, pub-2480664471547226, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

The Best Gifts from Schoharie County

Upcoming $1 cigarette tax hike projected to save 15,300 New Yorkers’ lives

Written By Editor on 8/31/23 | 8/31/23

Higher costs deter youth from smoking and help smokers quit


(ONEONTA, N.Y.) August 31, 2023- Beginning Sept. 1, 2023, New York State’s cigarette tax will be the highest in the nation. The $1 hike is the first cigarette tax increase since 2010 and changes the tax from $4.35 to $5.35 per pack of 20 cigarettes. Research shows a 10% increase in tobacco prices would be expected to decrease tobacco consumption by 4% in high-income countries.[i]

Increasing the cost of cigarettes is one of the most effective ways to promote smoking cessation and prevent youth initiation. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACSCAN) projects the impact of the higher tax will save 15,300 New Yorkers’ lives and prevent 14,400 youth under age 18 from becoming adults who smoke.[ii]

"Young people generally don't have a lot of disposable income.  By raising the price of cigarettes, it decreases the chances that they will purchase a product that will lead to a lifetime of addiction," said Jennifer Hill, Community Engagement Coordinator, Tobacco-Free Communities | Delaware, Otsego and Schoharie.

Nearly 9 out of 10 adults who smoke cigarettes daily, first tried smoking by age 18.  Evidence shows that increasing the cost of a pack of cigarettes leads to people quitting cigarettes among groups that are known to be price-sensitive, including youth, and low-income populations.  Currently, according to the New York Smoker’s Quitline online savings calculator, a New York State resident will spend a minimum of $4,000 a year to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day.

Surveys have shown that about 70% of smokers want to quit and can be motivated by price increases.  The impact can also be greater in rural counties of New York State as the smoking rate is known to be higher in rural vs. urban areas.

"Currently, the state average adult smoking rate is 12%. However, the adult smoking rates remain high in Delaware (16.1%), Otsego (18.3%) and Schoharie (20.3%) counties," added Hill.

Support Available for People Who Want to Quit

“With the expected increase of people attempting to quit smoking in response to the cigarette tax increase, having affordable and accessible cessation resources for our community is incredibly important,” said Mindy Robinson, Liaison for Bassett Research Institute and URMC’s Wilmot Cancer Institute.

Locally, The Quit Center at Wilmot Cancer Institute is a free resource for Delaware, Otsego, Schoharie Oneida, Herkimer, Madison and Chenango County residents looking to quit. They offer a free six-month smoking cessation program for ages 21 and older, which includes counseling with a tobacco treatment specialist, delivery of a 12 week supply of nicotine replacement therapy such as patches, gum or lozenges and text message support. Call 585-504-9461 to get started.

Another resource is the New York State Smokers’ Quitlinewhich is a free and confidential service for all New York State residents who wish to overcome use of commercial tobacco and/or vape products. Participants can receive individualized coaching and assistance with quit planning from highly trained tobacco treatment specialists, text and online chat support, and a free starter supply delivery of nicotine replacement therapy medications such as patches, gum and/or lozenges for those 18 and older. Residents of all ages may contact the Quitline for support and educational materials. Visit anytime or text QUITNOW to 333888 for more information, or call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) seven days a week, beginning at 9 a.m.

About Tobacco-Free Communities | Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie (TFC-DOS): TFC-DOS is a NYS Bureau of Tobacco Control grant-funded program held by St. Peter’s Health Partners. TFC-DOS works to increase support for New York state’s tobacco-free norm through youth action and community engagement. Efforts are evidence-based, policy-driven, and cost-effective approaches that decrease youth tobacco use, motivate adult smokers to quit, and eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke. Visit for more information.

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Harvest Festival Returns to The Farmers’ Museum on September 16 & 17

Written By Editor on 8/30/23 | 8/30/23

Cooperstown, New York — Celebrate the bounty of fall as Harvest Festival returns to The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, taking place Saturday and Sunday, September 16 and 17 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Since 1978, this family-friendly event has grown to become a regional favorite, bringing together a wide variety of performers, artisans, and vendors.  Situated on the museum’s picturesque grounds near Otsego Lake, it offers the perfect blend of new attractions and trusted favorites. Visit for a complete schedule.


