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Eastern Equine Encephalitis virus found in Onondaga County

Onondaga County Interim Commissioner of Health Michelle Mignano announced that the New York State Department of Health’s laboratory has reported finding evidence of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) in a mosquito pool. The mosquito pool was collected on July 10 at our Taft Road trap site located at East Taft Road (near the Totman Road intersection). Due to this finding and the recent high mosquito count, aerial spraying of the Cicero Swamp and immediate surrounding areas will be done between the hours of 6 and 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 22, weather permitting. Residents in the spray areas will be notified through the media and through the emergency notification system.

Fenner town board clarifies: It opposes Clean Water Act resolution verbiage, not clean water

The Fenner Town Board has received a lot of community feedback and concern during the past month about its June resolution to oppose New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution, with many residents asking board members why they oppose clean water, Town Supervisor Dave Jones said during the board’s July 10 regular monthly meeting.

When E. coli strikes Oneida Shores

With summer in full swing, many residents will be looking to public beaches to keep cool. But what happens when the beaches are closed? It’s a problem we’ve seen several times over the last couple of years at Oneida Shores in Brewerton, as well as other beaches along Oneida Lake. The park was closed to swimmers late last month by the Onondaga County Department of Health because E. coli bacteria had been found in unacceptable levels during routine sampling.

Zoning board moves Owera code enforcement appeal hearing to July 28

It will be another three weeks before the town Zoning Board of Appeals considers the appeal of Owera Vineyards over a decision by the town codes enforcement officer denying Owera’s plans for a June 10 event. The delay in the case — originally heard by the board on June 23 — was decided after the CEO’s attorney filed a motion for the ZBA to dismiss the appeal altogether as “untimely,” claiming that Owera had missed the 60-day appeal deadline as required by law.

Side Hill Farmers expand and innovate

Larger retail location opens with more local products and interactive space

The 2014 culinary forecast is in: according to more than 1,000 chefs surveyed by the National Restaurant Association, locally sourced meats are the most sought-after food item in the country. The farm-to-table movement has energized chefs and consumers alike to demand more local, quality foods. Indeed, the most recent census shows farms selling directly to consumers increased sales by more than 300 percent since 1992, and are growing twice as fast as the country’s total agricultural sales.

Fenner town board opposes state Clean Water Act

The Fenner Town Board last week unanimously passed a resolution that opposes New York state’s Clean Water Act Resolution as an unnecessary and burdensome interference of the state on the town.

Sour grapes: Owera Vineyards appeals codes officer decision denying scheduled event to zoning board

After a quiet spring, the controversy between Owera Vineyards and the town of Cazenovia over the winery’s allowed operating procedures has reared up again — this time in the form of an appeal to the town zoning board of appeals over a recent decision by the town codes enforcement officer denying Owera’s plans for a June 10 event. The winery is repeating its previous claim that its three-season events tent is an indoor, not an outdoor, structure as the town claims, and is offering a new argument that its hours of operation as approved under its original site plan approval are not enforceable by the town.

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Looking for a fun summer outing? Try Hannay Miniature Horse Farm

The Cazenovia area has many hidden treasures; one of them is the Hannay Miniature Horse Farm. Established in 2005 by Gene and Mary Smith, the farm cares for, trains, breeds, shows and sells miniature horses — but what the Smiths really enjoy is showing the horses off.

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New Canastota brewery mixes local ingredients with local history

Erie Canal Brewing Company is the only local brewery to use 100 percent Madison County ingredients

In the 19th century, hops were the staple crop of Central New York; and Madison County was actually known as the “Hops Capital of the United States.” Prohibition, plus a killer hops fungus, decimated the county’s agricultural pride — but in recent years beer-making has made a comeback in CNY in general, and in Madison County in particular. Under state law, for a brewery to be deemed made in New York 20 percent of the hops and 20 percent of all other ingredients must be grown or produced within the state. There is a new brewery in Canastota, however, that not only gets most of its ingredients from a farm in Chittenango, but is the only brewery around that boasts a beer made from ingredients 100 percent grown in Madison County — Erie Canal Brewing Company.

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UPDATE: East Road barn destroyed in Monday fire; fire crews called back Tuesday morning for re-ignition of flames

Firefighters from six Madison County fire departments battled a barn fire on East road in Cazenovia on Monday evening. A call came in to the Madison County 911 Center at 4:55 p.m. on June 2 from residence of 3975 East road with word their barn’s roof was on fire, Nick Enders, Chief of the Cazenovia Fire Department said.

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Side Hill Farmers to expand after an explosive first year in Manlius

It’s 10:30 a.m. on a Tuesday, and Side Hill Farmers Head Butcher Kevin McCann is still cutting pork chops. “I’m a little behind today,” McCann said, as he prepares the meat to be put on the top shelf of the glass display case for the day. “This morning I got caught up doing some research.”

Entries now open for the 175th Madison County Fair

It’s time to make plans to show off your prize winning creations. The Madison County Fair gave away more than $15,000 in prize money last year. Now is the time to make your claim to some cash. Entries are now being accepted, browse the class listings at madisoncountyfairny.com and click on the premium booklet tab to explore the endless possibilities for exhibiting.

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Let them eat bread

Rise bread makers a hit in Cazenovia

Jasmeen Barnes, owner of Rise bread makers, simply cannot keep her bread in stock at the weekly Cazenovia Farmers Market. There have been two markets so far this season, and the shelves of Rise bread were bare within an hour at both. “That’s a pretty cool feeling,” said Barnes — especially since her business idea sprouted last fall, recipes were perfected during the winter, her baking facility was only finalized a few weeks ago and the May 10 farmers market was her first commercial outing.

Fayetteville Farmers Market CNY to debut June 5

The new Farmers Market - Fayetteville Farmers Market CNY - will be starting on June 5. There has been a growing interest in local foods and in ways to connect local farmers to consumers in the Fayetteville area.

Town board introduces noise ordinance, special events law

Proposed laws a product of 2013 controversy between Owera Vineyards and East Lake Road neighbors

After months of work, the Cazenovia Town Board last week proposed two new local laws designed to maintain the public health, safety and welfare in the municipality — one to prevent and control excessive noise and one to establish procedures and requirements to hold special events. The impetus to create the two proposed laws arose from the controversy between Owera Vineyards and its East Lake Road neighbors last summer due to the winery’s summer events — about which the neighbors complained of excessive amplified music, among other things, and Owera received violation citations from the town.