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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

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The crime plot thickens…

Broken storefront window at Cazenovia Abroad being investigated by police

Cazenovia police are investigating a broken storefront window at Cazenovia Abroad, located at 67 Albany St. — which is also part of the commercial block behind which the reported stabbing occurred over the weekend.

Cazenovia police investigating reported stabbing

Cazenovia village police are currently investigating a reported stabbing incident that occurred during the early morning hours of Sunday, Feb. 7.

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Kayak storage rack, new hand launch projects moving forward

Village board approves fees and policies for Lakeside Park kayak rack

Cazenovia Lake is becoming even more kayak and canoe friendly thanks to two projects currently underway in both Lakeland and Lakeside parks in the village. Last week, the village board approved the use fees and policies for the incoming kayak racks to be erected in Lakeside Park this year, and chose a company to perform the construction of the new hand launch and wall repair at the canal behind Carpenter’s Barn.

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St. Baldrick’s head shaving event returns to Caz for third year

Beautiful baldness is returning to Cazenovia for the third consecutive year next month, when the St. Baldrick’s head-shaving fundraiser to battle childhood cancer takes place at Burton Street Elementary School. Last year’s event saw more than 100 community members shave their heads and raise more than $50,000 — a feat organizer Sean Kelly said he hopes can be repeated this year.

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Shaffner to be a Raider – signs letter of intent to attend Colgate University

Cazenovia High School senior Jake Shaffner, one of the standout players on the Lakers 2015 state champion football team, has announced that after graduation he will attend Colgate University, where he will study liberal arts with a pre-engineering focus and play football for the Raiders.

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Cazenovia College to expand inclusion program for adults with intellectual disabilities

Receives donation from Berkshire Bank

Cazenovia College recently received a $5,000 donation from Berkshire Bank which, added to a recently received Common Grounds challenge grant, will allow for the expansion of the college’s inclusive daytime programming for adults with intellectual disabilities at no cost to participants.

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Cazenovia school district faces dire budget situation again in 2016

The Cazenovia Central School District is, once again, facing a dire financial situation as it prepares its 2016-17 budget, thanks to the lack of state school funding aid proposed by the governor this year. If the state funding numbers do not change, the Cazenovia Board of Education will once again face the choice of exceeding the state-mandated tax cap in its budget or making major cuts to district programming, according to district officials.

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Lakers football team honored with Believe to Achieve award

The Cazenovia Lakers varsity football team was honored on Jan. 27 with the Joe LaGuardia Male Team Award at the annual Believe to Achieve Awards in Syracuse. The awards, sponsored by Visit Syracuse and Syracuse Sports Corporation, recognize meritorious contribution to the Central New York sports community through the hard work and commitment of individuals and teams. The state champion Cazenovia football team shared the award with the Liverpool boys cross country team.

School board reinstates honors chemistry course

The Cazenovia board of education this week approved the reinstatement of an honors chemistry class in the high school to better prepare students for AP chemistry and give them a more positive science experience that may encourage them to continue to pursue the discipline.

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A good friend gone

Friends remember Dave Campbell, who passed away last week

Dave Campbell was a well-known figure around Cazenovia. He was a great friend, a longtime local mechanic and, for the past two years, delighted in playing Santa Claus at Cazenovia’s Christmas Walk. So, as is so often the case when people pass away, the community was shocked to hear that Campbell, 65, died unexpectedly at his home on Monday, Jan. 18.

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Local municipal partnerships, state politics discussed at annual State of the Area event

The state of the Cazenovia area is good and continues to improve, although there are always challenges along the way. This was the message received by about 30 area residents last week during the annual State of the Area event sponsored by the Greater Cazenovia Area Chamber of Commerce. The event, held this year at Cazenovia Country Club, offered local residents a chance to hear updates from, as well as ask questions to, their local, regional, state and national elected officials on a variety of topics.

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Town of Cazenovia moving to take over operation of Madison County Sewer District

Special legislation is currently pending before the state assembly and state senate to allow the town of Cazenovia to take over ownership and operations of the Madison County Sewer District treatment plant and corresponding sewerage system. The legislation has been supported by the municipal boards of the town and village of Cazenovia and the town of Nelson — all of which are stakeholders in the sewer district — and is seen as a way to keep the creation of sewer rates in the hands of those who actually use the system rather than having Madison County, which no longer wants to run the district, transfer operations to some other entity.

