Click on the ad above to reach the Glenora website.


Seneca Harbor Station & Captain Bill's

To reach the website of the Seneca Harbor Station and Captain Bill's, click here.


Senka Agency

Are you receiving the great customer service you deserve? If not, give us a call or stop in. We provide great customer service and are happy to help you with all your insurance needs.

Let us provide a fast and friendly no obligation quote. You'll see why so many people have made the SENKA AGENCY their agency of choice in Schuyler County.

Always "Working to Serve YOU Better"

Main Steet, Odessa, NY Telephone 607-594-3335


Click on the ad above to visit the Visions Credit Union web site -- you deserve a financial partner that has your best interest in mind!


Click on the ad below
to learn more.


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

For your convenience, we have installed the link below to make donations to this website easier. Now you can utilize your PayPal account or your credit card.


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The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen

Summer hours:
(Memorial Day-Labor Day)
11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Fall hours: 12-9 p.m.

--Vegan Coconut
& Soymilk-Base Ice Cream
--Fresh Gelato & Sorbet
--Homemade Hard Ice Cream
--Soft Custard

Saturday, June 17th
10 a.m.-1 p.m.
Decorate a Cake for Dad Event!

And we are now sponsoring the American Pride Ride on June 24. We are a donation collection point and will be vending on the 24th at the American Legion in Horseheads from 2:30-6:00 p.m. Wink 104.9 will be doing a live broadcast for us from 5-7 p.m. on Friday, June 23.

To visit our website, click here.

Odessa Wine
and Spirits

We are located on Main Street in Odessa, next to the Tompkins Trust Company branch.

Send us an email to to let us know what you would like us to have in stock.

Free wine tasting every Friday.


SCT Computers

Apple Certified Technicians
Microsoft Certified Systems Engineers
A+ Certified Technicians

Visit us at 306 N. Franklin St., Watkins Glen, 607-535-2495

Main St., Penn Yan
(315) 694-7399



Your authorized FedEx ship center
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Sat. 10-2 (no pickups)
306 N. Franklin Street
Watkins Glen NY 14891

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

Click on the ad below to go to the United Way of Schuyler County website.


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Curly's Restaurant is a page sponsor -- of our People Page. People.

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Calendar -- Hi-Lites

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4 Novels by the editor

Island Nights

Excerpt here.

The Islander

The entire novel:

Prelude-Chapter 4

Chapters 5-13

Chapters 14-21

Chapters 22-29

Chapters 30-36

Chapters 37-44.

Cabins in the Mist

Excerpt here

The Maiden of Mackinac

Excerpts Maiden

and here and here. 







Click on the ad below to go to the Schuyler Hospital website.


Monday Scoreboard

Boys Soccer
Tburg 3, Odessa-Montour 0

Girls Soccer
Waverly 8, Watkins Glen 2

Girls Modified Soccer
Watkins Glen 10, Waverly 0

Modified Football
Seneca Indians 24, Groton 14

Stories on Sports

Left: Watkins Glen's Isobel Scheffey (9) and a Waverly player eye the ball.

WG School Board meeting summary

A summary of Monday evening's Watkins Glen School Board meeting, provided by the school district, is here.


Bond hike, ZBA resignations highlight session

The Watkins Glen Village Board Monday approved a motion to increase by $3 million the amount permitted under the bonding resolution for the upcoming water treatment plant, and accepted the resignation of two members of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Government.

Photo: Village Baord member Tony Fraboni.

Home destroyed by fire along Rte. 13

An electrical fire destroyed a home Monday morning on Route 13 near the Chemung County line. The trailer home belonging to Chad and Marcia Nelson was "a 100% loss" according to fire officials. The fire was called in at 7:59 a.m. Odessa, Montour Falls, Newfield, Mecklenburg, Town & Country, Horseheads, Community Fire (Van Etten) and Millport firefighters were at the scene, with Burdett on standby at the Odessa department. The home, consisting of a central trailer and several add-ons, was insured. Nobody was home at the time of the blaze.


A column by State Senator Tom O'Mara

New York State Senator Tom O'Mara provides us with a weekly column from Albany. This week: "Supporting America's Food Bank of the Year." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

Athlete of the Week

A Watkins Glen High School cross-country runner is this week's Odessa File Athlete of the Week. Sports.

WG State Park vies for Best NY Attraction

The Watkins Glen State Park is on a list of nominees for Best New York Attraction in a contest being run by USA Today. Business.

