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

As an independent insurance agent we work for YOU. We have many companies to choose from to get YOU the best coverage and price.

If you are looking for someone who works for YOU, please call, email or stop in and we'll be happy to provide a no-obligation quote.

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!


The Odessa File's
Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism

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The Great Escape
Ice Cream Parlor

221 S. Franklin St.,
Watkins Glen

Spring hours: 12-9 p.m.
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

Decorate an Ice Cream Cake
for Mom

Saturday, May 13th
Call to sign up today.
(607) 535-7354
Limited space time slots:
10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm
$15 each.
You Decorate.

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
M-F 7:30-5:30 (Cut off time 3 pm)
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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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 sports medicine website.


Memorial Day services held around Schuyler

Services were conducted in Montour Falls, Watkins Glen and outside Odessa Monday on a rainy day. People.

Left: Rick Lewis, Commander of American Legion Post 676, was emcee at the Odessa service.


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: "We will remember our veterans." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

Athletes of the Week

This week we honor two golfers as our Odessa File Athletes of the Week. Sports.


WGHS cross country champions honored

The Watkins Glen High School boys varsity cross country team was honored by State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano with a special Legislative Resolution Friday during an assembly held in the school auditorium. The team won the state Class C title and the Federation championship in November. Schools.

Left: The cross country team's Patrick Hazlitt with a copy of the Legislative Resolution.

Click on the ad below for more information

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




Used Book Sale

The annual Friends of the Watkins Library Used Book Sale will be held from Thursday, June 1 through Saturday, June 3 at the Arc of Schuyler's main building, 203 12th St., Watkins Glen, next to Watkins Glen High School. Features.

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.

Patricia Ann Sidle Decker, 89, formerly of Alpine.
Joseph A. Dickerson, 60, of Watkins Glen.
Shirley Ann Howell, 72, of Seneca Falls.
Charles E. "Pete" Kelly, 83, of Rock Stream.
Shirley Ann (Drumm) Whyman, 83.
Jean L. Pike, 78, of Burdett.
Jack Huebsch, 71, of Cazenovia.
Joan S. Ward, 99, of Watkins Glen.
John R. Kellogg, 82, of Odessa.

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


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.

Open House/Farewell

Fred Scott, a lifelong area resident and long-time businessman, his wife, Bonnie, and their daughter, Keri, will soon be relocating to the Roanoke, Virginia area. Please join us in wishing them the best as they move into this next chapter of their lives. Sunday, June 11, 2017, from 2 p.m.-4 p.m. at the Community Room, Odessa Firehouse, Odessa.

Watkins Glen's Hanley Elliott tries to stay dry before the start of Thursday's sectional competition at the Soaring Eagles Golf Course. She advanced to States by placing 6th.

Postseason action

Track & Field: Sect. IV, Class C Meet

Watkins Glen got wins from Shawn Rutledge in the Steeplechase, Patrick Hazlitt in the 800 and Gabe Planty in the 3200 as several Seneca athletes advanced to next week's State Qualifier.

Girls Golf: Section IV State Qualifier

Watkins Glen's Hanley Elliott and Odessa-Montour's Gillian Clark advanced to States by placing in the top 9. WG's Gabi Decker earned an alternate's slot.

Stories on Sports


Schuyler Steps Out leaders hold their places

The top three contenders held their positions in the third week of the 2017 Schuyler Steps Out free community walking competition. The defending champion Humane Society of Schuyler County leads after three weeks with an average of 363,961 steps from 15 walkers. The Senka Agency is in second, with the Watkins Glen High School/Library third. Grand Prix Fitness moved from fifth to fourth, trading places with Sidle Insurance. There are 12 squads vying for the team title.

These two wine tasters happily posed for a photo Saturday.


Wine event draws large crowd to Clute Park

The sixth annual Seneca Lake Wine & Food event drew hundreds of patrons to Clute Park in Watkins Glen Saturday to sample wine and food from nearly 50 vendors, and to take home plenty of wine, often by the case. More than 1,200 people had filed through the entrance to the gathering midway through its 11 a.m.-5 p.m. schedule. More than two dozen wineries were represented, and nearly two dozen eateries. Live music was also provided. Unlike last year, when storms bedeviled the event, the weather was cool but mostly sunny Saturday.