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Cold feet, warm bellies: 500 run in Chilly Chili

Cazenovia College, Ray Bros. BBQ claim best chili titles

About 500 people ran through the cold streets of Cazenovia and the best chili makers in the Cazenovia area were crowned this past Sunday as part of the 12th annual Chilly Chili 5K Run/Walk.

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New greenhouse, florist coming to Nelson

Spruce Ridge Landscape and Design expands business

The four corners of Nelson has become a hub of business activity, with a new coffee roaster, nanobrewery, cigar shop and restaurant either in place or coming in 2016 — and now, just around the corner on Erieville Road, Spruce Ridge Landscape and Design is opening a new garden center and florist in the former Brookside Greenhouse location.

Nelson to extend parking restrictions on North Lake Road in Erieville

The Nelson Town Board last week agreed to extend for another year the local law prohibiting parking along a certain portion of North Lake Road, which expired on Jan. 1.

Happy miscalculation: Fenner tax rate is 12 cents lower than originally announced

Town of Fenner residents received some good news this week — the 2016 town tax rate was miscalculated and, instead of seeing a tax increase this year as previously announced, there will be a tax decrease.

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Town looks to buy brand new lake weed harvester

Larger, newer machine expected to improve quality of weed removal

The Cazenovia Town Board’s first meeting of the new year — and with recently elected Councilor Jimmy Golub seated at the table — saw not only the making of annual organizational appointments for the town government, but also the announcement that the town is soliciting bids to potentially purchase a brand new lake weed harvester to replace the current broken one.

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Proposed statue to honor Cazenovia founder

Will bronze statue of John Lincklaen be placed in Lakeland Park?

John Lincklaen founded Cazenovia nearly 225 years ago, yet nowhere in either the village or the town is there a statue or historical marker recognizing Lincklaen’s action. Two local residents – one an acclaimed artist – are seeking to remedy that situation by proposing the creation of a life-sized bronze statue of Lincklaen and its placement in Lakeland Park. The village board last week gave its unanimous support to the proposed project and, with that in hand, statue proponents Paul Brooks and Paul Parpard say they will now move forward getting community support and participation.

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Residents come out to DeWitt to show support for law enforcement

Local, county, state, federal officers educate the public on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day

One person said it was the largest number of people he had seen in Shoppingtown Mall in years. And the crowds were not there to see celebrities or get free gifts, but to show their appreciation for and to learn something new about local, regional, state and federal law enforcement officers.

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Final Creekside development plans now online for public review

The final documents for the Creekside Park and Creekside Nature Trail development plans have been posted on the village website and the village board is asking residents to review them and offer comments before the plans become adopted.

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Remembering 2015 -- A look back at the top stories of the year

It was another big year in Cazenovia in 2015, with major headlines in the areas of community news, crime, business and sports that made us rejoice, lament, commiserate and, at times, shake our heads in utter consternation and confusion. Whatever the adjective used to characterize what has happened these past 12 months, taken all together, it has all been the story of Cazenovia.

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Cazenovia Equipment summer lawnmower thefts part of multi-county burglary ring

Three Syracuse-area men have pleaded guilty to grand larceny charges, while a fourth man will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge, in connection with the May 2015 theft of seven riding lawnmowers from Cazenovia Equipment on Route 20, according to the Madison County district attorney. The four men were part of an “ongoing conspiracy” to steal large equipment items from stores in Madison, Jefferson and Onondaga counties, said Madison County District Attorney Bill Gabor.

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Chilly Chili 5K to have altered route this year

Race will start and finish at Cazenovia College athletic center

The annual Chilly Chili 5K event will return to Cazenovia in just under three weeks and, for the first time, the location of the race’s start and finish lines have been changed. The race will begin and end this year on Liberty Street, near the intersection with Union Street, which will allow runners to start and finish closer to both the registration and the after party locations at the Cazenovia College Athletic Center.

High school works to optimize student, teacher schedules

New Academic Support Time model has helped hundreds of students gain more academic and recreational opportunities

Cazenovia High School administrators this year have changed how students’ and teachers’ schedules are made in a way that opens up opportunities for students to receive academic help during the school day and, for some, a chance to do more recreational activities. The new Academic Support Time model has, to put it simply, identified and created more time for teachers and students to work together.

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Village receives nearly $100K for park improvement projects

In less than one week, the village of Cazenovia has received two grant awards totaling nearly $100,000 to be used for projects to enhance two village parks. The grants, one from the Central New York Community Foundation and one from the Regional Economic Development Council, will be used to develop a new park and trail system along Chittenango Creek on Riverside Drive and to construct a hand launch for kayaks and canoes in Lakeland Park.

