News of Otsego County

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

Worcester News

Muehl: Decatur Twins Died Of Asphyxiation





By LIBBY CUDMORE • Special to


DECATUR – Kimberly Steeley’s infant twins, Bonde and Liam, both died from asphyxiation, according to District Attorney John Muehl.

“At first, everyone thought Bonde died of SIDS,” said Muehl. “Then 11 days later, Liam died of the same condition.”

Steeley, 27, Decatur, was indicted on two counts of second-degree manslaughter, one for each child, for recklessly causing the death of her children last June. The twins, born May 15, were barely a month old at the time of their deaths.

Gwendolyn Griffin, 80; Operated Oil Distributorship In Worcester

IN MEMORIAM: Gwendolyn J. Griffin, 80;

Operated Oil Distributorship In Worcester

Gwendolyn Griffin

WORCESTER – Gwendolyn J. Griffin, 80, who operated Cash Oil in Worcester with her husband, George, passed away April 7, 2019, at Fox Nursing Home in Oneonta.

She was born May 19, 1938, in Troy, the daughter of Joseph H. and Lena Myrtle (Murdough) Webb. Gwendolyn married George F. Griffin Sr. on July 12, 1953, in South Lancaster, Mass.

While she lived in Worcester for 61 years, she spent many winters in Haines City, Fla. Gwendolyn was a member of the Red Hat Society in Florida.

Melissa Wilcox, 57; Cancer Survivor Worked For County

IN MEMORIAM: Melissa Wilcox, 57;

Cancer Survivor Worked For County

WORCESTER – Melissa L. Wilcox, 57, a cancer-survivor who worked in the Otsego County Treasurer’s Office, passed away unexpectedly Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2019, at Fox Hospital.

She was born on Oct. 1, 1961, in Cobleskill, the daughter of Charles (Grace) Warner and Barbara (Wilfred) Howell. Lisa married Clyde F Wilcox on Aug.  27, 1983 at the East Worcester United Methodist Church.

Sheriff: Home Health Aide Stole $11,000 From Couple

Sheriff: Home-Health Aide

Stole $11,000 From Couple

Stephanie Shulgay

WORCESTER – A home-health aide was arrested after allegedly stealing $11,000 from an elderly couple in her care, according to Sheriff Richard J. Devlin Jr.

Stephanie Shulgay, 31, Worcester, allegedly took cash advances from the bank account of a 91-year-old man and his wife while working as as their home health aide, using their credit and debit cards.

IN MEMORIAM: Dennis J. Enright, 63; Worked for Freeman’s Journal


Dennis J. Enright, 63;

Worked for Freeman’s Journal

WORCESTER – Dennis J. Enright, 63, who joined the staff of the Freeman’s Journal/Hometown Oneonta in his retirement, died at home Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.

Born in Amsterdam, Dennis was the son of the late Basil and Mercedes Atala Enright.

He graduated from Schalmont High School in 1973 and later attended Herkimer County Community College and SUNY Geneseo, where received his Bachelor’s degree in communications and also served as the news editor of The Lamron, the school paper at Geneseo.  Dennis was employed as a sales agent with Terry Morris Ford in Burnt Hills for many years and also at Krystal Chrysler and Jeep in Warrensburg.

George Betts, 84; Social Worker Turned To Farming

IN MEMORIAM: George Betts, 84;

Social Worker Turned To Farming

WORCESTER – George Betts, 84, of a social worker in New York City before moving here in 1984 to pursue farming, passed away on Oct. 2, 2018. He died peacefully after a long illness.

George was born June 30, 1934 in Highland Park, Ill., the son of Harlan and Ida Jane Betts.

He and his wife Regina met at an Off -Broadway theatre in New York City, where they both worked. They were married 61 years.

Worcester Fire Department To Host State Seminar On Thermal Imaging

Worcester Fire Department To Host

State Seminar On Thermal Imaging

WORCESTER –  The Worcester Fire Department is hosting “Thermal Imaging: Expanding Your Horizons” at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, one of 14 being presented statewide by the state Association of Fire Chiefs (NYSAFC).

The program, open to fire-service leaders of all ranks, will be led by Jamestown Chief Bruce Heberer and Schenectady County Fire Coordinator Scott Pike.

Bonnie J. Garrity, 70; Taught Cosmetology 20 Years At BOCES

IN MEMORIAM: Bonnie J. Garrity, 70;

Taught Cosmetology 20 Years At BOCES

Bonnie Jeanne Garrity

ONEONTA – Bonnie Jeanne Garrity, 70, who taught cosmetology and related disciplines at ONC BOCES for 20 years, passed away Feb. 6, 2018, at Fox Nursing Home, with her family by her side.

She was born Jan. 2, 1948, in New Hyde Park, the daughter of Gilmore and Jeanne (Dietz) Garrity.

Bonnie grew up on Long Island.  She eventually moved to the Worcester area to be near her parents.

Lawler Music Festival Brings Nashville to Worcester

Lawler Music Fest Brings

Nashville To Worcester

Kid Rock, Ted Nugent Due In County This Summer
Doug Lawler

WORCESTER – Musicians from Kid Rock, Tesla, Ted Nugent and other country bands will rock Otsego County as the Lawler Music Festival comes to Worcester June 30 – July 2.

The three day country, blues and rock music festival will feature “Still Got Most of it Left” singer Doug Lawler, Kid Rock guitarist Kenny Olson, Troy Luccketta and Dave Rude of Tesla and AC/DC tribute band Bon/Fire.

The three-day event will be held at 221 Brady Rd. in Worcester, and tickets are available here.

Two Arrested For Crack Cocaine, Taking Car

Pair Arrested For Heroin,

Crack Cocaine, Taking Car

WORCESTER – Two people were arrested with heroin, needles, crack pipes and crack cocaine after failing to return a car they had borrowed from a neighbor, according to the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department.

Andrew J. Robinson, 20, Worcester and Victoria C. Keever, 21, Schenevus, were arrested after deputies allege that a Worcester neighbor allowed the defendants to use their vehicle to make what they believed to be a short trip to the store on Sunday, March 12, for approximately one hour. The defendants allegedly failed to return the vehicle as agreed upon, and the next day, the resident notified the Sheriff’s Office.

Gun, Pot, LSD Found In Worcester Home

Pistol, Pot Plants, LSD

Found In Worcester Home

Joseph Dibenedetto

WORCESTER – A 44-year-old Worcester man was arrested after Otsego County deputies responded to a tip that he had an unregistered handgun and was growing marijuana in his residence.

Joseph C. Dibenedetto, 44, was arrested after deputies, including K9 Ricky and members of the sheriff’s Criminal Investigation Division and Road Patrol,  served a warrant at his home on Lutheranville Road in Worcester.

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