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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

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Laidman named finalist in CNY ‘everyday champion’ competition

Winner through online voting receives $10K for charity of their choice

Hume Laidman does not like to be in the spotlight; he just wants to give back to his community. But last week, Laidman found himself standing on the pitcher’s mound at NBT Bank Stadium throwing out a ceremonial first pitch and being celebrated as a finalist for a $10,000 prize in the Today’s Options Champions Competition. Laidman, 83, a 58-year resident of Cazenovia, is in the running as a representative of the charity of his choice, Community Resources for Independent Seniors (CRIS), to whom the prize money will go if he is crowned the competition grand champion.

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Griffin used $1.2 million in defrauded investors’ money to buy luxury items for himself and wife, SEC says

Federal Securities And Exchange Commission files civil complaint against Cazenovia businessman

One week after Cazenovia businessman James P. Griffin was arrested by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and indicted on a $1.6 million scheme to defraud investors since 2009, he has also been charged by the federal Securities and Exchange Commission for defrauding investors, many of them upstate New York residents, who purchased the companies’ securities and so-called “charitable gift annuities.” According to the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. district court in Syracuse, the alleged scheme raised at least $8 million from 125 or more investors in shares and promissory notes issued by the companies over more than seven years, starting in 2007.

Nelson town board to consider changing two elected positions to appointed, make supervisor four-year term

The Nelson Town Board is considering making a change in the way three of its elected town positions are administered. The board is preparing to discuss at its next monthly meeting proposals to make both the town highway superintendent and town clerk positions appointed rather than elected, as well as to change the term of office for the town supervisor from two years to four years.

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Cazenovia police raise over $1,800 in Cops on Top Special Olympics fundraiser

Cazenovia police officers raised more than $1,800 last week when they partnered with the local Dunkin Donuts on Albany Street to give away free coffee and T-shirts to raise awareness and funds to support the Special Olympics of New York.

School district hires new assistant superintendent

The Cazenovia Board of Education last week approved the appointment of Thomas P. Finnerty, director of management and finance for the Franklin-Essex-Hamilton BOCES in Malone, N.Y., to be the new assistant superintendent for the Cazenovia Central School District.

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Class of 2017 gives $500 check to Caz fire department

Members of the Cazenovia High School Class of 2017 this week presented a check for $500 to the Cazenovia Volunteer Fire Department, part of the funds raised from the class’s June 7 Color Run fundraiser. The Color Run was a 3K/5K run/walk for all ages held at the Sean Googin Memorial Sport Complex on Fenner Road.

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Hayes receives district Law and Order Award from 10-county area

Cazenovia Village Police Chief Michael Hayes this week was recognized as a top law enforcement officer in a 10-county area when he received the District 6 Law and Order Award from American Legion posts in those 10 counties.

Seven Pines water district proposal withdrawn

The proposal to create a new water district in and around the Seven Pines neighborhood no longer qualifies for Cazenovia town board consideration after a number previous proposal advocates withdrew their support, Supervisor Bill Zupan announced at the board’s July 13 regular monthly meeting.

Cazenovia town office now selling fishing licenses, offering free mosquito repellant

Cazenovia Town Clerk Connie Sunderman would like to remind Cazenovia residents and visitors that the town has resumed selling hunting and fishing licenses on July 1 after an 18-month hiatus. Licenses may be purchased at the town office at 7 Albany St. during regular business hours, which are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday. A driver’s license is required.

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Cazenovia school board elects new officers, welcomes new members

At the first meeting of its new fiscal year, the Cazenovia Central School District Board of Education welcomed three new members, elected a new president and vice president, made annual appointments and said goodbye to longtime assistant superintendent Bill Furlong.

Fenner town board approves new town welcome signs

After more than one year of discussion and study, the Fenner Town Board last week approved the purchase of 15 new welcome signs to be posted on multiple entrance roads to the town at a cost not to exceed $3,000.

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New chef, new menu, new wine – Owera Vineyards kickstarts summer season

Owera Vineyards has been winning medals for the quality of its Cazenovia-made wines for years, and now Madison County’s only winery is seeking to make a new mark on people’s palates with its food. Owera has started the 2015 summer season with a new chef and a new tasting room menu — with all the ingredients coming not just locally, but many from Owera’s own backyard.

