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.

For job openings, click here


Senka Agency

We are accepting resumes for a customer service representative. Please send resumes to or feel free to drop it off.

Monday-Friday 8:30-5:00.
After hours and weekends by appointment.

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 reach the Cantata Singers website.


Click on the ad below
to learn more.


To reach the above ad's website, click here.


Pavilion, Picnic Area, BBQ Pit available with reservation.

Memorial Day Service
every Memorial Day 11 a.m.

Check out this beautiful park.

Forms for engraved bricks or benches are available at
visitors center or at

Questions? Call Clayton Snow


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.


We also have a Business Card Page. 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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We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


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

Other page sponsors:

Business -- Sidle Insurance

Sports -- Cayuga Medical Ctr.

Features -- Cabins to Castles Real Estate

Government -- Specchio Ford

Schools -- Watkins Sporting Goods

Calendar -- Hi-Lites

Forum -- Warren Real Estate


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Our Primary Pages


Wine & Tourism


The IBEW Local 241 is a sponsor of this website


We also have a Business Card Page. Click here. 


Click below to go to the
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To reach the website of the Five Rivers Council, Boys Scouts of America, click here or on the logo above.



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Check this out:


Contact this website at:



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 for more information.

Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel General Manager Scott Bell, left, hands a $25,000 check to Brian McConnell, executive director of the Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross, as the Red Cross's lead Ice Bar volunteer, Diane Telehany, looks on.


Hotel's Ice Bar yields $25,000 for Red Cross

The Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel -- for the 8th straight year -- has donated a portion of the proceeds from its mid-winter three-day Ice Bar celebration to the Finger Lakes Chapter of the American Red Cross. A check for $25,000 -- bringing the 8-year total to $150,000 -- was presented Thursday by the hotel general manager, Scott Bell, to Brian McConnell, the Red Cross chapter's executive director. Diane Telehany of Corning, a member of the chapter's board of directors who led an Ice Bar force of 70 volunteers, was also present. McConnell in turn presented a plaque (pictured) to the hotel for its "dedication to the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross." "We're fortunate to be considered" each year, said McConnell. "I'm humbled by the show of support." McConnell said the funds will be used to aid the Red Cross's disaster responses and disaster preparedness program.


CCC taps Mullaney as its seventh president

The Regional Board of Trustees at SUNY Corning Community College has named Dr. William Mullaney as the next president of the College. Mullaney -- who has more than 20 years of experience serving in leadership capacities in academia -- will succeed current president Dr. Katherine Douglas on July 1. Douglas will retire on June 30 after serving CCC for eight years. People.

Photo: Dr. William Mullaney

From left: WGHS varsity basketball players Danielle Leszyk, Hannah Morse and Taylor Kelly at the dinner at El Rancho.


El Rancho provides dinner to WGHS girls team

The owner of El Rancho Mexican Restaurant in Watkins Glen honors the Watkins Glen High School girls varsity basketball team's second-place finish in the state by providing the squad with a taco dinner. Schools.

Watkins Glen election winners: From left: Nan Woodworth (trustee), Lou Perazzini (trustee), Luke Leszyk (mayor) and Steve Decker (justice).


Leszyk elected mayor in Watkins Glen; Perazzini and Woodworth win board seats

Political newcomer Luke Leszyk, a military veteran and retired state trooper running on the Republican line, defeated Village Board member Laurie DeNardo (pictured at right) 330-269 Tuesday in balloting for a four-year term as mayor. Leszyk will succeed one-term mayor Sam Schimizzi, who was defeated in a Democratic caucus by DeNardo.

Earning four-year spots on the Village Board -- joining incumbents DeNardo and Tony Fraboni -- are Republican Lou Perazzini (360 votes) and Democrat Nan Woodworth (333), who was appointed late last year to the board seat vacated by the resignation of Kevin Thornton. Democrat Brian Eslinger fell short Tuesday with 309 votes. Steve Decker, running unopposed for Village Justice, received 448 votes. A proposition to approve a service award program for firefighters passed 414-156.

Messmer wins mayoral race in Odessa

Incumbent Gerry Messmer (pictured at right) -- appointed to the Odessa mayor's post last year -- was elected to a full two-year term Tuesday, defeating challenger David Patterson, 75-30. Newcomer Aubrey Tomassi was elected to a two-year term on the Odessa Village Board with 86 votes, along with incumbent Anne Centurelli (69). Challenger Marcel Veilleux fell short with 30 votes.


