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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

Nelson tax rate to increase 9 percent next year

Nelson residents will see their taxes increase by 9 percent in 2015, due mainly to the town’s need to update its fleet of highway department trucks and the costs that will be associated with that action.

Manlius town board approves municipal trash contract - but not from lowest bidder

The Manlius town board last week selected Syracuse Haulers as its municipal trash hauler for 2015-16. The service bid that the board accepted, however, was not the lowest bid received by the town for the contract, although municipal procurement policy states that it must be.

Residents ask school board to change religious education release time policy

About two dozen district parents coordinated their attendance at the Cazenovia Board of Education meeting last week in an effort to convince the board to change the district’s policy that allows for students to leave school to attend hour-long religious education classes at local churches. This “religious release time,” as it is officially called, is not transparent in how it is administered, unfair to the students who do not attend it because they are not taught anything of value during that hour and should not take away learning time in a public education system, according to the parents’ complaints.

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Middle school students honor veterans

Cazenovia Middle School students last week honored Veterans Day by forming a human flag, singing the Star Spangled Banner and thanking five local veterans invited for the occasion.

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Local 8-year-old to be honored at Red Cross Real Heroes Breakfast

Harry Hausser, of New Woodstock, will receive award for summer rescue of man who fell into DeRuyter Lake

When 8-year-old Harry Hausser and his 11-year-old cousin rescued a 63-year-old man who had fallen out of his boat into DeRuyter Lake in August, they were not trying to be heroes, they just saw a man who needed help and they helped him. On Dec. 3, however, the boys will be honored as heroes when they receive the Youth Good Samaritan Award at the 16th Annual Real Heroes Breakfast Event of Central New York at the OnCenter.

Absentee ballots counted: Magee retains assembly seat

Nearly two weeks after Election Day, the race for the NY-121 State Assembly seat has concluded, with challenger John Salka conceding that incumbent Assemblyman Bill Magee won the election.

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Bob Dubik, recently retired Cazenovia CSD superintendent, passes away

Dies after short battle with cancer

Less than five months after retiring as superintendent of the Cazenovia Central School District, Robert S. Dubik last week passed away at the age of 61 after a brief battle with cancer. Dubik “passed away quietly at home with his family by his side,” according to his obituary from Thomas J. Pirro Jr. Funeral Home.

Manlius 2015 town budget to increase by nearly 2 percent

The Manlius Town Board last week held a public hearing on its preliminary 2015 budget, and will likely vote on its final 2015 budget at its next regular meeting. The $8.8 million budget includes a 3.59 percent increase in expenses over 2014 and includes a tax rate of $4.93 per every $1,000 of assessed value, an increase of nine cents from 2014, or 1.95 percent.

Creekside zone redevelopment analysis completed, presented to village board

After months of analysis and public input on how best to redevelop the Riverside Drive/Chittenango Creek area behind the library, the village’s hired community planner has presented his findings and recommendations to the village board. In short, accomplishing a solid redevelopment of the area will require probable rezoning, along with a nature trail and public park development plan, Dan Kwasnowski, of Applied Planning, told the board during its Nov. 3 regular monthly meeting.

Cazenovia town board approves final 2015 budget

After making some final adjustments to the numbers and holding a public hearing at which no members of the public spoke, the Cazenovia Town Board last week approved the final version of its 2015 town budget. The final budget includes a $3 million total budget with $1.4 million to be raised by taxes. The proposal includes a 4 percent tax rate increase townwide, with a 1 percent tax rate increase for town residents outside the village.

Cazenovia, Fenner election candidates cruise to easy victories

Last-minute write-in candidacy for Fenner town board garners 25 percent of vote

Unopposed candidates for town board and town justice in Cazenovia and Fenner cruised to easy victories in Tuesday’s election, although a last-minute write-in candidacy for Fenner town board did garner about 25 percent of the vote.

Conway wins election for Onondaga County Sheriff

DeWitt Police Chief Gene Conway has been elected the next Onondaga County sheriff by an 8,000-vote margin over his opponent, Democrat Toby Shelley.

