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
9:27 am
Mon July 30, 2012

Quality Of Nursing Home Care Declines Amid Medicaid Cuts

During the past fiscal year, Ohio nursing homes were cited nearly twice as often as in the previous year for putting patients at serious risk of harm. The increase in "immediate jeopardy" citations coincides with cuts in Medicaid payments. But state officials say it's too soon to say whether the payments are affecting the quality of care. The increase is the largest since the 2007-08 fiscal year.
 

News
12:46 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Another racino planned for Ohio

A new "racino" is being planned for the Miami Valley.  The owners of the Lebanon Raceway plan to install a new horse racing track with video lottery terminals.

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News
12:43 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Man charged with severely injuring infant boy

Huron County sheriff's deputies have charged a Norwalk man with severely beating his girlfriend's nine-month-old son. Sheriff Dane Howard says 20-year-old Christoffer Mills is charged with felonious assault.

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News
12:38 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Teen charged in Clintonville shooting

Prosecutors have charged a 14-year-old boy with shooting and killing a friend at a Clintonville home on July 5th. 

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News
12:36 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

More Midwest mosquitoes carrying West Nile Virus

Hot, dry weather in the Midwest has created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes. Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois are reporting higher rates of mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus, as compared with past years. The Ohio Department of Health reports a 460-percent increase in mosquitoes carrying the virus. Mosquito samples testing positive rose from 38 last year to 213 this year, the highest number since 2002. No human cases have been reported in Ohio, but Illinois and Oklahoma report earlier-than-usual cases of human infection.

News
12:34 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Delta to close Comair

Delta Airlines says it will close Cincinnati-based regional carrier Comair at the end of August as it switches more routes to larger jets. Delta plans to reduce its number of regional jets from 350 to 125 within two years. The company says operating regional carriers has become more expensive and customers are demanding more room. No routes will be cut from the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Comair represents 1 percent of Delta's operations. 

News
12:32 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Dimora to be sentenced Monday

Attorneys for convicted former Cuyahoga County Commissioner Jimmy Dimora are seeking a life sentence for their client. They say the U.S. Pretrial Services and Probation Office wants the life sentence. Federal prosecutors have recommended a sentence of 22 years on public corruption and racketeering charges.  The former County Democratic Party chair will be sentenced on Monday. He was arrested as part of an FBI probe of corruption in county government.  

News
12:31 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Steelers' co-owner wants a piece of the Cleveland Browns

Cleveland Browns owner Randy Lerner says he's discussing a possible investment in the team by businessman Jimmy Haslam, founder of the Pilot corporation, a chain of convenience stores and travel centers. Haslam is also a minority owner of the Browns' archrival, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Lerner says he was approached by Haslam, and have agreed to keep details of the negotiations private. Meanwhile crews have completed the rennovation of Cleveland Browns Stadium.  Crews have completed weeks worth of concrete restoration, seat replacement, and installation of new food stands.

News
9:47 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Blended Learning feature

Blended Learning is a relatively new idea that was placed into a recently approved legislative package of education changes. The Governor wants to see it in more school districts. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports. 

News
9:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Lax infection controls in home health care

A survey by a Case Western Reserve University professor shows many home health care agencies are lax in their infection control procedures. Anne Glausser of member station WCPN in Cleveland reports. 

News
9:42 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Catholic Churches again accepting worshippers

Six of eleven Northeast Ohio churches ordered reopened by the Vatican are now accepting worshippers. Father Joseph Workman's Saint James church is among those who successfully appealed Cleveland Bishop Richard Lennon's order to closed the churches. Lennon cited declining membership and finances, as well as a shortage of priests. 

News
9:39 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Ousted parole board members got good reviews

Personnel files obtained by The Associated Press show two Ohio Parole Board members removed by the state prisons director without warning earlier this year both had good reviews. Board member and former Columbus police officer Cathy Collins-Taylor was praised for her hard work, responsiveness and reliability two months before she was removed. Board member Jose Torres was deemed enthusiastic and respectful and was thanked for his dedication to the prisons department. Director Gary Mohr says he made the changes to improve the system and find the right people for the right positions.

News
9:36 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Columbus man facing drug charges in West Virginia

A Columbus man is the first person to be convicted in West Virginia on federal charges of distributing bath salts. 35-year-old Steven Kohl also pleaded guilty Wednesday to aiding and abetting interstate travel in aid of a racketeering enterprise. The charge stems from Kohl's role in bringing the synthetic drugs to West Virginia in September 2011.  A sentencing date is pending. 

News
9:33 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Two Columbus cops cleared of wrongdoing

Columbus police officials have determined two officers involved in a pair of shootings last year acted within division policy. A departmental review finds Officer Anthony Sebastiano acted within policy when he shot and wounded 17-year-old Dewayne Smith during an attempted robbery in March of last year. A review also finds officer David Freetage acted within policy when he fired on 24-year-old Direhyl Banks, who police say shot at Freetage and a second officer. No one was injured. The officers were investigating a string of burglaries on the south side.
 

News
9:32 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Auditor expanding data-fixing probe

State Auditor David Yost tells the Ohio Board of Education he is expanding his investigation of student attendance data fixing in the Columbus, Toledo, and Lockland districts into a statewide probe. Yost says the problem may not be local but systemic. Yost wants department employees to preserve all records and to not interfere with witnesses in the case. State Schools Superintendent Stan Heffner has said the probe could lead to fraud charges against any educators involved. 

News
9:30 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Soldier says Chen was suicidal days before taking his own life

A U.S. Army soldier has testified in the court marshal of an Ohio soldier that Private Danny Chen said he was having suicidal thoughts days before he took his own life. Private First Class Degan Berhe testified Thursday in the court marshal of Sergeant Adam Holcomb of Youngstown. Berhe says he did not tell his supervisors of Chen's suicidal thoughts because they hazed the soldier and he did not trust them. Holcomb is one of eight soldiers accused of hazing Chen in Afghanistan because of his Chinese-American heritage.  Defense attorneys argue Chen was disowned by his family. 

News
9:28 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Bomb threats at Eastland Mall

Columbus police are searching for the person who made two bomb threats last night that forced the evacuation of Eastland Mall. Shoppers and employees were evacuated for more than an hour while a bomb-detecting robot and dog searched for anything suspicious. The search turned up no explosives. 

News
9:25 am
Fri July 27, 2012

FBI mum on arrest of school resource officer

The FBI has arrested a Columbus police school resource officer. The bureau has yet to release the charges against or the details of its investigation of 49-year-old officer Todd Smith. He worked as a resource officer at Centennial High School on the Northwest Side.
 

News
9:24 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Dublin cop placed on leave

A Dublin police officer has been placed on paid leave, after allegedly sending an inappropriate photograph to a teenage girl.  Dublin police officials say they received a tip about officer Thomas Seeling, but have yet to confirm the allegation. If true, officials say it would violate the department's values clause. 

News
9:22 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Columbus casino seeks more employees

Operators of the Columbus casino will announce another round of hiring today. Operators are looking for chefs, cooks and wait staff. Operators have already hired and started training dealers. The west side facility is set to open in October.  

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