One-day entry to Harvest Festival: $15 adults (13-64), $12.50 seniors (65+), $6 juniors (7-12), children 6 and younger and museum members are free. Purchase tickets at the museum on the day of the event. Free museum admission is also available for those receiving SNAP benefits (up to 4 people) with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card.



Find two days of live performances. Hear music by folk singer and songwriter Kevin McKrell both days. Bill Ackerbauer, an acoustic guitarist who dabbles in harmonica, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, and other instruments, will perform his family program on Sunday. Musicians Jim Kimball and Karen Canning perform nineteenth-century tunes on the porch at Bump Tavern. Mr. Kimball has added to the festival’s ambiance since the late 1970s. The Catskill Puppet Theater will hold a performance of Hiawatha on Sunday at 2:00 p.m. More performances will be announced soon.


There is an abundance of activities for families and kids at Harvest Fest. At the Crafts Table, kids can make corn husk dolls, paper strip pumpkins, and autumn greeting cards. There will also be face painting, scavenger hunts, and a children’s hay bale maze. Outdoor games include cornhole, nine pins, and some traditional 19th-century games. Ride the Empire State Carousel. At the Farmstead, find cider pressing, corn shelling and grinding, and as well as horse-drawn wagon rides. In the blacksmith shop, kids can discover how metal is shaped by hammering molding clay which has the feel of hammering hot steel. Have the family sit for an authentic tintype photograph on both Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (weather permitting).


Animals always take the spotlight at Harvest Festival. Aside from our beautiful farm animals, Hinman Hollow Sport Training will dazzle you with their canine agility and obedience demonstrations.

In the Main Barn, view the exhibit Growing Tomorrow’s Farmers which celebrates the role children played on family farms from the 19th century to the present. The exhibit, featuring photographs of several families who live in the region, will close on October 29.


If you like historical trades, you won’t be disappointed. Many artisans show off their skills each year. Get hands-on with rope making, coopering, and see spinning and fiber art demonstrations.  You’ll also find, quilters, a jeweler, woodworkers, a porcelain painter, bakers, maple producers, and artists, featuring many unique items from the region. 


Harvest Festival gives visitors the opportunity to join in and assist our interpreters with common activities from the 19th century such as the harvesting of potatoes. There are interesting happenings in each building in the Country Village including the Blacksmith Shop, the Print Shop, and the Farmhouse.


An abundance of delicious foods from the season’s harvest awaits festival-goers including the mouthwatering roasted corn from Our Green Acres, sausage from Beckmann’s, desserts from Kings Kakery, and great Greek cuisine from The Grapevine (Sunday only). You will also find homemade pies and fresh baked goods from the Pomona Grange.


Get a head start on your holiday shopping with some new and unique gifts for everyone in the family at Todd’s General Store and The Farmers’ Museum Store.


Visit Fenimore Art Museum on the same day–located just across the street. Get two great museums for one low price when you purchase a two-way ticket for $25 or $22.50 seniors. Two-way tickets can be purchased at the admissions desk of either museum during Harvest Festival. See Fenimore’s new fall exhibitions featuring A Cabinet of Curious Matters: Work by Callahan and Whitten and othersplus Randy Johnson: Storytelling with Photographs, now on view through December 3. The museum and Fenimore Gift Shop are open from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


For an up-to-date schedule and other information, please visit The Farmers’ Museum is located at 5775 State Highway 80, Cooperstown, N.Y., 13326.

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

ASF Readies for Warriors in Motion Golf Event

WINDHAM - The Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF) will be hosting its popular Warriors in Motion (WIM) golf program at the Windham Country Club on September 5-7. 


