrating the opening of the Holiday Marketplace (open through 12/24). Open house includes refreshments, tree and business light-up, and a kick-off for the Cherry Valley Holiday Weekend. 25 Main Collective, 25 Main Street, Cherry Valley. (607) 264-5340 or visit

HOLIDAY OPEN MIC—6 p.m. Stop in for the first Friday open mic featuring local artists sharing original poems, song, dance, short story and much more. Children present first, followed by adults. The theme this month “Family Traditions.” Admission is by donation. Enjoy this vibrant evening and stop at the other art, shops, and more this first Friday. The Telegraph School, 83 Alden Street, Cherry Valley. Visit

BLOOD DRIVE—1:30-6:30 p.m. Save up to three lives with the American Red Cross. Unadilla Community, 77 Clifton Street, Unadilla. Register at

BE AN ANGEL – The community is invited to adopt a family and then find Christmas gifts for each of the children listed. Gifts are due unwrapped and without tags to either the office of The Freeman’s Journal at 21 Railroad Ave. in Cooperstown, or at the Salvation Army Church at 25 River St. in Oneonta. Visit for details

In Memoriam Richard ‘Dick’ Shutts 1934-2022
In Memoriam

Richard ‘Dick’ Shutts


UNADILLA—Richard “Dick” Shutts, 88, of Unadilla, died peacefully on Wednesday, October 26, 2022, in Oneonta, surrounded by his loving family.

He served in the Army from 1956 to 1958. He was a New York State Trooper for a short period of time when he met the love of his life, Diane. Richard spent most of his career as a heavy equipment operator, including at Stevens Excavating in Otego. He also worked for Metropolitan Life Insurance as an agent for 11 years and Howe Gas in Sidney.

In Memoriam Philip J. LaFratta, 72 June 15, 1950 – September 12, 2022
In Memoriam

Philip J. LaFratta, 72

June 15, 1950 – September 12, 2022

UNADILLA – Philip J. LaFratta, 72, of Unadilla passed away on September 12, 2022, at Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown.

Philip was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., to Savino and Lillian LaFratta on June 15, 1950. He worked as a truck driver for many years. He enjoyed spending time visiting with family and friends. He enjoyed joking and making people laugh. Most of all he loved the companionship of his beloved pets.

Lawrence J. “Butch” Weill Jr., 61 Lifelong Unadilla resident, enjoyed gaming, sports

In Memoriam

Lawrence J. “Butch” Weill Jr., 61

Lifelong Unadilla resident, enjoyed gaming, sports

Lawrence J. Weill Jr.

UNADILLA – Lawrence J. “Butch” Weill Jr., 61, of Unadilla passed away unexpectedly Saturday, May 1, 2021, at home. He was born August 8, 1959, in Oneonta the son of James O. Sullivan and Betty (Brown) Sullivan.

A lifelong area resident, Butch graduated from Unatego Central School, the Class of 1977.

He was currently employed for Norfolk Southern Corp. as a machinist. He started working for the railroad in June of 1992. Butch enjoyed scratch off tickets, trips to Turning Stone and Tioga Downs, watching sports especially the New York Mets, Oakland Raiders, and SU Basketball and going to Afton to watch dirt track racing.

ANDERSON: Election May Preserve Our Flawed, Free Nation

Election May Preserve

Our Flawed, Free Nation

To the Editor:

If this is not the most important election in my lifetime, it nonetheless ranks as one that I feel is more important than most.

In the last four years there has been a consistent and unrelenting drum beat of negativism surrounding our country and our president, his character, and the state of the nation. There have been street riots, calls for social justice, accusations from every corner about some issue, and in general a malaise whose grand finale was the great Wuhan virus.

The odd thing is I am aware that this will “trigger” some, and that brings me to my next thought. Trigger is a word that now carries a new political meaning, just as does my choice of name for a disease. If you make a statement that another finds disagreeable for any reason you are accused of triggering them and that apparently opens a door that allows accusations based on nothing more that pure hatred to erupt.

This brings me to the question: for whom will I vote? More importantly why will I vote for a particular candidate. I am not going to try and convince you to vote “my way”, but I am going to ask you to consider why you will vote the way you will or have already done.
My choice is simple, and “some might argue not very sophisticated.

I have enjoyed a degree of freedom throughout my life that most of civilization has never enjoyed. I have been exposed to the greatness of my country and barbaric things my country has done in the name of God and Country.

On balance, I am proud to be an American because of the great things our country has done; on the other hand, I am deeply ashamed of some of our actions throughout history.

Every country has a history and for those who find a need to eliminate history I must ask why? Why must you hide your history? History is a one of our greatest teachers; it tells us about our humanity and inhumanity. It must be understood and appreciated.

I am voting for the man I feel is most able to continue to keep our nation free and will protect our freedoms.

I am voting for a man who believes and understands the importance of our Constitution. I am voting for a person I feel will keep alive the values we have demonstrated for the last 243 years.

The United States, with all its flaws, is the only nation in recorded history, that was established with the fundamental notion that the nation should be governed by its people through a representative republic.