Photo: Lakewood Vineyards' Bev Stamp pours a sample.


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.

Odessa-Montour students -- members of the National Honor Society -- work on one of the many vehicles they washed.


Odessa NHS members raise funds with wash

Odessa-Montour High School students who are members of the school's chapter of the National Honor Society raised funds for the chapter Saturday by washing cars for $5 apiece and selling baked goods in front of the Odessa Village Hall. Funds will be used, among other things, to cover the cost of food, shirts and other items needed for NHS inductions.

Photo: NHS member Hailey Perraut

Members of the cast of the Lake Country Players' "Cinderella."


Curtain to rise on 'Cinderella' youth production

The Lake Country Players theater troupe is preparing a youth production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's G2K "Cinderella," part of the Getting To Know Series of musicals adapted specifically for youth performers. It will be presented June 9 and 10 at 7:30 p.m. and June 11 at 2 p.m. at the Watkins Glen High School auditorium. Kim Laursen and Kelsey Johnson are co-directing along with student director Trevor Keller. Leads include Cheyenne Barrett as Cinderella, Stephen Epp as her charming Prince, Bronwyn Stermer as the wicked stepmother, Madaleena Isett and Sierra Morris as the evil stepsisters, and Alison Heichel as the Godmother. Tickets at the door will be $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, with under 5 free. The production is made possible in part by a QuickArts grant from the ARTS of the Finger Lakes.


Hospital, Seneca View and Auxiliary news

--Schuyler Hospital and Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility employees are honored. People. --Chris Updyke is Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year. People.
--Christina Hoose is the Lou Sand Award winner. Business.
--Deadline nears for Hospital Auxiliary scholarship applications. Schools.
--Schuyler Hospital and Seneca View donate 3,200 food items to the Food Pantry and Humane Society in colorful, themed boxes (see photo). Business.

Molly Bilinski signs a copy of her novel, Lady of Sherwood.


Bilinski signs copies of her book at library

Watkins Glen High School and William Smith College graduate Molly Bilinski (right) was present at the Watkins Glen Public Library Friday evening signing copies of her newly published novel, Lady of Sherwood -- a young-adult retelling of the Robin Hood story with Robin as a female. A steady stream of well-wishers stopped by to buy one or more copies of the book and have Bilinski sign them. The author, a chemist in the Buffalo area, is planning a sequel to the book while working on another, unrelated novel. She will also be selling and signing copies of Lady of Sherwood from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, June 17 at the Dutton S. Peterson Library, Odessa.

Photo in text: Molly Bilinski with a copy of her book.


O-M's 5th marking period Honor Rolls

Odessa-Montour Junior-Senior High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the fifth marking period of the 2016-17 school year. Honors.


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 open

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 Finger Lakes Fire & Casualty website, click here.

Carmella Hoffman addresses Rotarians at Thursday's luncheon.


Cheese Festival officials outline July 22 event

Representatives of the annual Finger Lakes Cheese Festival held at the Hoffman farm at Catharine Corners, outside Odessa, discussed the July 22 festival during Thursday's luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club. Carmella Hoffman, her daughter Niki Turnmyre and Heather O'Grady-Evans said a new pavilion will be available as the festival, in its 6th year, is expected to draw up to 7,000 people. When the festival began, said Hoffman, 1,250 people attended. Last year, despite scorching heat, there were 5,300 people. The family-friendly festival features music, children's events, hayrides, seminars, and many vendors with locally produced food. Advance tickets are $5; at the gate $8, plus $2 per semiinar.

Photo in text: O'Grady-Evans (left) and Turnmyre.

The National Honor Society candles representing Scholarship, Leadership, Service and Character.


