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Jason Emerson

Stories by Jason

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.

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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.”

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.

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?


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.

Town board moves forward on lake treatment preparations in ongoing battle against milfoil

The Cazenovia Town Board took steps at its latest monthly meeting to prepare the way for potential use of chemical treatment and weed harvesting of Cazenovia Lake this year in its continuing battle against milfoil weeds.

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Chittenango teen accepted to EAA Advanced Air Academy

Chittenango High School sophomore Hunter Havener has been accepted to attend the Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc. Advanced Air Academy 2014 in Oshkosh, Wis., this summer — an opportunity for which participants ages 16 to18 come from around the United States and several foreign countries.

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Going bald in Cazenovia

St. Baldrick’s head shaving event coming in March; more than $5K already raised

Soon, there will be a lot of bald people walking around Cazenovia. In just under one month, scores of people will gather in the Cazenovia American Legion to get their heads shaved to help raise money and awareness for childhood cancer research — and they will do it on honor of Nathaniel Henry, a 6-year-old student at Burton Street Elementary School who was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in March 2012 and is currently undergoing treatment.

Nanobrewery, coffee roaster businesses looking to set up in Nelson

The Nelson Town Board has been actively trying to entice new businesses to open in Nelson with varying success, but at the board’s latest meeting last week they announced that a new local investor is preparing a proposal to open both a nanobrewery and coffee roaster business right in the Nelson four corners. While the idea is only in the earliest of stages, town officials are excited by the possibility and entrepreneur Nancy Demyttenaere is optimistic she could open for business by mid-summer.

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Who’s got the coolest small town? Berlin, Md., and Cazenovia mayors make a friendly wager

With barely one week left to go in the Budget Travel “Coolest Small Town in America” contest, the mayors of the top two vote-getting towns — Berlin, Md., and Cazenovia — have made a friendly wager on who will win. The prize for the victor: craft beer from their hometown brewery.

Girls’ softball program fundraising to pay for third team

In response to the Cazenovia Board of Education’s decision not to fund a third girls’ softball team but instead allow program participants and supporters to raise the $4,000 necessary for the team and submit it as a donation to the district, the district softball program has begun a fundraising effort.

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Two weeks left, three points behind — Keep voting for Caz as ‘Coolest small town in America’

With only two weeks left in the voting for Budget Travel’s 2014 Coolest Small Towns in America contest, Cazenovia remains in second place — three percent behind Berlin, Md., at press time — after an impressive jump up from fifth place when the contest began in January.

New local business offers ‘actionable information and sound financial advice’ for small business owners

In an increasingly difficult time for small business owners to stay competitive and remain viable, a new business in Cazenovia is looking to help. Michael Lappin, a CPA and MBA who has worked as a financial executive for million-dollar companies and owned and operated his own businesses, is now offering his experience and expertise to help local entrepreneurs achieve success.

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Owera Vineyards wins silver medals at national wine competition

With the Winter Olympics now underway in Russia, it is a time for medal counting — and Cazenovia’s own Owera Vineyards, the first and only winery in Madison County, now boasts 12 medals (and 25 total awards) for its wines, two of which were recently received at the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

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Chenango Street neighbors express support yet concern over possible Circa relocation

The half-dozen or so neighbors of Eric Burrell’s building at 4 Chenango St. — and an attorney that was representing one of them — all agreed that the know and like Burrell, Alicyn Hart and Hart’s local restaurant Circa. And yet they all still have serious concerns about the possibility of Burrell expanding his Chenango Street building to house Circa’s new location.

Village Edge South zoning regulations and design guidelines approved

After nearly two years of work, proposed changes to the village zoning regulations and the establishment of design guidelines governing future development in the Village Edge South area have been unanimously approved into local law by the village board of trustees. The result is that the 84-acre area off Route 20 currently for sale will be developed in a mixed-use capacity for business and residential, all in a manner consistent with the style and feel of the village yet flexible enough to allow developers to build as they principally envision.

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Winterfest talent show inspires with local talent

The 2014 Cazenovia Winterfest Talent Show impressed and inspired a sold-out crowd at the Cazenovia High School auditorium last Friday, Feb. 7, as 26 acts featuring students from grades five through 12 showcased their talents in singing, dancing, musical ability, songwriting and poetry.

Cazenovia High School Mock Trial Team ready for new season

This year’s Cazenovia High School’s Mock Trial Team is already gearing up for what should prove to be a challenging season of competition. High School Mock Trial is a program sponsored by the New York State Bar Association every year. Students from schools across the state compete starting in February, with the finalists traveling to Albany in May to try their cases before an actual judge of the New York Supreme Court, Appellate Division. The Cazenovia team will be competing against approximately 14 other schools from the general area this year.

Village raises minimum income levels for senior tax exemption

Senior citizens who live in the village of Cazenovia with an annual income of less than $32,000 can now receive up to a 50 percent reduction in their real estate taxes thanks to a new local law approved by the village board last week.