U.S. Army veteran Lou Ferrari has been attending WIM programs for five years and has been playing golf for about that long as well. He has attended this yearly golf event twice since he was introduced to the ASF, and he’s looking forward to hitting the links in Windham again. “It’s nice to meet and get involved with other veterans again,” he explained. “You get to see some old friends from the past and meet new faces and get to talk about what you’ve done with your life. I’m always willing to give people some activities to help them in their recovery and stay active.”


Ferrari and nine other wounded veterans will arrive at the ASF’s Gwen Allard Adaptive Sports Center on Tuesday afternoon to meet with the ASF staff and volunteers that will be joining them at the country club during the week. The group of veterans and volunteers will then share a lunch together before going to the golf course to meet the Windham Country Club’s Head PGA Pro Jesse Muller and his team of instructors. The warriors will then learn golf basics and receive instruction throughout the afternoon. Once their sessions are over, the warriors will check into their hotels before returning to the ASF for a catered dinner at 6 p.m.


Wednesday will be a full day of golf, as the ASF shuttle bus will retrieve the warriors from their hotels at 9 a.m. and head to the course. There will be more instruction throughout the entire day and even some course play in the afternoon after lunch at Mulligan’s Pub, the country club’s own restaurant. The plan is to have the warriors golf for six hours until 3:30 p.m., when they will head back to their hotel rooms to wind down before another dinner at the ASF lodge. 


The participants will meet at the country club at 9 a.m. on Thursday morning to play a round of golf on the course before they break for lunch at Mulligan’s Pub again at 11:30 a.m. Once lunch is finished, the WIM team will say goodbye to each other and depart. 


“The ASF’s WIM program keeps me busy and it’s nice meeting up with other veterans and sharing that camaraderie that we have with each other,” Ferrari said about why he enjoys visiting the ASF. “I think back about how I’ve been out of the service for 50 years, but that first 30 or 35 years I was working, having a family and being busy. I didn’t have much time for these programs or even know about them. I’m glad to be a part of them now and to spread the word about how they can help people like me stay active.”


The ASF’s Warriors in Motion program provides participating injured United States servicemen and women with a basic knowledge and practice of wellness and the importance of lifelong healthy living. All WIM programs are goal-oriented and empower the warrior to take charge of their own fitness and wellness.


Warriors in Motion is funded by donations that were generously given to the Adaptive Sports Foundation. Thanks to these donations, the Adaptive Sports Foundation will be able to provide equipment, water bottles, all meals, snacks, water, sports drinks, sunscreen, bug spray and ponchos (if necessary) for this upcoming event.


If you’d like to donate to the Adaptive Sports Foundation’s Warriors in Motion program, or any of the other programs the ASF has to offer, please visit

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

40 P-TECH Students Complete Career-Readiness Internship with New York Power Authority

Internship Program Helps Diversify Future Workforce

Through Soft Skills Development and Hands-on Technical Experience with Energy Projects


View Video of Final PresentationsPhotos, a TV Clip and Press Release on Buffalo Canals Project



40 Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) interns got a head start on their career plans this summer by working alongside New York Power Authority (NYPA) employees on a series of energy projects that will benefit the utility industry. The annual paid internship program—expanded from 28 participants last year— helps students from underserved communities build the skills required to enter careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) after graduation. Many students also earned national certifications in fields such as energy auditing, HVAC maintenance, and operation of unmanned aircraft systems (drones).


Tabitha Griggs a Niagara County Community College student, whose team studied 10 fixed ladders at the Niagara Power Project and presented a series of recommendations to help meet upcoming federal safety standards, said her internship definitely solidified her career plans.


“It was so exciting to be here and learn so much. I’d go home every night and give my mom a 40-minute TED talk,” she said. “I thought being an intern meant copying and bringing coffee, but working on projects that employees would have done if we weren’t here made it feel like a real job.”


Power Authority President and CEO Justin E. Driscoll thanked the students for their contributions at a wrap-up event last week where they presented their projects.


“This prestigious P-TECH program is part of our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion plan and is one important way we are supporting and building a workforce that reflects the diverse communities we serve,” Driscoll said. “The future of our industry is in good hands. You have a head-start on your goals and careers, and your passion for STEM is good news for NYPA and the state.”


