Unfortunately, the initial reporting of the story was not about the tragedy of two 16- year-old boys, but rather one of ``an official who declined to be identified...’’ who nonetheless chose to paint the tragedy as a hate crime, something which overshadowed the newspaper’s reporting of the event, said Ellsworth. She said the results of that decision have been devastating.
``The grapevine is running full tilt,’’ said Ellsworth.
``The rumors and innuendo are rampant.
The result is tearing the fabric of the community apart. And it needs to stop.’’
Ellsworth said the people of the community need to step back, listen to what is being said and realize that at this point it is all speculation. She said the time has come for the community to recognize “who and what we are and not allow who and what we are to be decided by forces beyond control. “
Chestnut Street resident Mary Margaret Kuhn said she and her husband, Paul, a former village trustee, were “completely shocked” by the incident.
`` We know Wes Lippitt as a terrific young man,’’ said Kuhn. She said although Pacherille belongs to the same church (St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church) as she and Paul, they do not know him.
Kuhn said she was working at The Farmers’ Museum during the time of the incident and her husband was working around the house. “We learned about the tragedy on the way to church for Stations of the Cross,” said Kuhn.
Kuhn, who is white, said she and her husband have witnessed some racism since moving to Cooperstown 15 years ago. However, she said they never dreamed that this could happen, and they pray that it doesn’t happen ever again.
``We hope that tolerance is reinforced by every member of our community,’’ said Kuhn. Students offer insights