National Honor Society inductions held at Glen

20 Watkins Glen High School students were inducted Wednesday night into the school's chapter of the National Honor Society. The ceremony was held in the Watkins Glen Elementary School auditorium. Schools.


Budgets pass in O-M, Watkins Glen districts

Voters overwhelmingly passed school budgets in the Odessa-Montour and Watkins Glen school districts Tuesday, by 167-34 in Odessa (a $16,642,703 spending plan) and by 334-100 in Watkins (a $27,220,200 spending plan). O-M also easily passed capital reserve and bus propositions, and saw incumbent Jen Mosher (168 votes) and newcomer William Shrout (146) elected to the School Board unopposed. In Watkins Glen, newcomer Tracey VanSkiver won one of three 3-year terms on the School Board, unseating incumbent Keith Caslin. Top vote-getter was Kris Clarkson (308), followed by Gloria Brubaker (291), VanSkiver (290) and Caslin (268). There were two write-in votes, one of them for Optimus Prime.


A dark mood, a light mood

The editor touches base on School Board secrecy, a Robin Hood book he likes, and other matters. Column.


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


WG bands, choruses entertain at concert

Watkins Glen High School held its Spring Concert Tuesday night in the WGHS auditorium. The concert featured the 7th-8th Grade Band and Chorus, the High School Band and Chorus, and the 7th-8th and High School Choruses together. Highlights: "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" by 7th-8th Band, "Count on Me" (7th-8th Chorus); "Blackbird" (H.S. Chorus), and "Shenandoah" (H.S. Band). The concert program bid farewell to graduating seniors from Chorus and Band: Alexis Atchie, Mikenna Ayers, Abbie Chapman-Heichel, Aidan DeBolt, Dakota Evans, Ezra Evans, Elizabeth Mason, Kacey Samuels, and Brienna Solomon.

Left: Members of the High School Band.

Watkins Glen prom-goers included, from left: Jacob Carocci, Sam Hanley, Daniel Paradiso and Tanner Ryan. (Photo provided)


Watkins holds annual prom at Logan Ridge

Watkins Glen High School students dressed in gowns and tuxedos made their way to the Seneca Harbor pier and marina and elsewhere for photos on Saturday, May 13, before going to the annual prom at Logan Ridge in Hector, the event's chosen site in recent years. Before reaching that event -- highlighted by dancing, group photos and camaraderie -- they went, many of them, in pairs and groups to area restaurants for a special meal on a special occasion.

Note: The editor was out of town on prom night. Anyone with photos, please send them along, and we'll publish as many as we can on these pages.


Left top: WGHS students Cierra Barber, left, and Danielle Leszyk posed at the Seneca Harbor Marina.

Left bottom: WGHS students Mikenna Ayers, left, and Brienna Solomon, dressed for the prom. (Photos provided)

More WGHS prom photos are on Schools.


Italian-American fest launches Legacy Lane

The Schuyler County Italian-American Festival is partnering with the Village of Watkins Glen to honor the county’s heritage in the new Lafayette Park Legacy Lane. Features.

Left: The lane at Lafayette Park. (Photo provided)


Pike named Class C Player of Year in NY

Watkins Glen basketball standout Amanda Pike -- who led her team to the state Class C basketball championship -- has been named the Girls Class C Player of the Year by the New York State Sportwriters Association. Two other Watkins Glen players, Mariah Gonzalez and Hannah Morse, made All-State teams, as did Odessa-Montour's Gillian Clark. Sports.


Left: Amanda Pike


Speakers set for annual Top Drawer 24 ceremony

A former Congressman and an Elmira attorney are among the speakers to be featured at the 12th annual Top Drawer 24 celebration at the Watkins Glen State Park on June 5. Top Drawer.


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.

Jefferson Award nominations

Do you know a volunteer who has made our area a better place? Click here for information on the 2017 Jefferson Award nominations.

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.

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


Simulation gives prom message to students

A simulated emergency Friday involving two crashed vehicles, injuries, death, DWI, rescue personnel, fire trucks and a helicopter provided an anti-drinking, anti-texting message to Watkins Glen High School students planning to drive to and from Saturday's prom. Schools.