King and Queen

The Odessa-Montour Homecoming King and Queen were crowned during halftime of Friday night's football game against Oneonta: Jeremiah Lynch and Nakiaha Robinson.

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.




And inside

--Three area men plead guilty before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. for their roles in a meth conspiracy. Sentencing is set for Nov. 20 for Scott Kennedy, Nov. 30 for Terry Champion, and Dec. 1 for Jared Mendez. People.

Part 1 of "Schuyler County and Me," reprised, Click here.
For Part 2, click here.
For Part 3, click here .
For Part 4, click here.
For Part 5, click here.

The Editor's


Death Notices on the Obituary Page.

Theresa Ann "Tess" German, 71, of Watkins Glen.
Pamela Ann Kress, 68, of Watkins Glen.
William "Bill" Proper, 73, of Hector.
Philip E. Uhler, 83, of Alpine.
James B. Reed, Sr., 77, of Pine Valley.
James Edward Doolittle, 87, of San Diego.
Irene J. Hubbell-Albanese, 87, of Montour Falls.
Ellen M. Voorhees, 93, of Upper Sandusky, Ohio.
Nancy L. Starkweather, 80, of Montour Falls.
Raymond C. Swisher, 79, of Beaver Dams.
John W. Glick, 66, of Beaver Dams.
James Dean Combs, 51, of Watkins Glen.
Addison Jean Gunning, 11 months.

(For earlier Vedder & Scott obituaries, click here.)

Ag plastic container recycling set

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District is once again working with USAg Recycling Inc. to offer local agricultural producers an environmentally “green,” convenient option for disposing of their empty agricultural plastic containers for the 2017 crop season. See Containers.

DRI Planning Committee Meeting

The Local Planning Committee Meeting for the Downtown Revitalization Initiative (DRI) $10M
will hold the 1st meeting that will be opened to the public on Wednesday, September 27th from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
at the Watkins Glen Village Hall.


Now available on Kindle: The Maiden of Mackinac

This story -- which spans 700 years and ranges from our region to Northern Michigan -- tells of a quest for the truth behind a legend ... the legend of a Native American maiden reputed to be centuries old. It was written by Charlie Haeffner, and is available now on Kindle at To see the ad, click here.

Left: Cover art by Jon Haeffner

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

  Rotary honors Ryan as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Tanner Ryan (right) was honored Thursday by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for September. He was introduced by teacher Alex Richmond, who described Ryan -- a member of the school's defending state champion cross country team -- as "an exemplary young man with a commendable devotion to both character and academics." The honoree, Richmond added, is "a capable leader" who "shines brighter than most" students academically at school, but is "far more than grades and awards. Indeed, his character is second to none." Ryan thanked his parents and teachers, and said he plans to attend college in an engineering program and "hopefully continue this trend of success in life."


County rebounds from a malware attack

Schuyler County is looking to return to full functionality Monday, nearly two weeks after its computer system was compromised by what County Administrator Tim O’Hearn (pictured at right) said was a “brute force” malware attack that threw the county's workers back to a paper recording and filing system. Government.

Jerlando's Pizzeria and Ristorante's Bill Tague and his daughter Emerie, 4, celebrate the eatery's anniversary milestone.


Celebration marks Jerlando's 20th anniversary

Family and friends gathered Wednesday afternoon at Jerlando's Pizzeria and Ristorante at the corner of 4th and Franklin Streets in Watkins Glen to celebrate the 20th anniversary milestone of the eatery. Bill and Serafina Tague own and operate the establishment after partnering with Serafina's father, Sal Purpura, until Sal's retirement in 2015. The Tagues' three children were on hand, too: Billy, 17; Syria, 16, and Emerie, 4. Representatives from the offices of Congressman Tom Reed and State Senator Tom O'Mara (also representing Assemblyman Phil Palmesano) delivered written proclamations to the Tagues on their milestone. Said Bill: "We look forward to providing a unique dining experience for many years to come."

Photo from left: Bill Tague, daughter Emerie, Sharon Murphy from Congressman Reed's office, and Serafina Tague with the proclamation presented by Murphy.

A story preceding the celebration appeared on Business.


The latest column from the Valicenti firm

The Elmira firm offers a look at one of its newsletter features -- a monthly column titled 'Bull and Bear Bulletin' -- along with a list of its services. Valicenti.

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.


