finger lakes

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Winners of New York state’s casino competition celebrated Thursday. A statewide gaming board this week recommended gaming licenses for three developers across upstate New York, including the proposal from the Rochester-based Wilmorite Corporation to build the Lago Casino and Resort in rural Seneca County.  

While weather kept Gov. Andrew Cuomo from taking part in the Finger Lakes portion of a statewide casino victory lap, unions were out in full force in Seneca County. The potential for jobs for 55 out-of-work electricians has union rep Michael Davis happy.

ChrisYunker / via Flickr

It may not have taken place around a roulette wheel, but there was a palpable air of suspense as the state Gaming Facility Location Board announced three of the nearly 20 communities hoping to get a piece of the gaming action on Wednesday. The board was entitled to grant up to four licenses.

The five-member volunteer board immediately got down to business, nixing all seven casino proposals in Orange County and approving one Hudson Valley/Catskill site to the Montreign Resort and Casino, located in the tiny village of Thompson in Sullivan County.

Finger Lakes town of Tyre awarded 1 of 3 casino sites

Dec 17, 2014
Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

The state Gaming Facility Location Board has selected three proposals for casinos in in economically distressed communities in upstate New York in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca Counties.

The Seneca County site selected was the proposal by Wilmorite Corporation to build Lago Resort and Casino off the New York State Thruway in the small town of Tyre.

David Chanatry / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

In a Schulyer County courthouse Wednesday night, 16 people were arraigned on trespassing charges for blocking the entrance to a natural gas storage facility. Three refused to pay a $250 fine and were sentenced to 15 days in jail, starting immediately.

The three protesters sentenced to jail include a retired Air Force master sergeant, a prominent scientist, and 86-year-old Roland Micklem, who leaned on his cane and told the judge that "a person’s got to do what a person’s got to do."

WRVO

A gas station owned by the Cayuga Nation along Cayuga Lake is in different hands and back open as a fight over control of nation enterprises continues.

Supporters of Clint Halftown, the man who claims to be the rightful federal representative of the nation, re-took the Union Springs Lakeside Trading post early Monday morning.

The Unity Council, the group that says it's in charge under nation law, reported 75 people overran the store and injured its supporters "peacefully" occupying the building.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The jockeying for a coveted casino license in New York state's Southern Tier and Finger Lakes was on display at a public comment session in Ithaca Wednesday. The New York Gaming Facility Location Board wrapped up a series of public hearings by listening to arguments about proposed casinos in what is called the Eastern Southern Tier region.

Jenna Flanagan/Innovation Trail

Winery owners have been stepping up their pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to reject a proposal to store natural gas liquids in the salt caverns along scenic Seneca Lake.

A small but passionate group of career vineyard farmers and winery owners had one united message to deliver to Albany recently.

“We demand that Gov. Cuomo do the right thing and deny all these permits for gas storage on the west side of Seneca Lake,” says Doug Hazlet, a Seneca Lake vineyard owner.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The leadership dispute between factions of the Cayuga Indian Nation continues to work its way through bureaucracy, with state courts and the federal government both soon to weigh in.

This week two county courts - Seneca and Cayuga counties - declined to hear a lawsuit brought by Clint Halftown, who claims he is still the rightful federal representative of the Cayuga. That title allows him to control federal money and the nation’s business interests.

WRVO

The decade-old leadership dispute between factions of the Cayuga Indian Nation that flared up last week is heading to the courts.

Clint Halftown, who claims to be the rightful federal representative of the Cayuga, filed lawsuits against a group of chiefs and clan mothers who say they are in charge of the nation.

That group, who call themselves the Unity Council, moved last week to take control of two nation-run gas stations and office buildings in the Finger Lakes.

Matt Martin / WSKG file photo

A vocal group of residents in Tyre have sued their town board over a proposal to bring a casino to the rural farming community. The group is now getting support from a national anti-casino activist. 

Protestors gathered Thursday in a field next to a proposed casino site in Tyre. The handful of protesters held signs opposing Rochester businessman Thomas Wilmot’s casino application.

Wilmot’s one of three applicants seeking to build a casino in the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes Region.

Les Bernal, executive director of Stop Predatory Gambling, addressed the crowd.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

Prospective casino operators got a chance to ask the Cuomo administration questions about the process for choosing licensees for four upstate casinos. But they won’t get answers for several days.