It is hard to see that today, because our governance has been corrupted by men who lust for power and money. It is sad that most politicians do not understand their role and become easily intoxicated with power; such men are easily led into corruption, deceiving themselves and their constituents.

We are in that place today.

The choice on Nov. 3 in my mind is a choice between a flawed and free nation or a nation that will devolve rapidly into tyrannical police state.

Please consider the significance of your vote and what it will mean for your future and mine.


HAPPENIN’ OTSEGO: West Kortright Center Presents Afro-Cuban Concert By OKAN 06-13-20

West Kortright Center Presents

Afro-Cuban Concert By OKAN


AFRO-CUBAN CONCERT – 8 – 9 p.m. Join the West Kortright Center for virtual concert by OKAN, fusing Afro-Cuban and other global rhythms with Jazz, Fold, and classical forms of music. Registration required. Visit for info.

Clarence R. ‘Bob’ Strom, 87; Navy Veteran Taught American History Locally

IN MEMORIAM: Clarence R. ‘Bob’ Strom, 87;

Navy Veteran Taught American History Locally

Bob Strom

UNADILLA – Clarence Robert (Bob) Strom, 87, an American History teacher at Otego and the Unadilla Central School District for almost three decades, passed away Sunday, March 22, 2020, at Bayfront Health Hospital, Punta Gorda, Fla.

He was born in Erskine, Minn., on July 28, 1932, the son of the late Adolf and Fedilise Strom. Bob graduated from Swanville High School in 1950. After graduation Bob enlisted in the Navy. He served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Antietam and USS Shangri-La during the Korean War.


Pit Run Through Oneonta


PIT RUN – 10:45 a.m. Run or walk 6.2 miles through scenic Oneonta, passing through SUNY Oneonta campus, ending at Neahwa Park. Also includes 5k race, 2 mile stroll, or kids fun run. In memory of Ricky J. “Pit” Parisian NYS Police Investigator killed in Line of Duty. Start at Main Street Bridge, Oneonta. 607-432-8068 or visit


Indigenous Art Group Exhibit


OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate group art exhibit “The Land On Which We Gather,” honoring new SUNY president Barbara Jean Morris. Features 40+ works by 8 artists of native descent in various mediums from painting to beading, sculpture. Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3456 or visit

Blanche E. Powers, 76; Amphenol, Custom Electronics Employee

IN MEMORIAM: Blanche E. Powers, 76;

Amphenol, Custom Electronics Employee

Blanche Powers

UNADILLA – Blanche E. Powers, 76, of Unadilla, who worked Amphenol and Custom Electronics, passed away peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Sunday, March 31, 2019.

She was born at The Hospital in Sidney, on July 31, 1942, daughter of the late Franklyn and Alta (Thomas) Dunshee.

Blanche attended Sidney High School and proudly received her GED later in life.

Truck Overturns On I-88 Near Sidney

Truck Overturns

On I-88 Near Sidney

Unadilla and Wells Bridge firefighters clear boxes of spilled food and drinks away from the scene of a tractor-trailer rollover last night in Unadilla. (Photo courtesy Wells Bridge Fire Department)

SIDNEY – I-88 is open again following a tractor-trailer accident that left the truck driver injured and fuel and cargo scattered on the roadside.

James E. Witt, 40, Scio was traveling eastbound on I-88 in Sidney when he traveled off the southern shoulder and traveled approximately 500 feet before striking earth embankment and overturning on its side. Unadilla and Wells Bridge Fire Departments were dispatched to the scene at 5:23 p.m. and the Witt was transported to Wilson Hospital complaining of head and rib pain.

Mary E. Bunt, 69; With Husband, Depicted The Clauses

IN MEMORIAM: Mary E. Bunt, 69;

With Husband, Depicted The Clauses

UNADILLA – Mary E. Bunt, 69, of Unadilla, who with her husband, Fred, depicted Mrs. Claus and Santa locally for many years, passed away Saturday morning Dec. 8, 2018, at her home surrounded by family.

She was born on May 12, 1949, to Floyd & Beulah (Bell) Jones.  She married Frederick Bunt on May 29, 1971, in Hartwick; he predeceased her.  She was also predeceased by her sisters, Luella Lyons, Lillian Rogers & Georgia Lorraine Jones, brothers, George, Paul & Walter, and Floyd Arnold Jones.

Dorothy B. Peet, 104; Retired From Oneonta Dress Factory

IN MEMORIAM: Dorothy B. Peet, 104;

Retired From Oneonta Dress Factory

Dorothy P. Peet

UNADILLA – Dorothy B. Peet, 104, of Unadilla, who retired from the Oneonta Dress Factory, passed away Tuesday morning Dec. 4, 2018, at Chestnut Park Nursing Home in Oneonta.

She was born on June 22, 1914, to William and Clara May (Bingham) Byam.

She was the widow of the late Edwin Peet and was predeceased by her son, John Edwin Peet and her sisters, Loretta & Ruth, her brothers, Howard, Walter, Floyd, Herbert and Harmon.

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