Annual Grand Prix Festival draws car lovers

The 2017 Watkins Glen Grand Prix Festival took to the streets of the village Friday, with vintage cars from far and wide part of the event. Franklin Street from 2nd to 10th Streets was closed from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. Among the day's many features: "The Legends Speak," a gathering at Lafayette Park honoring racer Otto Linton, who has reached 100 years of age. Features.

Photo: Two men watch a classic car pass by on Franklin St.


Of dreams and harsh reality

The editor ponders the plight years ago of a beleaguered island family, an example of good life gone bad. Column.


Anyone caring to advertise may contact the publisher, Charlie Haeffner, at for information and rates.


Author Barb Warner Deane plans Oct. 7 talks

Author Barb Warner Deane (right), a Watkins Glen native, will present a talk and book signing at the Watkins Glen Public Library on Saturday, October 7 from 10 a.m. to 12 noon. She will be signing both of her new releases: On The Homefront, a World War II-era historical novel, and Killing Her Softly, a contemporary romantic suspense novel. She will also give a talk later that day at the Brick Tavern Museum. People.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.


This week's deals at Famous Brands

We are carrying the weekly ad showcasing the latest deals available at Jim Guild's Famous Brands store on Franklin Street in downtown Watkins Glen. For a look, click here.

To reach the Famous Brands website, click here
or on the drawing above


Ben & Jerry's

The Ben & Jerry's store at 418 N. Franklin St. in Watkins Glen opened for business in April with a Free Cone Day -- which drew a large crowd. The store is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

115 East Fourth Street, PO Box 30, Watkins Glen, NY 14891

Proudly Representing:

In order to visit the E.C. Cooper website, click here.
To visit the Erie and Niagara website, click here.

Members of the Hackers & Wackers golf tournament committee. Front from left: Lynn Cacciotti, Mike Learn and Aimee Churchill. Back from left: Sarah Matthews, Esther Heichel and chair John Franzese. (Photo provided)


Golf tourney raises $6,000 for United Way

The annual Hackers & Wackers Golf Tournament held Sept. 1st at the Watkins Glen Golf Course raised more than $6,000 to help the United Way of Schuyler County in its effort to provide funding for 22 area health and human services agencies. See letter on Forum.


The 8th installment of The Answers

Travis Durfee, President of the Watkins Glen Faculty Association, weighs in with The Answers, a monthly column dealing with education in the Watkins Glen School District. This is the eighth installment. Column.



Left: Travis Durfee

Mario Andretti, center, receives the Argetsinger Award from Peter Argetsinger, left, and Bobby Rahal, chairman of the International Motor Racing Research Center's Governing Council. (Photo by Angelo Lisuzzo)


Andretti receives Cameron Argetsinger Award

Racing icon Mario Andretti was honored Thursday night with the fourth annual Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports by the International Motor Racing Research Center. The dinner ceremony was held at the Corning Museum of Glass. Features.


Mario Andretti Day observed in Watkins Glen

Under proclamation of the Watkins Glen Village Board, Thursday, Aug. 31 was Mario Andretti Day in the village. That was the day that Andretti, the famed racecar driver who competed in six different series at The Glen, was honored by the International Motor Racing Research Center with the annual Cameron R. Argetsinger Award for Outstanding Contributions to Motorsports. The award was presented at a dinner at the Corning Museum of Glass.

Photo: Mario Andretti (Photo provided)


Scouts recondition horseshoe pits at park

Members of Boy Scout Troop 50 have reconditioned a dozen horseshoe pits at Catharine Park near Odessa and added four pits outside the Odessa Fire Department as part of a community service project. They hope the work increases use of "this underrated local park." People.

Photo: One of the park's reconditioned pits.


The life and times of David Bennett Hill

David Bennett Hill (right), who grew up in Montour Falls, went on to became a state Assemblyman and Governor of New York, and even sought the presidency. Local historian Gary Emerson recounts the life and politics of Hill in an article that first appeared in the Schuyler County Historical Journal. This is the first of a series of such articles that we will be publishing. History.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

Want to e-mail this website? Just click below.


Visit Jerlando's Ristorante & Pizzeria

Three locations: in Watkins Glen, Horseheads and Montour Falls

Click here or on the photo at left to go to the Jerlando's website. There you will find information about all three locations, plus menus.

Left: The front of the recently renovated Jerlando's at Franklin and 4th Streets, Watkins Glen

To reach the Harbor Hotel website, click on the photo below

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel

16 N. Franklin St.
Watkins Glen, NY 14891-1221
(607) 535-6116

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.


Looking to advertise on The Odessa File?