The P-TECH interns, from underserved communities near NYPA generation and transmission assets, spent six weeks working alongside NYPA employees on hands-on technical projects that furthered New York State’s clean energy goals. They also received one-to-one mentorship and participated in weekly financial literacy workshops where they learned about budgeting and investment, culminating in a competitive “stock pitch” presentation. The program is open to high school students and those in community college P-TECH programs, targeting two-year associate degrees in a STEM field. As part of its DEI efforts, NYPA ensures that students of color have more opportunities to join and advance in the clean energy sector.


Interns participated in eight projects in Western New York, Central New York, the Capital region and Southeastern New York:


  • Northern Long-Eared Bat Detection. Students learned about the importance of vegetation and ecosystem management under NYPA’s transmission lines. Teams flew drones equipped with thermal imaging cameras to identify and catalogue endangered bats as they learned about the importance of ensuring an environment where wildlife can survive.

  • Canals Climate Change Modelling. Interns used mapping software to make climate models and determine projections on how climate change will affect the New York State Canal system, and the communities that live along the waterways.

  • South East New York Customer Energy Audits. Students learned about lighting and HVAC systems and then applied their learnings to completing inventories and recommending replacement and upgrade plans to make NYPA customer sites more energy efficient.

  • Asset Reconciliation.   Focusing on cybersecurity, students took inventory lists from a wide variety of IT toolsets and pulled the data into a common platform to identify gaps in coverages that could be remediated.


  • Ferguson Electric and Buffalo Maritime Center. Interns shadowed Ferguson Electric’s safety department on several projects including the new Buffalo Bills stadium. They also experienced a technical skill-building opportunity by helping construct a full-sized replica of the Seneca Chief boat that will commemorate the bicentennial of the 1825 inaugural voyage along the Erie Canal.


  • CONMED Customer Energy Audit. Students learned about the assessment process and toured the CONMED facility to conduct an energy audit to improve the efficiency of the manufacturing complex. They made recommendations on how the customer could cut costs and be more energy efficient.


  • Niagara Fixed Ladder Assessment. Interns learned about the Niagara Power Project and inspected 10 fixed ladders to determine if they would meet upcoming federal safety requirements. A report presented recommended upgrades to ensure a safe work environment and avoid injuries.


  • Floatovoltaics. The team visited several ground and rooftop solar installations and looked to find a viable location to host a floating panel system. They determined what type of water bodies would be most suitable, and considered environmental criteria, benefits and costs.


“You will go far in the future,” NYPA Vice President of Environmental Justice Kaela Mainsah told the students. “The education, skills and experience you got this summer will be very important, and your networking and contacts even more so.”

Frederick Walsh, superintendent with the NYC Department of Education, said, “This was an opportunity for students to have real world experiences that inspire them to pursue careers they may not have known of otherwise. We want students to have careers that give them long-term economic stability.”


For more information about NYPA’s P-TECH program, email in NYPA’s Environmental Justice department.


Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Bassett Medical Center Receives Surgical Quality Partner Distinction and Accreditation from American College of Surgeons

Written By Editor on 8/29/23 | 8/29/23

Cooperstown, NY - Bassett Medical Center has received the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Surgical Quality Partner distinction including the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). This recognizes the institution’s dedication to surgical quality and commitment to maintaining the highest standards in surgical care.


Dr. Stephanie Oceguera, Director of Bassett’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Program, said: "We have a phenomenal team that is dedicated to ensuring the best care for our patients. We continually strive to improve our outcomes and are very proud to have earned this distinction from the American College of Surgeons."


“Thank you, Dr. Oceguera, for your exemplary leadership, and to your entire team for their ongoing pursuit of quality and dedication to ever-improving patient outcomes,” said Dr. Tommy Ibrahim, President and CEO of Bassett Healthcare Network.


“The MBSAQIP accreditation is conferred upon inpatient and outpatient bariatric surgery centers in the U.S. and Canada that have undergone an independent, voluntary, and rigorous peer evaluation in accordance with nationally recognized bariatric surgical standards. This accreditation not only promotes uniform standard benchmarks, but also supports continuous quality improvement,” states ACS.