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Cazenovia Library Museum adds new item to Egypt collection

Canopic jar now resides in Hen’s mummy case

A new item has been added to the Cazenovia Public Library Museum’s Egypt Gallery collection, that, along with a mummified falcon acquired five years ago, adds to the museum’s interpretation of funerary rites of ancient Egypt. The completely intact alabaster canopic jar — once used to hold mummified internal organs — now sits inside the museum’s mummy case, overlooking Hen, a 2,000-year-old mummy, and directly opposite the mummified falcon representing Horus, the god of the sun, war and protection.

School board pressed to add third girls’ softball team

Refusal could mean 10 to 12 player cuts this year, supporters say

The Cazenovia Board of Education meeting room overflowed with students, parents, coaches and other supporters of the district’s girls’ softball program last Monday, Jan. 27, all of them there to lobby the school board to create a second modified team to accommodate the large influx of new seventh grade players moving up this year. Without the addition of a second modified team, supporters claim, the program will have to cut about a dozen players this year.

BOE may change or eliminate ‘selection classification’ in Cazenovia athletics

The Cazenovia school board had a lengthy and at times heated discussion with district Athletic Director Michael Byrnes last week about the district’s current policy on when exceptional young athletes can be moved up to a higher team level —called “selection classification” — and whether or not the district should revise or even eliminate the program.

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Carpenter’s Pond, Willow Patch to see improvements this year from CPF grant funding

The Cazenovia Preservation Foundation will put nearly $60,000 worth of improvement work into Carpenter’s Pond and the Willow Patch this year, thanks to grant funding it recently received from the Central New York Community Foundation.

New Cazenovia library digital database offers 200-year local newspaper archive

Local historians, history enthusiasts and genealogists now have a new tool at their disposal to track down people and events that occurred in the Cazenovia area dating back nearly 200 years — and it can be used in their own home or on a mobile device. The Cazenovia Public Library has recently gone live with its new digital newspaper database that allows users to read and search in nine different Cazenovia and Madison County newspapers for the years 1800 through 1989.

School board narrows superintendent field to six candidates

During a special executive session last Tuesday, Jan. 21, the Cazenovia Board of Education winnowed its list of candidates for the superintendent of schools position from 18 to six individuals, and this week planned to interview those six candidates to ultimately choose the final three.

Open Door Baptist Church ‘Sportsmen’s Banquet’ will be as good as always

Former ‘Wild Game Dinner’ will change menu but nothing else, pastor says

This Saturday, Feb. 1, the Open Door Baptist Church in New Woodstock will hold its 29th annual dinner and presentations for local outdoor enthusiasts. The event, which typically draws about 300 people, will be the same as it has every year with the exception of dinner: the previous homemade dishes made from wild game brought by attendees will not be allowed, and instead a pulled park barbecue will be served.

State comptroller: Cazenovia school district ‘susceptible’ to financial stress

Continuing lack of state aid, other facts, means district could run out of money in near future

After losing $5 million in state aid during the past five years and using reserve funds to fill the gap — and with aid this year currently anticipated to be a mere $60,000 above last year — the Cazenovia Central School District was recently declared a district “susceptible to fiscal stress,” in the latest Fiscal Stress Monitoring System report released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. In layman’s terms, this means the district is in danger of running out of money in the near future, said District Superintendent Bob Dubik.

Village board endorses fire department service awards program

Will go to public referendum vote in June

The Cazenovia Village Board of Trustees has unanimously endorsed a proposal to create a retirement benefits program for the members of the Cazenovia Volunteer Fire Department. The program will not be instituted, however, until it is approved by village residents in a public referendum vote, which will occur during the regularly scheduled village election in June.

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Nearly 900 runners take to the village streets for 10th annual Chilly Chili

Dave’s Diner, The Foggy Goggle awarded for best chili

It was sunny but slightly windy and a bitterly cold 12 degrees on Sunday, Jan. 26, when 845 runners took to the snowy Cazenovia village streets for the annual Chilly Chili 5K Run/Walk. People running as individuals, with friends, with family and with running teams came from across five states to participate in the annual race, which is followed by a chili cook-off contest.

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Cazenovia in the running to be named the ‘Coolest small town in America’

Daily voting to determine Budget Travel website contest ends Feb. 25

In a field of nearly 500 nominations and thousands of votes from across the U.S., Cazenovia recently was named one of only 15 finalists in the Budget Travel 2014 Coolest Small Towns in America contest. Cazenovia is not only the only town in New York state to make it as a finalist, it is also the only town in all of New England with the next closest finalist in Maryland.

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Cazenovia College Center for Equine Business Development approved for state grant

Cazenovia College is hoping this year to make multi-million-dollar capital improvements to its Center for Equine Business Development — and recently received assistance of up to $500,000 from the New York State Regional Economic Development Council.

Town board makes annual appointments for 2014

Creates Gothic Cottage Advisory Committee, begins process for potential lake chemical treatment

The Cazenovia Town Board — all members dressed in business casual attire in accordance with the new dress code — last week made its organizational appointments for the coming year and took action on a number of town issues, including the creation of a Gothic Cottage Advisory Committee.

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