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WJTN News Headlines for Thurs., Sept. 22, 2022

Fire investigators rule house/vehicle fire near Fredonia was intentionally set... 
Chautauqua County fire investigators have determined that the cause of a blaze on Stone Road in the town of Pomfret was incendiary.  Fredonia firefighters responded to the fire that involved a house and two vehicles around 8:45 p.m. Tuesday.  The Sheriff's Fire Investigation Team was called to the scene to assist in determining the cause and origin of the fire.  The investigation is ongoing. We learned that Fredonia received mutual aid from East Dunkirk, Sheridan and Cassadaga firefighters.  County fire coordinators also assisted.  Crews were at the scene for nearly two hours.  No injuries were reported.


Schmidt says Judge rules to keep some confidentiality among witnesses in case against Rushdie assailant...
The prosecution in the case against the man accusing of stabbing famed Author Salmon Rushdie at Chautauqua Institution last month has been granted a protective order to preserve the confidentiality and limiting access to the identities, and factual witnesses in the case.  Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt says that was the outcome of a "closed-door" hearing held Wednesday in front of County Court Judge David Foley.  Schmidt says Foley also granted his request for an time extension in providing the defense with discoverable materials under New York’s reformed discovery laws.  He says the judge also directed that disclosures be made within 60 days from Wednesday.  


Sempolinski hosts first telephone conference call as Southern Tier Congressman; discusses first week in office...
Chautauqua County's new member of Congress has "hit the ground running" during his first week in the House of Representatives.  Corning Republican Joe Sempolinski was sworn-in Tuesday, Sept.,13, and, says he's already voted in two-dozen bills.  However... Sempolinski feels the most important part of his short, four-month tenure is getting constituent services back up and running.  He says they have all their satelite offices -- in places like Jamestown -- fully up and running now.  Sempolinski says that was of "paramount importance" to him upon taking office.  He was a Congressional Aide to former Congressman Tom Reed... who prided himself in responding to more than 10,000 constituent cases before he retired.  He's also spent some time in the district... including the solumn duty of attending late Southern Tier Congressman Amo Houghton's memorial service.  Houghton died just before the COVID Pandemic began... but, they could not hold the service until last Saturday.  Sempolinski has fond memories of Houghton because he first met the congressman for the first time as an intern in Houghton's Office.  He made his comments during his first telephone conference call with Southern Tier Media.


Sempolinski to address Chautauqua Co. Chamber Breakfast Friday...
New 23rd District Congressman Joe Sempolinski will make his first appearance since being elected in Chautauqua County this Friday morning.  He'll be speaking at the Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce's annual Congressional Breakfast at Moonbrook Country Club... where he'll talk about what he's doing in Washington... and, hear about chamber members prorities.  Sempolinski says the breakfast is a "long-time tradition" in the county... and, adds he's looking to restart another, as well.  That's holding town hall meetings, like his predecessor, Tom Reed died.  He says his staff is in the process of scheduling those for the Fall.  Chamber members typically will bring up issues regarding the economy and economic development... which is something Sempolinski has expressed an interest in pursuing more.  He says this event will be a "great opportunity for listening."  Friday's chamber program at Moonbrook begins at 8:30 a.m. 


Busti Apple Harvest Festival set to go this Sunday...
The 48th annual Busti Apple Harvest Festival will be this Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Historical Society Grounds.  One of the founders and organizers of the festival, Judy Schultz, says there'll be all kinds of history to learn... and shopping to do.  Schultz says they'll have more than 20 demonstrators in the demonstration barn... and, 70 to 80 craft vendors out on the grounds.  She says there will also be 11 food trucks on the grounds... and vendors offering all kinds of apple products, including pies, fresh apples, and apple cider.  The grist mill at the center of the grounds will will be running and open for tours.  Schultz says there's a $5 admission for everyone age 12 and over... and, that will be paid at the gate.


Hamburg man indicted by Erie County Grand Jury in rape case...
A town of Hamburg man has been indicted for allegedly raping, kidnapping and holding a victim from Chautauqua County against her will last month.  Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says that 62-year-old Scott Saracina was arraigned Tuesday on an indictment charging him with first degree rape... second degree kidnapping... and first degree unlawful imprisonment.  The charges stem from incident on Aug. 23.


Trump, and adult children begin sued by New York State A.G....
New York state Attorney General Letitia James has sued former President Donald Trump and his company... alleging business fraud involving some of their most prized assets, including properties in Manhattan, Chicago and Washington, D.C.  James' lawsuit, filed Wednesday in state court in New York, is the culmination of the Democrat's three-year civil investigation of Trump and the Trump Organization.  Trump's three eldest children, Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric Trump, were also named as defendants, along with two longtime company executives, Allen Weisselberg and Jeffrey McConney.  A Trump attorney says the lawsuit is ``neither focused on the facts nor the law.''