Left: A Guthrie Air helicopter lands at WGHS.


Rotary honors Neira as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Brendan Neira (right) was honored May 11 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary as its WGHS Student of the Month for May. He was introduced by teacher Nancy Ruda, who said he had "overcome many challenges in his journey through academia" and that "he has taught me much about perseverance and never giving up." She also described Brendan as diligent and compassionate and "always looking out for his classmates." He "can be found on weekends and after school working on his grandmother's farm," she said, and "has shown great interest in planting seeds to grow in the school greenhouse and caring for the plants the last two years." He also works at the family business, the Smoke 'N' Bones restaurant in Burdett. Concluded Ruda: "I believe in Brendan, his ability to contribute to his family's business and the community he lives in."


Exchange Students update local Rotarians

The two current Rotary Exchange students in Schuyler County and an Odessa-Montour student soon to be an outbound Exchange student were guest speakers May 11 at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club. Moeko Oshima of Japan (attending Watkins Glen High School) and Angelika Friis of Sweden (now at O-M) spoke of their experiences here, while O-M junior Noelle Chamberlain looked ahead to her year in India that begins this summer. Highlights for Moeko and Angelika included a Spring Break trip to North Carolina. Angelika found the O-M prom fascinating, and Moeko was looking foward to the WGHS prom on May 13. Noelle has been learning the Hindi language, spoken in Mumbai, where she will be residing in India.

Photo in text: From left, Moeko Oshima, Noelle Chamberlain and Angelika Friis.


Hoffman honored as 'Woman of Distinction'

State Senator Tom O’Mara honored Carmella Hoffman, owner and operator of Sunset View Creamery at Catharine Corners outside Odessa, as his 2017 New York State Senate “Woman of Distinction" in a ceremony in Albany on May 9th. People.

Photo: Senator O'Mara and Hoffman


Storage: Natural gas out, LPG still proposed

Citing an unsuccessful effort to secure "long-term contractual commitments from customers," a subsidiary of Crestwood Midstream Partners, the Arlington Storage Co., says in a compliance report filed with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission that it has "discontinued efforts" to expand natural gas storage in salt caverns along the western shore of Seneca Lake, say published reports. However, while opponents Wednesday hailed this as a victory in the two-year-plus protest that has led to hundreds of trespass arrests outside Crestwood gates along Rt. 14 north of Watkins Glen, Crestwood is still moving ahead with its proposal to store liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in salt caverns, say the reports. That plan has been held up at the state level for several years.

State Senator Tom O'Mara, front left, and Asssemblyman Phil Palmesano, front right, with the Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball team Tuesday in the State Capitol.


Watkins basketball team honored in Albany

The Watkins Glen girls varsity basketball Class C state champions visited Albany on Tuesday, May 9, where the Senate and Assembly paid tribute to the team with a special Resolution. Government.

One of several gaming tables at the Watkins Glen Fire Department's annual Casino Night at the fire station.


Watkins firefighters hold a busy Casino Night

The Watkins Glen Fire Department bays were packed with people Saturday night, May 6 at the annual Casino Night there -- a fundraiser for the department. The community room was also in use for Bingo. Blackjack, Beat the Dealer, Money Wheels and Over-Under 7 were among the games of chance in the truck bays. There were also raffles for firearms, a $500 cash giveaway, door prizes, beverages, and various foods. Admission was any cash donation at the door.

Photo: A roll of the dice.

Among the night's event winners were South Seneca's Emily Lavarnway (100 Meter Hurdles and Long Jump) and Watkins Glen's Patrick Hazlitt (800 Meters).


O-M hosts the annual Legends of Night meet

More than 400 athletes from 21 schools competed May 5th at the Legends of the Night Track and Field Invitational at Odessa-Montour High School, braving cool weather and late rain. Sports.


Left: O-M's Andy Fudala on the podium after winning the 110 Meter Hurdles.