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Village board swears-in reelected members, makes annual appointments

At the start of the calendar year for the Cazenovia Village Board, the mayor and two trustees who were reelected during the June 18 village election were sworn-in to office, and the board made its annual appointments to village positions and committees.

Village board creates new 15-minutes parking spots on Albany Street

Four new 15-minute parking spots potentially will be added to Albany Street in the near future in order to give shoppers the ability to find a convenient space to park while they run quick errands downtown. The village board discussed the potential parking change to add the new spaces — two at each end on different sides of the Albany Street downtown shopping district — at its July 1 meeting.

Matthew’s Salon holds fundraising raffle for injured local resident

On May 21, Cazenovia resident Katie Woodworth, 23, was in a serious head-on car collision on Nelson Street that sent her airlifted to Upstate Medical Center. Matthew’s Salon is currently raffling off a year’s worth of free haircuts (eight total) to help raise money for Woodworth’s recovery.

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Owera Vineyards, town of Caz square off in state supreme court

Two sides argue merits of planning board site plan approval for winery’s proposed new event center

Attorneys for the Town of Cazenovia, Owera Vineyards and East Lake Road neighbors of Owera Vineyards this week appeared before State Supreme Court Judge Dennis K. McDermott in Wampsville to argue whether the town planning board exceeded its authority in its February site plan approval for Owera’s proposed 6,300 square-foot permanent promotion and marketing facility.

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A time for celebration and gratitude

CHS Class of 2015 celebrates commencement

It was an overcast day with the threat of rainstorms last Saturday, June 27, as the Cazenovia High School Class of 2015 celebrated its commencement inside the Cazenovia College gymnasium. Hundreds of family and friends of the graduating seniors, along with teachers and district staff, watched as the 146 candidates for graduation, dressed in their blue and white robes, each holding a white rose, received their awards, scholarships, general accolades and, of course, their high school diplomas.

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Cazenovia police make sizeable drug arrest

A routine traffic stop on Albany Street turned into a drug arrest that netted nine different types of narcotics, as well as drug paraphernalia and weapons, by the Cazenovia Village Police Department.

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Artistic Cazenovia: Meet the winners of the art park - Caz Republican photo contest

It was a tight competition with many excellent entries but, in the end, only one photograph could be crowned winner of the first Stone Quarry Hill Art Park / Cazenovia Republican photo contest, “Casting Shadows: Sculptures and Spring.”

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Veterans honored on Father’s Day

Cazenovia American Legion Post 88 holds “Flags of Our Heroes” commemoration event

On this Father’s Day just passed, more than 50 deceased military veterans from World War II, the majority from Cazenovia, were honored, along with their families, by the Cazenovia American Legion through the “Flags of Our Heroes” program, which is a subset of Honor Flight Syracuse.

Furlong resigns as Cazenovia school district assistant superintendent

After 18 years as second-in-command of the Cazenovia Central School District, Assistant Superintendent Bill Furlong has resigned his position in order to make a lateral job transfer to the North Colonie Central School District in Latham, N.Y. Furlong was appointed assistant superintendent of business for the North Colonie district at a special meeting of its Board of Education on June 1. His resignation was officially accepted by the Cazenovia Board of Education at its June 15 regular monthly meeting.

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Cazenovia school district ranked third in the state in new survey

Business First, a Buffalo-based magazine that conducts annual evaluations of the top school districts throughout New York state, last week released its 2015 results — and named Cazenovia Central School District the third-best school district in all of the 431 Upstate New York school districts. Pittsford, a southeastern suburb of Rochester, ranked no. 1, followed by Fayetteville-Manlius at no. 2.

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Town begins construction for new salt storage shed

Cazenovia town highway crews last week began erecting a new salt storage shed and cold storage shed on Constine Bridge Road in the town as part of a $250,000 capital project. The new buildings will allow the town to store winter salt and seasonal town equipment in a covered structure.

Proposed Seven Pines water district takes heat at Cazenovia town board meeting

The Cazenovia Town Board spent more than one hour last week hearing arguments for and against a proposal to create a new water district in and around the Seven Pines neighborhood.

