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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

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Beezie Madden finishes 7th at FEI World Cup Competition

Beezie Madden and Simon finished 7th at the 2014 Longines FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Monday, April 28, in Lyon, France.

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Investigation closed on bullets found in high school

The investigation into how, why and by whom two .22 caliber bullets were brought into Cazenovia High School on April 4 — prompting a three-hour lockdown and a general anxiety in students, parents and teachers that day — is closed, according to Cazenovia police and school district officials.

School board approves 2014-15 budget, prepares for election

The Cazenovia Board of Education last week voted unanimously to adopt a $26,495,954 budget proposal for 2014-15 that increases spending 0.29 percent and carries a property tax increase of $168,237, or 1.01 percent.

Review process for proposed Village Edge South hotel and conference center underway

Public hearing for subdivision request scheduled for May 12

A local businessman’s preliminary proposal to build an 80-bedroom hotel and conference center across from the Town and Country Plaza in the Village Edge South area on Route 20 has begun winding its way through the village planning process, and the first public hearing on the project — a subdivision request to carve out six acres of the VES area for the hotel — has been scheduled by the village planning board for 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 12.

Village, town sign boat launch, boat patrol inter-municipal agreements

Boat launch opens this weekend with new inspection policy

The public boat launch at Lakeside Park will open for the season on Saturday, April 26, and this year the village will institute a new inspection policy for boats entering and exiting Cazenovia Lake as a way to improve the fight against invasive species.

Cazenovia village, town agree to cohabitate courts in village municipal building

Residents who have been confused over when and where village and town courts convene — whether in the Gothic Cottage or the Village Municipal Building — have much less to remember now that the Cazenovia village and town boards have approved an inter-municipal agreement for the two courts to share one space. Under the agreement, both courts will now meet in the village courtroom, located in the village municipal building at 90 Albany St.

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Planning board approves Cazenovia College athletic field fence

After nearly two years of meetings, discussions, proposals, counter-proposals, disagreements and even litigation, the Cazenovia Village Planning Board last week approved the request of Cazenovia College to build a six-foot-high, 1,420-linear-foot perimeter fence around its Schneeweiss Athletic Complex in the heart of the village.

Former Cazenovia College student acquitted on rape charges

A former Cazenovia College student was acquitted of raping a female classmate in 2009 by a Madison County jury on April 10. Adrian Sutherland, now 25, of Brooklyn, was found not guilty of third-degree rape after a four-day jury trial, said Madison County Assistant District Attorney Robert Mascari, who prosecuted the case.

Fenner schedules 2014 Clean Up Days

The annual Fenner “Clean Up Days” have been scheduled for noon to 4 p.m. Friday, May 9, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, May 10, the town board announced at its April 10 regular monthly meeting. This year four dumpsters will be available at the Fenner Town Garage on Nelson Road.

Nelson establishes historic structures survey and registry

The Nelson Town Board last week approved a resolution to establish a historic resources survey and registry, the purpose of which is to not only help recognize and preserve historic properties, sites and areas in the town but will also allow designated properties to receive certain code exemptions during renovations and repairs.

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Oldest handmade quilt ever verified as made in Cazenovia donated to library

Sometime during the 1830s or 1840s, a Cazenovia teenager named Helen Sherman handmade a 10-foot-by-10-foot bed quilt using all-natural dyes for the coloring and embroidered the stitching on the back in patterns of heart-shaped flowers. The front pattern includes numerous star shapes called a “mariner’s compass” in a “log cabin” pattern in what would have been an incredibly difficult and demanding pattern, taking months if not years to make. Two weeks ago, that quilt — the oldest ever recorded and verified as being made in Cazenovia — returned home as a donation to the library by the descendants of the original quilter.

County, municipal leaders see new state ‘tax freeze’ for municipalities as political ploy

The New York State Legislature finalized its annual budget recently, and local municipalities are not happy with a new “tax freeze” incentive included by the governor and retained by the legislature. Elected leaders of all four municipalities in the Cazenovia Republican coverage area — Cazenovia village and town, Nelson and Fenner — as well as the county board of supervisors, all declared the move to be election year political theater that does nothing to benefit citizens, demands municipalities to take actions most of them already do and would cost citizens more than they would purportedly save.

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Critz Farms, Owera Vineyards win medals at international wine competition

Two local craft beverage producers — and members of the Cazenovia Beverage Trail — recently brought back to Cazenovia multiple medals from the 14th Annual 2014 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition. The Critz Farms Harvest Moon Cidery won silver medals for its Cherry Moon and Heritage Hops hard ciders, and a bronze medal for its Rippleton Original champagne-style hard cider; while Owera Vineyards won silver medals for its 2012 Frontenac Gris and its 2011 Cabernet Franc, and bronze medals for its 2012 Chardonnay and 2012 dry Reisling.