Ken Wilson honored with hospital award

Ken Wilson has been named recipient of the Schuyler Hospital Community Partner of the Year Award, presented annually to an organization or individual as recognition "for helping the hospital achieve its mission." Wilson served as Executive Director of the Schuyler Health Foundation from 2006-2008, co-chaired the Family of Friends campaign in 2011, raising $300,000 for the Seneca View Skilled Nursing Facility, and continues "to be one of our strongest supporters in the community," says Jim Watson, the hospital President and CEO. The 2016 award went to the Schuyler Hospital Auxiliary.

Left: Ken Wilson and his award

Watkins Glen's next Superintendent of Schools, Gregory Kelahan, greets School Board member Gloria Brubaker at the May 2 board meeting. The board approved his contract. Pact.


Board introduces next school superintendent

The man selected recently by the Watkins Glen School Board to be the next district superintendent, Gregory Kelahan, was introduced during the May 2 board session. He spoke briefly, saying he had toured the school that day and was impressed by it. Current Superintendent Tom Phillips, due to retire no later than Oct. 16, said Kelahan had met with staff and with "the administration team, and the feeling was 'Wow! This is gonna be good.' We're off to a great start." Kelahan, who comes on board July 1, will serve initially with the title of deputy superintendent.

Check presented for Summer Rec. Schools.
Board meeting summary. Report.
Board approves contract with next superintendent. Pact.

From left: Watkins Village Trustee Kevin Thornton, Clerk Donna Beardsley, and Sergeant in Charge Steve Decker listen to Streets Superintendent Don Perry the May 1 Village Board meeting.


Board okays state champions sign request

The Watkins Glen Village Board on May 1st approved the placement of a sign observing Watkins Glen as home to Watkins Glen High School's state champion boys cross country team and state champion girls basketball team, both titleists during the 2016-17 school year. A request for placement of a sign was made by the school district. The board -- with suggestions that the sign might be afffixed to a "Welcome to Watkins Glen" sign -- left it to Streets Superintendent Don Perry to pick a suitable spot. "Use your judgment," said Mayor Sam Schimizzi (inset).

Casey Max belts out a song during concert April 29 at WGHS.


Concert features jazz, bluegrass at WGHS

The groups Casey Max and the DixieKats (dance, New Orleans jazz and Dixieland music) and Rebecca Colleen and the Chore Lads (bluegrass and Americana music) entertained for three hours April 29 during a Rotary Club-sponsored concert in the Watkins Glen High School auditorium. The event raised funds for Rotary community projects.

Left: Rebecca McDonald


Odessa-Montour holds its annual prom at WGI

The prom season is upon us. Odessa-Montour held its annual party April 28 at the Watkins Glen International Media Center, the school's locale of choice for the gala in recent years. Prom.

Left: This group chose shades as its theme.

Lt. Michael A. Notarfonzo took his honorary "final walk out"from work -- between lines of fellow law officers -- as he left the Schuyler County Sheriff's Office into retirement on April 28. He will be back, though, working part-time as needed.


Lt. Notarfonzo honored upon his retirement

Schuyler County Sheriff's Lt. Michael A. Notarfonzo retired April 28 after nearly 39 years with the department, and greeting him upon his departure were two lines of fellow law officers lining the driveway outside the Sheriff's Office, providing him with a "final walk out" from work that honored his many years of service. On hand too were family members: his mother, two brothers and daughter-in-law. Notarfonzo -- the department's longest serving member ever -- began his career in the Sheriff's Office in 1978, and worked in the jail, on dispatch, on the road, as a sergeant and as lieutenant. "I figured they'd try to do something," he said of Friday's gathering. "This is pretty nice."

Above top: Lt. Notarfonzo after the honorary walk.
Above bottom: Lt. Notarfonzo greets the man who hired him nearly 39 years ago, retired Sheriff Michael Maloney.


Schuyler Envirothon title goes to Bradford

A team from the Bradford school district wins the Schuyler title during the annual Envirothon competition in Owego. Schools.

Left: Members of 2nd-place Martens team from O-M.