Bassett’s Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery program has been accredited by the MBSAQIP since its inception in 2012.


Other ACS quality programs in which Bassett participates include:


  • National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) collects data and provides in-depth analysis, helping surgeons and hospitals understand their quality of care compared to similar hospitals with similar patients.


  • Trauma Verification, Review, and Consultation Program (VRC) helps hospitals evaluate and improve trauma care as well as provide objective, external reviews of institutional capability and performance.


  • Commission on Cancer (CoC) accredited cancer programs undergo on-site visits in which CoC site reviewers visit the cancer program to ensure compliance with standards.


As stated on ACS’s website: “Improving surgical care leads to greater access for patients, fewer complications, lower cost of care, and better outcomes. ACS accreditation and verification programs, products, guidelines, and tools improve quality in trauma, cancer, breast disease, bariatrics, pediatrics, geriatrics, and overall surgical care.”


“For more than 100 years, quality has been the cornerstone of the American College of Surgeons. As the preeminent voice on surgical quality in healthcare, [ACS] sets the highest quality standards for surgeons and hospitals alike—and then works to exceed them.”

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Audubon to Host Andy Mason on September 15 - Emptying the Bucket: The Alaska Frontier

By: Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society

For more information contact: Susan O'Handley, Publicity Chairperson, Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society, Oneonta, NY; (607) 643-5680;


[Oneonta, NY- REGIONAL]

Join Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 7:30pm at the Elm Park United Methodist Church in Oneonta, NY for a special program with DOAS Co-President, Andy Mason.

Long time Audubon leader Andy Mason will present a program on his 10 week camping adventure across northern Canada and Alaska in the summer of 2022.  Says Andy, “I can’t remember when I didn’t dream of going to Alaska . . . and time was running out!”  So he set off with his dog in a 17 ft. camper to fulfill the vision.  Traveling through five Canadian provinces and two territories, and crossing the Continental Divide and the Arctic Circle, he experienced remoteness, wildlife, native communities, thawing glaciers, fires, incredible scenery, and the midnight sun.

Land of the Midnight Sun; Photo by Andy Mason.

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options


The Adaptive Sports Foundation is one of the 100 non-profit organizations across the country granted $10,000 from the KFC Foundation


WINDHAM --The KFC Foundation has granted Windham-based non-profit the Adaptive Sports Foundation (ASF), which provides profound and life-changing experiences for individuals with disabilities, $10,000 to make a project on their wish list come true.


Kentucky Fried Wishes is the community giving program of the KFC Foundation that invites non-profit organizations to apply for a grant to fund a project on their wish list. This year, the KFC Foundation is funding a million dollars in Kentucky Fried Wishes to 100 non-profit organizations across the country.


"We are so grateful to the KFC Foundation for this generous Kentucky Fried Wishes grant. The ASF is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and these funds will help us create a short film about the day-to-day processes of empowering lives through adaptive sports. Not only will this project celebrate our special anniversary, but we believe it will help spread the word about what we do for those in the disabled community," said John Iannelli, Executive Director of the Adaptive Sports Foundation.  


ASF's founder, Gwen Allard, had a vision of helping those in need learn how to ski back in 1983. Her dedication to the sport and the disabled community led to the creation of a ski school, which started in a small closet-sized room at the Windham Mountain base lodge and has evolved into what ASF is today, fulfilling its mission of "empowering lives through adaptive sports" year-round.


The filmmaking team behind the short film is HUDSY, a community-inspired film platform that brings the Hudson Valley region closer together through the power of storytelling, fostering connection in innovative, collaborative and unique ways. When initially approached about the project, HUDSY committed to match Kentucky Fried Wishes dollar-for-dollar should ASF be selected as one of the organizations to receive the $10,000 grant. 


"Due to the generosity of KFC customers who chose to Round Up their orders to the KFC Foundation, we were able to double the amount of grants awarded to community-based non-profits through Kentucky Fried Wishes this year," said Emma Horn, Executive Director, KFC Foundation. "This is our biggest award year to date, and we're proud to support these non-profits who are doing meaningful work."


