Jim Letizia

Reporter, News Anchor

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.

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News
9:59 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Boomers Pessimistic About Retirement

A new survey shows a majority of voters over age 50 in Ohio and across the country have serious reservations about when or if they'll be able to retire. Because of that, they're saying the presidential candidates need to talk more about Social Security and Medicare. The poll was commissioned by AARP, and surveyed voters in Ohio and five other states. Pollster Guy Molyneaux says 50 percent of baby boomer voters in Ohio believe they will retire at some point, but 64 percent think they will have to delay retirement. Molyneaux says overall, boomers are pessimistic.  

News
9:57 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Olentangy School Board Approves Labor Contracts

The Olentangy Local School Board last night approved three-year contracts with unions representing its maintenance staff and bus drivers. The contracts include 1 percent pay raises for the upcoming school year and half-percent hikes each of the following two years. The deals also include changes to health care coverage that gives employees a choice between two plans. The unions previously ratified the deals. The board also approved 2 percent pay hikes for school administrators over each of the next three years.  

News
9:55 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Auditor Establishes Atttendance Data-Fixing Hotline

The state auditor's office has set up a temporary hotline to allow Columbus City Schools employees to anonymously report attendance fixing cases without fear of reprisal. Auditor David Yost is investigating attendance manipulation by district officials designed to improve student scores on state tests. Yost says he's concerned that employees are afraid to talk. School officials discourage employees from talking to the media or others outside of the district about internal operations. The hotline number is (855) 554-1555. 

News
9:54 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Vigil Tonight For Hilliard High School Student

A memorial vigil is scheduled tonight at 8pm for a Hilliard Bradley High School band member killed in a crash late Wednesday. The gathering for 15-year-old David Phillips III will be held at the band's practice field.  The car Phillips was riding in crashed on Amity Road in Brown Township. Three other teens who were also members of the school's marching band were injured. Franklin County sheriff's deputies say they are investigating whether to charge the 16-year-old driver for having too many passengers in the vehicle. 

News
9:52 am
Fri August 10, 2012

"Hilltop Creeper" Strikes Again

Columbus police are investigating the 16th report of an attack by the man they have dubbed the "Hilltop Creeper." Police say the man broke into a South Terrace Avenue home yesterday and groped a women inside. The suspect  has broken into the homes of women on the Hilltop and in Franklinton since December, including four in the past week. Police say he either watches or touches women as they sleep.

News
9:49 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Police Shoot And Kill Man At North Columbus Hotel

Columbus police officials say two officers were forced to shoot and kill an armed man overnight at a hotel near Busch Boulevard on the north side.  Police say 28-year-old James Hattersley threatened his wife, the clerk, and the officers before he was shot on the second floor of the hotel. Hattersley and his wife were seen arguing outside before the shooting, and she says he has a history of mental illness. Police say drugs and alcohol are also suspected to have been factors in the incident. 

News
9:48 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Swine Flu Cases Increase

The Centers for Disease Control reports a five-fold increase of cases of the H3N2 strain of swine flu. The number of people infected is now 158, thanks to a wave of new cases confirmed in Indiana and Ohio. Two people have been hospitalized.  

News
9:45 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Police Searching For Rape Suspect

An arrest warrant has been issued for a man who Columbus Police say offered a stranded woman a ride, then kidnapped and raped her. Police say 44-year-old Robbie Jefferson assaulted the 34-year-old woman over the weekend after picking her up near her vehicle that was stranded on Norton Road. 

News
9:44 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Motorist Sentenced For Fatal Texting Accident

A Reynoldsburg motorist was sentenced Thursday to 3-and-a-half years in prison for a fatal accident that happened while he was texting behind the wheel. Prosecutors say 58-year-old Daniel Jacobs caused the death of a student driver from Pickerington. Prosecutors say Jacobs ran into a driver's education vehicle that was parked along the side of I-270 near route 33 last year, killing 16-year-old Dalton Ludwig. 

News
9:42 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Clippers Coach Going To "The Show"

One day after snapping an 11-game losing streak, the Cleveland Indians fired pitching coach Scott Radinsky. Columbus Clippers Pitching coach Ruben Niebla was named an interim replacement Thursday. Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti says Niebla is in his 12th year in the organization, the last two in Columbus. Antonetti says the team has yet to name Nibla's replacement in Columbus.  