Rotary honors DeBolt as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Aidan DeBolt (right) was honored April 27 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for April. DeBolt was introduced by teacher Kelly Muir, who described the honoree as "a strong student" who is a class and club leader and a standout swimmer -- a three-time Section IV champion. "He is talented and smart," Muir said, noting that he plays the guitar and "sings beautifully." Another teacher, Karen Armstrong, sent word that DeBolt "is always polite, kind and hardworking" and is "a natural leader" and "a great student who takes pride in a job well done." DeBolt said he plans to attend Ithaca College and study Emerging Media -- "and from there, I guess I'll let life decide."


Vernyi-Kellogg is Assistant County Attorney

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman has appointed Olesya Vernyi-Kellogg as an Assistant County Attorney, effective April 24. She joins Getman in representing Schuyler County in civil litigation, family court prosecutions and social services law. She has served as a staff attorney with the Legal Resource Center for Public Health Policy at the University of Maryland Carey School of Law, and before that worked at the Maryland Attorney General's Office. She is a 2014 graduate of the Syracuse University College of Law. The County Attorney's staff also consists of deputy county attorney Kristin Hazlitt and secetaries Donna Hyer and Vickie Perrazini.

Photo: Olesya Vernyi-Kellogg.

The WGHS Model UN team poses before leaving for Cornell.


10 WGHS students participate in Model UN

Students from the Watkins High School's Model United Nations and Global Issues class traveled to Cornell University for the annual Model UN Conference attended by more than 1,000 delegates from around the country and the world. Conference.


School Board approves next superintendent

The Watkins Glen School Board voted unanimously April 18 to appoint Gregory K. Kelahan (right) as the next superintendent of schools, to succeed the retiring Tom Phillips. Kelahan, currently superintendent of the Oriskany Central School District, will start as Deputy Superintendent on July 1, taking the Superintendent's title when Phillips uses up his vacation and sick days, no later than Oct. 16. Schools.

Board approves budget plan; 4 candidates competing for 3 board seats. Schools.
Board weighs easement proposals for racing research center, wastewater treatment plant. People.
For a district summary of Tuesday's meeting, click here.


SWCD holds a spring tradition: its tree sale

The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District held its 37th annual Green Arbor Program April 22 -- the distribution of bare root seedlings and transplants on Earth Day. Agriculture.

Photo: Dan Lewis of Montour Falls at the sale, with his family's trees and a bluebird house made by the SWCD.

From left at the Watkins Glen firefighters' banquet: Chaplain Tony Specchio, Deputy Chief Robbie DeDominick, Chief Charlie Scaptura


Watkins firefighters hold annual banquet

Firefighters and officials from around the area gathered April 22 at the Hidden Valley 4-H banquet hall for the annual Watkins Glen Fire Company banquet. The master of ceremonies was Paul Cartwright. Chief Charlie Scaptura delivered his annual report, and awards were given for training and response, as well as for years of service.

Left top: Bill Haeffner was honored for 20 years of service with the department. Among others honored were Dominick Smith (25 years) and Joe Matwiejow (60 years).

Left bottom: Among the many guests on hand were fire inspector Dale Jaynes and longtime fire official and EMT Rebecca Franklin-Guild.

From left: School Board President Rob Halpin, Superintendent Chris Wood, and board member Scott Westervelt.


O-M School Board OKs tenure for 7 teachers

The Odessa-Montour School Board approved tenure for seven teachers at a meeting April 19 at the school. Granted tenure were Ashley Cross (right), Elementary Education; Kara Dougherty, Mathematics; Molly Kinnetz, Foreign Language; Jennifer Kreamer, Music Education; Margaret Mortimer, Elementary Education; Jennifer Sarno, Elementary Education; and Kevin Tarbert, Science.

A pair of three-year seats on the board will be filled in the May 16 election. Running uncontested are incumbent Jennifer Mosher and newcomer William Shrout. Christian Maphis decided not to seek a second term.

Photo in text: Ashley Cross, along with the other teachers granted tenure, was present at the meeting.