Woodstock 50 festival lineup is unveiled

The lineup for the Woodstock 50 festival at Watkins Glen International was announced March 19 by promoter Michael Lang -- and includes a handful of artists who performed at the original Woodstock, held at Bethel Woods 50 years ago: John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, John Sebastian, David Crosby, Melanie, Country Joe McDonald, and Canned Heat. Headliners for the Aug. 16-18 festival will include Jay-Z, Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons, the Black Keys, and Chance the Rapper. For a full list, click here.

To learn more, click on the ad below.

Arc breaks ground on Neighborhood Center. People.

For story on the program, see Sports.


We honor...The Essentials of Schuyler County

A dozen women and a dozen men populate this committee-selected group of outstanding Schuyler County residents or natives who have impacted life here or elsewhere. None is in the Schuyler County Hall of Fame, but perhaps will be. Essentials.

Click on the ad below to reach Schuyler's Hospital website.

Dealer/collector looking to buy groups of pre-1970 paper memorabilia: cards, magazines, posters, programs etc. Call Charlie at (607) 742-2772.




And inside

--Construction is under way on a 15,000-square-foot building at Cargill Salt in Watkins Glen. Business.

--Program set on American Chestnut restoration, changes in other species. Agriculture.

--March 31 museum talk: political, religious trends of early 1800s. 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.

Michael Evans, 48, of Odessa.
Donna J. Edwards, 72, of Montour Falls.
Ruth W. Snow, 97, of Montour Falls.
Richard "Rocco" Scaptura, 67, of Watkins Glen.
Michael Paul McGrath, 63, formerly of Watkins Glen.
Klaus Dieter "Ted" Herold, 80, formerly of Watkins Glen.
Philip W. Simiele, 69, of Watkins Glen.
Dale E. Ward, 84, of Dundee.
William Stewart Bond, 84, formerly of Hector.
Elvin "Al" West, 66, of Trumansburg.
Judy Marie (Chapman) Mayo, 71, of Alpine.
William Daniel Scanlon, 86, formerly of Watkins Glen.

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

Editor's Note

Debbie Stayer Kelly of Burdett -- a lifelong Schuyler resident, a single parent of two sons and a highly praised Cornell employee -- has Stage 4 cancer as well as a rare genetic mutation called Lynch Syndrome. She is facing a large financial burden as her battle continues.

Her Cornell colleagues have created a GoFundMe page for her that you can find right here. An update can be found by clicking on the Updates button on that site. I hope we all can help out.

Phoning The Odessa File?

You can reach us at (607) 742-2772


Schuyler Steps Out kicks off its 13th year

Grand Prix Fitness took the Week 1 lead in the annual Schuyler Steps Out free community walking program presented by Schuyler Hospital. The program, in its 13th year, saw GPF's 26 Workout Warriors amass a cumulative average of 118,775 steps. The Watkins Glen School Steppers were second (105,447), and the New York State Department of Transportation's Smooth Operators third (69,534). There are 13 teams competing.

Watkins Glen Mayor Sam Schimizzi, left, and Trustee Gary Schmidt at their last Board meeting. Each served four years.


Schimizzi, Schmidt are lauded at final session

Thank-you's and compliments were the order of the evening as Watkins Glen Mayor Sam Schimizzi and Trustee Gary Schmidt -- both elected four years ago -- attended their last regularly scheduled Village Board meeting in their official capacities March 18. Each of them, along with Watkins Police Sergeant in Charge Steve Decker -- leaving the force to become Village Justice -- were lauded for their service to the village by fellow officials and audience attendees. Decker officially resigned, effective March 29, saying it was "an honor to serve for the past 22 years" in the police department. A new mayor and two trustees elected Tuesday, March 19, will take office in April. The process is underway for selecting a successor to Decker.

Photo: Planning Board member and podcaster Stacy Gray expressed her sentiments on her shirt at Monday's meeting.

Short-term rental operators cautioned. Government.


'Drunk Bus' completes filming in Montour Falls

The movie "Drunk Bus"-- produced by Watkins Glen area resident Eric Hollenbeck -- finished filming recently with several days of shooting in Montour Falls. The cast and crew of the film transformed Main Street into a small college town. Movie.


A dime, a penny and greatness ...

The editor recounts a remarkable Final Four weekend, and offers some verse for the occasion. Column


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


A legal column from Ziff Law's Jim Reed

Attorney James B. Reed of the Ziff Law Firm in Elmira offers this regular column, tackling issues that you might encounter in your daily lives. This time: "Be prepared to act quickly after a motor vehicle crash." Column.

Left: Attorney Jim Reed


A column by Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer

The mayor provides us with his fourth in a series of columns on what is happening in Odessa. Column.



