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WJTN News Headlines for Fri., Sept. 23, 2022

Sempolinski discusses wide range of topics -- including GOP "Commitment to America" during chamber breakfast...
He's not running again in November... but, new Southern Tier Congressman Joe Sempolinski says he supports House Republicans on their new "Commitment to America."  House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy rolled out the party's four-part election agenda near Pittsburgh today.  It includes broad ideas for the economy, crime, and social issues.  During a Chautauqua County Chamber of Commerce Congressional Breakfast near Jamestown this morning... Sempolinski said he feels it's a message that will resonate with people "across the board..." including independents and more moderate Democrats.  Specifically... he says the four-issues are: government accountability... public safety... improving the economy... and, promoting freedom.  The Corning-area Republican says... while he hasn't been in office two-weeks yet... he's been able to get constituent services back up and running.  Sempolinski reiterated that that's one of the most important things Congressional members do because you deal directly with the people, and they need someone to help them.  He says a lot of their constituent cases involve issues with the IRS.  Sempolinski also said he would be supporting fellow Republican Nick Langworthy in the November election.


Chautauqua County Sheriff's Dept. investigators pressing to solve Bindics homicide case...
The Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office Unsolved Crimes Unit is looking for the public's help as they continue work on solving the Yolanda Bindics homicide case.  Senior Investigator Tom Di Zinno says investigators are looking for more details about the day of Bindics disappearance in Jamestown on Aug. 10 2004.  Di Zinno says they know that a former boyfriend, Clarence Carte, with whom she had a child, was inside the Kwik Fill store at Washington St. and Fluvannia Ave. -- across the street from where Yolanda worked at the Family Dollar about the time she finished work.  Di Zinno says they are looking for anyone who may have interacted with Carte or Bindics... and, is urging them to call investigators.  If you have any information to share... contact investigators at 716-753-4578 or 753-4579.  You can also email unsolvedchautauqua@sheriff.us.

 
NFG announces a roughly 50% increase in home heating bills this Winter...
Home heating bills will be going up significantly this Winter... as natural gas prices follow the trend of just about every product on the market.  National Fuel Gas Distribution Corporation has just released it's Winter heating season forecast... and, the utility is estimating that -- based on the current market prices -- the average residential customer will pay $1,023 to heat their home this Winter.  National Fuel Spokeswoman Karen Merkel says the amount they have to pay for supply his spiked upward... and, that means expect about a 50% increase this November through March.  Merkel says one way to lend more stability to your heating bills is to sign up for their year-long "balanced" or "budget billing" program.  She adds that it's important to have your heating system checked out to make sure it's operating properly... reduce air leaks... and, set thermostats between 65 and 70 degrees during the winter months.


Two Jamestown residents arrested during traffic stop in Sinclairville...
A vehicle stop in the village of Sinclairville just before Midnight Thursday has led to drug charges against a passenger in the vehicle.  Sheriff's officers say they stopped the car on Jamestown Street for no inspection, and non-transparent side windows.  They found the driver, 45 year-old Lisa Tibbetts of Jamestown, was operating with a suspended license.  Deputies ay further investigation found the passenger, 30 year-old Zachary Miller of Jamestown, was in possession of a quantity of methamphetamine.  Miller was arrested for seventh-degree criminal possession Controlled Substance.  Tibbetts was issued citations charging third-degree aggravated unlicensed operator... uninspected motor vehicle, and side windows non-transparent.  Both were released with appearance tickets for Charlotte Town Court.


United Way starts 2022 General Campaign at Lake Lodge...
There's a sense of "excitement" as the 2022 general campaign for the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County gets underway.  The kick-off was held at the YWCA's Lake Lodge in Lakewood last night... with United Way officials, volunteers and others on hand.  Executive Director Amy Rohler says... after dealing with the challenges of the COVID pandemic... she's hoping for a more "normal campaign" this year with most restrictions gone.  However... Rohler says there are some challenges this year... with an "up and down" economy and inflation putting a strain on pocketbooks.  At the same time... she says "we have a generous community" and, she's optimistic they'll make their $1.3-million dollar goal.  The campaign helps fund 42 programs at 29 member agencies... and, the United Way's own programs.  For more information... go on-line to uwayscc.org.


Whitaker says NYS Education Commissioner addresses school superintendent's gathering...
Preparing for future education challenges was the theme of keynote speakers at the state's gathering of local school superintendents near Albany recently.  That from Jamestown Superintendent Kevin Whitaker... who says State Education Commissioner Betty Rosa was one of the keynote speakers... and, she talked about the need to prepare students for thousands of new jobs that haven't yet been created.  Dr. Whitaker says she also talked about serving what are ever-changing communities... and, that they make sure to serve the entire community.  He says there was also discussion about a more pressing problem... filling jobs.  In fact... the Buffalo School Board recently approved a pilot program that would reimburse parents who drive their kids to school due to a severe shortage of bus drivers.  Whitaker says "fortunately..." Jamestown doesn't have that issue.