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School security remains major topic for board of education

High school AP students prepare, present study on school shootings to board

The Cazenovia Central School District is continuing its focus on improving district preparedness and emergency procedures in the case of a school shooting incident and, as part of that effort, recently held its first district-wide active shooter lockdown drill. The board of education not only discussed the issue during its Dec. 21 regular monthly meeting, but also heard the results of a study researched and presented by AP Government and Politics students, as well as the students’ recommendations for further actions by the district. The report examined the history of school shootings, as well as the causes, warning signs, school responses and potential solutions to such incidents. School board members found the report not only impressive and educational but also, as one member said, “chilling.”

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Stone Quarry Hill Art Park artist-in-residence to create landscape-scale snow drawing

Stone Quarry Hill Art Park has announced that in January its artist-in-residence, Sonja Hinrichsen, will work with volunteers to create a landscape-scale “drawing” using only snowshoe footprints, and transform the vast, winter landscape of Stone Quarry Hill Art Park into a work of art.

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Town board decides against 2016 chemical treatment of Cazenovia Lake

Cazenovia Lake will not be treated with Renovate chemical herbicide in 2016, the town board decided this week. The board’s decision — which was not unanimous — was based on the consensus that treatment next year would not be “viable” based on the current density of the milfoil weeds in the lake, the timing to complete treatment and the cost.

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Nelson town board honors LaGorga, O’Sullivan

The Nelson Town Board last week honored and thanked two outgoing town officials during its final regular meeting of the year. Councilor John LaGorga and Town Justice Patrick O’Sullivan were acknowledged for the “stellar jobs” they had done in service to the town, said Supervisor Roger Bradstreet.

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Community turns out to support Hughes family in time of grief

Volunteers help complete house renovations, Cazenovia Cut Block projects left unfinished by Tim’s death

The news of Tim Hughes’ death this week shocked the Cazenovia community, not only because so many in town knew Tim either as an individual or as the owner of Cazenovia Cut Block, but also because he was only 39 years old. And, as is typical of the Cazenovia community, residents are coming out in droves to help the Hughes family get through this trying time both personally and professionally by giving the family meals, helping to finish renovations on their house and working in the Cazenovia Cut Block wood shop to finish store items for the holidays.

Marris appointed Nelson town judge

Will succeed Patrick O’Sullivan, serve until November 2016 election

Erieville resident and longtime attorney Karin Marris has been appointed Nelson town justice, to serve in the position to be vacated by current Justice Patrick O’Sullivan, until an election can be held in November 2016 for a full four-year term.

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Schumejda pleads guilty to killing of Amy Bradstreet

Will serve more than 25 years in state prison

Stephen Schumejda, 32, the man charged with killing Cazenovia native Amy Bradstreet, 44, at their East Lake Road residence on Labor Day 2014 has plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, both felonies, and will spend more than 25 years in state prison.

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Cazenovia Lake gets annual checkup: How did it do?

Experts discuss fish, plant populations, invasive species control, algal blooms and what it all means

Vast amounts of time, effort and money from numerous individuals and organizations have gone into managing and protecting the health of Cazenovia Lake during the past year and, at this time, the condition of the lake is quite good. Efforts have made headway in preventing invasive species and runoff pollutants from entering the lake, the fish populations are holding steady, the plant life is abundant and varied and, while the amount of invasive watermilfoil increased in the lake this year — due to the absence of herbicide treatments — overall, its presence has been consistent within the lake and as compared to other lakes in the state.

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Tucker named CNY PGA player and senior player of the year

Mark Tucker, head golf professional at Cazenovia Country Club, has been named 2015 Section Player of the Year and Senior Player of the Year by the Central New York Professional Golf Association.

CCE holds annual meeting, elects new officers

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Madison County held its annual meeting last week, during which the board of directors welcomed four new members, said goodbye to three members, reviewed the past year and looked ahead to projects they have planned for 2016.

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Local businesses, organizations help send trees to military families for the holidays

Critz Farms a collection point for Trees for Troops program

Cazenovia-area businesses, organizations and individuals this week helped a national foundation gather and send more than 100 Christmas trees to the families of military service members throughout the United States. Trees for Troops, a nationwide program of the Christmas SPIRIT Foundation in conjunction with FedEx Corp., made a stop at Critz Farms in Cazenovia to collect trees donated by Christmas tree growers throughout Central New York.