Photo: Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer

Click the ad below to reach the Hazlitt 1852 website.

Click here to reach the Hazlitt 1852 Facebook page.

Want to phone The Odessa File?

You can reach us at (607) 742-2772


Job openings at the Seneca Harbor Station

Captain Bill's Seneca Lake Cruises and Seneca Harbor Station restaurant have openings for a variety of jobs. To see the details, click here.


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: "A nightmare for farming communities." Column.

Left: State Sen. Tom O'Mara

Watkins' Hannah Morse drives into heavy traffic near the basket.


Watkins Glen girls fall in Class C state final

The Watkins Glen High School girls varsity basketball team stayed with Cambridge for three quarters before fading down the stretch March 16 and losing 57-43 in the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Class C final at Hudson Valley Community College in Troy. Danielle Leszyk and Adrienna Solomon each scored 11 points for the Senecas, while Taylor Kelly scored 10 and Hannah Morse 9. Leszyk and Morse were named to the All-Tournament Team, while Solomon was honored with a Sportsmanship Award. Sports.

Watkins girls welcomed home. Sports.
A great group of role models. Forum.


Guys and Dolls ends its 3-show run at O-M

Students at Odessa-Montour High School completed their two-day, three-show presentation of the classic musical "Guys and Dolls" Saturday night, March 16 in the school's Fetter-Brown Auditorium. Opening night was Friday; the show concluded with 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. performances Saturday. For some photos from a performance, see Schools.

Photo: Rhys Stermer as Nathan Detroit and Hannah Rosier as Miss Adelaide. (Photo provided)

Next up: WGHS musical Once Upon a Mattress, set for March 29-31. Features.


Artists in Residence program leads to concert

The annual Artists in Residence program in the Watkins School District concludes with an evening concert in the WGHS auditorium. People.

Photos: Maria Brubaker sings You by Dodie Clark as part of the concert. (Photo by Ashlyn Karius)


Monthly column from Cooperative Extension

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Schuyler County is providing a monthly column here on its ongoing educational activities and offerings. The eighth column -- "Exciting things happening in transportation technologies" -- is by intern Chris Skawski (left). Column.


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


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

  Schuyler robotics team reaches Worlds again

Schuyler County's robotics team, Mechanical Meltdown, will compete in the World Championship for the second straight year from April 23-28 in Detroit. The 7-member squad, one of 320 teams qualifying out of nearly 6,000 teams worldwide, advanced at a recent regional competition at SUNY Polytechnic Institute, where it earned a FIRST (For Inspiration & Recognition of Science & Technology) Inspire Award, given to a team deemed "a strong ambassador for FIRST programs and a role model." Mechanical Meltdown is part of FLARE -- Finger Lakes Area Robotics Education. The program is open to youths in grades 7-12. The group meets regularly in Watkins Glen. For more information, e-mail

Cargill donates $7,500 to FLARE, Meltdown. Business.


Rotary honors Barrett as Student of the Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Maggie Barrett was honored March 14 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for March. She was introduced by teacher Melissa Kissell, who described the honoree as someone unfailingly kind and helpful to others, who "it has been a pleasure to watch grow and blossom" as she has matured from a student lacking confidence to one "finding herself and beginning to believe in herself." This "amazing and awesome growth she has made through perseverance makes her the ideal" choice for Student of the Month, said Kissell. Maggie plans to attend Corning Community College in Environmental Science with a goal of attending Cornell and becoming a veterinarian

Photo: Maggie Barrett addresses Rotarians.

  Lexi earns gymnastics honors at Brockport

Watkins Glen High School 2018 graduate Lexi Castellaneta has been named Athlete of the Week at SUNY Brockport after earning National Collegiate Gymnastics Association East Region Rookie of the Year honors following Brockport's victory at the NCGA regional competition on March 10. Sports.

Photo: Lexi Castellaneta (Photo provided)


Legislature meeting: Woodstock fears aired

Residents once again -- at a Schuyler County Legislature meeting - voiced their concerns about a Summer Jam repeat at August's Woodstock 50 festival at Watkins Glen International. Government.

Photo: Legislator Phil Barnes, who chaired the meeting.


Boating club focus: education and family fun

The Finger Lakes Chapter of America’s Boating Club, formerly known as the Seneca Sail and Power Squadron, is strengthening its role in the community with renewed emphasis on education, safety and family involvement. Features.

Schuyler All-Stars

The Odessa File Schuyler Winter All-Star team has been selected, along with Schuyler Winter co-MVPs. Sports.