News
9:39 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Prosecutor Confirms Probe Of State Lawmaker

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien confirms Democratic State Representative Clayton Luckie is the subject of an ongoing investigation. But O'brien says the inquiry does not involve bribery as reported by the "Dayton Daily News." O'Brien did not specify what it involves or name the investigating agency. Luckie was appointed in 2006. 

News
9:37 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Bond Set For Armed Theater Patron

Bond is set at 250-thousand dollars for the man charged with carrying a loaded gun, ammunition and knives into a showing of the latest Batman movie last weekend in Westlake. 37-year-old Scott Smith is due back in court on Tuesday to face charges of carrying concealed weapons and having weapons under disability.

News
9:34 am
Fri August 10, 2012

More Than 600 Local CCW Permits Invalid

Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott says more than 600 concealed-carry permits in Franklin and surrounding counties are invalid because three men issued falsified training certificates to the applicants. Deputies have arrested the trio on charges of complicity to falsification to obtain a permit. Scott says one sold signed training certificates to the others, who did not fully conduct training sessions. Scott has notified the effected permit holders.  

News
9:32 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Number Of CCW Permits Issued Increases

Ohio sheriffs issued nearly 19-thousand concealed carry permits in the first three months of the year, a 40-percent increase from the same period in 2010. Gun rights advocates are crediting recent law changes with making it more comfortable for people to carry concealed weapons in restaurants and bars that serve liquor, as well as in school safety zones. Ohio was ranked 11th last year in estimated total active permits and 25th in percentage of the population holding one. Ohioans have been permitted to carry concealed weapons since 2004. 

News
12:39 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Vehicle Safety Program Expands

A safety program aimed at reducing the number of minority children who die in car crashes is doubling its reach. The "Buckle Up for Life" program is now being offered in several additional U.S. cities. Its message is delivered in churches, which play a central role in the lives of many minority families. More information is available on-line at BuckleUpForLife-dot-org. Doctor Rebeccah Brown of Cincinnati Children's Hospital says traffic deaths among minorities are high. 

News
12:37 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Foreclosure Activity Rose In July

The foreclosure listing service Realtytrac says more U.S. homes started on the foreclosure path in July, as lenders tackled a backlog of unpaid mortgages as they pulled back on repossessions. The number of homes receiving an initial notice of default rose 6 percent last month compared to July of last year. Realtytrac says one in every 528 housing units in Ohio received an initial notice in July, the eighth highest figure among the 50 states. Akron is ranked 13th among Metropolitan areas in foreclosure activity.

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News
12:34 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Jobless Claims Decline

The Labor Department says the number of applications for unemployment insurance benefits in Ohio fell last week by more than 18-hundred. Nationally, claims fell by 6-thousand to a seasonally adjusted 361-thousand. The Department says fluctuations in the figures last month caused by temporary summertime layoffs in the auto industry have faded. The Department says applications must fall consistently below 375-thousand to lower the unemployment rate. 

News
12:32 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Feds Won't Waive Ethanol Requirement

Livestock farmers and ranchers seeing their feed costs soar because of the worst drought in decades are demanding The U.S. EPA waive production requirements for corn-based ethanol. The agency sees no need for a waiver, siding with corn growers in the presidential battleground states of Ohio and Iowa who continue to support the requirement. The livestock industry says supplies are precarious, and the large share of the corn crop going to ethanol production is driving up prices.

News
12:30 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Sales Of OSU Football Tickets Decline

The Ohio State Alumni Association says fewer current and former students  purchased football tickets for the second consecutive year. 52-hundred fewer alumni and 22-hundred fewer students than last year applied to buy single-game tickets for the upcoming season as compared with this time a year ago, when purchases also declined. Spokesperson Jay Hansen says the economy is mostly to blame, and there are more total tickets available this year because the Buckeyes are playing eight home games instead of the more-typical seven. 

News
12:29 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

No Trace Of Asian Carp In Lake Erie

State Wildlife experts from Ohio and Michigan and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service say three-day sweep of western Lake Erie turned up no trace of the Asian carp. Officials used boats to net and stun fish at 58 sampling sites in the Maumee and Sandusky bays. The sweep was triggered by tests last month that detected the DNA of two species in the bays. Authorities from federal and state governments have spent more than 100 million dollars on efforts to keep the carp out of the Great Lakes, in order to protect the multi-billion dollar fishing industry. 

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