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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

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Graves wins $10K for NAMOW

North Area Meals on Wheels Board of Trustees President Bob Graves today was named the Today’s Options Competition Grand Champion — which means that NAMOW will receive $10,000 in prize money to spend however they choose.

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Caz athlete runs in Ironman 70.3 World Championship in Austria

Local triathlete Heather Ketcham spent last weekend in the Austrian alpine town of Zell Am See — she was not sightseeing on an end-of-summer vacation, but rather competing against approximately 2,700 athletes from more than 70 countries in the Ironman 70.3 World Championship.

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Caz golf professionals make PGA Tour cut

The two professionals at Cazenovia’s two golf clubs beat out some of the region’s best golfers last week to earn a spot in the 2016 PGA Professional Championship next June. Both Mark Tucker, of Cazenovia County Club, and Dennis Colligan, of Cazenovia Golf Club, earned entry into next year’s PGA event being hosted at Turning Stone.

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State supreme court decides against Owera

Judge upholds eight of 10 town conditions for winery to construct new events building

The Cazenovia Town Planning Board has the legal right to impose nearly all of the conditions it included in its site plan approval for Owera Vineyards’ proposed new event center on its East Lake Road property and, if the owners of Owera find these conditions too onerous, their best recourse may be to relocate their operations to a town parcel more appropriately zoned for the commercial activity in which the winery seeks to engage. This was the opinion of Acting State Supreme Court Justice Dennis K. McDermott in his Aug. 26 decision on Owera’s Article 78 lawsuit against the town of Cazenovia.

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Flags of Our Heroes program seeking veterans’ photos

The next mission of Honor Flight Syracuse to bring veterans of World War II and the Korean War to visit the memorials in their honor in Washington, D.C., is scheduled for Oct. 3 — and officials with the Flags of Our Heroes program are currently seeking photographs of deceased veterans of these two wars to bring with them to Washington and be honored through the Flags of Our Heroes program.

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When Grover Cleveland came to Cazenovia

Many people know he was here, but few know the details of the village’s first presidential visit

It seems most everyone in Cazenovia knows that at one point in the village’s history President Grover Cleveland came here for a brief visit in 1887. Some people even know that President and Mrs. Cleveland held a reception at Lorenzo and spent the night there. Other than those few details, the visit of a sitting U.S. president to the small Cazenovia community appears to be relatively unknown but, at the time, it was one of the biggest events to ever happen to this small village.

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Cazenovia College freshman move in for fall semester

The area around the Cazenovia College quad was a busy place last Friday, as approximately 300 new students, along with their parents and family members, descended on Cazenovia for the annual freshman move-in day and welcome ceremonies.

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Doan Chiropractic relocates New Woodstock office to Cazenovia

After 23 years in New Woodstock, Kyle Doan has recently relocated his chiropractic office into the White Lilacs building in downtown Cazenovia and has added a second chiropractor to his practice.

Nelson town board discusses, rejects proposed changes to elected town positions

The Nelson Town Board last week discussed four significant issues facing the town in terms of governmental administration and resident safety, and while the board dropped consideration of changing some town offices from elected to appointed, it did move forward on contracting for town ambulance services, improving the safety of a dangerous intersection and creating a process to condemn dangerous buildings.

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Hamilton Hearing offers free hearing aid trials

Hamilton Hearing of Cazenovia is now offering a unique program that will allow people to “test drive” hearing aids for a free 14-day evaluation. The Unitron “Flex-Trial” hearing devices analyze and record what the wearer is hearing, allowing the hearing counselor to recommend the best possible hearing device for the customer.

Cazenovia Town Board approves new local law, work contracts and hears Owera lawsuit update

During its regular monthly meeting last Monday, Aug. 10, the Cazenovia Town Board attended to routine monthly business and had no major issues to address. The board approved one new local law and proposed another, scheduled two public hearings, approved three work contracts and received an update from the town attorney on the status of the ongoing litigation between the town and Owera Vineyards. The board also announced that its next regular monthly meeting, to be held at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 13, will be held in the New Woodstock firehouse and not in the Gothic Cottage.

Four candidates face-off in two party primaries for Madison County Judge

The retirement of Madison County Court Judge Biagio DiStefano this past April left a vacancy on the county bench that four candidates currently hope to fill. Their first electoral test will come Thursday, Sept. 10, when the Democrat, Republican and Conservative parties all will hold primary elections.

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Brown Funeral Services acquires Tait Funeral Home

New owner Michael E. Brown now open for business

The former Tait Funeral Home, located at 2333 Fenner Road in Cazenovia, has reopened under a new owner and a new name. Michael E. Brown Funeral Services, LLC, acquired the funeral home as of Aug. 6 and is now open for business.

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Keeping it disco: Life of Reilley announces latest product – canned cocktails

Life of Reilley Distilling and Wine Company, headquartered in Nelson, celebrated its one-year anniversary in business only last week — and already its three kinds of vodka are selling in 65 outlets across 23 counties in New York state, with requests to expand to California, Arizona, Georgia and New Jersey. But the big news owners Ben and Shioban Reilley announced on social media on Aug. 4 was a different kind of landmark: the upcoming release of their new canned cocktail, “Disco Lemonade.”

Village board meeting notes

The Cazenovia Village Board on Aug. 3 held a public information session to discuss the proposed plan for the nature trail and development options behind the Cazenovia Public Library as part of the Creekside Planned Development District. Part of that plan includes the construction of a “linear park” along the creek that will be a play space for children.

U.S. House Speaker Boehner visits Cazenovia

Nobody in town except Cazenovia police officers and partygoers knew it, but last week Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John Boehner (R-Ohio) was in Cazenovia attending a fundraising event for fellow Republican Congressman John Katko (R-NY).

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Board president could win $10,000 for NAMOW

North Area Meals on Wheels Board of Trustees President Bob Graves is in the running to win $10,000 for the organization.

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Sci-fi Shakespeare movie adaptation films at Hillcrest in Cazenovia

As the movie crew filmed, beautiful Juliet of fair Verona stood in the night on the balcony of the Hillcrest Jephson Estate and spoke to her dear Romeo. His cybernetic arm reached up touch her hand, his blue eye glowed before he raced back to the dark, post-apocalyptic wilderness from which he came. “This is a sci-fi action film with overall adventure that takes the classic tale [of ‘Romero and Juliet’] and spins it around into something fresh and new,” said Matthew A. Peters, director and co-writer of “Romeo 3000” that filmed last weekend in Cazenovia. “The best way to describe it is Shakespeare meets Mad Max.”

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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.

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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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.

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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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