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Longtime school board members say goodbye

Vogl, Tobey and Marris end collective 30 years of board service

The Cazenovia Board of Education handled some routine year-end matters at its June 15 monthly board meeting, but the real events of the night were a bevy of goodbyes given to departing teachers, administrators and school board members.

Wheeler, Mann, Koennecke reelected to village positions

The Cazenovia village election occurred on Tuesday, June 16, and with none of the three candidates having any opponents, the incumbent mayor and two trustees were all reelected to their respective positions.

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Cazenovia American Legion gives $7,500 to local veterans program

More than 100 members of Post 88 spent the past four months selling $10 raffle tickets for a chance to win a foursome of golf at one of 10 different golf courses in the Central New York area. On Wednesday, June 10, Post 88 members donated the money they raised — $7,500 — to the local veterans’ support organization, Clear Path for Veterans, in Chittenango.

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DeWitt cuts ribbon on Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Trail

After more than a decade of work to create a local park system connected through trails and walkways over the old Erie Canal, the ribbon was cut last weekend on the Butternut Creek Recreation and Nature Trail in DeWitt to celebrate the opening of the new wooden boardwalk.

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Brian Tait loses funeral director license, registration for funeral home

Cazenovia funeral home director Brian Tait has had both his funeral directing license and the certificate of registration of the Tait Funeral Home revoked by the state department of health, and he must surrender both to the department in 60 days, a Department of Health spokesperson has verified.

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Cazenovia Golf Club builds new practice range

Local residents driving down Route 92 in Cazenovia have seen for many weeks past an 11-acre swath of land by the intersection with West Lake Road shorn of trees and made into a large dirt field studded with golf flags. This is not the start of some new housing development or business track, but the location of the Cazenovia Golf Club’s new practice range.

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American Legion to honor deceased veterans on Father’s Day

On April 25, 2015, dozens of local World War II veterans flew to Washington, D.C., to visit the World War II Memorial as part of the annual Honor Flight Syracuse program. Unfortunately, many veterans from the Cazenovia-Nelson-Fenner area have passed away without getting to see their memorial in the nation’s capital. So a new subgroup of Honor Flight, called “Flags of Our Heroes,” created a way to honor their fallen comrades and bring them to the memorial — in photographs.

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Yellow Brick Road Casino officially opens in Chittenango

More than 1,000 people stood in line, in groups, in the parking lot of the new Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango Tuesday waiting for the area’s newest tourist attraction to officially open its doors. Some people started lining up at 11 p.m. Monday night in order to be the first ones inside the casino.

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Red Apple gas station revamp underway

The Kwik Fill Red Apple gas station on Albany Street has been closed and under construction for the past two weeks as crews work to revamp the station to make it not just more updated, but also more user friendly.

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Riester sculpture unveiled at Burton Street Elementary School

Burton Street Elementary School students, staff, parents and guests saw the unveiling of a new addition to the school’s sculpture garden last week — an original creation by local artists Dorothy Riester and David Harper.

Village election set for June 16

Mayor, trustee races uncontested

The Cazenovia Village elections are set for Tuesday, June 16. Up for election are the mayor’s office and two seats on the board of trustees — all three races have incumbents running unopposed.

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‘A community where people really care’

CPF honors local residents, public servants for community restoration efforts

Projects including the restoration of a commercial building on Lincklaen Street, a residence in New Woodstock and the Lakeland Park stone wall, and the institution of a community-wide climate action plan were the honorees last week at the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation’s annual meeting and awards ceremony.

School district budget passes, new board members elected

Mehlbaum, Orbach, Parmalee to be next school board members

Cazenovia Central School District residents approved three ballot propositions, including the annual budget, by a 5-to-1 margin each and elected three new school board members during the annual budget vote on May 19.

Town of Cazenovia to resume sale of hunting and fishing licenses

Local hunters and anglers can now purchase their hunting and fishing licenses from the Cazenovia town clerk rather than traveling to other town offices or regional sporting goods stores. The town board last week unanimously approved (on a vote of 3-0 with two members absent) the resumption of the license sales by the town after a 16-month hiatus.