We are always looking for advertisers to help promote their businesses and, by extension, our region. For a list of Odessa File Ad rates, click here.

Anyone wishing to contribute to The Odessa File -- which is dependent on advertising and donations -- may do so through a Paypal link in the left column of this page or by sending a check to The Odessa File, P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869.

Near the south end of Seneca Lake on August 17.


A placid sight on Seneca Lake in the morning

These photos were snapped by Leo Kawczenski of Hector on his way to work at about 7:15 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 17 at the south end of Seneca Lake in Watkins Glen, and passed along by Tony Fraboni, who noted that while he had no information on the origin of the balloon, "when I came in about 10 minutes later, it was above Cass Road heading east."

Photos by Leo Kawczenski


Marie Fitzsimmons reports from Rwanda

Retired Watkins Glen High School teacher Marie Fitzsimmons and her husband Kirk Peters are serving with the Peace Corps in Rwanda. Marie reports on her first three months there. Rwanda.

Photo: Marie Fitzsimmons in Rwanda


Schuyler Transit plans bus to Tompkins

Beginning Aug. 28th, Schuyler County Transit will offer a new Monday through Friday public transit service to Tompkins County -- connecting people in Schuyler to Cayuga Medical Center and to TCAT routes that stop at Ithaca's downtown transit hub and at Cornell University. People.

Boats gathered offshore for the festival. (Photo by Liz Fraboni)


Italian American Festival ends its 3-day run

The annual three-day Schuyler County Italian American Festival drew to a close Sunday, Aug. 13. The festival, highlighted by a parade at noon Saturday and by fireworks Saturday night, finished up Sunday with a sauce-making competition, live entertainment by the Rusted Bucks Band, bingo, rides, games, vendor tents, and judging for the second annual Kenny Larson Memorial Motorcycle Show held in conjunction with the Spirit of Schuyler Motorcyle Ride. For photos from Saturday's parade and from both Friday and Sunday, see Features.

Photo: Members of the Montour Falls Fire Department march in the parade. (Photo by Lisa Harer)


1 dead in boating accident on Waneta Lake

A 17-year-old Rochester youth died Thursday night, Aug. 10 in a boating accident on Waneta Lake. The Schuyler County Sheriff's office said that Owen L. Thomas fell overboard shortly after 8 p.m., and was pronounced dead at the scene. Two other people on board were treated at Soldiers and Sailors Hospital in Penn Yan. The cause is still under investigation by the Sheriff's Office, assisted by the New York State Marine Services Bureau.


Legacy Lane dedicated at Lafayette Park

The new Schuyler County Legacy Lane in Watkins Glen's Lafayette Park, a project of the Schuyler County Italian-American Festival, was dedicated in a ceremony Monday evening, Aug. 7. The dedication kicked off the Festival, which will run Aug. 11-13 at Clute Park, along Route 414 in Watkins Glen. The Legacy Lane dedication included remarks by Mayor Sam Schimizzi, along with other community leaders. Features.

Photo at right: Louis Perazzini, Co-Chairman of the Italian-Amerian Festival, was among the dedication speakers.


Watkins Glen School Board meeting summary

The Watkins Glen Board of Education met Aug. 7, and among other things named a new music teacher and a new varsity volleyball coach. For a summary provided by the school district, click here.


Truex Jr. wins Watkins Glen NASCAR race

Martin Truex Jr. held off Matt Kenseth down the stretch to win the I Love New York 355 at The Glen NASCAR race Aug. 6 at the Watkins Glen International racetrack. Brad Keselowski and Ryan Blaney both pitted for gas in the race's final laps, helping to set up the tight Truex-Kenseth finish. It was the first NASCAR career win at WGI for Truex, who leads the NASCAR Cup standings. Daniel Suarez finished third in Sunday's race, with Denny Hamlin fourth and Clint Bowyer fifth.

Kristin VanHorn, left, Director of Planning for Schuyler County, and Judy McKinney Cherry, executive director of SCOPED, with the $10 million Watkins Glen prize. (Photo by Holly Baker)


Watkins Glen wins $10 million in DRI funding

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (right) announced Thursday morning, Aug. 3 at the Watkins Glen International racetrack that the Village of Watkins Glen -- one of three finalists -- has been selected to receive $10 million in Downtown Revitalization Initiative funds. Watkins is the winner in one of the 10 regions in the state in which a total of $100 million is being awarded. Watkins Glen -- along with finalists Ithaca and Endicott in this region -- presented its case before a panel of judges at a recent gathering at Cornell University. Government.