Getman announces County Judge candidacy

Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman has announced that he is campaigning for the position of County Judge, a job that will become vacant with the retirement at the end of May of the incumbent, Dennis Morris. Getman, a lifelong Republican, says he is "uniquely qualified" for the role by his experience. The election for the 10-year post will take place in November. People.

Photo: Steven Getman (Provided)

For other recent Schuyler
County news, click here.


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.

Bill Green with some 1955 Watkins Glen race credentials.


Green gives history lesson on race credentials

Racing historian Bill Green of the International Motor Racing Research Center in Watkins Glen -- the guest speaker March 7 at the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club's weekly luncheon -- brought with him a notebook full of credentials he has collected from Watkins Glen races in the 1950s. He showed many of them, sprinkling the demonstration with some tales of racing and racers of that era.

An artistically enhanced photo of Woodstock 50 promoter Michael Lang at the County Building March 6th.


Legislature hears police report; Lang weighs in

Three officials from the State Police in Albany presented a report on public safety to the Schuyler County Legislature in executive session March 6. Afterward, promoter Michael Lang commented on the festival, and County Administrator Tim O'Hearn said a public meeting on Woodstock will be held March 27 at the former Middle School in Watkins Glen. People.

Members of the committee that will select the firm to head up Clute Park renovations and new construction include, from left, County Administrator Tim O'Hearn, Clute Park Manager Michelle Hyde, Schuyler County Director of Planning Kristin VanHorn, Watkins Glen Trustee Laurie DeNardo, and SCOPED Executive Director Judy McKinney Cherry. Other members: Watkins Glen Trustee Gary Schmidt, and Watkins Glen Superintendent of Utilities Terry Wilcox.


2 finalists in Clute renovation meet the public

The two highest rated firms out of 15 that submitted proposals for renovation and new construction at Clute Park presented reports outlining their philosophies and experience to a Watkins Glen Village Hall board room packed with area residents Wednesday, March 6 in two hour-long meetings, at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. The firms were Stantec out of New Haven CT, and SWBR out of Rochester. Representatives of each -- Stantac at the first meeting and SWBR at the second -- fielded questions but could not provide specfiic plans since they have created none, not having yet been hired. The projects -- early plans have indicated a new pavilion, new bathhouse, a skating rink and a splash pad -- are being financed through three grants totaling $4.8 million. Selection of either Stantec or SWBR is expected soon.

Photo: Judy McKinney Cherry, Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development executive director, moderated.

Left: Gary Sorge of Stantec. Right: Don Naetzker of SWBR.

State Senator Tom O'Mara is at the microphones, with Assemblyman Phil Palmesano on the right, in the State Capitol. (Photo provided)


Legislators, local leaders rally for road funds

A group of state legislators, organized by State Senator Tom O'Mara and Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, joined a statewide coalition of county and town highway superintendents and other local leaders March 6th to call for increased state support for local roads, bridges and culverts. The group of 600 highway reps have been in Albany this week as part of the annual "Local Roads Matter" advocacy campaign. They are calling for an increase of $150 million -- to $588 million -- in state CHIPS (Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program) funding.

State approves $128 million in new state funding to repair local roads damaged this winter. Government.

Watkins Glen Republican mayoral candidate Luke Leszyk, left, and Democratic trustee candidate Brian Eslinger were working at the pancake supper.


Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper draws crowd

The annual Shrove Tuesday all-you-can-eat Pancake Supper drew its usual hungry crowd to St. James' Parish House in Watkins Glen March 5th, with one difference: this time it was named in honor of Nick Dugo, a church and community leader who died Nov. 26. On hand as waiters were several candidates in the March 19 village election.

Photo: Watkins Glen Democratic mayoral candidate Laurie DeNardo was waiting tables at the supper.


Board urges passage of LOSAP program

The Watkins Glen Village Board approves a Local Law that would permit it to override the state's 2% tax-levy hike limit, if needed, as it backs passage of a firefighter reward program. Government.

Photo: Trustee Tony Fraboni


6th annual Arc Grand Prix Run set for April 6th

The annual Arc Grand Prix Run at Watkins Glen International returns for its sixth year on Saturday, April 6 at 8:00 a.m. during WGI’s Opening Weekend. The annual charity race, held on the 3.4-mile motor racing course, has attracted more than 3,000 participants and raised nearly $50,000 since 2014 for The Arc of Schuyler. Grand Prix.

