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WJTN News Headlines for Monday August 31st

Chautauqua Institution's 142nd season has come to a close. That's Chautauqua's President, Tom Becker, Sunday night in the Amphitheater... offering the traditional wrap-up... as part of the final event of the year.  He talked in detail about the season and how the institution's programs affect the people who attend them.  Becker did not directly address plans for the Amphitheater. Saturday, Chautauqua's Board of Trustees voted to go out to bid on the 'renewal' of the Amphitheater... a plan to replace most of the current structure.  The Board expects to review the bids at its meeting November 7th. 


The Chautauqua Institution board of trustees has voted to demolish and rebuild its amphitheater rather than preserve the 122-year-old space that has played host to speeches and performances from Susan B. Anthony... and, Duke Ellington.  The western New York retreat's board also released a statement Saturday night after the vote.  The institution's plans to rebuild the open-air venue led to an outcry from preservationists and a summer-long series of discussions about possible alternatives.  Chautauqua President Tom Becker addressed several hundred people in Bestor Plaza following the decision. Becker and other officials cited the need for structural repairs and better wheelchair access, as well as an orchestra pit for the staging of larger productions as reasons for the complete rebuild.  The National Trust for Historic Preservation weighed in on the side of keeping and preserving the existing structure, conferring a ``National Treasure'' designation.


An Olean man has been charged with first-degree robbery after allegedly holding up a cab driver -- at gun-point late last week.  State Police in Olean say 24 year-old Darrin Hunter got a ride from the Coldspring Cab Company from the city of Buffalo to Olean... where he allegedly claimed he couldn't pay the fare.  Troopers say the cab driver then stopped at the 7-Eleven store in the village of Allegany.  At that point... police say Hunter displayed and pointed a black hand-gun at cab driver's head, and threatened to kill him.  Troopers say the cabbie then put his car in reverse... and, jumped out of the vehicle.  He ran into the 7- Eleven... and, yelled for the clerk call 9-1-1.  Hunter then reportedlydrove off in the cab before he later crashed it on Interstate 86 in the town Carrollton.  Police say the suspect was arrested and taken to a local Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries and released to troopers.  The gun was apparently and air pistol.  Hunter was arraigned several charges including the robbery count... as well as third-degree grand larceny.  He was sent to the Cattaraugus County Jail on 25-thousand dollars cash bail.


A Jamestown man has been arrested for allegedly leading police on a high-speed pursuit... then fighting with officers as they were arresting him. City Police say they spotted 23 year-old Charles Monroe's car speeding on Newton Avenue just after 5 PM Saturday as he was driving in the left-hand lane.  Officers say Monroe allegedly failed to use his turn signal properly... and, did not stop at a stop sign.  Once they pulled him over... officers say they determined that Monroe was also drunk.  He was arrested... but, began fighting with officers once he was placed in the back of the patrol car.  Monroe faces a number of charges... including speed not reasonable and prudent... failure to stop at a stop sight... and DWI.  He's being held pending arraignment.


School begins in Chautauqua County later this week... and, teachers and staff in Jamestown are busy preparing for the start of classes this coming Thursday.  School Superintendent Tim Mains says the opening of school is "a big deal..." so, a lot of work goes into it.  Mains says the biggest push has been getting the two schools that'll house students from Love Elementary School ready.  He says the biggest influx will be at Lincoln Elementary and Washington Middle Schools. Love school has been shut-down for a major capital project which involved the re-wiring of the building... and installing central air.  Mains says there'll be about 700 students in Lincoln... which will make it the second-most populated school... outside of the high school.  With even more rigerous standards to meet this year... Mains says there's a lot of emphasis on preparation before Thursday's start to the school year.  Mains says students will go to their school at the regularily scheduled time on Thursday... but, it'll be a half-day of school for everyone.  Mains made his comments for this past weekend's "Community Spotlight" program.


New York state is changing school immunization requirements to ensure children receive their final doses of three standard vaccines before entering school.  Beginning on September 1st... the state's Department of Health will require students to receive a complete series of immunizations for measles-mumps-rubella, polio and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis before starting school.  Students who have received initial doses of the vaccines may attend school only if parents can show they have scheduled appointments for the final doses.  Previously, children could wait until age 6 to receive final doses.  The new policy reflects recommendations from an advisory panel to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Health Commissioner Howard Zucker says the changes will give children ``the best protection'' from ``devastating diseases.''


The New York State Fair has a new mobile app.  It allows users to purchase tickets online, create a custom schedule with reminders for events, and features a GPS-enabled map that shows visitors where they are on the Fairgrounds.  The app also features the ``Food Finder,'' which shows the location of food vendors.  Buttons for Facebook and Twitter allow users to see posts and tweets from the fair in real time, while the messages section gives the fair the ability to push important or urgent information to all app users at once.  The app is available on-line at Nysfair-dot-org/app... and, also for free at the Apple and Google Play marketplaces.  Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the new app on Saturday and is encouraging the public to use it.


The Seneca Nation of Indians says it will expand its Buffalo casino.  Tribal leaders on Friday outlined plans for a 40-million dollar, two-story expansion at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino that will make room for more slot machines, table games, a non-smoking area and a steakhouse restaurant.  Construction is expected to start in October and be done in early 2017.  The Senecas opened the existing Buffalo casino in 2013.   A temporary casino operated at the site before then.  The western New York tribe also has casinos in Niagara Falls and Salamanca.