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'Grape Country Wine Fest' begins today at fairgrounds

DUNKIRK -- "America's Grape Country Wine Festival" kicks off at noon today on the Chautauqua County Fairgrounds, 1089 Central Ave.

The event, which runs through Sunday, features wine tasting, craft vendors, food and live music. The band Uncle Kracker and local country artist Sean Patrick McGraw will perform from 6 to 10 p.m. Sunday. The festival runs from noon to 7 p.m. today and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.



Jamestown event features famous cars from movies, TV

JAMESTOWN -- The General Lee from the Dukes of Hazzard, KITT from Knight Rider and Herbie the Love Bug will be on hand for the 19th annual Downtown Cruisin' from 5 to 10 p.m. next Friday .

Registration gets under way at the Jamestown High School parking lot on Foote Avenue. All vehicles must check in at the high school.

The Untouchables will perform on the Main Stage, at Third and Main Streets, from 7 to 11 p.m. Also featured are food vendors, dancing, contests and prizes.

Cruisin' is sponsored in part by the Downtown Jamestown Development Corp. There is a $5 donation to enter and pre-registration is recommended. Registration forms are available at or by calling 664-2477, Ext 226.



Theme park's Ride of Steel remains idle awaiting repairs

DARIEN -- Darien Lake Theme Park and Resort's Ride of Steel, which was closed after a mechanical failure stranded 32 passengers Thursday, will remain idle until new parts are obtained and installed, park officials said Friday.

A chain on the ride broke while a train was traveling up a hill lift, causing it to stop automatically about halfway up the track. All 32 riders were evacuated from the ride and walked down the side of the tracks to safety.

Before tHe popular ride reopens, it will be inspected by park and independent experts. No timetable was offered for its reopening. However, updates in the ride will be posted on the park's website at

The roller coaster reopened July 22 after being shut down for two weeks in the aftermath of the July 8 death of James T. Hackemer, who was ejected from the ride. Hackemer, an Iraq War veteran and double amputee, was allowed on the ride despite having no legs.



Offices set to close 30 minutes earlier

Starting Monday, Social Security offices locally and nationally will close to the public 30 minutes early each day.

Agency employees will continue to work their regular hours, but the shorter business hours are intended to allow workers to complete face-to-face service with the public without incurring the cost of overtime, agency officials said.

Congress provided the Social Security Administration with nearly $1 billion less in revenue than was requested in President Obama's budget for the current fiscal year.