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Zimbabwean gospel singer brings music, joy to Cazenovia

On his first visit to the United States, in the midst of an East Coast tour, international gospel sensation and social activist Tembalami is spending some of his time in Cazenovia and performing three concerts in the village this week. Tembalami Tagwirei— who is typically known simply as “Tembalami” — is a gospel musician from Zimbabwe with a passion for inspiring, motivating and educating the current as well as the next generation.

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Village board gets Chenango Street zone change request update, schedules public hearing for May

The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees has scheduled a public hearing for May 5 to discuss the requested zone change for Eric Burrell’s building at 4 Chenango St., which would, if approved, allow Alicyn Hart to move her restaurant Circa to that location. The hearing was scheduled last week after Burrell gave the board on update on his proposed building expansion project.

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Reduced state aid means increased budget cuts for Cazenovia school district

With the passage of the state budget last week and final state aid to school districts now known, the Cazenovia school district budget received $200,000 less in aid than it expected. This fact, combined with the limited revenues allowed to the district through local taxes due to the state tax levy cap mandate and the dwindling amount of district fund balance reserves available to plug budget gaps, means that the 2014-15 district budget will reduce district staff by 9.4 positions (full-time equivalent positions) rather than the six previously planned.

Village budget proposed, board approves exceeding state tax levy limit

Cazenovia village residents will see their village taxes increase by 19 cents for every $1,000 of assessed value — or 3 percent — under the tentative 2014-15 village budget, which was presented by the village board last week. The $2.6 million budget includes a proposed tax levy rate of $6.49 per $1,000, which is a 3 percent increase from last year. The increase means an additional $19 in taxes for a $100,000 home in the village.

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Bullets found in hallway prompt high school, middle school lockdown

Students never in danger; police, district pleased with overall emergency response

Two days after the Cazenovia high school and middle school buildings endured a three-hour lockdown when live bullets were found in a high school hallway and later flushed down a toilet, local police and school district officials still don’t know how or why the bullets got into the school and ended up on the floor — what they all agree on, however, is that there were no guns involved, no malicious intent has been discovered, no students were in immediate danger and the overall situation was handled well by district staff and local police.

CRIS to begin regional time bank for seniors

Community Resources for Independent Seniors (CRIS) recently received two grants that it will use to develop a Time Bank for seniors in the Cazenovia area. Time banking is an established concept — although there are currently none established in Madison County — that works as a reciprocal exchange service that uses units of time as currency. A time bank, also known as a service exchange, essentially allows volunteers who spend “time” offering community service to receive the same amount of “time” in services they can use.

School board eyes seven teacher, staff cuts in preliminary budget

The Cazenovia school district’s current budget outlook for the 2014-15 school year is “up in the air” until the state legislature finalizes the state budget; at the moment, however, the district’s preliminary budget calls for the elimination of six, possibly seven, district employees, including three support staff and three to four teaching positions.

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Junior’s Caz Bar opens on Albany Street

New restaurant offers high-quality food and full bar in family-friendly atmosphere

There’s a new restaurant and bar in Cazenovia that the owner believes will fill a gap in the current food and beverage offerings in the village — a place that serves lunch and dinner seven days a week with high quality food, a fully stocked bar with multiple televisions at which to relax and an overall family-friendly atmosphere. “I just felt it was a place the town needed — a place where family, friends, everyone can meet,” said Geoff Zimmer, owner of Junior’s Caz Bar at 64 Albany St. “It’s different. We cater to a crowd looking for an atmosphere conducive to conversation, community and camaraderie.”

Academic Decathlon team raising money to attend national championships

The Cazenovia Lions Club last week presented a $500 check to the Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team to help them raise the necessary funds to travel to Hawaii for the national championships in late April.

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National gaming table company sets up office in Cazenovia

People in Central New York interested in buying high-quality billiard tables — as well as table tennis, shuffleboard, foosball, air hockey and dome hockey tables — recently were able to get a taste of some of the finest choices on the market at a retailer booth at the Syracuse Home and Garden Show in mid-March. The event was not a one-time local visit from a national retailer, however, but rather the “coming out” of a newly enlarged, locally owned business that has relocated its operations to Route 13 in the town of Cazenovia.

Friends of Lorenzo look to successful 2014

Organization holds annual meeting, announces July Symphoria concert at Lorenzo

The Friends of Lorenzo had a good year in 2013 and are looking ahead to 2014, particularly to the return of the Syracuse Symphony — now called Symphoria — and its free summer concert on the lawn of Lorenzo this July, it was announced at the Friends of Lorenzo annual meeting on March 18.