Watkins 3rd in Best Waterfront Hotels contest

The USA Today 10Best Readers Choice poll for Best Waterfront Hotel across the U.S. found the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel finishing third, only behind the Acqualina Resort & Spa of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and the Lake Pointe Inn of McHenry, Md. The results, announced Aug. 4th, listed 10 "waterfront properties" that "set the scene for a memorable and relaxing vacation." There were 20 finalists. Results.


Column examines "The impact of insects"

"It’s hard not to be scared of insects. Many fly and buzz around us, just out of reach, reminding us of the times they hurt or annoyed us in the past. But not all insects are out to get us. In reality, these small creatures do much more good than harm." So starts a column by Danielle Wolleman. To reach it, click here.


Craig wins big at AAU Jr. Olympics swimming

Molly Craig (right), a 2017 Elmira Notre Dame graduate and a member of The Odessa File-sponsored 2017 Top Drawer 24 team of outstanding student-athletes in our area, won nine of the 10 individual 15- to 18-year-old swim events in which she was entered at the AAU Junior Olympics in Michigan from July 27-30, and was on the winning team in all four relays. Her sister Catherine also competed, as did Watkins Glen freshman Amanda Wilbur. Sports.


Driver promotes seat-belt use in Schuyler

NASCAR Xfinity Series driver Ross Chastain and his No. 4 Xfinity Series “Protect your Melon” race car were at the Human Services Complex in Montour Falls on Tuesday, August 1st from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at the Watkins Glen State Park Pavilion on Wednesday, August 2, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. promoting seat belt use.

The events were co-sponsored by the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee and the Schuyler County Office for the Aging. Government.

Kennels owner Laurie VanWormer and her husband Clinton cut the ribbon as Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn and Chamber of Commerce President Rebekah Carroll observe.


Ribbon cut at Lake Country Kennels ceremony

Lake Country Kennels, which opened for business in December at 1811 Baker Hill Road, Watkins Glen, celebrated its startup with a ribbon-cutting Friday, July 28 at the facility. The Kennels is a small animal boarding faclity surrounded by a 22-acre farm. The new building contains 20 indoor kennels, each with an indoor climate-controlled run area. and there is an adjacent outside, contained area for socialization of the Kennel "guests." For more information, visit


Annual Hector Fair ends its three-day run

The annual Hector Fair -- highlighted Friday evening by a parade marching up Rte. 414 on the second day of the three-day event -- wrapped up with a full day Saturday July 29. The Friday parade featured fire departments, police, floats, and live music. Saturday offered games, rides, a book tent, music, food and fireworks. (For a look at the parade, see Features.)

Photo: The Rasta Ranch Winery was among the parade participants. (Photo by Liz Fraboni)

Congressman Tom Reed and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand at a Clute Park news conference on Monday, July 24.


Reed, Gillibrand announce push to designate Finger Lakes Region a National Heritage Area

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Congressman Tom Reed visited Clute Park in Watkins Glen Monday afternoon, July 24 to announce legislation to authorize the National Parks Service to take the first step toward making the 14-county Finger Lakes Region a National Heritage Area. That would include a feasibility study in Cayuga, Chemung, Cortland, Livngston, Monroe, Onondaga, Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne and Yates counties. According to Gillibrand, such a designation "would help boost local tourism and conserve and protect the region's natural, historic and cultural resources." She told a gathering of dignitaries at Clute that the legislation will be attached to another bill soon and will hopefully gain passage by the end of the year.

Photo in text: Gillibrand autographs a Clute attendee's copy of a book the Senator wrote, Off The Sidelines: Speak Up, Be Fearless and Change Your World.

News from Schuyler Hospital

--Schuyler Hospital, co-sponsor of the Schuyler Steps Out walking program, names Most Improved and MVP walkers. Business.
--The Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary awards three $1,000 scholarships. Schools.
--Donors are urgently needed at a blood drive up the hill from Schuyler Hospital on Aug. 18. People.


Annual Cheese Fest draws thousands to farm

The annual Finger Lakes Cheese Festival attracted thousands of people Saturday to the Hoffman Farm at Catharine Corners, where wine tastings, hayrides, animals (inset), live music and dozens of vendors awaited. Features.


'Rock of Ages' musical ends its three-day run

Dream Barn Productions presented "Rock of Ages," a musical, in four performances on July 28, 29 and 30 at its building at 4991 County Road 14, outside Odessa. A cast of 16 -- eight young men and eight young women -- told the tale of the big, bad 1980s in Hollywood, where the party raged hard. The show was sold out, with a waiting list. For a cast list, see People.


