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.

Pages

News
9:35 am
Fri July 20, 2012

SUPCO overturns conviction of Columbus woman

The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court ruling overturning the conviction of a Columbus woman for her role in a fatal hit-and-run in a shopping mall parking lot. The justices say the 2009 retrial and conviction in Clark County of 27-year-old Toneisha Gunnell violated her constitutional right against double jeopardy. A County judge had originally declared a mistrial. Gunnell and three other women were convicted in the 2005 death of 49-year-old John Deselem after they robbed a mall clothier.  

News
9:33 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Peacocks call Central Ohio post office home

A pair of peacocks are making the Orient post office their home, setting up a roost on the building's roof.  They're often seen crossing the parking lot and quietly watching customers as they pass in and out of the building. There's no word on where the peacocks came from, and local farmers have not claimed the birds. 

News
9:32 am
Fri July 20, 2012

Tea Party opposes Governor's plan to cut income taxes

A coalition of tea party groups says Republican Governor John Kasich's plan to raise the severance tax on oil and gas drillers to fund an income tax cut is "unnecessary and unwise." The idea remains stalled in the GOP-controlled Legislature. The Ohio Liberty Coalition is telling its members to urge lawmakers to oppose the proposal. The group's president says Kasich should trim state spending if he want cut taxes. Public opinion polls indicate voters support Kasich's proposal. 

News
9:30 am
Fri July 20, 2012

More legislation approved for Fifth Avenue dam removal

Columbus City Council this week approved two more pieces of legislation clearing the way for the removal of the Fifth Avenue dam on the Olentangy River. In late June, Council approved legislation setting the stage for the 6.9 million dollar project. The Ohio EPA and Ohio State are sharing the project's cost. Sponsoring Council member Eileen Paley says the new legsilation sets aside more than 1.2 million dollars for construction and engineering services.  

News
12:42 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Ohio farmers losing crops to drought

The national drought is being called the worst since 1956. So far Ohio has not been hit as hard as neighboring Indiana. But some Western Ohio farmers have already written off much of their crop. Ryan McClure farms four thousand acres in Paulding County. He says recent scattered showers have not provided the amount of water farmers need to salvage their crops. Meanwhile The Ohio Farm Bureau Federation is conducting a survey to assess damage caused by drought conditions.

News
12:40 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Another revision of internet cafe figures

For the second time in a month, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has revised the official number of internet cafes operating in the state. Ohio Public Radio's Bill Cohen reports. 

News
12:37 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Ohio, national jobless claims rise

The Labor Department says the number of claims for unemployment insurance benefits in Ohio rose by nearly 6-thousand last week, third most behind New York and Michigan. Nationally, claims rose by 34-thousand to a seasonally adjusted 386-thousand, reversing a decline from the previous week. Economists note the Department struggles to adjust claims figures to reflect temporary summertime layoffs in the auto industry. Many automakers are foregoing the typical factory shutdowns amid stronger sales. Applications must fall consistently below 375-thousand to lower the unemployment rate. 

News
12:35 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Two Ohio banks report quarterly results

Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp says second-quarter profit rose by 15 percent to 376-million dollars, as a sharp drop in writeoffs of unpaid loans enabled the firm to reduce how much it set aside to cover problem lending. Fifth Third wrote off 181 million in unpaid loans, down 40 percent from last year. It set aside 71 million to cover bad debt, down 37 percent from the same period a year ago. Meanwhile, Cleveland based Keycorp reports second quarter profit fell by 3-million to 231-million dollars as it wrote off fewer unpaid loans, and loans and deposits increased.

News
12:33 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Bond set in Springfield murder case

Bond is set at 1-million dollars for a Springfield man charged with  killing a man with a serving fork earlier this week.  Laune Dozier has pleaded not guilty to stabbing Jason Wones at his home. Springfield police say Wones was attacked while trying to stop Dozier from assaulting a woman. 