Photo: The scene at a Grand Prix Run at WGI. (Provided)


Lang denies Woodstock 50 financial woes

Woodstock 50 organizer Michael Lang says reports of financial problems with the Aug. 16-18 festival at Watkins Glen International are not true. The Variety publication, quoting the website Hits Daily Double, said "issues regarding the raising of money and venue capacity" had delayed the announcement of the lineup for the 50th anniversary celebration of the original Woodstock, which Lang co-organized. "We have excellent partners and an incredible talent lineup of over 80 artists which will be announced within the next couple of weeks," said Lang. "We're preparing a once-in-a-lifetime event." Hits Daily Double quoted "insiders" as saying acts slated to appear include Dead & Co., Miley Cyrus, Santana, The Black Keys, Chance the Rapper, Jay-Z, Imagine Dragons, and Halsey.

Photo: Organizer Michael Lang.


McKinney Cherry named co-chair of STREDC

Judy McKinney Cherry, executive director of the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), has been appointed co-chair of the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council (STREDC), replacing Tom Tranter, president of Corning Enterprises, who has served as the business co-chair since the council's inception in 2011. The academic co-chair is Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. "I am honored and grateful to Governor Cuomo for this appointment," said McKinney Cherry, who has served as a member of STREDC since 2015 and has been on its Executive Committee. STREDC focuses on projects to revitalize communities and improve the quality of life in the Southern Tier.

Photo: Judy McKinney Cherry (File photo)


Man in chase sentenced on earlier charges

The man who crashed his car at the end of a police chase on Jan. 17 was sentenced to 4-to-8 years in state prison March 4th on three felonies to which he was supposed to be sentenced on the day of the chase. Charges related to the chase are still "working their way through the criminal justice process," authorities said. People.

Photo: Damaged car at the scene of the Jan. 17 crash.

'Grandparents scam' is targeting seniors

Schuyler County Office for the Aging Director Tamre Waite and Schuyler County Attorney Steven Getman are warning area seniors that the “grandparents scam” and other frauds may be making the rounds of the area. Features.


Deputy Sheriffs Association honors Dylan

Odessa-Montour High School senior Dylan Houseknecht, winner of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Division 2 wrestling championship at 285 pounds, was honored March 1 in the O-M district office by members of the Schuyler County Deputy Sheriffs Association -- who presented him with a gift card. For details, and another photo, see Schools.

Photo: Dylan Houseknecht, left, receives a gift.

O-M's Jackie Vincent addresses Watkins-Montour Rotarians.


Rotary honors Vincent as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Jackie Vincent (right and above) was honored Feb. 28 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for February. Vincent was introduced by teacher Holly Campbell, who cited the honoree's tendency to help others and her "initiative" in addressing her duties on the school's National Honor Society, of which Campbell is advisor. Vincent, a High Honor student ranked fifth in her class, was an IAC First Team All-Star this past season in bowling, averaging over 170. She plans to attend either SUNY Cayuga or SUNY Erie to study Business Administration, with a minor in Sales and Finance. She plans after graduation to work for a business firm with an eye toward establishing her own business, a challenge she says she is ready to meet in order "to achieve my dreams."


Crowd welcomes home O-M's Houseknecht

Odessa-Montour High School senior Dylan Houseknecht was greeted upon his return to Odessa Sunday afternoon, Feb. 24 by scores of fans celebrating his victory Saturday at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Championships. Dylan won the Division 2 title in the 285-pound weight class. Sunday's celebration, with a siren escort from Alpine Junction, occurred in front of the O-M school. Features.

Photo: Dylan Houseknecht arrives at the celebration.

Houseknecht: Odessa File Athlete of the Week. Sports.


O-M's 3rd marking period Honor Rolls

Odessa-Montour Junior-Senior High School has unveiled its High Honor Roll and Honor Roll for the third marking period of the 2018-19 school year. Honors.


O-M's Houseknecht wins State wrestling title

Odessa-Montour senior Dylan Houseknecht (right) won the Division II championship in the 285-pound weight class Feb. 23 at the New York State Public High School Athletic Association Wrestling Tournament in Albany -- defeating top-seeded Trentyn Rupert of Newark Valley in the final in overtime. He had defeated Rupert eariler this month in the Section IV Tournament final. Sports.


Sexual abuse case draws weekends sentence

A 33-year-old Tyrone man, Shawn M. Wheeler (right), was sentenced Feb. 21 in Schuyler County Court to 26 weekends in jail and 10 years probation after being found guilty in a November trial of sexually abusing his 13-year-old stepdaughter, who officials say has intellectual disabilities. According to the Schuyler County District Attorney's office, the sentence handed down by County Judge Dennis Morris was significantly different from that recommended by Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Hayden, who argued for 7 years in state prison. Government.