The structure of the event was a bit awkward. Gambling conglomerates and other developers, who have all paid $1 million each for the privilege of being considered for a casino site, attended a mandatory session held by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Gaming Commission.

baristaj9 / Flickr

Three upstate wineries have come together to create an import-export company designed to increase Finger Lakes wine sales in Europe. The new company, called New York Wines, will be registered in Belgium and the partners are hoping it will help to increase sales at home as well as abroad.

John Martini, president of one of the vineyards, the Anthony Road Wine Company, says the costs associated with overseas shipping can be prohibitive for a single winery. But shipping produce from several wineries in bulk makes it cheaper at both ends, he says.

Governor Andrew Cuomo/flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo was in the Finger Lakes on Tuesday playing host to restaurant owners and chefs from New York City and around the state.

The latest in a string of initiatives aimed at promoting upstate produce, the event was designed to showcase the region’s wines and foster downstate partnerships.

Cuomo says increased emphasis on the region’s quality produce has been a long time coming. But it’s proving to be good for business.

WSKG

Once every week, a freight train loaded with coal makes its way through Ithaca to the coal-fired power plant north of town in Lansing, on the shore of Cayuga Lake. Those shipments may stop soon.

The state’s Public Service Commission is considering the future of the Lansing plant. The pending decision has sparked a local debate that says a lot about the challenges New York will face if it’s serious about switching to new sources of power.

Kate O'Connell/Innovation Trail

It’s soft, stinky and delicious, and it’s an opportunity for economic development.

Upstate New York looks ready to usher in a new era of cheese production. A partnership between supermarket chain Wegmans Food Markets and Cornell University hopes to make the region a leader in the artisanal cheese industry.

Dean of Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Kathy Boor, says growing demand for local quality cheese presents an opportunity to diversify the region’s dairy industry.

Jacob Davis / WRVO

As Finger Lakes wine grows in popularity around New York state and the country, one long-time vintner has separated himself from the pack by doing things the old fashioned way and keeping things simple.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / via Flickr

Hundreds of Finger Lakes residents gathered in Geneva recently for what’s expected to be the first of several conversations about the region’s landfills.

It may seem like the 2012 elections are barely behind us, but in New York’s 23rd congressional district the race for 2014 is on. 

Thumbtack.com

The grades are in and the Finger Lakes region is top-of-the-class for business friendliness in New York state. That’s the conclusion of a new small businesses survey conducted by Thumbtack.com. But the survey also shows that the state still lags in a national comparison.

Dan Klimke / Flickr

The results are in from this weekend’s Finger Lakes International Wine Competition in Rochester, and it’s good news for the region. A dozen wines from the Finger Lakes came away with coveted double-gold medals -- twice as many as last year. 

A number of protestors were arrested for blockading the entrance to a natural gas storage facility in the Finger Lakes region early Monday.

Sidsel Overgaard/WRVO

In March, many places in central and northern New York will hold local elections. Among them is the village of Dresden on Seneca Lake, where residents will vote in a new mayor.  But, there’s just one problem: no one’s running.

Fred Chiang / Flickr

It’s wine competition season, a time of year when judges offer their opinions at dozens of events around the world. New York Wine and Grape Foundation’s Jim Trezise was at an event in Sonoma to see how Finger Lakes wines have been faring.

Boston Public Library / Flickr

Despite the sluggish economy, at least one small town in the Finger Lakes has been seeing some promising signs of life in its downtown corridor.

The Fruit of the Vine

Jan 25, 2013

John Weeks sits down for an interview with a grape grower to discuss the grape culture in the Finger Lakes Region of Central New York.

Carlet Cleare / WXXI

The new Finger Lakes Museum is kicking up its fundraising efforts to raise $1.3 million in private funds necessary to receive matching state funding for it's new facility.

Mercy Flight Central, an upstate medical air service, shut down operations while hurricane Sandy blew over. Due to high wind warnings, they were not able to fly patients.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced he’s holding a wine and beer summit at the Capitol in October to improve business opportunities for the state’s wineries and craft breweries.

Garrett Ziegler / Flickr

Farms still drive New York state's economy, according to a report from the New York State Comptroller's office, which outlines just how important agriculture is to the state's economy.

Zack Seward/WXXI

From toilet paper to soda pop, more and more companies are testing whether "doing good" can be good for the bottom line.