Kentucky Fried Wishes is just one way the KFC Foundation supports, empowers and serves joy to KFC restaurant employees and communities. The KFC Foundation also provides programs focused on education accessibility and financial assistance for KFC restaurant employees.


Operating independently from KFC Corporation and led by a board including KFC franchisees, the KFC Foundation receives its financial support from Round Up fundraising and its annual donation program, a voluntary program where KFC franchisees contribute a portion of their restaurant sales of Secret Recipe Fries to engage in and support the Foundation's initiatives.


Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Chamber Seeks Deputy Leaf Peepers

With the colorful fall foliage season about to begin, the Delaware County Chamber of Commerce will be an official I LOVE NY Leaf Peeper and area residents are invited to add their observations to the reports submitted by the Chamber.

As a Deputy Leaf Peeper, residents and visitors will be asked to note their locations, percentage of leaves that have changed, the colors they see, the overall brilliance of the leaves, and the stage of the season (no change, just changing, near peak, peak, past peak, over).  Submissions will start in mid-September and run through early November.

Those who join the effort will receive a weekly email form to complete and images received will be posted to the Chamber’s social media channels.

To become a Delaware County Chamber of Commerce Deputy Leaf Peeper, email

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Tractor Trailer Crash in Delaware County

DELHI — Sheriff Craig S. DuMond announced that on the morning of August 27th, 2023, Delaware County 911 received call from the operator of tractor trailer stating that he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident. The operator of the tractor-trailer stated that the tractor-trailer had traveled off the roadway and had rolled over on State Highway 23 in the Town of Kortright 

Delaware County Sheriff Deputies were dispatched to the scene along with members of the Davenport Fire Department, Stamford Fire Department, Bovina Fire Department, Headwaters EMS and NYS DEC Spill Response team. 

Upon arrival on the scene, Deputies made contact with the operator of tractor-trailer, Michael Rowe, age 61, of Sidney, NY.  Rowe reported that while operating the tractor-trailer, he left the right-hand side of the roadway and was unable to re-gain control, resulting in the truck traveling down a steep embankment.  The trailer portion subsequently became detached from the tractor resulting in the tanker/trailer rolling several times before coming to rest at the bottom of the embankment. 

Sheriff DuMond reported that Rowe was transported by Headwaters EMS to Fox Hospital for minor injuries and released.  The investigation into the crash is continuing and tickets are pending.

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Plane Crash in Delaware County

Written By Editor on 8/28/23 | 8/28/23

Today, Sheriff Craig S. DuMond announced that on the evening of August 26th, 2023, Delaware County 911 took a call from the Boston Air Traffic Control Center advising that they received a mayday transmission from a pilot indicating his aircraft was experiencing engine failure issues. 
Simultaneously, members of Delaware County 911 received a call advising that a small aircraft had crashed near a residence in the Town of Franklin. 
Sheriff’s Deputies along with members of Walton Fire and EMS, Franklin Fire and EMS, Delaware County Emergency Services, and Delaware County Fire Coordinators responded to the location of the reported downed aircraft crash.
Upon arrival, Sheriff’s Deputies found that both the pilot and co-pilot had self-extracted themselves from the aircraft.  They were both subsequently transported to a roadway by the 911 caller and ultimately transported to Delaware Valley Hospital for minor injuries and further evaluation. The aircraft was piloted by Ron Galuppo, age 72, with his son Nathan Galuppo, age 22, as passenger.  It was reported that the aircraft was traveling from the State of Maine their home State of Texas.  
Members of the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office were assisted by the Federal Aviation Administration with the investigation into this incident.

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

SUNY Professor Hammond to Serve as Director of the College’s New Training Center

COBLESKILL —  Agricultural Engineering Professor Doug Hammond has been appointed a Director of the College’s newly established Northeast Regional Technical Training Center, helping to address the growing need for trained equipment technicians necessary to keep New York State’s agricultural, construction, and transportation fleet moving.