Photo: Shawn M. Wheeler (Photo provided)

Congressman Tom Reed speaks at a gathering of officers and board members at The Arc of Schuyler.


Reed tours The Arc of Schuyler's facility

Congressman Tom Reed visited the Arc of Schuyler headquarters on 12th Street in Watkins Glen Feb. 19 to meet with Arc officials, discuss their legislative needs, and receive a tour of projects under way there. The Arc is in the process of a capital campaign to raise $375,000 locally as part of a $1.75 million drive for renovations and equipment -- which will update its services as the Arc moves toward greater inclusion for people with disabilities and the general public. Reed, in his first visit there, said he was impressed by the Arc, which is expanding its food manufacturing service through its social enterprise, Glen Copack, and its civic engagement with the additiion of a Neighborhood Center.

Photo: Tom Reed gets a tour of the Arc facility from Arc Executive Director Jeannette Frank.

Former Odessa Mayor Keith Pierce with Board member Robin Thoman as she presented him with his Citizen of the Year plaque.


Keith Pierce named Odessa Citizen of the Year

Former Odessa Mayor Keith Pierce was honored Feb. 18 by the Odessa Village Board as the village's 2018 Citizen of the Year. The presentation was made by Trustee Robin Thoman, who recounted Pierce's service to Odessa as trustee (2005-2009) and mayor (2009-2018). Said Pierce, who initiated the award in 2013: "This means a lot to me." Previous winners included Charlie Haeffner, Jeff Parmenter, Bonnie Scott, Tom Cook, and Erick Thorpe.

Also: Pierce announced that his wife, Village Clerk Kristi Pierce, was leaving that post after 15 years. She will be leaving Friday, Feb. 22 for a job with an area attorney. She, along with Trustee Thoman -- a 25-year member of the board who is not seeking re-election -- were lauded by Mayor Gerry Messmer for their service.

Photo: Kristi Pierce, who is leaving the job of Odessa Village Clerk after 15 years.


Lafayette Park clock is a legacy born of love

The Victorian-style clock in Watkins Glen's Lafayette Park is a reminder of the importance of the park to people like benefactor Robert L. Paradiso and a visible example of ongoing upgrades at the popular village location. People.


Rotary honors Weeden as Student of Month

Watkins Glen High School senior Casen Weeden (right) was honored Feb. 14 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its WGHS Student of the Month for February. He was introduced by the school's Library Media Specialist, Maggie Field, who described him as "a team player" who is "kind, respectful and reliable" and "a consistent High Honor student" with "a great sense of humor." Weeden competes in three school sports -- football, bowling and track -- and teaches Sunday School at his church. He volunteers at a Food Pantry and with the Lions Club, and plans to attend the Syracuse-based SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.


Bond named president of Hunt Engineers

The Watkins Glen resident, a longtime Hunt employee who has been the company's vice president since 2015, is only the third president in the 44-year history of the Horseheads firm. He succeeds Dan Bower, who will remain as CEO and Chief Strategic Officer. Business.

Photo: Chris Bond


Summer Jam woes conveyed to Legislature

Dozens of area residents were on hand at the Feb. 11 Schuyler Legislature meeting, with several cautioning legislators about the dangers of embracing the Aug. 16-18 Woodstock 50 festival at Watkins Glen International -- using the 1973 Summer Jam as a sobering example. County Administrator Tim O'Hearn assured them that the process of approving the festival is in its early stages, and that the Legislature is listening. "We're taking this seriously," he said -- but allowing the process to play out, giving the promoter every chance to "prove he can do what he says." Government.

Photo: Schuyler County Administrator Tim O'Hearn


Women's March: calling attention to inequality

Watkins Glen High School senior Kathleen Clifford weighs in with a description of the 2019 Women's March in Seneca Falls and some facts and thoughts on gender inequality in the United States. People.

Photo: Kathleen Clifford


Cargill team donates $5,000 to United Way

A team of Cargill Salt employees recently completed Project KliC at the Watkins Glen Cargill Salt Facility, involving installation of a system to refine Potassium Chloride (KCl). The team won the Cargill Salt Diamond Crystal award, which recognizes exceptional team performance. Members of such winning teams receive gifts and a grant of $5,000 to be donated to a charitable foundation of the team’s choice. The team chose to donate the entire $5,000 to the Schuyler County United Way.

Photo: Paul Clifford, Project KliC Team Leader (and past United Way board member) and current United Way board member Jessica Smith with the Diamond Crystal award. (Photo provided)


Arc of Schuyler rallies for DSP wage increase

Direct support professionals, advocates, and legislators rallied at the Broome County Courthouse in Binghamton on February 8, calling on the New York State legislature and Governor Cuomo to include $55 million in the New York State budget to pay direct support professionals what they called a fair, living wage. Features.