Boil Water Notice lifted in Village of Odessa

A Boil Water Notice issued July 20 in Odessa for homes from 207 to 523 Speedway and along all of Mitchell Hollow was lifted Tuesday, July 25. The order had been issued while the village was "in the process of repairing" a valve broken during routine water-main flushing. "When water mains lose pressure, it increases the chance that untreated water and harmful microbes can enter your water," the Notice had explained when it was issued.


About those bees, moths, flies and beetles

"Bees, moths, flies, and beetles are just some of many insects who are responsible for pollinating various plants in our backyards," writes Cooperative Extension's Danielle Wolleman, adding: "Instead of exterminating the bugs, you can support these beneficial creatures in simple ways." Column.


Schuyler Hospital awarded $10.3 million grant

Schuyler Hospital will be receiving $10,304,060 in grant funding from the New York State Health Care Facility Transformation Program toward construction of a new medical office building attached to the hospital and for renovation and modernization of the hospital's Medical/Surgical inpatient unit. Business.


WGI wins 'Best NASCAR track' title again

Watkins Glen International, adjudged America's best NASCAR track in a USA Today poll two years ago, won again July 21 with announcement that it finished atop this year's poll, which concluded earlier this week. There were 20 finalists.

Said State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano in a press release: "Thanks to everyone who took a turn at the wheel and kept voting, day after day, to support WGI. It's a well-deserved national honor."

Meanwhile, the annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival recently held at WGI -- adjudged the best wine festival in America last year -- is in the running again this year. Click here.

In addition, the Hermann J. Wiemer Vineyard in Dundee is in the running for the USA Today's Favorite Tasting Room (here), while the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel is competing for the USA Today Favorite Waterfront Hotel (here).


Rt. 14 project through Watkins Glen outlined

The New York State Department of Transportation will repave Rt. 14 through Watkins Glen in 2018, as well as replace sidewalks and provide other improvements. A pair of informational meetings at the Watkins Glen Village Hall outlined the plans. Government.

From left: Sam Norton, Bob Briggs and Megan Coates in a scene from "Peril of the Purloined Pirate Plunder."


'Pirate Plunder' opens at Courthouse Theater

The second play of the Old Havana Courthouse Theater 2017 summer season -- an original comedy from writer-director Jeff Hetzel -- opened July 21 on the second floor of the Montour Falls Village Hall. The play, titled "Peril of the Purloined Pirate Plunder" -- deals with the search by two competing groups for buried treasure. It was scheduled to be presented again at 7 p.m. July 22, 28 and 29, and at 2 p.m. July 23 and 30.

Photo: Jack Olcott as Captain Black Friday and his parrot.


Therapist's prop helps explain proper posture

Dr. Somer White, a physical therapist and an occupational therapist at Schuyler Hospital, gave Watkins-Montour Rotarians a lesson July 20 in posture and how it can alleviate back and shoulder pain. She utilized a skeletal model to outline the stresses that poor posture inflicts on specific parts of the body -- and distributed printed exercise instructions to help the Rotarians, most of whom indicated they suffer from such pains.

Left: Somer White and friend.


2 sentenced in sex case; one gets 21-to-life

Two area men found guilty last month by Schuyler County Judge Dennis J. Morris on rape-related charges were sentenced July 20 by Morris -- one of them, Jeffrey A. Forney, Jr., to 21 years to life in state prison. Government.

Photo: Jeffrey A. Forney, Jr. (Photo provided)

Aunt Sarah's Falls in Montour Falls were roaring -- and attracting spectators -- after Thursday's storm.


Storm knocks down limbs, knocks out power

A storm that moved through Schuyler County at about 3.25 p.m. Thursday, July 20 brought down various tree limbs (right), roiled waterfalls and knocked out power -- including for three-and-a-half hours in Odessa. Among the damages: the Clute Park pavilion, which park staff reported "took a hit and is going to need some repairs." Accordingly, the Summer Recreation program held there is canceled on Friday.

Left: Rotary Club President Rich Greenberger takes a tumble in the sack race. Right: Bradley Gillett of the Seneca Lake Brewing Co. (back) and Ben Stamp of Lakewood Vineyards get tangled as they near the finish line in their race. Both fell, with Gillett rolling over the line first.