Cazenovia district considers how best to spend state grant money on security and technology upgrades

The issue of school security and student safety remains a top priority for Cazenovia district administration, and recently the board of education heard a presentation of proposals for how the district can best utilize an incoming state grant award of $813,000 to improve the district’s security and emergency preparedness.

Common Grounds moving in new direction, seeking ideas

The end of the Project Café after-school program at Common Grounds has opened an opportunity to make the space more useful for community-minded, inter-generational activities, and a group of civic-minded individuals are currently working to make that a reality — and looking for ideas and participants in the process.

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Ready for the holidays

Garden Club, DPW crews, decorate village for the season

The holiday season has arrived in Cazenovia and, and with it, the annual holiday decorating of the buildings and lampposts on Albany Street. Village Department of Public Works crews, members of the Cazenovia Garden Club and students from Cazenovia College spent hours last week hanging wreaths and garlands along the village’s main street.

Fenner town budget: slight tax rate increase for 2016

Town of Fenner residents will see their town taxes increase 7 cents per every $1,000 of assessed value in 2016 according to the budget approved by the town board during its Nov. 12 meeting. This will be the first time town taxes have increased in approximately seven years, said Supervisor Dave Jones.

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CPF Willow Basket vandalized

The giant willow basket in the willow patch off Mill Street was vandalized Sunday, Nov. 15, torn up off its foundation and tossed aside into the patch, as was a nearby wooden bench, likewise torn out of the ground and tossed aside. Cazenovia police have arrested a local 23-year-old Cazenovia man for the crime, but have no further details on the arrest at this time, said Cazenovia Police Chief Michael Hayes.

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Five Caz student athletes announce college lacrosse plans

Five senior members of the Cazenovia High School boys lacrosse team last week announced their respective plans for where they plan to attend college and play college lacrosse. T.J. Connellan, Jake Lewis, Jake Stowell, Brenden Whalen and Derek White participated in a press conference, where they either made announcements or signed National Letters of Intent concerning their college plans.

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McEntee, Goris announce college lacrosse plans

Cazenovia High School seniors Olivia McEntee and Sophie Goris last Friday announced their respective plans for where they plan to attend college and play lacrosse.

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Local veterans honored by congressmen

Local World War II veterans Karl W. Monson, of Cazenovia, and Don Fida, of Syracuse, were honored Wednesday, Nov. 11, by their friends, family, fellow veterans and local congressmen during a Veterans Day ceremony at Clear Path for Veterans in Chittenango. Monson, 97, received the World War II Victory Medal from Cazenovia area Congressman Richard Hanna, and Fida, 91, received a flag from the Seventh Infantry — his regiment during his service in World War II —from Syracuse Congressman John Katko.

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Hayes, Wester win town board seats after absentee ballots counted

The absentee ballots for the Fenner and Nelson elections have been counted, and the unofficial results, according to the board of elections, are that one race stayed the same while the other changed hands by only three votes.

Creekside development project moving forward

The Creekside Park development project continues to move forward and, while the overall proposed picture of the site has not changed in recent months, there has been movement on a few fronts, Mayor Kurt Wheeler said during the Nov. 2 village board meeting.

Cazenovia tax rate to decrease for town residents

Town board approves final 2016 town budget on 4-1 vote

Taxes for Cazenovia town residents outside the village will remain static in 2016 while townwide taxes (including the village) will decrease 3 percent under the 2016 budget the town board approved at its Nov. 2 meeting. The budget was approved on a vote of 4-1, with Councilor Tom Driscoll voting no due to his opposition to the included salary increase for the town supervisor position.

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O'Sullivan wins county judgeship, Cazenovia area town board seats will get new occupants; Nelson election may not be over

It was nearly two hours after the polls closed Tuesday night before the unofficial elections results were posted online by the Madison County Board of Elections – and it was a night of surprising results.

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Tainter named Nelson’s ‘Citizen of the Year’

Erieville resident Jennifer Tainter last Sunday was awarded the 2015 Norman Odell Citizenship Award for her outstanding contributions to the residents of the town of Nelson.

School district working to improve emergency preparedness, school security

There seems to be a lot of public violence reported in the national news lately – occurring both in and out of schools – and people are concerned, especially for the safety and security of their children. At last week’s school board meeting, Superintendent Matt Reilly shared with the board a letter he received asking what the Cazenovia Central School District is doing to keep its students and faculty safe. This spurred a conversation at the meeting during which Reilly said that the district has been and will continue to be reviewing and improving its emergency situation procedures.

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