Photo: At the rally: Mandy Jensen, a Direct Support Professional at The Arc of Schuyler. (Photo provided)


Woodstock worries? Barnes urges patience

The Dix Town Board --at a Special Meeting on Feb. 7 called to discuss concerns about the Woodstock 50 weekend planned at Watkins Glen International in August -- heard from Schuyler County Legislator Phil Barnes, who cautioned that people should wait for more information before rushing to any judgment about the big concert. People.

Photo: Legislator Phil Barnes at the Dix Town Board meeting.


Odessa residents approve fire truck purchase

The residents of the village of Odessa on Feb. 7 approved the purchase of a new pumper/rescue truck to replace an old one. The vote count was 64-18.The purchase will be done without raising taxes. About a fourth of the cost is covered by the Odessa Fire Department's capital equipment reserve account, with the rest bonded. Existing equipment used on the current pumper will be transferred to the new truck.


Rotary honors Simpson as Student of Month

Odessa-Montour High School senior Nadia Simpson (pictured at right) was honored Feb. 7 by the Watkins-Montour Rotary Club as its O-M Student of the Month for January. Simpson was introduced by teacher Trina Shepherd, who described the honoree as "a well-rounded student" who "has made the most her high school career" while being "very polite, respectful, a leader, and helpful to peers and teachers." Simpson competes in soccer and track, is a cheerleader, and is president of Student Council and Interact and Vice President of the National Honor Society. She holds the school record in the 100 Meter Dash and excels at 200 Meters. She is planning to attend college, and is leaning toward SUNY Cortland, with an eye toward the field of Human Services.

Lou Perazzini enjoys a moment at his Meet the Candidate gathering Thursday evening at the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge. A Republican, he is seeking a seat on the Watkins Glen Village Board in the March 19 election. Two seats are up for grabs, sought by three candidates.


Perazzini, Leszyk greet public at Elks session

Lou Perazzini and Luke Leszyk -- running on the Republican ticket for Watkins Glen Village Trustee and Mayor, respectively, met with members of the public Feb. 7 at a Meet the Candidate Night organized by Perazzini at the Watkins Glen Elks Lodge. Perazzini, a graduate of Watkins Glen High School and part of the village community for 60 years, was employed by NYS DOT for 28 years, retiring in 2005, and later worked for the National Wild Turkey Federation, retiring in 2012. He and his wife Vickie then opened the Lake Valley Legends B&B on North Glen Avenue. He is also president of the Italian-American Festival. Leszyk, an Odessa-Montour graduate, was a New York State Trooper for 23 years -- the last 12 serving the people of Schuyler County -- before retiring in 2017. He and his wife Jane now own and operate Admiral Peabody's Lakeside Lodging on Seneca Lake. Also on hand at Thursday's gathering was Steve Decker -- Sergeant in Charge of the Watkins Glen Police Department -- who is running unopposed on the GOP line for Village Justice.

Photo in text: Luke Leszyk at the Elks Lodge Thursday.


'Ingenuity Night' draws crowd at high school

The Watkins Glen Central School District kicked off its Ingenuity Initiative with a ribbon-cutting and open house at the High School. Schools.

Left: School Board President Gloria Brubaker at the ribbon-cutting.

Schuyler County Judge candidate Matt Hayden, right, poses next to one of his signs with his father, Carl Hayden, well-known Chemung County attorney and Chancellor Emeritus of the New York State Board of Regents.


Matt Hayden announces run for County Judge

Schuyler County Chief Assistant District Attorney Matthew Hayden announced Feb. 5 at a press conference in the Watkins Glen Village Hall that he is seeking the post of Schuyler County Judge in the November election. The 10-year post is currently held by Dennis Morris, who has announced he will retire at the end of May. Hayden, a Democrat, has been Chief Assistant D.A. since 2004. In 2013, he won the "Prosecutor of the Year" award in New York State. Hayden is the first of several people expected to announce their candidacy for the bench. He was introduced at Tuesday's gathering -- attended by supporters from both parties -- by his campaign manager, retired school superintendent Tom Phillips.

Photo in text: Matt Hayden addresses his supporters at Tuesday's gathering.