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Cazenovia firefighters train for worst-case scenarios

When Cazenovia Fire Department volunteer firefighters went into the first floor of a burning house in Fenner on March 12, they went in they were trained, capable and prepared to do their job — the payoff of the department’s constant drilling and training of its members. One such instructional exercise occurred last Wednesday, March 19, when 18 department volunteer members went through Self Contained Breathing Apparatus (air-packs) training while completing an obstacle course set up inside the department’s truck bay.

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Local Cazenovians to bike across U.S. and build houses along the way

While bicycling to Sno-Top in Manlius last year, two Cazenovia natives had a crazy idea that they should bike across the U.S. Now, Ellen Costello and Pierce Brothers are raising money to allow them to participate in Bike and Build, a non-profit group that organizes cross-country bicycle trips which benefit affordable housing groups.

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Schnabl to leave Caz to become Sherburne-Earleville superintendent

Cazenovia high School Principal Eric Schnabl has been named the new superintendent of the Sherburne-Earlville Central School District, and will begin his tenure there on July 1.

School board approves emergency pipe repair project

Leak on Emory Avenue one of five in village water system

One part of a 150,000-gallon water leak in the village water system has been identified to be coming from a pipe on Cazenovia school property, causing the board of education on March 10 to approve an emergency repair project at a cost of about $60,000.

Nelson in line for possible state revitalization funding

The town of Nelson has “made the list” to be considered for up to $200,000 in state funding for potential rebuilding and revitalization assistance to improve town infrastructure damaged by the severe flooding that affected the area in June and July 2013 and therefore mitigate the potential for future occurrences.

Fenner town board authorizes town office repairs

The March 13 Fenner Town Board meeting was a relatively simple affair — as long as board members and visitors could traverse the snow-covered and wind-swept roads to get there. Other than regular business, such as reviewing and approving town bills and reports, the main piece of business confronted by the board during its March 13 meeting was approving repair work to the town office. The harsh winter has caused cracks, leaks and water stains in the building ceiling in the reception area, main meeting room and judge’s room.

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Drinking the life fantastic: Reilleys to open craft distillery in Nelson, Cazenovia

Former Owera operations director to create own brand of wine and spirits

Ever since Ben Reilley resigned from his top position at Owera Vineyards last August, his friends and fans in and around Cazenovia have been wondering what he was going to do next professionally. Surely, it must be some project connected to wine and spirits, they thought. And they were right. After six months of intense work, Ben and his wife Shioban have announced their new endeavor: a small batch, hand-crafted spirits and wines business to be named “Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Company.”

Town to purchase weed harvester to battle lake milfoil

The Cazenovia town board last week continued moving forward in its battle against watermilfoil and other invasive species in Cazenovia Lake by authorizing the purchase of weed harvesting equipment, seeking a cooperative agreement on harvesting with Madison County and approving a draft environmental impact statement on its planned lake treatment projects for 2014.

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CAVAC honors Cazenovia Fire and Rescue with President’s Award

Close to 200 people attend CAVAC’s 40th annual dinner

After recounting the harrowing — and simultaneously miraculous — rescue of 10-year-old Charlie Thompson after he fell down a well last October, and the “amazing” and inspiring efforts of Cazenovia Fire and Rescue crews at the scene, Cazenovia Area Volunteer Ambulance Corps (CAVAC) President Greg Widrick awarded the CAVAC President’s Award to the members of the Cazenovia Fire and Rescue.

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Cazenovia turns out for St. Baldrick’s, raises more than $40K to fight childhood cancer

After Cazenovia High School senior Amara Kattrein shaved all 23 inches of her hair off last Sunday, March 16, during the St. Baldrick’s fundraising event in Cazenovia, James Henry, father of 6-year-old Nathaniel Henry, a Burton Street Elementary School student who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2012, walked up to Amara, said, “I just want to thank you so much,” and gave her a hug. And Amara teared up. This one just one of the myriad touching moments that occurred last Sunday, March 16, at the Cazenovia American Legion for the St. Baldrick’s Foundation fundraising event, during which hundreds of people showed up, more than 100 got their heads shaved and more than $40,000 was raised to help increase childhood cancer research and awareness.

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Planning board opposes zone change for new Circa location

Neighbor opposition spikes another village business proposal

Neighbor opposition to a proposed village business has claimed its second victim. The village planning board voted 3-1 at their latest meeting to oppose the zone change application of landlord Eric Burrell and restaurateur Alicyn Hart in their proposal to move Circa, Hart’s restaurant, from its current location on Albany Street down to 4 Chenango St.

School board approves emergency pipe repair project

Leak on Emory Avenue one of five in village water system

One part of a 150,000-gallon water leak in the village water system has been identified to be coming from a pipe on Cazenovia school property, causing the board of education on March 10 to approve an emergency repair project at a cost of about $60,000.

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Hillcrest Jephson estate now protected under CPF easement

The historic Hillcrest Jephson estate on Ridge Road is protected by deed restrictions and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and now seven acres of the estate as well as the four buildings on the property have been preserved against future development through an easement that the current owners have donated to the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation. The easement means that the appearance of the landscape and exterior architecture of the estate buildings will remain unchanged for future generations.

