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Yellow Brick Road Casino unveils lineup of Oz-themed bars and restaurants

Grand opening date of casino to be revealed next week

The Oneida Indian Nation this week revealed the lineup of new bars and restaurants that will be a part of its new Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. The $20 million gaming venue celebrates the Village of Chittenango’s connection with the American classic book “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” Yellow Brick Road Casino’s just-announced venues “stay true to the book’s whimsical theme,” according to a release from the Oneida Indian Nation.

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Madison County Tourism names Foothill Hops 2015 Champion of Tourism

Madison County Tourism, the county’s official tourism promotion agency, recently named Foothill Hops as the recipient of the 2015 Emily Marshall Champion of Tourism Award. The award was presented to Kate and Larry Fisher, owners and operators of Foothill Hops, during Madison County Tourism’s annual dinner on April 2 at the Colgate Inn in Hamilton.

Governor Cuomo announces 59 percent growth in NY craft beer industry in one year

Impact on New York economy is $3.5 billion

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo last week announced the craft beer industry in New York State grew 59 percent from 2013 to 2014, with a total economic impact estimated at $3.5 billion. These results, according to a research report prepared for the New York State Brewers Association and the New York Wine and Grape Foundation, are another example of the incredible growth the industry has been seeing.

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The changing face of Cazenovia’s downtown business district

The nature of communities is that they are often in a constant state of flux. Businesses change and adapt, close and move, while new businesses come in to offer something different to the local market and hope their business model works. In Cazenovia during the past eight months, there has been a great deal of change to the local business community with shops closing or moving locations, and others coming in to take over the newly vacant store fronts. Whether such change is, or will be, positive or negative remains to be seen — but many local officials and business owners see potential in what is happening, although they also see a need to change and adapt to certain realities of the marketplace and the needs of customers.

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Owera brings home five medals from Finger Lakes International Wine Competition

Cazenovia’s sole winery, Owera Vineyards, added recently to its ever-growing list of awards and accolades by bringing home five medals from the 2015 Finger Lakes International Wine Competition.

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Cazenovia native named finalist in Realtor Magazine’s 30 under 30 contest

Twenty-seven-year-old Alex Parker, a native of Cazenovia who currently lives in Tallahassee, Fla., sold more than $22 million in Florida real estate last year. That achievement, among other factors, earned him a place as one of the final 50 candidates in Realtor Magazine’s 30 Under 30 2014 national contest recently. And, while Parker was ultimately not chosen last week to be one of the final 30 honorees, becoming a finalist and earning the experience and exposure of the contest was the achievement of a years-long goal for him.

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Tait loses lawsuit against department of health

A New York State Supreme Court judge has ruled against Cazenovia funeral home director Brian Tait’s attempts to sue the state department of health over what Tait claims was a deal to suspend his funeral directing license for six months and seek no further administrative actions against him.

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Something for every occasion — Gabrielle Chocolates sweetens up Albany Street

Two years ago, a mysterious chocolate shop opened for one night at a small, non-descript location at 72 Albany St. during the annual Cazenovia Christmas Walk. Many people in the community wondered what it was, where it came from and where it went to when it disappeared the next day. Four months ago, in mid-December 2014, Gabrielle Chocolates opened again at 72 Albany St. — but this time, the chocolate shop stayed open as a permanent addition to the downtown business district. And with the chocolate-heavy Easter holiday right around the corner, owner Gabrielle Regan hopes her handmade “chocolate creations for any occasion,” as her motto goes, will entice people to stop in.

State comptroller reports: Agricultural activity brings $37.6 billion into New York’s economy

Agriculture contributed $37.6 billion to New York’s economy in 2012, an increase of more than 22 percent from 2007, according to a report released recently by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli. The state ranks in the top 10 nationwide for milk and other dairy production, as well as wine, apples, maple syrup and other products.

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Former Caz Fitness building undergoing renovations

Albany Street building to revert to retail, office space

When Caz Fitness closed its doors at 51 Albany St. in early February, local residents wondered why and what would occupy the space instead. Current construction activity in the building and “For Rent” signs in the windows have only increased the curiosity. The new owner of the building at 51 Albany St., Eric Burrell, said he is now ready to make public his plans. He is renovating the structure to create retail space on the first floor and office space on the second and third floors.

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Owera Vineyards files suit in state supreme court against Cazenovia town planning board

The disagreement between Owera Vineyards and the Cazenovia town planning board over how the winery should be allowed to operate its business continued last week when Owera’s owners, Peter and Nancy Muserlian, filed suit in New York State Supreme Court against the town planning board. The Article 78 proceeding is a challenge to the planning board’s approval on Feb. 5 of Owera’s site plan application to construct a 6,300 square-foot permanent promotion and marketing facility on its East Lake Road property. That approval included numerous conditions on the business such as restrictions on hours of operations, number of events and number of people allowed per event in the building, as well as stipulations on how the winery must prove to the town that it is abiding by state agriculture and markets department rules — conditions which Owera claims in its lawsuit were not only “arbitrary and capricious” but also exceeded the planning board’s jurisdiction.

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Junior’s Caz Bar keeping it local

Local restaurant and pub Junior’s Caz Bar at 64 Albany St. is coming up on its one-year anniversary on April 1. The milestone is not just an achievement for Junior’s, but is one that also benefits the various local businesses that Junior’s owner Geoff Zimmer Jr. works with and supports.

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Hamilton hearing expands into Cazenovia

The Atwell Mill and its Annex on Albany Street are becoming a de facto medical center in Cazenovia, with current businesses there including a chiropractor, a dentist, a family physician’s office, a family therapist, a personal therapist, a psychotherapist, a physical therapist, a laboratory testing service and a Medicare insurance agent. And now, with the recent addition of Hamilton Hearing, LLC, there is also a hearing counselor and hearing aid dispenser.

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Tait funeral license lawsuit against department of health argued in state supreme court

More than two years after pleading guilty to misdemeanor charges of misconduct while running his Cazenovia funeral home, Brian Tait is back in court again. This time, he is the petitioner, bringing suit against the state Department of Health for reneging on what Tait claims was an approved deal regarding the suspension of his funeral directing license. Rather than a six-month suspension, the state is now looking to revoke his license altogether and decertify his funeral home. Attorneys for Tait and the DOH appeared in state supreme court Thursday morning, March 5, to argue their cases in front of Judge Hugh A. Gilbert.

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New Cazenovia hops processing and distribution center in Cazenovia to serve all of CNY region

After spending two months crossing the Atlantic Ocean from Germany, waiting in the port of New York City and braving the cold and snowy roads of Upstate New York, The Wolf recently arrived in Cazenovia. The Wolf is not an animal or a person, but an 11.5-ton hops harvester/picker that is now permanently in place on a Rathbun Road hops farm in Cazenovia. It will be the foundation of The Bineyard — a new hops cooperative and distribution center that has plans to be the main hops processing and distribution facility in the CNY region.

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