At the Business Expo

From left: Watkins Glen High School teacher Kaz Popovich and students Sara McManus and Kayla Smith were on hand April 19 at the 11th Annual Business Expo at the Watkins Glen Community Center promoting their school's May 18 Job Fair. Sixty vendors were present for the Expo, organized each year by the Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce. Business.

Seeking information on stolen excavator

The Schuyler County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the theft of a 1995 Caterpillar 320L excavator belonging to the Schuyler County Highway Department from a job site on County Route 1 near Lewis Road in the Town of Hector. It is believed to have been stolen Friday night or Saturday morning, April 14 or 15, and appears to have been loaded onto a lowboy trailer. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office at 607-535-8222.


And on The Odessa File's Agriculture Page:

Local farmer and forester Brett Chedzoy (pictured at right) earns a chapter service award from the New York Forest Owners Association, while a Watkins Glen coffee business plans a Meet the Farmer event on April 22nd. Agriculture.

Annual Report

The Village of Odessa releases its annual Drinking Water Quality Report. For a look, click here.


An update on the Watkins State Park project

With work well underway on the $6.5 million Watkins Glen State Park upgrade project (right), the Chamber of Commerce presents an update on the project's various aspects. Business.

Kids race to pick up eggs at the April 15 Lafayette Park hunt.


Egg hunts held in Watkins Glen and Odessa

Easter Egg hunts were held around the region and country on April 15 -- including at Lafayette Park in Watkins Glen and at the Odessa-Montour school's athletic field. The Lafayette Park hunt -- which started at 11 a.m. under a sunny sky -- was hosted by Cabins to Castles on Seneca Real Estate, and boasted a disc jockey, Tom Strong. This was the second year of the event, and attracted hundreds of people. The O-M egg hunt was sponsored by Odessa American Legion Post 676. It was held under darker skies at 1 p.m. as rain approached, and attracted fewer participants than in past years. The O-M hunt, once overseen by the Lions Club, has been a staple of Easter weekend for decades.

Photo: The Easter Bunny -- seen above at the Odessa-Montour event -- was present at both egg hunts.


A walk along the Catharine Valley Trail

The weather was chilling but the walk energizing on Monday, Jan. 30 along the Catharine Valley Trail between Watkins Glen and Montour Falls. Photographer Liz Fraboni hiked with a camera, and snapped some photos of nature's way along the trail. The photos by Fraboni, who has been featured on these pages many times in past years, are presented this time at right and on Features.

Left: Working on the traffic light. Right: Working on an extension behind the concession stand.


Watkins Glen State Park project progressing

Paving of the Watkins Glen State Park parking lot across Franklin Street from the park is well underway, as is installation of traffic lights at the corner of Franklin and 10th Streets and construction in the park itself -- including a new visitor center and an extension to the rear of the concession/restroom structure. The $6.5 million park enhancement project will include a green space fronting the gorge.


Official outlines Catholic Charities services

Charles Nocera, executive director of Catholic Charities of Chemung/Schuyler, was the guest speaker April 13 at the weekly luncheon meeting of the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club. Nocera (right) outlined the services provided by Catholic charities in Schuyler County. A look at the organization and all it does for Schuyler residents can be found here.

Photo in text: Charles Nocera at Rotary


2 Montour Falls residents face meth charge

Richard A. Franklin, 41, and Rachel J. Pyhtila, 19, both of Montour Falls, were charged April 10 with Unlawful Manufacture of Methamphetamine in the third degree, a Class D felony. The Schuyler County Sheriff's Office said the pair were found in possession of "several items and chemicals used in the manufacture of methamphetamine" when "a search warrant (was) executed at a Henry Street Apartment in Montour Falls." Both were both remanded to jail in lieu of bail.


Runners brave cold at Arc Grand Prix Run

Hundreds of people were on hand for the 4th Annual Arc Grand Prix Run/Walk at the Watkins Glen International race track on a cold April 8th morning. Race.

Left: Race medal.

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

You can email:

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