Woodstock 50 to be held at WGI in August

The 50th anniversary of the Woodstock Music Festival will be held on the grounds of Watkins Glen International from Aug. 16-18. The original Woodstock organizer, Michael Lang (pictured at right), announced the plans -- detailed in a lengthy New York Times article here. WGI will be used instead of the Woodstock site in Bethel Woods, NY, which "simply doesn't have the capacity to host our official Woodstock 50 celebration," Lang said. No official musical lineup for the event has been unveiled, but Lang told Rolling Stone magazine that dozens of guests have been booked. Tickets -- a reported 110,000 --go on sale in February.

Schuyler "fully supports" Woodstock 50. Features.


Palmesano joins in tipped-wage credit rally

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano (R,C,I-Corning) joins other lawmakers and restaurant industry representives for an Albany rally in support of the tipped-wage credit -- which proponents say helps keep restaurant employment up and costs down. Government.

Photo: Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, left, at rally

O'Mara votes against 'extreme action' on abortion. Gov't.
Palmesano rips Cuomo on funding cut to localities. Gov't.

One of the sculpted ice bars on the Harbor Hotel's patio.


Harbor Hotel's Ice Bar concludes 3-night run

The 8th annual Ice Bar event opened Jan. 31 at the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel -- the first evening of a three-night run that sold out Feb. 1 and 2. There were about 500 ticket holders present the first night, with 1,000 on hand each of the following two nights. Sculpted ice bars, a sculpted ice throne and sculpted ice advertising populated the hotel patio, while area wineries and related food businesses were providing wine and food samples in the hotel ballroom. A portion of the proceeds goes to the American Red Cross.

Photo: F.L.X. Wienery was among the businesses on hand.

A sculpted ice throne was a popular spot for picture posing.

The Democratic Party ticket for the Watkins Glen Village Board in the March 19 election: Trustee candidates Brian Eslinger and Nan Woodworth flank mayoral candidate Laurie DeNardo


Dems pick DeNardo as their mayoral candidate

Watkins Glen Village Trustee Laurie DeNardo was chosen by registered village Democrats meeting in caucus Jan. 29 to be their mayoral candidate in the March 19 village election. She defeated incumbent Mayor Sam Schimizzi, 37-31, in a paper-ballot vote of Democrats meeting in the Watkins Glen Village Hall.

Schimizzi, who is completing a single four-year term as head of the Village Board, said afterward that he has no plans to seek any office in the near future.

The vote -- from 68 out of the 420 registered Democratic voters in the village -- followed short speeches by the two candidates after each was nominated. Speeches of support were also presented by Stacy Gray on behalf of Schimizzi, and by Phil Cherry on behalf of DeNardo.

The caucus also unanimously named Nan Woodworth -- a recent addition to the Village Board through appointment following the resignation of Kevin Thornton -- and Brian Eslinger (a recent candidate for the county Legislature) to seek the two available trustee seats. Incumbent Gary Schmidt earlier chose not to seek re-election.

DeNardo will be facing Republican Luke Leszyk, while Republican Lou Perazzini will be running for trustee against Woodworth and Eslinger. The top two trustee vote-getters earn the two trustee seats. The Democrats have no candidate for Village Justice to challenge Republican Steve Decker. Incumbent Justice Connie Fern Miller is not seeking a second term.

Photos: Caucus Chair John Vona (top) and Mayor Sam Schimizzi at Tuesday's gathering.


WGHS artists' work on display at museum

Art by selected Watkins Glen High School students will be on display at the Arnot Art Museum as part of the museum's annual Scholastic Art Winners program. For a sampling of the art and the museum's hours, see Schools.

Left: From Ashlyn Karius's The Nuclear Shadow.

Congressman Tom Reed, left, was on hand at the Gala, here with Rick and Rebekah Carroll. Rebekah is president of the local Chamber of Commerce.


Chamber holds its annual Gala at the hotel

The annual Watkins Glen Area Chamber of Commerce Winter Gala presented by the Visions Federal Credit Union attracted 270 people Jan. 26 to the Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel. The night consisted of dining, socializing, auctions, blackjack, awards, and live music by Suspect. Awards went to Matthew Sharp of Cameron Manufacturing and Design (the annual Community Spirit Award) and Grist Iron Brewing LLC (the Leader in Business Award). Scores of businesses and individuals provided donations and other support for the evening.

Photo: Dr. Katherine Douglas, president of SUNY Corning Community College, was among the attendees.

From left: Gala attendees Kaz Popovich, Margaret and Jonathan Lawrence, and Ken Wilson.


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Area schools' Honor Rolls are here.

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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.


A Christian-based autobiography written by Melinda Kreischer, pen name for a long-time Finger Lakes area resident. Ordering information can be found here.


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


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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


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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.


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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 2019
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869

(607) 742-2772