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Magee claims victory in state Assembly race, Salka not conceding yet

Twelve-term state assemblyman Bill Magee has declared victory in his election race against challenger John Salka in the 121st district – but the margin is so slim, and with more than 1,000 absentee ballots still to be counted, Salka is not conceding the race.

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Zavaglia appointed East Syracuse village justice

Joseph Zavaglia has been appointed the new justice for the village of East Syracuse and was officially sworn-in to his position during the village board’s Nov. 3 meeting by Mayor Robert Tackman.

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Coe receives Norman Odell Citizen of the Year award

Longtime Nelson resident and public servant Dean Coe last Sunday received the Norman Odell Citizen of the Year award for 2014, given by the town of Nelson and the Erieville Nelson Heritage Society.

Manlius town board rejects village assertion of jurisdiction in fire station project

While the Manlius Town Board will accept a state decision that the village board is the lead agency for construction of the proposed new fire station, town councilors last week unanimously voted to reject the village’s asserted jurisdictional authority over the zoning review aspects of the project and to assert instead the town’s own jurisdiction over zoning.

Manlius town board reverses course, will allow opt outs for trash and brush pickup

So many Manlius town residents have been upset — and complaining — about the town board’s August decision to eliminate the opt out option for municipal trash and brush pickup that last week the board reversed the policy.

School board approves ice hockey, wrestling combination teams with other districts

Sets groundwork to make cheerleading a sport next year

The Cazenovia school district Board of Education last week approved two combination sports teams with other school districts, added a new combination team and set the groundwork for making cheerleading a school sport in 2015-16.

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Magee, Salka talk state assembly issues at Cazenovia debate

Despite the cold, wet weather in Cazenovia Tuesday night, nearly 100 people showed up at the Cazenovia Public Library to attend a debate between Democrat Bill Magee and Republican John Salka, the two candidates running for election to the 121st district in the state assembly. The debate, sponsored by the Cazenovia League of Women Voters, covered issues ranging from raising the minimum wage, to state electoral redistricting, public funding of political campaigns, state school funding, casinos in New York state, alleged corruption in the state legislature, gas drilling in New York, marriage equality and how to keep residents and businesses from leaving the state due to high taxes.

State DEC says Manlius village should be lead agency for proposed fire station project

The disagreement between the village of Manlius and the town of Manlius over which municipality should be the lead agency to create the proposed new fire station at the corner of Enders Road and Route 92 last week received some direction from the state Department of Environmental Conservation, which issued an opinion in favor of the village.

DeWitt town board member apologizes for using town emails for political purposes

DeWitt Town Board Member Jack Dooling caused a slight political stir recently when he sent a flyer for a political fundraiser to a handful of town employees using their town email addresses. Town Supervisor Ed Michalenko, who has called Dooling’s email “inappropriate” and “unfortunate,” sent an email to town employees the following day apologizing for their receipt of Dooling’s email.

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Cazenovia Crop Walk raises more than $2,500

More than 200 community residents — mostly high school and college students — turned out on a cold, windy Sunday last weekend to participate in the annual Cazenovia Crop Walk for hunger. And they raised more than $2,500 for local and world hunger programs.

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Business First ranks Cazenovia in top five school districts Upstate

Business First, a Buffalo-based magazine that conducts annual evaluations of the 100 top school districts throughout Upstate New York, last week released its 2014 results — and named Cazenovia Central School District no. 5 Upstate, no. 3 in the Syracuse region and no. 1 in Madison County.

Nelson town board adopts tentative budget, approves tax cap override

The Nelson Town Board is moving forward with its work on the town’s 2015 finances, and last week adopted the tentative budget and approved a local law to override the state tax levy cap. The tentative budget is only the first stage in the budgeting process, so the current working numbers and potential tax rate for 2015 have not been released to the public.

Manlius town board continues work on new trash and brush municipal contracts

The Manlius town board is continuing its work on choosing its municipal trash and brush collecting contractors for next year, after having a lengthy discussion about the public contract bidding process at its Oct. 8 meeting. The town received four bidders each for both trash and brush pickup contracts, but board members felt they needed more time to sift through the details of the submitted bids and decided to hold off on a vote until their Oct. 22 meeting.

