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
9:31 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Columbus Schools to survey female athletes

Columbus School district officials say they will survey all female high school athletes this fall to find out what sports they're interested in, and to promote the ten sports already offered.  The survey is part of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, which was investigating claims the district discriminated against girls in sports.  A women's-rights group claimed too few girls were playing high school sports. 

News
9:29 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Ohio boxing great passes away

One of boxing's all-time greats passed away in Cleveland Wednesday due to complications from pneumonia. 92-year-old Jimmy Bivins fought as a heavyweight from 1940 to 1955. He defeated many of the top boxers of the era but did not get a shot at a championship. Bivins was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1999. 

News
9:28 am
Thu July 5, 2012

Two freshwater mussel species getting federal protection

Two once-common species of freshwater mussel now found in a handful of U.S. rivers are going on the Endangered Species List. The sheepnose and spectaclecase mussels will be protected under an agreement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Center for Biological Diversity. The spectaclecase has been eliminated from 20 of the 44 streams where it historically lived.

News
12:47 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

State seeks federal food assistance cards

The state is asking the federal government for help providing more food assistance cards for those who lost edibles during the storm-related power outages.

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News
12:41 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

State helping people deal with power outages

State agencies continue working to help residents deal with the power outages from the weekend storms. 

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News
12:38 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Red Cross serving meals at two Columbus rec centers

The American Red Cross will serve lunch and dinner today and Wednesday at the Douglas and Far East community centers to Columbus residents who have been without power due to the recent storms. 

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News
12:37 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Storm-related property tax break offered

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo says owners of properties damaged by the weekend storms may be eligible for a temporary property tax cut. Mingo says applications are available on the County Auditor's website. The cut, if approved, would show up on the next tax bill. Mingo says state law allows county auditors to reduce property taxes in such cases. 

News
12:35 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Fire serves as reminder to exercise caution in using generators

New Carlisle firefighters say Monday's blaze that destroyed a home was sparked by a generator in use following the weekend power outages. No one was hurt, but firefighters say it's a reminder to be sure generators are well-ventilated and are installed by qualified electricians. American Electric Power says customers should report using generators  because improper installation can threaten the safety of workers trying to restore power. 

News
12:33 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

POTUS to visit Ohio on Thursday

The White House says President Obama will embark on a two-day campaign bus tour through Ohio and Pennsylvania on Thursday. The President is scheduled to stop in Maumee, Sandusky and Parma on Thursday. Republican rival Mitt Romney completed a multi-state bus tour last month that included stops in Ohio and Pennsylvania. 
 

News
9:57 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Portion of Cleveland Avenue closed due to roof collapse

Cleveland Avenue is closed between Arlington and Minnesota avenues through this evening, as crews work to remove from the roadway debris from the roof of a mosque that partially collapsed Monday. No one was hurt. Police say the weekend storms weakened the Linden area building and caused the collapse. A damage estimate has not been made. 

News
9:55 am
Tue July 3, 2012

New POTUS tv ad coming to Ohio

President Obama's campaign is launching a new television ad in Ohio and eight other battleground states attacking Republican rival Mitt Romney's business record. The ad says Romney invested in companies that moved jobs overseas and supports tax breaks for companies that do so. Democrats believe a drumbeat of ads accusing Romney of shipping U.S. jobs overseas is starting to take hold in battleground states and impact voters' views of the presumptive GOP nominee.

News
9:51 am
Tue July 3, 2012

PUCO approves new AEP fee structure

The Public Utilities Commission of Ohio has set a new pricing structure for fees competitors must pay Columbus-based American Electric Power as it transitions to a competitive market. The commission's order sets the fee at nearly 189-dollars per megawatt day, but requires AEP to charge suppliers a lower market-based price.  Regulators say AEP can recover the difference, and they expect rule in August on how that would work. The charge is not assessed directly to customers, but businesses could choose to pass along the increase to customers.

News
9:49 am
Tue July 3, 2012

COTA workers reject contract proposal

Central Ohio Transit Authority bus drivers and mechanics rejected a tentative contract agreement last night, meaning a strike that began on Monday continues. The deal would have provided total wage increases of 7 percent over three years and would have decreased  worker pension benefits. Their union leaders say pay, benefits, and driver safety are among the reasons workers rejected the proposal. The previous contract expired in November, and workers rejected a state fact-finder's recommendation in April. COTA President Curtis Stitt says there is no plan to provide service for

News
9:45 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Woman indicted in overdose death of Columbus man

A Franklin County grand jury has indicted a Westerville woman in connection with the heroin-overdose death of a Columbus man. 25-year-old Emily Thacker allegedly injected the drug into the system of 37-year-old Russell Ronske, leading to his death. Westerville police say it happened at the home of a friend last March. 

News
9:43 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Woman sentenced for her role in Schlichter ticket scheme

A Dublin woman who claims she was defrauded by former Ohio State quarterback Art Schlichter pleaded guilty Monday to two felony theft charges. A judge sentenced Anita Barney to three years of community control, 100 hours of community service and ordered her to make restitution. Prosecutors say the widow of the former chair of Wendy's restaurants recruited friends to meet with Schlichter, who admitted to ripping them off in a million-dollars sports ticket scheme. Barney says she lost her life savings in the scheme. Schlichter is serving a nearly 11-year prison sentence.  

News
9:41 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Hundreds of thousands still without electricity

More than 300-thousand people in central and southwestern Ohio remain without power this morning as crews work to restore service interrupted by two rounds of weekend thunderstorms. All but a few thousand are American Electric Power customers. The company says they may be in the dark through the end of the week.  AEP President Pablo Vegas has pledged crews will work through the weekend to restore service. Ohio is under state and federal emergency declarations. Ohio National Guard members today continue visiting Columbus and Dayton residents to see if they need assistance.

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News
6:23 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

State officials caution against using backyard fireworks

The State Fire Marshal urges Ohioans not to use backyard fireworks because of high fire danger from dry conditions as well as the general risk of personal injury. Larry Flowers says the combination of dry conditions, high temperatures and possible wind gusts the next few days create a greater risk of fires triggered by sparks. Dr. Tom Waters of the Cleveland Clinic says more than half the injuries that occur on the fourth are the result of fireworks. Waters notes even sparklers are dangerous.

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News
6:19 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Deadline in redistricting effort is this week

The latest campaign to change the way the maps for Congressional and state lawmaker districts are drawn approaches a critical deadline this week. Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler explains. 

News
6:14 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

Governor signs Cleveland Schools bill

Ohio Governor John Kasich was in Cleveland today, signing off on a sweeping overhaul of that city's school district. The bill will give Mayor Frank Jackson the authority to set up a committee that will set standards for students and teachers, while overseeing charter schools. It also eliminates seniority as a deciding factor in teacher layoffs, replacing it with evaluations.

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News
6:12 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

State makes money available to help with storm recovery

Small business owners, farmers and other Ohioans affected by severe weather may be eligible for interest rate reductions on loans to recover or rebuild from the storm damage.  Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel says he's made 25 million dollars available through the state's Renew Ohio & Rebuild Ohio emergency financing programs to help storm victims. The treasurer's office says small business owners and farmers may apply for up to a three percent interest rate reduction on new or existing loans for construction - or to improve cash flow.

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