Summer Rendezvous draws crowd to park

The annual Summer Rendezvous hosted by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Wednesday, July 19 at the Watkins Glen State Park's Iroquois Lodge attracted a crowd.

The gathering featured a tasty chicken barbecue prepared by The Bucket Bar and Grill; wine tastings from JR Dill Winery, Grist Iron Brewing and Lakewood Vineyards; ice cream from the Great Escape Ice Cream Parlor; music from A Walk on the Wildside Entertainment; a traditional sack race; lawn games; live music by Sam Swanson, and plenty of camaraderie.


Left top: Amanda Smith-Socaris and defending champ Dave Sidle were declared co-winners of the sack race cup when their championship race finish was too close to call. Four brackets of two racers each competed.

Left bottom: Singer Sam Swanson of the group Handsome Young Ladies entertained.


Treatment plant rebid, rescue issue top session

A rebid on work at the planned wastewater treatment plant on the canal, and concern for rescue personnel responding to overdose cases highlight a Watkins Glen Village Board meeting. Government.

Left: Village Board member Tony Fraboni.

A toga contest was a highlight of the Launch of the Lakes Party on the first day of the Wine Festival. (Photos by Mike Stamp)


21st annual Wine Festival ends its 3-day run

The 21st annual Finger Lakes Wine Festival -- voted last year as the "Best Wine Festival" in America by USA Today readers -- concluded its three-day run Sunday, July 16 at the Watkins Glen International racetrack. The event, which opened Friday with a Launch of the Lakes party that included a toga contest (pictured at right), and which featured fireworks, continued Saturday and Sunday with wine tastings, food, live music, wine seminars, cooking demonstrations, pace car rides, ice carving, a Polynesian Dance Show, and a brass band from New York City called the Drumadics. Plus ... there were about 90 wineries on hand for tastings and for sales, often by the case.


Habitat for Humanity plans its 2nd home

Schuyler County Habitat for Humanity has purchased property at 306 Broadway in the Village of Montour Falls -- the site selected for its second Habitat home. The first is located on Havana Glen Road in Montour Falls. The building on the Broadway property will soon be removed for site preparation. People.


Hospital wins HANYS community health honor

The Healthcare Association of New York State (HANYS) presented its 2017 Community Health Improvement Award to Schuyler Hospital in recognition of an initiative designed to improve the health of the community. Business.

Odessa-Montour School Board president Rob Halpin, left, swears in vice president Scott Westervelt.


Halpin, Westervelt lead O-M School Board again

Rob Halpin was re-elected president and Scott Westervelt vice president of the Odessa-Montour School Board at the group's annual organizational meeting July 13. This marks Halpin's fifth year at the board's helm. Also sworn in: incumbent board member Jennifer Mosher and newcomer William Shrout. The board also discussed raising the price of school lunches by 25 cents, but took no immediate action. And it heard an update from Superintendent Chris Wood on the ongoing capital project, which he said is on schedule and within budget.

Left: Incumbent board member Jennifer Mosher, sworn in for another term, and board newcomer William Shrout.

From left: Retired Watkins Glen Public Library director Harriet Eisman and new library director Sarah Kurcoba, along with Montour Falls Library Board member Phil Archer.


Library directors past, present are honored

Recently retired Watkins Glen Public Library director Harriet Eisman and new library director Sarah Kurcoba were honored July 13 at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club, and presented bouquets of flowers by Montour Falls and Southern Tier Library board member Phil Archer, who was the club's guest speaker -- and who related how he entered the library field upon retirement from an education career on Long Island. The club also presented the library with $500 for use in its e-reader section -- one of several community donations the club is making this year.

Concert in the Park

WATKINS GLEN, July 12 -- The July 11 Concert in the Park, featuring Donna and the Country Mystics (above), was held in the pavilion at Clute Park rather than in Lafayette Park due to the threat of rain. The pavilion was packed with music fans, and many more set up their chairs outside.

Rotary Club members Meredith Williams (left photo) and Matt Hayden (right) became Harris Fellows at the club's annual Changeover Dinner, where the gavel passes from one president to the next -- in this case from Bill Phoenix to Rich Greenberger.


3 receive Harris Fellow honors from Rotary

Three members of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club were honored recently with Paul Harris Fellow awards during Rotary functions. Meredith Williams, membership services manager at the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce, and Matt Hayden, Schuyler County Chief Assistant District Attorney, were presented the honor during the club's annual Changeover Dinner, while Judy Cherry, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), was honored at the club's luncheon meeting the following week. The award is presented to those people -- whether club members or not -- who exhibit "service above self." Also cited: club member Nancy Peters, designated a "Paul Harris +2" for her cumulative Rotary Foundation financial contributions.