Village board hears Creekside redevelopment plan update

For the first time in about six months, the Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees monthly meeting had no controversial topics on the agenda, no public hearings and no crowds of concerned spectators filling the board meeting room. Instead, the board discussed much simpler local issues such as an update on the progress of the Creekside Planned Development District, water line extension requests, approving an inter-municipal agreement with the town over proposed fire department training, resident concerns about a poor street paving job and a resignation from the village zoning board of appeals.

Town board adopts preliminary 2015 budget

The Cazenovia Town Board last week adopted the 2015 preliminary town budget, which proposes a $3 million total budget with $1.5 million to be raised by taxes. The proposal includes a 4 percent tax rate increase townwide, with a 1 percent tax rate increase for town residents outside the village.

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Town wrapping up lake weed control efforts for 2014

With the onset of fall, the town of Cazenovia has begun wrapping up its Cazenovia Lake restoration/weed control efforts for the year and started preparing for 2015.

Cazenovia police make four narcotics arrests in four days

Cazenovia Village Police officers made a string of narcotics-related arrests last week, that included not just violations for marijuana, but possession of brown heroin and crack cocaine with intent to sell.

Caz College bomb threat investigation closed without arrest

The criminal investigation into the bomb threat that caused the evacuation of five Cazenovia College residence halls three weeks ago has stalled and, unless a new lead emerges, the case will soon be closed without an arrest.

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First annual DeWitt town cleanup scheduled for Oct. 18

For 15 years, residents of Jamesville — sponsored by the Jamesville Positive Action Committee (JamPac) and the Jamesville Chamber of Commerce — have conducted volunteer street trash cleanups throughout the hamlet every October; this year, that passion and energy to keep the community clean will extend to the entire town of DeWitt as the DeWitt Advisory Conservation Commission holds its first annual October cleanup from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 18.

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CPF offers all-ages cemetery ‘Walk Among the Spirits’ just before Halloween

The week before Halloween, the Cazenovia Preservation Foundation will make Cazenovia's history come alive for three nights when it offers the unique experience to visit eight graves and meet and hear the stories of local ghosts, during its first-ever “Walk Among the Spirits” event.

Cazenovia receives nearly $10K in farmland protection grant funding

The town of Cazenovia recently was awarded $9,700 by the state agriculture department under a new program designed to help municipalities amend local regulations that affect agricultural land and farm operations. The grant will assist Cazenovia as it works to revise various sections of its zoning law to align recommendations made in the Town of Cazenovia Agriculture and Farmland Protection Plan.

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Town planning board reviews latest Owera building proposal

Owera Vineyards is back before the town planning board seeking to build a new 6,300 square-foot “Promotion and Marketing Facility” to replace its three-season events tent for special winery functions. If approved, the new building would be larger and more functional than the current events tent — and would be built using state-of-the-art soundproofing materials in order to eliminate the noise issues and complaints the winery has been fighting against for more than a year.

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Cazenovia athletes participate in regional Special Olympics

Fifteen student-athletes from all three Cazenovia Central School District schools last week joined nearly 300 student-athletes from 11 schools in Madison and Oneida counties to compete in the annual Madison-Oneida BOCES Special Olympics Autumn Games at Canastota High School.

Manlius supervisor submits tentative town budget

Manlius Town Supervisor Ed Theobald submitted the town’s 2014-15 tentative budget to the town clerk last week, offering his thanks to all department heads and to the town manager for their hard work during two months of budget meetings.

Police investigating attempted burglary, room break-in at Lincklaen House

Cazenovia police officers are investigating an attempted burglary and room break-in that occurred at The Lincklaen House on Sept. 22.

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Jamesville boys honored for saving teen’s life

Chiefs of the Jamesville Fire Department Monday night honored Jamesville residents Ari Tzetzis, 11, and Leif Rosenholm, 13, for the boys’ actions in saving the life of a teenager who had a seizure and fell into a pool three weeks ago.