Village youth recreation program hopes to expand offerings, seeks community sponsors

Cazenovia’s popular Joint Youth Recreation Program is preparing for the 2014 season with a new adult supervisor, some new programs, a community service project and the opportunity for community businesses to support and participate in the program through sponsorships.

Teen arrested for 2013 Lakeland Park graffiti completes punishment

Investigation into December graffiti incidents goes cold

The 16-year-old Manlius teen who was arrested last summer after admitting his role in the Lakeland Park bathhouse graffiti incident has completed the punishments given to him by the Cazenovia court and, if he stays out of trouble for six months, the case will be dismissed and the fact of his arrest nullified from his record.

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Fire department battles chimney fire at Brewster Inn

Guests of the Brewster Inn were minorly inconvenienced Wednesday night, March 5, when a chimney fire forced a building evacuation. Cazenovia volunteer firefighters arrived on the scene at approximately 10 p.m. where they saw flames coming out of the chimney, said Fire Chief Nick Enders.

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‘Exercise stalker’ pleads guilty in town court

Daryl Anthony remains out on bail, sentencing scheduled for May 21

Daryl T. Anthony, the man dubbed the Cazenovia “exercise stalker,” has pleaded guilty in town court to one count of criminal nuisance in the second degree and will be spending time in jail and on probation for his actions stalking women as they exercised on the streets of Cazenovia last summer and fall. Anthony, who appeared before Town Justice Timothy Moore on Wednesday, March 5, accepted a plea deal with the Madison County District Attorney’s Office in which he will receive 60 days in jail on a split sentence and three years of probation. He also waived his right to appeal.

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Stone Quarry Hill Art Park has ’active and successful’ 2013

Susanna and David Harper receive Reister Award at board of directors’ annual meeting

Cazenovia’s Stone Quarry Hill Art Park had an excellent year in 2013 with more than 15,000 visitors, a new permanent sculpture by an internationally acclaimed artist and the recommendation to be added to both the State and National Registers of Historic Places, according to the SQHAP board of directors, which held its annual meeting on Feb. 27.

BOE to form task force to decide future of ‘selection classification’ policy

The Cazenovia board of education last week held another lengthy discussion about the district’s “selection classification” athletic policy. This time, while previous arguments both for and against the policy were often repeated, new ideas on how to refine the program also were generated and the board agreed to form a task force to study and ultimately amend the official policy.

Cazenovia school district budget gap could be $500K this year

‘We’re going to have to cut,’ Superintendent Dubik says

The Cazenovia Central School District budget for the 2014-15 school year currently has a gap of three-quarters-of-a-million dollars; and although the state legislature — which has not finalized the budget yet — typically replaces a portion of the education funding stripped by the governor’s budget, no matter what happens, Cazenovia’s district budget will come up short and some budgetary items will not survive.

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Cazenovia Academic Decathlon Team wins state championship

The Cazenovia High School Academic Decathlon team is the state champion once again, after it defeated five other schools for the title on Feb. 28 and March 1 at SUNY Brockport. Team members brought home 35 medals from the competition, and have now won the state contest nine out of the last 10 years.

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Hennebergs close tavern to focus on brewery

It was announced on Facebook Tuesday and will take effect Saturday: the Albany Street restaurant and bar Henneberg Tavern will close. Owner John Henneberg said that balancing family, the tavern and his Henneberg Brewing Co. farm brewery in New Woodstock “has just gotten to be a lot,” and he had to make a choice: focus on the tavern or focus on the brewery.

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Cazenovia takes second place in ‘Coolest Small Town in America’ contest

It was an enthusiastic battle, but when the final votes were tallied Cazenovia came in second place by seven percentage points behind Berlin, Md., in the Budget Travel “Coolest Small Town in America” contest. Budget Travel announced the contest winner at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 26.

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Reilly appointed as next Cazenovia district superintendent

Matthew Reilly, current superintendent of the Clinton Central School District, was unanimously appointed the next superintendent of schools for Cazenovia by the Cazenovia Board of Education during its Feb. 24 meeting.

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I’m going bald in March for my mother — want to help?

COLUMN

I only write columns for the paper when I really have something to say; and while I have no bylines in this week’s paper (because I was on vacation last week) the one thing I wanted to write for this issue was that I am shaving my head (and possibly my beard and mustache) for the March 16 St. Baldrick’s fundraising event in Cazenovia, and I hope as many people as possible will participate or contribute.

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CAVAC student corps looking to increase participation

There are high school students in Cazenovia who have literally helped save people’s lives — and if other teens are interested in learning about and participating in emergency medical services, the CAVAC Student Corps is actively seeking new members.

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