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Town prepares to demolish New Woodstock highway garage

Will erect new state police barracks satellite office

The old town highway garage in New Woodstock — currently serving as a New York State Police satellite office — is about to be demolished, with a new building and garage, as well as extra public parking, to be constructed in its place. The project, announced by the town board in February, is expected to be completed by the end of summer.

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DEC: High volume of dead sunfish in Cazenovia Lake a natural event

Cazenovians, especially those who live on Cazenovia Lake, have noticed an unusually high number of dead and dying sunfish in and around the shores of the lake, which has caused many to wonder why and what is the cause. According to experts, it’s stress.

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Middle school orchestra, band placed first and second at Darien Lake competition

The Cazenovia Middle School orchestra and band traveled to Darien Lake amusement park last Saturday, May 16, to compete in the annual Darien Lake Music Festival, where they placed first and second, respectively, in their competition groups.

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Ground broken for Hampton Inn and Suites on Route 20, scheduled for April 2016 opening

For the second time in two weeks, a major economic development project that will have a vast local and regional impact has broken ground in Cazenovia. This latest event, held Friday morning, May 15, in the Village Edge South area across from the Town and Country plaza on Route 20, was the official dedication ceremony for the new 80-room Hampton Inn and Suites hotel and conference center being built by Cazenovia Hospitality LLC.

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School board candidates square off at LWV forum

More than 50 Cazenovia Central School District residents came out to the high school Wednesday night to meet and hear the issue positions of the four candidates seeking seats on the school board in the upcoming May 19 election. The four candidates — Jennifer Bradstreet, David Mehlbaum, Louis Orbach and Jennifer Parmalee — all participated in the forum, which was sponsored by the Cazenovia League of Women Voters and moderated by Anne Redfern.

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Cazenovia Board of Education election candidates profiles

The May 19 Cazenovia Board of Education election will feature four candidates running for three open seats. The candidates are David Mehlbaum, Louis Orbach, Jennifer Parmalee and Jennifer Bradstreet. The three highest vote-getters will be elected to the board. Each will serve a three-year term, beginning July 1. The Cazenovia Republican sent each candidate a questionnaire in order to publish a profile to inform potential voters of who they are and what they stand for, although not all candidates followed the template we provided.

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New wine and liquor store opens on Albany Street

Oenophiles in Cazenovia now have a second option in the village on where they can purchase their wine, as well as liquor, with last week’s official opening of J.S. Hight and Sons wine store at 58 Albany St.

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Shovels in the dirt

Empire Farmstead Brewery breaks ground on Rippleton Road

The shovels were in the ground, the dignitaries were in place, the firkin was tapped — and after years of planning, discussions and municipal approvals, construction has begun on Empire Brewing Company’s farmstead brewery on Rippleton Road.

In brief: Cazenovia village board meeting

The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees had a light and quick meeting last Monday, May 4, with no major items on the agenda. The board made a number of approvals and announcements.

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Albany Street shop Industrial Loft brings new life to old items

Mark Papa has been recycling and repurposing defunct, discarded items for new home décor use before television shows like “American Pickers” made it popular. Sitting inside Industrial Loft, his shop at 53 Albany St. that opened in November 2014, he is surrounded by a cornucopia of his creations: An old industrial circular fan that is now a coffee table, a wooden door that has been turned into a bed headboard, an old vent in a barn copula has become a chandelier. For the past 20 years, Papa has been “climbing through barns, factories and abandon buildings” searching for that one of a kind piece that he can remake into something unique.

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Canastota author, angler writes book on fishing Oneida Lake

Spider Rybaak has been fishing the waters of Central New York for half a century, and fishing heavily in Oneida Lake for the past 15 years; he is an angler, a teacher and a writer; and he has recently parlayed his trio of skills into his latest book, “Fishing Oneida Lake.”

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Isabella celebrates 10 years in business

Ever since she studied merchandising and design in college, Karen Eldridge had a goal to open her own women’s clothing store. In 2005, that dream became a reality when she opened the doors of Isabella at 61 Albany St. in Cazenovia. That grand opening was 10 years ago this month, and during that time Isabella has remained in the same location, selling its unique, quality items with a smile. And the business is still going strong.

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