The Center is made possible through a long-running partnership between the College and the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT). In an expansion of the partnership, the DOT has allocated up to $1 million over the next four years to train and retrain their technicians at SUNY Cobleskill in courses taught by the College’s professors. In this role, Hammond will oversee the operations of the Center, curriculum development, assessment of current and future industry training needs for the DOT and other industry partners.

To date, SUNY Cobleskill has provided 1,182 hours of training and interaction for 2,648 DOT employees, high school students, and BOCES instructors. The College is now working on expanding its offerings in this area, with future courses to include Advanced Electrical and Hydraulics, Air Conditioning, Air Brakes, Diesel Engines, OSHA Safety Training, and Electric Vehicle Training.

"Through the collaborative efforts of Mr. Hammond and the College’s Agricultural Engineering faculty, this program is poised to expand training opportunities and significantly impact regional workforce readiness in a critical industry, especially as New York embraces the transition to electric vehicles,” said Dr. Darcy Medica, SUNY Cobleskill’s Provost and Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Doug is the visionary behind this program, and I am thrilled that he will be at the forefront of bringing it to fruition and building upon the groundwork he’s put in place.”

Hammond has served SUNY Cobleskill and its students for 27 years, fulfilling several roles, including John Deere Construction and Forestry Program Coordinator, Interim John Deere Tech Program Coordinator, Professor, and Department Chair. Most recently, he was appointed as Director of the Diesel Technology Workforce Development Outreach Project. The mobile trailer, purchased and outfitted as part of a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor in partnership with the Appalachian Regional Commission, travels the state introducing high school students, technology instructors, and equipment dealers to the experiential learning opportunities SUNY Cobleskill offers.

“I look forward to working with the many partners we’ve teamed with during the Workforce Development Outreach Project. The project got the wheels turning and has had many positive spin-off outcomes,” said Hammond. “This new training center will help bring more technicians into our industry and to continue to train those already working to be prepared to service our rapidly changing heavy equipment products.”

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

Dr. W. Thomas Huntsman Receives Bassett's Walter A. Franck Physician Excellence Award

Cooperstown, N.Y. – Dr. W. Thomas Huntsman, Division Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Bassett Healthcare Network, is the recipient of the 2023 Walter A. Franck Physician Excellence Award.


“When I heard that I was selected for this award, I was profoundly humbled,” says Dr. Huntsman. “I personally know all the previous recipients, and to be considered in the same company of those fabulous folks is quite the honor.”


The Franck award is among the most prestigious recognitions awarded by Bassett Healthcare Network to its caregivers. It recognizes a physician, nominated by peers, who exemplifies excellence in the areas of clinical care, scholarship and citizenship. It was established to honor rheumatologist Dr. Walter A. Franck, a rheumatologist who provided exceptional care for over four decades and served as senior associate dean at Bassett’s Columbia Medical School program until his retirement in 2014.


In addition to citing his work ethic, expertise, and surgical skills, Dr. Huntsman’s nomination describes how, after starting as the only plastic surgeon at Bassett Medical Center, he has expanded the Plastic Surgery Division to include six attending surgeons. What’s more, his leadership has been indispensable to making that division a cohesive team that provides patients with the best care possible.


“There is not a more committed member of our practitioner group, in my mind, than Tom,” says one colleague. “He is constantly educating students, residents, and new staff members in our division. As a colleague he has supported me from when I started and is always a phone call away for any difficult cases or patients I may have.”


“I came to Bassett with the expectation that I could practice medicine where the patients come first, and my responsibility was to do my best,” reflects Dr. Huntsman. “After 32 years here, I can confidently say that I’ve been able to fulfill that expectation. That has been such a blessing.”

Remember to Subscribe!
Subscription Options

The Best of the Summer

Donate to Support Local Journalism


By phone: 518-763-6854 or 607-652-5252
Fax: 607-652-5253
Mail: The Mountain Eagle / PO Box 162 / Schoharie NY 12157


Subscription Options

Site Archive

Submit your information below:


Email *

Message *