Photo in text: Judy Cherry receives Harris Fellow medallion from Rotary Club member Nancy Loughlin. (Photos provided)

Check out our Wine and Tourism page

We've updated our Wine and Tourism Page, with links to recent Chamber of Commerce blogs. Check it out here.

Want to contact us?

You can write to: P.O. Box 365, Odessa, NY 14869

You can call: (607) 594-3594

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For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.

And also:

Area schools' Honor Rolls are here.

Area historical photos can be found on History.

For full coverage of the 2013 Alice Trappler murder trial, you can click here.

For other recent Schuyler County news, click here.





Click here or on the ad above to reach the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development website


To reach the Seneca Physical Therapy website, click on the ad above.


The Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a Wine & Tourism Page. To reach the page, click here. To reach the Chamber website, click on the ad above. To reach the Chamber's recent blog, click here.


Would you like to help reduce underage alcohol use and drugs in Schuyler County? Then the Schuyler County Coalition on Underage Drinking and Drugs is for you! We are looking for parents, students, concerned community members and professionals to join our cause in making Schuyler County a drug- free, safe environment for families and youth. We need you to help make this social change. Please visit our website here to find out how.

Still available: Tony Vickio's book, titled "Shifting Gears." You can order it on his website here.


Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie Haeffner at 742-2772.

229 S. Catherine St., Montour Falls
(607) 210-6600

We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Read The Stoneware of Havana, N.Y. and Its Makers
by Allen F. Sweet.

A history of the manufacturing of Stoneware in that village (Montour Falls) from 1850-1888. More than 100 color photos.

Available at O'Shaughnessy Antiques in Watkins Glen and at the Schuyler County Historical Society Museum.


My Wild Ride: The Untamed Life of a Girl with No Self-esteem, an autobiography by ex-Throughbred trainer Susan Bump -- who grew up in Montour Falls -- is now available in e-book formats at major retailers including


Click on the ad below to go to the Schuyler County Transit schedule.


The Elizabeth Amisano Ovarian Cancer Education Fund
Live Like Liz, Inc.
P.O. Box 434
Watkins Glen NY 14891


Contact us about our ad rates




A novel by Steve Piacente about a military cover-up, and about the ethical boundaries of journalism. For a closer look, click here.


The author, J.N. Brown, is a 2005 graduate of Odessa-Montour High School. He works at Corning Inc. To visit his website, click here.


An account of a daughter's eating disorder and her mother's seeming helplessness and desperation in the face of it -- and yet a story of hope, love and survival, and a lifeline to other parents dealing with obsessive behavior. $17.95 from


A self-help guide to understanding the role of emotions, this book offers a four-step path to emotional mastery and freedom. $15.95 from


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Yes, we're still seeking donations

Click here

Sponsors' Page

Check out our list of readers who have contributed to keeping this site going. Sponsors.

The number of visits to this site has been steadily growing -- about 20,000 a week -- as readers in all 50 states and dozens of countries check out what's happening in Schuyler County.

Statistics are from an online tracking service, DeepMetrix Live Stats.


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here.


An eternal message of lights, hope and faith

The week following Susan Haeffner's passing was fraught with signs -- most of them light-based, and one in the form of a vision. Here the editor relives those days in an effort to pass along a message of hope and faith. Message.

Above: The Aurora Borealis (From the Internet--as seen in Scandinavia)


Oh, the famous faces I've seen

The editor has been thinking about fame (a commodity foreign to him personally), and about the famous people he has encountered. Some thoughts on the subject. Famous.


The Sound and the Silence: A Memoir

Some things in life can mean a great deal -- can embody hope and dreams ... and memories. The sailboat is one such thing for the author. Silence.



Some sports stories and essays inside

Check out our sports related stories and essays, located at the bottom of the Sports Page.


Some special feature packages

From stories of life years ago along Steam Mill Road, to stories by the editor -- you can find them at the bottom of Features.



The editor's long search for some childhood icons

When he was a child, the editor let fear get the better of him while he was watching a pair of beloved TV heroes in peril. The scar from that experience lingered for decades. For a journey through what the editor's son calls "a weird obsession," click here.

Above: One of the heroes in question.


A cabin in the woods

The editor travels, figuratively, back in time to an old haunt, familiar faces and warm memories. Cabin.




© The Odessa File 2017
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 594-3594