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Ledyard Avenue neighbors to sue the village over Western Gateway rezoning law

The Ledyard Avenue neighborhood opposition and anger against the village’s recently passed Western Gateway rezoning law is about to turn into a lawsuit against the village of Cazenovia. At least two Ledyard Avenue residents this week received letters from local attorney Barry Schreibman stating that he was about to initiate legal proceedings against the village to overturn the Western Gateway law and warning them against seeking to apply for any special permits under the new law to undertake any site work as allowed by the law because such permits would be overturned if his clients’ litigation was successful.

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Hubbard nixes plans to purchase neighbor properties to expand Brewster Inn

Richard Hubbard, owner of The Brewster Inn restaurant and inn, has decided not to expand his business by purchasing two neighboring houses on Ledyard Avenue. The decision was based on the expiration of the existing purchase agreement and a failure to reach agreement on a new contract — but was also heavily influenced by the potential threat of litigation from other neighborhood residents.

Cazenovia school district begins new school year with new initiatives, equipment

The 2014-15 school year started two weeks ago not only with great excitement and enthusiasm from students and parents, but also with new initiatives and equipment in all three school buildings within the Cazenovia Central School District, the building principals told the board of education at its Sept. 15 meeting.

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DeWitt town clerk to remain an elected position by two-to-one vote

Special election referendum receives nearly 1,500 votes

In what was described as a “huge turnout” by one poll worker, voters in the town of DeWitt voted two-to-one to keep their town clerk someone who is elected by residents and not appointed by the town board. On a vote of 953 to 530, voters voiced their belief that the town clerk should remain a political position, and thereby set the stage for an election this November – an election for which both Democrats and Republicans already have chosen their intended nominees.

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Five new trees planted on the Green

Members of the Cazenovia Tree Commission, assisted by local volunteers and certified arborists, planted five new trees on the Green on Emory Avenue this past weekend as part of the commission’s ongoing efforts to maintain and improve the scenic beauty, health and environment of Cazenovia.

Police anticipate arrest in college bomb threat case within 24 hours

Culprit will face felony charges for making a terrorist threat

Cazenovia police believe they are close to an arrest in the case of the Cazenovia College bomb threat that occurred late Tuesday night, Sept. 16, and the culprit, when caught, will face felony charges for making a terrorist threat and could face time in state prison.

Cazenovia schools being visited by Enterovirus D68

The latest illness making its way across the country and through the halls of school buildings has arrived in Cazenovia – and a lot of elementary and middle school students have been staying home sick as a result. “We have had a high absenteeism. Our nurses have seen a higher absenteeism than normal,” said Superintendent Matt Reilly. “The symptoms being reported have been consistent with those of the Enterovirus D68."

Cazenovia College evacuates five residence halls after receiving bomb threat

Five Cazenovia College residence halls were evacuated and searched for more than 90 minutes late Tuesday night in response to a bomb threat against the college.

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Taste of Cazenovia a community event success

More than 300 people turned out last week to eat, drink, mingle and — most importantly — help raise funds for the Cazenovia Children’s House during the organization’s annual Taste of Cazenovia fundraising event, held this year at the Willow Bank Yacht Club.

Town board revises, reintroduces proposed noise ordinance

Changes made to hours and decibel levels of ‘reasonable’ noise

In its ongoing efforts to craft a town noise ordinance, the Cazenovia Town Board on Sept. 8 closed the public hearing on the proposed law, reintroduced a revised and amended version of the law and scheduled a new public hearing for Oct. 6 to continue public comments.

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Who’s in charge, the village or the town?

Manlius town board and zoning board members discuss disagreement with village over lead agency status for proposed new fire station

Town of Manlius government leaders said last week the village of Manlius is squeezing them out of the planning process for the proposed new fire station at the corner of Enders Road and Route 92, even though the site of the new station is entirely outside the village.

DeWitt town board outlines upcoming referendum vote oversight, certification

Absentee ballots not allowed, bipartisan group will count votes and third-party will certify results

Responding to concerns and accusations about a fair process — or lack thereof — for the Sept. 22 special election for the town clerk position referendum, the DeWitt Town Board last week outlined how and by whom the election will be monitored and the votes counted and certified, and also addressed accusations that referendum information had been suppressed by the interim town clerk.

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