News
12:31 pm
Thu July 19, 2012

Feds order Columbus company to replenish pension funds

The Labor Department has ordered Columbus-based Clark Graphics and owners Mary and James Clark to restore more than 500-thousand dollars to a pair of employee retirement plants. The Department sued the company for violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security act, alleging insufficient oversight and mishandling of the plans.

News
10:10 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Campaign cash flooding Ohio

The campaign for a U.S. Senate seat from Ohio has already set a record for money raised, and the state is being flooded with money for the presidential race.  Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports. 

News
10:06 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Storm-related accident injures two Central Ohioans

The State Highway Patrol says high winds knocked a tree onto a pickup truck carrying two people yesterday in Licking County. Troopers say Craig and Diane Chadwick are hospitalized in Columbus in serious condition with injuries sustained when winds from strong thunderstorms  knocked a large tree limb onto the cab. 

News
10:04 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Two people found dead in Southeast Columbus

Columbus police are investigating an apparent double-murder on the Southeast side. The bodies of a man and a woman were found yesterday in a vacant apartment on Wabash Court. Autopsies will be conducted to determine the official causes of death.  The victims' identities are expected to be released today. 

News
10:02 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Redistricting amendment may not be on the fall ballot

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted says backers of a proposed constitutional amendment on redistricting have failed to collect the number of valid petition signatures need to put the issue on the November ballot. Ohio Public Radio's Jo Ingles reports. 

News
9:59 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Columbus casino to open in October

The Ohio Casino Control Commission says the Columbus casino should open by October 8th, as long as it meets necessary requirements. Those include the installation of 3-thousand slot machines, 70 table games, and the licensing of employees and the casino itself. Owner Penn National Gaming says 900 of the 2 thousand planned employees have been hired. Meanwhile Cuyahoga County Prosecutors say they have compelling video evidence against seven men indicted for cheating at the Cleveland Casino. Six have pleaded not guilty while the seventh is awaiting arraignment.

News
9:58 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Clark County public safety officers punished

Two Clark County public safety officers are being disciplined for misconduct. Sheriff Gene Kelley says deputy Christopher Dent has been fired. Kelley says Dent engaged in verbal arguments with his superiors, was found drunk in a car with his loaded service weapon and showed up to court drunk for his arraignment last week. Meanwhile German Township fire lieutenant Robert Oldham has been arrested on charges of raping a 19-year-old woman at a party. No other details have been released. 

News
9:55 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Multi-state lawsuit over health care law rejected

A federal judge in Nebraska has rejected a lawsuit by Ohio and six other states challenging the mandate in the federal health care law requiring religious groups to offer contraceptive coverage to their workers. The judge
says the states lack the standing to challenge the rule and questioned whether they would even feel the effects.  The states had argued the rule coerced religious organizations. The U.S. Supreme Court recently upheld the constitutionality of the law.  

News
9:54 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Romney campaigns in Ohio

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney wrapped up a campaign swing through Ohio with a high-end fundraising event last night at a country club near Canton. Prices for the reception, photo session and dinner ranged from 25-hundred to 50-thousand dollars. Romney repeated his recent campaign theme that President Obama doesn't understand how the economy works. Romney also brushed aside additional calls for the release of more of his yearly tax returns.

News
9:46 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Columbus man freed from Dubai prison

The attorney for a Columbus man imprisoned in Dubai for more than four years on fraud charges says his client is now free on bond and is receiving medical attention. Eric Akers says Zack Shahin's family remains concerned for his well-being. Shahin's family has said Dubai authorities have mistreated him. Akers says Shahin lost 50 pounds in prison and has heart problems. Shahin was CEO of Deyaar Development Company, which began as a subsidiary of the Dubai Islamic Bank. He was accused of defrauding the bank out of 501 million dollars

News
9:44 am
Thu July 19, 2012

Wednesday storms put thouands in the dark

Power crews say service has been restored to most of the 70-thousand people who lost power following a series of storms that hit Ohio on Wednesday. 36-thousand Central Ohioans lost service, as did 34-thousand people in Southwest Ohio. The outages came a few weeks after a series of powerful storms knocked out electricity for hundreds of thousands of Ohioans facing a heat wave. 

Pages